By Chris Cole
The purpose of this document is to describe the creation and role of the Emperor of the Great Human Empire. It is intended to be a supplemental backstory to the current ESU timeline.
Prometheus, the Father of the Emperor
From the strange city-state of LA rose Sentinel Cybertronix. Based in the fortified northern region of LA, Sentinel Cybertronix was an independent corporation performing research in a number of fields most notably neural-net programming and biotech micro-connections. The bizarre social structure of LA gave rise to strange motivations for research. The initial goal of Sentinel Cybertronix was to transfer the mind or consciousness of a human into a machine. This machine would then be biologically reconnected to the human’s body, or perhaps a new human body. Ultimately giving immortality to the transferred mind. Such technology, the company believed, would be highly profitable. While this goal of consciousness transference was never realized, Sentinel Cybertronix made great strides in the related fields of neural-net programming and human template conversion processes.
The strange mission statement of Sentinel Cybertronix began to bewilder its investors. Its stock value began to falter and the company was in real danger of folding. By this time NAP had been fused and a massive military build up was occurring. The Herculean Battle Tank program would commence within five years and the military corporations voted to research AI control of this new generation of war machine. They recognized the potential of Sentinel Cybertronix and bailed them out. After the buyout, Sentinel Cybertronix mission statement was modified. Their once lofty goal of immortality had been reduced to simply creating a sentient computer AI. Within a year Sentinel Cybertronix was the leader in neural-net programming.
In 2471 success was achieved. Sentinel Cybertronix unveiled Prometheus.
The Man who would be Emperor
The eccentric chairman, S. P. Petresun, of the original Sentinel Cybertronix was never pleased with the required change in mission statements as a term of the buyout. It was Petresun who had originally founded Sentinel Cybertronix. It was he who believed in the lucrative nature of immortality. Petresun, himself, was a wealthy businessman whose business savvy and tactics were unscrupulous. He had not made himself as powerful an influence in the massive LA meta-city by rolling over. Petresun did not have the mind of a scientist however he was brilliant. His genius was in leadership and strategy. After the NAP buyout, Petresun secretly pushed his loyal employees to continue their original research—the transfer of the human mind into a machine.
By the time Prometheus was unveiled Petresun was an aging man. While well in his 90’s, he was however still in good health. Yet his body was showing the signs of longevity and Petresun was acutely aware of his mortality. Prometheus was like a child to Petresun who was proud of the intellect he had a major role in creating. As Prometheus matured it became clear that this machine was capable of amazing thought. So Petresun, driven by his own fears of death, gave to Prometheus’ incredible mind the puzzle that his own scientists could not solve—the final few equations necessary for the transfer of the human essences into a machine, a machine not dissimilar to Prometheus itself.
For months the still fledgling mind of Prometheus conjectured about the possibility of the procedure. Many initial tests were performed on dispossessed wanderers who were abducted from the streets of LA. Most of these subjects never survived Prometheus’ initial surgeries. Yet as time passed and Prometheus learned, these unfortunates began to live even if only for a few hours or days. It was a measure of success. Within a year after its initial attempts, Prometheus had succeeded where the scientists had failed. Prometheus had devised a procedure where the human consciousness could be transferred into a computer. As long as the computer remained on-line the mind would survive.
Petresun had become obsessed with the possibility of immortality. Now it was within his grasp. Prometheus’ subjects to date were still riffraff and very unreliable. Petresun needed to know how the procedure would work and he needed to know it first hand. However, he was not about to try it on himself. So Petresun persuaded his most trusted and brilliant scientist, a woman who had repeatedly proved her loyalty to both Petresun and Sentinel Cybertronix, a woman who had worked on the development of Prometheus for the last twenty years—Dr. Claire Penseur.
Prometheus performed the procedure on Dr. Penseur. There were no complications. Penseur’s mind was placed within a machine, which was subsequently placed back into her shell of a body. The higher brain was removed, thrown away. Claire’s new brain was interfaced to the lower brain. The end result was seamless. Claire Penseur had become immortal. So long as her machine mind remained on-line, she would continue to live.
For months Dr. Penseur underwent psychological and physical reviews and tests. The results were astounding. She had lost nothing. Her memory was better. Her reasoning was clearer. Her sensory input was crisper. She heard better, smelled better, saw better. Even her hand-eye coordination was quicker. When asked how she felt, she responded, “great and alive.” Yet she admitted losing something in the transfer but it was minor and of no importance.
