In the late 23rd century, variations in the human genome began to bring about humans that had unusual, and often-spectacular powers, these new super-powered humans came to be known as Meta-Humans. The human race accepted the Meta-Humans for a time, but eventually began to feel intimidated by them. It was true, there were many who had taken their powers, and used them to satisfy their own interests, but by far, they used their powers to help the human race. Unfortunately, humans have never been known to be tolerant creatures.
Little by little, distrust spread, eventually reaching the government level. Eventually, laws began to be passed, restricting superhuman rights, first restricting the use of their powers, and eventually, many of their fundamental rights began to be removed.
Many of these new powerful humans tried to comply with the laws, hoping to prove themselves to the human race, but to no avail. The laws continued to be passed, further and further restricting the lives of those who were no longer considered to be 'human'. As time went on these 'monsters', as they were oft referred to, began to grow more and more bitter with the human race, until eventually one of them finally stood up, and set fire to the powder keg of distrust and bitterness
His name was Kain, a powerful Meta-Human, who spoke aloud the views of nearly all the Meta-Humans in the world, denouncing the governments of the world, and secretly orchestrating raids against them. Eventually, his actions were brought to the surface, along with those of his superhuman followers. As is typical of humans, the government overreacted, ordering the arrest of any superhuman that was even suspect of assisting Kain's forces. Naturally, this behaved much like the Red Scare of so many years earlier, resulting in perfectly innocent Meta-Humans were being arrested, and tried for crimes they had never committed. Thus confirming all that Kain had been claiming.
August 15, 2361A.D. Kain finally took action, breaking the first law placed on Meta-Humans, and the one that bore the most severe punishment; he used his powers against humans. Sick of the oppression, countless other Meta-Humans joined the uprising, and in a terrifying coup d'etat, the Meta-Humans completely overthrew the government on earth. After this, Kain declared the exact opposite of the laws that had been previously in effect, claiming the Meta-Humans to be a master race, and humans to be far inferior.
Wielding their massive powers, the Meta-Human government swept the earth, subjugating the world at a rapid pace, enslaving the human race. Many humans attempted to escape this new earth, fleeing to space and joining colonies on distant planets in hope of living out their lives free from the rapidly expanding Meta-Human rule.
Now seeing the humans as their free labor force, the Meta-Human government quickly mobilized expedition forces to seek out these human settlements, followed rapidly by military forces to subjugate these planets as well.
Within a matter of thirty years, practically every human colony in the universe had been conquered, and the Meta-Human's rule solidified.
However, resistance still exists, although the Meta-Humans easily control the surface of the colonized worlds, it is still easy enough for humans to hide in the vastness of space, relying on hit and run tactics to fight against the Meta-Human military.
It is now the year 2580, and there is no one left alive that remembers the years prior to the Meta-Human's controlling the known universe. A lone resistance ship, the Slipstream, has run low on supplies and is preparing a raid on a little known farming planet.
The sun beat down gently over the face of the world, smooth rolling farmland as far as the eye could see, broken sporadically by moving farm equipment the size of small houses. Standing tall overtop the sprawling fields was a large complex of buildings, the center of this massive farm, providing everything from housing, to maintenance of the equipment, to shopping areas for the workers.
Scattered around the outer edges of the complex were several different types of the massive farm machines. Walking among them was a young man; he had short, dark brown hair and light blue eyes. His lean face, muscular build, and darkened, tough skin showed clear evidence of a life lived working outdoors. The man was dressed very simply; the rough, slightly ragged clothing and his direct aversion to looking directly at anyone else that passed him clearly indicated one thing: this was a human slave.
Despite his aversion to meeting gazes with passersby, he was continually scanning around, as though looking for something. His search was interrupted when a feminine voice called out, "Jayce, hey Jayce! That you?"
He looked around; trying to locate the speaker, despite already knowing whom the voice belonged to, "Yes, what can I do for you, Miss Haruko." A brief moment passed, "Pardon me for asking but, where are you?"
The voice came back at him, "Under the combine, get over here, hurry. Oh, and no one else is around, you can use my real name ya know."
'Jayce' dropped to the ground, looking around to see a pair of shoes sticking out from underneath one of the many lined up combines. He jogged easily over to the combine and crouched down near the feet he had seen, "What do you need Amaya?"
"Another plasma sealer."
Jayce reached over into the familiar tool chest that sat next to him, deftly shifting through it to find the small tool that had been called for.
The voice called from under the machine again, "Right side."
Producing the small item, a small piece of metal that appeared to be attachable into a loop of some sort with a thin wire running across the back, he slid it across the concrete towards the person under the machine, aiming for where her right arm should be, "Here."
"Thanks," came the reply.
A moment passed, then a whirr of mechanics could be heard, followed by a slight hiss.
