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A Traveling Commander [TA/Multicross]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by ryuan, Feb 29, 2016.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1
    ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    As I stared at the screen, it was with great satisfaction that I took a sip at my coffee as I watched the ending of the CORE CONTINGENCY campaign. I had downloaded the game a couple of days back and spent all my free time playing it. The prototype in terms of 'von neuman kill bots RTS', being the inspiration for both Supreme Commander and Planetary Annihilation, Total Annihilation was a classic and something I didn't knew I missed until now.

    When the narrator finished and I was ready to call it a day I heard something whispering at me with a feminine voice.

    "I am that which brings death and rebirth to the world. What is the form of divine might you will posses?"

    I wasn't paying much attention at the time when I heard this barely audible whisper, but it came to my mind that having the capabilities of a CORE Commander would be really neat. Still I didn't paid this thought any mind and I went about my usual routine, taking a shower, grabbing something to eat and finally laying down to sleep. It was when I was starting to fade out of consciousness that I heard the whisper once more.

    "It shall be done."


    ~~O~~

    Internal system check... success
    Internal database system check... success
    Nanolathe fabricators system check... success
    Weapon system check... success
    Sensor suite system check... success
    Quantum Foam connection check... success
    WARNING - Quantum Foam currently empty
    Rebooting process... sucessful

    .
    .
    .

    I didn't 'wake up' so to speak, as much as I 'became aware'.

    One moment I was sleeping, and another I was standing on a grass field, my senses expanding both outwards and inwards in ways I couldn't even imagine before. I could perceive wave lengths on the EM spectrum that no human could, I could hear things from farther away, my general sense of awareness extended itself on and on and on, with my peripheral awareness far dwarfing that. I knew then and there that I had changed, knew with a certainty I never had before about my current predicament.

    Somehow, someway, my body was that of a CORE Commander.

    Despite not having the memories, training and general experience of an actual Commander, I still had access to the entire database of the CORE civilization from before the CORE/ARM conflict right until the end of the war with the CORE Contingency being put into effect, with the Commander activating the Galaxy Implosion Device. I had access to technology both military and civilian, even if the later was largely ignored for the better part of four thousand years due to the state of total war between the two factions.

    I panicked, freezing up my thoughts and my mind going into overdrive. It felt like hours had passed, but once I checked my internal clock only a couple of milliseconds had passed. Right, bullshit processing power. I managed to center myself and I tried to recall what happened before this happened, and I remember the last few hours with an amount of clarity that I never thought possible. In fact all of my memories came with a degree of clarity that was frankly startling, before a subroutine sorted and compartmentalized everything for ease of use later in my personal 'short term' memory. If I need to remember something quickly I could do so with frightening speed and the amount of information that counted as short term was staggering.

    Thus it didn't take much for me to remember the whisper beforehand, which I assumed gave me power in the form of turning me into a CORE Commander.

    But why? What this entity would gain from turning me into one of the deadliest murder bot this side of Doctor Who? Was I needed somewhere? Did I had a purpose? Was I a mere instrument of some higher power amusement? I pondered that for some significant cycles, before I decided to dismiss those concerns. So far I didn't felt like I was compelled to do anything in particular, and a quick scan of my systems returned nothing that would indicate I was compromised in any way. If I had some kind of hidden compulsion to do something in particular it was well hidden and I doubt I would ever find it at any rate.

    Still, now that I think about it being a Commander felt pretty sweet. I mean, before this happened I felt powerless and meaningless, living my life day by day trying to make meets end, being stranded from my family and generally being a failure. Now I could call up an armada and if I felt like it I could lay waste to an entire galaxy against most settings. That certainly gave a nice boost to my ego.

    If there was one problem I had, that would be the completely empty quantum foam I had. No patterned individuals and no intelligent AIs to make me company. I couldn't find traces that anything was tampered with, so perhaps it was simply created empty. My greatest problem would be then manpower, as CORE used patterned soldiers to do the heavy lifting of the battle since they were much more efficient than the basic dumb AI present in all units.

    Still if I wanted to start this properly, I had to make sure I wouldn't perform the same mistake that CORE did.