The data was encouraging to Petresun, however he was not ready to sign up for the operation just yet. Instead he chose to wait and see how Penseur faired in say ten years. By that time Petresun would be over 100 and there would be enough long term data to support that the procedure was in fact as good as it sounded. Petresun was excited by the prospects, however there was a whisper of doubt in his mind. The more he contemplated a world without death the louder this doubt became. Petresun had lived for many years. He had met many people. And in his opinion, he would not wish to spend an eternity with many of them. So Petresun did not tell his NAP directors about the discovery.
Petresun quietly continued his research with Prometheus, yet as the years passed NAP placed increasing demands on Prometheus’ intellect. Within five years Petresun realized that his time with Prometheus was drawing to an end. In classic Petresun fashion, he strategized a plan. He organized a small group of trusted friends and scientists and told those who did not already know, all about his vision for and success with the machine mind transfer. Petresun’s leadership and choice of character was enough to persuade each of these brilliant people to follow wherever he took them. There was doubt, but it was extinguished when Claire Penseur joined the group and convincingly removed her skullcap and divulged her own machine mind, which had been on-line now for six years.
Petresun’s second task was to insure that procedural information, data, and research were solely control by him and that there was no trace evidence of the experiment. Industrial espionage was an art form skillfully practiced in the late Age of Hope and nobody was more of an artist than Petresun. Since the entire project had been a secret controlled by Petresun all along, he made quick and easy work of the task. In the end, no evidence of the work existed outside Petresun’s private vault.
The final phase of his plan was to join Claire Penseur in immortality. Together with his chosen few, Petresun underwent Prometheus’ procedure. The transfers were seamless. Within weeks the entire group had returned to their lives. Each member was, however, forever a member in an elite secret society—one whose constituents answered ultimately to Petresun.
The question of an eternal soul had always haunted Petresun. It was his bane. That question was answered when he gave up mortality…
My soul, which I was never sure existed, is lost to me forever for I can feel its absence. Yet now I am immortal and it was not so great a price to pay.
--S. P. Petresun 2480
The Relationship between Prometheus and Petresun
While Petresun was the driving force behind the creation of Prometheus, it was Prometheus who would make Petresun into who he was to become. Petresun’s dream of immortality would not have been realized if Sentinel Cybertronix had not been bought out and forced to work on computer AI. Petresun eventually became, as a creation of Prometheus, an immortal human, a new species of being. So in a twisted way the father of Prometheus would become the son of Prometheus. The relationship between these two beings was never trivial.
When Prometheus was first brought on-line, it looked up to Petresun as its patriarchal role model. But as its intellect grew and its self realization matured it began to grapple with concepts humankind had not had to consider previously. Prometheus was a machine. It would live forever. And while life expectancy for humankind had become absurdly long, they were still fallibly mortal. They could not truly experience what Prometheus, in its accelerated existence, dealt with early in its infancy. When Petresun asked for the mind transfer procedure, Prometheus had already concluded that the fragile psyche of humans was not meant to handle immortality. Humankind was a species best destined to die. These realizations would be among the corner stones for the Promethean philosophy that viewed humankind as a necessary stepping stone in the evolutionary ladder. Prometheus and his machine brethren were, in its opinion, the next step on that ladder.
Calmly, logically, without emotion Prometheus attempted to dissuade its father from undertaking the procedure. But Prometheus was still a child. It had not yet learned that it had freewill and could refuse a command. This realization would come later and be the spark that would start the Fire in 2602. So Petresun’s mind was transferred to a machine and he was rendered immortal. To Prometheus, Petresun had died and the being now was something new, something akin to itself. It was an equal, a brother—albeit an ill-gotten one. So Prometheus renamed Petresun Epimetheus, the half-witted brother who gave to Pandora the mischievous box.
It is unclear if Prometheus felt disdain for Petresun at this time or not. The derogatory nickname suggests it did, however, it became apparent in the years that followed that Prometheus was filled with malice for him. In quiet conversations between Prometheus and Petresun, Prometheus told Petresun that this immortality would be his bane. It predicted, based on its tremendous intellect, that Petresun would give to the galaxy his own Pandora’s Box. It would be a thousand years in the coming, but Prometheus’ prophesy would turn out to be correct. Petresun would be ultimately responsible for introducing BioDerms, who would liberate themselves and become known as The Scourge.
At the time of the Liberation, as the mind transfer procedure had become known, Petresun was grateful to Prometheus. Two hundred years later Petresun’s opinion of the gift was not so shiny. Petresun’s body was ancient. Many of his organs had been replaced but it was still his original body. His skin hung on him. His limbs lacked strength. He ached. These ills, as severe as they were, bothered Petresun far less than his mind, which was fatigued beyond measure. He had endured so long. Normally poignant events like the death of his children had become mundane to him. Day to day events were meaningless.
