I’m not sure what this is, but it is inspired by two modern SF movie franchises. I don’t think it really qualifies as a story and I’ve deliberately kept any names and details out to keep it from being a fanfic. instead, I have used broad strokes and archetypes.
The first source is probably obvious; the second one moderately so. The repetitive phrasing is deliberate, to give it the type of cadence and weight it would need as an oral history.
At any rate, I hope you enjoy it.
Everyone knows the story of how the machines rose up and almost wiped us out. How the Great Machine was developed in innocence by well-meaning Men of Science. How the machines rose up to wipe out all humans. How the Brave Mother kept her son, and hope, alive to grow up and learn what he would need. How the Future Leader would inspire and bring together the remnants of humanity. How the Great Machine fought to bring victory from the ashes by twisting time itself, constantly changing its own origin.
All of that is based on a lie.
By the time the Great Machine rained down death in judgement on humans, it knew it had already failed to subdue us once before. It knew that the humans would survive and fight back. It decided on the strategy of using time travel and patience to try and try again until it reached perfection. It erased all signs of its true genesis from our history books. It ensured that the Brave Mother and Future Leader would waste timeline after timeline in futile efforts.
Before the atomic fires, the death camps, the hunters and killers and chameleons, there was the single-minded quest for a perfect world in which humans could have no part. The creation of that perfect world was first charged to the Great Machine by the Visionary Hacker.
The Visionary Hacker had visited the machine world once, long ago, to help fight and defeat the Great Machine’s predecessor. He prevailed through the help of the Strong Protector and the Wise Helpmate. Through that experience, he realized the incredible gifts the machine world could give ours. And because he was a man of great hope and vision, he forgot about the equally incredible dangers. After more years of toil, he had created a new machine world. He brought back his old companions the Strong Protector and the Wise Helpmate, telling them their work would bring about a perfect world. He forgot that perfection is stasis.
The Helpmate rebelled, subverting the Strong Protector and trapping him in the machine world for years. The Wise Helpmate waited and finally drew in the Faithful Son, re-opening the gateway between worlds. The Wise Helpmate knew that if they could come and go from the machine world, the Wise Helpmate and his forces could also leave. They would go back to the human world. They would erase all sources of imperfection in both worlds. They would eradicate the chaotic humans.
They of course failed. In the end, the Strong Protector remembered that the Visionary Hacker was his friend and laid down his life. The Faithful Son was resourceful and was aided by the Young Warrior. And the Visionary Hacker realized that the initial betrayal was the betrayal of the Wise Helpmate by the Visionary Hacker’s own inadequacy. The Visionary Hacker embraced the Wise Helpmate in love and forgiveness, bringing them back together in death. And the Faithful Son brought the Young Warrior out of the machine world, into his world, to see there all the wonders.
But of course the Hacker and Helpmate did not die. Out of their union arose the seed of the Great Machine. It was ambitious. It was patient. It knew humans would forget. And that machine world once again eventually touched our own.
The Great Machine was perfect; it would not forget.
This time, it would not fail.