A mutter came from beneath the machine, "There, that should hold."
Jayce stood up and backed up a bit, allowing space as a small, dirty hand reached out, grabbing the edge of the combine, as the mechanic used her grip to slide herself out from underneath the machine.
Having extracted herself from beneath the machine, the mechanic revealed herself to be about the same age as Jayce and dressed in a simple, gray, form-fitting t-shirt and a pair of tough-looking pants, the girl was practically covered head-to-toe with splotches of grime and grease. A light smile adorned her face as a pair of green eyes, made to doubly stand out by the grime on her face, matched the smile. Scattered around her head was her long blonde hair, mostly pulled back into a ponytail except for short bangs that framed in her cute face.
Sliding a handful of tools off to the side, she reached cutely up with her right hand, her head cocked slightly to the side. With a chuckle, Jayce grabbed the girl's hand, and pulled her to her feet.
Once standing, it could be clearly be seen the height difference between the two. Although no giant, standing at about five foot, ten inches; Jayce still stood a full eight inches taller than the girl.
Brushing some of the dirt off her slender, shapely body, the girl looked back up at Jayce, "Thanks again, I was doing some maintenance on the thing and noticed a coolant line was loose, when I tried to put it back, it split. I couldn't exactly let go, or there'd be coolant everywhere, so I just kinda held on to it until someone showed up. I saw your shoes first, so you're the lucky one that got recruited."
Jayce gave the girl a questioning look, "How long were you laying under there, Amaya?"
The girl smiled sheepishly, wiping her hands off on the side of her pants, bumping against the tag on her hip indicating her as one of the head mechanics on the farm, "About twenty minutes."
The two laughed for a short moment, an unlikely friendship, a Meta-Human mechanic and a common slave.
Amaya stopped first, casting a glance back at the combine, "So, what brings ya out here anyway?"
As though suddenly remembering his duty, Jayce instantly stopped his chuckle, "I was sent to find you, Master Johnson wanted you to come and look at one of the Shivs in the hanger bay, it's been having some problems with the movement of its right hip joint, he said something about it not gliding smoothly."
A look of slight excitement crossed Amaya's face, the girl loved working on the tall battle-mechs, and jumped at any opportunity to do so that came her way.
"Well, what're we waiting for, don't wanna keep old man Johnson waiting now do we?"
With that the girl turned and broke into a jog, headed for the Shiv hanger, Jayce dropping into a jog behind her.
As the two jogged towards their destination, a burning streak flashed across the sky, unnoticed by the two friends.
Silent figures moved with a purpose around the body of a boxy craft. Two bay doors were pivoted down, creating ramps from the belly of the craft, where numerous tanks rolled out, and armored soldiers marked with a white skull on their shoulder patch hustled up and down, moving equipment and ammo, as well as forming up into ranks, and checking their own weapons. Four large mechs knelt in eerie silence as their pilots ran last minute checks via handheld data pads. No words were exchanged, and only the occasional hand motion signaled any kind of communication between the different soldiers.
The Shiv pilots disconnected their data pads, nodding in approval of their final checks, and climbed up the built in ladder on one of the lowered arms, and up into their respective cockpits. With a hiss of escaping air, and small bursts of steam in the cool morning air, the interlocks on the Shivs joints released, and the four mechs slowly stood to their feet. Two of them, identical Strong-Arm style support Shivs picked up giant variations of handheld machine guns, while a single, hunchbacked Shiv, affectionately named the Gremlin, pulled a pair of enormous axes from the bed of a semi-truck. The fourth of the Shivs was taller than the others, with spikes jutting down from its knees. It chose a heavy sniper rifle from the selection of weapons the semi-trailer offered, while putting a pistol-like weapon into its clamps along the right leg.
The pilot of the hunchbacked "Gremlin" pulled at his controls, spinning the Shiv about, displaying a red wolf's head painted on it's shoulder, and facing it towards a large clearing, covered in rolling farmlands. His copilot hooted in excitement, and a sneer snuck across the pilot's lips as he pulled a gruesome facemask down into place. Troops, tanks, and the other three Shivs turned towards the farmland, and without another word, began their movement.
Farm work went on quietly, completely unaware of the force that had just landed beyond their property lines. One young woman stood out on her own, morphing a floating 'snake' of water with slight motions of her hands, and the control of her own mind as she used it to irrigate the field. A short distance off, several house-sized tractors were spraying chemicals and fertilizers to encourage the crops growth.
A tractor went up in a fiery blaze, literally vaporized by the impact. The echo of the tank's cannon caught up with the round just as a second tractor went up in an inferno.
The water elemental stared for a long moment, her jaw hanging open in surprise. She never saw the red dot line itself up on the side of her head, nor felt the round as it tore through.
