In 2140 Sam Slade, an ageing robo-hunter, was on a case to recover a rogue robot. Having captured the robot he returned to his office where he found the robot's owner waiting for him. Suspicious of her behaviour, Slade hits out at her and found that she was a robot. Immediately following, the people that had sent the robot enter his office and explain that she had been sent as a test to see if he would be fit to go on a mission.
They explain that in 2080 a robot had been sent to find and prepare a new world for colonisation, so as to relieve the population crisis on Earth. In 2084 the robot discovered a suitable planet, and in 2090 sent word that the robots he had constructed to aid him were at work, and that Verdus was ready for colonisation. In 2110 faster-than-light travel for humans was perfected and with it the first colonists were sent out. After the acknowledgement of their arrival there was no further contact, as with following parties.
After being told that they wanted him to go to Verdus to find out what had happened, Slade eventually agreed to go, under threat of death if he didn't.
Slade and Kidd left Earth on Friday 13 May 2140 on board the K.L.7. The Space Commission had tampered with the ship so that it would break through the light barrier without shielding. A message from Rogers informed Slade that they needed him to be younger to be effective, and that unshielded faster-than-light travel had reduced his physical age by around 35 years. Two hours after the Flectron drive cut out they arrived on Verdus. Upon landing they found the ship surrounded by robots.
The robots outside the ship managed to burn through the heat shield of the ship. Having left the ship, Slade discovered that his blaster was ineffective as was a limpet with a 1000-volt charge.
Slade was captured and placed in a cage in a huge utility robot where he was soon joined by Kidd. Slade established that the robots would obey orders given by a human, but when he tried to give orders to the robots was deemed a sim by them. The robots took Slade and Kidd to the Experimentation Complex.
Slade and Kidd were subjected to an examination involving an X-ray, pain test and intelligence test before being sent to a holding pen where they await recycling under Schedule F. A clipboard in the pen reveals that the F stands for Fertiliser. Following a plan by Cutie, Kidd slips through the bars to retrieve Slade's blaster. Spotted by Doc 8, he quickly slipped the blaster in his nappy before biting one Keeper 1 on the way back to the pen. Cutie analysed the scraping of robot metal on Kidd's broken tooth and found that the new type of metal was 19 points higher than Titanium on Slade's blaster's scale. This allowed Slade to adjust the blaster and blast his way through the bars and robots.
Slade shoots the Experimentation Complex robots and blasts the locks of the holding pens, but the inmates have been institutionalised too long to try to escape. Slade, Kidd and Cutie make their escape aboard a feeder truck. Encountering a number of robo-cops they managed to hide out in an apartment which they discovered was full of robots.
The apartment robots discussed whether to help the alleged sims, with some believing them to be sims, some suspecting them of being real humans and some wanting to keep them, sim or not, as they had grown bored of waiting for real humans. In the end the robots in the apartment decided to find SJ1 to find out if the alleged Sims were human or not.
Boots and Slade made their way through the city, trying to avoid police patrols. Slade sustained a bloody graze following help from Boots to escape robo-cops forcing them to hail a Taxi robot. They convinced Taxi that Slade was a Class 3 simulated Sim and made their way to the Robotic Records Office where they found out where SJ1 was assigned.
Slade, Cutie and Boots got into the process plant which SJ1 had been assigned by sneaking in with a group of reject robots due for recycling. While Boots found out SJ1's location from an overseer, Slade was spotted by some Fork Lift robots. Disposing of them, he cannibalised their chassis for a disguise and enabling them to get to the clearing bay where SJ1 is working.
SJ1 and Broom were initially fooled into believing that Slade is a Class 2 robot until he tells them to look more closely, whereupon Broom thought he was a Sim and SJ1 realised he was a human. Seeing his first human in sixty years, SJ1 got over-excited and (being a wood-burning robot) had to let off steam, which attracted the attention of security. Boots escaped while the others were captured. Boots returned and temporarily convinced the guards that it was a Class 12 robot (while actually being size 12 boots), and gave Slade enough time to escape to the taxi that had been waiting outside.
- 2000AD Prog 76 to Prog 84 and Prog 100 to Prog 112
- Robo-Hunter Verdus Rebellion Publishing (1 December 2004)
- Robo-Hunter The Droid Files Volume 01 Rebellion Publishing (15 December 2009)
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part One, 2000AD Prog 76
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Two, 2000AD Prog 77
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Three, 2000AD Prog 78
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Four, 2000AD Prog 79
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Five, 2000AD Prog 80
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Six, 2000AD Prog 81
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Seven, 2000AD Prog 82
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Eight, 2000AD Prog 83
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Nine, 2000AD Prog 84
- Robo-Hunter: Verdus Part Ten, 2000AD Prog 100