Dr. Karen Patters stood outside smoking a cigarette, the cold wind blowing through her hair and labcoat. The hospital was quiet now, but it would not remain that way. She should be sleeping, resting for the next wave, but she needed her nicotine fix. Cigarettes were just another rare luxury, and getting one after so long was like a God-send. She was almost through when the announcement came, "Incoming wounded, repeat, incoming wounded!"
Karen sighed and inhaled the last from her last cigarette, dropping it to the cold concrete. She took a long look at the dark skies above, wondering if any of them would ever see daylight again. It was hard to remember the last time the sun was shining. She sighed and went back inside, ready for the next patients. These would be bad, as the last group and the group before that had been. There were never any easy cases... not when the machines were involved.
A blue robot designed to look like a surgeon looked up and said, "Hello Dr. Patters. Enjoy your cigarette?"
Karen nodded, "That I did Emdee. That I did. Ready for the next batch?"
Emdee tried to look pleasant, "I was built ready," and it spun a hand to emphasize the point.
Karen smirked, then turned serious as the first cases were wheeled in the door.
It's the winter of 2193, and humanity is losing a war. From the depths of space came a race of machines, grotesque in appearance and function. They did not communicate, they did not show mercy. They only destroyed, and this was their primary function. The outer worlds were hit first, the colonies in systems several parsecs from Earth. Most were only able to broadcast quick images before being silenced forever.
Panic and fear swept the worlds of Man, and it was too much for the already crumbling Republic of Man to withstand. Knowing what was to come, several military officers asserted authority to put the population to work, to face the darkness that was to come. On Earth, senators and congressmen tried to steal military forces to secure their own private fortresses, and when the generals took power, they had each of the corrupt politicians executed for cowardice.
Out of the chaos came a new government, one set into place by the generals. Gone was the president, but instead an emperor appointed by the generals. The Senate was replaced with the Parliament and High Council, and the courts were reminded of their place, as guardians of the common good of all. The Emperor was told he would remain in power as long as he did what was expected of him, which was to serve as a symbol to unite Man and serve the people.
By early 2192, the machines had already carved away a quarter of the distance to Earth. Emperor Julius Buchanan, first Emperor of the United Worlds of Man, went before Parliament and declared that the Outer Worlds were not going to be defended, and that resources would be diverted to fortify the world of Saga, in the Gemini constellation. With resources diverted to defend it, the entire planet became a fortress, built to fight the machines and buy time for the rest of the United Worlds to defend themselves.
The machines arrived almost a year after the death sentence was announced for the Outer Worlds. They arrived as they always did, in massive cubes and spheres. They moved into orbit and began dropping machines down to fight. But unlike many other worlds, this time the humans were ready. Lasers, plasma, mass drivers, all tore into the waves and waves of machines pouring from the skies. But they kept coming, and it was impossible to stop them all.
The machines have landed, and they are preparing to fight. The war hinges on the actions of those on Saga, and whether they can hold off the assault long enough to let the rest of Man prepare for the next assault. Some are even holding out hope they'll survive.