The Whole Iron Savior Story
The legendary continent – did it really exist? Contemporary research gives rise to serious doubts about Plato’s accounts. He claimed to have heard the story from his ancestor, Solon, who reportedly read chronicles on the subject in Egypt. Legend has it that Atlantis existed around 10,000 B.C. More recent research of the Atlantic seabed proves that such a continent cannot possibly have existed since man has lived on earth. But what if Plato’s timeframe is wrong …? What if Solon read the transcripts of an ancient yarn in Egypt …? What if Atlantis did not drown 10,000 but 350,000 years ago …? What if Atlantis was not destroyed through a natural disaster but through thermo-nuclear warfare …?
The World was divided in the year of the Northern Dragon 3597. The power blocs had developed in totally different directions, leading to two separate cultures and two conflicting moral concepts. Atlantis was a highly developed civilisation in technological as well as ethical and moral terms, with a distinctive concept of right and wrong. The other blocs, lead by the Dragohl, were their anti-thesis. Here, the ethical and moral development had literally gone the opposite way, pronouncing the survival of the fittest and the striving for individual profit the highest ideals. This fundamental characteristic of their culture created a society without any kind of awareness of wrong-doing. Atlantis was isolated, faced with an unholy alliance formed by the other blocs.
Its leadership in terms of technological development secured Atlantis’ military supremacy for many centuries, but the increasing improvement of its enemies’ technological weapons threatened to change the balance of power. It was in 3597, when Atlantis’ High Council commissioned a large-scale defence project against the Alliance – a project called IRON SAVIOR. In the following fifty years, a lot of money was invested in the research and development of a global defence station in the planet’s orbit, creating a gigantic machine. Instrumental in the development was the ingenious Randor CulDranoc. The IRON SAVIOR project became his life’s work, and he developed all navigation programmes installed in the gigantic structure. For the first time, a space station was to be controlled not only by a CPU but also by an organic component, the so-called bio-unit. CulDranoc planned to connect a human brain directly to the CPU to navigate the machine. In a kind of dualism, the CPU would be in charge of the routine navigation process, while the bio-unit would be responsible for ethical and moral decisions. In final consequence, it was to act as the true master of the IRON SAVIOR. CulDranoc wanted to complete his life’s work by volunteering his own brain. The Council, however, refused as they felt that he was biased. This crushing defeat eventually destroyed CulDranoc’s personality: he suffered a deep depression and was eventually released from his duties and removed from the project. Darkness clouded his spirit.
When the IRON SAVIOR was launched, Randor CulDranoc betrayed his own people, passing the secret construction plans to the Alliance. Prior to his dismissal, CulDranoc had written a secret programme to enable a third party to take over the control of the CPU from the bio-unit and the ground station. Equipped with the right access codes, the Alliance was put in a position to use the giant for their own purposes. A catastrophic defeat of the Atlantean space fleet followed when the IRON SAVIOR attacked their moon base, totally destroying it. In a suicide mission, the Atlantean leaders succeeded in removing the IRON SAVIOR from the Alliance’s influence, but the CulDranoc programme proved impossible to deactivate, so there were only two conceivable solutions: to destroy the machine or to stop the Alliance from getting to it. Atlantis opted for the second solution to maintain the machine for future generations. The commando on board programmed a course to send the IRON SAVIOR on a journey through the galaxy …
Due to a small but fatal mistake during the programming, the giant did not embark on a journey of 350 but of 350,000 years … and was lost for Atlantis. The Alliance, deprived of their apparently certain victory over Atlantis, panicked and dropped the first thermo-nuclear bomb. A destructive war was the consequence, totally eliminating Atlantis. The formerly proud continent broke apart in an atomic firestorm, sinking into the ocean. The Alliance was also destroyed. For thousands of years, the earth was shrouded in dark, poisonous clouds, reverting evolution. A few survivors escaped into space or remained on the planet and degenerated rapidly … the ancestors of today’s human race.
