Downfall: The Descent of Man
Database Listing - The Humanoid Impact
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[story taken from Lancaster Observer, 1963]
The Humanoid Impact
By David Croop
March 23, 1962 began like any other day: I woke up, had breakfast with my wife and son, kissed them goodbye and drove off to work. I also expected it to end like every other day, in that I would drive home from work, have dinner with them and talk about the day, and then do some work around the house before settling down to watch The Tonight Show and go to bed. Fate, however, had other plans, for around 11:00 AM, the radio began an emergency broadcast about some kind of destruction going on in the town square. The rest of the office huddled around the radio to listen in, as more details came trough about a group of men and women with fantastic strength, ripping up the streets and killing anyone who was unfortunate enough to cross their line of sight. I heard whispers between my co-workers who thought that it was some group of muties gone mad over the recent talk about anti-mutant legislation, but I had cast my suspicions on another group.
You see, as a reporter for the Observer, I was invited to the laboratory of Dr. Ivo Ratsk in ‘61 to write a story on his newest invention that, in his words, “would drastically improve relations between humans and mutants”. Ratsk, like many people, feared mutants, but his fears stemmed from analyzing the birth rates of mutants in the United States. A whopping 19% of children born between 1945 and 1947 were mutants. Although those rates fell between 1949 to ’51, they began to rise again by 1955, and went up to 24% in 1958. Ratsk, predicting that mutant-mutant couples would always give birth to mutants, and mutant-human couples would have an equal chance of producing either a mutant or a human child, came to the grim conclusion that by the year 2020, the population of the United States would be almost entirely mutant. Unlike other leading scientists, who desperately spent their time searching for the cure for mutants, Ratsk had another idea. Rather than trying to eliminate mutants, whom he had conceded multiple times were, by and large, superior to humans, he tasked himself with elevating humans. Thus, the Humanoids were conceived.
The Humanoids were human-shaped robots that were virtually indistinguishable from humans. Their most remarkable feature was that, like humans, they were capable of reproduction by way of nanotechnology. However, the difference was that the Humanoids possessed superhuman strength, speed, and stamina. Ratsk’s ultimate plan was to create a Humanoid replica of any human willing to participate, and copy their consciousness into the machine. This, he reasoned, was to make humans equal to mutants in terms of resilience. I’d have scoffed at the whole idea had he not produced eight functioning models by the time I came for the interview: I would’ve been completely unable to tell them apart from real people, were it not for Ratsk pointing them out. And, although they had successfully created the Humanoids, mapping a human consciousness and transferring it was proving to be too difficult a task. Thus, they granted all eight Humanoids artificial intelligence, so they could help them solve this problem.
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I don’t remember much of what happened after that. The Humanoids were stopped by a government task force made up of some powerful mutants, but they escaped and were never heard from again after that. In the days following, the coverage spread across the nation and had an amazing effect on mutant popularity, and just two days after it all happened the Human-Mutant Rationale was passed with overwhelming support. But I couldn’t tell you the specifics of what happened that night, even though it was my job to report on every single minute detail about the Humanoids, Ratsk, and the Mutant Task Force. All of that comes second to being haunted by the things I saw that night: the once familiar world around me reduced to crumbled buildings and towering infernos; my wife and son literally smeared into the street; and, somehow, worst of all, D-002 before he retreated into the darkness of the night, staring at me with some measure of familiarity from that night in the lab, completely expressionless.
There are some who’ve taken to defacing Ratsk’s grave for what he unleashed into the world, which is almost humorous, considering he had worked on the Manhattan Project. But the difference between the millions upon millions of lives stolen by the atomic bomb, and the three-hundred and fifty-six by the Humanoids comes down to a matter of reason. The atomic bomb was used as a means to an end in a desperate struggle between two nations, who by that point were fighting as hard as they could to end the war on their own terms, for the protection of their people.
The Humanoids, on the other hand, killed for no other reason than that we, as humans, were “obsolete”.