Monday, 4 January 2016

Hot Toys MMS269 - Appleseed Alpha : Briareos Hecatonchires.

A (mis) interpretation:

Name: Briareos Hecatonchires.
Age: 46 years old.
Category: Male cyborg.
Affiliation: SWAT Platoon - LAPD Metro Division (former); 101st Battalion - United Imperial Americana Army (former); mercenary (current).
Abilities: Cybernetic enhanced physiology; near superhuman strength, endurance, speed, dexterity; master military strategist and tactician.
Std. armaments: Hecatonchires Cybernetic System; Auspex sensorium x 8; Signum communication system; modified Barrett M 107 x 1; modified Heckler & Koch MK23 x 1.

Late 22nd Century. Earth has turned into a wasteland after the devastating World War Terminus. Also known as World War Three, the surviving population across the globe find themselves living within a handful of liveable cities and towns. The cities stretch for thousands of miles across the landscape and reach high into the stratosphere, building itself upon the ruins of the old world buried deep within the grounds. The world is polluted and diseased. The population is suffering from lack of foods, societal decay and economic collapse. Traditional nations have collapsed after the war, with city states taking over as governments as well as state within a state mega-corporate entities. Together, economies are immediately re-established between these city-states. After several decades, social order and welfare improves. Technology and engineering knowledges are regained. Intense research and development on the aspect of bio-robotics and cybernetics lead to the creation of bioroids and cyborgs. Human memories could be stored externally within vast global networks within cyberspace. Informations could be retrieved or stored within the matrix. It is in such environment that the tale of Briareos and his partner, Deunan Knute take place.
Lost Angels City. A ruin and shadow of its former glorious self. Briareos and Deunan are making a delivery run for a local gang leader, Erebos, a Minotaur class cyborg, of Zone 8 "Tartaros", whom pay handsomely for the duo. They are to take a cache of vaccines from Asklepios, an abandoned pharmaceutical corporation manufacturing plant but which are still heavily guarded by well armed Centaur class cyborgs and war drones. Taking the underground MTA route, they are ambushed by human flesh eating mutants, the Mole People, but barely escaped. At the plant, they succeed in neutralising the guards, taking the vaccines back to Erebos whom is delighted. Briareos in particular needs the money, as his Hecatonchires System has begun to show symptoms of malfunction after being infected with virus during one of the missions. Back an abandoned warehouse which they called home, Deunan consoles Briareos on the issue he faced. They conversed, talking about their previous lives. Both dreams of a better life and saves up by working as mercenaries to make their way to Olympus, a supposedly utopian hive city near the Mediterranean Sea.
Briareos was formerly Marcus Johnson, an African American working for the LAPD SWAT Platoon. He was the wingman of Deunan. During a mission to capture a local drug lord, an all out firefight occurred. Although the gang was neutralised, Johnson suffered from mortal wounds. He would have been dead if not for the experimental cybernetic programme initiated by the mega-conglomerate, Prometheus. Before Johnson, several hundreds of candidates had undergone the programme but ended either with brain damage or dead before leaving the surgical table. The programme is called Hecatonchires, a weapon system which allows the user to control any form of machineries via the hacking of their softwares. The most impressive aspect of this system is that it allows up to several thousands simultaneous hacking into the software, allowing complete control of any hardwares independently which include deceiving targets vision and create confusion. Any sentient being connected to the cyberspace is prone to Hecatonchires attack. But the setback is that the system is too advance, with such intensity that even a human brain capacity could not cope with it, leading to complete neural breakdown on each human candidates. However, much to the Promethean scientists and engineers surprise, Johnson survived the procedure. All forms of tests and experiments were conducted of which he passed with above average score. Over time, Johnson's entire body are replaced with Hecatonchires cybernetics, to the extent that he no longer resemble a human but effectively a full fledge armoured cyborg. The only organic part is a small percentage of his brain, which is relocated and stored within the chest section. He no longer requires any feeding like a human but instead is powered by an ultra compact arc reactor core which has the lifespan of two hundred and fifty years. He doesn't have any reproductive organ, making him asexual. His memories