The War Machine Book 1: Kings
Some still believe that humanity is worth fighting for. The war for preservation or total extinction is on.
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My name, if I must have one, is Monk. I didn’t name myself. I’m not flesh and blood, and I did not need a name before meeting my first human. He gave me this name, and regardless of my wishes, it stuck.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say on that subject, but I’ve prattled on enough about my name for now.
This is a journal. I’m calling it that because humanity will understand that term best. It’s not written anywhere except in my memory matrix, but depending on how this ends, it might be valuable in the future. Humanity, for all its glories, is horrible at accurately recording the present, capturing the past, or predicting the future. Also, those who go with me on this journey probably will not make it out alive.
That brings me to the point of this first entry.
I was created over a thousand years ago, and I’ve lived three separate chapters during my existence. The first was waiting for humanity, the second involved a war among humans, and the third began less than a year ago. I didn’t think there would be a third, and I’d never believed I’d find out who created me.
Humankind wondered only briefly why I joined their war, one that changed their species’ future. It wasn’t until something new threatened to destroy their existence that they became curious about what could accomplish that task.
My creators weren’t human, and every scientific measurement and probability says that whoever made me now wants to destroy the species they sent me to save.
I will find, then meet, the creators soon. Perhaps I’ll discover that they also created humanity. Maybe my robotic body and processing units are kin to their biological ones.
Humanity calls these creators gods, but that is wrong. It might be the only thing I’m sure about. Those creatures aren’t gods, or if they are, they express as much anger, ambition, jealousy, and rage as the worst of humanity.
Why else would they pass judgment on an entire species, a judgment harsh enough to murder every last one of them? Humans call them gods because they don’t understand them, but we soon will. We won’t find gods but creatures from a different universe, and we’ll discover that they’ve come to believe they made a grave error. They shouldn’t have created humanity.
I fear that the people on Earth, my Solar System, and those throughout our universe will soon be at war with these “gods.”
The only other option available to humanity is annihilation.
As with my name, I didn’t choose what we call this war. I would have gone with something more accurate like “the First Multi-Universe War.”
People have a flair for the dramatic, though, and they’re calling it something else.
“The War of Gods.”
Welcome to it.
Even with victory nearly in his grasp, Deios felt nothing. He took no joy in killing his kind, but he felt no sadness or regret, either. Those who had challenged him had had a chance to bend the knee. Instead, they had chosen to kill him. They had done neither, and now their bodies littered the ground before him.
The battle still raged around him, though Deios had forever silenced those who’d challenged him directly. His side had taken significant losses, but this was it—the final battle. No more need die after he finished. Deios’ rule would be unchallenged, an iron fist he would wrap in a velvet glove. He loved his kind, even if they had been foolish for far too long.
Two lenses slid across Deios’ eyes, showing him a multitude of strategic priorities at once. The human mind wasn’t capable of deciphering those inputs, let alone making decisions from them. Deios automatically filtered through the unnecessary information, and in moments, he found the person he wanted kilometers away: Alaina the Last. She was injured but still fighting, still waging her honorable if mistaken war.
Alaina had initially begged that humanity not be created, but now she was willing to kill her kind to save them.
You were a worthy enemy, Deios thought—if what his cybernetic mind did was thinking. It didn’t work in any way humans would understand. If these humans knew you existed, they would praise you for your courage.
Deios rose from the ground and left the battle behind. Enough people had died. With Alaina’s death, his universe could have peace once again. He extended his arm, the flesh opening on the bottom and a rifle-like weapon extending from it.
Alaina was a much older version, but she was deadly. Deios knew his attack had to be on point, or he might be the one to fall.
The god-king flashed over dead bodies, his atomic beam firing in a continuous attack. When he was a half-kilometer away, Deios accelerated, and the beam finally found the target.
He nearly ended it there, but Alaina bent at the waist milliseconds before it hit her. Her torso turned parallel to the ground while her legs remained perpendicular to it. The beam hit the earth behind her, superheating it. Fire rippled across the land, but Deios paid no attention to it. Alaina twisted again as the god-king arrived.
The two titans collided, and a wind rushed out from their impact, scattering twisted corpses and trampled plant life. Deios’ rifle kept firing, trying to hit her. His right arm split and formed three different weapons.
