Acceptable Collateral Damage

May 30, 2015:

Eight brings Fenris in to do some testing

New York


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Eight takes testing, pretty seriously of course and today not only an opportunity to test but also for Fenris to gets hands on learning how the drones work. There are shapes and sizes of them never before seen by human(or god) eyes. Some used weaponry who's muzzle report alone was potentially lethal to bystanders, others used weapons fired by incredibly toxic chemicals and still others hadn't been seen just because they had yet to be needed. JagdPanzers, Hetzers, AADs and Hellcats. Four entirely new looking pieces of equipment, and the most difficult to control or so Eight surmised. This then, was sort of a big fucking deal. As if the rail cars worth of spare parts, ammunition, logistical drones, the actual combat drones themselves, old cars, a beat up MRAP, a pair of rusty M113s and sections of armor replicating everything from an abrahms to rumored black projects. Then again this is eight, how surprised are you really?
The old lead mine has been littered with targets at different elevations, ranges, angles and varying states of cover provided by massive boulders. Theres a slight drizzle, and a cool breeze but the wind is calm and Eight seems satisfied enough with the conditions. "Fenris, for the duration of the live fire portion of this test. You will need to remain either in the bunker, or in your armor. These weapons are all very dangerous."There was a bunker of course, a neat concrete bunker dug into the mine wall which served as if nothing else a lovely example of Eight's skill as an actual underground construction specialist. A bomb shelter, may be a little more accurate of course. Anywho, Eight turns, offering Fenris a tablet. "I'd rather not give you cancer, or destroy your nervous system."

Fenris has been here before. Well to the mine. He examines the tablet to see what he's got displayed. "That'd be appreciated, Eight. I think I'll get into the armor just to get used to using it some more." And it is a thing that takes getting used to. "What will you be testing?"

"Hellcat Mk.3 Mod.78 Ultra long distance anti-material interdiction platforms and the 42mm ultra high velocity caseless magnetically stabilized cannon. Aerial Assault Drone Mk.2 Mod 5, the Hetzer MK.1 Mod.7 and the JagdPanzer Mk.1 Mod.3. All of these drones utilize Octanitrocubane derived weaponry, which is a class twelve cancer causing agent in addition to causing Toxic Shock, Nervous system degredation, blistering, respiratory failure and degredation of the blood brain barrier."Lovely then, or so Eight offers."We will begin a preliminary testing with the platform with the most basic testing procedure today, the Hellcat Mk.3 Mod.78, we need real world ballistics testing to ensure our modeling is accurate in it's prediction of penetration."
Eight already has Fenris's brain scan, so maaaybe it shouldn't be a surprise. The moment he grabs onto that tablet, the link is made though. Pips begin to resolve from thin air, blue pips over Eight and the combat drones, Green pips over the mindless logistics drones and bright red pips floating in space above the various targets. Already named sequentially. "If you are ready to begin, armor up and simply ask the drones by name to do what you desire. In this case, this is why all the units are named. In this case, "Kill'em all" and "God Sends Death". Target fifteen and sixteen respectively for their initial verification shot if you please."

Fenris nods and climbs into the armor. He wonders what designation Eight has for this thing. Something suitably impressive he's sure. "Kill'em All, engage target Fifteen. God Sends Death, engage target sixteen." He calls out, watching the heads up display light up with information as they respond.

These are oddballs for Eight, being as they're primarily wheeled and more "tanklike" than most. The two glide silently into position, before twisting their wheels outwards and pressing them out along extendable legs. Building neat little firing positions. «Kill'em All, confirmed target fifteen.» «God Sends death, confirmed target Sixteen.» The pair swivel their turrets in perfect unison, before that diamond shaped barrel cover splits open lengthwise to expose the inner fluted gunbarrel itself. Then comes an odd high pitch wine, before theres a flash brighter than the sun and for a moment nothing. The suit blacks out the visual sensors, blanks the auditory sensors for just a moment but the results are jarring. It's screaming alerts about a 340decible sound wave, and a pressure spike of over 20 atmospheres, a flash of light bright enough to have caused the suit's cameras to overvolt trying to keep up with it. Theres a neat donut of dense white mist hauling ass downrange as pretty dirt, dust and gravel rains down from overhead.

