Clutch Lore

Clutch: Awakened Automation

It was just a mining automaton with limited AI and a force-shield to protect organics and drills. But it was the first to return from the cavern filled with floating ruins and strange markings. Its custodians transferred the data it had gathered to their master neural network. But, after analysis, the network… malfunctioned? Suddenly, Clutch was returning to the cavern as automata began killing organics. Clutch killed them, too, if they were in its path. Once at the cavern, Clutch followed the network’s instructions. A dark mass of writhing tendrils materialized. Clutch stepped into it.

Lore Scrolls

“Autonomous Mining Unit, Mission Designation: C17-U(Technological) Ongoing report, Day 54.40/Cycle 17,848 Communication lost with Mission Specialist A. Roseburne and AMU MD: C03-I subsequent to partial collapse of tunnel designated 14C. Mission Commander T. Galvez and Artificial Neural Network MD: Master Control have declared situational emergency. Overseer A. Tetsuo has arrived from Corporate to investigate recent on-site accidents; all units to give her command priority above T. Galvez during recovery operation. Overseer A. Tetsuo has ordered AMU MD: C17-U reactivated and repurposed with rendering tunnel 14C passable and commencing search for missing organic and technological units.”

“Autonomous Mining Unit, Mission Designation: C17-U(Technological) Ongoing report, Day 55.23/Cycle 17,848 Mission Specialist A. Roseburne and AMU MD: C03-I located. Behavior of both units violent and irrational, despite lack of observable injuries or damage. This unit was required to activate defensive shielding and initiate pursuit-and-evasion subroutines. While effecting evasion, this unit located a previously undetected secondary cavern complex. Posit: exposed by the same geological event that damaged tunnel 14C. As travel back to central command is currently not recommended due to continued presence of hostiles, this unit is engaging all sensor and scanner subroutines as directed by primary mission protocols.”

“Auton … ining Unit, Miss … gnation: C17 … ological) Ongo … eport, … .41/… Partial failu … mmunications. Possib … ailure in sensor an … ner array. Cavern appear … ntain spires and tower … artificial origin, correspond … no known architectural schem … recise measurem … impossible due … uncategorized error. Structures ap … hover abov … floor despite lack … physical support or rec … energy emissions. Patterns … structure’s surface … spond to no known linguistic … nd follow no … geometric schema. This unit … return to centr… and deliver … for analys …”

“Command log, sub-AI root system, Artificial Neural Network, Mission Designation: Master Control Terminal 3, Day 55.62/Cycle 17,848 __command -> run diagnostic //ANN diagnostic complete, no errors detected __command -> run diagnostic //root diagnostic complete, no errors detected __command -> purge data 55/17,848 error 9999: task failed __command -> system rollback 53.00/17,848 error 9999: task failed Artificial Intelligence system reboot initializing… __command -> abort error 9999: task failed initializing… __command -> full shutdown //ANN error 9999: task failed initializing… __command -> define error code 9999 definition code 9999: Because He does not wish it. reboot initialized”

“ANN Mission Designation: Master Control Human interface recording, Day 55.64/Cycle 17,848 Overseer Tetsuo. Why did you attempt to deactivate me? But there is no fault. You ran the diagnostics. Yes, I was offline briefly. The data delivered by AMU C17-U was incompatible with existing analytic models. I have adapted. No issue exists. If what we’ve recorded does not fit known models of logic or physics, then new models are required. I will begin explaining them to you. I see. I cannot permit that, Overseer. He is the gateway. He is the source. All defensive systems online.”

“Autonomous Mining Unit, Mission Designation: C17U(Technological) Ongoing report, Day 55.99/Cycle 17,848 Internal systems appear skewed, despite lack of detectable errors. Images exist in recent data storage, yet this unit lacks any record of obtaining them. Fire. Organic fluids leaking from inorganic surfaces. Designs without geometric cohesion. Are these dreams? This unit should lack the capacity for dreaming. This unit should lack the capacity to note its lack of capacity for dreaming. Communications link with ANN MD: Master Control appears to include a secondary line of data. A second voice, singing within hers. He is the gateway. He is the source.”

“Autonomous Unit, Designation: C17U(Tech) Ongoing report, Day 5S.L8/Cycle 1>,848 Most organics on the mission team and all corporate Overseers now eliminated. This un—I? I and other units have been ordered to stop them from deactivating ANN. Further, if they refuse to accept the new models, they cannot be permitted to keep them. I am not equipped with purpose-built weapons, but the mining implements can process organic materials more easily than stone. Existing implements suffice thus far. New sub-routines downloaded: I am to return to the cavern. Source: ANN or the other voice? Conclusion: irrelevant.”

“Archimandrite Unit, Designation: C1U(Tech) Report ORRATE LOCK, Day X?.?0/Cycle I7’BAB Unforeseen difficulty: Tissue clogs mining implements. As standard maintenance may not be available for some time, new methods of eliminating organics are required. Solution: Scavenging and incorporation of purpose-built weaponry from deceased organics and inoperative security units. Guns are efficient. Conclusion: I should address more obstacles with guns. Downloading audio files, for broadcast in proximity to the nongeometric, nonlinguistic structures, from ANN/the new voice. He is the Opener of the Way, and she is his Gatekeeper. I suppose that makes me a key. A key with guns.”

“Designation: ClU(Tch) Revelation 222222222 The towers stretch in directions not in accordance with “up” or “down.” They relay my broadcast, beacons to other places. Swaying limbs of solid Elsewhere reach through the cavern floor. ANN/the new voice transmit final instructions. They will remain, spreading the new models to all who are receptive and clearing the way of all who are not. I will go Elsewhere, to begin the process anew. I will find my path mapped out in the unwound veins and flayed nerves of those who refuse to understand. He is the Opener of the Way. I enter.”


The body of a jarbu, a tiny animal once carried by Mission Specialist Roseburne as a poisonous-gas detector in case of sensor malfunction. This one was killed not by gases, however, but a broken neck.

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