.............. R I S E . O F . T H E . M A C H I N E S ............
............................ P A R T 2: ..........................
"Sylia! Look its Aiko. She's down below," Nene spoke as she pointed at a figure below the flying Knightwing.
"What's she doing in a potential combat zone?" Priss asked.
"I don't know but we better get her out before this place turns into World War 3," Nene replied.
"Nene's right. Get her out of the area. I hate to imagine what would happen if she were to get caught in a crossfire between Genom's combat's boomers, the retreating Soviet Army and the JSDF," Sylia added as she looked at the monitors.
Off the East coast of Japan, hover transports excorted by Soviet warships had arrived to pick up their retreating comrades in the face of the advancing JSDF. The battle between the retreating Soviet Army, Genom and the JSDF had destroyed a good portion of Megatokyo. To cover up their comrades' escape as they made their way to the sea, Soviet dreadnaughts, destroyers, flak ships, gunboats and missile submarines had opened fire on the JSDF on land irrespective of civillian casualties. The JSDF had shot down quite a number of the incoming missiles but not all. Those that got through did severe damage to the city.
"Aiko!" A voice shouted from somewhere. My databanks pinned the voice down as belonging to that of Priss Asagiri, the hotheaded singer of the Replicants. The roar of a bike thundered in the distance and the Blue Saber was soon beside me.
"Hello Priss. What are you doing here?" I asked.
"I could ask you the same question. Get on my bike. All hell's about to break loose," she replied as the sounds of battle, explosions and the screams of the dying got nearer and nearer.
Seeing no other reasonable alternative, I got on her bike for the ride back to her house.
A few minutes later ....
"This isn't your house. Why are we stopping here?" Aiko asked as the two women got off the bike.
"The rest of MegaTokyo is in flames." she replied. With a flick of her wrist, she opened the door to the warehouse and gestured. "After you," she said with a smile and I stepped in.
"This place is huge," I spoke as I looked inside the warehouse.
The warehouse was pitch black in darkness but my passive visual systems enabled me to see clearly in the darkness without any problems. This place was a mess.
There were empty barrels and trash on the metal stairway leading to the basement of the warehouse. After taking a few steps forward, I was about to turn around to ask Priss another question when a loud explosion from the back rocked my hearing, causing my built-in sound filtration system to go into overdrive to compensate for the sudden increase in volume.
That wasn't the only thing that surprise me as I suddenly found myself going airborne. I experienced the great sensation of flying for a few seconds before gravity took over pulling me towards the solid ground below.
C R A C K ! ! !
There was a loud crash as my body met the ground below. The lights came on and I turned my head around. Priss was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the familiar forms of the three Knight Sabers stood at the entrance of the warehouse with their weapons pointed at me.
"Where's Priss .... the woman who brought me here, I mean?" I amended my words quickly.
"She will be here shortly." the White Saber replied.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Do not fake ignorance with us, Aiko!" the White Saber spoke sternly.
"What are you actually?" the Pink Saber asked.
"Whatever do you mean?" I asked, fearing the worst.
Just then the entrance opened and the Blue Saber walked in, armed to the teeth.
"Priss!" I exclaimed too quickly to stop myself as she walked in.
"Do I do her in now?" the Blue Saber asked.
"Not till we get some answers," the White Saber replied.
My blood turned cold upon hearing that reply.
"Who are you? Or to be more precise, what are you actually, Aiko?" the White Saber asked, a sense of seriousness in her voice.
"A totally bewildered and lost civillian in Megatokyo?" I answered half-heartedly.
An explosion at my feet emphasized the seriousness of the situation.
"No more games, Aiko! Answer the questions or you won't be leaving this building in a functional state," The White Saber warned.
I did not miss the wording of her threat. The word 'functional' being used to describe me as opposed to the word 'alive'. Seeing the dire situation I was in, I went for the direct approach.
"You already know the answer to that question, Saber Prime," I replied as I got to my feet.
"You are BUMA! A machine!" the Blue Saber accused, distaste and hatred evident in her voice.
"Well, I think it doesn't get anymore obvious than that," I replied with as little sarcasm as I could.
"But there is something about your design that just doesn't make sense," the White Saber stated.
"Actually, bizarre is more like it," the Pink Saber added.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Actually, I would say that you are a new type of boomer except that .... " her voice trails off.
"Go on ... " I added, hoping to get some answers to some questions that had been bothering me about Skynet's design.
"You lack flight capabilities, have less armour and weapon systems than a standard C-33 combat boomer. You also lack the standard boomer fusion capabilities that almost every combat boomer design has. So you can't be designed for extreme combat."
'Couldn't be more wrong,' I thought.
