At long last! The prologue I promised so long ago! I apologize that it has taken so long to post. Chapter 1 is almost done, just needing a few tweaks and a fight scene to finish. No promises on when it will be done, but it WILL be done!

Standard Disclaimer: I claim no legal rights to this story. It was created for entertainment purposes only and no profit is being made on it. Lawyers be gone.


Blue eyes stare into mine as the world stands still.

The universe ceases to exist and all I can see is the abyss behind those sapphire orbs. Gods, its like looking at some kind of mirror. So like me, and at the same time, completely different. That's not my face, I know it isn't, but somehow it is. Every fiber, every atom of my being is infused with a feeling of knowing.

They say that when a butterfly flaps its wings, a hurricane forms on the other side of the world. Chaos theory, its called; A series of random events that result in an unpredictable outcome. Others call it fate or destiny; that everything in the universe is predetermined and we are all just playing a part in some grand cosmic play. I don't really know the truth is. All I know is that I was given a second chance; and then I threw all the rules out the window. If chaos is real, then I must be the butterfly. If fate is real, then I'm the playwright.

But, those eyes. That face. This feeling. Maybe, just maybe, there's some truth in fate. Order within chaos.

I'm sorry. I haven t introduced myself, have I? I've used a lot of names, but there's only one I think of as mine. It's Lilith. A name that was never given to me, the name I chose. In certain mythology, Lilith is the first woman and first wife of Adam. Cast out for her independence and forced into darkness. In others, she is a demon, a devil, an abomination, the mother of all evil.

It seemed kind of appropriate. I am the first of my kind; a monster of darkness and death, a destroyer of worlds. I was created as a super soldier, born and bred to be the ultimate killing machine. In that, I have surpassed the expectations of my creators in every possible way; just not the way they would have expected or wanted.

This is my story.

There have been two shots heard around the world. The first was at Lexington, the second was at Times Square. In the year 2086, the American central government fell. After decades of terrorist aggression, civil unrest, and corporate encroachment, the three hundred and ten year old nation finally collapsed under its own weight, but not without a fight. In July, almost a thousand protesters in an anti-corporate rally faced off against five hundred law enforcement officers in the historic Times Square. Tempers flared, aggression reached a fever pitch. Nobody knows who fired first, but when the dust settled, there were 267 dead and 541 wounded. That July day was later called the Times Square Massacre. It was the end, and it didn't come with a whimper or a bang. Instead, it came with an apocalyptic implosion. Chain reactions from that day exploded across the nation and spread around the globe as humanity turned on itself like a pack of rabid dogs. In the first week alone, more people died than in World War Two.

After seven weeks of anarchy, the mega-corporations stepped in. They had seen the signs, and they had planned for it. A combined force of millions of private security forces from seven corporations swept across the globe; Assets were seized, governments were deposed, and any resistance was crushed without mercy. Once all was said and done, the corporations controlled the entire planet, creating a new government; the corporate order.

What followed next was one of humanities darkest times, a time of tyrannical corporate dictatorship. The remaining territories on earth were divided up between the seven corporations, and they settled into their power. The line between national citizen and corporate employee became non-existent and the class system no longer existed; only corporate employers and public employees remained.

No one was safe. You either served the corporation or you were made to serve. Children were trained at a young age to be loyal workers. For an employee, your only worth was what you could offer. Those who were considered worthless, too old, or un-trainable were...taken care of. Men were put to work in mines or vast industrial complexes, the elderly were put down and their remains recycled, and the women? Well, the ones who weren't assigned as "personal health assistants" or "public morale workers" were placed in corporate sponsored "population control programs".

Eventually, the available resources began to dry up, and the mega-corporations started fighting over what was left. What had started as small skirmishes evolved into full-blown wars. This was the beginning of the age known as The Corporate Wars . These wars would last for more than five hundred years.

As bad as this sounds, it started out okay. The early years of the Corporate Wars were limited to earth, and what the corporations could pull out of our slowly dying planet. War during this time was kept civilized , as much as war can be; however, in the year 2210, a massive asteroid hit central Asia. The 256 mile wide behemoth, called Omega-2167, was spotted fifty years before and would have wiped out all life on Earth. The seven mega-corporations joined forces, only the second time in their history, and constructed a colossal Mass Driver to launch a giant nuclear warhead at Omega-2167. The warhead hit and detonated and the corporations thought that the danger was past; they were wrong. Omega-2167 was different than other asteroids, its composition was not nickel/iron like they had calculated for.

