During the 3rd World War in the year 2052, nuclear weapons devastated the Earths surface.

Nobody won.

The worlds leading scientific minds worked to create a way to remove the radiation from the atmosphere.

They succeeded. The technology was revolutionary, it had the ability to completely absorb energy with 100% efficiency, effectively violating the 2nd law of thermodynamics. By releasing nanomachines within a plasmatic membrane that utilized budding Dyson sphere technology from Japan, it was essentially a shifting, transient, super cloud that could filter anything through anything, and place energy in anything without loss. Many considered it magic at first, but nobody cared so long as it worked.

And it worked.

They called it Aldrang.

The inventors of Aldrang were a duo team of brilliant scientists: Dr. Frank Alderson, an American chemist, and Dr. Takumi Morino, a Japanese physicist. They each shared the technology with each other and agreed to save their own home countries first. This was the beginning of what would become the two companies that saved humanity.

Dr. Alderson went back and began to deploy Aldrang emission technology across the entire continental United States, curing the land nearly instantly. With so much wealth accrued from companies and state governments purchasing Aldrang emitters, Dr. Alderson started the Instance Technologies corporation, which over many years grew to become a superpower that controlled around 20% of the world economy.

Dr. Morino returned to Japan and did the same, except instead of selling Aldrang emitters to the government, he allowed governments to lease Aldrang emitters. Soon, all countries of the world were clambering to lease Aldrang emitters from Dr. Morinos new company: Morino Industries. Morino Industries grew to become a zaibatsu in Japan, and essentially came to control over 25% of the world economy.

This was the year 2089.

In the year 3045, the Corporation Wars began, with Instance Technologies and Morino Industries at front. Other global superpower companies fought over land and resources, with Aldrang technology available, nuclear war never meant so little to the environment save for the vaporized cities, citizens, and wildlife.

In the year 3057, the leaders of both Instance Technologies and Morino Industries met, and came to a deal. They would merge. And with this merger rose the most powerful corporation in the Earths history:

The Istano Group.

Overnight, Instance Technologies and Morino Industries merged to form the supercorporation zaibatsu known as Istano Group. They immediately began to research and innovate more on the Aldrang technology, and with that new technology, single handedly ended the war.

Istano Group was armed with Aldrang Portal tech, which allowed instantaneous teleportation to any location on Earth with no energy cost.

Also utilizing the same technology, Istano Group created guns that shot through Aldrang Portals that could target enemy hearts and brains from 50 kilometers away, devastating them with no travel time.

It was no wonder nobody stood a chance against the Istano Group. Weapons that could teleport solid tungsten rods straight into enemy combatant hearts and eliminate political dignitaries with the flip a switch?

Istano Group ended the Corporation Wars in 3 days.

The survivors either lived in Istano Group territory as former Americans and Japanese, or were spared when the Istano Group announced a complete victory. No other supercorporations existed.

The Istano Group became the new world order. It owned over 50% of the Earths land and seas, with the rest of it only belonging in name to other countries. People now only referred to countries for cultures sake. Istano Group was the government. Istano Group was the order.

⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂

The year is 6788.

The rain roars as it falls across the city of Athrodo. Each droplet falls with enough force to bruise a child– such rain is not uncommon. Only the brave venture out during the mindstorms, and only when its absolutely necessary lest they die before they reach their destination. The whole of Athrodo is silent, save for the deafening cry of the rain against the concrete.

”Sure sounds like a **in war out there huh? ”

A man laughs heartily from across the room. His voice is deep and gruff. Like gravel. His face is rough with sharp features and large bushy eyebrows. Hes massive, standing nearly 6 foot 10 and a mountain of muscle.

His name: Trajan Vermeer. At the high rank of Master Sergeant, Vermeer was the commander of the 8th Fireteam in the Aldrang Resolution Taskforce.

A young man speaks up, grinning. His voice is pleasant, and full of youth.

”You say that every time it rains. You remember WERE the ones that have to go out in that warzone, right? ”

”Don **in remind me. I hate mindstorm duty. ”

Vermeer gets up from the couch and walks up to the young man staring out the window.

”Its your birthday tomorrow ain it, Irrako? ”

The young man turns around, revealing his stark, bright red irises. Irrako was a tall man, 6 foot, and had jet black hair. His features were strangely beautiful, yet still implied hardness like Vermeers. Hes a leaner kind of muscle than his commander, though.

”Awh! You remember my birthday? Thanks! ”

”Shut it. Of course I remembered your birthday youve only been in this squad since you were 11. ”

Irrako raises his fist gently for a fist-bump.

”Heh. Can believe its almost been 8 years. You gonna treat me tomorrow? ”

Vermeer taps his fist against Irrakos and turns around before beginning to walk off.

”Forget it. I know how much you eat, fatass. Lets get going. Mindstorms looking rowdy. ”

”Fuuuuuckkk. Fine. ”

Irrako checks his pockets and takes out a sleek, thin, silver wristband and puts it on his left wrist before following his commander out of the room.

Vermeer walks down the hallway, and whistles sharply.

Members of his squad begin coming out of their rooms , each falling into line alongside Irrako as they quietly exchange greetings.

A young woman greets Irrako with a quick, playful hug from behind before she falls in next to him as they continue walking.

Irrako whispers to the young woman.

”Todays mindstorm looks real shit, Veon. ”

She playfully punches his arm before responding. Her voice is soothing, yet firm, like a gleaming pebble in a vast lake. Irrako can help but look at her. Veon is a tall woman, taller than him.

