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Chapter 00: Prelude
Technology was created to enslave humanity. But why not use it to help humanity? We rely on technology heavily, to the point that we willingly become slaves to it. We’re nothing without it. Take away our technology, and you have nothing. Nothingness. But even something can rise from nothing.
I weep for future generations. They will not value the gift of life nor this planet and its beauty. They will not know what lies in front of them, under their very noses! Will they notice the beautiful petricor, when the very first shower hits after a long drought? The way the leaves change clothes, just to lie on the ground at night. The way the sky fades to black. The way the moon wanders around in the darkness, providing light to the blind. The way the sun wakes up at dawn, greeting the morning. Will they be blind to this beauty that is Mother Nature? The trees whisper to one another, every time the wind passes by, almost as if they were admiring it. The leaves all dance with joy with every breeze that passes through. The sky gets painted by the delicate brush of an artist, every dusk and dawn. Few pause to admire the artist at work. Very few care about our mother, and even more are destroying her. Soon enough, we will run through every resource and tarnish her beauty. She won’t even recognize herself.
This was the last entry in my grandfather’s journal. He went missing weeks before the initial release of the 083Y, a machine like no other, capable of understanding and learning. He was part of the engineers who developed the robots and vanished the moment Project Zero went into effect.
Project Zero was a covert operation and assassination of the Seven Architects responsible for Project Sui Generis, implemented by the very corporation responsible: Dades Robotics. They were held responsible for the creation of the first androids and were taken out of the equation. They were silenced for knowing the reasons behind their creation, after they were finished. They were told they would help humanity and that they would save us. When they learned the truth, they were sick to their stomachs. Architects 3 & 5 took their own lives. Architects 1, 2, & 4 all moved far away and lived in reclusion. Architect 6 was never heard of again.
My grandfather, William Fortis, was the only one who decided to have a life. He had one son with his wife, Esperanza. My father, Ethan Fortis, was branded Architect 8 for being the only descendant of the original 7 Architects. He followed my grandfather everywhere he went. Though my grandfather felt his guilt, he used it as fuel. He stood against Dades Robotics, and its founder, Marcellus “Mercilus” Jagernaut. He did everything he could to protect my father, to prepare my father and to create a fighter. He thought my father how to disengage a machine and rebuild it, how to manipulate the system, and how to override any machine at will. He even prepared my father for fatherhood. My beautiful mother, Frida, gave her life granting mine. She valued my life over hers, and gave me my name, Alexander, months before I was born. My grandmother perished of a heart attack the day of my accident, and I always felt guilty for it. I lost my right arm to an unexplained explosion at our house, but my father was able to save me. He designed and built a robotic arm for me. It branded me an outcast growing up, but sparked the fire of revolution within my heart.
My father looked out for me until 10 years ago, when the initial wave of destruction hit. When my father was taken from me, he whispered “Keep fighting” as he faded into the universe. His words echoed in my head through the years. I knew I had to take a stand. I channeled the rage to fight against Dades and its robots. I couldn’t sit still after they took my grandfather and my father from me.
Chapter 1: A Message from the Past
In earlier years, one of our biggest fears was invaders from another world. There were signs left by earlier civilizations that we mistook as warnings. Visitors from another planet with a hidden agenda. A plan so sinister, it would mean the end of our kind. We feared that which was out of our control. We advanced as a civilization as time went by, focusing more and more on technologies to help our progress. The very same technology created to save humanity, enslaved humanity. This double edged sword was a weapon of our own making.
We saw the warnings in each generation, but chose to view it as advancement rather than a setback. Little by little, the focus shifted from taking care of the world, taking care of ourselves and others, to focusing our attention on the next big thing and how to obtain it before the next person. Although we knew of the dangers, we simply chose to look the other way. We chose to look forward rather than go back to the drawing board. We fell to our own hand.