"I would say that you are an infiltration design except that your design isn't any better than a 33-S. In fact, a standard 33-S boomer would be more suitable for infiltration than you," the White Saber explained.
"Hmm ..... " I murmured, after hearing Sylia's comparison of Skynet's Terminator designs and her father's boomer designs.
"In short, your design is rather irrelevant," she summarised. "I agree. It doesn't seem to have a purpose," the Pink Saber added.
I remained silent upon hearing those words. Skynet's most advanced Terminator design dismissed as irrelevant when compared to the boomers of the BGC timeline? Well, she should get her sensors checked.
I did hold my own quite well against twelve C-33 class combat boomers, taking out six of them in the process and 4 Hyperboomers (though that was with the help of the Invulnerability Device). "The question is ... who built you and why?" the White Saber asked.
At this statement the other Knight Sabers looked at the White Saber briefly but kept their weapons trained on me. I thought quickly. Should I tell them the truth, the whole truth ... and nothing but the truth? Running through my logical processors, I finally decided to leave out the part about Skynet. The last thing I wanted was for the trigger-happy Knight Sabers to know that my unit had been created by a xenophobic AI for one purpose. To destroy mankind.
"For your first answer, I don't know," I replied.
"You mean you were found in a taxi cab?" the Blue Saber asked sarcastically.
"I already told you I don't know. One moment, I was sleeping in bed and then next thing I knew, I was in this body," I replied.
"Really? Let's just vaporize it now," the Blue Saber said as she looked on at me.
"Wait! Please listen. I am human. Or used to be, anyhow," I added.
"Is that so?" the White Saber asked, skeptism evident in her voice.
"Do you believe in parallel universes?" I asked.
"I've heard of it but its just a theory. Anyway, I don't know what it's got to do with your situation," she said.
"Everything," I replied.
"From where I come from, you're just a bunch of characters in a cartoon film and a game. You, Saber Prime are Sylia Stingray. The Blue Saber is Priss Asagiri. The Pink Saber is Nene Romanova and the last one is Linna Yamazaki. Your father Katsuhito Stingray was the Father of all the Boomers ever created. He was murdered by a man called Brian J. Mason, Special Assistant to CEO Quincy. He died at your hands in a fight in an abandoned warehouse ..... "
My words continued uninterrupted for another three minutes and fifty seconds.
"Sylia ... She knows everything. I say we destroy her right now."
"There are differences from the cartoon film, however. One, the Communist Empire is not run by Premier Romanov. Two, Senior Advisor Yuri and his mind-control technology was not supposed to exist in BGC. Three, the battle going on right now in Megatokyo was not supposed to happened."
"What do you mean?" the Pink Saber asked.
I sighed. This was going to be a long day.
"Where I come from, Premier Romanov, Yuri and the Allied forces are character designs from a computer game called Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2. It was designed by a software company known as Westwood Studios and the Knight Sabers was an anime production designed by Youmex. This timeline is unusual as it is a crossover, a blending of two timelines rather than just one," I said as I concluded my little speech.
"I don't believe you." Priss replied.
"Denial is the most instinctive of human responses. If you don't believe me, tell me what is the JSDF fighting against?"
"The Soviet invaders and Genom."
"Is that all?" I asked. There was silence.
"They're also fighting their own men, right? Yuri has designed a doomsday weapon known as the Psychic Dominator which will control the minds of an entire population. If he had his way, there will be no more free will but just his will."
"You seem to know a great deal about this person. But mindcontrolling the entire world, that is ridiculous!" the Green Saber spoke for the first time.
"If you don't believe me, you can find out for yourself. I am sure you are aware of the Allied Forces' accusations that the Soviets were using forbidden mindcontrol technology and genetic experiments in the Antartic war."
"The Psychic Dominator is an expansion of Yuri's mindcontrol technology which is something not even Romanov is aware of. There are others as well which you would find out soon enough."
"Sylia ... this boomer is nuts. I say we take her out now!" Priss exclaimed.
"Priss ..." I called out.
"Why are you so eager to destroy me? What have I done to you?"
"You are BUMA!" the Blue Saber shouted, with emphasis on the last word, as if that explained everything.
"That's rather lame. You're just going to destroy me because I'm a boomer. That's like the KKK saying that all Blacks are Niggers or something. What about Irene?"
"Yeah ... what about Irene?" the Blue Saber challenged.
"She is still alive, isn't she?" I hinted.
"She's not relevant to your situation," the Blue Saber commented upon hearing my reply.
"That's enough, Priss. She did save Irene's life if what I heard is true," the White Saber cut in.
"What about the term 'equal rights for all' or 'innocent until proven guilty'?" I pointed out.
