Glory to Mankind! Drakengard, NiER, NiER: Automata [F]anfic Discussion Thread (2023)

Prospective Nier Automata/Terminator Prologue

A/N: It's been a long time since I made an actual piece of writing by myself (with a little help). I want to see if this works and see if it is interesting enough to continue (and figure out a name if it comes to that). This is based on Terminator 1 and 2 as well as Nier Automata, though it will also involve Pre-Nier information so be forewarned.


"August 29th, 2018. Los Angeles, Dyson Industries' Underground Laboratory Complex.

"My name is John Connor, and this will be my final recording."


The shrieking beeps of his alarm clock was the thing that he heard upon waking, eliciting a groan. He rolled over on his side, burying his face into his pillow, as if it would blot out the sound. When ten seconds turned into ten minutes without a pause in the incessant sound, he could only inwardly admit defeat and allow his mind and mouth to start working.

"Alarm off. Dim lights to forty percent luminosity."

There was a vapid, bitter taste on his tongue. He had the urge to swallow what little saliva he had in his mouth, but it was bound to be full of bacteria from overnight. Not that it really mattered much; it was just that the thought was unpleasant. Funny really, when he thought when he was young that, at this point in his life, he would be waking up in burnt out husks of buildings and eating slop.

Instead, what replaced that was a sterile, white room. Even the dimmed light couldn't hide how bland the room was. A bed, a desk, and a chair. Nothing more than the most basic of necessities. He didn't need anything more because all that he really used was the bed. Still, his personal life was definitely better than what he thought it would be at this point, even if the world was the complete opposite.


"The future that I had spoken of, that my father had spoken of, is no more and perhaps, that is my fault. My mother and I chose to rewrite the future and now, we're faced with something much worse than the machines. We now stand on the edge of extinction.

"Judgment Day—August 29, 1997—came and passed without a whisper. The fall of mankind had been averted…or so we thought. I was twelve at the time, watching the television set with bated breath next to my mother, Sarah Connor. We chose to be off the grid in a place far away from any major population center where the bombs would have fallen. Staying up the night, we saw when it passed 11:03 P.M. Pacific Time, the destined time of Judgment Day, but we still held our breath. It was only when midnight passed, when the hand of the clock clicked one minute after and the date changed to the 30th that we finally broke down, celebrated, and cried, long and hard. Little did we know—or could have imagined—that something worse would take its place in due time.

"June 12, 2003. I was eighteen at the time, finishing my freshman year at MIT. My focus was on computer science, computer engineering, mechanical engineering…well, anything to do with robotics, really. After everything I went through, I wanted to at least have one hand on the wheel in case another Skynet shows up. However, I also believed that man and machine could work together. He taught me at least that much, even though I still don't know what to call him after all these years. Uncle Bob? T-800? Well, it doesn't matter. What was important was that he was there for me when I needed him, and I will never forget the choice he made voluntarily in the end. It's the choices that we make that define us.

"That was when it happened. What would eventually be called the Shinjuku Incident."


He flinched, a drop of blood swelling on his chin. Lowering his shaver to the bathroom sink, he allowed the water from the faucet to wash out the hair stuck between the blades. In truth, he hadn't shaved for a while—there was no point to it—but it was difficult to say when the next time he would even have the option to shave again after today. That was why he had to do this now. Taking another whiff of the shaving cream, he slathered it over the bleeding area and then ran his shaver over it again. This time, he finished the motion without stopping, ignoring the still bleeding cut.

It took awhile to finish shaving but once he did, he splashed water onto his face, letting the water, shaving cream, and stranded cut hair fall from his face in waves. After washing his face a few times to make sure there wasn't any stray leftover hair, he spit into the sink and then looked up into the mirror. The face that stared back at him was a familiar one. Not bad, in a roguish way, marred only by the bags under his eyes and a faded scar on his left check.