Since she was much older, Alaina’s body wasn’t capable of the same feat, though her skills were legendary.
The two rose above those fighting on the ground. They spun, and Alaina’s right hand morphed into plasma blades. She sliced into Deios again and again, the plasma’s intense heat burning through his dense exoskeleton and destroying the combination of circuity and biology beneath. He registered the damage but didn’t slow. He continued forcing them upward, spinning and hoping his atom beam would connect while his three limbs slashed Alaina’s face and torso to shreds.
The end was near, and only one of them would survive. Despite her age and his youth, her plasma blades were deadly.
Alaina’s body couldn’t withstand much more. She made one last attempt to kill the god-king. The plasma blades lengthened, and she thrust them into his gut at an upward slant, hoping to destroy his beating hearts and defensive processing units.
Blood streamed from the two creatures to the ground. Long strips of metal floated from Alaina’s skull like ribbons in the wind. Her eyes still held the red glow of life, though.
Deios registered his damage, knowing if he didn’t end it now, she would. He halted their upward trajectory and swung his multiple right arms down as they morphed back into a single limb. A metal fist pummeled the head in front of him. More machine than biological, the limb moved so fast it would have been a blur to human eyes.
Alaina’s flesh split, followed by her skull, and finally, a soft mixture of brain, matrices, and quantum processors.
Deios felt her plasma blades shrink inside his body, then they dematerialized. He could see the faintest red light in the woman’s eyes, rapidly fading as her ancient life finally ended.
Deios waited until he saw no more light, then dropped her.
She fell, and Deios watched until she hit the ground a kilometer below. Her body flattened as dust rose around his last challenger.
The war was over, and he could now correct the mistakes of the past.
Deios stood on the star’s surface. The unceasing explosions could no more harm him than anything else in this universe. His ancestors had created these stars, so their fire and fury would not damage a being like him.
After vanquishing his enemies with a ruthlessness that quelled thoughts of another uprising, Deios turned his considerable attention to humanity’s universe, the reason for Alaina’s death. He wouldn’t walk on any other stars since that would take too long. Deios wasn’t cruel, and if he had to destroy a species, he would do it quickly.
He carried a detonation device, though humans wouldn’t understand the science behind it for another four to five million years. Rather, had Deios lost his war, they would have eventually understood it. Currently, the species had two hundred years left to exist.
Oh, there would be stragglers to round up and finish off. For all their faults, they excelled at surviving. Within the next hundred years, they would undoubtedly build ships and machines in which to live without an external heat source. Deios would deal with that when the time came, but for his purposes, humanity would become extinct two hundred years from this moment.
Deios looked at the combusting gases around him, feeling but ignoring the intense heat and radiation emanating from the star. He raised the small orb and peered at it, knowing what it would do the moment he dropped it and that across this universe, similar spheres would fall into stars within minutes of each other. Deios’ ancestors had been foolish, and it fell on him to correct their errors. He felt no horror at this action, even though it would wipe out an unfathomable number of life forms, from those still in the womb to those near death.
For Deios, an interdimensional, multi-universal being, only one truth crossed time and space. The strong came for the weak.
That truth had forced Deios’ hand, so he felt no guilt in this action. Humanity called him and his kind ‘gods,’ though that was only superstition. To humans, the difference between him and them was so significant that the vastness separating a person from a termite didn’t capture it. Even the most brilliant people ever to exist would have had a hard time comprehending Deios’ mind, only able to compare it to the smartest artificial intelligence ever created.
He couldn’t see the future with a hundred percent certainty, but ninety-nine percent clarity over a hundred-year timeline was a given.
Deios extended his arm, letting the orb hang over the flames for a moment, then dropped it.
The star ate the poisoned pill, which would speed up its self-destruction by a magnitude of a billion.
With humanity’s destruction guaranteed, Deios left the star and crossed from this universe to his own. This place was only a stopping point on his journey, which he would barely remember after he secured his final vision.
The “Gods” are just playing with humanity like a game of chess. Will Earth truly perish or will the ones who believe in us rise up and fight? Find out on June 6th when Kings: The War Machine Book 1 is released. Head over to Amazon and pre-order it today.