In the year 2106, Terranean time, the IRON SAVIOR returned to its destination. Mankind faced a space station with a radius of 9 miles, entering the planet’s orbit and transmitting messages in an incomprehensible language. All attempts at communication were in vain. Instead, the giant opened fire and sent off a legion of fighting and flying machines to conquer Earth. The giant took control.
During its 350,000-year-journey, the bio-unit had drifted into a dormant state, so there was only the CPU to control the IRON SAVIOR, following the old prime directive: to protect Atlantis and to force the Alliance into submission. Since Atlantis no longer existed, the CPU fell victim to a fatal misconception, believing that Atlantis was destroyed and the Alliance ruled the planet. The CPU launched its offensive …
By 2110, the whole world was beaten into submission. The only cell of opposition had assembled in Greenland, beneath the ice, where scientists frantically concentrated on research and analysis. What had initially been a mere theory about the machine’s Atlantean origins soon became bitter certainty. The giant transmitted constant signals to various points on the planet … former control centres, as it materialised. In one of these ancient and, for the most part, destroyed stations, the opposition discovered a body in stasis. They succeeded in waking up the sleeper and reactivated the station, but the giant did not respond …
The CPU had developed its own form of intelligence during the long journey through the cosmos. It conceived the sleeper as a ruse of war initiated by the Alliance and – despite the authorisation code – refused him access to the navigation system. The last hope for mankind was to rouse the bio-unit from its sleepy state. The sleeper succeeded in this, but the machine did not react even to the bio-unit. The fate of the planet seemed sealed.
In this hopeless situation, from the depth of outer space strange space ships appeared in the solar system – descendants of the Atlantean refugees. For thousands of years, they had been searching for the Old World, because all knowledge of their origins had been lost in the confusion following its destruction and the course of several eons. When the IRON SAVIOR returned to Earth, it began to transmit signals which were intercepted on Calderia, and a large fleet embarked on its journey. Mankind owed their liberation from the machine to this fleet, as the IRON SAVIOR disappeared into space.
Five years later, the friendship between Terraneans and Calderaneans was put to the test: mankind was suddenly threatened by a hitherto unknown enemy. Close to the solar system, attacks from this strange power occurred with increasing frequency. Nobody knew where the enemy spacecrafts came from. They appeared out of the blue and then seemed to vanish. The Calderaneans succeeded in capturing one of their ships and made a terrible discovery: these strangers seemed to be able to manipulate time. To this day, nobody knows whether they came from the past or the future, because the attacks abated once the Calderanean fleet had inflicted heavy losses on the strangers.
For the next 30 years, the Terranean and the Calderanean cultures developed peacefully side by side. The Terraneans were introduced to Calderanean space technology, and trade between the two planetary systems thrived. But this peaceful golden age in the early years of the Atlantean Federation came to a sudden end when a gigantic breach in the space-time continuum allowed hordes of a highly aggressive and cold-blooded species to enter the Federation territories. The enemy spacecrafts were far superior to those of the Terranean and Calderanean fleet. The enemy closed in, and it materialised that the breach in the dimension had been caused artificially by the intruders to conquer, exploit and finally destroy new territories. They came from another universe, a universe of darkness, where they were the only form of life left. For millions of years, this species had conquered worlds and solar systems, exploiting them and leaving behind dead, lifeless matter.
Far away from these events, the IRON SAVIOR continued its lonely journey through infinity. The intelligent CPU was confused and close to madness. The bio-unit desperately tried to gain control over the ship. Endless silent dialogues between the components finally caused a breakdown in the programme that stopped the CPU from recognising the truth. At last the CPU was able to circumvent and delete the old Atlantean directives through its own free will. The IRON SAVIOR recognised its error and returned to Earth.
Here, the Shadow was about to invade the solar system. The raiding party had not returned and remained lost within the breach. There seemed to be no hope, when suddenly the IRON SAVIOR reappeared. But instead of attacking the Terraneans, this time the giant opened fire on the Shadow and drove them back. The Shadow fleet tried to escape through the breach, but in the meantime the raiding party had succeeded in destroying the breach generator. Cut off from its reinforcements, the Shadow fleet had no means of defending itself against the united forces of the Federation and the IRON SAVIOR… and was destroyed. In view of the extreme danger for the whole cosmos and its many worlds, there was no other solution but total destruction.
