Disclaimer: I in no way hold any claim over the ARK: Survival Evolved. All rights to the series belong to its creators/producers.

Tales From The ARKs: The Island

Prologue Part 1: Change The Game

750 Years After the Initial Launch of The ARKs –

ARK #1845; The Overseer's Lair

In Orbit of Earth

How long does one consider a century to be? To the human survivors aboard the ARKs it could be considered a lifetime, though such an extensive life remained a rarity to see as most were lucky to survive even half as long. But what is a measly 100 years to an artificial construct such as themselves? What power do the constraints of Time hold over the timeless? Had such queries occurred to them even a single century ago they would have claimed Time to be nothing but a powerless concept conceived by mortal minds in the futile attempt to measure the immeasurable. But after so long with only too few Ascended, the Overseer of ARK# 1845 found themselves faced with the unfortunate error of such audacious beliefs. For while it was true that Time held no sway over the immortal constructs themselves, Times power over them came from its hold over the environments with which they had been charged.

The ARKs were failing.

Maintaining the impressive infrastructure of just one of the massive ARK Stations was by itself a daunting task. Doing the same for over 3000 of them was near impossible for any single entity. Originally; managing an ARK Station would require upwards of 100 human caretakers but as humanities population dwindled faster and faster an alternative was needed to eventually replace them when they inevitably died out. Thus the first Overseer was born, so to speak.

Each individual artificial construct held the capability to efficiently manage a single ARK Station without aid, easily doing the equivalent work of over 100 men. By the time the original human caretakers inevitably died out the Overseer's had long been the single most advanced piece of technology ever conceived by humanities brightest minds! Each Overseer, once constructed, would ultimately be assigned as the curator over a single ARK Station, guiding the numerable cloned survivors through each of the ARKs many trials and challenges. The end goal of this entire lengthy process was, rather obviously, to one day reclaim humanities home world Earth. To slay every last Element Borne Titan and to purge every single speck of the corruptive substance from the Earths tainted soil.

That every last Overseer was not only designed free of such corruption but also capable of purging any possible future corruption from its artificial being was not only fortuitous, it was a most vital necessity. When it was first discovered, midway through the 22nd century, Element quickly revolutionized nearly every aspect of life on Earth. It was a material so unbelievably versatile that with little work it could easily be integrated into any facet of modern life. Communications technology, medicine, prosthetics, military uses, construction, transportation, any thing and seemingly everything could be improved by its addition. By the time humanity became aware of its highly parasitic nature it was far too late for them to repair the damage already done across the planet.

Due to humanities near obsessive use of it, as well as other more extreme factors, the Element had rapidly swept across the entirety of the planet unhindered, seeping deep into its crust where it quickly grew unimpeded. Within a decade the first signs of its poisonous influence became known but it wasn't until the Globe-Spanning Element War that Earth had hit its point-of-no-return and the Elements influence could be seen everywhere. Over time the Earth's natural plant life was found mutated and grotesque and the infected flora only served to begin infecting the worlds fauna at an accelerated rate. It wasn't long before humanity found themselves with rapidly dwindling food stores as every piece of farm land became corrupted and unusable. Soon enough the oceans began to boil away into a barren waste as Element mixed with seawater across the globe and with each passing day more of the Earth's wildlife fell under the Elements thrall, seeking only to spread the infection further even as their own corrupted bodies were consumed by it.

While the ARKs, and by extension the Overseer's which ruled them, remained at the peak of ingenuity and innovation their human architects had made one fatal error in their designs. The ARKs were built under the assumption that the spreading Element Plague had reached its peak, that while Earth had been forcefully taken from humanity the parasitic substance remained confined to the terrestrial body. The plan they had then created had been conceived under this false assumption. With the survivors of the ARKs only seldom achieving their Ascension and Non-Purified Element reaching the ARKs sterile environment, the situation was becoming quite dire. By the ARKs 300th year in orbit only 20 survivors from numerous ARK Stations had achieved their Ascension.

That in of itself was of little concern; yes, the number of Ascended was much lower than what had originally been predicted but the ARKs were proving to be a success none-the-less, some fine tuning of the ARK trials would surely see many more Ascended. Had the ARKs not become compromised then there would have been plenty of time to do so. The question of how Non-Purified Element reached the ARKs was so far unanswered and due to the immediate crisis would unfortunately remain unanswered for some time still.

Precautions were of course implemented to hopefully limit, if not outright prevent, the Element from spreading to the other ARKs but by the ARKs 500th year in service those precautions proved to be only a temporary measure. The 37th survivor to Ascend, one Helena Walker, marked a change for the worse among the ARKs.

