Origins: Heavy Metal Part 1

Even though words “Heavy Metal” bring to the minds of every Pulp City dwellers images of the most modern technologies and almost sci-fi heroes, the origins of the team date back to the 40’s. As the US military worked on super soldier projects, a small group of scientists researched the possibilities of introducing a mechanical command unit that would enhance the battlefield decisions made by the officers. The project failed as the impending D-Day drew all financial support to creating a handful of metahumans to lead the assault on the beaches of Normandy.

The project codenamed O.R.B.C. (as in Omnipotent Replicated Battlefield Commander) existed in the annals of the US military more as a mechanical version of the alchemists’ dream to create gold from lead. Even though the support had been reduced, the research continued with diminishing returns falling father and father short of the high expectations. The breakthrough came in late 60’s as the military was switching to a new intercommunication system and O.R.B.C.’s computer accidentally got connected to all of the databases, creating massive feedback that fried the circuitry and resulted in a massive explosion of the computers.

When the smoke cleared, the scientists could not believe what has happened. The parts and pieces of the broken machinery hovered in the air, swirling and circling as if an invisible child’s hand was trying to assemble the scattered puzzles. Circuit to wire, wire to chip, chip to the mainframe, slowly a human-like being shaped itself, the blood of streaming data chains binding the metal armor. The newly assembled entity hovered almost motionless, like a giant steel hummingbird, only the silent clicking of the data processing hinted at its life and effort to analyze the situation. When the MP burst into the room, the creature instantly shifted its left arm into a round shield and the right into a short pike, adopting a battle stance of a disciplined Spartan warrior. The human staff of the base slowly left the room, leaving the strange visitor by itself and retreating to a location where they could watch through the eyes of the industrial camera.

The child of O.R.B.C. almost instantly started to rebuild or rather re-shape the room.

Over the next few days, the scientists were amazed to discover that it was able to adapt its body to any new situation, once in a while dispersing the body and retreating to the safety of the now repaired computers as if recharging itself.

The arrival of the strange creature became instantly a project of its own, with scientists cautiously approaching it and trying to communicate. If the being was able to process situational humor it probably would have been amused by the human first attempts: they adopted the methods described in Tarzan. So the being, as expected from something that possessed knowledge and processing ability of thousand linked computers, approached them and clearly laid out its goals: to research tactics and behavior patterns beyond the ones already found in the military databases it has devoured. Months later, tireless and emotionless, the being supported hundreds military and police operations, supporting the troops from the confines of the underground base. O.R.B.C. was eager to learn and modify itself even though it had adapted the tactics and strategies of countless masters of warfare, starting from Sun Tse to General Patton.

Everything seemed to be back in order and the steady flow of cash revitalized the project as the yet unnamed entity seemed to be the ultimate fulfillment of the project’s hopes. Until the day when one of the politicians behind the financial support of O.R.B.C. decided to move the testing the one of the most bloodthirsty theaters of war of this era – Vietnam…