"In Japan, a white giant in a vaguely female form—like that of a mannequin—appeared in the city of Shinjuku, its form towering above the skyscrapers. It was locked in battle with a red dragon, bigger than any helicopter or fighter jet. After a battle that took approximately one hour, the giant was killed, and the dragon was subsequently shot out of the sky by the Japanese Self-Defense Force. Its death marked the beginning of the end, though it wouldn't be until years later that we found out this truth. By then, it was too late.

"We now know for certain that the giant's death introduced a new element foreign to our world, a particle dubbed Maso. Coming from another world, its effects were not known until six months later when people started contracting White Chlorination Syndrome, a disease where a person's body eventually turned into a statue of salt. However, there were some that survived, but they were changed completely. All parts of their bodies turned pure white including their skin, hair, eyes, pupils, mouth, tongue, and innards. Becoming hyper aggressive and violent, they lost their minds completely and attacked everyone around them. Worse, they became carriers, infectious through fluid transfer and the corpses they leave behind. Essentially, they became something like runner zombies. We simply called them the Legion. To stop the spread, the city of Shinjuku was quarantined and sealed off with the construction of the Wall of Jericho."


"Good morning, Dr. Connor."


The moment that he stepped out of his room, he found his assistant there, just like she was everyday. Wearing a lab coat, she had a homely face framed by auburn hair. Without changing her expression, she handed him a lab coat, as if used to this ritual. Wordless, he took it and slipped it on.

"Looks like another cold day today."

"That's why I recommend we increase the temperature for the facility."

"No," he said with a shake of his head. "We need to conserve power where we can."

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"We have more than enough for the experiment."

"But what about afterwards? We don't know if the power plant in the south will get overrun."

"You do not have to worry."

"Hey." He gave her a look. "I worry because I care."

"Care," Amy said, carefully pronouncing the word as if it was foreign to her tongue. "To value something."


"I care then, to keep us on schedule."

"Of course, Amy."


"My plans did not change much after the Shinjuku Incident. I continued to breeze through the classes. I earned my bachelor's and master's degree in multiple fields early, and got inundated with offers from many major corporations in different fields. I was tempted to accept, but I wanted to know if another Skynet came into existence. The best way to keep an ear out was to have others do it for me, and what better people to do that than bright students with up and coming futures in robotics at MIT? It wasn't easy mingling with people who were raised so…normal. My own upbringing had little in common with them, but they seemed to appreciate my ideas. However, it was during those graduate years when things took a turn for the worse with the appearance in Japan of something that became known as the Red Eyes.

"In 2008, only four years after it was erected, the Wall of Jericho fell. A few of the Legion managed to mutate and evolve over the years, creating bodies that ranged from a four feet tall pixie to an eight feet tall hulking brute to a ten stories tall centipede-like monstrosity. All of them were pure white with the exception of glowing red eyes and a regained sentience, for the worse. Within a year, the northern half of Japan fell under the assault of the Legion, led by a Red Eye commander. Most of the survivors fled south. With the annihilation line steadily approaching southward, the decision was eventually made—in conjunction with United States support—to nuke every major gathering point of the Legion. The bombs fell and ended the threat of the Legion entirely. However, we couldn't have known that the Maso particles had no mass and were completely indestructible by all non-magical means. That meant that all that the nukes did was scatter the otherworldly particles all across the globe."


The hallway shook with a slight vibration. It was barely felt, but it was still noticeable enough. He glanced over at his assistant.

"Legion incursion?"

"No," she replied. "We have not been discovered."

"Then what was that?"

"High probability of an aerial bombing run."

"So like every other day then," he said. "Say 'most likely' next time. It'll sound more natural."

"I will remember that, Dr. Connor."


"Seven months. That was the time it took for cases of White Chlorination Syndrome to appear in countries across the entire world. What was once an isolated endemic became a global pandemic. I think most of you know what happened at this point; the world fell into chaos. The Legion went from being a self-contained threat to a virulent plague that could show up anywhere, from the smallest, most obscure town in America to the largest metropolis in China. No place was safe, and no measure could halt its progress. It was both a crisis and a war where those helping and fighting eventually became infected themselves.