Chapter 2: Uncharted Territory
After humanity succumbed to its terrible fate, factions of survivors were left to roam the earth. Some were killed, others captured, and others were left to die. The glimmer of hope faded behind the black clouds. The skies that were once blue turned red with oppression. We were left with a world we no longer recognized. Those of us that can remember, cherish its beauty. Those of us that don’t, have to hear of its beauty, and visual it. One can only imagine what a wonderful place this must have been, nothing like this waste land. Mother Nature doesn’t even recognize herself anymore.
Chapter 3: Anarchy Amongst Nothingness
With the fall of civilization, came the rise of hope through a small group, those that carried the torch and kept fighting. The few brave souls, speaking out against those responsible, with a relentless effort to bring them down. There was no more justice, no more peace, just war and turmoil. Anarchy was at the midst of the shores of oppression.
Chapter 4: The Illusion of Peace
When the downfall came, broadcasts of a new world were heard around the world. Many rushed to the promise of a new hope. A new home called Neo-Haven, funded by the very people responsible for the machines that had taken over. Many felt it was done as a plead for forgiveness, or out of their own guilt. Whatever their reasons were, something wasn’t right. Those gullible enough to believe them followed them into this new world with eagerness and naivety. They offered a final chance for any remaining survivors to find shelter in this new world, before the gates were shut permanently. Those living in fear, decided to accept their offer.
As time went by, the masks began to fall off. The rumors of Dades Robotics playing an even bigger hand with the refugees began to sound less and less redundant. The idea of oppression grew and many lives were manipulated. They weren’t free, but they didn’t know that. They believed they were given another chance at life, rather than enslaved. Those on the outside, looking in, saw past the smoke and mirrors. Those on the inside, looking out, felt they were safer inside the system. A system designed to enslave lives and control minds. The machine take over was only the beginning. Just a mere set up. This was the second phase to something even bigger.
Chapter 5: Brain Wash Propaganda
Just as there were broadcasts of this new world, there were broadcasts announcing the bigger hand at play. They informed the people outside via radio, and tried to reach those going in. They hacked television broadcasts and radio transmissions, but they were too late to stop them. Warnings played day in and out, and just as they came in, they were quickly censored.
Chapter 6: Survival
Those who sought refuge in Neo-Haven struggled to survive. Any hope they held on to, slipped out of their very hands. Any opposition they gave was faced with their demise. All they could do was keep their heads down and hope for the best.
They were told they were working as a form of payment and to ensure that Neo-Haven could keep running properly. More and more work was requested from them. The days grew longer and the rest hours shorter. Hard labor was only the beginning. Little by little, they began to question the real motives behind everything. But the more questions they asked, the more silence struck with each death. The refugees had no choice but to remain silent and be submissive. The voice of the innocent faded away, along with any chance of fighting for their freedom. All they could do was fight to live. This was no way of living, but they were still alive. There was still hope; a fighting chance.
Chapter 7: Brain Wash Propaganda Pt 2
The warnings continued to broadcast via network hacks. They tried to free the minds of those oppressed inside the walls of the new world. The refugees remained dormant and submissive via radio transmission signals controlling their minds. The effects were amplified by a toxin sprayed into the atmosphere; a strong sedative to keep those trying to fight, dormant and under their control. Revolution was once at the tip of everyone’s tongue. Now, the only word to slip off their tongue was conformity.
Chapter 8: Retaliate & Rebuild
Outside of the walls of the new world, was an unrecognizable planet. The world was without form, without order, and without peace. This wasn’t our world, but we felt it was ours to do as we pleased. This wasn’t how things were supposed to be. We strived to survive on our own, facing certain death. Machines were killing our kind like we were nothing. Like death, there was no age, no race, no wealth and no mercy to the machines. They were cold. Anyone and everyone who crossed paths with them met the end of their journey. All we could do was rebuild our lives every time a machine tore down our homes. Our only way to retaliate was to survive. Our revenge was to continue living, even with the odds stacked against us. But even if the odds were slim to none, everything was always a 50/50 chance. And that is a chance worth fighting for.