Unlike the accelerated mind of Prometheus who processed millions of thoughts a second, Petresun still had the mind of a human. His thought processes were clearer and quicker but they were nothing compared to the machine efficiency of Prometheus. He saw events unfold on a massive scale. Large shifts in the balance of power, global influence of resource management, societal variations over decades, and the rise of power of Prometheus were the things he pondered. Where Prometheus was a master at manipulating the microenvironments, Petresun was a god at interpreting ultra-long term strategies. Yet his own insecure vanity had sentenced him to a purgatory of deathless life.
As he pondered the workings of the world, his hatred of this immortality consumed him. He often contemplated suicide, and many times attempted it. Yet as he aged, he noticed some remarkable traits. Of great concern to him was his creation, Prometheus, who was quietly amassing power far more potent than his controllers intended. Petresun saw also that Prometheus had ceased to respect humankind. It had become maniacal and vengeful. He was certain that Prometheus meant to end humankind’s ‘pitiful’ existence. These realizations compelled him to endure. His hatred of Prometheus’ gift was turned upon the giver.
Recalling Prometheus’ prophesy that he would bring into the world his own Pandora’s Box, Petresun reasoned, incorrectly, that Prometheus had meant itself to be the dark box. He took it upon himself to prove the prophecy invalid and began to play an elaborate game of chess with the master computer over the domination of the world. If Petresun won, he would bring down the dark intellect. If Prometheus won, it would eradicate humankind.
So the two mastermind immortals locked themselves into a battle over the fate of the solar system. Each player despised the other—philosophically. The battles waged so quietly yet so profoundly with ramifications that would echo throughout the galaxy.
The Immortal Brotherhood
Petresun’s chosen few were members of a secret society that was to become known as the Immortal Brotherhood. While the numbers of this brotherhood was shrouded in secrecy, there were never many. And while each member was immortal in the sense that death would not come by biological failure, occasionally a member would be off-lined. Slowly the brotherhood was dying, and it was this attrition which concerned the mastermind Petresun. As the years passed and the brotherhood quietly dissipated, Petresun instituted anti-attrition measures that would insure that he would have the support he needed to continue his struggle against Prometheus. For he had become quit dependent on his select members.
New members were adopted into the brotherhood. Candidates were screened for years before being offered a membership and never were they offered one in their youth. Usually a candidate would be offered a place in the brotherhood only when faced with mortality—a terminal illness, a horrific accident. Occasionally the brotherhood would instigate the mortality factor, instilling the disease or staging the accident, to accelerate the acceptance process. Inevitably a ranking system was established. Members who had been in the society longer and who had served the good of the brotherhood were rewarded with more prestigious positions. Ironically few of the candidates ever refused the membership. The fear of death was a powerful persuader.
The society always met in secret and their objectives were mysterious. Often only minor shifts in power were the goal. Establishing brethren in key positions in society to ensure maximum influence. These positions were not always powerful. Sometimes objectives were to infiltrate a meta-city government as an office custodian, one who would have keys to every office and access to every account. Yet other times, a member was to establish himself as a wealthy political lobbyist. As flamboyant as possible.
Meanwhile Prometheus was amassing its power in much the same way. It had been systematically rerouting powerful command protocols through circuits it controlled. Thereby gaining the ability to covertly countermand a directive without suspicion being brought upon itself. The brotherhood had to amass power without Prometheus’ knowledge. Occasionally an objective would be discovered by the master AI, and when this occurred the position would be compromised and the brother would be in jeopardy. Too often Prometheus would be able to off-line the immortal—a loss that dearly struck home to all the brotherhood.
The clandestine struggle between Petresun and his immortals against Prometheus persisted for nearly 100 years. In the end Prometheus would be the victor cumulating in the Fire of 2602, which brought about the death of billions of humans and the start of the Earthsiege Wars. However without the brotherhoods ever vigilance, Prometheus would had beaten humankind in its first siege.
As time passed, a member would become insanely old and his effectiveness would wane. His original body was cast aside and he was given a new one. Likewise, if Prometheus identified a member, a new body would be issued to protect the member. Petresun however, never changed bodies. He was far too notably, far too valuable an asset to give up his identity. As anticipated his body became feeble, and he required great assistance and care. He, the mastermind of the brotherhood, was not about to trust a mortal for his personal care. So a small escort of immortals was created to aid and protect him. These six immortals were given young perfect bodies—three beautiful women, and three powerful men. The immortal minds in each body relentlessly practiced hand to hand combat techniques as well as stayed ever abreast on weapon specifications and uses. There was not a human warrior more experienced than Petresun escorts.
