Long ago, aliens attacked Earth. And they won.

Mankind fought hard, but the enemy's machines were destructive, powerful, and ruthless. Eventually humanity's numbers dwindled, and they faced a simple choice: run or die. They decided to run to the only place left available to them: the moon.

But not everyone made it.

For a reason lost to time, some of the humans were left behind. The majority were hunted down and slaughtered by the machines, but a small handful of humans figured out how to survive in the world they were stuck in. They posed as androids and hid away, never to be discovered by anyone ever again. They were few in number, however, and they soon discovered that they had only delayed the inevitable.

Now, it was just Noah. A single man standing alone in a planetwide graveyard.

Noah pushed against the large steel door that marked the entrance of the missile silo. As it opened, a huge gust of wind came up, showering his face with sand. Sunlight was also pouring in, and it was a little too warm for his liking.

"Here we go again," Noah said, taking a worn, brown stetson and a pair of dusty goggles out from his desert-camo backpack. He put them on his head and pulled a red scarf over his face before pushing the door all the way out.

He was greeted with the sight of a massive sandstorm, which blew across the seemingly endless dunes of the desert that surrounded him. Supposedly this place had once been a vast pine forest, but now it was covered by a sandy desert that seemed to choke the life out of everything that entered it.

Noah stepped onto the concrete sidewalk that outlined the entire complex, then walked to the right. Not far from the entrance, a military hoverbike was sitting on the ground. The bike's design was like a regular bike's, except that three large thrusters sat on the back, and the wheels were replaced by two high powered, down facing fans.

To add to its difference, long twin plasma guns were also attached to the front. Its sand-colored paint had almost all been worn off, making it a dirty grey. On top of that, it was pretty banged up from use in combat. Several bullet holes and scorch marks covered its sides. Despite its age, however, this vehicle was reliable, and had gotten Noah out of more than one hairy situation.

He stepped onto it and swung his leg over the hoverbike's seat. Noah then sat down and turned the keys that had been left in the ignition. The bike's fans sputtered to life, lifting it into the air. Noah grabbed the handles and steered it away from the silo. Using a compass, he navigated his way through the sandstorm.

Crossing the desert was risky. Machines made to live in this environment were constantly tunneling through the sand, killing anything unfortunate enough to cross their path. And you couldn't see what was underground until it was too late.

To many of the human survivors, including his father, had been torn apart due to carelessness in places like these. Luckily the machines in these parts mostly saw through tremors in the ground, and hoverbikes don't cause noticeable tremors, especially in dusty weather that blew everything around.

After two hours of travel, Noah could finally see the edge of the sandstorm. He sped up, coming free of the storm, and was immediately presented with a sensory overload of color. Ahead was a jungle of trees, flowers, rivers, and waterfalls that blanketed the land and tall mountains.

Compared to the endless sand of the desert, this place looked like the god of beauty had vomited all over it. Even so, this wasn't a place to be sight seeing. Machine patrols were double here due to the presence of the Resistance, an organization comprised of obsolete androids who fight 'For the Glory of Mankind,' as the saying went. Years ago, this had sounded like a godsend. His mother had thought that the Resistance could help get them to the moon…

Noah shook his head. He'd have to put those memories aside if he was going to get what he needed.

The hoverbike's fans started to spin a little faster, and Noah flew up over the tree line. The branches of the trees swayed as he crossed the top of the forest. The entire time Noah made sure to keep an eye out for machine patrols, but to his surprise, he spotted none. Usually he'd have to dodge and weave through several of them. He was getting lucky today. Too lucky, perhaps.

Noah didn't have to travel far to reach the Resistance stronghold. They were based in the ruins of a small town named Bozeman, which he had just reached the edge of. Bozeman covered an entire valley, but didn't have any skyscrapers. Instead there were a lot of multi-story apartments, restaurants, gas stations, and single family homes. All of them had been blown to smithereens, or broken down and overgrown with vines and moss. He headed for the center of the town towards a building that had once been a school of some sort.

