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Wrote in 365 Parts

Written in 365 Parts: 143: Incoming Ghosts

Drick Alpha sent a coded burst with a data package detailing the current situation to command. Rodero unwrapped the information and added the live views from their feeds to the assessment. Alpha and Charlie wanted to get close to the suit and Rodero didn’t envy them. It was a very dangerous piece of machinery. More tank than assault suit and more than competent enough to push back the entire attack. It was unlikely that there were more than this one in the tower. This suit alone was unusual and broke about five thousand city ordinances.

Alpha was requesting a diversion so that the two Dricks could get closer to the suit and incapacitate the machine and its operator. Rodero would have thought withdrawing to a minimum safe distance of a hundred kilometres and using a low yield tactical strike would probably discourage the suit, though maybe not stop it. Rodero pulled multiple screens into view detailing full statistics on the unit. They showed combat profiles, materials in the construction, payload types and configurations, deployment situations, control systems, and most importantly any weak points.

After a few seconds, while Rodero immersed in synchronous communication with multiple constructs and their own super command construct, they had an answer. In regards to the suits armour and weaponry it had few weaknesses, the only one that would be suitable was already the suggestion Alpha and Charlie had devised. However in regards to the suits monitors and sensors there was a single weakness. 

The suit had a flaw in its threat capacity. If it was presented with too many targets and incoming information it tended to prioritise for maximum threats only. This wasn’t a flaw in itself, however on this particular model that meant that some objects were not just placed on a low threat status they were dropped as threats completely. Effectively, if presented with too much data the system queued the information by level of importance. Less threats were moved to a lower priority and data about them placed into storage or disregarded. The systems were finite, and on this machine finite was around ten thousand individual threats. After a few thousand it started to disregard data until it reached a saturation where it stopped everything but minimal threat assessment, and limited that to ten thousand objects. It had no capacity to hold any further data, and no way in which to store it for future assessment, so it was ignored. Those threats would be invisible.

Rodero verified that the assault teams for the building were all still tied into the main security and monitoring systems. Then Rodero analysed the whole of the connections being fed to the combat suit. A small guilty smile of pleasure crossed Rodero’s face. Typical. When spending close to three quarters of a billion credits on a top of the range assault suit, the absolute last thing you wanted to do was give any pilot of such a suit any level of fully autonomous control. The suit’s systems were tied directly into the main security systems. It wasn’t a wholly stupid idea. The suit would use all of the security systems for additional information and to offload capacity overcoming the potential flaws of its own systems. At the same time it would also be able to receive immediate new threat information not available to its own systems. 

However, the company had decided that any pilot of the suit would not be given full authoritative control. This amounted to overrides being switched in favour of the buildings command computers. The security system was treated as a single point of truth. The user could not override this. So if, for instance, the buildings systems determined that a half million ground assault troops were attacking in mixed formations using tactical nuclear weaponry it would place them as the highest threat level and utilise all system resources to combating them. Any other information would be dumped. The pilot could not override this, they couldn’t even turn the suit off as it could be remote operated. In fact in the event of such a massive threat the pilot was automatically overridden in favour of the suits faster, and more superior, algorithms for dealing with the highest level of threat first.

Rodero quickly assembled a construct that matched the building foyer and adjoining areas. Then the outside world was drawn with significant changes to the level of threat. Rodero slowly uploaded the construct over the real world information being supplied to the suit by the master security system. 

For the suit the world changed. It didn’t know there was a change, but change occurred. Drop ships had slowly moved into position and were opening bay doors to release waves of ground assault marines in full combat armour. Rodero made sure to place the position of each ship in a clear space so that no building or vehicle was directly in front of it, or directly behind. Similarly the troops all dropped into positions clear of organics. The suit was about to go ballistic in a big way and Rodero wanted to minimise any potential collateral damage.

Rodero watched as the combat armour moved forwards and then squatted down. The large automatic cannon on the back of the suit moved up its rails onto the left shoulder and started to auto-target the thousands of incoming ghosts. The arms lifted and a dazzling array of weaponry sprang forth. The suit upped its stance to full tactical resistance and targeted the waves of ghosts.

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