The Machine Wars

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The Machine Wars was a popular movie released in 1985, with a series of sequels in later years, in addition to other media, books, video games, comic books, and a TV series.

Plot

The movie opens in Philadelphia, in 1985. Two time-travelers arrive, at around the time same time, in different areas of the city.

The first is an android known only as the Hunter. The Hunter has the appearance of an ordinary man in his mid 20s. The Hunter obtains a phone book and, one by one, hunts down women named Stacy Carter, posing as a door-to-door salesman.

Meanwhile, a young woman with that name, having heard about the murders, seeks refuge at a friend's house. The Hunter finds her, however. Just before he can kill her, the second time-traveler, who is subsequently introduced as Benjamin Lee (played by Arnold Shicklegruber), rescues her.

The two of them flee the Hunter, and Lee tells Carter who he is and who the man trying to kill her is. He explains that they are time-travelers from the year 2031. Lee marvels at the city, remarking that he'd only seen photographs of it, Philadelphia now being nothing more than radioactive rubble in his time. It is revealed that Great War III broke out in 1999, and in the early stages of the war, nuclear bombs were used over several major cities, including Philadelphia, London, Moscow, Paris, and others. The governments of these nations had been taken surprise by the speed with which events developed, and were destroyed (Lee mentions that "The Queen herself was killed in the London bombing"; presumably intended to refer to Elizabeth rather than Diana).

However, all the major nations had deployed automated war machines, robots in effect. With the governments destroyed, there was chaos and no clear line of command. No one was able to order the machines to stop their activities, and they continued to make war on each other, bombing cities and so on ("Thank God we never gave the 'bots control over nuclear weapons! There'd be no Earth left if we'd done that. As it was, the machines kept bombing us, destroying every settlement they could find, as long as it was in so-called 'enemy territory'. Enemy territory! That just meant 'controlled by a different group of 'bots. We stopped caring what flag the machines had. League, Russia, FK, Louisianne, hell, once we saw a Japanese flag here in the former Pennsylvaania! It was all the same, though. All machines. All enemies of humanity"). Provisional governments were formed which attempted to order the machines to stand down. The machines rejected their legitimacy, and saw international co-operation as evidence of treason. Even those nations that had been neutral at the start were dragged into the war as the machines were quick to find evidence of co-operation with their enemies.

The machines controlled many automated factories and commandeered ordinary factories as well to create more of themselves in their effort to destroy their enemies.

The Machine War dragged on, and by the early 2010s, a man named Joseph Carter - the future son of Stacy Carter, rose to prominence from a community near the present-day border of Pennsylvaania and Ter Mair, and began to create a coalition of humans fighting against the machines. They formed contacts with other groups around the world, ignoring the former international borders, and began carving out human zones.

By the early 2030s, humans had seized control of large areas of the globe, slowly beginning to rebuild, but the machines had finally halted the rise of humans, and some had created androids to infiltrate human zones. The Hunter was one of them.

Meanwhile, back in the present, Lee and Carter continued to flee the Hunter, planning out how to defeat him. They gradually fall in love, and sleep together. At the end of the movie, Lee destroys the Hunter, but gives his own life in doing so.

It is revealed in a final epilogue that Carter had become pregnant by Lee, and their son was Joseph Carter.

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