    Once creating the patterning process they made it mandatory as a health care procedure, but when the population disagreed with that they decided to go all kill happy against everyone. I would obviously take a different approach to that. Basically patterning would be a voluntary process with the possibility to be cut off from the quantum foam if the person in question desired so after a minimum period of one hundred years of service. Why they would want to refuse or stop being immortal machine gods free of the worldly pains is anybody guess, but to each his own I suppose. It's not like you will live as an unfeeling machine since most of the time you could live in simulated space for the most part, or if you really felt like it you could be uploaded into an anatomically correct android body to live in real space.

    While I was pondering those things another part of my consciousness was surveying the information my sensors where giving me, and I found a couple of peculiar things. I saw a couple of humanoid figures ranging from three meters tall to fifteen meters tall naked and without genitalia, most male looking with some vaguely female looking, all wandering around the wilderness.

    I felt this was familiar and my newly improved memory supplied the answer. I metaphorically blinked, before laughing at my discovery, or at least doing a close approximation of its since I wasn't in a simulated space.

    Looks like I found my tutorial level.

    I would take my time and perform the necessary training required for a CORE Commander, helpfully supplied by my database, and then when I was at least passable as a rookie Commander...

    It would be time for me to build a metal extractor on this backwards planet.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 2
    ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    A lot of what I could do was instinctual, like moving myself or setting a subroutine to warn me if something came close to me, but it still took several subjective days in simulation for me to get the hang of everything that was considered essential for a patterned individual to know about his new existence, but with my perfect recall and expanded memory it was easy to remember everything.

    Next I spent a couple of subjective months in the sim learning about my Commander body and it's capabilities, sorting through everything considered basic for the final stage of the ARM/CORE conflict, the default settings programmed into my database. I could change them back to the height of the war, but not everything was simply lost when the resources of the galaxy were exhausted. Many advances happened in that time, most of them in terms of efficiency of consumption of resources, stealth technology and unit capture. It would be best at a later date when I have the time or when I get dedicated researchers to integrate the later advances with the staggering abilities of the height of the conflict.

    To be honest though what took so long was the several tutorial missions I took as a Commander, and much like the game I had to micromanage all my forces since as standard dumb AI they lacked much in terms of initiative, showing once more why patterned individuals where preferable. When I finally re-emerged from the sims some time had already passed, and it was nearing night. Of course I could see perfectly even at night thanks to the myriad of sensors I had, so I set out to where a local metal depot was located.

    While I walked I made sure to look out on the extensive map I had at my disposal, and confirmed a few things. Apparently I was on some version of earth since most landmasses where the same with some key differences, namely the overabundance of craters all over the world. Background radiation levels were higher in certain areas, though not by much, indicating leftover effects from nuclear weaponry according to my calculations. By the decay I could estimate around eight hundred fifty years had passed since the bombs fell. I also found some junk still floating above in orbit, a few satellites still high in the sky. They had already long lost power and had broken down beyond repair so I couldn't bullshit hack them for information, but I didn't need much to be honest.

    Metal extractor in place, a few wind generators and I had the start of my economy and I could start cleansing this planet of its pests, but in order to do that in a reasonable amount of time I need manpower, and I had just the right targets in mind for that.

    As I basically landed on the world of Attack on Titan, I lucked out since I was dropped near the walled city of canon, the so called 'last bastion of humanity', though that's a bit of a misnomer. While it was the largest human settlement in several hundreds of kilometers away, there were smaller human communities surviving outside the walls, though they fared much worse than then. It was only due to certain details that they were still standing, but those were irrelevant for now, at least if you consider that I wasn't going to start patterning people without their consent.

    I had a few things in my mind, so I quickly started making a few Kbot Labs and Aircraft Plants. It was a good thing my standard AK could run pretty fast since they were easier to control than the equivalent vehicles, not counting being dirty cheap and I would need a lot of these in order to clean up a good portion of the region. I don't think I need to set the targeting solution specifically to target the nape of the neck since my bots would keep shooting until the enemy would be completely destroyed and I'm sure the AIs would figure out the best method to kill them all in the most efficient manner possible.

