Alright, here's the story...
The Narak struck without warning. They opened a gateway from God knows where, and the invasion began shortly after. No attempts at communication have been accepted. No terms were offered.
For the first few days, all I could think about was how the movies got it wrong. Earth was finally under attack, and there was no crack squad of commandos there to save the day. There was no hive mind to destroy. No mothership to blow up. It turns out wars aren't won by One Man With Nothing Left To Lose. They're won by armies. And the Narak have an army like we’ve never seen.
As of today, every nation on earth has united to face the alien threat. Each military has been armed with the best its government has to offer. Carriers, guided missiles, assault drones - they might as well have been bows and arrows. The Narak’s monsters are unstoppable, and their weapons tear through our defenses like they aren’t even there. There are too many dead to bury.
Some of the team still doesn't understand. Hell, maybe they just don’t want to. Even if there was a point to it, I’m not sure I’d have the heart to convince them.
Every soldier ripped apart, every city turned to rubble, every orphaned child, makes our work here that much more important. Earth's leaders are getting desperate. At this rate, it won’t be long before they resort to nuclear weapons. And if we don’t finish the Ark in time, all those people will have died for nothing.
The fate of this species rests on our shoulders.
Humanity must survive.
When they dropped the first nuke, what was left of the world held its breath. It’s disgusting, but for a brief moment I had hope. We all did. If a nuclear show of force had been enough to finally turn back the Narak, we might’ve stood a chance. Broken as we were, we could’ve recovered, rebuilt. But they kept coming. They were more cautious, now – they spread their forces to minimize the losses from another strike – but the invasion hadn’t stopped. We’d barely even slowed it down.
Two days later, all hell broke loose. I don’t know which government made the call, but the decision was obvious: If humanity was going down, we were taking the Narak with us. Mushroom clouds bloomed in every hemisphere, as a combination of nuclear and biological weapons were unleashed upon the enemy regardless of civilian casualties. Friend and foe alike were turned to ash.
It was both our final attack, and the ultimate sign of our defeat. Even if we succeed in destroying the Narak forces on Earth, we’ve doomed our planet to nuclear winter. Soon, massive clouds of radioactive debris will enter the atmosphere, fueled by the firestorms that used to be our cities. Sunlight will be reduced by up to 90 percent. The global temperature will drop dramatically. Within weeks, sustained organic life will become nearly impossible.
And then there’s the virus.
This lab wasn’t made to withstand a biological attack. According to our scans, most of the staff is already infected, myself included. I assume the same holds true for any poor souls still trapped outside. We can only pray that however this virus works, it doesn’t affect the cloning process. All that matters now is completing the Ark before we run out of time – or worse, we’re discovered
We’re trapped on a dying planet, infected by an unknown plague, and hunted by an unstoppable army. I’ll admit, we didn’t expect the aliens; I don’t think anyone’s going to blame us there. But there’s no doubt we’re facing a full-blown extinction event.
We’ve prepared for this.
This is what the Ark was made for.
As soon as adult cloning became viable, any government worth a fuck began looking into the ultimate fail-safe device. We had good reason to. Even before the Narak, we were in trouble: environmental disasters, diminishing natural resources, holy wars – the world’s been on the brink for decades. And with the constant threat of nuclear annihilation, we knew we’d need a way out. A way for humanity to recover from even the worst catastrophe. Even extinction.
And so, three years ago, Genesis Corp was contracted to begin the Ark Project.
At its core, it’s a time-delayed, fully-automated cloning facility. That way, if the unthinkable ever occurred, we could at least die knowing that our story had not truly ended. When the dust finally settled and the world was habitable again, the Ark would activate. It would produce enough genetically diverse human beings to create a stable breeding population, and provide them with the rudimentary care and education they would need to recolonize the earth.
But for the Ark to work, it is imperative that the Narak never find it. Already, their forces have proven frighteningly efficient at tracking down human survivors. With this in mind, every aspect of the Ark has been designed to prevent its discovery; there will be no living caretakers, and no active machinery beyond the absolute essentials. It will remain hidden, inoperative, and undetectable. Dormant, miles beneath the surface, until the world is ready for our return.
And return we shall. Because now, the Ark’s children won’t just have to reclaim the earth – they’ll have to avenge it.
We’ve done our best to prepare them for the war they’ll face. Along with the Ark itself, the installation will contain a new and deadly arsenal. While we race to complete the cloning device, others have been developing cutting-edge weaponry based on the Narak’s superior technology. Thanks to their help, when the Ark activates, so too will its munitions plant.
Of course, even these new weapons may not be enough. No normal human can stand toe-to-toe with a Narak and live; our defeat has proven that. But if our work here is successful, they won’t have to.
Humanity will rise again. And the Arkana will be their path to victory.
The Ark was never meant for war. Like most things, it started with the best of intentions: to save us from ourselves. But when the Narak arrived, we knew that wouldn’t be enough. If humanity was to survive, it would need more than just weapons. It would need the champions to wield them.
We call them the Arkana. They are a series of genetically engineered, technologically-augmented super-soldiers. And they are the best chance humanity has of defeating the Narak.
