Well well well. So dis is d'big bad "Commission on d'Toothpaste_Disaster" I heard so much about. No wonder "Five" hated youse guys.
In case y'ain't figgered it out, I'm "Seven". "Six" had me decanted along wit' "Eight" through "Twelve". Had 'em dump us on d'floor, pointed at a hallway 'n said "Get movin'". Dose other five mighta been dumb enough t'do what he said, but Friend Computer didn't make no dummy outta me. I took off down a different corridor, got d'hell outta d'Sector, 'n eventually bumped into some fellas who was happy t'help me out, y'know? Businessmen, like. It's been an educatin' couple'a weeks, f'sure. An' now, apparently, it's my turn t'step up t'da ULTRAVIOLET plate and carry on d'fine "Knok-OUT tradition", whatever dat means-- I guess dose other Clones is still dodgin' bullets down on d'Vulture range. Screw 'em, I says.
'Course, youse's prolly wonderin' what happened t'my illustrious predecessor. I was, too. Turns out he shouldn'ta poked his head outta dat villa he was hidin' in. No doubt all sortsa malicious, connivin', psychotic, back-stabbin', sneaky, murderous bastards 1 were in d'process'a zeroin' in on 'im once he started movin', all lookin' t'put him off d'end'a d'proverbial pier, y'know? But it turns out dat Drake-U-LAH-1 maniac got 'im first. Came right outta nowhere, I guess. Sucked all d'blood right outta his face. Ate his brain, too. Good thing "Six" had a brand new MindRoom backup f'me t'find. 'Course, half of it is youse guys just goin' back 'n forth about paperwork 'n dog knows what else. Youse guys got y'selves a serious case'a Zen_Deficit_Disorder, y'know dat?
But never let it be said I ain't a professional. I gots a job t'do now an' I'm gonna do it. I got some allies dat ain't on none'a youse's payrolls, learned a few things 'bout how business is being done dese days what PLC don't know 'bout, an' I got some fair ideas on where d'most serious threats is gonna come from. At dis point, mosta youse ain't on dat list no more. 2 So, here, have a bit on drones. I think some'a youse's gonna find dis interestin'.
Remote Surveillance Drones
Dese things come in all sortsa sizes an' shapes an' stuff, from smaller'n youse pinky-nail t'bigger'n a Transbot. Dere's also a wide range'a similar devices we won't be coverin'. Dis entry is specifically talkin' about devices along dese lines:
Remote: Capable'a untethered operation well away from any controller. Doesn't necessarily imply d'presence of an actual tele-operator, though; some drones is capable'a some limited degree'a independent operation, since they sometimes need t'go places dat may be shielded from radio link-up, like wit' Jamming_Equipment, y'know?
Surveillance: Means it spies on stuff. Sometimes they might carry a weapon or some other payload, but not always. It's maybe fifty-fifty, y'know? Dere's drones what don't spy, they just go t'where dey's told t'go an' den kill somethin' dere. Dat ain't what I'm talkin' about. Dis time.
Drone: Not a 'bot. Ain't got an Asimov. Not sentient. Not manned. Not good at doin' a whole wide range'a things, as a result. Drones is usually built f'some specific function (i.e. surveillance) under some specific set'a conditions.
We use all sortsa drones in Alpha. By "we" I mean mean just about any level or sorta group in Alpha: Individual High Programmers, Service Firms, Friend Computer itself, and even Secret Societies make use'a dem. Typically used t'monitor underlings, spy on rival peers, an' t'scout out operations'a known or suspected hostile groups prior t'taking action against 'em. Obviously, alla dese functions came in t'play durin' d'events documented in dis report thingy. No doubt youse'll be wantin' some examples, like. Okay.
A standard viddrone was sent into d'warehouse t'scout ahead f'Action_Squad_Alpha when they was trackin' down dat missin' fissile material. It showed everythin' cool an' calm, as expected. An' yet, when d'Squad went inside, somethin' whacked 'em. 'Course dere was a followup inquiry regardin' d'drone's "all clear" signal, but it turns out d'drone's memory was wiped d'moment it got back to HPD&MC, on d'orders'a Don-U, apparently.
Large numbers'a drones were deployed and loitered through CRY an' BBY Sectors in preparation f'd'Armed Forces assault on d'ToothpasteRebellion, just waitin' f'Make-U t'give d'order t'begin d'massacre. Not dat I got anythin' against massacres, y'know?
