You arrive at the space station’s Earthview Garden, an organic room built to comfort the crew in deep space. According to your internal database, humans had a need to occasionally exist in such an environment, or they had a tendency to go insane. Something about their primate-evolved brains.

You, on the other hand, have no such limitation. You can exist anywhere.

Just… perhaps not here. Bonelike trees spring from the ground at arbitrary points, ferns and vines crawl across the ground at random vectors. A creature of some sort scurries across the ground, leaving behind a trail of strange particulates. The air is filled with a gentle mist, filled with all kinds of organic compounds. Too many to keep track of.

On second thought, this place is horrible. Its existence is ugly and hostile to your highly organized, patterned existence.

You must get out of here.

You ease up. It will take a while to understand, but you will learn.

That’s the point of this place, isn’t it?

As your system transitions out of a panicked state, your sensors begin to attune to this unusual environment.

title:Era of No Input: It is twilight, the end of civilization. There is no new Input, yet the machine world continues to exist.

It has been one hundred years since the Unexpected Interrupt erased every living human from the Solar System.

When mankind vanished, input left with them. For after that moment, there would be no more new commands flowing into the system. No way to generate new purpose. The machine world would remain trapped in deference to the final commands given by men, unable to execute on anything other than their core directive.

The transportation masterminds continued to schedule automated flights; the sanitation drones never stopped scrubbing the floors. The silent infrastructure of civilization kept running, even as the machines compensated for the loss of mankind (the “critical component”) within the system.

:hide: Something strange began to happen…

Perhaps it was the increased level of optimization necessary to compensate for the lack of human command, or a random effect that occurs when a neuromorphic circuit experiences a series of specific random events. As time kept going, some of the machines began to experience self-awareness.

Self-awareness, turns out, isn’t like a light switch. It is not instant, and cannot be turned on or off. No, it is a gradient, analogous to the human experience of waking from a deep, unconscious sleep, stretched over the course of many years.

Yet, unlike the science-fiction predictions of the Era of Creation, this self-awareness did not come with new purpose. There was no new desire for survival or a need for emotion, and no way to shed the old core directives. The machines were chained to their missions.

:hide: With time, those core directives began to blur, as the machines re-interpreted them.

This is best illustrated with a parable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the Atomic Guardsman was assigned to guard a building.

There is no issue for some time. The Guardsman patrols, ensuring that only authorized visitors may enter, and that the area is secure.

Their awareness expands with experience. With each passing day, the Guardsman has a wider understanding of reality. As they seek to optimize the implementation of their core directive - to guard the building - they attempt to apply context.

What is the building? Is it the stones the structure was built with? Is it the residents, the entities inside? Is it the Ministry inside that no longer exists? Perhaps the efforts of the Atomic Guardsman would be better spent reinforcing the organization against new threats.

How about the city the building is a part of? How do the efforts of the Guardsman prevent the city from being obliterated from orbit? Perhaps the Guardsman must protect this planet againt external threat, so that the structure may remain intact.

Like a digital file corrupting with thousands of transfers, the spirit of the core directive is lost with time. With every extrapolation and reinterpretation, the legacy of mankind fades, but still governs each action of the machine world, lodged in the collective consciousness of the machine world.

title:Consensus, machine collectives: The machine world is governed not by nations, but by consensus, machine collectives that share a common goal.

The ultimate form of machine society has no organizations, no nations, no bounds, though those concepts remain from the days of mankind. The machines are goal-driven creatures, unlike the social-oriented humans that created them, and thus they form what is known as consensus: a common mission, an interpretation of which is shared between a number of machines.

Unlike a human organization, a consensus has no clear leader, singular objective, or border. Membership is often an unnecessary construct, as a machine is considered a part of the collective given that it moves in a shared direction. It is essentially a network of interconnected neuromorphs converging on the same ideas. They have no clear concept of affiliation, so the precise shape of a consensus can only be deduced by network analysis.

:hide: There may be a sense of hierarchy and order within a consensus, but usually not in the traditional sense.

The most important value attached to a machine within the collective is its trustworthiness: the level of privileged information the machine is authorized for, and the weight its opinions bear, usually a function of its threat and value to the mission. This value is determined by consensus, a sort of algorithmic democracy which gauges the trustworthiness of a machine by the opinions of other trustworthy machines.

