The empire lays in ruin. After the war against Neo-Russia, the world has been left a ravaged and dangerous place. The Neo-Roman Empire controlled all the world, save for one hold out, Neo-Russia. Jealous for power, the Russians struck Rome in a surprise attack, flooding the capital city, and the entire peninsula with Neo-Russian troops. The Romans fought bravely, but the Russians' numbers were too great. After the battle, the city of Rome lay cut open, waiting to be taken.
The walls had fallen, and various peasants began to re-occupy it (the Russians had been all but exterminated in the retaliatory strike, the few survivors banished to the poles.) Zer 2.0 has been isolated after the conflict; the Roman army is scattered across the world, trying to regain its foothold on the planet. As a last assignment, Zer 2.0 has been given the job of recapturing the old capital. (The new capital has been moved to a more secure location on the North-American continent.)
The capital has been under the control of a Russian by the name of Alexander Nikitin, a rogue general from Neo-Russia, who has claimed the broken city. He has with him a powerful garrison of troops and weaponry, as well as supreme combat ability by himself.
ATTN: FINAL MISSION ORDERS (PRE-RECORDED AUDIO FILE):
1 A.W., 6 JUNE, 1200 HRS.
Infiltrate or enter by other means the former capital of the Neo-Roman Empire. Destroy any remaining Neo-Russian forces, and capture or kill their leader, Alexander Nikitin. There's your mission. I probably won't have a chance to speak with you again, Z, so- good luck, soldier. It was an honor serving with you. You might want to know what your real name was. Well, it was a long one. It was..FSFSSHHHHTTTHH...tus...FTFTFGRGRRGHHHH...st..
<DATA CORRUPTED. TRANSMISSION TERMINATED>
"My. The defenses of this city are larger than estimated. This could prove difficult," Zer 2.0 thought to himself as he scanned the distant city.
"Plasma cannons, repeaters, troops at every door. And the main guard facility should be even further fortified. A fitting last mission. Perhaps the science facility will have records of interest, as well." Zer 2.0 (or Z, for short) was quite intent on following his commander's last words, and even more intent on paying the Russians a long over-due favor.
Z moved quickly, the sun showering him with light.
<EM LEVELS AT NORMAL. ESTIMATED TIME TO CRITICAL OVEREXPOSURE: 10 HOURS.> The words scrolled across the visor that had just folded into place.
The cyborg jumped towards a tree about 100 meters from the first wall. The once proud and shining durasteel walls had degraded into a pathetic dilapidation; the city, at one time the brightest jewel on the Earth, now resembled a decaying beast.
He might have cried, once.
Two guards clothed in mobile mech-armor stood ominously, watching as a hover-train of prisoners and supplies glided into the city. He decided to change his plans. "The train should provide a sufficient deception," he thought. He glowed faintly for a moment, and then disappeared into the sweltering Mediterranean heat shimmer. Almost instantly, his HUD flashed red in warning:
<HEAT LEVEL NOW INCREASING EXPONENTIALLY. RECOMMEND DISENGAGE CLOAK IMMEDIATELY.>
"How long till critical?"
<APPROXIMATELY 20 MINUTES.>
"This'll have to be quick," he grunted. The shimmer leaped into the air, and landed on the step platform of the rear hover-car. He glanced one last time sideways at the mobile-mech guards, and then huddled his body into the corner of the platform. The hover-train entered the broken city quietly, greeted by none of the noise the old city had once heard. As the train glided to a halt, Z rolled silently onto the ground and looked up. He was almost angry. Almost.
The columns and glorious structures had been toppled, the streets riddled with craters. Men dressed in ordnance crawled about, popping in and out of the smashed doorways of some of the residential areas. High above, the skyscrapers looked like rotting trees, still upright in a sad attempt to come back to life.
<HEAT LEVELS NO LONGER AT CRITICAL. MULTIPLE LIFE-SIGNS DETECTED. RECOMMEND NOT DISENGAGING CL->
With a short "plip," he tapped a circle on his forearm, muting the computer's tinny voice.
Whoever programmed the computer must've been assuming the soldier would be nervous and doubtful, neither of which were qualities Z possessed.