The giant asteroid broke apart, but stayed on course. 90% of the total mass hit the moon, causing its orbit to shift slightly, the remaining mass showered the globe in a flaming rain of death; most of the debris hit the former state of China, a territory now under the control of a mega-corporation called Khan Industrial. K.I. blamed the other corporations for the miscalculation resulting in the loss of 30% of their infrastructure and they isolated themselves from the rest. Nobody heard anything from them for thirty years.

When Khan Industrial came back, it was with a vengeance. Tanks more powerful than ever before tore through border patrols like wet paper, soldiers wearing unknown armor slaughtered anyone who stood against them in an unstoppable wave of death, and planes capable of shrugging off direct missile strikes shredded any resistance to their aerial dominance.

The remaining corporations scrambled to find a counter to Khan's new power. When scientists studied the fragments in the Omega-2167 meteorites, they found an element never before known to science. The new element, later named Trinium , was 5 times stronger than titanium, yet half as heavy as aluminum. This new super metal was the secret of Khan Industrial's new power. The discovery of Trinium caused a massive arms race between the corporations. What once were simple territorial squabbles became vicious bloodbaths over already limited resources.

The first colony ships saw huge mining operations built on the moon, to harvest the massive quantities of Trinium on the moon, fueling the corporation's ever-growing desire for conquest. Later ships expanded their reach to the stars. Our own solar system was colonized within thirty years, the first extra-solar colony five years after that. And as the corporations reach expanded, so too did their lust for power; their greed and corruption reaching unprecedented heights.

For more than four hundred years, the corporations grew, fueled by their conquests and driven by their unquenchable desire for more. Those on high ruled over the masses with tyrannical iron fist, with humanity reduced to little more than a slave state, average people treated like animals or worse. War after war tore our race apart with each more viscous than the last. Every method of warfare was used and upgraded: conventional weapons, non-conventional, cyber-warfare, nano-tech, biological, chemical, cloning, A.I., gene-tech, powered armor, mecha; every possible means of killing each other was found, rediscovered, or improved. The corporations bottomless greed drove this macabre arms race ever higher the longer it dragged on.

It was in this black abyss of history where I came in. I was born on August 16th 2604, the final product of a secret experiment called Project Revenant. A program designed to create the ultimate super soldier. Trillions of credits were spent making me into the perfect weapon. My base DNA came from a girl that had died long ago, but had been frozen in cryo-sleep for an unknown reason. Waste not and all that, right? From there, artificial and animal DNA though gene-splicing, cybernetic prosthetics, and nano-tech enhancements would shape me into the most lethal being ever known. I don't like discussing the details, but from the moment of conception, I was their ultimate creation; mortal men pretending to be gods, their greatest triumph over nature.

From the moment of my birth, war was all I knew. Destruction was my constant companion, death sang me to sleep. I had my first kill before my sixth birthday. Enhanced senses, improved physical abilities, and boosted mental capabilities, no limit was too high. For years I was the perfect weapon, their perfect tool. The blood of thousands stained my hands. I killed, tortured, seduced, or destroyed anyone I was ordered to without question. Even when my masters used me for their own "personal missions", I never batted an eye.

It wasn't until I was eighteen that I became independent. One of the scientists responsible for my upkeep, a Doctor Sandra Hamilton, saw how my masters would request me for personal missions more often and how I was being treated worse and worse. I guess her guilt about how she helped turn me into a weapon overcame her. During a routine maintenance session, she reprogrammed my neural net and removed all command triggers from my mind. Afterwards, she sat me down and told me everything, about my creation, her actions to free me, all of it. She used a one-use command trigger to give me my last orders; live and be free. Once I left the facility, she triggered the base-self-destruct, erasing all research and evidence of my creation. The only remaining copy would be in one place; my own mind. I never looked back once I left, but I have never forgotten what Sandra Hamilton did for me.

After I gained my independence, I became a free-lance mercenary. My particular skill sets didn't exactly fit in a home environment. I tried it for a while, but I never could resist the call of battle. Its part of who I am, after all. Eventually, I came to the attention of a group called the Terran Resistance, an Anti-Corporate group whose ultimate goal was to re-establish a federal government. I thought they were crazy at first, but I realized that maybe life really would be better without the corporations controlling everything, so I joined up.

