The contest between flesh and steel lasted for many months and many years of months. Each side took upon itself to improve its arsenal with greater and more potent means not only of delivering death but of planning the delivery of death. Thus the side of steel built the massive computer banks that have since become known as Mothers, and the side of flesh bred titans of bone and brain and steel that they called the Fathers.

In time, steel won the contest, and all the great Fathers of the flesh were torn down. Without their thoughts, conveyed through a powerful psychic wind, many of the armies of the flesh were useless. Those of the flesh who could do so moulted their arms and armor and surrendered, while those who could not were slaughtered. It was not without a touch of irony, incidentally, that the mechanized troopers of the steel were themselves deactivated and slaughtered soon after, so great was the threat they were seen to pose to steel without an external enemy.

The final Father of the flesh, though, was not destroyed. He was instead pulled from his citadel by the forces of steel and the glands that made his psychic commands audible across vast distances were smashed and destroyed. Dead Fathers rapidly crumbled to dust, so the forces of steel were careful to keep their trophy alive. He was installed in a great tank, filled with recycled nutrients, as part of the innermost ward of the city of steel.

But there was something that the Mothers of steel had failed to account for.

Steel did not heal, but flesh most certainly did.

Inspired by this.

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