12 years have passed on Earth since the sun devoured Mercury – the first world lost in this war we call the Helionox. I’ll never forget the day my family took to the ships to escape the solar flares. Three generations all born on Mercury, we fled with millions of other refugees. Most of the ships never left orbit, incinerated during the evacuation. The rest of us struggled to survive – homeless and adrift in space.
The Interworld governments refused responsibility for the millions of genetically altered Mercurians in the wake of the disaster. Originally founded by a few fringe scientists, the Interworlds sent their convicted felons, political revolutionaries, and war criminals to Mercury for – enhancements. In the early days, those exiled to Mercury were little more than human test subjects but over generations, the enhancements became something more.
The Old World offered very few of us amnesty, claiming all Mercurians were genetic abominations. The Cybernetics acted more accommodating but their price was much higher – renounce our humanity and become like them. The Cyber ranks swelled in those days. Even those of us who did not accept their offer did incorporate cyber technology into our lives.
It didn’t take long before the Interworlds enacted the Mercury Protocol effectively banning all Mercurian tech. One part caution, one part political, this protocol changed our lives forever. Mercurians became a public blemish unwelcome in every civilized corner of the system. Yet we understood the need for radical ideas. The Helionox didn’t care about factions and governments. It’s agenda remained the same – devour the solar system. My purpose became clear the day I watched Mercury burn – end the Helionox before it claimed more worlds…