October 22, 2269

Earth Brussels, country of Belgium

Brussels was the official capital of the UEC, paying homage to its past political entity the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO. The head of government was the President. This government was mostly modeled after the United States's form of government, like having judicial executive and legislative branches.

President Denzel Brown took a deep breath as he got ready to address billions of UEC citizens.

"Sir you're on in 15 seconds..." one of his assistants informed.

He nodded adjusting his tie and wiping of the specks of dust off his grey suit. He brushed his fingers over the UEC pendant on his lapel. It portrayed the globe of earth and the lettering of UEC directly underneath it. He looked over to his assistant counting down off his fingers.

"3...2...1...you're on..."

The curtain concealing him opened to hundreds of reporters and others of similar prestige, he stepped up to the podium.

"Hello my fellow citizens, today I would like to address the military actions taking place on the frontier. The second fleet lead by Rear Admiral Christopher Rogers engaged the Confederation forces on the colony of Hexa. Once one of the UEC's most beautiful and lush worlds is now a shadow of its former self. Other operations took place in the colonies of Harmony and Stellar, the first world that fell victim to the confederation's wrath. Military officials has deemed this as operation Anvil."

Brown looked up to the primary camera done hovering just meters in front of him before he sighed. "I ask you how many more worlds must burn, how many more sons and daughters must be drafted into the cog of war, how many more people must die before we can have peace and stability again? The COC claims to represent peace and freedom from..."

Brown waged his fingers in air quotes, "the tyrannical United Earth Coalition." He shook his head sadly, "who were the ones who conducted numerous terror attacks across the inner colonies? Who were the ones that started this war? Who were the ones that tried to force worlds loyal to Earth to join their misguided crusade?"

He looked across the crowd of reporters as if one of them would answer the question. "I'll tell you it wasn't the UEC!"

"NO!" Came a chorus reply from the crowd.

"Humanity has been split in two because of selfishness. We are young people to the stars, we should be exploring the galaxy, finding new gateways to unlock and expand. We should be establishing the new frontier that is the Galaxy! Yet what do we do?"

Brown slammed his fist into the Podium he was speaking from, "we claw at each other's throats, wage conflict, and battle. The Confederation is merely a child throwing a tantrum we the parent, and like every good parent, we must discipline that child and set them on the path to Greatness. To my critics who ask me why my Administration still continues to wage this war and accuse me of being a war monger I tell you, Humanity has spent enough time fighting itself. It's carved like an ugly scar throughout our history, we must press on and get past this horrific nature of ours..."

Brown looked up and pointed to the sky, "and look to the stars, for Earth and her colonies!"

An enormous Applause took hold of the room.

"Thank you, thank you all, now please your questions..."

"Mr. President, Mr. President!?"

-XXX-

Colony of Terra Nova, City of Scott

Caleb Morgan an average citizen on Terra Nova clicked off the holo TV set. He shook his head before taking a swig of his beer, "look to the stars my hairy ass."

"Yeah see they can say shit like that, they're not under fucking martial law. Inner colony douchebags. A friend and coworker Zack Musenger said as he took a sip from his beer. They both worked in a coalition shipyard helping build warships.

A few more minutes passed before Caleb stood up, "well man curfew is gonna start here in about half an hour, I better start getting home. Heh even If I ignored curfew the wife would probably still find me." The duo laughed before waving each other off.

Before Chris could turn the doorknob to his friend's apartment door a loud voice from a speaker came from outside.

"Attention residential block prepare for mandatory Contraband inspection, stay in your homes. Cooperation with your coalition peacekeeping teams will be appreciated. I repeat residential block is going under surprise Contraband inspection, stay in your homes until further notice."

"Son of a bitch this shit again!" Zack said angrily slamming his beer down on the coaster.

Caleb ran a hand down his face. "Man, how do the fucks expect a dude to get home before curfew if they go and pull shit like this?"

Caleb's friend walked over to the drawer and pulled out a large caliber revolver. "Man I'm so tired of this..."

Caleb stuttered, "d-dude is that a gun? Uhh you were supposed to lock up your firearms when they issued martial law..."

