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Earthrise: First Impact Dev Journals: The Boneyard

By Guest Writer on August 14, 2009

The Third World War obliterated humankind from the face of the Earth. The creations of human civilization were devoured one by one by the terrible weapons used in the hellish outbreak of uncontrolled strategical strikes. Cities and major industrial areas were wiped out one after the other by nanoswarm weapons, molten in nuclear wrath or pulverized under the hammering forces of the seismic warheads. The surviving population of the planet was scourged by plagues that were spawned by nanomachine clouds acting like nightmarish factories for all kinds of biological horrors. In all respects, the face of the planet was truly cleansed of all things human.

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Yet all this destruction would have had little impact on the planet's the ecosystem if it weren't for the A.S.H.E.S. Virus. Made as a last resort weapon, A.S.H.E.S. was a scientific failure of no real practical use to its creators, but it was released at the end of the war and subsequently changed all life on Earth forever. As a result, new species and never before seen beasts and plants began to spread all over the world. Although the new mutated lifeforms were able to adapt to the harsh environment and found ways to thrive, they too fell into nature's life-death cycle and upheld the roles of predator and prey.

While most other mutants adapted and integrated into the Earth's ecosystem, a single lifeform was evolving into a new kind of ecosystem on the ocean floor. Mastering the depths of the ocean floor, it still had the undying urge to grow and made arrangements to explore the world on the surface. Its scout swarm landed on the western shores of Enterra and found an ecosystem that the Earth had not seen since millions of years prior. With the destructive factor of human activity left in the past, the new species had used the immense adaptability of the A.S.H.E.S. virus to forge a sustainable life and even managed to evolve. The eastern coasts of Enterra were very much the same and jungles, rich of life, hosted strange beasts that lived in perfect balance. In many respects, the island had become a refuge of organic life after the scourging aftermath of the wars.

The swarm that emerged from the depths didn't hesitate to infiltrate life on Enterra. At first it infested the weakest, most primitive forms of local life by crawling its way deep into the heart of the ecosystem. Tiny parasitic spores began traveling through the jungle's veins of life: water, wind and soil. The slow penetration of the swarm didn't trigger the usual swift response from the A.S.H.E.S.; instead the biology of the swarm was evolved in such a manner that it used the adaptability of the other lifeforms imbued with the nanoculture to its own ends. In less than a few years, the parasite devoured all life and recreated the mutated flora and fauna to its own liking. Due to its limited lifespan and contentment with its progress, the vanguard began the long voyage back to the mother swarm which caused the Hatchery colony to die out and left a barren deserted beach in its wake. Despite the adaptability gained since the A.S.H.E.S. fusion, no form of life would able to inhabit these sun scorched shores.

Now after many years, the desert stands still, and strangely enough, a small patch of what seems like normal mutated flora exists in its middle. In the sands surrounding it lie the bleached bones of long dead beasts, and when the humans discovered the area they named it The Boneyard.

The Boneyard is situated too far off to be of any interest to anyone, save for a small group of scientists. They are considered to be a part of Noir, though they are so independent from the directives of command that their position is questionable. The primary occupation of this group is investigating and examining the oasis, where parts of the swarm were rumored to have remained alive despite their programming. Now that another Hatchery has emerged in the south, the scientists feel more burdened with worries about the future of humankind. They don't take interest in the political intrigues and the civil war, as they now see the threat of the new Hatchery as the most ominous problem on the horizon. The scientists seek to uncover the mysteries of the previous Hatchery infestation, believing the genetic history of the swarm is the key to its destruction.

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