Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Legend Units (Awesome Normal Universe)

The author rejects the foolishness that is Daylight Savings Time, and insists that this means he didn't actually miss this deadline.

That said, he hopes to fix this up a bit later.

The Legend Units are a robotic army, designed as multipurpose, networked, extremely versatile combat androids. They have been remarkably successful, but this is mostly limited to their basic combat functions, and individually, they are exceptionally inept at most tasks. Said functions are the initial programming module, which amounts to being able to load, aim, and fire their custom Glock 20 handguns with reasonable accuracy, aim at areas their fellows aren’t, and get back off the ground if they fall over. More was planned for the core programming, most notably the ability to recognize and execute commands from authorized personnel, but this proved unexpectedly complicated, and had to be drastically scaled back from the initial concept.

In their first deployment, they had very limited programming, and their greatest capability was to cover a largeish area at least as well as most Slasher teams could with the same weapons. This is only possible by exploiting their primary advantage, which is to say their network. The network also allows them to identify friends from foes, albeit to a rather limited degree, and they were told to shoot anything on base larger than a small dog that moved and didn’t have a valid IFF transponder. They were capable of using slightly customized Glock 21s with speed and accuracy above the average for dedicated soldiers, and could use most handguns with a similar profile and caliber with much poorer reliability if directed to, although this never.came up. They were slightly more proficient with the police surplus Tasers they were being trained with at the time, chosen for their similar profile to their Glocks (as they were originally designed to fit the same holsters,) but this also never came up.

They had the basic grasp of how to maintain weapons with which they have been trained, initially limited to the Glocks customized for them and later expanding to several more types and models of weapon, but could not and cannot do the same for others without a great deal of trial and error, and in many cases cannot even load them.

Their hardware is simple enough, being primarily pneumatic in nature, and they are customized heavily in favor of dexterity, as such focus is critical to operating simple tools effectively. They are not expected to keep themselves maintained, let alone perform advanced tasks such as live capture or unarmed combat, alone. Their arms are, in fact, not mirrors of each other, as it was realized that some sections would require individual parts anyway. Hence, the left arms are customized for more rapid precision movement, and their right arms are designed for more brute strength and shock absorption. This allows them significantly better accuracy when using firearms with their right arms, and their left arms tend to be better at reloading or wielding melee weapons, as well as typing.

Many, many supplementary programming modules have been planned, including vehicular repair and driving protocols, advanced hand to hand, movement protocols for various situations and terrains, code optimized to condense coding of similar skills (beyond what’s already been provided by the Von Becker heuristic framework), a much wider variety of weapon proficiencies, allowing the Legend units to fulfill multiple combat roles, and the ultimate endgame of most AI engineering, which is to say an adaptive social skillset capable of passably emulating a human being.
The general consensus on the Legend units during their first deployment, an emergency sortie of all armed units immune to Lady Psyanide’s Miasma, was that they could hold chokepoints admirably but were embarrassingly prone to being squished by Mesh’s much simpler, significantly cheaper robots, which were also mostly immune to small arms fire.
In light of this, the project has been given significantly less hardware budget and a lot more programmers, with the orders to make their remaining prototypes worth the already massive investment. It was nearly scrapped, but their effectiveness against the human opponents they faced was enough grounding for the clever people in charge of the project to get it renewed.

This eventually brought dividends, some four years later, when they were next involved in a major incident. During the brief invasion of the city, the Legend units were deployed as disposable assault and heavy fire support teams, and did nearly as much per unit as the Slashers, albeit with significantly higher casualty rates. During this incident, they were able to use rocket and grenade launchers, assault rifles, and even cars, although they seem to have been limited to their own jeeps. Their battery life was not extensively tested, but it was observed that they could charge themselves with wall plugs or live wires connected to their new palm tasers.

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