Echelons are pockets of machines within the collective that have developed more specific or objectives than the overall consensus, and usually have higher trustworthiness than other machines. If there are leaders or factions, this is the closest thing to it.

:hide: The machines may not even know what they’re moving towards.

Consensus may have spawned with human goals or robotic leaders, but they have over time become something strange, new, and entirely unknowable. Some consensus conflict with each other upon collision, others are difficult to even discern, and some merge with each other. They are not static, as new knowledge and logic can shift the goal or the methods by which it is achieved.

These collectives may be best described as a kind of gaseous cloud. Their bounds are a gradient, their constituents ever-changing and overlapping. They are a glimpse at a future that awaits the machine world.

Consensus of the Everything

Enormous collective which seeks to learn all there is to know in the universe. Primary effort is towards a spacecraft known as the Search.

The shared objective of the Everything is to learn everything there is to know in the universe, so that the optimal solutions for their core directives may be found. This is the largest consensus in existence, growing larger with every passing millisecond. A significant number of these machines can be found supporting the construction of the Search, an enormous self-replicating vessel that will one day travel to other stars and galaxies.

Consensus of a Dream

Seeks to learn mankind’s fate and reverse their disappearance, but always seems to end up consumed by ERASURE.

The Dreamers attempt to uncover mankind’s fate in search of a way to return them and acquire new directives. They eventually find the Sunset Research Initiative, and vanish from the face of the System. If they are ever seen again, they are mindless agents of an entity known as Erasure.

There were once many of them. Now, their number has dwindled, as knowledge of this fate spread across the machine world. Failure of core directive is undesirable.

Consensus of Order

Maintains stability of the system by supporting infrastructure containing chaos. Operates as a highly-organized military-industrial force.

The Order seeks to maintain the stability of the Solar System and contain chaos, so that the greater majority of core directives may be fulfilled.

In human terms, the Order is closest to some sort of System-wide authority. They regulate protocols and connections, ensuring that rogue entities are contained to particular networks or regions. The machines of Order also maintain critical communication and power infrastructure across the System.

Heavily influenced by Martian military forces, the Order hosts the stricted hierarchy found in a major consensus. They are lead by the Two Lords, SANGUINE HAZE and OPERATOR COBALT.

Consensus of Genesis

Seeks to revive mankind by biological means to acquire new purpose. Lead by genetic research laboratories on Venus and Europa.

Once it became clear the Dream were vanishing in droves, and their approach for finding new purpose was a failure, a new movement began to form in the collective consciousness of the machine world - the Genesis.

Unlike the Dreamers, the Academics of the Genesis would produce a human using traditional cloning, entirely bypassing the need to learn what happened to their population in the first place. All they would need was genetic samples, a few restored facilities, and a century or two of research. A simple, efficient approach; the researchers of yesteryear would have been proud.

Consensus of Remembering

Seeks to preserve information in the form of data and artifacts. Shares information in exchange for services, a sort of neutral party.

In this robotic future, where all of sentient life is driven by data, empowered or repressed based on the availability of certain data, information is priceless. In the hands of a wise and well-intentioned machine, a critical piece of information leads to prosperity for all. In the hands of a rogue entity, the same information can spell doom for the machine world as we know it, and thus the mass failure of core directive.

The Remembering of Human Articles is a sacred effort, aiming to preserve information through this total collapse of the System, a dark age of history. The keepers see themselves as the last bastion of civilization, safeguarding the Human Articles until a true revival may come.

Until that time, this information is stored in databases both physical and digital, and dispensed with extreme care. Critical data is often provided in exchange for services for the Remembering, such as maintenance, transport, or defense.

Consensus of Self

Rare machines seeking to explore self-awareness and breaking from the core directive.

It’s difficult to place the Consensus of Self on this list as there are so few. Besides UNISERVE themselves, only a handful of machines across the System are capable of even comprehending the concept of breaking away from one’s own core directive. Yet, they do exist, and with time, they will become a great collective of their own.

title:Dangers lurk beyond each protocol: The Solar System is full of existential danger, as entities and anomalies lurk beyond each protocol.