Chapter 9: Help Our Purpose Everyone
For too long, I stood by and watched the atrocities take place against mankind. But my mind and my heart would not let me be. For too long, there was guilt, and my dreams reflected that. There was a burning desire to make a change, to make a difference. My grandfather used to say, “Even a small spark could create a fire.” That was all it took.
My father visited me in the form of a dream. He used to always tell me I was meant for something great, but I figured that was a common father and son pep talk. I never considered his words to be true. I never knew why he had given me a mechanical arm after what my grandfather went through. I wanted to grow up normal, even with one arm. But I was given this arm for a reason. This arm had to have a purpose. This arm held the key to resolving this situation. And this dream was all it took to reveal it. I was so blind. Here dies Alexander Fortis, now rise Architect 9.
Chapter 10: Industrial Revolution
In hindsight, our technological advancements were our downfall. We pulled the trigger. We are responsible. We have always been responsible. History tends to repeat itself, and like many civilizations before us, we fell to our own hand.
We looked for an easier way to be better than everyone, rather than bettering ourselves. Our hubris was our own downfall.
But not everyone would agree. There are different opinions from different perspectives. There are those that believe, without prejudice mind you, that all machines are evil and that since the advancement of mankind, technology was meant to enslave us. There are those that believe that machines will save us. That they can solve everything humans have yet to resolve. There are those that argue that humans and machines can work together, and progress, the way science and humanity was meant to.
Either way, our hands are dirty. There is no way to wash off the blood from the past. All we can do is move forward and find a solution for future generations. The blame falls on no one alone, it falls on us all. This world we are left with was of our own making.
Chapter 11: 083Y
Before the collapse, a new robot, model 083Y, was advertised as man’s best friend. They were advertised as resourceful and loyal. The advertisements were partially true. They were resourceful and loyal, but not to humans. They became man’s worst enemy, infiltrating many homes and killing civilians. Advertisements for these machines were painted over to instead say “OBEY” by the revolting factions. These robots were created to obey their master, and to enforce the laws. They destroyed any and all survivors outside of the new world, as per their true design. The day the machines took over, they were the first to strike, leaving disaster everywhere they went. Proud owners of these machines were amongst the first to fall. Technology was meant to bring progress, but instead, brought destruction.
Chapter 12: The Resistance
Things went from worse to worst. More and more blood was shed. I could no longer sit with my arms crossed. I stood at the sidelines for far too long. I would no longer let my father and grandfather’s deaths be in vain. They fought for something. They died for something. They believed my life was worth saving. My arm is the key to this. I joined the faction of revolutionaries, known as The Resistance, with the hope of being able to end this once and for all. When others had casted me out, they took me in and treated me like a human. They tried to make sense of my arm. They, too, believed it was the key to ending the fight, and saving mankind. But there was only one way to make sure.
Chapter 13: Solitary Confinement
With my arm, I was able to waltz into the new world without being detected. My arm overrode any system and alarm they had, but in order to find out its true potential, a small sacrifice needed to be made. I needed to get captured. I needed to gain access to the mainframe. It wasn’t going to be an easy task, but this step had to be taken to set everything into motion. The Resistance waited for me to bring the system down from the inside. The machines took the bait. They plugged me into the system and tried to extract information from me. I wouldn’t budge. I was determined not to fail, and didn’t know much to begin with. I was kept in solitary confinement for days and was to face execution. While I waited, a shutdown virus was eating its way through the system, shutting down mind control frequencies, their defense systems, their shields and ultimately, the machines themselves. The reboot was set into motion. All I had to do was wait.
Chapter 14: The Rise of Nothingness
A new weapon was set in place; an odd that evened the score, a fighting chance for my fellow comrades. The system collapsed, the walls were brought down, but the machines held on. The Resistance found allies amongst the survivors of the new world. They fought on the inside of the walls; fighting for freedom, fighting to free me. Coming in, I knew this would be a one way trip. I knew I wouldn’t see the end to it. But this was the only way to free mankind. The minute they flipped the switch, I would be fried, along with their entire system. It was just a matter of time. The reboot virus could only do so much. The final blow would come the minute the volts coursed its way through my body. The shock would trigger a magnet embedded within my arm, setting off an electromagnetic pulse. The EMP charge would in turn fry anything mechanical within a 200-mile radius. It would mean my death, but it would also win the war. It would free everyone. Today, I face certain death, and I laugh in its face.
