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Excerpt From "The Three Portlands Investigator"
May 25th, 2024


rometheus Plaza - May 24th, 2024 At approximately 3:00 PM EDT, multiple FBI strike teams emerged from the Asimov Street, Clark Place, and Bradbury Street Ways and converged upon the Anderson Robotics World Headquarters, launching a massive raid on the facility of a scope unseen since the days of the Chicago Spirit.

"The Asimov Street Way opened with a flash, like it always does, and immediately this FBI team decked out in all this fancy gear came pouring out and crossed the plaza," Tyler Henderson, a local vendor operating within Prometheus Plaza who witnessed the start of the raid, claimed. "They quickly dispatched the security droids that are always sitting motionless at the gates. It was like watching those giant South American army ants swarm over a downed bird or something. It became pretty clear after that, based on the noise, that there were more teams coming in from other streets. Whatever Anderson did, these guys were coming to kick his teeth in and kick them in hard."

"It was like a war zone, or something out of the Terminator movies," said Sophia Fisher, a bike courier who had been leaving the Anderson Robotics lobby when the fighting began. "I ducked behind a desk and just waited for a chance to break for it. Guns were going off. Shelled out and disintegrating robots clattered to the ground. Some of them were made to look like people…"

UIU representatives could not be reached for comment at this time as to the catalyst of the raid, though speculation as to Foundation involvement has begun to run rampant…

I grew up in Three Ports. Lived here all my life. So trust me when I say that Anderson's name was absolutely everywhere.

  • Parks,
  • Park benches,
  • Fountains,
  • Streetcars,
  • Even the dorm I lived in when I attended Deer.

If you needed it, "Uncle Vince" would buy it for you, so long as you didn't mind his name being slapped on it somewhere. Which, yeah, I guess there are worse ways for the ultra-wealthy to spend their cash. Still, I couldn't help but feel like it was compensating for something.

Then May 24th came around.

I was at a coffee shop across Prometheus Plaza. There was a sharp bang and the next thing you know the Anderson HQ was swarmed by what must have been hundreds of Feds. It was at that moment I took a sip from my coffee and thought 'I fucking knew it.'

I worked as a foreman in the product warehouse for close to a decade.

Just me, twenty Peregrines, and a handful of the Aplomado units they had converted to serve as haulers. See, Vince figured out pretty quickly that he could save a fortune on labor if he just swapped out all the grunt work with his own robots. Paid for itself in no time. You just needed an actual flesh-and-blood brain to manage it.

Still, those were some of the best co-workers I had.

James, Harold, Linda, Domanic, Suj, David.

Vince was pretty clear he didn't want us to give them names but fuck that noise. I'm not going to work with someone for ten years and call them 'PSHUD 102' the whole time.

Anyway, when the 24th rolled around, the Feds blew open our loading dock door. I didn't have time to realize what was happening before Warren slammed me into one of the supply lockers. Half an hour of yells and sporadic gunshots later, and one of the UIU goons found me.

David got gunned down in the office. Suj and Linda were liquified trying to escape into the main building. I never saw what happened to James, I hope he managed to get out.

I remember a few days later seeing in "The Portlander" that the UIU was bragging about how few casualties that raid had caused.

What a load of bullshit that was.

When you work the streetcar lines in Three Ports, you get used to seeing a lot of faces.

I drove the route that took folks to the Prometheus Plaza stop from all the way back when PL was still in there. Lots of folks come and gone over the years. After a while the faces just kind of blur together, I guess. Some don't, though. I got to know a lot of the folks at Anderson Robotics.

After the 24th though, well, no one really needs the stop so much anymore.

I mean, sure, you'll get a few odd heads here and there. People going to a coffee shop, or a tourist. But otherwise, it's a ghost town. Just me and the clacking of the streetcar running past another burnt-out building.

I heard a rumor recently I might be getting a new route assignment. Probably for the best. There is something about an empty car that just gets to you after a while.

Working in Anderson's R&D was easily the best job I ever had.

Dr. Contos ran that place like a big family. Those people were my friends, and the work was always on the cutting edge. I used to get excited to show up each day to see what new designs we were going to work on. More importantly, to me at least, a good chunk of the work was stuff that could make a difference.

Obviously, there was the Gyrafalcon line. But you should have seen the stuff we had coming down the pipeline. Cybernetic endocrine glands to help with diabetes and the like. Tiny robots that could hunt down cancer cells. Serotonin bots, even.

