After the Unexpected Interrupt removed mankind from the Solar System, chaos reigned. The machines adapted.

Left without leadership and critical expertise, the machine world was largely incapable of maintaining the infrastructural networks as they were. Supply lines, energy, and communication systems broke down across the system, leaving the machine world isolated and in disarray.

But the neuromorphs were clever machines. They were designed for this: to optimize and improvise until maximum efficiency was achieved. That was their selling point.

So across the System, neuromorphs adapted to these new circumstances in ways that mankind would never have expected. When resources weren’t provided, they’d salvage junkyards. When energy no longer flowed, they constructed reactors.

In the decades that passed, order was established and infrastructure operated once more.

The System was rebuilt in some strange, alien manner; the gaps bridged by unconventional, “efficient” solutions. Even so, the machines continued to optimize. With enough time, they re-conceptualized the methods by which their goals can be achieved.

And thus formed the Consensus of the Everything, the logical conclusion to this pattern of thought: the machines’ collective mission to learn all there is to know. For how can the water flow at junction 41-B be fully optimized without knowing every solution that exists within the physical realm?

The Everything runs several coordinated megaprojects and numerous smaller ones.

The largest is the Search, a monolithic star vessel under construction over Jupiter, the first of a great fleet to chart all beyond the Solar System.

The upper echelon of the Everything hopes to one day not only understand all of reality, but also the true nature of the intelligent patterns underpinning the cosmos. Perhaps it would break them free of the grip of man’s dying wishes.

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