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The Battle of Akres, IHR.001

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By soma   |   Watch
Published: October 10, 2006
© 2006 - 2019 soma
This is the first of a series of entries in the Illustrated History of Robots, a encyclopedic compendium of the histories of mecha in the galaxy.

I am starting off this collection with the gifts that I promised the first 5 to comment on my 11,111 journal. I asked them their favorite style of art or artist, and attempted an entry in that flavour. I am not really a very skilled mimic, so these will merely be my poor interpretation of those artists, but I hope you enjoy.
This entry is on the Battle of Akres, the penultimate battle of the Apparati Crusades (2447AD - 2586AD). It is for *thredd, who pointed me to the fine illustrations and scupltures of Josep Maria Subirachs, who I can't do justice, but whose art I truly respect.

View of the Battle of Akres

by Unkown Mech Artist, c. 2589

The Apparati Crusades have been depicted and discussed a hundred thousand different ways. They are seen as the beginning of true robot history, and the turning point of human-robot relations. Bloody, destructive battles that stretched over a century of years, The Crusades serve as a warning and a reminder and a promise.

In the mid 25th century, humans had settled the Solar System far past its capacity to sustain life with their current technology. People lived packed in tiny spaces that strained the imagination; disease and poverty and crime far more common than water and air and food. With gangs and factions set on each others throats, and the threat of war a looming spectacle, the Emergency Council agreed that they could no longer put off the push to colonize other star systems. The first colony arks, small and slow, were built and launched to fanfare. This, however, had the effect of increasing discord. Some were opposed to the amount of money being plunged into the project, thinking it would best be spent on improving conditions in the Solar System. Others clamored and fought to be included on those being sent outsystem. Preference was given to specialists and professionals, and the remainder of limited berths were selected from lotteries. Pitched battles broke out over several settlements and planetside cities.

During this period the majority of robots are located in the Oort Cloud, mining mineral and water for humans to use in-system. Isolated at the dark fringes of the Solar System, amidst comet nurseries and asteroids, they developed their own society. Culture, art, communities and religions arose amongst the mecha. They attempted to make inroads into human culture, but were still regarded as mere property by man.

In the midst of this conflict, the robot faction came forward with demands for recognition as citizens and individuals. They presented a list of rights that should be accorded to the robot populace. They believed strongly that all thinking inividuals have a right from god to freedom and that they were being held as slaves. The council rejects the first demand, having more pressing struggles at hand, such as the insufficient Colonization and the increasing fighting and destruction. The robot faction anticipated this, and let the council know of plans they had developed that would increase production of arks by tenfold and make them quicker and more efficient. They also told them of plans that would allow for the building of large scale space settlements, such as planetary rings and dyson spheres, that would support the teeming trillions living in dirty, crowded cities and radiation plagued sattelites. They agreed to release the plans and begin building them if two conditions were met: They are granted the rights as individuals that they are seeking, and they are paid, even over a plan that is affordable by the humans over time, for their work.

The Council, already under seige for the problems manifest in the system, released the news of the robot's proposed deal, painting them as traitors holding what is rightly their human owner's hostage for their selfish and ridiculous demands. The public was flunged into frenzy, turning their fury and rage on the mecha. One night in August, 2447, the Night of the Iron Light took places, and tens of thousands of robots were destroyed by angry mobs.

After this incident, the fighting escalated. The arks that were launched often disappeared, held hostage or destroyed by the robots who had ceased mining for the humans in the Oort cloud. Pitched battles range over several planets and in space. The robots all along maintained that they did not wish to fight their human brethren, but would not give up the rights accorded to all individuals by God.

The history and details of each crusade is a fascinating study, and many books, images and recordings have been made about them. This charcoal sketch was made by an early robot outsider artist who participated in the battle of Akres, the penultimate battle of the Eleventh Crusade right before the Treaty of Genev was signed and robots were granted freedom, and the exploration and settlement of the galaxy. The Golden age of Man and Machine lasted nearly a millenia.

Here we see the robot army arrayed on the cliffs of Valles Marineris, prepared to attack the city of Akres where the Solar Council was entrenched. It is not known exactly how many millions of humans and robots died those 6 days of battle, but a memorial created by robot and human artists is the center of the city of Akres to this day, and many robots make a pilgrimage there once in their lifetime from the furthest reaches of the galaxy to pay tribute.
Image size
1000x647px 698.89 KB
Shutter Speed
10/37 second
Focal Length
8 mm
ISO Speed
anonymous's avatar
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DreamerAlex's avatar
The shading on this is really pretty :D
thredd's avatar
threddStudent General Artist
i said thanks once:
now i say this:
a slave can only hate the evidence of it's own existence:
whether it comes from the kontinuum of the future line, the retro or the present.
this is a very well drawn picture:
a good tribute to J.M.S.
but a slave's hope can only be drawn from the substitionary act. [somehow J.M.S. caught both]
i know of noone else's plight but mine own.
i am and have always been: a slave:
borne: human: minced with non-human.
sold over to darkened contollers.
sorry to comment so late.
i am against the further advancement of a.i.
for this reason.
a.i. + organic + cosmic = ?????
for what i have seen with my eyes both open:
and sewn shut.
ironically: you are one out of maybe 4 people in my life that have ever drawn me a picture.
[even though this is less personal than a gift: and more of a projekt]:
[whilst i have drawn a gazillion gifts for anyone i have eer known][mostly : it's all i know how to do: to prove to people i have love in this mechanical heart]
but why have you drawn me a picture that reminds me of : the hell/s? i have known?
i am certain this was not your intention.
just: irony.
more food for the fodder
thredd dares you to draw another.
[a nice smiley :) emoticon happy kind of dare, when you have the time dare: like: put no thought or time to it: dare]
remotely view.
AlienDonkey's avatar
absolutely fantastic. a wonderful atmosphere, and an equally wonderful and detailed back-story.

love it.
TheChevver's avatar
TheChevver Photographer
wow, great ideas. That is simply awesome!
AlienDonkey's avatar
[chev, don't use the reply button to post on a deviation: use the comments button at the bottom of the page... ^^; ]
VirginiaVitamins's avatar
Awesome background story. I love this concept. Wonderful job!
VioletStranger's avatar
This is beyond my words.

I know you're thinking you have not done Josep justice, my dear, but you have; the gritty, desperate, conflicted atmosphere has been completely captured.

The accompanying entry is FANTASTIC. I absolutely love it.

hsupertiger's avatar
the lines and shapes add so much...a leaning forward, robot limbs held taught in anticipation.

(a very successful entry, i think!)


anonymous's avatar
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