Crisis after crisis struck though initially the chaotic situation remained unnoticed by the multitude of Overseer's watching over the ARKs functions. This series of rather unfortunate events began, quite literally, with a bang. ARK# 1636, designated Aberration, not only suffered near catastrophic damage, perpetrated by a survivors revolt, but also suffered the unprecedented permanent death of its Overseer. With the ARK falling to rubble and its Master dead the Usurper took control of the ARKs remaining systems before a new Overseer could be assigned. Over time the Usurper completely transformed the ARK into the massive lush cave system it had become known for. It was only due to the quick actions of the remaining Overseers that the Usurper was prevented from reaching the other ARKs and shackled him into his role as the Final Test for survivors aboard the ARK. They were, unfortunately, unable to wrestle control of the ARK away from the monstrosity.

Next came the disappearances of the Titans; they weren't dead, that much at least was known for certain, but they were no where to be found upon the Earth. With the Titans hidden, but still active, no survivors were able to surpass their final trial and reach their Ascension. Which in turn meant Earth was unable to reach a curable state as the remaining Titans continued to spew Element in the environment in vast amounts. As the Titans only began to appear after the Element had corrupted most of the Earth; it was only theorized that a single Titan could effectively corrupt half of even the largest continent alone with the amount of Element they passively produced, and that was to say nothing of the damage multiple Titans could cause let alone the King of them all.

Finally came the increase in the Elements growth; with the Titans firmly out of reach and producing more Element than they had before the Earth and her denizens only became more corrupt as time passed. The parasitic material wrought havoc across the planets surface, going so far as to begin turning the crust itself into more Element which would only continue to spread.

The Overseer collective had eventually convened and determined that by the time a full millennia had passed, if drastic changes were not made, then Earth would be forever lost to the children of humanity. The Elements hold over the planet would be absolute and there would be no hope of ever one day reclaiming it. With that under consideration it was decided by the vast majority of Overseer's that the ARKs would need to change, in more than a multitude of ways. The current batch of survivors, who till now had been allowed to live however they chose as the crisis's were addressed, would be gradually pushed to once more begin advancing through the ARKs. If they failed, then new plans would need to be quickly set in motion.

The Island –

Within the Overseer's lair aboard ARK# 1845 the Overseer themselves stood, or hovered rather, in the rooms center as its artificial mind began processing all the changes which would need to occur over the coming months. Suddenly its body, which was comprised of several hundred tiny diamond shaped drones, split into more than a dozen segments. Most of them spread out across many of the ARKs control stations but three of these fragments weaved through the massive open room and into the hallway leading further into the facilities depths. Two of these fragments separated shortly after as the third continued onwards alone. Weaving through the metallic halls before shooting up through a gap present in the ceiling and into a long decommissioned medical bay last used by the ARKs original architects. Here they flowed past every obstacle before them till they found themselves slowly orbiting the rooms only source of light in a double helix pattern.

Originating from the large glass tank positioned at the back of the room, filled with a breathable clear blue liquid and illuminated from a set of ring lights mounted to the tanks top and bottom. In the tank floated a middle-aged man connected to various rather outdated life support systems. The Overseer fragment began interfacing with the various monitoring devices connected to the tank, already having come to a decision regarding this anomaly.

The ARK trials would be going through many changes in the coming months but this man, he was an entirely new variable to consider. Human as human could be but also with something extra, several unexplained anomalies present in his makeup that had been repeatedly observed by the Overseer ever since he had been retrieved from where he had been drifting out in the black void around them. This man was very clearly more than just another human specimen and, perhaps, a little 'extra' was exactly what the ARKs needed to succeed?

The anomalous man would remain in its induced stasis for now, The Overseer had much to do with him before he could be released onto the ARK far below. Standard procedure when introducing a cloned survivor, or in this case unregistered survivor, was to first have them fitted for their individually unique specimen implant. Next would be to properly register this ones biosignature to the ARKs unified database, after which he would need to be reverted to a blank slate. Normally not a requirement, but for this unknown it would perhaps be best to do so as a precaution if nothing more. Doing so for this man should be a relatively easy task, it had been so before to remove the more insane survivors, reprogramming the entire ARK system though would unfortunately take much more time to accomplish.

Authors Note: As I do work a full-time job and have other projects I put my time into updates for this story, as well as 'Monsters Among Us', will be infrequent. My plan going forward is to write, edit and post a complete arc for one story all at once before moving on to work on the next arc for the other story. Please comment any questions or suggestions you may have; reviews are also greatly appreciated!