A Forgotten Hero



Prologue: Imperator bellum pararet occidere


The skies over St.Louis are filled with thick black smoke which seems to choke the very earth I stand upon. The only thing breaking the impenetrable black shield is a hole, not unlike the eye of a hurricane allowing light to beam through like a ray of either hope or painful fiery death. I feel the heat coming from the zone under the sun's scornful gaze. The metal which now acts as my skin feels the warmth and it gives me a sense of longing, remembering laying on a grassy hill staring at the sky feeling content. Yet this patch of light gives no solace to a warm summer day, instead, it offers the cold chill of a painful death.

The force which causes the smoke-filled sky to part, and swirls as if it were a mighty hurricane, is not unlike a meteor. And much like a meteor this force also threatens to eradicate civilization on earth. I can see it across the Mississippi River. A towering behemoth, easily fifty or more feet tall. A vengeful god is what those space fucks call it. The Imperial Titan. A mighty mechanized suit that has all the best tech, weapons, and gadgets their scientists of death could come up with. The fact it can fall from orbit and be not only in one piece but also clearly unscathed tells me it is beyond my comprehension in battle prowess. yet, I don't feel fear. Even as the massive impact hit the earth leveling most of the city and breaking the monumental arch in half, I feel... almost numb.

This war only lasting a year, maybe two at most has aged me beyond my time. I lied to enlist and joined the effort at age seventeen. it just so happened I am compatible one hundred percent with the AMS neural uplink system. A system that is exclusive to only earth suits that make the suit itself become my body, allowing me to feel through synthetic nerves, see-through sensors far more capable than natural human senses, and have the mighty undulating cables that mimick muscle become mine. In sense, the neural link allowed me to become the metal shell around me and it me. At this point, there is no difference between me and it. 
I begin crossing one of the still intact bridges to meet the hulking threat before me. I alone as all allies of mine have either fled fearing this false deity or died upon the impact of this monster landing. As I approach the titan its head slowly turns to look at me. I hear my comms crackle to life as a calm male voice emits from it. The divine emperor of the Solar Empire himself begins talking to me. 

"Hello, pilot. I see you are the last man standing, at least here. I commend you for staying brave even against odds like these. I wish my knights and other soldiers had half the guts as you then maybe this war would've been over in the first month. So... what do you wish to do now? You have my attention and don't feel as if it is disgraceful to surrender now, I wouldn't blame you if I were in your spot. Standing across from the divine incarnate."

I continue walking and shoulder the MK44 bushmaster, designed to look like a rifle, I am carrying. I respond to his little speech.

"What I wish to do now is to kill you, and end this fucking war. How about that Shithead?"
With that, I fire three rounds, the mighty bangs breaking the silence. I watch the sabot shells soar to their target only to disintegrate a meter away from the titan. 

"Fucking solar shields..."

I say to myself as the entire bulk of the titan turns to face me. I feel the world around me begin to heat up and a strong wind begins forming as the titan enter battle mode. No intelligence has ever been done on the Imperial titan before so its weapons and abilities are unknown. This is the first time it has ever entered combat. All that is known is that its weapons are nearly all energy-based, specifically heat and light, and its presence can create glass from sand in a five hundred meter radius.

I see the titan raise a hand towards me and before I can react a flash of bright yellow light arcs from its hand instantly slagging my left arm. I feel the sudden feeling of cold heat then searing pain as my nerves catch up with the incineration of my arm. I drop my cannon and fall to my knees as pain overtakes my body. In this war, I have been hit with lasers and other heat-based weapons that have turned my armor and other components to slag, but this is on another level. In less than the time it takes a human to blink, nearly a foot of composite armor and various other machine parts were turned into liquid. 

When the pain stops as the synthetic nerves melt away and the metal cools to a warped and useless shape I stand up and my comms crackle to life again.

"That was impressive, you tried to hurt me, the divine emperor of humanity. I'm sorry about your arm. I know your primitive earth AMS gear as you become one with the shell so I know that probably hurt. Knowing what I am capable of, are you willing to surrender? I am willing to have you well taken care of due to my respect for your fighting spirit, and when this war is over I will give you a great job and if you prove yourself loyal you may become a knight someday. How's that sound?"

If I could spit at him I would've but instead, I stay quiet and begin moving towards him at a walking pace. My idea is to feign surrender and kneel before him. Hoping his shields go down to allow me to approach him. Then I will draw my 40mm grenade pistol and attempt to damage that weapon system or possibly get a critical enough of a hit to disable that monster. I know the armor is too thick to actually kill the emperor, but if he is forced to surrender or at least call a draw I will call it a victory. 

As I approach head down I feel the heat emitting from the titan begin to lessen until it is gone. He has deactivated his solar shields and the massive heatwave the titan emits. When I am less than one hundred meters away I begin to kneel and place my right hand on the ground next to my right knee. I can tell the emperor is about to say something but in a blinding motion, I draw my sidearm and fire eight rounds into the left hand of the titan. The hand where the beam of light came from. Then right after I dive for the ankles of the behemoth. I hear a very large explosion above me and feel a burst of heat as I drive my suit's weight into the ankle of the imperial titan. I hear the sound of metal snapping and the metal monster topples turning to catch itself it is face down. I know from experience any AMS that has solar shields has a generator on the back. Seeing the large bulge on the back I empty the magazine of my pistol into it. 