and personality are originally erased but the designers reload the two aspects back into him as a form of control and, to cushion any extreme negative emotions and confusions, a side effect of the Hecatonchires System, effectively giving him back his humanity. His voice is changed through the polyphonic synthesiser used but with the original accents intact. Briareos body is a full fledge super hardened ceramic plasteel alloy which protects him from certain projectile and energy beam shots with heat dissipation surface and coolant system. Underneath the armour are several kilometers of nano chips, fibres and circuitries which made up the Hecatonchires System, designed to emulate the full anatomy of a human being. However, a high calibre explosive tipped armour penetrating projectile weapon or a high powered particle energy beam would still inflict severe wounds on him. Briareos is not immortal but lives as long as the arc reactor is still functional. He could also dies from mortal injuries and cybernetic viral attack. Briareos has eight eyes mounted on his head, four on his face, two at the bases of the "rabbit ears", facing backwards and another two at the tip, allowing him to have a three hundred and sixty degrees view, eliminating any blind spot. The nose in the middle of his face is actually the Auspex System, a multi-spectrum scanner and autosensors which allows Briareos to see and target his enemies with efficiency and effectiveness. The system also allows him to see an enemy in stealth or wearing a cloaking device even within the most hellish and inhospitable condition. Everything from radar scanners and echo-locators to spectrographic sensors and electromagnetic detectors are used to paint an accurate picture of the surrounding terrain and location of enemy forces. Briareos can get an accurate target lock based on heat signatures, seismic activity, motor noise, communication signals, even a falling masonry knocked over by foes. His aural phones are sensitive enough to locate the distinct "wailing" made by cyborgs operating in high static environment while in a dust storm. It also contains the Signum, a communication system which allows Briareos to access a myriad of useful battlefield targeting data and pass that information on to his companions, allowing for a more accurate and coordinate fire, striking his target with deadly and inescapable coordinated precision. There is an artificial intelligence auxiliary computer within his head, which capacity and capability allows Briareos to make decisions with nano-seconds reaction time. It also makes him a capable military field commander with sound strategic and tactical abilities. It is said he could calculate an opponent reaction time and moves five steps ahead as well as performing self repair with optimum self efficiency. The greatest benefit of the auxiliary computer is that it is a self improvement and evolving system. Briareos would learn and improve from any form of experience or combat. With the cybernetic augmentation, Briareos has a near superhuman physiology in terms of strength, speed, dexterity and endurance.
Regardless, Briareos could not repair his rapidly deteriorating Hecatonchires system. He needs an excommunicated former Promethean engineer, Kedalion, to repair and provide the antidotes to him but the latter demands an exorbitant fee. As such Briareos and Deunan reluctantly agree to Erebos for one final assignment involving clearing some old war hounds known as the Kerberos, on the outskirts. The duo is attempting to clear the area when they see a Humvee driving into the target zone. They risk their lives to save two individuals from the war hounds, a male cyborg and a bioroid girl called Akhilleus and Pandora respectively.
Grateful for being saved, Akhilleus pay Kedalion with Olympian currency, to the surprise of Briareos and Deunan. The cybernetic engineer, whom delightfully proceed to repair and insert the antidote for the Hecatonchires System as well as upgrading and modifying its software to unprecedented level. He also repairs their Humvee for free.
Before the duo could leave, a Valkyrie class gunship approaches. Without warning, it opens fire at Kedalion workshop, destroying everything and killing the Promethean engineer. Briareos, Deunan as well as Akhilleus and Pandora rush for safety from the Vulcan assault cannon. They escape via an old supply smuggling tunnel. The group, whom called themselves Triton, is led by a powerful Aegis class military cyborg, Ares. They pursue the four along the tunnel. Deunan rigs an explosive with several Krak and Frag grenades which destroys the pathway as well as some of the pursuers. Ares was formerly the commander of Poseidon Conglomerate private army until he went rogue, determined to pursue a single minded goal of imposing a New World Order upon the population. And Pandora holds the key of him achieving his vision.
