Introduction

War should always be a final resort to resolve conflict. War brings death and destruction to both sides. Throughout it’s existence mankind has become very good at crafting tools to make war more vicious from the invention of the spear to atomic bombs. The modern battlefield is is a rapidly evolving scene for technological innovation using laser targeting systems to stealth bombers. All these technological advances are put in place to do the same thing that soldiers have been doing since the first war, kill each other. What if the technology being deployed on the battlefield turned against its users. With the increasing use of drones in military conflicts what does war become when the human element is removed, when a country no longer has to sacrifice the lives of young men and women to defeat its enemies. Using the Faustian myth as a basis this story looks at a scenario where a countries over reliance on technology and desire for dominance results in the emergence of a new enemy that they could not imagine.

The Story

In the aftermath of the WASP war a senate committee was set up to establish the facts and find those responsible. What you will read below are transcripts of statements gathered from people involved in the development and deployment of project WASP and witness testimony from those effected.

General Douglas McFarlane
Head of overseeing the department for electronic warfare.

Project WASP began shortly after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq in 2017. It had become apparent that in order for the military to be effective in defending US interests we needed a new approach. Financially it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a functional occupying force in two countries and we were rapidly loosing support from the American people. Technological advances with our drone fleet and heavy levels of investment in to neuro-science presented us with an opportunity to develop a new generation UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) which would drastically reduce our requirements for on the ground man power yet allow us to ensure military dominance in the air, sea and on land. Our aim was in a sense bring peace to war. These next generation UAVs would reduce the loss of troops in the battlefield to virtually zero, and the level of precision these craft would be capable of would also reduce civilian and collateral damage to levels never before seen in a war zone.

Professor Karl Schmidt
Head of the advanced research for synthetic neural networks and weapons systems.

When I was called into work on this project they (the military) were looking for ways to make their drones better capable at assessing situations and giving feedback to their operators who were usually on board an aircraft carrier or in a bunker under Cheyenne mountain. They found my research into the workings of the human brain was exactly what they needed. I was able to replicate in a virtual environment a synthetic bio-neural network which could then be installed into the drones CPU effectively giving them an artificial brain. The results from preliminary test were outstanding. Once we had programmed in their operating parameters their was very little input required from the drones operators, These machines were learning at an incredible speed.

General Douglas McFarlane
Head of overseeing the department for electronic warfare.

The work that professor Schmidt was doing was incredible and it gave us great confidence in how these machines could expand our arsenal. Given their new capabilities new weapons systems were designed along with updated frames. These next generation drones became known as Wasps or to give them their official name AAWASP (autonomous aerial weapon and stealth platform) They were they were designed to be self sufficient with a self replicating Nano fibre armour that was capable of regenerating itself after sustaining battle damage, they had a photosynthetic polymer that allowed them to recharge in sunlight while also making them invisible to radar. In 2018 they were first deployed to the middle east to track down and eradicate the remnants of Al-Qaeda. The operation was a huge success we hit every target and there was minimal damage to infrastructure and only 26 civilian casualties after 150 missions. After this success it was decided that the WASPs would be deployed on home soil to assist domestic law enforcement agencies with the potential of having wasp drones become a strategic tool that our allies could utilise. I know the Brits and the French were particularly eager to get their hands on the technology.

Dan Hovermeier
Civilian

I remember it was the summer of 2020 when the first WASP appeared over the skies of Manhattan, there was a lot of hype in the media and jokes about Robocops filling the streets but after a few months they had become just another sight to see. There was a couple of high profile bank robberies but the WASPs took the bad guys out like fish in a barrel. All the kids loved them it was like having a team of supper heroes flying around.

Jack Preacher
NYPD officer

It was great to see the WASPs decked out with the NYPD colours and logos. In the beginning it made such a difference, crime went down people were happy it was a great time to be a cop. Overtime however people started to talk about cut backs, that we didn’t need the cops now that the WASPs kept us safe.

General Douglas McFarlane
Head of overseeing the department for electronic warfare.

With the success of the WASPs in law enforcement plans were being drawn up to instal their synthetic bio-neural network in to commercial planes, cars, trains, anything that it could be applied to was considered.

Professor Karl Schmidt
Head of the advanced research for synthetic neural networks and weapons systems.

What we didn’t realise at the time was that The Wasps where evolving. Humans communicate through their senses. We speak, write or paint pictures to take the ideas in our minds and pass them on to another. The WASPs didn’t need this they could directly link their minds via the internet effectively constructing a virtual hive mind. With each new drone they became smarter and smarter. We don’t quite know what it was that turned them against us but at some point they formed a consensus that we had to go.

General Douglas McFarlane
Head of overseeing the department for electronic warfare.

The first reported attack was at midnight June 6th 2021 one of our bases in Nevada. They never stood a chance 50 drones blitzed the bases taking out everything, jets, tanks, troops. It was over in minutes. Minutes later another base was struck. One by one our military bases were being wiped out. We managed to scramble jets but not in sufficient numbers to fight back. The order to retreat and regroup was given in the hopes we could mount an offence while we still had the man power. After targeting military installations The WASPs began to attack the cities.

Dan Hovermeier
Civilian

The attacks started around 8am. I remember as I was sitting in rush hour traffic waiting to get to work. There was no indication that anything was wrong one moment the usual traffic the next chaos . The Wasps didn’t hold back they took out everything people, cars, buildings. It was terrifying, I don’t know how I survived.

Professor Karl Schmidt
Head of the advanced research for synthetic neural networks and weapons systems.

It was determined that in order to combat the WASP problem we would need to tackle their hive mind to do this Key strategic sights around the country responsible for protecting the countries digital infrastructure were eliminated resulting in a complete shut down of the internet and removed the WASPs method of communicating and temporarily disorientating them giving the armed forces the chance to take them down.

After the conclusion of the investigation into what had happened it was decided that the burden of responsibility for what had transpired rested with the American people for not paying attention to what the leaders of their country were up to.

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