He shook his head, "yeah I know the damn spill, " He stood rigid and played the part of a UEC spokesman, "attention citizen new ordinance dictates you are hereby required to forfeit your personal weapon to designated UEC lockup centers you will register the firearm and once martial law has been lifted you will be able to retrieve it, thank you for your cooperation, and go fuck yourself!" Zack chuckled, "I do that and leave myself defenseless bah!"

He threw aside a rug and lifted a panel of wood to reveal a cubby hole, inside were more boxes of ammunition another pistol, even a few military-grade knives and a..."Y-You have damn grenades in there!" Caleb shouted.

"Shhh!" Zack chided, he pushed Caleb up against a wall, "Caleb I need you to fucking trust me..."

Caleb gulped dryly, "y-you could get big time for this you know..."

He shrugged and let off him, "I'm gonna kill em, me and some others planned when they pulled this shit again we're gonna attack." He neatly placed the rug back over the panel and sat back down.

"Uh, are you serious, you're an insurrectionist? that's like a mouse taking on a cat, this is insane!"

"Is it? for five years we've been ruled over by a tyrannical government...why do you think they started this little rebellion?" He put a finger to his lips, "hmm, is it because we're selfish to quote our dear President Brown? Aren't you tired of the curfews, the Contraband searches, and seizures, tired of being treated like a punk and a common criminal just because you live on the Frontier, huh are you?"

"I don't know about this man I have a wife and maybe a kid on the way... Come on man please don't do this." Caleb said rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

"Nope, It's happening" he took a long swig from his beer emptying the bottle entirely. He held out a gun for Caleb to take, "shoot underneath their helmets near the neck or throat, and in the gaps of their armor..."

"Woah, Woah, Woah, dude I'm not gonna have any part of this!" Caleb said angrily.

A loud knocking sounded from behind the door. "Inspection team open up!"

Zack shook his head, "a little too late for that brother." He tossed him the gun which he caught out of reflex.

Caleb watched as his friend walked toward the entrance and opened the door. With no time to hide the weapon, he tucked it in his waistband.

In stepped three armed UEC Army MP soldiers, their faceless visors scanning over the two males. "Gonna need to see your IDs gentlemen, " one asked his voice distorted by the helmets they were wearing.

The duo pulled out the ID cards from their wallets as the other soldiers began to look around. The Sergeant scanned the cards with a blocky looking device, it beeped three times for each card proving that they were real copies, he then he used his radio, "yeah I'm gonna need a 10-27 on a possible 10-29." A few minutes passed before he gave the IDs back to their possessors. "Ok, gentlemen everything is good on this end. Hey, you guys got anything?" The Sergeant asked looking over to his teammates.

"Nah we're 10-10 here sir." The MP replied.

"Well, gentlemen for-" The sergeant was cut off by a loud explosion in the building that shook it to its foundation. "What the hell..." he radioed in his com, "control this is hero 1-4 we got a 10-89 a-"

'POP, POP, POP!' Caleb looked and saw Zack was shooting at the soldiers.

"Damn it!" One soldier yelled before opening up with his SMG.

"Fuck you shit heads!" He continued firing his revolver, 'POP, POP, POP!'

"11-99, 11-99! I need assistance-uhhh!"

Caleb dove behind the kitchen counter as bullets fly.

"Here's your contraband motherfuckers!" He heard his friend yell, not a second later a thud hit the floor and an explosion went off."

"Shit, shit, shit." Caleb crawled over to the nearby couch and hid. The silence was all that could be heard. "Oh, God..." Caleb peeked his head up from the couch and saw his friend and the three soldiers dead on the floor. "Oh No, Zack...Fuck I-I gotta get out of here!"

He made a move to the door when he heard booted feet moving up the stairs. "The last transmission from Hero 1-4 came from the second floor, move it!"

Caleb moved to the bathroom and threw open the window. He looked down at the street, he was on the second floor but if he jumped he could risk breaking something..." fuck!" he leaped off and hit the ground with a 'CRUNCH' "Gahh fuck!" He looked down to see he hit his ankle the wrong way. He stood and started walking toward home with a limp.

He limped down the street before he heard voices yelling, he ducked down in the bushes and saw across the street another apartment complex was being raided.

"Mommy no!"

The little girl was pushed back, "stay back and be quiet brat!" shouted an angry soldier.

"Please we have no idea what you're talking about!" Pleaded a women who was desperately trying to get to her child.