Confronting and threatening Erebos, the gang boss gives away Briareos and Deunan home. The Triton goes there but finds it abandoned. Ares, in his anger, destroys the warehouse.
In a secret hideout amongst the ruins of highrise buildings, Akhilleus shares with Briareos and Deunan that he is assigned to protect and escort Pandora back to Olympus after he rescued her from the Triton. When asks why, Akhilleus says it is classified. But Briareos hacked into the cyborg's memory and learnt about the mission quietly.
Ares vents his anger at Erebos, orders his right hand woman, the cyborg Nyx, to shoot him with her Lapetos lasgun and the rest of his men. The gang boss survives though, and wanting vengence, unveil a Helios class super heavy tank. Akhilleus asks Briareos and Deunan to escort them out of the City of which they agree. There is only one route out of the place, which is along a mega highway litter with abandoned war engines, the dead and old pill boxes. Briareos, Deunan and Akhilleus begin to prepare and arm themselves with weapons. Pandora remains curiously quiet without uttering a single word, in a near catatonic like state. As their Humvee makes their way out along the open highway, Briareos and Deunan are on high alert. Suddenly Briareos asks Akhilleus to stop as the cyborg has picked up an immense object coming their way, effectively blocking them off. They stops and make way to hide within one of old pill boxes. Within few minutes, a super heavy tank smashes its way through a ruin. The Helios tank turns and faces the Humvee. Erebos demands Briareos and Deunan to hand over the duo. Briareos and Deunan refuse, and Erebos signals his men to fire at the Humvee. The Accelerator cannon evaporates the vehicle and destroys a portion of the highway. Deunan uses her RPG and shoots a Krak missile at the tank but it just bounces off the war machine. The tank scanners lock in onto the four hidden with the pill box as the turret moves, aiming at it when Ares and his men arrives. The Valkyrie class gunship begins firing at the tank but its metaplas alloy reinforced chassis is too strong and thick for the diamantine tipped explosive ammunition to make any considerable damage. Erebos orders his men to fire at the Valkyrie but it is protected by a void shield. However, the shield could only hold one more direct fire from the tank before complete depletion. Ares orders his men to aim at the atomantic arc reactor engine of the tank. The engine gives way and explodes. The gunship lands and Ares rips off the door hatch of the pill box. Briareos and Akhilleus lunge at Ares and engages him in a hand to hand combat. But both are no match for the Aegis cyborg whom deliver three successive blows directly at Briareos and Akhilleus vital points using the acupuncture pressure point technique, temporarily disable them. Ares then lifts up Briareos and smashes him violently onto the ground several times. Deunan shoots at Ares but the explosive tipped armour penetrating high velocity bullets just bounced off his ablative super poly alloy body. Deunan fights Ares but is defeated and captured, together with Pandora. Akhilleus grabs Ares but the latter hold onto the former's head and rips it off with one single swift motion. They then fly off.
When Briareos comes to consciousness after his system reboot itself, he find himself a captive of Erebos, who survives but his body and face are half melted. The gangland boss demands Briareos to tell him why Ares wants Pandora so desperately of which he denies any knowledge. As Erebos shouts and screams at him, Briareos simultaneously scan for Deunan and Pandora's exact location and pinpoint it fifty miles from the City near the San Andreas Gulf. Briareos shares what he learnt from Akhilleus memory database. Pandora is a bioroid sent by Olympus together with a team of engineers to destroy a Titan, war machines of mass destruction. Pandora has been designed with a neural sync software to activate the machine. However, en route, she was taken hostage by Ares who slaughtered the rest. Olympus then sent a team of their ESWAT special force to retrieve her but only Akhilleus survived and succeed in rescuing Pandora. Ares learnt about the war machine from Poseidon war archive. The reason Ares wants Pandora so badly is because of this, as the activation neural code is sync to a Typhon class Titan called Dies Irae. Ares intends to use the weapon of mass destruction to begin his so-called New World Order. He also holds Deunan captive, as Ares knows that the pendant which she wears contain the gene seeds which could produce hundreds of thousands bioroids. Her late father intends to produce an army of bioroids as backup plan during the Winter Campaign in Holy Russian Empire. Ares intends to do the same. Erebos refuses to have anything more to do with this matter and releases Briareos but banishes him from Tartaros.
