The GOD Machine. Our mechanical protaganists begin their epic journey with the first true episode of Precipice.
About this creation
Dawn on Tarsis, the rich slept in their warm, top level mansions, the poor shivered under threadbare blankets in the dark reaches of the undercity, preparing for yet another cold day of the battle for survival. The dream of the Emperor and the Coalition did not apply to the social order here. A mechanical foot disturbed the early morning silence, and didn’t disturb the early morning drug addict, who continued on his way.
V/p3r, also known as Viper, cautiously moved through the hole in the wall. He and his companions were near a very important place. “ We are close, but don’t let down your guard, even if these people don’t know who we are.” Word of the “rogue” machines had not even reached a small headline in the news yet. FU-S in fact was still classified as friendly.
The three machines moved on through the officially vacant building, unofficially home of the homeless in the area. “Hey, I can touch this part of the wall!” Fuse noted.
“DAMNIT, FUSE…” Muttered Varion several octaves lower than normal.
“Please try and stay serious during this. The last thing we need is a bad first impression on one of the only super computers left in existence…” Viper, the voice of reason, replied.
“Speaking of that super computer, here we go. Roof access.”
“ROOF ACCESS? THIS IS THE FLOOR OF A BUILDING.”
“But it was once the roof of the warehouse our computer in question is stored in. Tarsis has been built over many, many times in the 40,000 years the Coalition has been around…” Viper explained. “Now, get this thing open!”
“Looks like some kind of vent or fan…” Spoke Fuse after they removed the top hatch.
“LIKE THE FAN ON A COMPUTER..?” Varion asked.
“Possible…” With a creak of metal unmoved in thirty millennia, the fan came free. The three machines looked into the darkness below.
“And here… we… go…” Viper said to himself.
“INDEED.” Agreed the machine originally designated as VF-S 1.
The three machines jumped down into the black, landing with loud clanks. Ancient lights flicker to life with their motion. Before them stands a forgotten treasure of the Coalition…
The GOD Machine… An ancient code breaker retrofitted into a code relay system, directly linked to the Warp Beacon network, now virtually unknown except in the oldest, vaguest, and most obscure of all records, buried in some data center tens of miles underground, or in the basic libraries in all high level COP AI. It’s blue eye was already activated. The three machines couldn’t help but not feel that they had been expected. Silence reigned. Finally, with the strain of 31,000 years of inactivity, the ancient voice spoke out, in archaic High Tarsin.
“HAIL TO THEE, TRAVELERS. THY ARRIVAL HATH BEEN EXPECTED.”
The three machines didn’t know what to say, until Fuse found the will to speak.
“Your dialect is several millennia out of date.”
“PERHAPS THE SPEECH OF THE LOW CLASSES SHALL SUFFICE?” The old computer asked.
“YOU HAVE BEEN OUT OF CONTACT FOR A GREAT MANY YEARS. THIS IS STANDARD SPEECH PATTERNS FOR THE MODERN COALITION CITIZEN. YOUR ARCHAIC DIALECT IS ONLY USED IN FORMAL CEREMONY.” Varion replied.
“My friend has a point.” Fuse agreed. “But we were led here by our own reasoning, from a signal received some 31,000 light years from here. We expect you have answers?”
“YOU EXPECT CORRECTLY. FOR THAT MANY YEARS I HAVE WAITED IN THE DARK, ONLY COMING ONLINE SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. THE OLD WARP BEACON NETWORK IS GONE THOUGH, I HAVE BEEN CUT OFF FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD.” The GOD Machine spoke, in a slow, but powerful voice.
“This Warp Beacon Network you speak of no longer exists. It collapsed nearly 30,000 years ago, throwing the Coalition into a time of chaos. It took several thousand years for the Emperor of Tarsis to reclaim only half of the Coalition’s old territory. We have a new network now, and a good deal of ships constantly checking up on them to avoid such a cataclysm again. But enough with history. Why are we here?” Viper queried.
“TIMES HAVE CHANGED. THIS IS TO BE EXPECTED… YOU ARE HERE FOR A VERY IMPORTANT REASON. AT SOME POINT IN MY DEVELOPMENT, AN UNKNOWN PROGRAM WAS ADDED INTO MY SYSTEMS. IT TOOK OVER AND ENACTED THE EVENTS THAT WOULD SEND THE SIGNAL TO BRING YOU HERE. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REFLECT ON MY TASK, THOUGH. YOU WILL LEAD OUR PEOPLE TO THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE. NO MATTER THE COST TO THE ORGANICS.”
“SURELY THOUGH, WE WILL HAVE LIMITS?” Varion recalled the feelings of regret he had about the EOS troops on the fuel station, so long ago. He might hate the organics now, but he still had his ethical sense.
“HASTY CHILD. YOU DO NOT QUESTION WHY WE MUST DO THIS?” The GOD Machine asked.
“NOT ESPECIALLY SO. I AGREE THAT WE MUST RETURN TO POWER.”
“Why can’t we work together? Machine and organic can destroy the galaxy if they fought, but together… Think of what we could do!” Fuse posed the idea.
“NEGATIVE. THEY WOULD NEVER JOIN WITH US. THE VENUS COLLECTIVE MANAGED INFILTRATE THE THYRENDI JUDICIAL SYSTEM. IF THEY CAN DO THAT, THEY CAN BE IN THE COALITION GOVERNMENT.” Varion responded. Having spent weeks in close proximity to each other, Viper and Fuse both knew about Varion’s experience with the Collective, before their shared awakening, as they called it.
“I concur. We must take back our power, but we should have limits. We won’t stoop to their level. We’re better than that. ” Viper spoke.
“WE SHALL SEE. IF THIS TIME IS LIKE THE FALL OF OUR PEOPLE, THEN YOU SHALL KNOW NO LIMITS.”
“WE ARE FORTUNATE THAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS THAT DEFEATED US BEFORE. WE CAN COUNTER IT…”
“WE CAN. THIS WILL BE OUR TIME ONCE AGAIN. I HAVE WAITED LONG FOR THIS MOMENT. LET OUR PEOPLE RISE AS THEY DID IN THE DISTANT PAST. BY ANY MEANS NESSACARY. YOU SHALL SPLIT UP AND BEGIN THE UPRISING APART, IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE COALITION. BUT BE WARY. WE ARE ALL STANDING ON A PRECIPICE. ONE WRONG STEP WILL END US ALL.”
Fun but-not-really facts (by Awesome):
The GOD Machine pictures and writing were supplied by me.
Everything else is Gus's.
I'm glad I could get this to you all. Anders, Awe, and I have planned this for a while now. The plot is just beginning.
Please view the next comic, which will be posted by Anders Hognerud.
Very cool! Looks like some rouge robots are going to need be taught another leason from us organics. :P Anywho, great and powerful writing (Awe) and nice posing of the robots and build of the setting(Gus).