“They possessed quite an elaborate heart, their bodies being much larger and stronger than the average man. Their internal organs generated essential nutrients that made them tireless, increasing their lung capacity. They were like the gods of war on the battlefield …And so we called them Ares.”
When humans began interstellar travel, more than a thousand years ago and having not yet discovered Krythium nor Eikey leaps, the dangers that the expeditions had to face were positively known: poor prospecting operations; the atmosphere, unlike previous studies, was not compatible with life; wasted planets; and even making contact with all types of creatures that had nothing to do with the human race, were things to be possible.
The last expected thing for all was to meet with other “humans”.
At the beginning of the dispersion of the human race by the stars, the subsector Cythera, within the region Serpens Cauda, passed unnoticed by the eyes of the observers commissioned to choose the best destinations for colonization. Only destinations with a 95% chance of a successful colonial settlement were chosen. As the required scales (85%) weren’t reached it was ruled out for the first part of the settlement project. It was a gamble but having stayed out of the top destinations Hazsen-Chelestra decided to put all the eggs in that basket. The bet went well and humanity heard about Krithium for the first time. The Hazsen-Chelestra coalition hastened to send a exploitation fleet as soon as he discovered the potential of Krithium but this expedition left without Eikey technology in a 60-year duration trip. When they got there they discovered they were not alone in the system, not even the only humans.
The most prosperous region of the system, Magellan, turned out to be inhabited by human look alike creatures, but their height was far beyond the canons of the species, cause they had well developed muscles and apparently without many of the physical restrictions of that. Furthermore, a ship of an INCRECOM’S subsidiary, Black Sun Enterprises, was in the sector in very poor condition. The decisive intervention of its elite troops defeated the inhabitant race that fought until almost the extermination. Three of the survivors were captured and interrogated. They were apathetic, impassive beings, without any own thoughts, morality, or initiative. All what was able to obtain from them was that they had no personal name, but each of them was an ‘operator’ under the service of the “Leaders”.
Gods of War
The three individuals were taken to Earth for carrying out more detailed studies. It was found that the ‘Operators’ were created by a higher intelligence: they were synthetic. They possessed a much more elaborated heart; their lungs were much more efficient and had an internal system of essential nutrients generation that made them tireless in battle. Their cognitive ability was increased making them a subject with an initiative in battle above the average. The Sayx called them the gods of war. Its current name, ‘Ares’, is due to the Greek god of war.
Eventually they were able to isolate the synthetic genes that enhanced physical and cognitive abilities, and managed to make them compatible with the human genome. At this time, Dr. Thomas Wikhly concludes that the compatibility should work in a reverse sense.
Dr Wikhly established a relationship with the captured operators that could be categorized as friendship. Finished their major studies and sympathizing with the situation of the three subject, he tries to establish a new line of research that can determine the nature of the external control source. However since it is not possible to detect the origin of the source, his experiments do not achieve any convincing result and Hazsen closes the study lines about operators. Whikly seeks new sources of funding for his experiments and ends up getting a research credit from INCRECOM to investigate the mechanism that keeps the Ares under the control of leaders and reaches an agreement with the Sayx. INCRECOM pressures Sayx to achieve results quickly and the level of risk of the experiments gradually increases until, in one of them, one of the operators, the man known as operator 72, dies on the operating table. The remaining two men 79 and 31 refuse to continue collaborating. The new situation worries INCRECOM that finds in the operators an invaluable source of genetic material but need to continue their research. Sayx reaches an agreement through Wikhly in which it is committed to help operators providing ships and troops to free their comrades in return to continue the study of physiognomy and Ares technology.
After finishing the studies of 79 and 31, who now call themselves Bret and Bitsie, they begin a series of training with part of the Sayx fleet to start a rescue mission for their partners. After several missions to liberate small groups they discover the location of what, it seems, the home planet of the operators. The liberation takes several decades and is undertaken by a group of operators supported by several Sayx warships. While the other freed operators decide to travel to a system located in the region of Canis Minor, very close to the Hextrom system, with enough resources to establish a home for their kind. Once settled in the system, they decide to contact the Central Government of the Earth to establish the first political relations. The Earth decides to recognize a few years later the Condominium Ares as part of the interplanetary council.
When in 3810 the condominium becomes a full member of the council they get some inherent rights recognized among which would be the sovereignty over the space around their home system. This makes some strategic systems happen to be within the newly space conceded to the condominium, including the disputed Hextrom system and its large reserves of Krithium. The condominium asks a petition to the council of Earth to control Hextrom, originally belonging to Sayx, who must cede to the Riff empire in occasion of the peace agreements of Kellion Prime, passes under their sovereignty, but the Earth’s Central Government, concerned with maintaining the unity of the main companies and fearing conflict with the Riffs, delays comments on the matter.