It was probably the largest building in the valley. Or at least, had been. Most of it had been blown away. The school still made for the perfect base, however, as it had open spaces surrounding it on all sides, provided a decent view of the entire town, and still had a lot of space inside for storage. The building was mostly square concrete with several wooden supports that had probably looked nice at one point. Through the giant glass panes of the entrance, he could see two humanoid figures standing guard.

Conveniently, humans looked like androids. Or rather, androids looked like humans. At a first glance, you couldn't tell the difference. There were three key ways to tell, however.

Firstly and most obviously, androids could not display emotion correctly, and some even chose to toss feelings aside entirely. Secondly, both androids and machines give off a specific signature that both sides can track. Noah didn't give off a signature, since nothing was scanning for biological lifeforms. And the final difference was the eyes. Android eyes were all grey, glassy, and cold. If anyone spotted his eyes, it would be all over.

Noah landed a few yards from the entrance and got off his hoverbike. He then opened a hatch in the side of the bike and took out a revolver, a katana that had 'Made in China' shallowly etched into the blade, a hunting rifle loaded with anti-machine bullets, and an EMP grenade.

He was hoping he wouldn't have to use any of this, but in this world, there was no such thing as too careful. He slung the hunting rifle over his shoulder, clipped the katana to his belt, hid the grenade in his pocket, and holstered the revolver before walking towards the entrance of the Resistance camp.

One of the two guards, a young man with black hair, wearing a grey hoodie over a white T-shirt with matching sweatpants, exited the complex to meet him. "Hello S4. Are you here for supplies again?" He asked.

S4 was Noah's cover name. The S meant Scout, so it made sense that he'd be a loner in the middle of the desert.

"Yes. I'm here for supplies. And to trade." Noah replied, trying to sound monotone, but not too monotone.

"Good. Come inside." The android turned and walked into the building. Noah made sure to adjust his goggles and pull down his scarf before following him in.

The inside of the Resistance base was covered in overgrown vegetation, cracks in the mortar and concrete, and rusted lockers and doors. The checkered floors, however, were completely clear of any rubble or debris, and were ample walkways for the androids that filled the place.

Besides the one Noah was following, all the androids were standing to the sides, all of them stock-still. Their creepy, inhuman eyes silently followed him throughout the hallways of the school until he came to the courtyard

The courtyard was filled with several tents containing supplies. To the right was the medical tent where the damaged androids got repaired. The beds were currently empty, and the nurse, a female with long orange hair named M6, was taking inventory over her 'medicine.' To the left was the supply tent, which was filled with just about everything you needed to survive out here. All except food and water, of course.

That wasn't were Noah was heading though. Instead they walked past those two tents towards the large war tent in the middle, as it was apparently protocol for non-Resistance members to meet with the Resistance leader before doing anything. This had to be done every time, and it was always the most nerve-wracking part of the trip.

The android guiding him stopped. "Here you are. Demetree in inside."

Noah nodded, then entered the tent.

The tent contained very little in the way of decoration. The only thing visible besides the brown cloth walls was a holographic pool table that had been repurposed to display a war map, which currently showed a light blue image of the entire town. Yellow dots scattered around the blue landscape represented androids, and red dots represented machines. Fortunately there were no red dots at the moment. Standing behind the pool table looking it over was Demetree.

Demetree was the leader of the Resistance, and was probably the single most terrifying android Noah had ever met. He was wearing a brown vest, no shirt, and baggy black jeans. Synthetic dark green hair covered half his face, and was shaved bald on the other half.

At first glance, Demetree looked like a rebellious teenager who was going through a phase. He was a deviant android though. Not only could he hold an intelligent conversation, but he'd actually given himself a proper name. If there was anyone in this place that could find out he was human, it was Demetree.

"Greetings S4. Back from the desert I assume? Any luck with scavenging?" Demetree said, crossing his arms and giving Noah a warm smile.

"Some," Noah replied. "But I'm running low on power in my hoverbike and home. I've come here to see If I can acquire an ion reactor."

"I see." Demetree walked out from behind the pool table and stood in front of Noah. "May I inquire as to what for? We both know that an ion reactor is too powerful to keep those up and running."