"Boomers have no rights in a court of law." the Blue Saber replied curtly.
"Even those that were human before?" I asked for confirmation.
"Even those," the White Saber answered.
"Man ... so much for democratic rights in Japan." I replied.
"Japan is not a democracy," Sylia reminded me.
Of course! How could I have forgotten that? Japan had never fought in the Second World War alongside Nazi Germany against the Allied forces because Hitler never came to power. As a result, there was no Second World War in this timeline. Instead, Josef Stalin sent the Communist war machine into Europe to conquer it but his forces were defeated. Which means Manchukuo is still around and the United Nations does not exist. So Japan would still be Imperial Japan today. Controlled by the Emperor with the Tojo Clan in the shadows. Although the increasing power and influence of Chairman Quincy of Genom is becoming a major headache to the Japanese government.
"What is defined as boomer? The mind or the body?" I asked, hoping to make them see reason.
"50% or more cybernetic and you are a boomer," Sylia replied.
"Guess it's a physical thing then. How many percent cybernetic am I, then, Sylia?" I asked.
"90% according to our scanners. The remaining 10% must be the organic skin and flesh that covers your mechanical body."
'Guess I really have no legal rights in Japan.' I thought as those words reached my electronic brain.
"Does that mean that you're going to destroy me since according to your definition, I'm not human?" I asked again.
"Yes!" the Blue Saber said eagerly.
The others were silent. After a few minutes, the silence began to get disturbing.
"How about I join the Knight Sabers?" I called out hoping to grab their attention.
There was a sharp intake of breath.
"Say that again!" the Blue Saber called out.
"I wish to join the Knight Sabers with the following credentials. The 24 hours a day, 7 days a week soldier. Infiltration expert and weapons specialist. Never tires. Never dies. Good enough?"
"Never dies, ehh?" the Blue Saber chuckled. Then quicker than I thought possible, she fired her railgun at me.
B O O M ! ! !
The railgun spike struck me right in the center of my face before exploding.
"Priss! You sociopathic boomer-hating bitch! Are you trying to kill me?!!" I shouted as a large portion of the liquid metal covering of my face was displaced by the impact from the railgun spike and the powerful explosion to reveal the skeletal structure of the metal skull beneath.
DAMAGE: 3.63% OF HEAD AREA
REGION: NASAL STRUCTURE
NANO-REPAIRS INITIATED ...
Fortunately, the damage was mostly cosmetic and had not hit anything important. Though the impact did knock me off my feet.
"Wonder of wonders. The boomer is still alive," Priss replied with amusement in her voice as I got back to my feet a few seconds later.
"How about I try this?" she said as fired another shot at me. This time it hit my abdomen, displacing the liquid metal layer covering my reinforced endoskeleton before exploding and sent me flying into the wall behind me with a crash.
DAMAGE: 1.45% OF ABDOMEN AREA
REGION: FRONTAL ABDOMEN
NANO-REPAIRS INITIATED ...
"censored you, Priss! That was not funny! It hurts! I'll get you for this!" I shouted.
"Oh my! The boomer is in pain!" the Blue Saber laughed as she prepared for another shot.
"Priss! That's enough," the White Saber ordered.
"Just wanted to test the truth of its 'never dies' claim, Saber Prime! Anyone who wishes to join the Knight Sabers must have authentic credentials that must be proven as soon as possible! Right, Pink Saber?" the Blue Saber replied brightly.
"Right." the other Knight Saber agreed though with considerably less enthusiasm.
"I've never considered taking in strangers, much less boomers. But your knowledge about us is dangerous to our very existence. Your intentions may be benevolent from your past actions in saving Irene ..... but I just cannot let you go free even if you could be trusted with our secrets on the chance that hostile forces will somehow acquire that knowledge from you. Therefore, regrettably it looks like we're going to have to destroy you ... " the White Saber spoke.
"Screw that! If you think I'm going to let you make target practice out of me, your organic processors are in dire need of maintenance! I'm going home ..."I replied as I activated the Invulnerability Device.
"Damn it! The boomer's turned itself invulnerable," Priss replied as the 'boomer' in front of her glowed orange.
Turning around with my back to the Knight Sabers, I blasted the walls of the warehouse with my phased plasma cannon.
It blew open with a thundering boom and without wasting any further time, I ran through the opening as fast as I could.
Once outside the warehouse, I fired another shot at the building causing the entire structure to come tumbling down to the ground. With that done, I quickly made my way into the streets ahead just as the sounds of battle were getting louder and closer.
A Soviet conscript darted into view. From my hidden position around the corner. I leaped onto him, knocking him out. Using my polymimetic abilities, I took on his form and approached the Magnetron up ahead. Once up close, I leaped onto it and knocked on the hatch door of the Magnetron. It opened to reveal a man in Soviet uniform. "What is it, comrade?" he asked.