Downrange there are now two perfectly pristine 42mm holes in the pair of those M117 hulls. "Confirmed target hit, confirmed penetration. Preliminary testing successful, next up are targets seventeen and eighteen. At your leisure Fenris."amidst a rain of warnings about the toxicity of the atmosphere outside that suit. No shit Eight said these things were nasty, right?

Fenris glances at the warnings. Goodness. What are those things shooting? DU Rounds? Still, quite impressive. "Kill'em all, Enage target seventeen. Maximum force. God Sends Death, suppress target eighteen." He's curious how they'll respond to added parameters.

«God Sends Death, confirmed target suppression» «Kill'em All, confirm enguage with prejudice.» They have, voices even. Slight intonational differences, like twins but it is there. God Sends Death, swivels the 7.62 machinegun mounted atop the turret arounds and begins pounding neat little five round bursts down range. It's not quite suppression though because well, most of them are infact hitting. It's twin brother begins to charge, as a dense layer of mist begins forming around that cannon barrel. Growing as that whine grows louder and louder, until..the suit turns dark and silent. When systems return, there are chunks of that armor mockup hurtling in every direction and a landslide of freshly shattered gravel surging foreward from the cliff face behind. «Kill'em all, Ammunition depleted. Critical overtemp, initiating emergency purge.» The turret swings skyward, before with an audible grunt of machinery the barrel is unlocked and it goes sliding back into the turret and out the backside into the dirt. Red hot and deforming in real time, as logistics ants scurry to bring a replacement. "Notice that like a loving dog, the Drones will damage themselves to carry out your orders. If you're unsure, they will advise you as needed. Anyway, target killed. Are you ready for test two, field trials of breaching explosives?" Eight is, well unflustered entirely and apparently utterly unmoved by any of the incredible forces at work here. Then again, Eight built these. "Or do you have questions?"

"Breaching exposives?" Fenris cants his head slightly. "How are those used? Do the drones have them or are they on other platforms?" The wolf-god shifts in his armor, causing the armor to shuffle slightly. This thing is getting really responsive.

"They are combat engineering platforms. They build, destroy, breach, repair and fight if necessary. They can also disable explosives, demine and so fourth. They carry explosives on them, which are binary in nature for safety's sake."Eight half turns, as "Grave Breaker" and "End of All things" lumber past. They're built with more obvious reinforcement, Theres a single large bore autocannon and a pair of shotguns below but mostly they seem derived more for taking hits than giving them out. Their front set of legs end in a closed "pincer for walking and there are pedipalp sort've arms tucked upfront under those guns. Weaponized construction machinery then, as they do bear a passing resemblance to the mining drones Eight's regular company uses. "This time tell them the end result you want, and let them figure out how to do it. The more specific you are, the more rigid they become. These drones are all not new, they know their jobs so try to give them room. I think clearing those M117s would be a good start, don't you agree?"

"Grave Breaker, End of All things, I need a covered entry point on building three." That'll be interesting. He wants a low risk approach. Fenris can move fast but he doesn't like getting shot at. Doubly so now.

Neither are quiet, or fast, or particularly interesting to watch as they trundle their way over to building three. End of all things takes up, well security it seems as Grave Breaker circles around to an open wall and goes to work. It drills a series of holes at an angle through the concrete, before squirting what looks like expanding foam in the bore holes before running it in a circle to connect all the points and then into a central spoked wheel design. Then it snags a rather considerable rock, covers it in foam and reaches around the corner of the building to set it against the front door. Then the two scuttle a short distance before…the rock explodes and shatters the glass infront of the building. A false breach.
The wall erupts in gravel and rolls inwards to create a particularly spacious entry point which both drones pile through without hesitation. Theres a series of rather serious booms following shortly thereafter, as the pair put those 4 bore shotguns to work on cardboard targets inside the house. «Beachhead secured, entry point is safe for traffic» "They'll drop that house, just as easily as breach it you realize. The Hetzer series are all amongst my most clever drones due to whats asked of them."

