It is 300 years in the future, and humanity has rid itself of physical forms and completely integrated itself into a networked online virtual community referred to by its 4 trillion inhabitants as the INT. The exterior world, now known as the EXT returns to its former pre-human state, reclaiming all but a few monolithic server installations that power and support the INT.
For the first time since its inception, the INT’s largest server tower, “The Atlas,” goes dark. After countless desperate attempts of reclamation via automated defense drones, the INT’s leaders decide to dispatch a team of 5 diverse specialists, each taking on the form of large humanoid robotic avatars into the EXT to seek out the server tower, reveal the cause of the Atlas’s blackout, and eliminate all hostile forces in their way.
AEGIS, CANC3R, and SEEK are held captive inside a the Eminent Server`s sandbox (prison). CANC3R escapes captivity with the help of BULWARK’s wife RANE. “Piloting” AEGIS’s FIP platform, CANC3R wipes out BULWARK’s team and BULWARK himself.
CANC3R hacks into the memories of a young human woman strapped into a chassis of re-designed reconnaissance drone. Through the woman’s memories, she is able to find out where the rest of her clan is hiding, as well as info regarding their leader BULWARK. Nomad Team travels to the outskirts of the Eminent Server tower and attempt an attack on the human settlements near it. In the fray, TOOLBAR and BASTIAN are KIA as are many of their human opponents. The rest of the team is captured by BULWARK.
A man named BULWARK spends his last moments on his knees, bleeding out in the snow. He is grizzled and weak. The haze of the snowstorm around him thins out for a moment and reveals a large intimidating war machine stands above him. BULWARK grimaces at him.
Two weeks prior in the INT, AEGIS meets with the heads of INTS; SAMARA and BASTION and offers her services to BASTION’s reclamation project as an adviser. She meets TOOLBAR, the head of EXT drone engineering and the re-designer of the FIP platform robots, and offers to seek out new candidates for TEAM NOMAD.
AEGIS meets with the warden of Sandbox 13, a jail cell that contains a virus known as CANC3R. AEGIS offers CANC3R a position on the reclamation project in return for her release. Next we visit the gamer network to follow a private FPS match between the top 5 gamers in the network. Four of these pro-gamers conspire to work together to take out THE pro-gamer. A quiet, mild mannered man named SEEK. The match takes place in a WW2 era and despite the other gamers best efforts, SEEK still gains the upper hand and wins the match. The prize is an invitation to join the reclamation team.
Nomad Team leaves the European coastline (TOOLBAR’s engineering bay) and land near the old Canadian Atlantic coastline near the Eminent. They fight their way to a rally point in a nearby forest and continue on their way underground through an abandoned subway tunnel. After clearing it of enemy drones, the team waits for the passing of a violent thunderstorm in an ancient library building. While in the building the team springs a trap for a stealthy recon drone that had been tracking their movements since they landed. AEGIS successfully incapacitates the machine only to discover it is not a machine at all.
In the INT, Nomad Team has their first meeting. BASTIAN, TOOLBAR, and WARD give a mission briefing. Intel on the Eminent’s perimeter implies an eventual occupation of other prominent Server installations. The team has one day to get ready.
AEGIS sprawls in a samurai style with a replica of herself. TOOLBAR and AEGIS chat about weapons and war history. CANC3R and SEEK have a drink then spend the night together. BASTIAN confronts AEGIS and unsuccessfully attempts to rekindle their past.
Three days after their deployment, CANC3R is the lone survivor of Nomad Team. She waits patiently as a UAV drop-ship picks her up.
CANC3R is on her way to the INTS to give an account of what happened. An insidious plot is realized that only CANC3R is aware of. She is left with the decision to reveal or conceal it.
We start with the faint glimpse of a young woman’s profile looking out the window at what resembles, through both sound and sight, a subway train speeding swiftly through a white overexposed space. She is on the far left of the screen as a few lines of exposition explain the setting.
230 years have passed since the creation of a global internet.
Humanity’s interconnection has since evolved beyond the need for physical form.
Their connection with the nature they once knew has been severed.
Earth could no longer support the flesh of rapidly multiplying humankind.
So grew the allure of the digital.
Such forms would never hunger.
The following century had since cradled humanity into a state of stagnant bliss. Comfortable within their newfound crafted paradise.
They call this, The INT.
The world they once knew they call:
On the left side of the screen mirroring the glimpses of the woman’s profile is a dying middle aged man named BULWARK. Text appears on the right side of the screen.
