Burned Out Heroes
The dawn of the Amalgamate Age was anything but tranquil.
It began with the discovery of anamnesis, an almighty substance that could rewrite the existing laws of physics by reacting to human brain waves.
This new field of anamnology turned deserts green, raised sunken lands from the ocean depths, and transformed the earth into a brand new world.
Along with this new world came a new type of human being that would become known as “arbiters.” Born with the ability to manipulate anamnesis, they were heralded as the saviours of humanity and performed miracles on their behalf.
In as little as ten years, anamnology defied much of what was once considered impossible and even restored the longevity of the planet humanity called home. For mankind, once doomed to rot away in their small cradle, anamnesis became the beacon of hope for a new age.
Though the new era began with an uproar, it was filled with light. That is, until the war began.
World War III, later known as the Anamnesisian Conflict, brought the prosperous era to an end and plunged the new world into darkness.
Countless weaponized forms of anamnesis were created during the prolonged war. Known as archetypes, they could breathe life into the monsters of yore, give rise to free-thinking humanoid weaponry called automata, and construct “demon cyborgs” by transferring human souls into mechanized bodies. Once lush lands became battlefields where myth clashed with science.
The new world became soiled, losing the value it had obtained as anamnesis became a method of murder. The fifty years humanity spent at war was more than enough to drive all hope for this new age from its collective memory.
The great war finally came to a close with the Federation, an organization built around what were once advanced countries, emerging victorious.
However, the world was still teeming with conflict even now, five years after the war’s conclusion. Refugees with no country to return to numbered in the tens of billions and the tarnished territories showed little signs of recovery. The war may have been over, but the strife that accompanied it was still the reality.
It was under these conditions that rumors of an “apparition” began to spread.
They told of a specter from the Anamnesisian Conflict that punished the wicked. Though it started as idle gossip, all mankind came to fear the apparition.
Was it a kind-hearted vigilante or a phantom killer with a vendetta against evil? Whatever the case, the pile of corpses left behind whenever it appeared made the apparition impossible to ignore.
Though the specter’s appearances were more than enough to convince people to see him as “hope,” the hero they had desperately yeared for all these years.
As for the apparition himself, however, all these conjectures of “hope” or whatnot were nothing but a nuisance. No matter the expectations placed on his shoulders, he wasn’t so fond of humanity as a whole that he would fight to save total strangers.
The apparition’s name was Series 1 Cyborg 01, or ZeroOne, a hero of the Anamnesisian Conflict who continued living in this world as one of its casualties.