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'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S.

Combat Drone, 'Legged Squad Support System', Coloquially referred to as the "BIGDOG" series. This model has been heavily modifed for semi-autonomous operation.

0 · 115 views · located in The Infinite Void

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by SylentStand

Description

Series: 'BIGDOG' LSSS
Designation: SKYTOP, 4565.v2.8

Affiliation: Searchbloc Security Solutions (Op. SPC. G. Manchera)
Armament: M134 7.62 'Gatling' type machine gun, M108 grenade launcher, smoke projector, 8-Gauge breaching shotgun
Batch Number: 23358vk.2

A quadruped military combat drone, initially designed for use in the field as a pack mule for dismounted soldiers. This particular model has been heavily modified for superior stability on uneven terrain. The load-bearing capacity of the robot has been completely re-tooled as a delivery system for an autonomous belt-fed M134 'minigun' system and armor plating. As a result, the carrying capacity and maneuverability of this drone have been compromised for additional offensive and defensive capability.

This particular drone goes by the moniker 'SKYTOP', and is remotely slaved to an unknown control facility. The device is currently up for field testing and evaluation. If all goes well, a terrifying new dawn of fielded combat drones of unspeakable power seems imminent. For now, the device is rather unstable and combat ineffective, baffled by stairs and multiple targets in close proximity.

So begins...

'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S.'s Story

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'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S. paused at the threshold, moentarily stymied by a protruding step. In the span of one tenth of a second, its powerful onboard computer determined the most appropriate course of action and sent a complicated string of commands to each of the drone's independant motivators. Gingerly, almost comically, the multimilion-dollar machine stepped down.

Disturbingly organic in its gait, the doglike robot trotted over to what it determined to be the nearest surmountable vantage point and stepped up onto a table. Its mechanical eyes swept the bar, relaying all relevant data through a secure uplink to its controllers, and making minute adjustments to its stance with every second. It had accomplished its primary tasking by entering the bar unimpeded. And although capable of functioning in several limited modes on its own, it was reliant on human instruction to undertake complex action. Motionless, it waited to be told what to do.

In the meantime, it tasked a fraction of its ample free CPU power to scanning and classifying the patrons of the bar based on scans of myriad spectrums. It identified several as potential threats--or possible targets--and set its secondary sensor package to observe their movements closely. Unfortunately, the secondary package had a function of its own--targeting. Quite unintentionally, the package swiveled to lock onto Jack Thirteen, and its primary armament, a large GE M134 gatling gun, followed suite.

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The drone was quite hard to impress, lacking even a rudimentary understanding of human interaction. Its was a world of variables and algorithms stacked up to conclusion rather than instinctual response or reasoning. The man's verbal threat was completely lost on the robot, and it continued to 'stare', sighting down the barrel of its weapon.

The sight of electrical sparks triggered a brief response in the machine's armored core, bringing it to take a halting step backward at the prospect of physical damage. Its self-preservation subroutines were nearly impossible to override in the face of imminent environmental damage, as it classified the display to be, unaware of the wielder so much as the presence of an electrical arc.

But it could recognize a weapon. As the man reached down to touch his blade, the robot touched on a facet of its original programming as a security drone, internal alarms rousing it to action. Danger was present, danger was imminent. It must take appropriate steps to neutralize the danger.

A small pen-sized capsule popped a warning flare in the enclosed space, alerting percieved hostile forces to an imminent response should they approach within ten meters. The gatling gun whirred to life and spun restlessly. The drone would need human confirmation to remove the safety and go on the offensive, but its security subroutines would permit it to retaliate to an aggressive act.

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'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S. , a newly-minted combat drone of sorts, paused on the bar's threshold, momentarily perplexed by what it percieved as a difficult navigational feat, in fact no more than a flight of stairs. In the span of several processing cycles, it recalled a similar obstruction in its limited field experience; in fact the same flight of stairs that it beheld now. It couldn't recall the time or the place, being a construction of adaptive programming rather than memory, but it quickly strung together a series of commands for dealing with the problem, and put the plan to action.

With comical timidity, the multi-million dollar drone stepped down the stairs one at a time, each rocking motion a little more confident than the last. It dutifully transmitted the aquired data up its uplink array and added it to the remote knowledge base that any drone of its series could access at whim. Soon, the combined experience of these forrays would render the analysis period unnecessary, leaving the drone to function on its own. But these were still early days for the compact weapons platform.

Today, a mission more taxing than obstacle navigation: facial recognition and aprehension of a target. On level ground, the doglike drone was well suited to the task--constructed, even. Sweeping its sensor array left and right, it began to stalk its target.

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'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S. bounded into the bar, skittering to a stop on its four pneumatically-stabilized legs. Oddly doglike and organic in appearance and gait, the multimillion-dollar drone represented the latest advancement in a line of privately-operated combat drones. It pivoted on its servos, a great deal more agile than the last time it had appeared in public, due in part to the combined experience collected by drones in the field and to minute upgrades to its processing ability. Four cores now worked in tandem, humming away beneath the armored shell. Three for processing and movement correction--one for fire control.

Behind the four-legged beast came a trio of armed men dressed in nondescript navy coveralls and comercial body armor. Their faces were covered and they wore no unit insignia. They bore themselves cautiously, but not agressively. These were men on a mission, not the warpath.

One knelt down beside the eager drone, speaking slowly and clearly to its mechanical brain.

"Skytop. Seek and capture."

Today would be a special test for the machine--a target aquisition and simulated takedown. There would be no harm to the patrons, indeed, the drone's main armament, a vulcan-style turret-mounted machine gun, was loaded with harmless simmunition, and a preselected target was already in place. Special care would be taken to ensure that the test would not exceed established mission perameters, but there was always a hint of danger present in the seedy dive. It had been factored in. After all, what good was an actively 'learning' learning drone if it failed to adapt ot danger?

With a mechanical shrill, the robot stepped forward, its sensor package sweeping side to side seeking the target. The weapon on its back whirred menacingly as it took a few halting strides toward Faron Jasperson.

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'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S. observed the display of agression impassively. In truth, it had no ability to percieve the meaning of spoken words outside of certain context. Out of idle curiosity, it devoted a few processor cycles to to examing the man, and then lost interest. This was not the target. It incorrectly categorized the man's agressive stance as a humanoid attempt at copulation, much to the chagrin of one of the men with a clipboard. It was a bug that would have to be ironed out later.

The machanical being moved on, keeping its secondary sensor suite locked onto the man until it had moved a few meters away, and then disengaged, continuing to seek its target. Spying a likely looking huddle in the back of the bar, it powered through the evening crowd and kept moving doggedly forward.

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The drone never 'saw' the attack coming, but its sensors picked up on the crack of the flaming discharge, and they registered the sudden heat. In the span of of an eyeblink, the drone's operating system had established the direction, constitution, and time to impact of the attack, and had put in a plan for evasion. But the reinforced servos were not up to the task of putting the relayed information into action in time. The drone had only the time to eject its explosively combustable 40mm grenade magazine and turn halfway before the molten impact took it off its feet and sent it skidding into the wall with a shower of sparks.

The operators weren't so quick to respond, startled by the man's sudden aggressive act. Even through their thick coveralls, the intense heat prickled and blistered their skin. They drew back, seeking cover from the flame and fumbling with their sidearms. They hadn't expected conflict, and thus had only a pair of .9mm handguns between them. One drew and fired, the other two stumbling for the door, dazed and blinded by the sudden heat.

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'SKYTOP' L.S.S.S. submits the chat to a twnty-nine second barrage of 40mm grenade fire.