The Bionts Edit
In 2661 a great battle took place between the allied power blocs and a strong armed force from the South Pacific near Australia. Nobody knew (or has ever found out) what or who the "Bionts" really were. Was it a "fifth bloc" that had developed independently from the great power blocs in the deep sea?
There was hardly any communication between their "Black Ships" and the rest of the world. Sometimes the Bionts logged into the on-board computers of several battleships and affirmed their intention to erase all mankind from the face of the earth to gain space for living peacefully "in the water, on the land and in the air".
The Black Ships had attacked the centers of Aqua’s civilization long before this decisive battle. Myths were nurtured that described them as the "Rumbling from the Deep", as possibly a submerged culture that had inhabited the earth for thousands of years, unnoticed, highly intelligent and with extremely sophisticated technology.
After people finally managed to board some of the Bionts' smaller battle boats, they had a great surprise: there was no crew onboard!
It was as though they had been sent through Aqua's oceans by remote control, just like hungry predatory fishes, always on the lookout for prey. And they were always hungry for more.
Their attacks grew increasingly daring, at first they just targeted great technological centers such as the "Machina Antarctica", the "EnTrOx Corporation" and the "Clansunion".
The Bionts plunged Aqua into a whirlpool of violence and desperation.
Apocalyptic religions such as that of the Moghs ("Salvation lies on the surface") or the Hadesians ("Typhoeus, the devil, will rule in his kingdom of liquid night") became popular. Others considered the Bionts to be an extraterrestrial civilization, come to punish humanity for its moral failure on the surface of the planet.
Finally Machina’s scientists discovered that there had to be a kind of Biontic center, a central "bridgehead", from which the Black Ships were sent out and controlled. The Bionts later called the bridgehead “Survion”, the “fortress of survival”.
Scientists gradually uncovered further detailed knowledge, which they gathered from captured Biont boats.The boats were steered by a neural tissue structure (the "submatrix"), a kind of rudimentary brain. This brain consisted only of motor and sensory nerve centers, which explained the fast reflexes and adaptive abilities of the Bionts. These were specialized brains, without human features, yet highly efficient in terms of orientation, neural feedback (with the steering elements of the ships), speed of reaction and mobility in three-dimensional space. All Biont ships (and their navigating brains) seemed to be connected to a central unit whose "parent structure" or matrix was situated on the coast of South Australia, within the Survion that the Allies destroyed during the final battle in 2661.
That was apparently the decisive victory.
One of the main characters in this battle was the mercenary Emerald Flint, who had managed to destroy the center of the Survion aided by the selfsacrifice of Shogunate warrior Hong Long. He was highly decorated for his actions as a fighter pilot.
Hong Long, the Ronin (a name used by renegade Shogunate soldiers), was killed in the course of this battle and posthumously made an honorary officer of the Allies.
There are still some Biont units in Aqua, but they are widely scattered and no longer as efficient as they used to be.
After the war, the international task force "ANNSCAT" ("Annihilate Scattered Units") was created. The mercenary Flint (by then appointed to the rank of commander) became its leader. He and his wing pilots Lt. Picollini, Lisa Bonham and Boston Harper fight against the remaining Bionts under the military supervision of Captain Eliza deGrange.
There is much pressure on Machina’s researchers, who are currently devising a way of transferring the Biont boats’ steering systems to human pilots, but so far without much success.