With my help, what started as a minor resistance turned into a full blown rebellion. More people flocked to our banner each day as our strength grew, even several small corporations threw in their support. I rose quickly in the ranks, becoming a General in the resistance military; I was considered the greatest Mecha/Aerospace pilot ever known. After months of down and dirty guerrilla warfare across seventeen different worlds, the new Terra Central Government claimed victory and declared the reign of the corporations, and the Corporate Wars, officially over. A new holiday, Unification Day, was formed; August 14th, just two days before my twentieth birthday.

In the new order, corporations were severely limited in the power they had. The federal government kept a close eye on them. The standard of living became greater for everyone; population control policies were revoked and banned, safer work environments were enforced, more personal freedoms were granted to every citizen. It was a new golden age for humanity; one that sadly didn't last very long.

Just a few years later, a new organization rose to power. The A.D.E.N. alliance; named after the four colonies who founded the faction. They claimed that the new Terra Central Government was just as bad as the corporations, and protested against the draconian policy changes enforced by the federal government. I was sent to infiltrate Acheron, one of the seventeen colonies under the control of ADEN, for three weeks and determine the threat to the government. During my investigations, I found out that the alliance had been created by surviving members of the corporations we had destroyed during the unification war. Later I attended a public rally in the capital, led by a man called Daniel Egan; and even though I knew they were lies, I could almost find myself believing his anti-federal speeches. A clear threat if I ever saw one. I caught the first shuttle out the next day and sent my report, recommending a covert strike against the ADEN leadership. Five days later, the Terran fleet showed up in orbit.

I should have seen it coming. Instead of the covert strike I had recommended, the TCG decided on a full military assault. The fleet blacked out communications in the whole system and fired on the orbital terraforming units, forcing the wreckage into terminal orbits, and then fired on the planet. Out of a population of four billion, only one thousand-twenty-seven souls survived the slaughter. The ADEN alliance called that day the Acheron Nightmare , the TCG claimed it was an accident and called it the Acheron Incident . So many people dead, and all of it my doing. With that one report, I practically pulled the trigger myself.

I resigned my commission the next day, and became a test pilot for a private firm. I even changed my identity; I didn't want any part of the new government after that. For three years, I spent my time testing and developing new aircraft. A rather quiet and idyllic time for me, I had never been in a more peaceful environment. All too soon, it turned out to be nothing but an illusion.

The firm I worked for accepted a contract to build and test the Terra Central Armed Forces prototype fighter and selected me to represent them. I couldn't back out without revealing my true identity; so six days later, I found myself on-board the CVX-93 ACROPOLIS, a new state-of-the-art attack carrier with a crew so green you could smell it. For two weeks, I did my job and kept my head down. I tried to avoid all personal contact and kept social interaction to a minimum. I wanted to hate these people, but I realized that they were just doing their jobs, like me. They didn't know the truth behind the scenes. I could feel the pain in my chest when I met the rookie pilots they brought on board; so young and idealistic, full of dreams of glory. The poor fools.

We were stationed in the Lebendorf system when the dam finally broke. ADEN forces ambushed the TCAF forces in the system, but were driven off. During the chaos, one of the rookie pilots, a young kid named Brandon, was killed. Poor kid never even got the chance to fire a shot in defense. I watched his funeral on-board the ACROPOLIS, staying out of sight, a very sad affair, worthy of a hero. I remember his wing mate, Ellen, crying her eyes out over his coffin; but all I could think of was that HE was the lucky one. He never had to kill anyone, to stain his hands with another person s blood.

After that day, it was mission after mission. The ACROPOLIS was bounced around from fleet to fleet, always headed to the front lines. Technically, as a civilian and a test pilot, I could have transferred off to a base and stayed out of the war, but I couldn't bring myself to leave. I watched as the constant fighting slowly turned these bright eyed rookies into hardened veterans, their innocence faded as their resolve to win grew every day. It was heart-wrenching to see this as the casualties mounted. None of these children should have been here. None of them deserved this. For a long time I was only an observer, watching from the sidelines. It wasn't until we were fighting over the dead colony of Acheron that everything changed. The world that I had condemned to death.

