Moonlight Sonata Author Notes: To start off, as warned in the first chapter, this is the novelization of a forum-based role-playing game I was in. For the moderator's sake- I will mention that they gave permission for the project from the get-go. Now that being said, some of it is in their original formatting. So, I do apologize for that but they had it best. XD I will post up world notes for the story as it progresses but here is the basic introduction. World: For those of you who missed the post I made on the RPG discussions thread, here's the background information again. For those who have read it already, skip ahead, I've clarified some stuff towards the end. The game is set in the distant future; the exhaustion of the Earth’s remaining natural resources and the ravages of WWIII have made the planet mostly uninhabitable. In order to survive, humanity had to look to the stars for their new home. Now, the remaining human population lives in huge, self-contained environments hanging in orbit around the Earth, and in various settlements on some of the nearby planets. While most population centers are focused in the Colonies, other locations, such as the trade city of Lunaris (built on the sun-lit side of the Moon) and the mining colony of Avatrax on Mars have grown exponentially since the massive Departure, and now support small residential sections as well. While the move to the stars was supported by a renewed sense hope for a peaceful future, it didn’t take long for war to rear its face once more. With resources now that much more vital and hard to come by, conflict quickly broke out over water reserves, plantation colonies, and the like. A bold move was made by several of the colonies to combat these rogue insurgencies: pooling their collective resources and manpower, they united themselves under the banner of the Neo Humanity Federation, and established a parliamentary government to oversee order within their member colonies. The NHF Defense Force was subsequently formed to provide military protection to its citizenry and their interests. Through the use of swift preemptive (some would say cruel) assaults on rogue colonial factions, the NHF quickly established an iron-clad hold over all other human colonies; its ideals, however, were those of equality and peace, and soon after the conflict was quelled the NHF offered probationary membership to any colonies interested. In a matter of years, over ninety percent of human space colonies were under the jurisdiction of the NHF, and the protection of its growing Defense Force. The ease with which the NHF reestablished control among the colonies can be partly attributed to the determination of its constituents, but most of the credit lies with the flagship battle unit of the NHF Defense Force, the Armoroid Unit. Developed from preliminary space exploration prototype frames, the first Mechanoid Units were clumsy and ill-equipped to battle the standard space fighter craft employed at the time. It was the innovation of the AI synchronization system, a method of pilot-machine interaction wherein the Armoroid Unit receives its primary instructions from a human pilot, while all subsystem and “unconscious” processes are simultaneously managed by a preprogrammed Artificial Intelligence Core, that allowed the second generation Mechanoids to outstrip their rivals and rise up as the premier units for zero-G combat. Soon after the assimilation of the majority of space colonies, the NHF Defense Force was renamed with the somewhat flashy title of Aegis ARM (Assault-Response Mechanoids). Its duties were expanded past mere military operations to include policing the interiors of the constituent colonies, and defending the trade and resource lines throughout the new republic. That was years ago. Over time, relative peace and prosperity, as well as the retirement of the old guard, has resulted in an Aegis ARM force that is much less given to the ideals of its progenitors. Now there is talk of conflict within the ranks, of corruption and overuse of authority. Many hear the rumors that certain faction of Aegis ARM are planning a forceful coup de tat to wrest control of the NHF from Parliament, and tremble at the thought of a new war. The growing number of faction-less vagrants amidst the less-inhabited regions of NHF Space has only added to the tension. These self-styled Space Pirates, some very individualistic while others composed of vast, organized pirate “families”, have begun raiding the supply lines and trade routes with increasing fervor and audacity. Their goals are unknown, though many of the more infamous pirates can be traced back to the surviving members of the Rogue Colonies during the rise of the NHF. Aegis ARM has declared a policy of Zero Tolerance for anyone engaged in or contributing to any kind of pirate activity, and ARM patrols have been seen with increasing frequency along the trade routes.