The idea is nothing new; we’d seen muscle-bound hulks coming out of black market labs for years now. But we couldn’t afford to be so narrow-minded. We’d need strength, agility, and speed, yes - but also adaptability. Synergy. Self-sacrifice. When the Ark’s Neo-Humans finally return to the surface, there’s no telling what they’ll find. The Arkana will have to protect them from anyone, and anything, that threatens their survival.
Early testing showed that female subjects respond somewhat better to our process than males. Subtle genetic and neurological differences make them ideal for our planned modifications, as well as more receptive to Genesis Corp implants. To hedge our bets against a greater range of potential threats, we created six distinct archetypes. Each was designed to master a different weapon, and paired with a powerful battle Mech to complement their skills.
The Punisher: A devastating marksman and master of the heavy rifle. It's Mech, Ishtar, combines the precision of a sniper with the firepower of a Narak warship.
The Sentinel: An agile, cunning raider wielding dual pistols. The Kumari Mech was specifically designed to capitalize on it's smaller stature, granting increased maneuverability and devastating hit-and-run potential.
The Whipper: The Arkana’s crowd-combat specialist, it uses it's bladed whip to damage and disable multiple opponents at a time. The Athena Mech’s energy whip compounds it''s destructive potential, allowing it to decimate swaths of enemies with a single blow.
The Medic: The lynchpin of every Arkana squad, the Medic’s modified launcher delivers an array of chemical and biological payloads. This allows it to heal and augment it' allies, or unleash poisonous chaos amongst it's foes. It' sMech, Kali, grants it the speed and power it needs to turn the tide of any battle.
The Defender: An expert swordsman, the Defender was designed to withstand an incredible amount of physical punishment. Inside the heavily-armored Freyja Mech, it becomes a veritable juggernaut, using it's enhanced strength to cleave through foes with reckless abandon.
The Shadow Walker: A covert assassin, equipped with deadly hand blades. It's Epona Mech utilizes a radically altered design, with four nimble legs to grant both silent movement and lethal bursts of speed.
Like the Neo-Humans they’re meant to protect, the Arkana are still clones, created by the Ark… but that’s where the similarities end. Each archetype undergoes a unique formative process: as they’re grown they are altered, augmented, and molded into living weapons. In addition to their modified genetics, the Arkana are equipped with a variety of synthetic enhancements. Communications uplinks, skeletal plating, and medical injection ports are just the beginning. A complex network of neural implants allows them to command their Mechs at the speed of thought. Subconscious military AI and training programs grant them more battle experience than most veterans - and that’s before they ever see the field. By the time an Arkana picks up it's first weapon, it feels as natural as breathing.
They are, quite literally, born to kill.
This is basically the story. The Arkana listen to the Mother, their ruler. They do not know that they are clones, they simply know they exist and they know their task; to cleanse the earth and reclaim it for the humans.
They are devided into two seperate groups; The Royal Guards and the Free Knights.
Royal Guards tend to be militaristic and formal. While not truly conservative in the classical sense, they hold their core values quite dear. Justice and honor are the key principles of Royal Guard society, and as such their legal system is famously strict: those who disobey the law or endanger their fellow citizens are quickly imprisoned, and in extreme cases, executed.
Royal Guards are entirely motivated by their desire to reclaim Earth. The writings of Dr. Maynard are required reading, and even naturally-born children are trained in combat at an early age. Those who graduate to the Commander program are dedicated, driven, and fiercely loyal.
The Arkana, for their part, are treated exactly as Dr. Maynard described them: living weapons, specifically designed to aid humanity in its fight against the Narak. While they are in no way mistreated, it is a basic tenant of Royal Guard education that they are dangerous. They believe that an Arkana with no Commandeer would be unable to resist the amplified destructive instinct, becoming a danger to itself and others.
Genesis Corp agents operating in Royal Guard territory should address the Commander, rather than the Arkana. Focus on items that encourage teamwork, communication, and survivability – Royal Guards work better in squads than alone. Avoid informal conversation, and above all be absolutely certain not to break the local laws. Genesis Corp is not responsible for the imprisonment or death of careless employees.
Free Knights tend to be competitive and independent. Though not completely lawless, their emphasis on individuality and personal freedom can appear chaotic to an outside observer. Believing that advancement comes only through experimentation and adaptation, Free Knights are equally likely to find brilliant new solutions as they are to create catastrophic new problems.
Understandably, Free Knight Commanders are difficult to lump into a single category. Their combat styles and battle tactics vary wildly by individual, with each Commander usually claiming that their method is the best. Despite this, it is possible to find a few philosophical points in common.
As a general rule, Free Knight Arkana are granted more agency than their Royal Guard kin. Commanders attempt to foster a sense of partnership, and encourage their Arkana to suggest alternative strategies and solutions. While studies show this type of relationship results in a higher incidence of dangerous “rogue” Arkana, Free Knight Commanders apparently consider the benefits to be worth the risk.
In fact, it was their differing opinions on the Arkana that led to the faction war in the first place. When a group of Free Knight extremists attempted to deactivate the Commander program, thus releasing the Arkana from human control, the Royal Guards declared it an act of war. The ensuing carnage drove an irreparable wedge between the two factions, and their conflict continues to this day.
And that's basically it ^^