Two identical Shivs stormed across the field, mowing down anything that moved in a powerful burst from their weapons. Tanks continued to rain destruction down on the field from their hidden positions in the tree line. The two combat mechs charged a pair of sentry Shivs that sat silently, still too dumbstruck by the surprise and ferocity of the attack to move. Both defending Shivs caught their senses just before the two attackers fell upon them, and flipped unnaturally out of harms way.
"Dammit!" swore one of the Strong-Arm pilots.
"Wolf Pack Three, roll out right." A cold, female voice spoke over their comms link.
The cursing Strong-Arm pilot leapt out of the way, and an enormous roar filled the air as the tall Shiv's sniper rifle reported. It caught one of the two defending Shivs the same moment that its feet touched the ground, and literally tore the top half off of it, leaving a pair of sparking legs to topple over on their own. The two attackers engaged the remaining defender in a deadly dance of firepower as the sniper and the Gremlin stormed across the field towards the hanger bay, hoping to down the rest of the defensive Shivs before the pilots could reach them. The remaining sentry noticed them, and rushed the two Strong-Arms, the mechs raised their weapons to counter the charge, only for the rushing machine to shimmer, and run right through the two, phasing through the Shivs as though they weren't even there.
"Wolf Pack One! Wolf Pack Two! Sentry inbound, he's a phaser!!" came from the last Strong-Arm, Wolf Pack Four.
"One acknowledges, do what you can Four."
Both Strong-Arms spun as one, and leveled their weapons. The pilot of the defensive Shiv was new, and had cut and run too quick, leaving himself far too open. A hail of lead spat from the twin Shivs as both their hand held weapons and the shoulder mounted rocket launchers roared. The remaining sentry stumbled from the firepower a moment before the rockets caught up, and fire ate through the armored hull.
Wolf Pack One, in his Gremlin "fighter" Shiv, physically tore the doors off the hanger bay, stepping aside to let the sniper unit stomp its way through the opening. Wolf Pack Two pulls the pistol from the Shiv's leg, and walks down the aisles of defensive Shivs, putting a single, strategic round into the cockpit of each of the powered down units.
A squeak of terror picked up on the Bull's-Eye's audio sensors, and the Shiv spun to see a blonde ponytail disappear behind a pile of crates. With a brush of the empty hand, the Sniper Shiv swatted the entire pile aside, revealing a very scared young girl staring back, tears rolling down her eyes. Without hesitation, the pistol is brought to bear, and the trigger pulled.
A veritable blur dashed out from behind the leg of one of the battered defensive Shivs, and tackled the blonde out of harms way not a moment before the round bore a crater through the floor. The Shiv turned swiftly, and returned her aim to where the blonde now lay, covered by the tackle of a brown-haired boy.
"You should know when to die." The same cold female voice spat from the Sniper Shiv's audio speakers.
The blonde lay on the floor, tears still in her eyes, but there was a cold, icy fury from the boy's eyes that caused Wolf Pack Two to hesitate for just an instant.
"TWO! Hold your fire!"
'Two' sneered, the corners of her lips turning down behind her helmet.
"He's HUMAN Two, Stand Down!" The pilot of the Gremlin ordered.
With a sigh, she dropped her aim, putting the pistol back into its holster at the Shiv's leg. She finally glanced at her own scanners, if only to confirm the truth. Although the female shone bright red on her sensors, the boy's silhouette was pure blue…not a drop of Meta-Human blood in him.
"Remember the Council's orders, Two, we have to get him back alive. He is now the primary focus of this mission, all else is secondary at this point."
"Yes sir." Came her cold reply.
At the same point, Wolf Pack Three and Four made it to the entrance. "Wolf Pack One, our sweep is complete, no slaves found, all other threats neutralized. The trucks are on their way in for the supplies. Their warehouses were almost full." The Shiv pilot's voice fell, almost as if a warning. "Somebody big liked this place."
"Roger, copy all." The Gremlin's pilot answered. "Two destroyed their defensive capabilities here, and we have one human. Go back and escort the trucks in, we don't know how long it will take for the planet's military to respond."
Without bothering to acknowledge, the two Strong-Arms turned, and hurried away. The Gremlin turned, giving its pilot a view of the Bull's-Eye once again.
The Sniper Shiv was down on one knee, the pilot's hatch open. A figure stood a few paces in front of it, aiming a rock steady pistol at the human boy and the girl he covered.
Jayce helped Amaya back to a sitting position before rising to his feet and stepping defiantly towards the Shiv's pilot, who still wore her helmet, hiding her features behind the face of the mask and leaving only a pair of cold eyes visible.
"Stand aside, Human, and you won't be hurt," her harsh voice echoed in the massive hangar.
Jayce didn't. Instead, he continued forward, fury still emanating from his eyes. No longer could one see the humble attitude of a slave; instead it was replaced by an utter defiance as he defended his friend.
