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Chapter 9 - Self Configuring Modular Robot[]

The massacres started in the poorer areas of the Capital...

...which is where the unrest usually starts. People with something to lose, usually don't want to risk it with a riot, or attacks on police.

Paul stepped his Zeus carefully through the wreckage, studying heat signatures and hoping...

Zeus Assault 'Mech making its way through the rubble.

The APC belonging to the 11th Lyran Guards, just arrived on the planet and here to put the boot to a possible popular uprising after the Leaguers hit the place, ...but didn't have the power to stay.

They'd expected IEDs, they'd expected riots...

The twenty ton APC armed with 'riot control' 12.7mm machine guns and carrying flamer and needler armed riot troops wasn't exactly burning.

It looked...he drew up the gain on his sensors.

There wasn't enough of it to be sure. Something had stripped it to the axles, almost. Browning red spray patterns painted the normally dingy gray ferrocrete lurid shit-brown.... a few mangled pieces of bodies...but again, no burns, no fire.

"These men were torn apart." he said over the channel, "What the ****** can do that?"

EM detectors started going off-some kind of metallic mass, the sewer?

They looked like little Crana as the swarm rose from the storm drains and descended down the sides of tenements broken open by reprisal fire.

"What the hell-?"

Thermal showed heat, but it would-the things were mechanical, venting waste heat from segmented, shell-like bodies.

Damage alerts from his BattleMechs built-in-test equipment started lighting up.

Where are the people? Bounced in his mind as he tried to brush the things off-but it was too late, and a peel of armor from his right leg clattered. To be swarmed by these robots, as they swept into his BattleMech.

'Where are the people' should've been the FIRST question. It's too bad nobody's around to say.

Seems that even Julie Baker wouldn't be able to answer that-if she were here. If she WERE here, alive, she could have told him about being torn apart by fist-sized robots, while still alive...

There's a price for vengeance. She paid it.

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