Reminds me of something I wrote for _Car Wars_ many moons ago -- a combat bus design with all sorts of autonomous-operation tech on it, which one day powered up, drove out the gate of the facility it was built in, and went adventuring.
May 1, 20.46: The following report came from Magnum Motors's PR department: 'today saw the strangest event anyone has ever witnessed. We [the main facility in Austin] had been commissioned to build a customized version of our celebrated Camel bus -- this particular one being equipped exclusively with energy weapons as well as the usual complement of autopilots, computer gunners, solar panels, extra batteries, and other such electronics. This design was intended to be totally self-sufficient. It would appear we succeeded -- too well. You see, we'd put all the gear and software in, connected the power leads, made it ready to go -- and when we switched it on for the owner, the damned thing cranked up the plant and drove right out the front gate!" Magnum Motors is requesting the assistance of roadgoers to help find this vehicle.
May 3, 2046: The escaped Camel was spotted in Bismarck, ND today. Speculation as to how it slipped through the Texas border stations is rife.
May 5, 2046: The Camel was spotted in Presque Island, ME, today. Media pundits are calling this vehicle "The Meandering Magnum", "The Questing Camel", and "Blunder-Bus".
May 8, 2046: The Saga of the Camel took an ominous turn today; the bus was spotted outside Seattle, WA, blasting all attacking cycle pack to dust. It slipped away with no visible damage.
May 13, 2046: The Camel was stopped in Key West, FL, today. This bus has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for slipping through border crossings and (now) toll booths; one wonders how it is doing this.
May 15, 2046: The Robobusters gang in Lincoln, NE, has announced it will "eliminate this mechanized menace once and for all." Several vehicles and a pair of aircraft departed Lincoln late this afternoon.
May 17, 2046: The Camel annihilated the infamous Gassers marauder gang in a pitched battle outside Columbus, OH, today. The Gassers's trademark nerve-gas rockets availed them not against the unmanned bus. Said one city official, "Well, I guess we have to pay the $250,000 bounty -- but who do we make the check out to, and how the Hell will it sign for it'?" Pursuers of the Camel have been warned that the Camel is splashed with nerve gas, and could be dangerous.
May 18, 2046: Early this morning, the Camel drove into a heavy rainstorm. Since the nerve gas it was attacked with could be neutralized with water, some are speculating as to whether or not this bus has achieved sentience. Computer experts do not believe so, but are at a loss to explain the bus's behavior.
May 19, 2046: The Camel was sighted outside the old Best Brains Studios complex in Eden Prairie (near Minneapolis), MN. It remained there for nearly an hour, idling, then drove away.
May 20, 2046: $250,000 vanished from the Columbus, OH, Bounty Payment Fund. The perpetrator is unknown.
May 21,2046: The Robobusters finally caught up with the renegade Camel on Interstate 40 near the AZ - NM border. In a 5-minute running gunfight, the Camel shot down both Robobuster aircraft and destroyed all but two of the ground vehicles, while taking minor damage.
May 22, 2046: Las Vegas's oddsmakers officially rate the Camel's chance of surviving its sojourn at 1 in 6.
May 25, 2046: The Camel appeared in Las Vegas, NV, today. Somehow, it managed to get its damaged armor repaired by a local garage, paying via wire from a blind account in Bern, Switzerland. Said one Magnum Motors rep: "This thing is scaring me."
May 25, 2046: The Camel passed through Lincoln, NE today. It stayed only long enough to destroy a pack of Robobusters, then headed west.
May 26, 2046: The Camel was spotted in Belgrade, MT, today. According to the Montana State Trooper who sighted it. it was "traveling at an unreasonable and imprudent speed."
May 28, 2046: The Camel appeared in Springfield, MO, this morning. It "shot the hell" out of the 1st Missouri AutoDuel Division's main office before leaving town. Locals applauded the machine's good taste.
May 29, 2046: The Camel was spotted near the Indianapolis Raceway Park, in Clermont, IN, then near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in New Indianapolis.
May 31, 2046: In an odd turn of events, tile Wandering Camel appeared at the Magnum Motors facility in Austin, Republic of Texas. It was completely powered down, but its batteries and plant were at 100% capacity; its armor was scuffed, but unbreached. A full search produced no signs of human operation or presence. According to witnesses, the only system operating on the Camel when it was found was the stereo; said the Magnum Motors rep: "It kept playing the same song over and over -- Queen's "I Want To Break Free."