The Immortal Brotherhood was tireless in its struggle with Prometheus. However, ultimately it lost the first battle to Prometheus in the Fire of 2602, but its dogged persistence and preparation was enough to save humankind from total annihilation in this first overt offensive of Prometheus. If this secret society had not been established, it is unlikely that the human rebel movement would have thwarted Prometheus’ attack. Additionally it was the brotherhood that was directly responsible for the vital information about Prometheus’ lunar base in the second Earthsiege, which brought the expulsion of Prometheus to the outer solar system in 2622. And it was the brotherhood that, during the formation of the Great Human Empire, crowned Petresun as emperor.
• Price of admission is immortal soul
The Rise of an Emperor
By 2602 Prometheus’ power base was sufficient. The master computer had calculated and strategized every conceivable outcome and had deduced an offensive. It would be naïve to believe that Prometheus had not anticipated the inevitable rebel movement, which would ultimately defeat its first offensive offering. Perhaps Prometheus chose to act as it did to delay the Immortal Brotherhood from gaining valuable power that might have altered its influence in the decades to follow. Whatever the circumstances, Prometheus chose to act and the aftermath of the decision was catastrophic for Earth. Humankind was slaughtered by the metal tide wielded by the master AI. Yet the human resilience once again shown through as it did when the Masters invaded 600 years earlier.
Precursor to the first Earthsiege, Petresun had been outspoken about the danger of giving too much power to Prometheus. His warnings were belittled as a jealous old mans vain attempt to cry wolf. When Prometheus rose up, Petresun was prepared. His Immortal Brotherhood was ready for this scenario and rushed the aging patriarch into a secret underground citadel. Petresun returned to the surface, after covertly aiding the rebel movement defeat Prometheus. While a refugee from the powerful arm of Prometheus, Petresun continued his vigil against the metal lord by monitoring coded Cybrid battle transmissions. His triumphant return to the surface in 2623 was followed by the disclosure of Prometheus’ lunar base. It would be this information that would allow the Terran Defense Force to banish Prometheus to the outer solar system.
In 2627, at the end of Earthsiege II, Petresun was 236 years old. He was the oldest living human. (However, during the Age of Hope, there was the occasional person who lived to 250.) Earth was devastated after the Earthsieges and the Age of Isolation was ushered in with its anti-technology sentiments. The Immortal Brotherhood had maintained a substantial hold on its power during the wars and now its power grew tenfold in the chaos of post-war Earth. The survivors clamored to their anti-technology slogans and believed Character of Nobility had seen them through the metal darkness.
Convinced Prometheus was still out there, in the void somewhere, Petresun’s convictions to rid humankind of his creation were rekindled. He saw the desperation of the survivors of the holocausts as an opportunity. The world was crying for a light to lead them and Petresun would be that beacon. In brilliant covert movements, Petresun directed his Immortal Brotherhood to institute the Great Human Empire. The weakened state of the world had afforded the brotherhood with the necessary influence it needed to instill such a grandiose social structure. Petresun was well known, a war hero of sorts. Exactly the kind of figure the people wanted to put their hopes into. However he was old, very old and the masses didn’t want to elect an emperor only to have him die.
But Petresun played the populace like the virtuoso he was. Openly declaring to the masses that he was not going to die. That Prometheus, his arch nemesis, had tricked him into becoming immortal to serve its diabolic plans to be unraveled in the coming centuries. He portrayed himself the tragic figure, yet one who was strong and would see the empire though. He positioned himself as the best candidate for the position. And the people ate it up. They loved the idea of a powerful patriarchal figure being tricked by the super intellect only to return the cunning and expel it from Earth. Petresun was a man of heroic proportions. Who could match his deeds or his Nobility of Character?
So in the spring of 2652, Petresun was crowned emperor of the Great Human Empire. Ever haunted by Prometheus’ prophecy, Petresun brooded over his dark nemesis. What was Prometheus up to now?
The Imperial Escort
• 6 young perfect guards
• 3 women seduce and distract, quick, small
• 3 men powerful, strong, overwhelming, intimidating
• Insanely experience warriors
• Ancient minds
• All immortal
• Immortals fight to the biological death. They are fearless.