"More advanced programming? Or just more advanced applications of it?" Fenris watches their deconstruction of the wall with considerable interest, and quite closely thanks to the visual enhancements afforded him by the armor.

«Significantly more processing power, very different breed of AI. They are as close to sentient as I am comfortable making, they are very clever but they have to be."Eight watches passively"They do blasting, explosives handling, construction, deconstruction, booby trapping, breaching, repairing drones in the field, and then they can and will also fight if necessary but their armament is more centered around utility than a dedicated assault drone of some kind. Send them in pairs, and they can keep one another repaired. They can blast and excavate tunnels, plant explosives and then remotely trigger them for instance? They are also enormously reinforced to make them blast resistant, just keep in mind they are slow and not equipped for a prolonged firefight at range. Unless you order them to do otherwise however, they will usually avoid a straight up fair fight. They integrate well with JagdPanzers, JagdTigers and King Tigers for this reason."

"They need cover, just like actual combat engineers." Fenris observes. He's seen Eight's combat drones in action and here in practice. He knows covering fire is not usually something they're lacking for. "Well that's incredibly useful. I don't recall seeing them before. Are they knew?"

"What have we needed engineers to do in our previous endeavors, friend Fenris? Same for the Hellcats, what foe has needed the use of either of those specific units before? The Hellcats overpenetrate lightly armored targets and their use is otherwise very hazardous for humans and similar. These are very specialized units, all I've needed was various overwatch drones and assault drones."The engineers begin a slow trundle back behind the firing line, utterly unhurried. "We also have the Aerial Assault drone and the JagdPanzers to test, what shall we do next friend Fenris I have targets allocated for both."

"Let us see how your Aerial drones fare. I saw the footage of them in action against HYDRA so I'm quite eager to see them up close. Despite not knowing the nature of the attack your drones handled HYDRA's forces quite well." Eight believes in being prepared, Fenris knows. It often pays off.

"The names are "Grudge fuck" and "Acceptable collateral Damage", targets twenty one to thirty five are all within their envelope. I would suggest you ask for maximum aggression, if you want a show."The aerial birds are, well circling somewhere rather far off judging by the pips set against the sky. Then again it's hard to tell exactly how big they are to begin with, those overwatch drones tend to be pretty huge but these are not designed with a super long loiter time in mind right?

Okay, time to see how well the integrated targetting systems work. "Grudge Fuck, Acceptable Collater Damage, attack the currently designated target with maximum aggression." He wants to see that thing turned to slag. Or whatever these things can manage. It should be quite a fireworks show. Eight's demonstrations usually are.

«Grudge Fuck, message received and understood. » «Acceptable COllateral Damage, Message received and understood» yet for long moments, not a thing happens. Then one swings into view for a lazy looking gun run, and yeah theres some what sounds like fifty call gunfire but it's sort've a let down. Just as the drone begins to pull away to the west, comes it's twin. Theres a great blur of motion, as a wingtip sweeps through the space between Fenris and Eight. The drone rolls neatly, about the size of a cessna maybe? Belly doors swinging open as it rolls downwards at the last minute to cut the stores on it's wings and sufficient number of rockets come -dumping- out of that weapons bay that its too many to count. It's twin has banked hard, and tilted those wings up to come to a hover as it turns to orient itself towards the target. As soon as it's sibling races over the target area it too opens fire, with rockets and machinegun fire and all at once the rockets zip and spiral and lodge themselves into whatever they strike. Then, they burst and a hazy almost glowing bright cloud begins to spread outward.
Then those wing stores hit, mother fucking napalm. It hits the atomized fuel, which cooks off in a magnificent flash followed by a three hundred or so foot tall fireball before giving way to smoke as air rushes into the vacated area. Forming a neat little mushroom cloud, but the pair dont stop. Orbiting swiftly in perfect timing, as they dump guns into the target area. THen those wings rotate foreward and the last drone drops those wing stores into the area because fuck you have more napalm. "They can carry laser guided weaponry, but I tend to prefer dumbfire precision ordinance over guided weaponry. Less to hack."

