Beginning of the End

Mechavax Short Story #1

The sun rose just like any other day. Today, however, there was a particularly thick marine layer that was so dense it could be cut with a knife. With the fog in the air permeating through everything, all that could be seen of the sun was a faint glow like shining a flashlight behind a curtain. The smell of salt was in the air as the ocean breeze intermingled with the fog and greeted every nearby structure with a morning kiss.

Years ago, the Daomyo had been given the whole of Camp Pendleton to use as a training ground for the soon-to-be Mechavax pilots. The 125k acre base in the northern part of San Diego County was once home to one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the western half of the United States. But when the world government learned about the incursion, it was only logical that the best resources would go towards supporting “The Cause”. Camp Pendleton was eventually renamed The Cradle, as it was the birthplace of Prometheus, the Pilot program, and the Mechavax.

When the people living in North County San Diego were making their daily commute near the Daomyo base, they could only see the monstrous structures jutting up from the cliffside through the dense fog. Each one rose hundreds of meters into the air like a steel obelisk, and as the marine layer started to burn off, one could almost peek into their bay doors as the day’s war games were about to commence. As incursion day drew nearer, larger and larger crowds began to watch the mock battles with awe, hope, and fear in their eyes. The population was split on whether the Mechavax truly are the peak of human ingenuity, or they are simply the death throes of a society waiting for its imminent annihilation.

On this day, there would be no war games or training exercises. Prometheus had an announcement for the world.

The broadcast began with the camera panning into the middle of a NASA-style war room. A massive screen stood tall in the back center of the room, with smaller workstations set up in a semi-circle around it. There was a circular glass dais on the ground, which started emitting glowing lights and a small whirring sound. A welcome digital form appeared, one that had lovingly come to be known as that of the AI Prometheus.

Hello World,” said a swirling mass of reds, yellows, and orange hues. The joyful voice sprang into action as it had thousands of times before on screen.

The time has finally come for us to start the final countdown to departure. All six Mechavax companies are prepared to make the jump into the Einstein-Rosen bridge. Fortification of the Daomyo defense installation on Io has been completed and we will be starting the transport of all Pilots, Mechavax, and military personnel to the lunar base on the outer edge of the Solar system.

Prometheus paused. When it started to speak again, it was with a more serious tone.

This is, however, not the reason I have called all of you here today. There is a 7th secret company of Mechavax that launched under the cover of night yesterday with the sole mission of intercepting the enemy fleet and causing mass destruction prior to Incursion Day. These brave Pilots and their AI will forever be known as heroes that sacrificed their lives for the survival of humanity. Along with their main mission, there is a secondary objective of studying the enemy's fight patterns, technology, and any other information we can glean from their encounter. The 7th company contains only fifty units, instead of two hundred like the rest. They would like to say something to the world before they go into the breach.

Prometheus faded, and the young face of a female Mechavax pilot appeared, replacing the AI’s features.

My name is Rita, and I was named after the patron saint of lost causes. Now that I say that out loud, it is quite ironic that I would be leading the mission to disrupt the alien fleet before it reaches our beloved planet. However, my name doesn’t define me. I willingly joined the cause, not because I was born into the pilot program, but because our world is worth fighting for. Since I was a child, this day has been foretold. Like a large shadow looming over humanity, we’ve slowly pushed towards this date hoping that we stand a chance against our greatest foes humanity has known. Today, my brothers, sisters, friends, colleagues, and fellow humans will die for the greater good. We don’t ask for your pity or your prayers. I just ask that all of you continue to believe in each other and those that choose to protect us. I am a Mechavax Pilot, and today we start the fight to save humanity.

Those we left behind will finish it.

The image then slowly faded to black as the transmission ended.

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