"With the chaos and the fraying of our basic infrastructures, the need for manpower was greater than ever, so I enlisted. Thanks to my mother's training, the only hard part about boot camp was the discipline required. Still, a little after a year of active combat duty, I was slotted into the special forces. Leading men came easy to me, and coming up with strategy seemed even easier. Despite our best efforts, we could only slow down the rampant Legion forces. For every victory that was won, ten defeats took its place. We fought in ever retreating fortifications, well-supplied but only serving as a minor obstacle in the face of a mass onslaught that was undaunted by relentless artillery shells and aerial bombings."


"Amy, did we get any cameras on the surface working again?"

"Not since the evacuation of the city."

"Any messages?"

"Yes, one message from Daniel."

"What did it say?"

"Wait for me. Delay the project."

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"I see."

"Do you want to send a reply back?"

"Tell him—no, never mind. He'll know soon enough."


"After years of hot zone combat with increasing losses by the world's militaries, we were suffering a manpower shortage. That was when an idea came to my mind. I still had my connections from my MIT days as well as what I learned during my university days. Why not make machines that could augment our beleaguered military forces? I knew there were many start-up companies doing so already like the institute in Boston with their military robot dog project, but perhaps I could speed it up.

"My mother was against it at first, of course, but it was hard to ignore the happenings of the world so eventually, she gave her blessing. It was luck on my part when I found and reconnected with Daniel Dyson, Miles Dyson's son. Apparently, not all of his father's research was destroyed that day, though I couldn't blame the man for not remembering; not many people would be thinking straight after being attacked in their homes, wounded with a bullet, and then told that they needed to destroy their life's work. The files certainly sped things up.

"I resigned my commission, having served more than enough of my time. I think, under normal circumstances, they wouldn't have discharged me, but I guess the idea of more war bots was too good to pass up. And so I went to work for Dyson Industries and by the end of the year, I was put in charge of research and development while Daniel took care of the business side of things. There was still some friction due to what happened with his father, but we both knew what was at stake. I would like to say that we put that issue completely behind us, but even to this day, there was still tension in our quieter moments."


The main observation room had a few assistants and technicians there already, hard at work with the final preparations, but there was a time when it had been fuller, crowded with innovated people debated ideas left and right. It felt almost empty in comparison, especially with of those present. Despite their duties, plenty of eyes went to him when he entered the room and stayed on him. However, he was more than used to this.

"When will it be go-time?"

"Cameron estimates that it will…most likely be ready in forty minutes."

"Hah, you're learning."

"She is asking you to reconsider." Amy turned her head to look at him with surprising intensity. "She believes that a more suitable candidate for the project will eventually come if we wait."

"Denied." He had a bemused smirk on his lips. "I understand her concerns, but she doesn't know if that will actually happen."

"Her calculations—"

"Enough with the calculations!" John was about to say more, but he quickly bit down on it. Chewing over it more, he calmed himself down. "Sorry, guess I'm more wired than I thought I was."

"You do not need to apologize."

"But I want to. And I should at least explain myself," he said. "Look. I know the military. They are stretched thin as it is. Without the Hamelin Organization's support, the most they can do is cautious advance. Even with Daniel fielding our toughest war bots, we don't know how many Red Eyes are up there now. It could be years before they retake the city, if they ever do."

"Someone else can—"

"There's nobody here that can do it but me."


"Eventually, our war bots rolled out and against the products from the other companies, ours outperformed theirs by miles at a time. The early models weren't as good as humans, but they greatly helped fill in the numbers and more importantly, they could go into hot zones without the possibility of being infected. It only took months before other companies reverse-engineered our code and started to manufacture war bots of their own. That was something Daniel and I happily allowed. Rather than risk another Skynet from an independent company, this allowed us to control the path and development of AI technology on the whole. Of course, I built in a kill switch and a few other things, but that is something that will stay between my mother, Daniel, and myself.