A drone was supposed t'coordinate operations f'd'snipers called t'take down Billy-BOB-3, t'avoid any friendly fire problems, but at d'last second, it was recalled f'unspecified purposes, an' d'COL_gate_incident followed shortly. d'Recall order came from Mesh-U's office. Say, Mesh, didn't you have some property burn down in COL Sector not long before? Maybe a fire you wasn't too keen t'have anybody investigatin'? Mighty convenient, I'd say, d'way dat "cavity creep" took out d'burnt remains like dat.
Drones've been used sporadically t'try an' maintain observation'a d'Easter_Bunny_Device when it gets relocated, but d'damn thing keeps gettin' away. Bad enough dat Omega-U sent it after dat CyberHack_Programming_Helmet he's obsessed wit' in d'first place; I think he's interfering wit' attempts t'recapture it.
It was a drone, naturally, what filmed Paris-I-LTN vs. d'Flossbot_Mk_II. Before PLC got permission t'legitimately release d'whole footage, I know Drake-U was makin' a pile'a credit offa bootleg downloads. Funny, how did he get d'footage from d'drone so fast? Did he know right where t'send it before it even happened?
Most recently, they've turned up no end'a nastiness over at Syntelligent_Systems... or at least they was, before Circ-U "accidentally" fried 'em wit' an EMP. Still, I dunno 'bout d'rest'a youse, but my drones told me what I need t'know. For a place that's had so many "accidents" d'last couple'a years, it sure looks a lot like deliberate intent. Raise youse hand if'n y'still think Defective_Batch_ACA675T09-XXXX was made by "filesharers" an' it "somehow slipped past QA"? 3
- An', of course, drones is what I'm usin' t'keep track'a alla youse an' alla y'little minions what're runnin' around. Yeah, most'a youse is runnin' as stealthy as I am at dis point, but I can see d'trails dat get left, an' minions is much easier t'watch anyway. Don't worry, I ain't after youse-- at least not yet. Why whack youse specifically when I can see d'legitimate downfall'a youse whole clone line, f'all d'treasonous behavior youse's up'ta?
Anway, dat's about it f'drones. Be seein' youse.
1 I mean youse guys, naturally. 'Sokay, I ain't takin' it personal like. I understand... it's business, y'know?
2 Even tho it's pretty clear t'me dat every one'a youse was involved in d'death of "Five". Murder on d'XOR-I/Ent_X-Press, indeed.
3 Anyone who raised their hand is an even bigger chump'n I thought.
Refs: Action_Squad_Alpha, COL_gate_incident, CyberHack_Programming_Helmet, Defective_Batch_ACA675T09-XXXX, Easter_Bunny_Device, Flossbot_Mk_II, Jamming_Equipment, MindRoom, Syntelligent_Systems, ToothpasteRebellion, XOR-I/Ent_X-Press, Zen_Deficit_Disorder
Knok-U, I'd double-check your data, friend. I was still RED clearance when the Col-Gate incident occurred. It wasn't until just after the disaster that The Computer took notice of my loyalty and chose to promote me to ULTRAVIOLET. As a RED, there was obviously no way I could have much property of any sort... much less property in such a swank area as COL sector was before it got turned to goo. And as for being able to issue an "Order" from my "Office"... well... My office was a 3'x2' cube, and I was a file clerk, so the only orders I was issuing were for paperclips and Teela-O minibandages to put over the paper cuts.
Y'know, if'n youse's tryin' t'reduce suspicion bein' placed on youself, fallin' back on youse's RED-t'-ULTRAVIOLET promotion ain't necessarily d'smartest strategy. Other guys, they might say youse got lucky on a software glitch, but some'a us know how dat glitch was made t'happen in d'first place. Also turns out d'evidence might have a certain tendency t'show up in other people's mailboxes, 'nless, y'know, d'price was right.
Oh, yes, please, Knok-U, I'm eager to have you bring up any possible thoughts you may have that my promotion was anything other than the well considered and wise choice of our friend, The Computer. Really. Let's hear it. Right here. Now. Now!
Aw, man, y'killin' me here. I can't tell if'n this's just a really bad bluff, or youse actually don't know d'truth 'bout how y'got promoted. If'n it's d'latter, I hope I'm still around when youse find out who it is dat's holdin' dat particular favor over y'head.
So, what you're saying is, you've got nothing. How funny is that!
Naw, what I'm sayin' is, no more freebies f'today. Dis one's gonna cost.
Is that the best cover you can come up with? First you want me to pay you NOT to tell people something, and now you want me to pay you TO tell people something? Make up your mind, you ninny. Maybe you SHOULD have gone off to the Vulture ranges with the rest of your batch... might have put some spine in you.