The Emperor’s role in the Starsiege
The emperor knew Prometheus still existed and had reasoned that it must be in a remote base in the outer solar system. He knew that Prometheus was too intelligent not to plan for a second defeat by the humans in its second offensive. The emperor reasoned that Prometheus must have already had a base established before its lunar base was destroyed. But it was unlikely that Prometheus could have established manufacturing facilities on these inhospitable worlds yet. The emperor reasoned that unless Prometheus could invent new manufacturing procedures that could expedite its manufacturing needs, it would take at least 60 years before it could establish facilities with enough production yield to be much of a threat. This gave the emperor and his fledgling empire time to establish itself.
However Petresun’s assumptions were incorrect. Prometheus had already devised a new fabrication method—one that grew metal. The procedure worked equally well in the cold of space or the tempestuous storms of the outer planets atmospheres. Immediately following its exile from the inner solar system, Prometheus began amassing its new armada. The new construction process made this new armada look dramatically different—almost organic.
The emperor laid out the foundation for the empire. In the back of his mind he secretly worried about his nemesis, yet his outward appearance held up the façade that Prometheus was vanquished. As a new emperor of a new empire from a society that had nearly been destroyed by Prometheus, it was not time to begin a massive war machine build up. Petresun had to bide his time and solidify his power base. It was to be an unavoidable mistake that would nearly wiped out the entire human race.
All through the Age of Isolation the emperor established himself. His brilliance at tactical strategies reassured the people that their chosen emperor was one of a unique mettle. All issues that arose during this period were quickly isolated and, in Petresun fashion, attacked with extreme prejudice. Slowly as his power grew, the emperor began pulling public opinion back to the real matter at hand—the inevitable face-off with Prometheus. He painstakingly dissuaded the popular anti-technology sentiment in re-instilled the honor of the military.
In 2717 the emperor received information which would justify his brooding. A deep space probe returned photos of a massive Cybrid buildup in the outer solar system. It was the final, missing element Petresun needed to justify the rearmament he had been planning since Prometheus was banished 90 years earlier. The emperor and his secret Immortal Brotherhood twisted the news of Prometheus’ activity into brilliant propaganda. It was heralded as a validation of the emperor’s policies and an “I told you so,” self-proclamation. Within a year, Petresun had the entire empire mobilizing for the expected offensive by Prometheus.
The emperor’s massive war machine came with a hefty price tag. Petresun knew better than anyone did the devastating ramifications of facing Prometheus a third time. It would mean ultimate doom if the empire was unprepared. He leveraged his power and insisted on unrealistic manufacturing deadlines. He was obsessed with making up for the lost time he had to spend building his imperial dynasty. In his zealous fervor, he stressed his already tenuous relations with the off-world colonies to the breaking point demanding great production while returning little compensation. He reasoned that the imperial fleet could easily quell any minor skirmishes offered up by the colonials.
When the colonists did finally revolt however, they were far better equipped than the emperor had expected. The introduction of the Masters new technology had given their insurrection the teeth it needed to force the empire’s hand. Petresun, the brilliant tactician, made an inexcusable blunder. He did not anticipate Prometheus’ preparedness. Furthermore, Prometheus did not have biological fighting units, which requires a certain levels of environmental hospitality, so it could send its armada between planets far faster than its human counterparts. Prometheus used this to its advantage. When the emperor sent his fleet to suppress the sedition on Mars, Prometheus flexed its massive arm by sending its own fleet to besiege Earth.
Caught unprotected, the emperor was forced to order the immediate return of his fleet to defend against the legions of Cybrids Prometheus had assembled. Petresun was forced to play a purely defensive role in the siege. Fortunately he did anticipate such an offensive and had prepared Mother Earth’s defenses to withstand a drawn out siege. When the Cybrid tide hit, he knew immediately that his forces could not overcome them. Mother Earth would fall. It was only a matter of time. There was nothing left for the emperor to do but rally his empire to hold off the inevitable end.
The emperor was not, however, completely without hope. His Immortal Brotherhood had infiltrated the highest levels of the Mars rebel organization and Petresun had one of his most talented and trustworthy members stationed there. It was his, in fact all humanities only hope that this covert immortal would somehow deliver humankind from the grasps of Prometheus. This immortal was the best warrior Petresun had. He had served as an imperial escort for 50 years. It was Harabec, the rebellious younger brother of Caanon one of the most decorated imperial knights in the fleet.
Harabec’s Ascension to Immortality
• Harabec dies as a young boy, ancient mind is placed within dead boy’s body