We had been assigned to the Seventh Fleet under the command of a spineless worm named Viera. How he made admiral, I will never know. Our fleet was ambushed by an ADEN force outnumbering us by two-to-one, and the cowardly Viera abandoned the ACROPOLIS to save himself. Unfortunately, the rest of the fleet had followed him and we were alone. Captain Mae Crichton had desperately ordered all pilots to their ships, even the cadets.

I was on the flight deck when I was approached by one of the new pilots, Yoji Kashiwazaki. He was young and eager, just out of flight academy. I had met him two weeks before when he had transferred to the ACROPOLIS and I was running tests on one of the prototype Delta Sabers. When he found out I was a test pilot, he asked me out on a date. I told him no, but since then he had not stopped hanging around and pestering me. His clumsy attempts to woo me and his pathetic, puppy-dog crush on me were kind of cute after a while. He was one of the few people on board that I could have considered a friend.

Yoji showed up in his flight suit just as I finished tuning the engines on his Delta Saber. He stopped and asked me that, when he got back from his first battle if I would finally go on that date with him. I gave him a small smile and started to answer him when the ship was hit. A massive blast tore through the flight deck, scattering equipment and knocking over crew. I got up in a daze and went to check on Yoji. He had been caught by shrapnel from an exploding bulkhead. I screamed for a medic and held him in my arms as he bled out on my suit. I heard him whisper, "Damn. Looks like I wont get that date with you after all." When the light faded from his eyes and he went still, the warmth left my body. My limbs went numb and all I could feel was coldness. I left him to the medics and walked over to Yoji's fighter, still armed and ready. Using my personal override commands, I cycled the auto-launch command, ignoring the other crew s panicked shouting. As the Delta Saber launched, its systems hummed around me, filling me with their cold, electronic strength.

I could feel something growing inside me, a feeling I had never experienced before. Yoji hadn't deserved to die. He was so young; his life had only just started. Tears flowed down my face for the first time in my life as I flew on, unseeing. Yoji was just a kid! Not really even a man yet. He should have lived his life, met a nice girl, maybe get married, get old and fat and die at home surrounded by his family. It wasn't fair! Yoji had only wanted a simple date, and honestly, I would have said yes this time. Now he was dead, and he would never get that chance. They had taken that away from him with a single, unfeeling attack, and I would make them pay. I spotted the attacking ships and deep inside me, something snapped. I finally understood what I was feeling:

It was pure, unfiltered RAGE.

A wordless scream tore itself from deep inside me as my vision blurred into a red haze. Repressed emotions I never knew I had poured out in a deluge of pain and hatred as bloodlust thundered through my veins. All of my semi-repressed training and combat implants snapped back into activity and, targeting the closest ship, I pulled the trigger. Ship after ship, target after target. ADEN forces died right and left as I descended on them like a demon of vengeance. Disregarding all thought of safety, I attacked relentlessly, ignoring any threats as the fighter was slowly being torn apart by enemy fire. Nothing could stand against the never-ending hail of death.

I collapsed when the Saber finally ran out of fuel. The entire enemy fleet had been completely reduced to floating debris. Twenty-four capital ships, thirty-eight gun boats, and one hundred-ninety-two fighters; the largest kill-count by a one-man fighter in a single combat engagement ever recorded. Two other saber pilots showed up to tow me back and silently listened as my broken sobs of pain were broadcast from the damaged comm system.

I spent the night in the brig for un-authorized use of military hardware and disregarding orders to disengage from combat, but nobody treated me differently. Even when security was escorting me to holding, people would give me a knowing look and a slight nod. The guards themselves never laid a hand on me, merely guiding me to the cell and then left me alone.

The next day, Captain Crichton called me to her ready room. Security escorted me there and left as I sat down in front of her desk. When she gently asked me for an explanation, it was like a dam broke. Everything poured out as I told her my entire life. After hours of discussion, she offered me a temporary and unofficial reinstatement and asked for my help. Frankly, our current situation was bleak, alone and stranded behind enemy lines with heavy battle damage and casualties. Even with the emotional turmoil I was facing, we needed all the help we could get if we wanted to survive. Eventually, I accepted the offer and thanked her for the support. I left the room with her promise to not disclose my secrets and that her door was always open to me.

