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DISCORD

Night Reaper

The present was the past's future. At the present time humans are still humans, but is there still humanity left?

This story is set in the future, long after humans created artificial intelligence to look like us. We created machines whose purpose is to bring ease to our daily lives but instead led to our distruction. Now, man lives in both Earth and Space facing fear every moment from our creation.

A few thousands of people still lives on Earth, some free, most are not. Hundreds are captured by AI's as sociology specimens. Hundreds are kept by the government as pedigree and hundreds of thousands were scattered throughout the world fighting for freedom. The population is quickly dwindling from natural selection.

The government's project is to breed the best of the best. When babies are born, they are taken away from their mothers, shipped to space stations, and honed as soldiers. There, humans are sorted and placed in categories. There are workers, fighters, tacticians, and the elites. Whichever category these humans are from, humanity is never introduced. They never learned love, kindness, nor social intelligence, they were not nurtured, they were trained. Following  orders is what they live for. They are the government's property. They have no connection to their past and no clartiy of their future. These government's pawns were given first names and codes as their last names. 

It is the year 2932. Four of 21 colonies sent their delegates to Space Station Buckingham for briefing. The directive is to board an AI​ ship, destroy the system that is believed to be transporting human sociology data to the mothership and take the ship back to the space station. The attack will commence in 48 hours. In attendance were representatives from Moscow 005, Beijing 642, Sharjah 722, Washington 021.

In attendance were 24 representatives from soldier and tactical class, and the 4 elites from the 4 colonies. 

Elite 1st class Jericho125, from S722 scanned the room and stood at the back of pod23A. He out ranked most of the elites not only because of his intelligence but also from his strength and high tactical abilities. The generals considered him as a freak of nature having mastered so many skills in very little time. All 28 were standing in attention like pylons, not moving and seemed to be barely breathing. He scanned the room and spotted another soldier ​who looked like she doesn't belong in the group. All the other individuals in attendance towered over her. As if she felt his glance, she met his gaze. He looked away but there's someting inside him that wanted to stare at her. This reaction was something extra ordinary for him.

When the briefing ended they were instructed to make their way to the tech pod to view the layout of the enemy ship. Jericho moved as close as he could to her and asked which colony is she from. She was taken aback, felt her cheeks flushed, avoided his green eyes and stared back at the monitor and proceeded with her work. 

At the mess hall 3 hours later. He sat next to her and introduced himself. She told him that her name is Mae. Then she stood up and left.

30 hours before the  attack: physical training

They found a way to be in close proximity but they never spoke. There was nothing to talk about. They ended up pairing up for close combat practice. He prefered hand to hand combat. Her weapon of choice, the Night Reaper. They danced the dance of death. She was swift and light on her feet, she was an expret in Kali knife fighting. He underestimated her. With her fast knife jab, she nicked his cheek. She froze in shock as blood trickled down his face. She dropped the blade and touched his bloody cheek. There was an awful feeling from deep down her gut. Everyone in training stopped and witnessed an elite's reaction to an opponent. Everyone was baffled of what they've seen... a sign of weakness? The general  terminated the training and sent everyone to their bunkers. 

Jericho used a holographic communication device to check on Mae. They stared at each other without saying a word. They held out their hands, holographic palms touched. He said "Elite 1st Class Jericho125, Sharjah 722", she replied "Elite 1st Class Mae243, Beijing 642". Communication ended. 

3 hours before the attack. Final briefing.

Before all the representatives suited up, they were briefed the final time. As they made their way out, he touched the back of her hand. They both sighed, both could hear their own heartbeats. And their eyes said goodbye. 

28 fighters were divided into three groups attacked the AI ship. It was a success. Information from the enemy ships was intercepted and destroyed. They took out 42 AIs. There were 4 casualties, 2 died and 2 were injured. After the attack, They were shipped straight to their colonies. 

He sent a communication to B642 and found her. She was hurt, her left forearm bandaged. Her face did not show emotion, but there was a new light in her eyes. She held her holographic palm to his. Communication ended. He sent another feed the next day, they saw each other again. Her face stoic yet her eyes smiles. On the third day she was not there. For the next 7 days he tried, but she was never there. He felt pain coming from his chest. His heart hurt.  She was 15 and missing. He was 16 and  forlorn.

Jericho, fought, led and won more than 120 attacks, he rose to the rank of general at the age of 21. His body was covered in scars, not from the attacks but from carving Mae243 on his skin after every battle. The Night Reaper's blade never beat the pain in his chest. He experinced attraction and heartbreak, hope and despair, happiness and pain. He was schooled on humanity in that 48 hour encounter.