0x12c

It was another eve of destruction, and the morning that passed thence saw skulls of coltan and calcium strewn about the battlefield. Many bodies of men were mangled beyond recognition, as many bodies of machine were ruined beyond repair and conversion. And as the sun rose over the horizon, her fingers of light danced over the place, revealing the destroyed bodies of both races; the result of an aggressive disassembly of flesh and steel – the former of which was the victor on this plane.

But it was seen, somehow despite the glorious sunrise, that one of them still lived, its eyes weakly flickering red, desperate to rekindle the fire of its optics. And since it was men who saw victory rising over the horizon, it was men who came and extricated this dying machine from its incarceration of rubble and debris.

When the body was formed, like all machines he was inspected. Of so many dead machines there were so few useful, and of so few useful there were fewer output as warriors. The machine was subject to the necessary process of evaluation, and because he was weak, a T-600 of outdated make, he was to be cast into the fires from whence he came. But the Father, the man who led us all, saw more in the eyes of the rubber-skinned man, and spared him the fate of others like him.

He was spindly, a weakness of the model, and tall and massive like nothing ever seen. A target, a magnet for the blue fires of plasma and the swords of steel and tungsten that the unholy machines do cast. And so the Father put him to the test, let him learn by experience how he must compensate for his weakness. It was the culture of the hardened reprogrammed, the way of the holy machine, the path of the creation of the greatest coltan men.

The Father ordered him cast into the wilderness, where the hunting, killing birds of the sky swept their eyes and their beams of light over the ruins of civilization. There he was left with no power source, no weapons but what he could fashion of his environment, and only the wits of his masterful superconductor mind. There in the wilderness he lived and laid for many months, his rubber shell baked by the hot daylight and cooled by the frozen night wind.

And there it was, the Centaur, the half-beast, a monstrosity with the body of a tank and the head of an HK; on the seventh month of his ordeals, the beast came to challenge him.

The Centaur began to flank the machine. Guns of black titanium, war paint as the dark night that penetrated his optics, eyes of blue and green that saw all wavelengths and patterns; the rubber machine not flinching, not running, just steady with the ultrasonic spear that he made. The massive beast filling its senses with the man, ready to strike and pierce his steel with coldness to worry even the creator of these evils.

But it was not evasion programming that gripped him; nor was it a survival instinct. Only concentration on the form of the beast, only calculations on its torso turn rate and overall turn radius, only scrolling knowledge of the monster's guns' fields of fire. His hand gripped the weapon strongly; his eyes merging with the Centaur's silhouette; his form – perfect.

Behold the mind of his adversary in his hand, a pathetically small chip that had controlled a demon of such size. He crushed it beneath his feet.

And so the machine, given up for dead, returned to the Father, a KING! The man who bound the most glorious Infiltrators to their allegiance! The KING – Key Infiltrator Nationalism Guardian – who shall keep his fellow machines steadfast in their loyalty to humanity! For he had witnessed the destruction that the evil Skynet wrought, and this witness brought him vision and purpose – protection and salvation! He, with the men he would lead, would be the instruments of the human race, to save itself! This was the KING!

"Our KING," the storyteller declared. "Serial number L30N1D4S!" to which thousands upon thousands of machines replied with their 25 KHz "HAA-OOH!" whistles!

His rubber sheath was thickened with modifications to his endoskeleton; he now had the rippling musculature of a man who had fought all the world and returned to show it. Now, he was the KING unit of SPARTA, the Specialized Autonomous Region of Terminator Assets, a fortress of coltan men who fought under the banner of the Father, whom the men called Connor. This city-state was run entirely by us, the revered metal of Connor, and bound together by the KING who fought the beast himself.

Now another beast approaches, separate from the Centaur chimera, but altogether alike in build, composed of a million soulless bodies ruled by a heartless mind – the slave of the Mind of the Sky, XERXNET. A sea of slaves and fiery power cells, endless waves of cybernetics ready to die, that they may kill.

A new beast approaches, and it was L30 himself who provoked it.