Using multiple short-range jumps and no small amount of stealth, we managed to reach the gas-giant Anastasia, the only world close enough to harvest the He3 we needed to refuel our jump drive and make it safely back to friendly territory. From that point on, I joined the White Griffin squadron, divided into Rhino and Bird flights. I took Yoji s place as Rhino-4. After a short, but furious battle at Anastasia we managed to harvest enough fuel to jump back to Hargenteen, capital of the TCAF. On arrival, we were given orders to join up with the main fleet after resupplying. Apparently, the ADEN forces were launching a major offensive in just a few hours.

When the first wave of ADEN ships arrived, they immediately attacked. Hundreds of ships traded blows across the battlefield as thousands of fighters swarmed in a chaotic frenzy. The second wave appeared just before the first was destroyed, but held back. As if waiting for something. That something turned out to be ADEN s secret weapon: The Prometheus Driver.

A massive mobile battle-station more than five miles in length, its arrival instantly spread panic throughout our ranks. A system wide transmission from the Prometheus driver was sent by the leader of ADEN: Doris Egan, daughter of Daniel Egan. She proclaimed that today was the day she avenged the death of her father, a death that I alone knew I had caused. The second wave of ADEN ships charged our lines and attacked viciously while the battle-station prepared. The massive vessel opened like a blooming flower and its energy readings rose off the scale. What happened next would be seared into my mind till the day I died.

A great beam of white light erupted from the battle-station, smashing into the feuding fleets. Ships near the beam were destroyed by the sheer power of it alone, any caught in the beam itself simply ceased to exist. Tens of thousands dead in an instant and whether they were friend or foe didn't matter. New Clarence Space Station, the headquarters of the TCAF was hit next. More than half of the station was instantly vaporized, the remains ripping apart from secondary explosions. And then the worst came.

I watched in horror as the beam passed through the wreckage of New Clarence Space Station and headed strait for the planet Hargenteen. When that awful light touched the surface, reality exploded. A thousand white hot knifes tore through my mind and a million screams drowned out my own cries of pain. Clutching desperately at my head, I watched through horrified eyes as a titanic explosion rocked Hargenteen. Slowly, a colossal wave of hellish light engulfed the entire surface of the planet, the evil energy unfurling like an abyssal flower. Unable to turn away or even close my eyes, I sat helpless, writhing in agony, as the dying screams of countless lives slowly faded into nothingness and I mercifully blacked out.

Unknown to me at the time, that event was the trigger for things that would unfold in my future, causing ripples throughout history.

I woke up in the medical bay of the ACROPOLIS two days later. During the chaotic retreat after the devastating losses at Hargenteen, my wing-mate Ellen managed to tow my fighter back while Katana and Gene covered us. If they hadn't risked their lives for me, I would have been killed or captured by ADEN forces. They told me about what happened after the battle. TCAF casualties topped 80% and ADEN losses hit over 60%. Hargenteen...was a total loss. The entire surface was glassed while the explosion exposed the mantle. Not a single person of the 9.7 billion population made it off the planet alive.

At first I blamed myself. If I hadn't went to Acheron, if I hadn't made that report, Acheron might have been spared. Daniel Egan would be alive, and Doris never would have destroyed Hargenteen. All those people would be alive. All their deaths were my fault. But after a long talk with the captain, I began to realize the truth. It wasn't my fault. If I had refused to go on that mission, the TCAF would have sent someone else and Acheron and Hargenteen would still have been destroyed. I resolved then and there that I would not let Acheron and Hargenteen happen again. I would do everything I possibly could to prevent anyone from repeating these events ever again. But first, we had to destroy the Prometheus Driver and stop that madwoman Doris Egan.

The entire TCAF was scrambling to reorganize and mount a defense. With the loss of New Clarence, TCAF-HIGHCOM was dead and the military was leaderless. Commodore Higgens, the current highest ranking officer in the fleet, was given the rank of Acting Fleet Admiral and defacto leadership of the TCAF. His actions in leading the survivors of the Hargenteen Disaster to safety proved his quality as a leader. Once Admiral Higgens organized the fleet, communications with Earth were finally re-established. The first reports from Intelligence were chilling. ADEN forces were massing for an all-out assault on Earth.

While the rest of White Griffon squadron were deployed on a strike mission, I went to Earth. Admiral Higgens granted me a temporary reinstatement of my rank as General and I pulled every resource I had to help with the defense. Every contact and favor I ever gained was called in along with every mercenary group I could get my hands on. Even my old Battle Mecha from the Unification War was pulled out of storage and refitted for combat.

