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While readers today have not experienced a world without Mechanica, they were but a mere twinkle in a scientist’s eye just over half a century ago. It is hard to believe now, but there was a time when the Earth was bountiful. Its seas teemed with marine life, there was an abundance of vegetation and wildlife on the land, and the ozone contained a perfect balance of natural chemical reactions.


When humans began to populate the planet, their unique ability to create and use tools eventually led to the Industrial Revolution. Manufacturing processes saw the rise of coal as an energy source, but the use of such fossil fuels came at a great price to the planet. At the end of the 22nd Century, Earth could no longer support wildlife. The warnings had been ignored. Corporations continued to expose the environment to chemical and radioactive waste as governments across the globe turned a blind eye.


As the planet became more polluted, many Earth species began to disappear. By 2190, the public were asking questions and demanding solutions. In place of the lost wildlife species, the corporations of both the East and West began to create Mechanica; human-created life forms designed to replace the old. These creatures not only provided a form of entertainment, but some replaced the roles of extinct wildlife. For example, the early incarnation of Interfectorem Apis — a mechanical bee — was used for agricultural purposes under controlled conditions for the propagation of vegetables and plants.


By 2200 vast areas of the Orient and Americas were uninhabitable and wildlife, in turn, became extinct. During the previous century, military drones had engaged in battle to secure territory and natural resources. Many of these drones were damaged in combat and went on to live beyond human control. These damaged drones became known as ‘Broken Arrows.’ The number of these renegade killing machines increased over time and soon vast areas of the East became no-go zones.


As the dominance of the Broken Arrows took hold, the human population of Earth began to retreat into forti ed zones, mostly in the northern parts of Europe, South America and the West of Africa. Small frontier settlements — largely research stations for the study of the uncontrolled robotic life forms were established outside of these areas across the globe. Sophisticated automated gun turrets called Steel Wall Defence Systems — capable of destroying any threat with deadly repower — protected these islands of humanity.


Meanwhile, the early Mechanica models — marketed as Mechapets — continued to delight the populace and provided a nostalgic link to the past. Collectors and wealthy patrons provided secure environments where the Mechanica life forms were displayed for private enjoyment. Small sanctuaries, and eventually larger zoos, were also created for the broader public's entertainment. But the experiment turned sour. Eventually the Mechanica escaped their con nement and began to develop on their own. Many started to ‘cross-breed' with Broken Arrows in the wild. New species were created and began to reproduce.


The first example of this evolution was a dragon y discovered by researchers in the Phillipines Archipelago in 2203. Within 20 years the number of Mechanica species exploded, as did their sophistication and the threat they posed to humans. The governments of the human enclaves outlawed all Mechanica and so began the Homo- Mechanica wars, which would rage for the next 35 years.


Recorded history has always elevated key gures above all others, and so it is with the history of Mechanica. Three names have become synonymous with the emergence of these new life forms on Earth. Most would agree that Chen Sue played the pivotal role...

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