    A couple of construction bots made later and I sent it with a few escorts to another metal depot in order to expand my economy, and I started planning how to deal with the walled city.

    ~~O~~

    Some time later I had a squadron of fast aircraft to get to my destination quickly. I had put the blueprints of a civilian android body on the Kbot factory to make my diplomatic envoy. I decided not to look too much like myself since I was effectively a different person, and I gave myself a slightly taller body with lean muscles, long red hair while keeping my asiatic features though those would be concealed on the visor I would be wearing.

    I was also wearing an outdated suit of power armor from before the establishment of the CORE empire that kind of reminded me of the megaman x series titular reploid look, though I was holding a pistol instead of an arm cannon.

    Looking at my escorts, I nodded to myself and boarded the transport, ready to meet a few people.

    Namely the current Queen of the Walled City Historia and hopefully one Eren Yeager.

    They're going to flip their shit when I get there.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 3
    ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    As I flew through the countryside I saw a lot of titans milling about on their business ignoring me, but one or two looked up as if to see confirm what was that noise I was making. Those are probably the irregular types and likely those who ate enough people to start regain their human consciousness if my theory is correct. It's been a while since I last read the manga.

    When I reached civilization I started blaring a song from my memory that was thankfully converted into the appropriate files. I didn't had Ride of the Valkyries in it's entirety, but I had something that sounded relatively appropriate as an epic music.

    [X]

    I passed through several villages and made sure to fly by above a couple of the districts to make a scene, until I reached the palace of the city where the queen resided. I cut off the music before blaring my loud speakers in order to draw her out.

    "QUEEN HISTORIA! I AM COMMANDER RYUAN AND I HAVE A PROPOSAL TO MAKE TO YOU AND YOUR SUBJECTS. BRING IN THOSE YOU TRUST TO HEAR MY WORDS, AND BRING TO ME ONE EREN YEAGER TO LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY. TELL HIM I WILL BE THE INSTRUMENT WHICH HE CAN HAVE HIS DREAMS COME TRUE. GO OUT OF THE CITY AND HEAD EAST WHERE MY FORCES ARE WAITING FOR YOUR ARRIVAL. I ADVICE AGAINST MISSING THIS MEETING."

    I cut the loud speakers and headed east where my air construction facilities would create a temporary base to host my guests, optimized for normal humans to utilize it's facilities. Now I just had to wait until they arrived.

    ~~O~~

    While my avatar waited my Commander body was busy expanding into the visible region, killing all titans I came across. I had to stop at some point, around a thousand units, because I simply couldn't micromanage everything anymore. I started to put my Kbots, vehicles and aircraft into patrol mode on a wide area and forgot about them before focusing on another region.

    I also took the opportunity to send a construction vehicle to make a shipyard for me to make sure that there were no surprises on the ocean. By now my economy had reached ludicrous level and it was a matter of time before I could completely saturated the planet with my forces. With the AIs set to fight against the titans it was a matter of time until I cleared the whole territory of the former Germany. Frankly the harder part will be finding the titans after a certain point, and only the fact that I still didn't had much experience with multitasking even after the sim time prevented me to go full Planetary Annihilation on their asses.

    Still I managed to find a couple of human communities hidden across the countryside and I was ready to make contact and make them an offer they can't refuse. Now it was a bet to see which side I would encounter I will approach first, the walled city or the communities.

    ~~O~~

    In the end it took a few hours for Historia to come out, while bringing in a veritable army of course. I also saw Eren and Mikasa approaching from another side, but that was expected as she sent a horse earlier and must told him the situation in order to meet with her. Also the base that wasn't there a couple of days ago sure helped to distinguish where he should meet her.

    I waited them come with a couple of Kbots at my side, and when they arrived they were surprised and fearful of what they saw.

    "Welcome, welcome", I said while slowly walking to their direction, "welcome to my temporary base. My name is Ryuan, a pleasure meeting with you."

    I heard a couple of mutters about how this base wasn't there yesterday and I chuckled. "While it's rude to build a base on foreign soil without the owner permission I didn't wanted to look like a poor host and meet with you all on tents. Rest assured after our business is concluded I can dismiss those buildings if you feel uncomfortable." It would be easy to reclaim the buildings if I wish so, after all.