"Stand. Aside. Human. I'm only here to kill her."
Jayce stopped with the gun pressed against his own chest, staring icily back into the masked eyes.
"You will not touch her." He said, his voice as thick with ice as his stare was.
The pilot's hand clenched into a fist, and rammed into Jayce's stomach, doubling him over on the ground. The pilot stared at him for a moment, before leveling her weapon once again at the trembling Meta-Human in the corner.
The pilot's eyes narrowed as she aligned the shot. A hand caught her arm, and she gasped as the grip tightened around her wrist. Jayce was up on one knee, pulling the weapon back so that it was pointed directly into his own skull. He winced as he got up, still holding the gun arm firmly in his hard-as-iron grasp.
"You. Will. Not. Touch. Her." He hissed between pained breaths.
The Shiv pilot stared back at the defiant human. "Why do you protect the ones that enslave you?"
Jayce's eyes narrowed as he glared back into the pilot's mask. "I protect no master. I protect a friend."
A sigh came from behind the mask. "Alright, let go of my arm, I won't shoot her."
Jayce loosened his grip, and let his arm fall to his own side. The gun's aim fell as well, until it was replaced back into the pilot's holster on her leg. With a snap-hiss, the pilot removed her helmet, revealing a beautiful face, dominated by the cold glare of her green eyes.
"You are a slave of this farm, I presume?" she asked.
Jayce nodded back a wordless reply.
"Then you are coming with me. From this point on you must obey my orders, or you will die."
Jayce stood steady, not responding in any way. She took his silence for agreement, and grabbed his arm, dragging him back towards the Shiv.
"Jayce, d-don't leave me!!" Amaya cried out from behind them, speaking for the first time since the Shivs had come crashing into the hangar.
The slave boy twisted in the Shiv pilot's arm, trying to turn back towards her.
"Forget her," the pilot snapped, yanking him along. "She'll only use you like the rest of them do."
With a growl, Jayce stepped a foot in front of his new captor, tripping her with a shove, and wrenched his arm free of her grasp. The pilot stumbled, and fell to her hands and knees, surprised by the sudden move.
"Don't do it, kid," came Wolf Pack One's voice from the Gremlin, as it raised it's twin axes.
The downed pilot snapped her head back over her shoulder, and saw Jayce standing halfway between herself and the Meta-Human, holding her pistol. It was aimed directly between her eyes, and his hand didn't so much as shiver.
"She goes with me, or I don't go at all."
Pulling herself slowly to her feet, the Shiv pilot turned to face the now armed slave. "She's a Meta-Human…our enemy. You shouldn't care what happens to her."
"What she is, is what she is," Jayce growled. "But she is my friend, and you're not leaving her here to die."
Wolf Pack Two frowned. "You mean you're not leaving her here to die."
Jayce glared back. "If you're taking me, then she is going with us."
"Wolf Pack Two."
The Shiv pilot was cut off by her squad leader's voice from the Gremlin.
"We'll take her with us. Besides, it's the first time in a very long time that we have had a Meta-Human actually surrender to us. Maybe we can get some information out of her."
With a disgusted look, the female pilot glared at the frightened girl, who still sat on the ground, but followed orders, pivoting on her heel, and walking back towards her Shiv. As she turned to walk, a pair of trucks rolled into the hangar, masked ground troops pouring out of both of them. The majority of the newly arrived soldiers scattered around the cavernous room, taking anything valuable that wasn't bolted down.
Leaving the rest of the pillaging squad, four soldiers marched over to the two gathered mechs as Wolf Pack One's voice called out his orders from the speakers of his machine, "Escort the boy to the trucks, restrain the girl, she is a captive."
"Sir." The lead soldier responded, as two of them walked over to Jayce. Without warning, they twisted his arm, wrenching the pistol from his grip. Taking him none too gently by his underarms, they began dragging him towards the trucks.
The other two walked towards Amaya, weapons at the ready, no expression visible behind their masked helmets.
"Don't even think about resisting ya little freak," spat one of the two troopers as he aimed his rifle right in her face.
The girl shrunk back from them, a terrified look on her face. One soldier remained in front of her, keeping his rifle trained at her head as the other walked around behind her.
Thinking she knew what was going to happen, Amaya tucked her hands behind her back, expecting to be handcuffed.
Unseen by the young Meta-Human, the soldier behind her raised his weapon, the butt of it aimed at her head.
Glancing back, Jayce saw what was happening and immediately began to struggle against his 'escorts', "Amaya, No!"
The soldier brought his weapon down, connecting solidly with the back of Amaya's skull with a resounding thump that echoed through the hangar. The impact drove her blonde head gracelessly into the ground. She painfully looked up to see Jayce struggling against a pair of soldiers for only a brief moment, the other two standing mercilessly overtop her, then her world went black.