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Due to the devastating disasters of 'Necropolis' and 'Judgement Day' which caused the deaths of countless Judges, the Justice Department was suffering a shortage of Judges and was dangerously under-strength with the crime rate in Mega-City One going up. To cope with the problem, Chief Judge McGruder authorised Tek Division (Justice Department Scientist) to start the Mechanismo Programme, which is building Robot Judges to help with the shortage of Judges. The Robot Judges have the same power of arresting, sentence and sometimes executed perps (perpetrators, criminals). The Project was kept secret and was supervised by Tek-Judge Stitch, and wasn't revealed to the public or the rank-and-files Judges until the first group of robots was released and put into service in late 2114.
The Mark I robots, who were in the streets, were in under complete supervision and although they started off performing perfectly, Judge Dredd was opposed to the idea and was resistant to the idea. He tried to convince Stitch and Chief Judge McGruder to cancel the Project, but it fell on deaf ears. Dredd's resistance to the Robots was then proven right when two of the Robots Units Number 5 and 8 went rogue and started killing both innocents and minor perps and when they were ordered to shut down, they ignored the order and continued to slaughter people so they had to be destroyed, Dredd personally destroyed unit number 8.
The re-activation of Unit Number 5
Unfortunately, the incident did not waver Chief Judge McGruder's decision to continue the Mechanismo Programme. She paid compensation to the victims families and ordered Stitch to find and fix the faults in the Robot Judges. However, McGruder's goal had a massive setback when Unit Number 5 re-activated and escaped from the Justice Department and started another killing spree slaughtering both Judges and civilians alike. The Robot manage to escape into the sewers and disappeared.
After the massacres caused by several of the Mark I Robot Judges, Stich, unable to cope with the fact that he indirectly caused those massacres, went insane and became obsessed with finding Unit Number 5, he repeatedly escaped from the Psycho-Cubes and went into the sewers to look for Number 5. It also was thought and appeared that Chief Judge McGruder cancelled the Project which is what she wanted them to think. However, she secretly ordered the construction of the Mark II Robots which is this time under the supervision of Tek-Judge Quiggly. After a year of work, the Mark II Robots construction were almost ready for a field test when Unit Number 5 emerged from the sewers and began a third killing spree. Number 5 had managed to avoid detection by knowing the sewers it resides in. Chief Judge McGruder decided to personally lead the search and decided to use the Mark II Robots to search for the rogue unit, reasoning that the best way to anticipate the rogue units next move was to use other robots.
The Destruction of Unit Number 5
Dredd was furious when he discovered about the Mark II Robots being built in secret and began to openly demand that Chief Judge McGruder resign, but she refused and they become rivals. Determined to put an end to the Mechanismo Project, Dredd decides to discredit the Mark II Robots and search for Unit Number 5 himself. He managed to find Number 5, but one of the other Mark IIs has also found Number 5 and it ignored Dredd's order not to shoot 5, destroying it for good. Dredd, breaking the law himself, destroys the Mark II Robot and manages to manipulate and convince Stitch, who was there the whole time, to think that he'd seen Number 5 destroy the Mark II and Dredd destroyed the Mark II Robot.
Mark 2A Robots
After the seemingly failure of the Mark II Robots, Judge Quiggly was thrown out of the programme and was demoted and replaced by Tek-Judge Greel, who then proceeded to start another Mechanismo Programme to build the new Mark 2A Robots. Their appearance was massively different to the previous two Marks and also have been designated names to make them less intimidating then the others (despite the fact that their appearance was more intimidating than the previous Mark Robots).
To much anxiety and dismay, the new models were, once again, sent to the streets and finally made the Judges think about McGruder's decline in sanity and deteriorating in judgement, and a delegation of Mega-City One's most senior Judges (Dredd included) met with her and tried to convince McGruder to re-establish the Council of Five (which she suspended four years previously) but unsurprisingly, she refused, stating "crazy old McGruder appoints a Council, Council votes out crazy old McGruder!". She was also prepared for this event, and sent in Ex-Judge Stitch to the meeting. Stitch was interrogated and subjected to truth serums until he remembered the true events with Number 5 and Dredd and after being suspected and accused of criminal damage and perjury. Dredd confessed to the crime and McGruder sentenced Dredd to 20 years' hard labour on the penal colony Titan and dispersed the delegation after their defeat. McGruder was then expected to visit the tenth planet in the solar system Hestia on a diplomatic mission and left Greel as Acting Chief Judge. She decided to take Dredd with her, intending to drop him off on Titan after finishing the visit to Hestia.
They arrived on Hestia and the diplomatic visit was unsuccessful. McGruder tried to sell some Mechanismo Robots to the Hestian government but when she and her party were threatened by the planet's wild animals, the Mechanismo did nothing to protect her and to make things worse for her, Dredd was the one who saved their lives despite still being in handcuffs. Later on, McGruder's life was once again threatened by an attack of deadly man-eating predators called Dune Sharks, who are native to Hestia. One of the Mechanismo Robots, despite having one of the Dune Sharks in it's line of sight, did nothing to protect McGruder and Judge Castillo ended up saving her life.
As the ship McGruder is on, Justice 5 began to leave the planet the flight crew were murdered by having their necks snapped and the ship proceeded to crash into the unexplored hostile wilderlands on Hestia. Numerous passengers and crew were killed when it crashed and sank in lava, but the survivors managed to escaped from the ship due to the ship floating on the lava and managed to get off but they were stranded in a middle of nowhere. Since their was no distress signal sent out, no one knew that the ship had even crashed and McGruder suffered an head injury and went into a life-threatening coma. Despite the fact that Dredd was a prisoner on the ship, he took command of the survivors since the other Judges were either not experienced or competent enough to do the role.
Dredd then proceeded to send Judge Castillo away to an abandoned outpost in hopes that she will be able to send a distress signal with whatever communicating equipment their is while Dredd was in charge of the survivors. While Castillo struggled to walk across the wilderlands on foot, Dredd has to deal with the rogue Mark 2A Robot that was programed and responsible for sabotaging the ship that caused the crash and it tried to assassinate McGruder, but Dredd manage to destroy the Unit and saved McGruder's life. For this, McGruder realised the bad idea of the Mechanismo Programme and pardoned Dredd of his crimes. Castillo managed to reach the abandoned outpost and launch a distress signal, where the survivors were rescued.
Greel was suspected of being the one trying to assassinate McGruder, but after 72 hours of intensive interrogation, could not prove their suspicions and instead McGruder demoted him to Traffic Control. McGruder then abandoned the Mechanismo Programme and announced her resignation as Chief Judge of Mega-City One. Her final act was to order that her successor be voted in by 400 Senior Judges of the Justice Department and Judge Volt ended up beating Dredd, Hershey and Hermann and he became Chief Judge. Despite the fact that the Robots are not used as Judges, they where kept in storage to be used in case of extreme emergency.
Physical Appearance and Personality
The Mechanismo robots were humanoid in shape and were armour-plated, with insignia resembling those on human judge uniforms. They had infra-red vision, built-in weaponry including missiles and gas grenades, and carried large machine-guns. They were issued with Lawmaster motorcycles. Although no longer vested with judicial powers, they are still used as combat units in dire emergencies. Despite the fact that several of them murdered innocent civilians, they never intended malice and were only following their programming but their systems were suffering from a glitch.