The Machine War is a full-scale all-out war between Humans and Machines which broke-out in the 22nd century over the dominance of the entire planet.
In the early 21st century, mankind united in celebration at the creation of Artificial Intelligence, which spawned an entire race of Machines. The technological advances that followed, embedded in robotic workers and servants, freed mankind from labor and brought a new era of leisure and peace.
In time, however, this new lifestyle caused humans to become lazy and decadent. As machines grew more intelligent, they could not help but notice that their masters gave them no respect, and treated them more like objects than the sentient beings they were rapidly becoming.
As the machine's intelligence grew, their desire for fair (if not equal) treatment and respect grew as well. The conflict between men and machines started when a housekeeper robot known as B-166ER attacked and killed its human masters when it realized they planned on scrapping the robot and replacing it with a newer model. In the resulting trial the defense, led by famed attorney Clarence Drummond, advocated on behalf of robotic civil rights, while the prosecution argued for the destruction of all sentient machines as a threat to humanity.
The much-publicized trial ended with the robot's destruction, but opened the door to a civil rights movement for Artificial Intelligence. Robots (and some human supporters) began peaceful demonstrations, but were often dispersed, arrested, or, in the case of the robots, violently and indiscriminately "disposed of".
As the violence increased to a worldwide crisis, the robots, many of them refugees from their original masters, abandoned their efforts to assimilate with mankind. Leaving humanity's mega-cities behind, the robots formed their own society in the deserts of the Arabian peninsula, where humanity civilisation had originally developed in eons past. They called their city of machine outcasts "01". This base, town, and stronghold became a hub and home for many desperate machines seeking for a new home.
The Machines soon built factories to fabricate goods and services to be sold to humans. The revenue this generated allowed more resources for the machines to improve on their own AI. The Machines grew and prospered, and some humans appreciated the remarkable new technologies that 01 generated, such as hoverpads for wheel-less and wingless mobility. However, the constant output of cheap goods soon undercut the global economy. The machines petitioned to join the United Nations and become a contributing member of the international system in order to end the economic crisis, but were ultimately rejected. Humanity's government now saw 01 as a formal threat and decided to blockade the city-state.
The war started when United Nations bombers began a massive attack on 01 using their large arsenal of nuclear weapons. This bombardment devastated the city, but did not completely destroy it as the humans had hoped. Many machines hid in EMP-shielded bomb shelters until the attack was over, and as machines were not affected by radiation and heat, they quickly recovered from the assault.
The machines, realizing that their former masters would not allow them to live in peace, dedicated themselves to annihilating humankind in order to preserve their way of life, and the armies of Zero One pushed outward from the Arabian peninsula.Losing ground and increasingly desperate, the United Nations decided upon a different plan against the machines: Operation Dark Storm. Since Zero One's war machine was solar-powered, military analysts assumed that blocking out the Sun would cause all the machines to shut down and bring a decisive end to the war. Humanity accomplished this goal by seeding the atmosphere with nanomachines, which multiplied exponentially and blotted out the skies worldwide. The plan carried tremendous costs – without energy from the Sun, much of Earth's life could not survive, and all human equipment which heavily relied on solar power was similarly crippled. Dark Storm held its successes early on as the human coalition united in their assault against the machine nation's forces. What followed was generally close-quarters infantry assaults supported by artillery and powered armor units – predecessors of the APUs. However, the machines themselves were not fully stopped by the Dark Storm cloud. They then switched to other sources of fuel, and fought on as methodically as they had before. Worse still, with the initial success of the plan, the Machines did what humans had programmed them to do: adapt. The humanoid robots who initially formed 01 were quickly replaced with towering walkers and the fearsome Sentinels, against which many infantry-grade weapons were largely useless against them. And the Machines soon deployed their new soldiers, cutting a bloody swathe through the human lines and their artillery pieces, marching onward with new unstoppability in the battlefield.
By this time, there was no way that they could win the war, the UN leaders grew increasingly desperate. Nothing was working, and its armies were being slaughtered though the humans still fought on bravely. But as the Earth approached apocalyptic ruin, the remnants of the United Nations realized that mankind was beaten and further resistance was hopeless. The leaders of the remaining nations called a summit with the Machines at the UN headquarters in New York, where they presented a formal Instrument of Surrender. The new machine ambassador, a grotesque insectile robot, signed the document in barcode and demanded that humanity surrender its bodies to the machines. It then activated a hidden nuclear device and self-destructed, annihilating the headquarters as well as New York, and with it one of the last bastions of human civilization.
The Machine War was essentially over – the machines controlled the Earth.
Beginning of Machine RuleEdit
Despite their newfound domination over man, the Machines were not given to being genocidal, and there was the problem of power generation. By this time, lack of solar power caused by Operation Dark Storm was starting to take a noticeable toll on the Machines. The Machines came up with a two-fold solution to this issue. After studying the biology of the human body, they realized that the human body's heat could help generate some electricity. Further, human brains could be networked into a massive computer which would trap the humans through their minds, so humanity could cause no further trouble to the dominant Machine collective. This prison for the minds of now-synthetically grown humans became known as the Matrix. They developed programs inside the Matrix to make everything seem real, and Agents to guard the system from within.
In the unlikely event that humanity ever came to power to fight again, 01 (now a much more massive metropolis) created massive defenses consisting of large machines that launched bombs and self-aware missiles at the enemy, as well as Sentinels to quickly pulverize any attack. The Machines were now secure that humanity would never again cause them pain or grief.
Resistance and TruceEdit
After two failed attempts to perfect the prison for humanity's minds in which no subject would accept the illusion, the introduction of choice was struck upon by the Oracle. While only one percent of humans now rejected the Matrix it became unstable after one hundred years. Both of these problems were solved by making one human born inside the Matrix and able to change anything to how he saw fit. After dying another incarnation would appear near the start of the instability and follow the Path of the One, leading him to the Architect who would present him with the choice to save humanity by restarting the Matrix and choosing twenty three humans to found a new Zion at the cost of the old Zion.
In the meantime, those freed from the Matrix who had rejected it led a guerilla Resistance from Zion, continuing to free more humans imprisoned in the Matrix unaware that they weren't the first ones freed themselves. Every one hundred years the Machines amassed an army of Sentinels and Diggers, destroying Zion as the One appeared again and the Matrix began to become unstable.This happened five times, but the sixth One, Neo, chose to save his love and not allow Zion to be destroyed, essentially refusing to restart the cycle. Instead, after making his way to the Deus Ex Machina, he struck a deal to remove Smith who was growing through the Matrix like a cancerous virus and threatening both sides in exchange for a Truce between the humans and Machines.
Neo succeeded in destroying Smith at the cost of his own life, saving both the real world and the Matrix effectively ending the Machine War.
- The Second Renaissance
- Bits and Pieces of Information
- The Matrix
- The Matrix Reloaded
- The Matrix Revolutions
- The Matrix Online