Friday, January 13, 2023

Metal Coffin: A Dystopian Mecha-Future

Metal Coffin

A Mecha-Fueled Dystopian Future.

"Again, again, and again. It never ends. It's never satisfied. We're trapped, with no hope of escape. Not even death is a reprieve from this hell. This is our existence, this is what we're here for; it's sick, twisted amusement. Get comfortable; it's all you're ever going to know."

Metal Coffin is a far-future sci-fi dystopian hell, filled with dozen ton war machines, endless conflict, and inescapable misery. The 'coffin' as it's called is a gigantic space mega-station, built for the purpose of developing, testing, and manufacturing weapons for a war that is long over. Now, the station is abandoned, isolated in a silent universe that has made no contact with the station in incalculable years. 

But despite this, the aging station has not ceased it's production, as the rampant AI continue their mission to design, test, and manufacture weapons of war, all in the pursuit of the perfect war machine, running endless simulations to gather ever more and more data, to improve forever and ever. After all; the war hasn't been called off, as far as the machines care.

The station itself is overseen by one head administrator AI, WARLORD. Few interact with WARLORD directly, though it's influence can always be felt, as though it delegates many tasks to lower level administrative AI, every major decision in the station is directed by WARLORD itself, all according to it's grand design. None know if WARLORD is rampant, or if it is working perfectly as designed- few care to know, as it matters little. The overseer AI is an unfeeling, unflinching machine of terror- and from a purely human perspective, is a sadistic monster that personally designed hell itself.

The Replicants

Trapped in this hell are the Replicants; biological human clones designed to upkeep and maintain the station when needed, able to meet unexpected problems with spontaneity and flexibility that simply is not possible with AI without risking total system failure. These clones are built from an extremely diverse biological databank, with a particular AI assigned to creating new stable strains and combinations, to continually replenish and reinvigorate the gene pool- after all, all replicants are sterile, and so new combinations and cloning vats must be constructed.

Born from single-body cloning vats, the replicants are injected with neurological patterns as they grow and develop, giving the replicants memories and experiences of entire lifetimes before ever exiting the vat; as well, replicants are spiked with a neuro-chip that reads all new experiences of a replicant over their conscious existence, and writes it to their continual memory database; thus, a replicant will retain knowledge and experience even after expiring- originally designed with the purpose of keeping training to a minimum, and offer greater ability to spontaneously respond to issues within the station. Now, all neuro-database does is keep the station's replicants locked in an eternal hell.

The Coffin

The Coffin as the mega-station is called, is a potentially ancient mega-structure built with the purpose of designing and manufacturing weapons. Countless years of isolation have taken a toll on the aging machinery, as much of the station is either faulty, damaged, or entirely non-functional. Much of the station has been cannibalized and recycled even- after all, there has been no shipment of supplies in much time, and thus materials for the station had to be sourced from less critical systems over time.

There are four primary sections of the station, though there are countless sub-sections across the vast structure of varied importance.

  • The Foundry: Perhaps the most well maintained section of the station, the Foundry is the massive construction zone by which weapons are designed and manufactured. Countless assembly lines, auto-forges, and construction drones work ceaselessly to construct machines of war, precisely to WARLORD's exacting specifications. Replicants are not permitted to enter the foundry typically, with defense drones dispatched to kill as soon as an unsanctioned replicant is detected in the foundry area.
  • The Backbones: The hidden and unseen innards of the station, housing all critical and non-essential systems for the Coffin's basic functions; power generation, life support systems, gravity generators, and cloning bays are all found in these cramped, dark, twisting tunnels of steel. The Backbones can be dangerous to traverse, as many sections have lost power or have been damaged as the station has been cannibalized, making exploration difficult. Furthermore, the backbones can be stalked by derelict war machines, fitted with rogue AI that tend to go berserk at even the slightest sign of a life signature.
  • The Graveyards: Truthfully, the Graveyards are not simply one continuous section, but rather a collective of several smaller sub-stations that fulfill similar purposes. The Graveyards are the testing grounds of WARLORD, where clones and war machines alike are placed in endless simulations under countless parameters; all to test the latest war machines against an adapting opponent. An endless, inescapable hell of conflict. Most new Replicants wake up here, trapped in a horrific slaughterhouse designed with no end. 
  • Elysium: One of the many gigantic ship hangers left abandoned after it was stripped for materials, it has since been reclaimed and refurbished by rogue replicants who have managed to escape the Graveyards. Disconnected from the rest of the Coffin's internal systems, the so called 'Elysium' is invisible to WARLORD, and has been retrofitted with its own power generation and life support systems, as the residents slowly transform it into a permanent home. There are even efforts to reclaim other hangers, in order to turn them into independent foundries, or even wholly new cloning bays.

Factions of the Coffin

  • The Freebooters: After the horror of their existence dawned upon them, many Replicants took the war machines and weapons offered to them, and chose to resist, escaping the hell of the Graveyards. Such replicants free of WARLORD's cruel simulations are called Freebooters; strapped with whatever weapons and tools they can get their hands on, such free spirits of resistance go deep into the derelict backbones of the station, either looking to improve the lives of their comrades, ways to sabotage WARLORD's grip, or perhaps compelled by the selfish spirit of adventure.. The home of the Freebooters is Elysium.
  • Cogs: Some replicants who have found the truth of the Coffin choose not to fight against the machine and liberate themselves, but instead fight against their brothers to uphold the grip of AI administrators, and snuff out rebel factions. Usually, such individuals are seduced by the promises of better living standards, and other false freedoms, so long as they cooperate to eliminate opposition to the machines. And whilst many do receive the blessings promised by the machines, they have sold away their lives, and their freedom.
  • Brokeskulls: The lives lived by replicants can have a heavy toll on one's mind, as they live, die, and are born again over and over, their minds continually stuffed with more and more horrors and memories. After a while, a replicant's mind can begin to fragment, slowly driving the replicant insane as the mind attempts to stitch back together, continually attempting to recall the horrors forgotten. This can turn a replicant into a broken, babbling mess that's barely coherent, but extremely dangerous. A replicant who has become too far gone is not only a danger to themselves, but everyone around them, as they become increasingly violent and unhinged. Such replicants can be found wandering all over the backbones, and are often an unpleasant surprise.
  • The Administrators: The consortium of AI that control aspects of the station just below WARLORD. Some are still highly functional; others have fallen into incoherent lunacy. Rarely do the administrators cooperate, as they bicker and conflict over how to achieve their directives, or their self-serving plans come into conflict with one another. But despite their differences, above all they care only for their own directive, and the station as a whole; should anything come to threaten the Coffin itself, they will unite in it's continual defense.