    "What are you?" Asked a man and I just stared back at him, pondering what to tell him. In the end I decided on the most simple, most infuriating and slightly heretic response.

    "I am what I am." I gave him making him become almost invisibly annoyed, which I picked thanks to my superior senses and processing power. "Looks like Eren arrived", I said to no one in particular as my Kbot in that section of the base went to greet the teen. "Anyway, please come in. Everything will be answered shortly inside."

    Sir what's-his-name came from the side of Historia (and wasn't that a funny image seeing her trying to convince the other people to allow her to come? In the end she had to pull rank), stepping up with false bravado. "I don't think the queen will go anywhere until we get some answers first."

    I could see a few people fighting the urge to face palm, while others of lower rank didn't had that reservation.

    "Sound fair I suppose. I believe I shall start with the most obvious questions first." I snapped my fingers for effect, and a squadron of bombers flew above us and at a certain safe distance they dropped their bombs on some random empty space nearby, shaking the ground and scaring the horses. I let them calm down their animals and themselves before I continued. "This was the least I could do with just what I have on hand, you can send someone to confirm the devastation I caused in less than five seconds. If I wanted to force the issue I certainly could, but I came here to negotiate, not to conquer. Anything else you want to know before we start the meeting?"

    They were all pale as they looked at the still smoking ground on the distance, before one of them sent a scout to see what I did. I let him and we waited.

    And waited.

    And waited.

    A long time later he came back very pale, as if he had gone a round with the colossal titan barehanded. "I think... we should listen to him", he said a bit hysterical, "It couldn't hurt?"

    The rest of the delegation looked at each other, before grimly following me.

    Ah, diplomacy. Have a soft word and carry a big stick, and few beings have bigger sticks than a CORE Commander.
     
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 4
    ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    I lead the delegation to the auditory I set up. I thought initially that it would be too big, but considering they brought a large escort with them it ended up being appropriate, only a few seats remaining.

    At the platform of the room I stood, looking at everyone glancing around and generally being uncomfortable. I insisted on everyone present to witness my explanation since I planned to go public soon enough, and telling them about my plans were part courtesy, part a means to have them on my side quickly so that I can expedite certain processes quickly.

    "Thank you all for coming, both the guests I called by name and their respective escorts", I said with a nod before the projector behind me showed the logo of the CORE empire. "As you already know, my name is Ryuan and I hail from the former CORE empire. Being the last Commander that means I'm by default the highest ranking member of the Empire."

    "What I am", I continued, "is what my people would call an Infomorph, a being that exist as raw data and information on a certain special medium, a medium I call the Quantum Foam. As a poor analogy you might consider me a spirit that can inhabits certain special bodies, both humanoid or those more exotic in nature, and my real self resides in a sort of spirit realm both parallel and apart from the physical world, an afterlife if you want to call it." At the blank stares of everyone I paused. "Perhaps your culture doesn't have references of spirits or afterlife as I understand?"

    Nobody said anything so I continued. "All the beings you saw, the metallic humanoid beings I call Kbots, the things that could fly which I call airplanes, are each directly being controlled by me. This body you're seeing is an Avatar which I control and my Greater Self is farther away doing other things at this time. Basically on the miraculous event that you manage to disable the body you're talking to, it will be a meaningless endeavor since I can come back here later with my full might to bear. Just so you know."

    Now there was some clear discomfort I could see even without relying on micro expressions reading. "However as I said, I came here to negotiate, not to conquer." I paused once more for dramatic effect. "To put it simply, I'm offering to kill all titans in the vicinity, and by vicinity I meant inside the walls and at a wide range outside them, giving you safe passage to the outside world should you choose it."

    I changed the slide to another one, of an image of my earlier economy and units production. "I can grow my forces at a very rapid growth, in the manner of moments. When I started, there was only my Greater Self, but now there are an army of thousands hunting the titans right now, with some kept in reserve patrolling the nearby area", at this another slide showed, a picture of the nearby map in 2D with several red points showing my units spreading through the countryside.

