SSZakarisTaleShed

From the Personal Logs of
MST Commander Dimitri "Batty" Brody
MST-83, "The Wrecking Crew"


November 23rd, 2019
In the waning months of the Fail Safe Incident, the 83rd Regime of the Authority gained new cadets from the ashes of Site-014. These young cadets never did see proper fighting during their tenure, and it showed; even several months after the fact, they were still shaken up from what could only be described as inconceivable. I couldn't quite blame them for it, as we were pretty shaken up ourselves; the idea of one of our own turn-coating put a sour taste in my mouth. Still, these cadets should be glad they survived, if you asked me. They should be even more glad that they're put into the Wrecking Crew to begin with.

The young cadets were not the only ones who were new to the Regime. Apparently, Director Johnson's idea of putting a newly discovered Theta RPC into service was approved by the Board; that service being under my command. I didn't care for the idea of an RPC being in my ranks, especially one that isn't… well, human. However, he has experience, more than all the new cadets combined, so I suppose beggars can't be choosers in this regard.

RPC-984 was put under my command on October 30th, 2019. It was on that eve that we went on our first assignment; the location of a potential Malthus turncoat, Marcus Rhoades. Rhoades supposedly knew information about vital Malthus hideouts, information vital to the Authority if the need arises. The Wrecking Crew was assigned to find him and bring him in, preferably alive. There were 10 of us: 5 seasoned vets, 4 cadets, and the machine. We dispatched at 23:00 hours that evening, simply thinking it would be a simple grab and go mission. We were not expecting what would actually go down.

We were transported via helicopter to the outskirts of Rhoades' last known location, a small dingy apartment within Queens. It was during this little trip that a young cadet started asking the machine questions about himself; stuff like where he was from, what he can do, and if he can feel. The idea of him being from an alternative Authority seems like a stretch, but then I quickly remind myself of where I am in this world. The machine then explained that he forbade his emotions for the mission, for the Authority. What a dedicated piece of tin, willing to give up his humanity for the cause. No wonder he's an RPC.

We were dropped off a few blocks back from the location, allowing us to sneak in the old fashioned way. We got to the broken down apartment building, where that machine of ours ever so subtly broke down the front doors. Inside the hallow building was nothing but old furniture and papers scattered across the floor, detailing various scientific arithmetics that are beyond my comprehension as a soldier. We figured it was a dead end and that Rhoades left us hanging, until that machine scanned the place and discovered heat signatures beneath the wood floors.

Considering we had nothing better to do with our precious time, I decided to break through the floor boards to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out there was a secret cavern dug deep beneath the apartment building, with a glimmer of light deep down in its depths. The machine decided to go down first without order, the rest of us jumping down to pursue. What was only mere meters felt like miles going down. When we landed the caverns sprawl in different directions, like the inside of an ant colony. The machine started moving in one direction, and we followed.

As we moved onwards towards the west, the light got brighter, and the heat hotter. When the tunnel finally opened up, we couldn't believe the sight; hundreds of children, digging away into the cavern. Orphans, missing children, victims, children that have disappeared within the city, all digging with their little hands, digging for something. In the far side of the cavern was our man Rhoades; the rat lured us into his cave. He saw us coming out of the cavern, and gave the word to his men to start firing. 20 Malthus men started shooting towards us, and everyone ducked for cover. Well, everyone except for the machine.

As fast as the shooting started, it ended. Within the span of 10 seconds, all 20 men dropped to the ground, dead. That fucking machine killed every single one of them in those 10 seconds, leaving only Rhoades and the children. We were stunned, I was stunned at the speed. He then started walking towards Rhoades, slowly but surely. "Dead or Alive, you will be contained", he said. Seems like the boys back at home gave him a quip chip, it seems. It all seemed like a sure victory, until a small boy picked up a rifle from one of the corpses, pointing it towards the machine. That small child couldn't be older than 11, and he emptied a full clip into that damn machine.

After the gun clicked, that machine directed his gun towards the child's direction. We were all waiting for that single moment of echoing silence, but that moment never came. He didn't pull the trigger, either he didn't choose to or he couldn't. I walked up to him, demanding him to stand down. After a moment, he complied, and put away his sidearm. The group of children drew a sigh of relief, and focused their attention towards our dear friend Rhoades. We decided to let the kids have their fun before we put Rhoades in, so to speak.

When the remainder of the 83rd Regime arrived, our small squadron returned to Site-313 to rest and recharge, both metaphorically and in one particular case literally. The machine sat quietly on the trip back home, and remained quiet long after we returned. I delivered our friend Rhoades to the Detention Area, and retired to my private quarters afterwards. The next morning, I've learned that the missing children were in the process of being returned to their rightful place, after a healthy dose of amnestics of course. If it wasn't for that tin can of a soldier, we probably wouldn't have found those kids. Maybe there could be some humanity left in that bucket of bolts after all.


Commander Dimitri Brody, MST-83 "The Wrecking Crew"

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