Standing at 6 foot 2, Veon was a warrior born and raised to be on the Aldrang Resolution Team [ART]. She was muscular yet slender but toned with a good amount of bulk, with hair that only went down to her neck that was just barely noticeably dark purple in the florescent lighting.

”Nothing we can handle, Rocky~. We ARE the best in all of Istano anyways. ”

Irrako furrows his brow.

”Something feels wrong about this, though. ”

A feeling of strange dread and confusion occupies a small corner of Irrakos mind. Its offputting, and he can put a finger on it. This was a routine dive. Hes faced mindstorms like this before.

Veon shrugs her shoulders before replying.

”The only thing thats wrong with this is mindstorms being a literal storm of haywire Aldrang that creates **ing water from nothing. ”

”You
e still on about that? ”

”Yeah, its **ing weird. And it doesn make sense. ”

Irrako scoffs as they stop in front of a pair of giant mechanical doors that then open with a ”BEEEP ” sound as it performs a DNA scan of Vermeer.

The squad walks into a giant room filled with machinery, weapons, and vehicles. There are hundreds of people in this complex mass of a room all talking, running, and working. Plastered all over the floors and the walls is a giant logo: Istano Group.

They continue walking briskly as they pass by workers that greet them.

”Yoooo, 8th! Good work on that last raid! ”

”8th! Break over I see. ”

”Mindstorm outsides a doozy this time. Take care out there, 8th! ”

The workers that don greet them all stop to admire the 8th FireTeam. The backs of the 8ths uniforms all read out Aldrang Resolution Team [ART]. Every man, woman, and person turn their heads to see the 8th FT in the flesh.

Vermeer kindly smiles and greets them all while still walking briskly.

The 8th eventually reach another pair of massive metal doors that decompress and open up for them.

Inside is a brightly lit long room with benches on either side that go all the way down to the other end. There are massive capsules lined up against the walls of the room with each members names printed on them.

Irrako walks up to the one labeled with his name.

”Irrako Bei-Tian. ”

The entirety of the 8th speaks their names at the same time, and the capsules open up with a loud hiss.

Irrako grabs his gear out from the capsule. He clips a strange, hooked knife onto his belt before pressing an empty space on the right side of the inside wall of the capsule.

A square lights up and spins before another hiss and out comes a small compartment with a box in it. The vapor is still coming off of it.

Irrako opens the small box and reveals a strange, silver full-fingered ring. It pulses blue in mechanical veins faintly before the light fades to nothing.

”God I hate putting these **ing things on. ”

Irrako takes a deep breath before quickly putting the ring on his middle finger on his left hand.

The 8th all place their rings on in sync.

”Agh! ”

Irrako cries out in pain as the ring fixes itself in place. Blue light floods from the ring into his veins as it travels up his arm and through the rest of his body. The same goes for the rest of the 8th.

In an instant, the members all release a thick blue haze that covers their entire body, before it quickly dissipates and seeps back into their skin, revealing a strange, blue ghostly exo-skeleton like armor partially wrapped around them.

”Yeah I don think anyone likes these **in things. ”

Vermeer comments, slightly out of breath.

”It feels like my **ing blood is boiling. ”

Irrako spits, also out of breath. Veon speaks up.

”You
e not far off. Haah… The **ing Aldrang in these things replaces our blood in 3 seconds… ”

”Yeah, yeah… Lets us losing **ing limbs. ”

Veon rubs her left shoulder bitterly.

”Ugh. Don remind me. ”

”At least the Markov Chain Armor saves our ass from random rods getting shoved into our skin. ”

”At the least. ”

Vermeer gets up to the front of the room and starts talking.

”Alright, listen up! We got one Class CT11 mindstorm on our **in hands and we
e the only ones that can stop em. ”

A member pipes up.

”CT11?! The highest one on record was a CT12! ”

”Yeap. You heard me right. We got a **in disaster on our hands and the 3rd just lost half their members in the last one. We ain getting no god damn support here cuz the 5th just got deployed too. We
e on our own. ”

Irrako scowls and speaks up as well.

”What the hell? We
e really the only ones going in this one? The last CT11 took four **in FTs. ”

”I know! But we really are the only ones available right now. We have to do this. Athrodos the largest city in the continental US and we need to protect our people. If it were up to me wed have five FTs with us. ”

”Shit. Why can the 1st or the 6th back us up? ”

Veon turns to Irrako.

”The 1st was announced MIA this morning and the 6th is on leave ”

”Grand **in time being on leave at a time like this. Theyve always hated our guts ”

Vermeer steps in as he motions towards the capsules.

”We
e not dead in the water though, Istanos been working on some new tech that we get to bring out into the field with us. Youll find another ring in your lockers. ”

Veon grimaces as she grabs the box from the other compartment.

”Awh not another ring… ”

”The ** does this one do? ”

Irrako grabs his box and opens it up. Its a shining crimson ring that otherwise looks just like the one on his left.

”Apparently, itll read your DNA and give you a unique power temporarily. Don know what the ** that means. ”

Vermeer also grabs his new ring.

”Don put it on until we get in the field. Apparently these things don last very long. New form of Aldrang, I guess. ”

”They
e making degradable Aldrang? About damn time. These mindstorms are a **in pain. ”

Vermeer motions to the squad to line up at the doors.

”Suit up! ”

Each member grabs the strange hooked knives on their belts and stabs themselves in their chest in unison. It enters their body with no resistance or pain at all, and the ghostly exo-skeleton closes around them, solidifying into sleek dark black and blue armor with jagged, robotic full-face helmets. The six lights on the front of the helmet, three vertically on each side of the face, light up the same hazy blue as before.

”Lets move out! ”

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