The situation for the condominium gets worst: its planets are left without the ability to provide energy to its population and in the year 3900 the rulers of the Condominium Ares raise an ultimatum to the council for a ruling in the case of Hextrom system, but the Earth does not reply. Communications are lost. They are alone in the galaxy, in a limited space and without resources to withstand many years. Because of the situation, the rulers of the Condominium decide to have a crisis meeting.
After three days of meeting, the decision is taken: it is necessary to take control of the Hextrom system, especially the Hextrom VI mines, for the survival of the Condominium; Otherwise, they are doomed.
Within months, the first reconnaissance ships to Hextrom VI are released. It is not known for sure what kind of opposition they will meet there, but if the Condominium is sure of something is that, whoever they are, they must surrender to the power of Ares.
Bitsie “Operator 31”
Bitsie is one of the first operators that were captured. She is one of the 3 legendary Operators freed from the yoke and began the struggle to free their people from the domination and begin construction of what is now the Ares Condominium.
Bitsie has seen the death of many of her peers, some she had to kill herself. So much struggle has forged such a tough character that her own armor has no room for sentiment. But behind that security she is terribly afraid, afraid of what she has discovered in her years of fighting against operators and afraid of what moves the strings of Operators.
Blaze “Operator 10”
The first thing an Ares do after he is released and act no longer as an Operator is to choose his own name, something to leave behind the cold number designating him as an Operator. Elliot was the name that Operator 10 chosen for himself. In the battle of Nox VI, after two days of fighting, Sergeant Elliot armed with his Gauss gun was the only Ares operating heavy weapon. In the perpetual darkness of the Nox system, the blaze of his weapon served as guide for the depleted Ares contingent to overcome the defensive line of the enemy. From that day Sergeant Elliot’s is as unknown as those who fell under fire from his gun, Blaze is now his name.
Hank “Operator 323”
Hyperion troops were developed during the Ares independence war to minimize casualties against an enemy that equaled them in physical abilities and doubled them in number. Hank was the first commander of Hyperion armor deployed on a planet controlled by operators.
During the battle in the factory complex Tau Gamma 23 Hank was caught between two units of operators. His armor managed to resist enemy fire quite well but his ammo depleted dangerously fast. When he ran out of ammo there were still three operators shooting from behind a giant robotic arm that they used as cover. Desperate and with his armor receiving strong punishment Hank knew he would not last much more in that situation.
He plucked a steel panel that covered a pillar of the factory and charged toward the group of operators. When he reached the giant robotic arm he ripped off the mechanical limb that ended in a forge hammer and started to smite his enemies until there were none left alive.
A few seconds after Brett appeared, looked him up and down and said sarcastically:
“You are a blacksmith now, Hank?”
Alexander “Operator 03”
Memories roared through Alexander’s mind. He must have been having a highly ordered dream in which his memories from the Ares liberation passed in front of him. The dream finally came to a halt at that moment, that dreadful night on T17… immobile… amputated…
Alexander opened his right eye. He was sitting on the deck of the Wallenstein and everything was pretty blurry. In a few seconds he realized what the situation was: he had fallen in combat and was now kept alive by the Harvester technology built into his body. The harvester patrols that wandered around the ship ignored him, and so he could make his way to the main deck where he hoped to find some answers to what was happening.
Upon entering the main deck Alexander accessed the console of the Wallenstein. He checked the destrination coordinates, Earth. “Why attack Earth?”, he wondered. Suddenly an electric shock cracked down his spine to the base of his brain making him fall to his knees. “Collect and assimilate all organic life forms, build an invincible army to serve the Masters”. This thought echoed in Alexander’s head again and again. Were these the same masters who had created the Ares? Were these other cosmic tyrants?
Three days had passed since the Alexander had regained conciousness. He had already got used to his new integrated systems, including being able to give the ship simple commands and deactivate some machines with just a mere thought. As a former Ares operator, he had already been a slave once, and he wasn’t going to let that happen again. He located the ship’s weapons hold which contained one of the prototypes which was going to be used to attack Earth.
The plan was simple: get a hold of the weapon, deploy on Earth with the rest of the Harvester troops, eliminate them with the use of the prototypes, and join the counteroffensive forces in order to find Aerin and Krieguer, who will most likely find themselves in the same situation…
Ishann “Operator 472”
Ishann is a curious case in the Ares condominium. Although his behavior as a soldier was equal to or better than his peers, his superiors realized he was an exceptional soldier.
During a battle in Military Haszen territory, Ishann was lost and could not reach the extraction point, being trapped in enemy territory.
Six months later he appeared at an Ares outpost after stealing a ship from the enemy. His talent for camouflage and combat abilities managed to keep him alive on the battlefield no matter how bad the odds were against him. His ability to go unnoticed made him lethal in combat and Ares high command decided to use his skills to create a unit that exploited that.
The Ares are fearsome when you find them in front of you, but if they appear at your back, you have no chance.
The Ares have strong armored troops that outclass almost all other races in a one-on-one fight. Their great sense of individuality makes them reluctant to follow orders, meaning that they will usually have few command points and cannot play many cards each turn. Ares heroes focus on boosting their squads and armor.