"We know insurgents were using an apartment here as an safe house, you were their neighbors, you can't possibly tell me you didn't know anything!" A soldier yelled through his helmet's speakers.

"We don't you gotta believe us..."

The little girl started sobbing, "no please my mom doesn't know, I don't either please let us go!"

"I said shut up!" The peacekeeper yelled, he proceeded to push the girl to the ground.

"Nooo you bastard!" The women tried to run to her child but got hit in the back by the stock of the MP's rifle. "I said down!"

Caleb shook his head, "I-I gotta get back home damn it..."

He got about halfway down the adjacent sweet to the residential block when an MP car rolled up. "Hey you, halt!" Red and blue lights lit the surrounding area.

Caleb froze, "U-Uh I'm sorry I know it's past curfew bu-"

"Shut it," he slammed his car door shut and drew on him with his service pistol. "Hands-on the wall spread your legs... control I got a possible 10-66 my location, send a few units my way." The MP began to search him.

"Please, this is just a simple mistake time just got away from me."

"right...oh just a mistake huh, then what's this?"

He flashed Zack's pistol in Caleb's face, the MP kicked the back of Caleb's knees forcing him on his knees.

'Damn you Zack...' Caleb thought as his hands got yanked behind him.

"Control I got a 417, the subject was armed and in the vicinity of the raided residential block, I need...uh!" The soldier grunted in pain as shots connected with his armor. He kicked Caleb to the floor and dove behind his patrol car. "11-99, I need help shots fired my 10-20!" He yelled firing back at his aggressors.

Seconds passed and more shots were fired before the solider had to reload. Caleb saw out of the corner of his eye two figures rushing the MP. One with rusted patchwork armor fired his SMG riddling the soldier and his patrol car with bullets alike.

"Uhh!" the peacekeeper fell struggling on the ground, "Oh God I've been hit, fuuck!"

The second figure ran forward stopping to put two rounds in the MPs' head.

"No, No please god-!"

'POP, POP!'

"Fuckers down..." came a female voice holding the pistol.

"Come on they're coming!" The male with the SMG urged. Sirens could be heard coming ever closer in the distance.

"Uhh please I don't know what's going on, I-I just want to go home!" Caleb pleaded.

A rustling and jingling could be heard behind him, the female took the handcuff keys from the MPs still warm corpse. " I won't count on going home anytime soon buddy." She slid the key into the cuffs unlocking them.

Caleb stood rubbing his wrists, "what why what do you mean?"

"Let me guess your Zacks friend?"

"Y-You know...uh knew Zack?" Caleb asked confused.

"I take it he's dead then?" SMG guy asked lowering the handkerchief from his face.

"Yeah, they searched his apartment while we were in there and..."

"Let me just sum it up, but we gotta go come on!" The woman said grabbing his arm and pulling him to the nearby alleyway. The Trio ran through the dark alleyway, vehicles with lights and sirens pulling up the spot they were just standing in. "I take it your ID got scanned and ran by the MPs?" She asked leaping over a tuned over trashcan.

"Yea, of course..." He answered limping behind them.

"And Zack killed the assholes that were searching his apparent right? How do you think it's going to look when they go back over the scene and see your ID is in the system, but you're nowhere to be found?"

The realization hit Caleb like a ton of bricks, he slowed, "oh fuck no, no, no..."

They stopped for him, " I'm sorry if you got roped in in this, but the fact of the matter is if you helped kill them accomplice or not, you have UEC blood on your hands..."

"M-My wife, my baby...no fuck this and fuck this little rebellion, I told Zack and I'm telling you, I want no fucking part in it!"

"Look we'll help you the best we can, the truth is Zack wanted you to join us for a while now, my names Jeanetta, this is Tim."

Tim nodded his head in acknowledgment, "trust me if you go home that's the first place they are going to look. You'll just be putting your family in danger."

Caleb shook his head at a loss, "all this time I've known Zack I never knew he was a COC Rebel, yeah he had his opinions on the government and all, but this?"

She smiled sadly, "that's kind of the point...look it was fucked up what Zack did, forcing you to 'join' like this but for now, all we can do is hide you."

Caleb's head shot up, "wait you were the guys who set off the bomb in the Apartments weren't you?"

Tim nodded, "that'd be my handiwork, I'm kind of a pyromaniac if you will."

"What about all the people who got hurt and killed, they didn't want that!"