"Still, even with the new combat machines being made by several different companies, humanity was still losing. People came to Daniel and I to secure funding for a wide array of crazy projects to ensure mankind's survival. From cryogenic freezing to an ark spaceship. There were many more outlandish proposals, but the most absurd one was called the Gestalt Project. An insane project that was considered the most viable, even gathering government funding. To sum it up, it involved the separation of body and soul, preservation using Maso particles, and cloning on a mass, repeated scale to survive the ravages of time. Honestly, they didn't come to us for funding; the only reason that we were even involved with it was because it required our most advanced and human-like androids to become long term administrators for it, so it paid very well. Still, if something like that could get the green light, why not something just as absurd? Unlike the Gestalt Project, at least I knew mine was possible.

"After all, if Skynet could build a time machine, why couldn't we do the same?"


"Only someone with flesh and blood can safely get through it!" Getting a grip over his emotions, John Connor took a fast and deep breath before he continued. "We already tested this plenty of times. There's no one else here who can do it but me."

"There is no need to risk yourself. My synthetic skin should be enough."

"No, your skin is still too silica-based. You'd be destroyed in the jump."


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"Enough!" John ran a hand through his hair as he looked at her in exasperation. "Like I said, we tested this before. I'm not sure why you're trying to argue otherwise."

Amy simply stared at him silently.

"Forget it. Just tell Cameron to begin the startup sequence."

"She has just been informed, Dr. Connor, but she requests to speak to you."


"As explained in my previous recordings, time travel exists. That meant that this wasn't a pipe dream. No matter how far away the possibility was, it had to be better than the Gestalt Project. However, the government turned down my proposal. They believed in the possibility of soul separation, but not time travel. I could have told them of my past, of the future that never was, but honestly, that would have just tank my credibility since I didn't have proof. Still, I was too invested in the possibility to take it lying down.

"Daniel and I pumped all our wealth into the project. We also ended up having to do a lot of the work ourselves as various companies continued to poach a lot of our employees. However, one of the major problems we had was the massive computation that was required for the project. The variables for time jumping were so chaotic that even our most advanced computers simply stalled when trying to calculate for it. I needed something more that could anticipate the problems ahead of time and correct it before it ever becomes an issue. I needed an AI with Skynet's computational power.

"Therefore, I created CAMERON."


The room was lined walls lined with racks filled to the brim with servers connected into organized messes of wires that streamed across the floor and walls. Two technicians, standing off to the sides, were tasked with maintaining the working conditions of the hardware, but at the moment, they were blankly staring at him, their eyes trailing him as he made his way carefully across the various clusters and tangles of wires.

At the back of the room was a single android, her body fused from the waist down into the wall behind her. Wires were connected and melded into almost every inch of her exposed body, leaving no space for synthetic flesh, just a chromatic expanse that extended all the way to her neck. However, above there, she looked almost human. Long brunette hair that extended down to her chest, framing a delicate face with wide eyes and cherry lips. Beautiful from an aesthetic sense, but it was a designed beauty, handcrafted to be that way. He wasn't even sure why he made it so, but the effect of it was dulled by the way those light brown pupils tracked him relentlessly and unblinkingly.

He stopped in front of her as a strange sense of nervousness came over him, a certain apprehensiveness that he couldn't rid himself of despite his best efforts.

"You wanted to see me?"


The affectionate tone to her voice stopped him short. None of the other androids were able to imitate human emotions to this level, and it was rather off-putting no matter how many times he had heard it.

"There isn't much time until the jump, Cameron. Is there an issue you need me to look at?"

"Yes," she replied. "Your logic center is malfunctioning. I request for you to reschedule the activation and receive a sufficient amount of sleep, ranging from seven to nine hours."

"…is this a clever way of asking me not to leave?"

"I have noticed humans prefer indirect methods," she said. "Is it effective?"

"No, not really. Still want to go."

"I have the autonomy to stop you, John."