After CANC3R kills all of BULWARK’s men she kills a heavily wounded BULWARK with AEGIS’ katana and walks away into the white fog surrounding the battlefield.
AEGIS on her way to an INT Security boardroom meeting via torrent. Boardroom meeting finishes, WARD and BASTIAN discuss the INT’s current desperate situation. AEGIS interupts their conversation and demands a place as an adviser on BASTIAN’s strike team, Project Hinterland.
BULWARK kills his wife, RANE for her betrayal. CANC3R escapes the digital confines of their sandbox prison. She goes on a “Terminator”-like shooting spree and takes out the entire human military group. She saves BULWARK for last.
BASTIAN introduces TOOLBAR to AEGIS in his “workshop”. TOOLBAR explains the history behind the FIP (Fully Integrated Personnel) Platforms and the adjustments he’s made. TOOLBAR also expresses his frustration and objection towards two of the project’s current candidates assigned to Project Hinterland. AEGIS suggests seeking out civilian replacements. BASTIAN disapproves, but TOOLBAR’s approval leaves little reason to refuse.
AEGIS, SEEK, and CANC3R are trapped in a disconnected sandbox prison within the Eminent Server. Things are grim until they are contacted by RANE. RANE offers a chance for only one program to survive and exit into a FIP Platform. AEGIS and SEEK agree that it should be CANC3R.
CANC3R says goodbye to SEEK and AEGIS. SEEK asks CANC3R to make a move on him if she gets back to the INT.
BASTIAN accompanies AEGIS to a high security sandbox prison to recruit CANC3R into Nomad Team. AEGIS enters the sandbox prison alone to talk to CANC3R while BASTIAN monitors outside. The prison has been hacked by CANC3R into a large strip club filled with men and women…all of whom seem to be CANC3R. She eventually takes the form of a young teenage girl. CANC3R threatens AEGIS’s life with a fragscript. AEGIS accurately calls her bluff and leaves CANC3R with a job offer.
AEGIS, CANC3R, SEEK, and BASTIAN are captured and brought before BULWARK incapacitated but still conscious. RANE, BULWARK`s concubine, is there watching. BULWARK executes BASTIAN (knowing that he is the team leader) and has his programmers upload the programs out of their FIP Platforms and into a sandbox cell inside the Eminent server. RANE drugs BULWARK’s making him pass out and attempts to free the rest of Nomad Team.
AEGIS waits outside an astronomical research network for CANC3R. The two of them meet with the network’s lead researcher KEPLA. They converse amongst the stars about the origin of their funding. KEPLA reveals that the INTS has not been kind to science organizations in recent years and blames it on their comfortable status. Despite kind bribes from AEGIS and muttered threats from CANC3R, KEPLA refuses to reveal the company’s private sponsor. Before they leave, AEGIS asks politely if he can deliver an invitation to his sponsor. AEGIS reveals to CANC3R outside the research network that she believes the sponsor to be a high-profile gamer.
Nomad Team plans attack on the Eminent server. SEEK encounters RANE during their raid and keeps her alive but advises her to keep quiet. Because of BASTIAN’s brashness, the team is incapacitated and subsequently captured. TOOLBAR is killed but not before bringing a lot of BULWARK`s soldiers with him.
A mysterious young man enters an old saloon in what seems to be an 18th century wild west ghost town.
The saloon is full of shady cowboys and cowgirls and historical inaccuracies. The young man shifts through the ugly glares and asks the bartender where he can find a woman named AEGIS. The bartender asks for the young man’s name. He says it’s SEEK. The bartender reveals himself to be CANC3R.
A bar room brawl erupts with all the saloon’s tenants (all CANC3R) gunning for SEEK, hacking the world for unlimited ammo and larger and brasher weapons. Despite all of this, SEEK is calm and cool, using only, the weapons he started with, he finds order in the chaos and pulls a gun on woman who is revealed to be AEGIS.
CANC3R stands down, and AEGIS offers SEEK a job.
Nomad Team hacks into the mind of a dying young human woman with the help of CANC3R and the woman’s connection with the re-purposed reconnaissance drone she was piloting. The woman involuntarily reveals herself to be the younger sister of a man named BULWARK. She also reveals BULWARK’s history, his rise to power in the EXT from lowly hunter to the ruthless leader of a small theocracy, and most importantly his whereabouts. She dies shortly after and BULWARK takes this as an opportunity to strike. AEGIS criticizes BULWARK’s order and feels that it may be an attempt at an ambush. The two quarrel over the best method to attack the installation. The Team inevitably follows BASTIAN’s orders.