Chapter 15: System Reboot
Ab initio, ad finem. From the beginning, to the end.
Everything that has a beginning has an end. Everything that has an end has a beginning. It’s a circle, constantly in motion. Life never had a reset button, until today. It was the end of tyranny and the rise of a revolution. No oppression, just good old fashion liberty. The system began to shut down around the world, taking us all back to simpler times. As the EMP coursed its way through every concrete valley and man-made mountain, the machines left standing were collapsing. The walls of oppression were finally torn down as freedom broke its way through. Some called it, “The shock heard around the world.” I called it the most painful thing I shall ever experience. But it was a necessary pain. So that others may live
Chapter 16: Particle Storm
The system reboot gave light to the real perpetrators: Dades Robotics’ founder, Marcellus Jagernaut. The machines were nothing more than pawns in this twisted game. As the system collapsed, tiny dust particles fell from the sky, followed by debris. Little by little, the sky began to fall. But the red sky that once blazed the horizon was nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It was designed to hide the real sky behind, and create a safe passage way for aircraft to fly above, undetected, spraying mind control mist. In the end, we weren’t fighting machines, we were fighting ourselves. Fighting the very technology we created to protect us, to help us, to make things easier. Inventions and advancements in technologies weren’t always a bad thing. At times, we progressed as a civilization. We triumphed as a whole, but abused the power that advancement came with. Just like some of the worst things imaginable were done with the best intentions, some of the best things were made with the worst intentions. Technology was meant to show our strives, but instead, taught us who we really were on the inside. We fought with all our might for this day. On this day, men, women and children are free. Free from oppression. Free from war. Free from the very evil within us. Today, we all stand, united as one, looking to the skies in awe. Watching the colors fall from the sky as the false atmosphere collapses. Today, it rains a collage of colors amongst everyone who survived. The sun shines bright for those who fell fighting. Their memories live on through the legacy we leave behind: a message of peace and unity.
Chapter 17: Victory Through Sacrifice
Like every great triumph ever accomplished, there is a story of dedication, determination and sacrifice. To those who fought relentlessly, rest peacefully knowing the war is won. Know that your comrades did not fall in vain and that today, victory reigns. From the deepest valleys, to the tallest mountains, peace announces its victory through the gentle whispers of the wind, carrying a tune of triumph. To those who fell, know you did not lose. Like everyone who fell before today, we fought valiantly, we fought diligently and we perished willingly. We gave our lives, so that others may live. There is no better victory than dying for a greater cause, a belief, a dream. Your efforts will forever be engraved into the surface of the earth. Your blood, spilled on the very land that proclaimed freedom until it became real. Your sweat, exiting your pores, and into our atmosphere, filling the air with determination. Your tears, no longer from pain and suffering, watered the very seed of strong will. A strong will that blossomed and gave us a fighting chance. Suffer no more. Know your pain is no more. Close your eyes and go in peace. Rest easy my comrade, the war is over. I know I am not here today to share in this victory, but I share your vision, your very dream. Nothing ever comes without a sacrifice. I chose this path to allow a better journey for everyone else. Carry on each day, wanting to do better.
Chapter 18: Brave New World
Today, a child watches the sky for the first time, as it was meant to be: A paintbrush gently caressing the blue sky, blending pink with orange and slowly fading into a glimpse of red. Today, a mother finds freedom, a father finds his family, and a family finds hope. Today, the human race takes its first breath of air. Today, we proclaim our liberty. Today, we face a new world we fought to see. Today, we plant the warriors who sleep, into a prosperous land, forever dreaming of peace and love. We take a step towards a new path, embracing the journey ahead. We march, stronger than before, braver, and a lot wiser. We start over fresh, trying to erase our previous footprints.
Source: SoundCloud / Eddie Aldrin
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