"The Broken" was a secret Capellan Confederation experiment during the Jihad era to mimic the Star League's Caspar artificial intelligence technology. This would take the form of a DropShip-mobile mainframe designed to direct an unit of drone BattleMechs, intended to augment elite CCAF commando forces.
The experiment was conducted at Outpost Aberdeen, a hidden facility on Necromo, with the mainframe built into a K-1 DropShuttle. It was only partially successful and some Capellan engineers proclaimed the AI a "broken chess master", claiming that its tactics were simplistic and basic. However, the AI was listening, and, in its own way, learning.
In 3071 the Word of Blake's 48th Shadow Division attacked the planet and conducted a quick raid against Outpost Aberdeen, escaping with programming specs and other technical data during the chaos of what appeared to be another blitz against the CCAF. (The programming specs proved to be a missing piece of the technology that allowed the Word of Blake to produce and use robotic drones in the final defense of Terra.)
The attackers, in their haste, overlooked the quite operational AI construct aboard the DropShuttle. Its inventors were killed during the attack. Left to its own devices, it continued to carry out its last directives, namely to defend its base installation against non-Capellan forces on the planet and to preserve itself by launching in the event of capture. The AI began to suspect all of the remaining Capellans on-world of treachery, and refused all further directives coming from them. Thus, the Broken began to wage war against its previous masters. Though the AI remained far from self aware, its responses were based on a complex and convoluted logic, its security measures evolved to the point where it would actually lay traps, ambushes, and even offer potential alliances to its enemies, in order to lure them into its kill zone. The Broken also had a small army of drone BattleMechs at its disposal and access to fixed defenses established around its protective perimeter including the weapons mounted on the modified DropShuttle that carried the mainframe containing the AI. These defenses were directed via sensory input provided by the drones and the fixed sensor suites of Outpost Aberdeen. Most of these fixed defenses were automated and were not negatively affected by ECM.
The Necromo facilities were utterly destroyed in the Word of Blake attack, and the entire planet was devastated. What few personnel survived the initial attack and subsequent catastrophical collapse of the entire ecosystem succumbed to a gruesome bioweapon that even affected some of the attacking forces. Upon belatedly realizing that the entire world had fallen silent, the Capellan Confederation repeatedly sent small mercenary units to investigate, including the Charmed Life under Captain Duncan Stepanov. This unit was wiped out, but the Broken subsequently used snippets of radio recordings from Stepanov (often re-arranged in an awkward fashion) to communicate.
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 142-143
- Necromo Nightmare, p. 22
- Necromo Nightmare, p. 21