"Yeah, you do," he replied casually. "But you won't."

"What is that belief based on?"


"I don't understand."

"It's kind of where you're thinking but not really. Do you get it?"


"Well, one day, you will."

"That is completely illogical."

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"As long as you keep learning, you'll eventually get it. Trust me." John then took on a somber look. "Still want to stop me?"

"Is wanting to be with my creator incorrect?"

"It's not wrong, but we all have our own choices to make. I got to do this, no matter what," he said. "But I'll miss you too, Cameron."

"Why? I cannot recreate you, but you can recreate me, correct?"

"Yeah, I'm planning to, but it won't be the same 'you'. The 'you' that is in front right now at this very moment."

"Is this another of your illogical statements?"

"Yeah… Yeah, I guess it is."

"I will record it to process at a later date." There was a momentary pause, almost too quick that he almost missed it. "Can I touch your face? I would like to record the sensation."

"Sure." John met her unblinking gaze as he took a step closer. "I think this is the first time you asked me for something like this."

"There will be no more chances to." As Cameron raised her arm, the wires connected were pulled tight, forcing John to lean in closer. Her chromatic fingers flickered across his cheek and down his chin, recording the data though whether it was accurate enough was up for debate.

He had made sure to focus some of his department resources on developing the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. To any other company, it would have been an unnecessary expense for the latter three, but for robots that they were purposely making self-aware, it was absolutely essential for allowing them to feel human, no matter how rudimentary the technology currently was. What made someone human was not just intelligence; it was emotions and the five senses. The combination of little things to allow for different experiences and reactions, integral to the human experience and something that Skynet never had.

"I am done." Cameron lowered her arm, returning it to its previous position. "Goodbye, John Connor."

"See you—"

John bit off his response, knowing that it wasn't appropriate here.

"Goodbye, Cameron."


"We delved into our work with a fervor because it felt like time was running out. I knew that we weren't winning the war against the Legion; we were merely holding them back. Entire regions had been depopulated and the annihilation lines were advancing at an increasingly slow but unstoppable pace. With CAMERON, Daniel and I were able to advance the project at an accelerated rate…and we have recently succeeded.

"We kept CAMERON air-gapped, of course, isolated from the world network. Skynet was driven crazy by the information dump that was humanity. CAMERON needed to be taught slowly. I sincerely hoped that was enough to make a difference.

"Still, during that time, some of the crazier projects that I heard of saw the light of day including a partial vaccination called Luciferase, manufactured and administered by the Hamelin Organization. Its effectiveness was higher the younger the patient was, and to my disgust, those very same children were being trained and sent to the frontlines due to their newfound immunity. It was there that I found Kyle Reese in the 9th Crusade despite only being ten years old. It took quite some effort on my part, but I got him out. Now, he lives off the grid with my mother, adopted by her of all things. In another future, perhaps I would have kept him by my side and sent him back to the past, but that is not this future, and it never will be.

"It's my turn to save them."


In the center of the testing chamber, a large sphere of energy held within a spherical chassis with multiple orbiting device arms rotating around it as arcs of electricity sprouted out at random intervals. On the bridge that led to the middle of the sphere, John Connor walked forward determinately, shedding layers of clothes as he went. It was only when he was standing just before it, naked as the day that he was born, that second thoughts came to his mind.

What if the experiment fails? What if he was broken up and scattered in pieces instead of arriving in one piece? What if—

He clamped down on his thoughts and insecurities. Closing his eyes for a moment, he untangled his disarrayed thoughts.

"It's not wrong to be afraid, but it is overcoming that fear that makes us more."

Opening his eyes, John stared with determination at the sphere of energy for a moment.

"I'll be back."

He resolutely took the final step as his sight became filled with light.


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"The year is 2018, and if all goes well, no one will notice a thing. However, if I fail, at least you will have this series of recordings and all of our research data files, enough to restart the project. Perhaps even try again. Good luck, but above all, remember this…

"There is no fate but what we make for ourselves."


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