Jeanetta crossed her arms, "look we just saved your ass, and we're not here to talk about right, wrong and humble virtues, we gotta do something to fight back and this is it. You don't have to like it but if you're going to hold up with us you're gonna have to damn well learn to live with it, got it?"

Caleb sighed the events of the day taking a toll on him, "got it, please let's just get out of here."

With that, the Trio made their way to the many safe houses the local COC Insurrection utilized.

-XXX-

Alenko watched as two pods landed near them, once the pressurize doors popped open two dozen HCMs ran out onto the battlefield and started engaging the COC troops.

Yong smiled underneath his helmet, "I Knew Shepherd had a plan."

'CRACK!'

Alenko fired off his last round of which penetrated the chest of an unfortunate innie. "That's it, rounds complete." He looked up from his rifle's scope, "yeah he must have contacted the carrier, that's the only ship I know of in our battle group that has a detachment of HCMs."

They watched as one particular Mech ran though the blaze of COC lead and jumped on top of the APC, with great force it ripped the hatch off and threw it aside. Shots from a pistol could be heard from inside the APC before the mech reached down and pulled the driver out of his vehicle. He screamed in terror as the mech punched him in the head repeatedly after a dozen or so blows the driver's face was unrecognizable. It threw the now mutilated corpse of the COC Soldier aside, before jumping into the APC itself. Further gunfire was heard from inside the armored vehicle before silence took its place.

Yong shook his head, "man I still don't know about giving AIs control of mechs, what if one day they decided to raise up and eradicate us all?

Alenko ignored the trooper's musings as he watched the APC's turret rotate around and began firing on the COC soldiers it was meant to be supporting. "Hate them or not, I'm just glad this one is on our side."

-XXX-

Abby snapped from target to target firing the 20mm and eliminating hostile after hostile. She looked up to see a solider with an anti-tank launcher kneeling atop the balcony of a building. Before she had time to do anything he launched the rocket destroying the APC and her in the process.

'Unit_destroyed_connection_terminated'

'Acquiring_new_platform'

'All_systems_moderate'

'Weapon_systems_online'

'Health_83%'

'Status_yellow'

Abby found herself holding an innie by the throat, the woman was desperately trying to claw and grab at the steel vice gripping around her throat. Not wanting to waste any more time, the AI crushed the woman's throat and threw her off the roof she found herself on.

She jumped off the roof and landed near the duo of COC soldiers, she leveled her weapon system and fired. She let loose a torrent of 7.62 rounds at the doomed innie soldiers before moving on.

Various pings could be heard as rounds impacted her chassis. She took cover behind a wall as more bullets hit around her. Her sensor picked up a grenade incoming toward her chassis. She vaulted over a burnt-out car and smashed into a store's shopping window as it exploded.

A frightened yelled caused her to scan to her left. AIs were rarely if ever surprised by something, somewhere in her probability Matrix this exact thing could have happened and by some calculated ratio it did.

Her sensor modules picked up a little girl no more than twelve years of age starting up at her clearly frightened. She spoke through the unit's voice modulator. "Hello little one my name is Abby UEC Artificial Intelligence SN74052." She inwardly scolded herself for automatically using her service number in her Identifying. "Why are you here, you should have evacuated when the fighting started?"

"P-Please my daddy is stuck under some rubble, it happened when the bombs fell, everybody left us and ran, I was going to run and get help but then I heard shooting. Hurry!" The girl ran further into the buliding.

Abby quickly checked for further life signs, the COC was somewhat known for using children as bait to lure UEC soldiers into ambushes. After a quick scan it was confirmed that the only life signs that could be picked up were the girl and another one further back in the store, with that she followed the girl.

-XXX-

Shepherd smirked as he saw the HCMs mop up the last of the COC innies and used the rest to route them out of their positions. "Looks like my gamble paid off, " he chuckled, "now I owe Ramirez a drink." He said to himself as Alenko and Yong ran up behind him.

"Sir the innies are in full retreat should we advance?" Yong asked switching the magazines in his rifle for a fresh one.

"Yeah push up to the square let's establish a foothold for the Marines. I want this place locked down."

The duo nodded and Alenko started issuing orders to other OITs nearby. "Prophet this is Shepherd, we have established a foothold in my sector, Hyro's square is secured, I repeat City Square secure."