All 5 members of Nomad Team are assembled in TOOLBAR’s “engineering bay.” BASTIAN immediately clashes with CANC3R who responds to his passive aggression with actual aggression. The three other members of the group are amused. WARD and BASTIAN update the team on the current status of the Eminent, and displays evidence of mobilization of their own defense drones towards two other nearby prominent server installations. WARD insures the team that their personalities will be saved the moment before they are to leave the EXT, but in the event that they do not reclaim the Eminent, they’re may not be enough storage space available to allow even the warranted use of replicas. They have a day to train and customize their platforms.
Nomad Team rests in an ancient library awaiting the passage of a violent thunderstorm. While the Team “rests,” AEGIS waits near an entrance as bait while SEEK stays cloaked in the trees, his observant eye tracking the environment for any sudden movements.
The recon drone attempts an attack on SEEK shortly before it is shot in the head by one of SEEK’s armor piercing rounds. AEGIS walks up to confirm its death but is shocked when the machine, despite having its central processing unit destroyed, continues to move and attacks AEGIS.
A close quarter fight ensues between AEGIS and the drone, eventually leading to the drone’s incapacitation and dissection, leading the team to the discovery that the machine was not automated, but piloted.
AEGIS trains in close combat with herself in samurai style swordplay. TOOLBAR after watching admirably, converses with AEGIS regarding her unusual choice in armaments/weapons. It is clear that AEGIS is a brilliant combatant with great knowledge of war history. CANC3R and SEEK have a drink together at a bar. They flirt and eventually leave the bar together. AEGIS is up late and is the last to finish her war-machine. BASTIAN waits up for her and attempts to open old and as far as AEGIS is concerned, unhealed wounds. She leaves on a negative note.
Nomad Team travels underground into the old subway tunnels to avoid the attention of the enemy’s hacked recon UAV’s. The tunnel is filled with ground drones and will have to fight their way through. TOOLBAR seems to be the one best equipped for such situations. While traveling SEEK points out to AEGIS that he thinks they are being followed. AEGIS notices that there is a storm coming around nightfall. BASTIAN suggests they rest in the library above till the storm passes.
The Team is uploaded into their FIP Platforms. It is nighttime and for the first time SEEK is able to look out on the night-sky personally. They load up on their equipment and head into their escort UAV drop ship.
Nomad Team is rewarded with beautiful scenery as they fly past the reclaimed ruins of their ancestors. CANC3R is fascinated by the life, SEEK by the sky, AEGIS by the two youths in front of her, BASTIAN by himself, and TOOLBAR by his sensory equipment.
As their escort arrives at the Canadian coast the sun begins to rise and the team gets ready to drop out of their drop-ship UAV. The ship will continue to fly and act as a distraction for the enemy’s hacked defense drones. One by one each member of team Nomad leaps out into the coniferous forest below. The morning fog masking their arrival. The Team meets up at a rally point after successfully taking out the surrounding WULF drones and stealthily continues their journey towards the Eminent.
3 Days Later.
2 INTS UAV drop-ships land near the Eminent Server tower. CANC3R sits waiting for them among BULWARK, his dead soldiers and the remains of Team Nomad.
CANC3R wakes up back in the INT. She`s greeted by the backup copy of TOOLBAR, SEEK and (regrettably) BASTIAN. She asks for AEGIS, who as TOOLBAR states, had never recorded a copy before she left for the EXT.
CANC3R dresses up professionally (her version of it) for a debriefing with WARD and the leaders of the INT. While traveling to the INTS HQ via torrent, she cannot help but shake her confusion regarding AEGIS decision not to replicate.
She sees a news story on the torrent regarding a report on the Eminent attack and how the INTS will be implementing new branches of inquiry in EXT research including funding towards astronomical, biological and mechanical sectors.
Her walk through the doors towards the boardroom are slow and reflective. Her last footstep echoing a horrifying realization. AEGIS and BULWARK were the same person spit up years ago to force the INT into a new age of growth. She puts this together from BULWARK’s sister’s memories and the same face made by both AEGIS and BULWARK when she put a gun to their heads.
Her thoughts are interrupted as a receptionist calls CANC3R into the room.
CANC3R’s face goes from shock to dutiful.