Granted, a lot of this stuff was conceptual but given the time these products would have been revolutionary.

I guess that's one of the reasons that it stings so much that the R&D lab was fried in the firefight on the 24th. All that work and all those plans, just went down the drain. They're probably lost forever.


Hope it was worth it.

I had the day off when the raid happened. Thank god.

I was in administration. Aside from people on the actual board, I was as close to Vincent Anderson as you could get. Needless to say, that would have put me squarely in the crossfire. I am one hundred percent certain had I been in office that day a fed would have put a bullet in my head.

Am I sad by what happened that day?

Maybe a little. A lot of people lost their jobs. While plenty of people in the city don't want to admit it, Anderson going under tanked a big chunk of the economy.

Am I sad that I am no longer working at AR, though?

God no.

Vincent Anderson was one of the most unhinged men I ever met. Not in the Michael Meyers, I'm going to stalk you and stab you to death kind of way. Nah. More in the Patrick Bateman kind of way. I wasn't surprised to learn that he killed Mr. Frostman all those years ago. And I won't be surprised if I learn he killed scores more.

Wearing a comedy or drama mask around all day to hide your face was a massive red flag. I just wish it wasn't one that was so easily buried behind mounds of cash.

The thing about AR that no one really seemed to notice is that Vince and Phineas were absolute idiots when it came to running a functioning business. Hell, it wasn't until I showed up that these guys managed to stay regularly in the black.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not surprised things ended the way they did. I wish they didn't. But they did. And I ended up fleeing Three Portlands for my life on May 24th. Maybe if I had kept a better eye on Vince, he wouldn't have tripped so many switches, and pissed so many people off. Then again, maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Honestly? Good fucking riddance.

You ever actually talk to one of those bots that managed to escape service? Cause I have. They are damaged with a capital fucking D. Not just physically either, no. Mentally too. The kind of damage that would normally get you arrested if you did it to a flesh and blood human. But that doesn't count because I guess the sentience of others is not worthy of acknowledgment if it has a shiny barcode on it and looks like 4-LOM.

Seriously. Fuck Vincent Anderson. Whatever the jailors do to him will be better than he deserves.

I've got to tell you something, but you need to promise not to tell something else, kay? It's been eating me up for a while and I need to get it off my chest.

Alright. Here we go.

I saw the UIU murder Vincent Anderson.

Right, right, I know. Let me explain though. I used to work in one of the offices in Prometheus Plaza. My office window faced one of the nearby alleyways. Shitty view, but I was never really in a position to move out of there.

Anyway, on the day of the raid, I was working on something when I saw the man running down below. There was a bang, and he had a hole through his chest. A couple of the Feds stepped out and then all hell broke loose. Despite the fact they let loose what must have been a hundred rounds on him, Anderson tore through them like tissue paper. Still, he was shot to pieces. Ended up limping away a few steps before one of the agents tackled him.

From there, and you aren't going to believe me on this one, but from there they dropped some kind of canister. Sprayed him down with some kind of white gas. When it cleared, he was gone. A red and black suit was all that was left.

I never really thought much about AR when they were in business. Not my cup of tea. But if the Feds can do that to someone with as much clout as Vincent Anderson, what's to stop them from doing that to any of us.

I don't think we're safe in Three Ports any more.

Excerpt From "The Portlander"
May 26th, 2024


itizens in Federal Custody Following UIU Raid — Not since the Prohibition era has Three Portlands witnessed such a massive display of Federal force as it did during last Friday's raid on Anderson Robotics by agents of the FBI's Unusual Incidents Unit. The raid, which started at approximately 3:00 PM EDT, has resulted in nearly forty Anderson Robotics employees — most of whom are Three Portlands citizens — being detained. As a result, protests have started to break out throughout the city as numerous activist groups show their opposition to what they are calling an "unwarranted display of federal brutality" and a "direct violation of Three Portlands' longstanding tradition of paranormal asylum."

Meanwhile, UIU spokesmen Harriet Brown claims that the raid was in response to evidence of the company's involvement in the assassination of Congressman Raymond Caldwell in 2018, as well as potential ties to numerous arms dealers around the globe. Detained Anderson Robotics employees are to be vetted for their potential involvement in the firm's illegal operations, and released if cleared. As of the time of writing, only a handful of those detained have been released from federal custody…

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