Prologue Two: Welcome to the Iron War

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In ten years the Iron War has had some interesting developments. For one, Japan has entered the war, and its big, slow, Sentinel mechs can be seen lumbering across many a battlefield in defense of Russia and the Germans. The Japanese still stick to what they're good at, though, so many a Sentinel has been airdropped into a vulnerable location just to defend it.

That's the other thing- somewhere amongst all this chaos we developed rules for war. Mechs now have ejector seats, and they're airdropped into battle by massive, unarmed carrier craft called dropships. If a pilot's mech is critically damaged he or she is ejected from the cockpit inside a "command capsule" that flies back to their dropship seconds before their mech's internal components self-destruct to prevent enemy recovery. From inside the dropship they can simply reinsert their capsule into a new mech. The mechs change, the controls stay the same. It's highly adaptable, and its low failure rate means less human casualties.

Most dropships are nuclear-powered, a relatively new technology developed after the third World War, and each dropship has a hangar bay that can hold up to five mechs. A battle usually consists of twelve humans. Twelve men and women. That's it. A six-on-six match for the winner of a battle. More mechs can be dropped, but it's considered barbaric.

If any of the rules are broken, such as firing on a dropship, the faction that does so will face immediate consequences, usually in the form of a loss of trade from allies, but at its worst a full-fledged military blockade. It's still war, but it's nice to see that after ten years of fighting some minor civility has returned to the world.

Another interesting entry to the Iron War is an unnamed Korean faction. Unlike the other factions, Korea is independent and produces only small amounts of mechs, mainly for self-defence, like Japan once did. These mechs are top-of-the-line and the Koreans treat them as if they're comic-book heroes. These mechs are known as Xiezhi, and despite looking similar each seems to have a unique new weapon or ability every time they fight. No two Korean mechs appear in the same battle unless the fight is getting too close to their soil.

One of the biggest additions to the war is the introduction of Britain. The British Armed Forces, which around three years ago ordered the construction of two mechs. The Galatine and Excalibur carry physical shields they can deploy to reduce ballistic damage, but despite their defenses take an aggressive approach to combat. The Excalibur is one scary mech- its physical shield is built into its frame, making it a squat and tough ender. The only issue is that it's so slow that they had to strap a rocket booster to the back just to get it up to fifty kilometers an hour. The BAF fights tentatively for the American cause, but defectors are common and it's usual to see a German or Russian owned Excalibur fighting against the invasion.

Then there's the unknown factions, one-of-a-kind mechs that serve no country or alliance. These mechs will often break the rules of war without warning, thus no country will claim responsibility for their creation. They've become almost mythical in their fame, seen as rebels by some and villains by others. What's truly terrifying is that some of these mechs are advanced, far more advanced, than any common mech, and the side they fight for can change like the breeze.

The most prominent example of a rogue mech is the fabled Exodus. This powerful mech is rumored to be controlled by a theocratic city-state and designed to rain down punishment on infidels. However, the Exodus takes no allegiance in battle and claims no territory as its own. It's first documented appearance was five years ago, and its infamy is known worldwide. Many pilots pray they'll never encounter it in battle.

Lastly, Canada and China have entered the war. Nobody knows it yet, but with government approval we have been developing our weapons for years in a secret partnership. We've had a few successes in powerful mechs such as the shielded Barricade, while our Chinese allies have begun mass-producing the powerful Predator. None have been deployed in an official battle, but their time will soon come. We steal and scrounge old robots, using them to infiltrate enemy lines and destabilize the war effort. All of these mechs will be key in what the Chinese-Canadian Alliance wishes to accomplish.

You see, as I mentioned before, where there is war there is profit, and nobody has profited more from the Iron War than the Transamerican Combat Corporation. That's our target. We'll use every mech we can get our hands on, fight everywhere we're needed for whoever needs us, and only for one reason- we need to end the war. The only way to do that is to cut the head off the snake, the only truly malignant faction in this war. We need to bring down the TCC to save our planet, otherwise this blasted war will never end.

So, there you have it.
The stage is set, the players are ready.

I'm Jackson Quinn.
Welcome to the Iron War.
Our story begins.

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