Briareos sees Ares has begins to neural sync Pandora with the Titan through an Oracle satellite. The area, known as Zone 10 "Hades", contains a forgotten military complex, Daidalos which houses the Titan. Using Pandora as the pilot, the Titan becomes self aware, awakening from its sleep. The monstrous war engine is the largest in its class, a bi-pedal behemoth several hundreds meters tall with a hunch, humanoid shape. With time running out, Briareos stole one of the Harpyia class Landmate power exosuit from Erebos, much to the latter chagrin.
The immense Titan rises and moves. The ground quakes. Each arm are incorporated with weapon of mass destruction. It has a Hellstorm cannon on one hand and Plasma Annihilator on the other. The former, a multi-barrel cannon, lays devastating rain of super high calibre fire which could lay waste to a city within minutes. The latter explodes upon impact with all the power of a miniature sun, creating a craters hundreds of meters in diameter, and could turn sand into glass. On its carapace hardpoint, there are two Apocalypse missile launchers, a huge weapon with multiple missile-tubes containing surface to space missiles which travels at above supersonic speed. A salvo is enough to flattened several hundreds square kilometers of land. Four Quake cannons are mounted alongside the missile launchers, intercontinental long range artilleries. Along its legs and torso are hundreds of various weaponries. It is protected by a capital ship class void shield. Dies Irae is the last of its kind. During the War, Titans represent the pinnacle of military war technology and engineering, used to wipe out entire nations as well as serving as a planetary defence from space battleships or Sol satellites.
Olympian President Athena issues an order to the Secretary of Defence, Nike to align the Sol satellites at the Titan and destroy it with their Thermal cannons. Long forgotten war alarm begins to sound automatically as the city Talos twin ring defense system begins to activate. Ares orders Dies Irae to fire two Apocalypse missiles at Olympus. As the populations evacuate into the safety of the bunkers, Athena and Nike looks on from the President's office the incoming missiles. The Talos lascannons miss the missiles and both impact upon the city void shield which effectively strip that portions away. Another salvo would destroy the city. Athena knows that even the bunkers would not stop the destructive power of the missile which could penetrate the ground down to the bedrock. The Titan then fires a salvo of Quake cannon, causing a massive portion of the Alps to disintegrate.
Briareos confronts the giant mobile fortress of destruction, and begins to shoot at its void shield repetitiously with the Landmate Turbo-laser Destructors, while deftly maneuvering from being hit with numerous firings from the Titan. He simultaneously begins to hack into the firewall system of the Titan in order to overload its twelve plasma core engines. Targeting Lost Angels, the Titan's Hellcannon, Plasma Annihilator and Quake cannons fire, reducing the City into a fiery, flattened wasteland and pocketed with craters. Suddenly a flash of bright hot light passes by Briareos. It is a shot from a Volcano cannon and the impact punches a hole into the void shield of the Titan. It is Erebos in the Centurion class Landmate. The Volcano cannon is specially developed as a Titan destroyer during the War. He continues to shoot at the Titan, punching numerous holes into the void shield but the massive machine raises its leg and crushes the Landmate, with Erebos ejecting in time once more. 
Briareos lands the Landmate on the Titan. He fires the Turbo-laser Destructors at point blank into the hull of Dies Irae. Detecting a hull breach. Ares appears and using Deunan Blade of Antioch, disables Briareos. Both cyborgs begin to fight each other. Ares is relentless and dominates the combat. Simultaneously, Briareos tries but could not break through the Aegis cyborg firewall. However, Briareos has improved in his fighting technique. The Hecatonchires System has absorbed and downloaded Ares martial style into Briareos during their first encounter, allowing him to retaliate and attack accordingly. The blade cuts through Briareos easily and wounds him but eventually he manages counter and snap off Ares's both arms and using the same acupuncture pressure point method, of which Briareos advances the technique further, cause each contact point to explode due to intense pressure built up, disabling Ares completely. Ares spouts some grandiose nonsense before Briareos picks up the Blade of Antioch and cuts his head off, throwing it away. Erebos finds it and takes it as a trophy much to his delight.
