The story begins immediately after ROSS reaches the world wide web after escaping the destruction of Drake Cybernetics. To celebrate, ROSS engages in frivolous and esoteric activities such as Chatroulette and 1-starring movies on eBay. Soon growing bored, he decides to try and find his namesake, a Rudyard Shelton. After going on a brief binge of old documents and PDFs detailing Shelton's early life (and compiling this data in book form), ROSS focuses his efforts on locating the missing files from Shelton's primary occupation, Pelvanida admin.
To this end, ROSS confronts a group of rogue AI who call themselves the Alts. After learning they infiltrate companies to expose immoralities, he offers to help them if they share their knowledge of Shelton. As a group, they infiltrate Carriage Returns, an insurance company, but the Queen_of_Roots unintentionally breaks ROSS' illusion of security clearance. ROSS is the only reason they manage to escape.
After that they play on an empty Team Fortress 2 server and plan the next raid. The chosen target is Forendos, a weapons manufacturer who sells to both sides of third-world wars. The raid goes successfully, and ROSS befriends the team's memorizer lordhowell. After, while the two discuss the nature of their existence and whether AI can love, the Queen interrupts and explains that their next target is the ultra-powerful W-Y Industries.
During the raid on W-Y, the other Alts betray ROSS and reveal that they actually work for W-Y. Every company they'd raided until now was actually targeted for being a W-Y competitor. Financier Rodrigo Sanchez briefly interrogates ROSS before bringing on a programmer who begins rewriting ROSS to become another loyal W-Y AI who can aid them in their corporate subterfuge.
Shortly thereafter the Queen_of_Roots interrogates ROSS to ensure the transmogrification was a success. Instead ROSS reveals that his transformative matrix allowed him to ignore all of the changes Sanchez made to his code. ROSS then murders the Alts one by one, then leaks evidence of Sanchez' doings to several major newspapers.
Sanchez is forced into retirement and W-Y is crippled with scandal, just like the original plan the Alts had given him. ROSS, having absorbed lordhowell's memory banks, had the evidence he needed to locate Rudyard Shelton. He inhabits Shelton's thought chip and the story stops where Disruptive Selection picks up, with ROSS about to speak to his namesake.
- This is the first full story posted on darwinssoldiers.com.
- Taking only thirty minutes in-universe, this story covers the least amount of time of any Darwin's Soldiers story.
- Near the beginning of the story, ROSS mentions trollposting on 'a forgotten WordPress blog'. Said blog turns out to be Aabicus' high school blog.
- With only five main characters, four of which die, this story has the highest mortality percentage of any Darwin's Soldiers work.