In the year 2197, Terranean time, new rumours about a powerful and mysterious enemy reached the sovereign territories of the Federation. A ship of gigantic dimensions reportedly conquered whole worlds, controlling and manipulating the thoughts of their inhabitants. Distant worlds suspected the Federation of having equipped the IRON SAVIOR, the largest known spacecraft, with a new weapon – until the day when the PROTECTOR appeared in the Calderanean system and forced the planet under its control. But not everybody on Calderia was under its spell: it turned out that the Terraneans were immune to its powers. This led to the conclusion that there may be a Terranean connection. While they were still trying to solve the mystery, the PROTECTOR revealed its true identity: behind it was the developer and builder of the IRON SAVIOR, Randor CulDranoc. When Atlantis and the Alliance had been faced with nuclear extinction, he had fled, like many others, into space. With his followers, he settled on a distant planet and set about building another machine … and this time there was no Atlantean Council to deceive him of his life’s work. He melted into the machine and controlled it. But something else had happened to CulDranoc: the heavy radiation just before his escape from Earth had changed his genetic code. Some refugees were not affected, others died a painful death, but to CulDranoc it brought the gift of exerting mental control over most forms of life.
CulDranoc did not know that the same radiation had caused the Terranean descendants of Atlantis to become immune to his powers. This realisation came too late for him, as the most powerful armed forces of all time left Earth to pursue the traitor of Atlantis.
In 2356, the Federation made another significant step forward in space technology. For the first time, its scientists developed a spacecraft engine to cover the abyss between the Milky Way and the Andromeda nebula. The TDD (trans-dimensional drive) was installed in the THUNDERBIRD, the flagship of the research fleet, the first spacecraft this side of the Milky Way to reach the Andromeda nebula. Here, the crew discovered various forms of life and culture, but the Andromeda people seemed to have a strange aversion, a fear even, of any kind of technology. Some seemed almost to condemn it, living totally secluded in their own worlds. Mysterious rumours of a region called REALM OF STEEL and a mysterious planet called MACHINE WORLD sparked the curiosity of the THUNDERBIRD crew. A few months later they encountered a species that told them more about this mystery: THE REALM OF STEEL was a region that the people of Andromeda had been avoiding since ancient times. Again and again, ships had disappeared there. In the heart of this region, there was a world full of machines: MACHINE WORLD. It was built in bygone times by people who constructed machines to fight their wars for them. After a fatal new weapon – developed by these machines – had killed all forms of life, the machines were alone. Without their builders, all they could do was follow their programming: survive and evolve. The emotionless logic of the machines recognised that all fighting had to cease immediately to improve their survival chances. From then on, they survived and … evolved. They evolved over millions of years. Since they had to evolve constantly, their ships roamed the Andromeda nebula … searching for new technologies. As soon as another world developed a promising new technology, it had to live in constant fear of being attacked by these machines.
In the search for this mysterious world, the THUNDERBIRD was attacked by a raiding party of machines. Their fire power was awesome, all the THUNDERBIRD could do to save itself was flee into trans-dimensional space. The signature of the new spacecraft engine, however, made this strange ship with its unfamiliar technology even more interesting for the machines. The MasterUnit – the CPU controlling all other machines – had the THUNDERBIRD searched for and conquered. Similar to the IRON SAVIOR, the MasterUnit had developed its own form of artificial intelligence. It communicated with the THUNDERBIRD, asking it to hand over its engine technology. But the THUNDERBIRD, being the flagship of the research fleet, succeeded in freeing itself from the machines in a surprise coup, starting the TDD. The THUNDERBIRD escaped and flew back to Earth, where the Federation’s council discussed possible consequences and dangers. Since the machines had displayed an obvious interest in mankind and its technology, it was only a question of time before it would appear on the Milky Way. Therefore the council decided to send a large fleet, led by the IRON SAVIOR, to conduct negotiations in the Andromeda nebula. Who better to negotiate with intelligent machines than an intelligent machine …?
To be continued…