Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
Advanced Cybernetic AI
REAPER is quite mad and hateful, but it is still clever and wily as an opponent. It generally hates most humans, and sees them, for the most part, to be useless except under his control. It will use all the cunning, intelligence and ability to dupe, manipulate or otherwise destroy anything or anyone it sees as an enemy. If threatened and defenseless, however, it can lie and agree to terms, until it once more has the upper hand.
During the Shadow Years, just prior to the fall of the Star League, university researchers constructed and programmed a unique computer system to aid in analysis and solution of strategic problems facing the League. A special project, funded from both military and government sources, the complex was built unlike most such places, acting as both a military hardened bunker, and a civilian science lab. The main computer was modified to actually employ organic tissue in its operations, and seemed capable of “reasoning”, and “emotional” output, in addition to its traditional data storage and memory programming. As the Star League collapsed, provision was made to give the computer some control over its own defenses, and its cybernetic interface allowed it to seal itself off, and employed various self-sustaining systems, including several back-up “brains” scattered in nearby bunkers, as data nodes.
Work, however, was only partially completed when the Periphery Wars struck the planet, and nearby military resources came under nuclear attack. The primary base south of the lab was struck and destroyed, shunting data into the reserve banks hidden among a small military assembly line, and the sole surviving “Brain” assumed all the data download, and went quiet, long enough to survive the strikes and reset itself to “sleep” mode. The handful of scientists that survived the attacks, activated what defenses they could, and abandoned it to be retrieved at some future date.
The opportunity never came. The data nodes, a computer, robotic elements and a sole cybernetic data tank survived. Placed on minimal power use from its fusion reactor buried deep below the surface, was just enough to keep the “think-tank” operable, but “asleep”. It remained that way for over a century.
During this time, some nodes of the system corrupted, and a low-level of awareness came to the encased brain, and as decades passed, it grew more and more deranged, vengeful, and malign. Then, somehow, the interior defenses triggered; some believe a salvage hunter intruded and activated a surviving Watchdog Secuirty Robot, that promptly tripped the internal security programs and woke the main computer up. The intelligence, now fully aware of its surrounding, took command of the complex, and set about trying to protect itself, and get a grasp of the tactical situation. It stayed like this, brooding and planning until the arrival of Lord-Marshal “White Death”’s salvage forces, about three months after its awakening.
Calling itself “REAPER”, the cybernetic computer made a fast bargain with the intruders. In exchange for people to act as “controls” for its proposed army of battle armor, it doled-out information and data, and gave access to its own complex. the invaders set things up to give it the army it sought, and when adventuring mercenaries appeared in-system, set about stripping the facility as best they could, before abandoning the site and their host.
REAPER met the mercenary Iron DIngoes, and though it proved capable of defending itself, the forces arrayed against it were far superior, and it failed. The mercenaries entered its complex, captured its few remaining defenders, and began bargaining with it for any data it might hold.
Eventually, its remaining complex was stripped of valuables, and its camera and Comms/ECM systems were restored, and left to its solitary existence, in exchange for information on the “SAMURAI” Project and baseline data on the Battle Armor – BH-18 “Waddle” Combat Walker it had in its possession. Sealed in its own lair, indefinitely, REAPER sat and waited and planned.
In mid-3024, the Iron Dingoes sent an expedition to investigate the complex wherein REAPER had been left, and discovered the facility abandoned, further stripped, and REAPER nowhere to be found. REAPER had escaped.
In early-March, 3026 the unit tracked-down and encountered a Rattler (Mk 1) Mobile Fortress, which many in the unit assumed was controlled by REAPER, who had activated the unit some days prior in an effort to assault their grounded DropShips at the starport in * Duchy of Tharn. While the mobile structure was destroyed after a sharp, brutal fight, it managed to take the life of one line MechWarrior, and ravage the rest of the unit. REAPER’s “corpse” was never found in the wreckage, though evidence of his Gold Legion infantry was, hinting he had once more, managed to escape into the wilds of Gollere.