I was given command of a small task force and assigned to assist the ACROPOLIS in the defense. When I got back, I caught up with Ellen. It turns out that Katana had fought and captured six members of the Night Raven Squadron, including their leader Margras Mason, who was in fact Katana and Ellen's old friend from the flight academy. He had been exiled with the other people who were native to planets loyal to ADEN when the organization was formed. After the Acheron Massacre, He rose to be the leader of ADEN's ace squadron, Night Raven, the counter-part to the TCAF White Griffins.

When I saw Margras in the brig, he looked as lost as I had felt after Hargenteen. He certainly was shocked when a girl that looked younger than him introduced herself as a general. I offered him a deal; he and the other night ravens enlist in the TCAF under my command, and they would receive a full pardon and commission with the option of an honorable discharge after the war. At first, he refused my offer but I encouraged him to think about it and left. A few hours later, after talking to Katana and Ellen, he finally accepted. I assigned him as Raven-flight Leader in the White Griffin Squadron and had a fighter from my task force fill in my spot as Rhino 4.

When the ADEN forces arrived at Earth, the TCAF forces assembled for defense were truly a sight to behold. Literally thousands of military vessels, retrofitted volunteer civilian ships, and mercenary groups flooded the nearby space. But that was overshadowed by the forces of the ADEN fleet. They outnumbered us 5-to-1, not even counting the terrifying bulk of the Prometheus Driver lurking in the back of the fleet. The front lines charged forward and clashed in the largest space battle in recorded history. Both sides fighting with never before seen strength, speed, and desperation, each for their own goal; one for total victory, the other for survival.

As the White Griffins and other battle squadrons fought to break the Drivers defenses, I lead the Raven flight in keeping the capital ships off their backs. Flying in my Apocalypse-class "Shinigami", I was in the eye of a colossal storm of destruction. Only one Apocalypse-class mecha had ever been built, I had helped design and build it from the ground up. The massive cost in building something the size of a small capital ship and five times the firepower, along with the insanely high physical demands placed on the pilot during flight, meant that I was the only person alive able to fly it. Because of this, the project was scrapped and the prototype left as a one-off. Cost aside, the power of the mecha was staggering, capable of taking on a dozen capital ships and winning. With this power, I laid waste to the ADEN ships.

That day, I truly lived up to my reputation as the "Shi no Tenshi", or Angel of Death. Hundreds of enemy ships were torn apart in titanic eruptions under my sights. Even as I could feel exhaustion creeping up on me, and my mecha slowly succumbing to the firepower arrayed against me, I knew I couldn't stop, no matter what. The longer I could keep the ADEN forces attention on me, the greater chance the White Griffins, my friends, and Earth, had of surviving.

Eventually, with losses on both sides mounting and the Prometheus Driver nearing the completion of it's charging sequence, two fighters broke though the defenses and reached the Drivers core. Katana and Margras. The Acheron native sacrificed himself to protect Katana from the automated defenses and buy him time to strike the death blow. Katana himself barely escaped the destruction as the dreaded ship collapsed into itself in a gigantic implosion. With the Driver gone and their leadership dead, the ADEN ships that weren't destroyed quickly surrendered. Finally, the war was over.

In the following months, many changes took place. The Terra Central Government was reorganized into the Terran Federation, with the leadership being a federation council and each planet given fair and equal representation. It wasn't perfect and tempers ran high between former enemies for a long time, but it was a step in the right direction. Admiral Higgens officially became the Fleet Admiral/Commander in Chief of the new Terran Federation Navy. Captain Crichton was promoted to Vice Admiral. Gene Baldwin, former Rhino 3, became leader of the White Griffins after Katana and Ellen left. Those two left the military and got married in a small, private wedding, which I attended as Maid of Honor. Ellen used her family connections as the heir of the Bernstein Family to fund the movement to recolonize Acheron. Her and Katana's firstborn was the first child born on New Acheron, a healthy little girl called Shelly, named after Margras Sheldon Mason. It took some small convincing from Katana and Ellen to allow myself to be named as her god mother. I guess I felt I didn't deserve it at the time, but I couldn't let down that beautiful little girl or her insistent parents, my best friends.