The back of the titan erupts in fire and I am thankful for the auto-dimming feature of my mechanical eyes as that would be blinding. As I stand triumphant the massive metal righthand comes from the blinding light and grabs me by the torso before throwing me easily three hundred meters. I land with a painful crash and gather my bearings. I begin to wonder why the light hasn't subsided, but that's when I see it and my blood runs cold.
Before me, the imperial titan stands. Its left hand and forearm are very damaged and it is billowing black smoke from the back but in the right hand is what I can describe as the sun itself in sword form. The heat and light coming from it are almost unbearable and I can feel some less heat resistant parts of me begin to melt or crack. The titan looks at me with blinding light surrounding it and the emperor says to me, in a very unamused voice.

"That was very tricky of you, but again your tenacity grants you my respect. I hoped not to have to draw my ultimate weapon but you forced my hand. Now behold, the DIVINUS SOLARIS! It's one of those tiny fusion blades made to be hotter than the sun itself. a weapon truly fit for a god. Now perish if you please..."
The titan begins raising its arm and I feel the frame and armor of my shell begin to melt, it's excruciating. Then I notice my chance. The titan is moving incredibly slow probably due to the power needed to run the sword. With that in mind, I draw my knife and rush the titan. The blade comes down just barely missing me making most systems go critical and the outside of my suit begins fulling melting. My tungsten-reinforced blade sinks deep into the space alloy of the titan's outer casing. I feel the tip hit something very tough before sinking to my hand. The blade instantly dematerializes. 

I feel the titan lurch forward and stop its face a few inches from my suit's face before the red glowing eyes it has go dark. I feel my systems all go off at this time too. I have at least three movements left before I am out of juice. Suddenly the breast of the titan opens exposing the tall slender figure of the emperor and he is holding a sword. I hear him shout,

"Face me flesh against flesh warrior. You have earned the right...." 

He trails off for a second before snapping back to reality in science. I let go of my knife and rip the breastplate off my suit revealing my body to the outside world. the mechanisms for opening it regularly having been melted. I use the force disconnect option from the neural interface. The barbed spikes and long threads of synthetic nerves detach from my body with a horrific ripping sound as literally every single pain receptor in my biological body scream out at once. I fall onto the hand of my suit screaming in pain for a second before I stand up and grab a standard combat knife from my cockpit. 

The titan lowers its right hand making a platform for the emperor so we have about five meters of space to fight. I am no knight and have no real sense of honor so I just charge the emperor. I am physically imposing compared to him. Although we are the same height my shoulders are easily four inches wider. He's fast and he's smart but strong? Absolutely not. He has trouble parrying my slashes and stabs with his fencing sword and is trying his best not to fall to his death. I am beginning to get tired now noticing just how burnt, bruised, and bloody my human body is. 

We fight back and forth for a few moments giving each other minor cuts and a few bruises then I decide to end it. Using my free hand I grab the emperor's sword hand in a reverse grip. I stick my elbow past his blade and sit to my knees rapidly moving towards his body pulling his trapped arm hard into my side and downwards. He loses balance and flies over my back onto his own. I turn to face him when I feel a sharp pain in my side. I ignore it and drive my knife into his sternum.

There is a loud wet cough before I feel the emperor go limp. He isn't dead yet but will be soon. I notice a small dagger inside my side. He must've had it concealed somewhere. I let go of him and fall to my rear near the edge of the platform we made. I hear the emperor call to me.

"You...soldier. I don't care to learn your name, but please hear me out... I wish to have someone witness my last words..."

I lean over to him and reply,

"Yeah I'll listen...you may end up hearing mine too. I'm in bad shape as well. So lets hear it oh divine emperor..."

He coughs a laugh and says,

"Alright... here I go. I wish to tell you these things so that my legacy isn't just known as an arrogant, wanna be a god. I never wanted to be deified but I couldn't refuse. I'm sorry but I think it got to me at some point and here we are. Fighting a holy war for selfish reasons, like all I wanted was for my daughter to see the ocean whenever she wished... but I guess that means nothing at the moment as she is only a year old... but regardless I didn't want her to be unhappy for any reason whatsoever so I wished to have everything so I could give her anything. Selfish I know, and horrible the things I did to get it. They say hindsight is 20/20 right? Oh well... I have one favor to ask... one thing alone... all I ask is, if you ever met my daughter when she is older, as you will be a hero no doubt for ending this war. I want you to ell her daddy loves her, and to not hate anyone for any reason especially for reasons of my death, or for reasons of birth or planetary lineage. That's all. I want her to be happy, free, and able to do as she pleases, not consumed by the ignorance that her father and the entire nation are consumed by..."
I nod my head and reply, 

"Yeah I can relay that message if I get out of here... may you rest in peace I guess..."
He gives a weak laugh before explaining to me his life story and a few other bits of information I did not know. Finally, at his weakest, he says to me,

"Now... if you can run from here as far as you can. Your attack pierced my reactor and it will go critical very soon. So please, run I wish for you to share what I have shared with you..."
I nod freaking out. I get back into my suit and let the spikes and tendrils reenter my body in another painful experience. Using the last of my power I slam the broken breastplate back over myself and crumple it until it is airtight. I begin sprinting with all my might. I am slightly delirious now so I cannot run straight. I begin to feel immense heat building beside me as the air begins igniting all around me. In a last-ditch effort, I leap and throw myself into the Mississippi River. I instantly begin sinking and my vision goes dark due to blood loss. With my last conscious thought, I begin the cryo-stasis procedure. It's a measure taken when life support beings failing or to just freeze a dying pilot like now.

As the muddy water clouds my vision and it goes dark due to blood loss I feel burning cold over my body as my mind uploads to the suit around me to reduce caloric requirements. One by one a different part of my brain shuts down. I don't feel the heat but I watch as the world around me turns white as the wrath of the sun destroys a ten-kilometer space from the titan. My last thought before going dark is,
"Holy shit that was cool..."


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