Walter Brower is about 5' 9" tall, skinny, with unruly dark hair. He wears contacts to avoid the stereotype of the 'nerd with glasses'. He dresses in jeans and a variety of t-shirts with slogans or geeky logos on them. He always carries a high-end smartphone and his EMP-tool (which he typically uses as a cell-phone or wi-fi disabler for pranks).
Walter doesn't sleep much; probably because of all the coffee he drinks -- he's a regular at both of the student-hangout coffee shops near campus. He works part-time (usually nights) maintaining the Observatory computers, and spends the rest of his free time in the old DARPA lab. Apart from coffee, he appears to live on ramen noodles and the occasional cheeseburger.
Idly poking around in the basement of the physics building, Walter discovered something odd; an old, heavy-duty power conduit, headed down into the university steam-distribution venue. His curiosity aroused, he followed the conduit into what he thought must have been an old Civil Defense bomb shelter from the Cold War. But this didn't look like a bomb shelter -- it was more like a laboratory, although furnished with some laughably antique 'computers'. Everything was labeled DARPA, and the inner offices had big yellow 'DECOMMISSIONED' stickers across them.
Getting the lights on was not the trivial task it should have been. Everything down here was behind locks, or codes, or both -- But Walter never could resist a puzzle. His reward for success was to nearly have a heart attack when he turned around! Hulking in the center of the main lab, attached to a support-frame, was the figure of a massive robot! "Motherf---! That better not be the security system..."
Painted a mix of OD green and primer gray, with a faded white star insignia on one shoulder-plate, the figure had the proportions of a steroid-fed linebacker. A 'roll-bar' went shoulder-to-shoulder behind the helmet, and its finely-articulated metal gauntlets were backed with thick armor-plates. The chestplate was folded upward, showing a hollow interior with straps and acceleration padding...
"Holy crap, that's not a robot -- it's a suit of armor!" Now his curiosity was really piqued. Walter spent whatever spare time he had in the lab. He found the notes of a Dr. Armand Treadwell, the lead design engineer on the project. He also found, buried in the antique computers, some grainy early video footage of a hapless Army Sergeant attempting to operate the 'Mk.I Infantry Powered Armor' -- the results weren't pretty. "It's the force-feedback controls; there's no way the computers back then could process signals fast enough. The mechanics are sound; in fact the engineering on this thing is really advanced, this guy Treadwell must have been a genius. He just didn't have the right software." Another puzzle... Solving these control sequences and getting the reaction times of the suit down to something useable would be really interesting.
"Wait a minute! Treadwell -- as in Dr. "Call me Connie" Treadwell?" Just thinking about his uncomfortably-attractive Faculty Advisor made Walter's palms prickle with sweat. "I wonder if Armand was her dad..." It was odd, thinking of the vivacious older woman as a young girl. Hot as she was at 40, he could only wonder what she must have been like at his age...
There were references in the DARPA documents to the lab's funding being cancelled sometime in the late '70s. 'Project Treadwell' hadn't paid off, and Walter's weak knowledge of history gave him the vague notion that that was when the Cold War had cooled off completely. The government must not have been willing to throw more money at Armand Treadwell's brainchild at that point. "What happened to him after that, I wonder?"
'Dr. Connie' would know the answer...