The future, and the Earth is one gigantic industrial facility, with toxic air and radioactive water a sterile environment within which buildings both ancient and new stand.
The solar system is home to the majority of what is left of humanity, workers in mining facilities as resources of all types are forcibly extracted and fed into great machines, the sole purpose of which is to produce more such machines.
Earth had long ago surrendered all its resources, and now, the solar system itself was nearing depletion.
Humanity is dying.
Faced with the incomprehensible notion that there simply is nothing left to plunder from nature, and the immutable barrier of the speed of light, comes the crushing truth – there is no hope.
Once upon a time – great colony ships filled with cryogenically frozen colonists – had been launched into space. One by one, each colony ship had suffered failures – one in a million chances for disaster that the inordinate passage of time required to traverse interstellar space turned into near certainties.
And then – there were no more colony ships – there were no more resources to expend on such massive and doomed projects when it was clear that human kind could not crew such a ship and keep it running over the huge periods of time needed.
Human kind was forced to evolve – only a human mind, preserved to impossible life spans within an artificial body – could hope to complete an interstellar journey, hope to react to the unexpected and overcome.
The first of the biomechanicals were hailed as the saviours of the human race, and departed the solar system with the prayers and well wishes of the species, on board the colony ship “New Hope”.
Time – the one constant it brings is change. When that last colony ship stopped transmitting updates, humanity was dealt a collective blow, and chaos erupted.
One hundred yeas later, after a period of anarchy which itself nearly destroyed humanity, a new team of biomechanicals had been prepared, and a new colony ship painstakingly constructed from the dwindling resource stockpiles.
But it would never be completed. When the long thought lost “New Hope” re-entered the solar system, at first there were innumerable theories as to what it was, and then to why it had returned. All attempts at contact failed.
All too soon, the answers were given. The biomechanicals had evolved themselves, no longer pioneers out to found a new world for humanity, they had become as aliens, divorced from humanity. And they had become conquering war machines.
Humanity, while weakened from periods of anarchy, had not lost its ability to fight. Indeed – the hidden desire for war had never left mankind, and weaponry in abundance remained stockpiled ‘just in case’.
A war unlike anything seen in the history of mankind erupted – engulfed the solar system.
The biomechanicals were the superior race. No machine of war piloted by a mere human could act and react in the way that a sentient, living combat machine could. As the biomechanicals went on from victory to victory, claiming ever greater quantities of the few resource centres left, human kind was forced to react with what seemed to be the obvious solution.
The second generation of biomechanicals were rebuilt as weapons of war.
Thus – the first biomech war began – between the renegades and the second generation. A bitter battle that escalated, with each side evenly matched.
Mankind became an irrelevant spectator in the ongoing conflict. To support their war efforts, the second generation commandeered resources with dispassionate logic as often as renegade forces annexed them. And as the mighty metal titans clashed and clashed again, humans were forced to scurry aside and hide, lest they be crushed or vaporised inadvertently.
Finally – the resource centres of the solar system were exhausted. There was nothing left to conquer – the war could grow no more.
Or could it? All across the solar system existed enormous untapped potential resources – in the form of human habitation structures and related facilities.
The biomechanicals evolved yet further away from the long forgotten ideal of humanity’s saviour, and instead became a nightmare predator. A neutral observer may have noted with interest that both renegade and second generation entered this new phase of development at the same time.
It was to be humanity’s darkest days.
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