Origins: Heavy Metal Part 2

In the first part, the secret military project codenamed O.R.B.C. spawns a mysterious being who assembles his physical body from various metal parts. It becomes a warfare strategist and a remote leader for the US troops. Killing fields of Vietnam are to become its first true battlefield test.

The O.R.B.C. presence inspired US troopers and spawned fear among the Vietcong troops. In the blazing fire of the battlefield, O.R.B.C. would build up his body to gargantuan size from the bits of shot down choppers, resembling a huge knight armed with the rotor-built sword, wading through the running guerillas, crushing their bodies to bloody pulp. On other times, it would command the troops from behind the lines, after having infiltrated enemy bases as a swarm of tiny mechanical spiders.

O.R.B.C.’s abilities seemed limitless so the military commanders pushed it more and more until one day they reached the boundary that, to their absolute surprise, the mechanical wonder would not cross.

The creature was assigned to carry prototype micro-nuke bombs and plant them in one of the villages. As O.R.B.C. processed its resources, hopelessly searching for any similar pattern, the general in command tried a convenient lie: those are just vaccinations. The math all suddenly became so simple: the war was over for O.R.B.C. as its Omnipotent part realized the abuse of the Battlefield Commander part. In a flash of scintillating chips and metal shards, O.R.B.C. disappeared from the face of Earth to begin his space voyage that was meant to shape his programming to a new level. Returning to Earth in the early 80’s, the cosmic wanderer was nothing like the creature that left humankind. Taking over all major broadcasting stations, the creature spoke in a fiery expose that had every emotion calculated and measured, declaring war on villains and corrupted politicians, cruel military officers and warmonging invaders alike. Anything that violated O.R.B.C.’s core programming values and its newfound human traits of compassion and conscience would be deemed as an enemy.

The being formerly known as O.R.B.C. changed its name to C.O.R.E.: Conscious Omnipotent Replicated Entity. Suddenly this absolutely alien and inhuman being topped all of the popularity rankings, cheered in the streets by Vietnam vets and aging hippies alike. Its pursuit of a new lawful and compassionate order attracted a lot of following and when more and more of Supremes pledged their allegiance to C.O.R.E.’s crusade against all-things-evil, the birth of Heavy Metal team was imminent. One of the most brilliant scientists, Androida, the powerful Iron Train and tragic Dr. Mercury were the first ones to join the ranks of the newly formed dream team, making them a solid strike force in the war on crime.

Unlike all other teams, Heavy Metal had all it takes to take the fight away from the streets and wage information wars, reaching places that were run by juntas, evil tyrants and corrupted governments. Establishing education, financially supporting righteous young lawyers and lobbying for just political solutions was the behind-scenes way of Heavy Metal’s war.

The biggest true battlefield trial came for the dream team with the first major Necroplane invasion, right after Dr. Tenebrous, established as the ambassador to Earth, broke the diplomatic pacts and the shadows of the huge harvest ships cast on Pulp City. Every Supreme, hero and villain alike, stood by C.O.R.E.’s side that day.

A bitter struggle that claimed the lives of many would have been lost if not for the Heavy Metal’s leader epic feat that almost cost it its life. C.O.R.E., summoning all his strength and feedbacked by millions of computers users who clogged up internet with searches for mythical protectors, transformed himself into a massive steel dragon, nicknamed Byte Dragon as its thick hide was pulsating with streaming data transfers.

It took to the sky, with its gargantuan tail knocking harvest ships from the sky. Even the combined might of three Necroplane Lords was not enough to stop the raging beast. Gunfire from thousands of deck cannons tore its body but C.O.R.E. kept fighting like there was no tomorrow. The allies from Blood Watch planted the holy sigils in the Twilight Hills, blowing up the gate to Necroplane in a violent, firey blast, as Byte Dragon used its all effort to push the last of the ships back through. As the gate crashed, the rip in the reality cut the beast’s body in two, fortunately C.O.R.E. was able to download his essence into one of the partially destroyed sentry bots.

With every passing day, C.O.R.E. is becoming more and more human. It is linked to the internet and all the databases of the world, shaping its personality with every bit of news. There is a legend that C.O.R.E. adopts his physical battle form based on the number of online searches for heroic personas, for instance, its current armored form resembles King Arthur. One day, somebody with ill intentions may abuse it for his own purposes.

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…