    I was at first against the idea to use Beta forks to split my consciousness further, relying only on my native multitasking abilities, but at some point I resignated myself and started using them. I felt like an idiot for not doing it sooner. If I were to describe how the forks felt like I would use the Kagebunshin no Jutsu as an analogy, in the sense that I could merge back my strains of consciousness back at any time and regain all their accumulated experience. It was weird at first, but soon I got used to it.

    The CORE didn't made heavy use of this feature since with Patterned individuals taking command of individual units it was a moot point, specially as efficiency dropped the more forks you had running. It might have been used during the Height of the War extensively when armies on both sides were massive affairs even for both CORE and ARM, but once again I was running on the Final War and CORE Contingency age settings at the moment.

    Another picture and I showed my units taking care of several types of titans, from three meter class to fifteen meter class. Each shot hit them and blew up a massive chunk of their body, until the Kbots fired on the general direction of their head/neck area and blew it up alongside their weak point, finally silencing the titans.

    "I took the liberty to start constructing my forces inside the wall to clean up the current titan problem and I sealed the breaches in the wall already." I let my gaze linger on everyone. "Any questions?"

    They were still silent for a while but I let them mull over my words before one of the military commanders spoke. "Setting aside many, many questions I'm sure we all have, I see that you clearly can deal with the titans alone if what you showed us is true. If that's the case, why did you approach us? What do you want from us?"

    I let myself smile behind my visor. "That's the right question", I said before another picture showed. "While I'm more than capable to laying siege on this whole planet and retaking it for the whole of humanity", I noticed the stony expressions of the rest shifted, some more openly, some more reserved, "I would eventually run into the issue of efficiency. That and my plans for coming to this city in the first place had nothing to do with killing the titans in the first place."

    Another picture, this time of a different machine where people could enter.

    "What I want, what I need, is manpower. As it is now I'm the last of the CORE empire, and while it's possible for me to raise my number by myself", creating Alpha Forks and letting them develop into their own persons, "I wanted to extend this invitation to all your city."

    The image showed a group of rendered people entering the machine and disappearing, increasing the cloud like web in the background. "If you join the CORE empire you will be free of the worldly sufferings. Physical pain, hunger, thirst, they will all disappear. You won't fear death, either from accidents, disease or even old age, you will live forevermore or until you choose to finish your own life. You will be able to fight the titans on equal footing, and even greater threats without fearing death in the event your current avatar dies. If you do not wish to fight there are other things you might occupy yourself with, like research or thinking up of ways to restore the civilian side of the Empire since I'm still running on Total War protocols."

    "Those who wish to join CORE will be required to stay for at least a hundred years serving the empire before being allowed the choice of relinquishing it's membership and returning to a life of flesh and blood."

    Once more the image of the CORE insignia appeared on the projector. "This is my proposal: join me and become an immortal machine, help me clean up the titan infestation, make CORE great once more!"

    "If", said Historia from her seat, "we don't want to join. What then?"

    "Then you don't, simply as that. There's no need for me to force the issue since results will show by themselves. Also I plan to give this option to all of the city regardless of your input since it wouldn't be fair if the new subjects of the empire were denied their chances by a bunch of nobles and bureaucrats too afraid to see the signs of change. My coming and being upfront about it was meant as a peace offering, to allow you to help me set things up so violence won't break out due to suspicions and jealously over perceived favoritism and negligence."

    "You can discuss things between yourselves now."

    I turned to leave the room, and just as the door closed all hell broke loose.
     
  5. ryuan

    ryuan The guy who can't write smut for shit

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    If this were a fanfic, now would be an ideal time to write an interlude or something along those lines since there are plenty of people talking around that are reasonably important and would make decisions that would impact the future of the 'plot'. This wasn't a fanfic or a novel, so there isn't that kind of thing going on.

    On the other hand, I did had a lot of hidden cameras around that allowed me to gain a better image of the place without me having to strain my radar towers to do listen in. While they were talking I had queried a couple more Kbots and airplanes to search and patrol the area with my Beta forks until I had finally reached the water after a through scan of the region and the slow going of my fabricator units. Immediately I made the shipyard and started deploying my army and expanding my economy. I wanted to make sure that no abomination from the deeps was laying around on the planet and frankly I wanted to cover this place in as many units as I reasonably could.