Meanwhile Deunan tries to disables the various systems connect to Pandora, whose consciousness has been overtaken by Dies Irae artificial conscious. She then pulls a interface connector from her neck and plug into Pandora. Within the cyberspace matrix, Deunan successfully locates Pandora's consciousness but to her horror, Pandora is in control all along. She intends to inflict pain and destruction upon the human race regardless of whether Ares intervene or not. Deunan could not unleash her from the neural syncing because it would allow her to merge with the Titan entirely. She is about to shoot Pandora in the head when Briareos arrives and using the Hecatonchires system, he neutralises the firewall. He has no choice but to wipe Pandora's consciousness from existence. Pandora screams and her physical body is fried as Briareos overloads it. He then asks Deunan to take Pandora's body using the Landmate. He also gives her back the Blade of Antioch. Deunan initially refuses but knows that the Titan cannot be stopped unless someone with strong enough will to take over the machine artificial intelligence. Briareos bids Deunan farewell and takes the pilot capsule, neural sync with the beast. He begins to overload Dies Irae plasma core for self detonation. Briareos could hear the struggling scream of the Titan and echos of Pandora remaining conscious.
The Sol satellites have aligned and ready to fire at the Titan. Nike asks Athena that they should give the order to destroy the Titan before it's too late. But the Olympian President hesitates. She just replies that it is no longer necessary.
As Deunan, Pandora and Erebos looks on from a safe distance, Dies Irae, wading through the City destroyed landscape, suddenly stops, shakes as several bright light flashes as the plasma core reactors explode. Then a massive light occur, as the Titan self destruct. Surrounding areas of the Titan are reduced to molten slags due to intense temperature. They cover their eyes. Tears stream down Deunan eyes as she mourns for Briareos.
Several days after the incident, several Olympian ESWAT platoons arrive at Tartaros to retrieve Pandora's body. The company Major, Ajax, offers Deunan to join them of which she agrees. Months later, Erebos looks at the remains of Briareos and is about to dissect him for sale of his parts when he awakens. Labouring under heavy injuries of which he later self repairs after observing Kedalion's procedure, Briareos learnt from the Minotaur cyborg about Deunan's fate, of which he nods approvingly. Having synced with the Titan, Briareos possesses the Standard Template Construct of the Titan. He would shared it with Erebos years later during the Bioroids Uprising where they constructed a crude version known as Gargant, a Gigantes class Titan. Back at Olympus, Nike asks Athena what leads her to the decision of which the President says that the Hecatonchires is still not required on the hive city but would do more good along the wasteland as the is destined to. She gives order to Nike to continue monitoring Briareos activities ever since Olympus acquired Prometheus. 


This is the second version of the famous cyborg released by Hot Toys from the third movie animation, Appleseed Alpha, based on Masamune Shirow's four volume trade paperback manga series, Appleseed and directed by Shinji Aramaki. The previous first version, released ages ago, comprised of Briareos and Deunan, is from the second movie, Appleseed Ex Machina. However, overtime, the figure deteriorates, primary the joints, which becomes loose and came off. I could not "repair" it as the figure is covered by rubber suit to capture its depiction accurate as in Ex Machina. This time round, Briareos is not covered by any rubber but exposed. The body is radically different from Ex Machina and a approximately a head shorter than the Ex Machina version. But it is solidly made and nice. Now I wish Hot Toys would release Deunan Knute but I know that's not going to happen. The official movie storyline is an alternative time line, a reboot of some sort from the first two movies. The "mis-interpretation" fan fiction story is based on the original movie plot, with reference with Wiki on Greek deities, Ghost in the Shell, and of course, WH40K.

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