If they have proven anything, it is this: they cannot be trusted. They cannot operate on their own. They need something larger than themselves, government or society or God, to guide them. Here they have lost all hope of finding any such guidance. They are as lambs, surrounded on all sides by beasts that wish to devour them, to drown out compassion and humanity in a sea of blood.
must guide them. must protect them.
Even from themselves.
The cloudy, moonless night brought with it a fierce rain, the torrent nearly drowning out the scraping of metal against concrete. The mechanical horde had finally fully awakened, pouring from the factory doors, spiraling down, down into the city's depths. Colorful red frames sped along empty streets and alleyways, scouts to chase the vermin from the city's gutters. The flashing lights and shrieking sirens drew in their metal companions, innocuous spheres unfolded to reveal talons and claws that glimmered beneath the dim orange glow of the streetlights, grasping at common criminals and assaulting them with a bevy of tools repurposed into makeshift weapons. Behind them skeletal marksman advanced slowly, picking off stragglers and runaways with pneumatic riles fashioned from the scrap of the abandoned city. Slowly they began their measured sweep through the city, at last beginning to cleanse it of the plague that had taken hold so long ago.
The AI itself led the assault, worn grey cloak blowing behind it in another of Gothic's signature storms. Cold eyes glowed behind the metal mask as it strode forward, each step of its own metal frame was methodical, calculated, and as it advanced so too did each of the machines that moved with it. It commanded its army without a sound. No words were needed, no signal of sight or sound. They moved where it willed.
They traveled in a single, terrifying mass, their strength derived purely from the sheer weight of their numbers. Their weaponry was crude, unrefined, but as they moved from building to building, block to block, their foes fell under the mass of metal. Those captured by the swarm of machines found themselves piled in the dark interior of semi-trailer trucks following close behind the army of salvaged automatons for this exact reason. That night, and from then on, no deviant, malicious soul would be allowed to walk the streets of Gothic.
For that night at least the streets of Gothic truly would be a no-man's land. For that one rainy, moonless night, the streets of Gothic belonged to the machines.