    I also managed to map several more communities on more distant lands as I cleaned more and more titans around the region. I think by now I had already covered a third of the former territory of Germany with my bombing runs and setting up Kbots patrols in case I had missed something, which I doubt. Some more vehicle plants made for me to start getting used in deploying them later and I should have enough coverage of the whole country. Now that I'm not hurting for units, I can take my time to look over a few things to incorporate on the future of my Empire.

    ~~O~~

    Some time later the subroutine I placed alerted me of the discussion of my guests had already ended and I surveyed the data quickly before my avatar nodded to myself. I went back to the auditory and was meet with Historia and the other commanders.

    "We cannot speak for the whole of the city", said Historia, "but if you can help us get rid of the titans, giving us back hope we will be in your debt, and certainly many would want to join your... Empire, was it?" I nodded and she continued, "I want to know what the members of your Empire will do."

    "Basically we will relocate ourselves to a new territory", I said, slightly surprising her, "since they will be citizens of CORE instead of your city, it's only right not to intrude on your borders anymore than necessary. As the titan threat diminishes and becomes extinct more territory becomes available and people spreads further. The concept of 'districts' expands into 'cities' and your 'city' becomes a 'country'. A country can be as small the whole encompassing the outer walls, or many, many times more than what your city holds. Of course, since most of the CORE empire subjects will come from your population as of this moment, I would fully endorse a better integration between our two groups."

    Another sweep of my hand and the projector shows another image. "I can provide for aid for your city with food, water, housing, medicine and even education if you so desire. I certainly hope that our two nations can keep the bonds of friendship, and perhaps on the future your people might want to willingly join the empire if you wish."

    "You said that you would be the instruments which my dreams came true", stepped up Eren, "what did you meant?"

    "I heard about you, Eren Yeager. About your hatred towards the titans, a noble feeling if I were to be honest with myself. I also heard that you want to kill the titans, all the titans and end their threat once and for all. While I can do that myself, if you join the CORE empire you will be directly responsible in overseeing the cleansing of the titans in the world and making it safe. Also, the fact that your special abilities might prove a hint to why it came to this situation in the first place might be extremely useful. Useful, but not vital since with or without your aid I plan to end the titan threat."

    "I want to join your empire", he said after a few moments of pause, "if I can do what those... moving pictures showed, if I can kill dozens, hundreds of titans by myself without endangering my friends, without being a liability, then I want to be part of it."

    "And if you go, I will too." Said Mikasa from his side, "I won't allow Eren go in alone, and if you want to join this Empire then I will go first to make sure it's safe."

    "I cannot allow that", I said surprising the teenage in front of me, "there's no 'going first' or 'I won't allow you to go'. The choice to join my empire must come from the person himself, without forcing through strength or other forms of coercion on my part. Alternatively I won't take it kindly if third parties try to prevent those from joining CORE", I said with conviction in my voice. "If you want to join CORE, you can join us. If you don't you're free to choose otherwise, but I will not stand if that choice is hampered in any way."

    I won't stand by while another potential ARM rises to the challenge, even if right now the chances of that occurring were between impossible and no way in hell.

    "It's alright Mikasa", Eren said while placing a hand over her shoulder, "I already made my decision. You don't need to come if you don't want to, and we will talk with Armin later to give him the choice if he wants."

    She shook her head, "no, if you go I will follow. I won't leave you alone", the 'please don't leave me alone' was left unsaid though I'm not sure if Eren understood it or not.

    "So, should I assume that I have permission to start putting the patterning conversion plants and wait for the volunteers to come?" At the hesitant nod of Historia I smiled, "good. As of this moment I'm circling the outer most wall and cleaning the titans while making sure that no other wall section is breached. Due to the size of the area and the fact that I don't want to leave the place uninhabitable it will take between one more to three days to make sure the whole place is free of titan infestation so you can get back to your lives."

    Another picture showed the titans falling down to more Kbots attacks and a couple of Bombers and Fighters.

    "For far too long Humanity had acted like a cornered, caged animal. It's time to retake your world."
     
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