In the year 2245, the remnants of Humanity hid ourselves away. The twin specters of scientific advancement and technological perfection were the heralds of our fate. We were the victims of an extinction level event of our own making. Perhaps we deserved to be obliterated. Perhaps our hubris had doomed us to relinquish our dominance of our world and just die out. Whether our lot was deserved or not, few of us were so apathetic as to sit idly by and meet our end with complacency and quiet dignity.
The NERT threat was quite real and seemingly unstoppable. The combined military power of our age was both lethal and considerable. It was also tragically ineffective against beings who felt no pain, evinced no compassion and took no prisoners. The NERTs motivations were unknown but their objectives seemed to center on the singular goal of exterminating Mankind with relentless efficiency. The sun was setting on our time and would rise next to illuminate a world of which we would no longer be a part. As the tides of change swept high about us, none of us expected those tides to change. We were wrong.
Although the NERTs had triumphed over our conventional forces, there were rumors of non-conventional options still to be employed.
Of all the changes that the NERT assault had necessitated, one unusual constant remained.
Television, radio and any all other means used for communication, entertainment and for the dissemination of news and information were abjectly ignored by the NERTs. No reason had been found for this phenomenon. Various sources claimed that whatever aberration had caused the NERTs to change into uncontrollable instruments of death had nullified their ability to process sound. Thus, what reason for the NERTs to care about that which they could no longer perceive?
The continued presence of communications proved to be a double-edged sword. It provided the beleaguered remnants of man with a distraction from their impending demise On the opposing side, never-ending news interrupted nearly every program. There was little good news until the day that came to be known as The Day of Retribution.
It was 08:00 AM, Greenwich Mean Time on the 23rd of March 2248 when every communcations medium on the planet bore the exact same message. It was delivered by a mixed consortium of all of the most senior world leaders still in existence. Their announcement was considered to be, arguably, THE single most controversial in the recorded history of man.
This was when all of the citizens of the world first learned of a protocol known as Selective Preservation of Essential Assets and Resources or SPEAR. It had been set in motion just 48 hours after the NERTs had gone rogue. Under the protocol, a pre-selected group of highly specialized individuals were sequestered in an unspecified location.
It was the task of these VIPs to discover and implement an appropriate response for whatever occurrence had made it necessary for SPEAR to have been enacted in the first place. The group had done just that and the world was to now be informed of it. No discussions, no debates were intended. This was strictly a declaration of intent. The plan was audacious in both its scope and goal.
SPEAR scientists had developed a solution capable of neutralizing the NERT menace. Ironically, the NERTs were the basic component required for success. SPEAR commandoes had recovered an unspecified number of the NERTs for experimentation.
The scientists began by removing the Advanced Positronic Matrix (APM) from each NERT. Once they were neutralized, the REAL work began. The limbs were removed from each subject and replaced by exceptionally advanced cybernetic replacements. Made of a unique alloy, the limbs were virtually indestructible. Slaved to powerful micro-computers, these artificial arms and legs made the subjects infinitely stronger and faster than NERTs without such enhancements. They became the most formidable marriage of organic and cybernetic materials possible to send against the NERTs.
The final step in the augmentation process was the installation of a very unique APM. An APM that received all of its functionality in live-time from a centralized super mainframe under the direct control of SPEAR technicians was used. The enhanced NERTs would have no possibility of being diverted or of violating commands. At the push of one button, SPEAR could cut their Pinnochios' strings in one nanosecond.
Once the entire process was completed, the subjects were tested and, with only minor changes, the green light was given for mass production to begin. SPEAR now held control of an army of one million nearly-indestructable avengers to fight in the service of man. It was an inconceivably huge undertaking, the like of which had never been known.
The broadcast ended with quite a wondrous final revelation. During the augmentation research phase, SPEAR intelligence assets had used every conceivable trick in their arsenal to identify the source of the NERTs ongoing creation of more of their kind.
At exactly noon, Greenwich Mean Time, the 23rd of March, 2248 the NERTs production facilities would cease to exist courtesy of the enhanced subject soldiers. From there, long-term battle plans would ensure the total elimination of the NERT menace within six months.
On September 17th, 2248, hundreds, if not thousands of independent media sources were on hand to document the destruction of the last remaining NERTs. SPEAR's indominitable army of techno-zombies or Zombats, as popular culture came to call them, completed their mission and were deactivated one day later without incident.
By the spring of 2253, mankind had emerged back into a world that had returned to the glory of a forgotten earlier, simpler time. It was a world much as it had always been, and yet, a world that would never again be quite the same.