A few moments of crackling and static took over his radio before a voice came through, "excellent work lieutenant Shepherd, I hope Abby was a big help."

Shepard's face hardened before he realized. the voice of the user, "Captain Ramirez, yes ma'am your assistance was impeccable, but who's Abby?" A synthesized voice came from behind him. He turned I realize it was the voice of an HCM chassis.

"That would be me, lieutenant, " Abby said her chassis holding a man bridal style.

"Thank you, Abby, and do you mind telling me..." Shepherd stopped mid-sentence when he realized a little girl was poking out behind Abby's side. "Who these civilians are?"

"Yes, sir while I was engaging the COC forces I happened upon this little girl and her father. The father was buried under some debris his injuries include fractured ribs, trauma to the skull, a crushed femur, and possible internal bleeding, I suggest we get him to immediate medical attention."

Shepherd thought for a moment, 'Surely this isn't an innie trick.'

"Please sir my daddy is hurt help him..." the girl pleaded, still hiding behind Abby's chassis.

He kneeled down to eye level with the girl while Abby stepped aside, with a turn and click he took his helmet off and tucked it under his arm. "Don't worry sweetie, we're going to take good care of your dad. What's your name?

"Elizabeth, w-what's yours?"

Shepherd smiled, "it's John."

"John," she repeated as the shuttles started touching down the marines existed and started fanning over the area. The main shuttle of the coalition was the M7- Hornet, a versatile VOTL air and mid space craft.

"Shepherd!" a voice yelled over to him from one of the shuttles. Off stepped a woman cladded in marine armor and camouflage fatigues; the rank of sergeant major was on the right side of her chest plate.

Once when she clicked the blue HUD off from her left eye that he could see her face clearly.

"Sergeant Williams it's good to see you." He said shaking her hand.

"Likewise sir, I trust your drop went well?"

He shrugged, "as well as could be expected, the damn innies we're dug in deeper than a tick."

"Don't worry Lieutenant the Marines are here to mop up after your asses...sir, my orders we're to link up with you and make our way toward the outskirts of town, to a staging area. It's about some innie compound a couple kicks off the coast, command wanted half your chalk to come with us to assault the damn place, word is Morgan Stanley one of the COCs political heads is held up there."

Shepherd shook his head as a heavy transport landed and an armored APC and various all-terrain Scout Vehicles rolled out. "Always another fight ahead of us..."

"Lieutenant Shepard, again I advise we get this civilian immediate medical attention."

He nodded, "of course, " he turned back to the little girl. "Ok sweetheart, you're just gonna follow Abby here into that shuttle, it going to take you to a big space ship ok?"

The girl nodded and held Abby's hand if the AI was surprised she didn't show it as she carried the unconscious man and held the little girl's hand and walk towards the shuttle.

Shepherd radioed in his company of OITs, "Bravo company this is Lieutenant Shepherd, I want half our chalk to stay and help the marines secure the area, the rest were joining Sergeant Major Willams and her Marines to assault a compound with a HVT inside, we move out in five."

The Sergeant Major looked at Abby as she walked off with the civilians, "That was one of those HCMs, huh, never fought alongside with one myself, how did it do? Williams asked.

"The ones that are just controlled by the VIs do ok, but boy let me tell you if an AI takes control of the chassis it's all over..." Alenko answered.

"First sergeant, it's good to see you too, heard on the battlenet you played sniper today, got any confirmed kills?" Williams asked as they made their way to the back of an opened APC.

"Yeah some, took this rifle from this bastard who was gunning down our guys left and right, me and a trooper named Yong took him out. That prick must have been ex-military or one of those the COC actually trained. It's surprising how many innies are receiving professional training."

"Can you blame them? volunteers and ragtag militia forces can only get you so far, especially when you are fighting a conventional military like the coalition's." Williams said as the three took a seat in the APC.

"You can bet most of the ones training them are defectors," Shepherd said as the ramp closed shut and the armored vehicle pulled off.

"Yeah bastards, I mean sure the UEC has it's shortcomings and has done some questionable things in the past but does that really warrant betraying your government and the people you swore to serve and protect?" Alenko asked shaking his helmeted head.

"Yeah you do swear to do those things but it means a lot less when you've been drafted," Williams stated.