"I've found a very large home," Noah stated calmly. He needed the ion reactor to power the missile silo, so there was no way he could tell Demetree. If the androids found out that he was trying to fire a nuclear missile at the moon… Well. It wouldn't be good, even if he explained the context behind the entire operation. "And you wouldn't believe how much I use my bike for scouting."

"Really now? Well that's certainly convenient. This place is a little crowded. If it's that big then we could probably set up another base there. It would be great if you gave me it's location." Demetree said casually.

Noah's eye twitched under his goggles. That wasn't information he could give away, but he still needed the Resistance to trust him. This is what made talking to Demetree so dangerous.

"S4?" Demetree tilted his head.

"Oh, yes. I'm sorry, I was just thinking that over." Noah pulled his scarf over his face again to hide that he was nervous. "If my home was useful to the Resistance, I'd let you know right away. Unfortunately it doesn't have much in the way's of defense and has a… large hole in the roof. It's a good place for one person to hide, but not for many people to stay. I mostly want to power it up so that I can look at whatever files it's computer is keeping. See if it has any potentially valuable information."

There was a long pause. Demetree appeared to be lost in thought, which made Noah even more anxious than he already was. His hand twitched down to his pocket where he kept the EMP grenade.

If Demetree didn't buy this story and asked further questions, Noah might lose their trust, and the chances of his humanness being discovered would increase dramatically. At that point, he might have to fight his way out. Considering that he was rather squishy compared to an android, that could very well prove impossible.

"Huh," Demetree said finally. "That must be some hole."

"Huge," Noah replied.

"Indeed." Demetree turned and walked back to the pool table. "I'm glad to say we actually have an ion reactor in stock."

"That's good to hear. How much will it cost?" Noah asked, relieved that he'd managed to dodge that bullet.

"All it will cost you is a quick scouting mission." Demetree said, doing a few waving motions with his hands over the pool table. The holographic image of the valley was replaced by one of the entire forest and some of the desert. "I'm sure an S model like you can handle that, right?"

Shit. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. An android's definition of a quick scouting mission almost always involved a mad hack-and-slash through enemy territory, and the machines were designed specifically to kill humans. Even so, if Noah was to get that reactor, he'd have to comply. He'd just have to play it safe and smart. Well… At least the smart part. Nothing he did was safe.

"Of course. What am I looking for?" Noah asked.

"A day ago we sent out a group to investigate some strange signals coming from the desert. We lost contact with them, but before we did they reported seeing machines… Acting strangely." Demetree explained.

"Strangely?" Noah inquired. All machines were hooked up to an alien network, which made them easily controllable. Every move they made was intentional, and without error. Strange behavior could mean a multitude of things, and none of them good.

"They failed to clarify." Demetree waved his hand again and a large red dot appeared around thirty miles into the desert. "This is where we lost contact."

"Alright then. I'll bring them back, don't you worry." Noah turned to leave, but was stopped by a word from Demetree.


Noah's blood ran cold. Had he just screwed himself over!? Dammit!

"S4…" Demetree began. There was a kind of robotic strain to his voice. "...I'm far beyond worry. We're all brothers-in-arms here. Losing anyone to those monstrous machines is something I cannot allow."

Noah was silent for a second, then turned to face Demetree again. He stuck his left arm out to the side, and then bent his forearm inwards so that his hand lay over his chest. This was a sort of salute the androids had developed. "Glory. To Mankind."

Demetree returned the salute. "Glory. To Mankind."

Noah exited the tent. Then, as soon as Demetree couldn't see him, he started hurriedly walking away.

"Woah S4!" A muscular, orange haired, lumberjack looking android shouted over to him as he rushed past. "Not even gonna look at our stock this time?!"

"Sorry T13! Urgent matters!" Noah's walk turned into a run, and he sped down the hallways, past all the guards, and out of the building as fast as he could.

Noah reached his bike and slammed both of his hands down onto the top of it. Sweat was trickling down his forehead, and his breathing was out of control. He popped open one of the compartments in his bike and yanked out a canteen, of which he opened and drained of water. After Noah confirmed it was empty, he gave out a small chuckle.

"Alright Demetree. Not bad," Noah whispered, grinning widely. "Not bad for a worthless piece of scrap metal."