Sunday, May 5, 2013

There Would Be More

There would be more... In a small town about thirty five miles northeast of San Francisco surrounded by agriculture of all sorts; corn, grazing cattle and of course wine country, there was a massive firefight between what seemed like a dozen well armed assailants holed up in a small farm house and over fifty city, county and state officers. The officers had been led there by a high speed cross county chase of a beautiful red low rider pickup. No one ever saw the assailant enter the house or witnessed the dozen or so armed suspects in the house, but all saw evidence of what had occurred in the deaths of twenty five officers. In the end, the bullets stopped flying from the house, the officers still alive finally stopped and all they could hear was the chatter of metal clicking. As they approached the house they could see no evidence of a driver in the truck, the windows rolled up and closed, the doors locked. Entering the house under caution it was quickly apparent the metal chatter was coming from dozens of semi automatic rifles mounted on tripods and rigged with robotic arms with hands and a single finger repeatedly squeezing the triggers from remote commands fed via network wire and sited by small cameras for the remote shooter to see. The network write had been physically severed by yet another robotic hand connected to nothing but an egg timer that killed any existing connection to the remote host. There were no assailants, no physical human presence in the house nor in the car at all. The shooters were never in danger and officers were fodder for a corralled turkey shoot. It was a miracle anybody survived. A state trooper, once overweight but beautifully healthy and trim and deceptively pushing sixty five, walked across the carnage of his colleagues and noted how when he served in Vietnam, he recalled firefights with the enemy that resulted in dozens dead on both sides but while American dead were laid out everywhere, not one enemy dead had been found; as if they were never there.

There would be more... As far as law enforcement could tell, this was the first, but not the last, seven more robotic firefights of varying size and impact occurred consecutively over the next two years, out of sync with any possible holiday or anniversary of any kind, some with car chases others a call to 911 concerning a variety criminal matter. The connections that tied the incidents together were plenty though; robots triggered remotely then as the firing came to a close the timers severed all connections and the robots finished their killing without discretion or control until their magazines emptied.

There would be more... Forensic scientists having a specialty in mechanical engineering, Robotics, AI, computer science and networking were hastily assembled and their knowledge enhanced for an investigation that wasn't quite like any other...

There would be more...

© Ralph Pitre