Shepard shook his head, "damn war..."

-XXX-

"Sir I have the briefs waiting for you in your office."

Brown nodded his head in thanks, "good thank you, Lisa, I'll be in there if you need me." With that, the automatic door closed and he stepped into his presidential office. He removed his Gray suit jacket on the hanger.

Turning on the holo TV he began to loosen his tie letting it fall around his shoulders.

"UEC military officials have stated the actions taking place in the outer colonies are in direct response to the terror bombing on Luna Earth's moon in which over 5000 innocent civilians died due to the bomb and resulting atmospheric vent from the city..."

Brown poured himself a brandy and downed the first glass whole. "uh.." he grunted pouring himself another.

"Now we go to Diana Allers our Coalition News Network war correspondent reporting on the planet of Steller with the 7th Marine regiment who is fighting alongside the 56th OIT division...Diana."

The screen switched to women in the civilian version of Marine armor with the word 'CNN PRESS' across her chest plate. "Hello Khalisah, yes I'm coming to you from the colony world of Steller where the 14th coalition battle group has laid siege of the various cities."

As she was talking three OIP pods landed near them, the doors popped off and troopers filed out.

The reporter recovered from her shock from the pods landing, "a-as you can see there are still pockets of resistance although the coalition has gained a stable foothold."

Faint gunfire could still be heard in the distance.

"Here I have a Marine, Major Freeman, Major what is the UECs plans for this world as well as the others the military has assaulted today?"

Brown drowned out the TV and began looking through a datapad it summed up the events that happened and their effects. He took a sip from his brandy when his AI popped up on it's holo disk this artificial intelligence took the form of a black figure dressed in a white suit with a blood-red tie. It had no facial features but a blank black face similar to a mannequin. "Alpha good to see you..." Brown greeted.

"Likewise sir I have a transmission to you from UECNI HQ," Alpha's synthetic voice stated, hands behind his back in a respectful manner."

Brown's eyebrows scrunched together, "Naval Intelligence? Hmm, patch em through..."

Alpha's hologram changed to a man setting in a chair smoking a cigarette. His eyes were piercing and abnormal suggesting that they were cybernetics. A man president Denzel Brown knew all too well, "Director Harper what do I owe this pleasure?"

Jack Harper smashed his cigarette out before standing and clasping his hands together. "Mr. President I have some interesting news for you.."

Brown shook his head and downed his second glass of bourbon sighing he asked, "what kind of news director?"

A firm line came across Harper's lips in a frown, "the Alien kind..."

Brown went slack-jawed, surely this wasn't a joke, not coming from the director of naval intelligence..."b-by all means, do tell."

-Codex-

Humanoid combat mechs (HCMs)- A deadly tool of war, designed by cyber fall Industries. HCMs are used mostly in ground warfare, security bolstering and sometimes as a quick reaction force due to them mostly being deployed from UECN carriers. They are new to the battlefield still not being utilized by the whole of the UEC military. It's chassis is armored with cheap yet durable steel alloy plates. These machines are mostly run by VIs but AIs are known to be able to take over the unit and increase it's combat effectiveness tenfold. The VIs controling them can be set to different functions, for example security where it uses less then lethal force in some situations. On the other side of the spectrum it can be programmed as a deadly footsoldier.

United Earth Coalition Armed Forces- The UEC military is comprised of various branches including the UEC Army (UECA) responsible for planet-based warfare defense and garrison. It also has it's own special operations forces the Special Interplanetary Operations Group (SIOG) these specialized soldiers conduct counter terrorism, special ops and unconventional tactics and warfare.

The UEC Navy (UECN) responsible for ship to ship space warfare, planet air warfare, anti-piracy, orbit defense, and transport of Marines, equipment and supplies during wartime. They also utilize the UEC Naval Intelligence, (UECNI) responsible for Intel gathering and decoding, propaganda, advanced research and espionage. The navy still uses water based vessels known as the 'wet fleet' on UEC worlds with the capillary of water travel, this smaller organization plays a key role in coalition controlled waters.

The UEC Marine Corps (UECMC) responsible for conducting expeditionary, amphibious and interplanetary operations. It has a much similar role as the Army except the Marines can be deployed anywhere within 48 standard hours or two solar days, this gives the corps the title of the main UEC quick reaction force. They also have the OITs.