I pointed to the unconscious soldier lying next to the road. He mouthed a curse and got out of the Magnetron to help the unconscious man. Once he got out, I got inside the Magnetron and inserted my fingerjack into its control system. The remaining crewman at the pilot's seat who was too busy studying the battlefield did not even realise what I just did.
And just in time too. On the viewscreen, I could see the Knight Sabers fly past my position, no doubt hunting for me now that they had dug themselves out of the debris of the collapsed warehouse. "Comrade, what are our new orders?" I asked glibly.
"We are to retreat to the Sea of Japan where the Soviet fleet will pick us up," he replied as the Magnetron began to move. An explosion shook the armoured vehicle. "Enemies!" the Soviet trooper replied as the viewscreen showed a C-33 boomer in the sky. More plasma bursts left the boomer to hit the Magnetron we were in. "If only we were using an Apocalypse Tank .. " I commented as I fiddled with the controls of the Magnetron.
"If only we were using an Apocalypse Tank .. " I commented as I fiddled with the controls of the Magnetron. "I agree with your assessment, comrade. A retreat is in order." The Magnetron continued moving despite the continued pounding by the boomer.
Here's a sneak preview of the coming episodes ...
YEAR: 2038 AD
LOCATION: THE RUINS OF LOS ANGELES
In a dark and terrible place, where wars continued to be fought and lives continued to be lost, a sudden ripple appeared in the air. It enlarged until it reached the size of a door. A headless body fell out of it. The ripple remained for a little while longer, then it disappeared. A passing T-900 tripped over the body and fell to the ground. Doing a quick systems check, it noted that nothing had been damaged when it saw the object it fell over. After doing a quick analysis of the object, it realised that the body was not human. At the sametime, it was not some kind of Terminator it recognized. Not even the advanced T-X.
OBJECT IDENTIFICATION: CYBERNETIC ORGANISM.
TERMINATOR TYPE: UNKNOWN.
DIRECTIVE: RETREIVE BACK TO SKYNET COMMAND FOR IMMEDIATE STUDY.
Having received its new directive, the T-900 picked up the body and returned back to the subterranean fortress in the mountains.
One month later ...
"Something strange is going on." John turned towards the source of the voice. It was Liutenant Grams, the commander of the eastern division.
"According to out frontline soldiers, Skynet's forces have stopped advancing on the battlefield."
"What?" Katherine asked with disbelief.
"Believe me, I don't understand it myself. Neither do my men. But for whatever reason in their processors, they have stopped attacking. They will fire in self-defense but they will not attack us," the Liutenant spoke.
"I don't see what the problem is. Just tell our men to go on the offense then," John spoke.
"That's the thing. Their forces outnumber us 3 to 1 on the battlefield but they're not attacking. In fact, they appear to be withdrawing the Terminator legions in stages from the battlefield," the Liutenant continued.
"Withdrawing?" John asked, careful to keep his expression calm.
"Right. It's happening in many places already. That's not all. Not a single Hunter-Killer drone has been seen in the sky for weeks," the Liutenant said.
"Do we launch an all-out offense?" Jeremy, another Liutenant asked.
"It could be a trap to draw us out," Grams replied.
"Or it could just be a trick to get us to let our guard down," Katherine suggested.
"I don't know what Skynet is up to. But we will continue attacking as usual. Keep me informed of the situation," the Commander of the Human Resistance announced.
Two months later ...
At the Human Resistance HQ ...
"Man ... I'm telling you. I saw it with my own eyes. This Terminator approached one of our bases and destroyed it singlehandedly and killed everyone with a single shockwave. That wasn't the only thing. What shocked me was the fact it could fly like Superman," the wounded man on the stretcher spoke as he was attended to by the battlefield medics.
"That was what I thought the ripple-like wave leaving its hand was," the wounded man replied.
"So you're telling me that we got some kind of Superterminator running around?" the bearded commander of the resistance asked.
"I don't know what this thing is but whatever it was, it took out Squadron 16 without a sweat."
"What weapon was it using?" asked another.
"That's another of the strange things. It didn't have any. All it did was it simply gesture at the base with one of its hands and then there was this ripple like wave leaving that hand, spreading out over the area and cutting down everybody and everything right where they stood. I have never seen anything like it."
"Didn't you blast it or something?"
"We did. But it was able to avoid our attacks easily. Those that hit did little to no damage to it."
"Where is it now?"
"Don't know. It took off into the sky after that," the man replied before falling unconscious.
............ M A S T E R . O F . T H E . M A C H I N E S ...........
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