James’s Note: This is the first installment in a new series. My love of scifi and giant robots goes way back. I think you’ll find this world gets it’s DNA from all over the place. From Pacific Rim and the Battletech universe, to Titan Fall and space operas. The setting draws on the European colonial era, so look to see historical events shown through a scifi lens. Epic giant robot battles are on the horizon.
Per your application, you have been accepted into the pilot candidate program for Project: Golem.
A new AI core is in development and scheduled to be brought online. The chassis slated to house the core is a 20 meter bipedal Assault Class Golem, with limited vertical take off systems and a battleship class weapons package.
Designation: HMG Striking Gryphon
Call Sign: Gryphon
Upon entering this program, you will begin a rigorous competitive testing process against the most elite members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. The process will include tests of physical and mental fitness at the highest levels. After preliminary standards are met, simulated combat will be used in single elimination to narrow down the field.
The first test will be for neural link compatibility. This is vital, as neural link is required to pilot the Golem, as well as communicate with your AI. Neuralink incompatibility results in immediate ejection from the program.
If you are selected, you will be bound through neuralink to the AI immediately as it is brought online. It is the pilot’s duty to shape the AI as they train together in service of the kingdom of Albia.
This is a reminder that this is a permanent posting. Your neuralink to the AI is irreversible and cannot be terminated without irrevocable harm being done to both the pilot and AI.
Upon selection, the most worthy candidate will be granted the prestigious rank off Pilot, G-Class, along with the callsign, Gryphon Pilot.
Good luck, candidate. Only the most worthy of the elite will be chosen to defend the kingdom in the most powerful weapon of War ever made by man.
The following transmission was piggybacked on the official acceptance message, using Head Engineer clearance code.
You probably think you’re hot stuff, getting accepted into this program, but there are a few things you need to think long and hard about before you accept.
I know, everybody wants to be a badass Golem pilot. Golems are changing the face of war across the known worlds and the one you’re competing for is a real beauty, if I do say so myself.
We are not talking about infantry power armour here. We’re talking full sphere force shielding, chest mounted Kingslayer missile pods, and enough power in the limbs to punch through a star liners hull. All of that is powered by the same model reactor they put in the Leviathan Class Star Destroyers.
You’ll be wielding a weapon capable of leveling a city, and that’s just what they’ll ask you to do.
You will be a catastrophic force. A hurricane at the bec and call of Her Majesty. If you can’t make peace with wearing the armour of the apocalypse, get out now.
And then there’s your AI. Without the AI, you’re nothing. Controlling a Golem would melt an unaided human brain. This is not the virtual intelligence assistant on your info pad or even some bulshit shipboard sytem. Golem AI is a fully sentient artificial mind. Slavery may have been abolished in this kingdom, but that doesn’t apply to AI. You will be linked to it from the second it’s brought into the world, and you will be with it until you die. Period.
It will be reading your thoughts constantly and you’ll help decide what kind of person it becomes. That’s what it is, a person, and you are going to be closer to it than any one in your life. You don’t get to have secrets from your Golem.
If the responsibility of raising kids scares you, your screwed, because this is a bigger commitment by several orders of magnitude.
If you become a Golem Pilot, you hold another life in your hands and with your AI by your side, you will be death incarnate. A Golem is not part of an army. A Golem is an Army. A nation that fields a single Golem is a galactic power.
Think long and hard about this, before you agree to come. And if you do come, come ready. I’m not letting just anybody pilot my baby. You’re going to have to earn it.
I’m really excited about this new setting! Can’t wait to see where y’all take it.
Two new stories in this series are out today. We’re both really excited to be doing some scifi.
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