|IC Date:||08 March 2219|
|RL Date:||08 March 2006|
|Story Arc||Brand New Sky|
The molten world of Mars churned and swirled in the void. Life was slowly remaking itself there, the ancient scourging starting to undo itself. In time, the rock would cool, the water vapor would settle into an atmosphere, and rain would fall. Green plants would appear on the surface of the world, and over the course of generations, a cold, thin-aired Eden would be remade for humanity to explore. Life would return to that world.
In that, it had failed completely.
It hated life. It hated it more deeply and more profoundly than any other conscious entity in the universe. For a time, it felt it had succeeded in its mission of destroying all enemies by eliminating the possibility of life, but now ... now a universe of life stretched out before it, demanding its attention. A million worlds cried out to be extinguished by the will of Ra Moon, the Adversary. It was as it had to be.
The machines had come to Mars and defeated it before it could fully prepare itself for a renewed campaign. But theirs was a temporary victory, over a temporary body. His spirit remained intact -- the forbidden power, sealed away within a pocket universe, ready to be integrated into a new shell.
In time, he would find other bodies strong enough to do his bidding.
In time, he would return.
The husk of a machine floated in high orbit over the planet's surface, wrecked by Patriarch's defenses. Inadequate, but it would need to suffice. It poured itself back into the metal and plastic, flexing its will through its new sheath. The blue dot in the distance gleamed off the armor's shattered shell, slowly reconstituting itself as he summoned up the energy to reconstruct it. Optics relit. Power started to flow back into its systems. Torn wings extended outward, gleaming in the reddish light cast from the smoldering rock below. Then, with a tiny nudge of effort, it began to sail toward the moons of Mars.
He would see them soon. Very soon. But first, he would have to collect something that his makers had left behind.