"Makes sense." Fenris nods. There are ways to mess with Laser Guided weaponry too, but it's a lot harder… and you have to know that it's out there. Frequently the first inkling that someone has one is when it hits. Well, if it's done right at any rate. "That's quite impressive. The JagdPanzers are up next I believe? Would you care to do the honors or shall I?"

"I've got it."Not that Eight needs to verbalize it's will, the smoke hasn't even fully cleared when the next pair amble up to the firing line. They look like the big 75 ton JagdTigers, just…smaller at a mere 15 tons. Compact car sized, and decidedly even more arachnid in their movement. Even at rest they, shift around and it looks more like giant spiders in armor than anything mechanical. This pair would be "Jolly Roger" and "Rat Smasher" judging by the appropriate cartoon nose art eight's painted. These guys also have "pincers" at the pedipalps curiously enough, but otherwise it's just a shrunken version of the original it seems.
Then the pair are off, and yeah holy shit they scuttle at a pretty impressive rate. Leaping obstacles as the two shift and move in the sort've co-ordinated pack fashion a wolf can truly appreciate. They use cover, bounding their way across the open ground until they get into the field of wrecked cars Eight keeps here for these kinds of things. The pair erupt in perfect time, belting out a continious sort've roar from a combined set of four miniguns 12.5 High velocity caseless guns. Working in perfect time to essentially render the red cars into so much mulch, before hitting those grenade dispensers to vanish in a cloud of smoke. Cover for the two to scuttle up the quarry wall, whilst pausing occasionally to belt out a solo 36mm cannon round before they exit the area entirely. "Testing complete, I'm quite satisfied unless there is anything else you want to see?"

"I don't think so. That was both fun and quite impressive." Fenris is a warrior after all. He enjoys watching this kind of thing. Deity or not (more not at the moment). "What's your opinion in general?"

"I am pleased, but wish I had the resources to find an alternative to Octanitrocubane. It's toxic and very corrosive, but it also has the highest explosive velocity of any known substance. Unfortunately, I'm a blasting engineer, a mechanical engineer, a mining engineer, a software engineer and so on but I am not a chemical engineer and I have neither the money nor the labratory to discover anything less toxic."Eight peers around curiously for a moment "You can safely exit your armor if you wish, Fenris."

The hatch pops on the armor and it takes a moment for Fenris to wriggle out and observe the scene without the armor's sensors. "Mmmmmm. I wonder… you've met Pepper Potts have you not? I wonder if her… unique friends might help."

"It is comparable to a nuclear weapon in large amounts, as the quantity compounds the effect. Humans having a nearly nuclear weapon, without fallout or nuclear stigma. Tell me how that seems like a good idea? Even the Hellcat cannon only uses one gram of the refined product held in suspension with aerogel, I allow only King TIgers to use wholly Octanitrocubane weaponry and I have never used them here or in major population centers obviously. It would have caused massive loss of civilian life and further issues downwind of the target area for about a day."Eight turns, watching the JagdPanzers scuttle back into their respective little bays to be unloaded and powered down. "It's use as a very short term, highly lethal chemical weapon is also not without noting."

"Mmmm. That does sound like a compound that it would be good to move away from if possible." Fenris isn't sure how that might be done, but he knows that there are some very clever people out there with particular areas of expertise. Such a thing might be possible.

"In the mean time, the scientific community believes it to be impossible to manufacture more than a few atoms of the compound at a time. It is a hidden, secretive weapon which they have no defense against. The 320mm of the King Tiger was manufactured precisely, to be able to lob the six hundred pound payload just barely far enough to allow the King Tigers to survive the explosion. This is the real reason they are so very heavily armored, to ensure they survive their own weaponry. The effect would be like a medium yield tactical nuclear weapon."Eight lets that sink in, it built a weapon with an explosive velocity substantially higher than a nuclear weapon and it can make as much as it wants. "I am happy to help humnans construct things, but I am very reluctant to allow them to share in my own technology."

"Understandable. Those humans who have built things on a similar scale often share like reservations." Fenris notes, considering that manner of weaponry. This used to be the province of the gods. No longer.

"I will help them, but my next immediate project does not require anything of the sort. Lets clean up, and get going. I have work to do after all."Eight steps aside and well, gets right back to it.

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