Hargenteen was too devastated to even support life for the next few thousand years, so it was left as a graveyard world. A stark reminder of the horrors of war and the futility of revenge. Every year, millions of people from all over the Federation would travel to the new space station built a few years later and leave tokens and mementos in remembrance. Hargenteen Memorial Space Station became a monument for every person, soldier or civilian, to die on both sides in the war.

As for me? I retired for good. I had my battered and broken Battle Mecha mothballed, resigned my commission and left the military entirely. Instead of returning to my old life as a mercenary, I took up Bounty Hunting. Unlike mercs who work for the highest bidder, bounty hunters, more commonly called "Hunters", worked on contract. More often than not, the jobs requested were from law enforcement; tracking down criminals and escaped felons. Other jobs would be returning missing or kidnapped persons, or finding lost or stolen items. Even sometimes actually hunting some dangerous animal. Coincidentally, during the Corporate Wars, mutated and/or genetically altered creatures would escape or be released into the wild and would breed with the native species. The result, hundreds of years later, was animals much larger, faster, stronger, and/or smarter than their ancestors. Many of which could be quite dangerous for anyone traveling in open lands.

For five years, everything was peaceful. Humanity seemed to enter a new era of enlightenment. Populations rose steadily, trade and commerce boomed across the Federation. Life was good...almost too good. I started getting a bad feeling, a premonition. Something was going wrong and I needed to find it. Through my contacts, I heard rumors of a secret project going on, another super soldier program. I sent one of my old friends, Zero, to find information these rumors and confirm the programs existence.

Like me, Zero was a super soldier, but his purpose was distinctly different from mine. I was created to be the perfect warrior, he was the perfect assassin. After I went rouge, he was created to take me down. All of his skills tailored for the sole purpose of killing me. The first time I met him, he almost took my head off. I had been in a battle against mercenaries and was traveling to my home-base on foot during a storm when a sudden instinct forced me to dodge sideways as fast as I could. That instinct saved my life as in the next second, Zero's sword slashed through my jugular. In a lightning second, I pulled my gun and fired blindly behind me. I only saw him for a split-second, but I saw my shot had hit his side. He vanished into the storm and I patched up the wound, only my regeneration factor had kept me from bleeding out.

The second time was during the Unification War. I was on a lone patrol when he showed up. The moment I saw him, he attacked me. We fought viciously in hand-to-hand combat with neither one of us able to get an advantage. My CQC style revolved around overwhelming power, his around extreme speed. Like oil and water, we clashed until my com-link started blaring loudly, an ally of mine shouting frantically that a cruise missile strike had been detected heading for me. My gaze locked with Zero's and I could see the confusion and betrayal in his eyes. I told him to run and turned away. The two of us barely reached cover before the missiles hit and I instinctively covered him. As the dust settled, we recovered and faced off again. I asked what he was going to do now. He hesitated, then dropped his guard and replied "Find some answers.". With that he vanished into the night.

The third time I met Zero, he appeared in my mobile base while I was repairing battle damage on my mecha, "Shinigami". He dropped a data-box on my workbench and waited until I read the files on it. It turns out, he had been considered expendable. When he had gone searching for answers, he had discovered a facility that was mass-producing cyborg-assassins just like him, and then had recovered the data and destroyed the facility. My question of what he was going to do now only got a shrug in response. After that day, Zero became something of a friendly rival. Our exactly opposite fighting styles were coincidentally perfect for training and improving our own. After the war, Zero left and became a successful freelancer.

What he and his team had discovered chilled me to the bone. A new super soldier project was being run by the government, funded by secret accounts and black budgets. The goal of the program to to recreate Project Revenant, the program that had created ME. I was shocked and sickened. How could they do this? After everything our race had been through? Where they trying to start another war? Was the new government going step down the same path as the corporations before them? To rule over the masses through fear and terror? I knew then and there that I could NOT let that happen again. Nor could I allow another child to be forced to live the life I had.

I called in some favors and pulled some strings. After I got things set up, I traveled to the planet Lebendorf, where the program was being run. Maybe, once I got there, I would find the answers I needed...

Aaaand done! This will be all until I can finish chapter 1. Let me know what you all think! Prizes go to the people who can spot the hidden and not-so-hidden goodies in this chapter!

Please be gentle with this one. I know it is a tad dry, but this intro is needed. Flamers will be ignored and/or blocked.

Until next time! :)