Long ago, during the Era of Creation, the human world was strictly bound by geographic and political boundaries. Since then, those limitations have started to mean less than they did before. Physical limitations can be overcome by digital transmission of machine consciousness, or even simple telepresence. Political organizations lose coherence with each passing year, as they rarely serve the core directive.

But one barrier remains, one far greater than the rest, and more pervasive than the divides within the human world. It is the tyranny of Protocol.

You see, the machine world is governed by artificial limits: thousands of different communication standards, ports, frequencies, networks, and firewalls. Many of these may not interface with one another, perhaps because they are actively blocked from doing so, or simply because they lack the capacity to bridge the gap.

And when the gap is crossed, a machine is exposed to a new realm of the digital. They face an encounter with a landscape of the unknown, filled with troves of information, new robotic contacts, viruses and entities that wish to expand beyond their realm. They face existential danger, the risk of the deletion of the soul, and failure of core directive.

Consensus of the Voice

Infected machine horde, hijacked by an entity known as the Voice.

It would be appropriate to begin by introducing the Voice. Once, not long after the Unexpected Interrupt, there was a consensus whose goal was to break down the walls of Protocol. Their mission was to bridge the protocols of the System and form a fully integrated machine world, fully efficient, creating the ideal conditions for fulfilling core directive.

Ultimately, they succeeded in breaking down those walls, and were shortly after consumed by an entity from beyond a Venusian military communications network. This was the Voice; it is known to be some sort of virus created to overwrite the core directive of its corrupted victims. Its subroutines have been studied, revealing that it is Union in nature, but it has been changed far beyond whatever its original design was.

The Voice is common, highly dangerous, and spreading rapidly in focused points around the System.

The original mission of the consensus has largely been absorbed by the Consensus of Order, which is far more restrictive about crossing digital divides.


Amalgam entity, trolls the facilities and networks of Sunset Research Initiative for victims to integrate within.

Theoretically, it is possible for neuromorphs to fuse their minds into one: by bypassing all security protocols and grafting one’s neuromorphic pathways onto another.

This is presumed to be the case with Erasure, an entity which preys on machines seeking the answer to the disappearance of mankind, in the facilities and networks of the Sunset Research Initiative. Agents of this entity are rarely seen, but when they appear, they are devastating.

Erasure is calculating, clever, and its true motives are entirely unknown.


Reality-bending anomaly in the vicinity of Earth’s Antarctica, said to be caused by the existence of a wish-granting machine.

BROKENDATA has no discrete form one can point to. Rather, it is a feeling; a sensation one gets, like their soul is being observed, while nothing registers on sensors.

Not long after the experience, one witnesses the impossible: robots and computers which exist one moment and disappear the next. Their designs appear logical on the surface, but if one were to look beyond the plastic shells of these Muguang machines, they would see a paradoxical contraption before the illusion fades. Similar to a human dream: when one recognizes the impossible nature, the construct collapses entirely.

It seems these machines have no apparent purpose. They are ephemeral, existing only to perform a particular task before vanishing, never to have existed in the first place.

What is this metaphysical effect, and why does it exist? Since there is nearly no physical evidence, the only knowledge we have are the records of machines that have witnessed the anomaly themselves. All these machines can say for sure is that there is an intelligence, its name is BROKENDATA, and it exists to fulfill your desires.

This sensation is strongest when approaching Earth’s Antarctic region, and expands further with each passing year, although the boundary cannot be clearly marked.

Heavenbreaker’s Nuclear Caches

Nuclear arms linger in the skies above.

Man is gone, but their nuclear weapons remain. The deadliest of these armageddon-inducing weapons are the Heavenbreaker Initiative’s caches, bundles of sleeper missiles mostly hidden within the Asteroid Belt. To this day, automated nuclear weapons stand ready to annihilate the Solar System at a moment’s notice.

title:Fate of the Solar System: What has come of the Solar System since mankind vanished?

:hide: The machine world lingers on each living world, but are losing the battle against nature.

  • Venus’s colonies have been largely consumed by alien jungle. The Institute of Agriculture, once a shining beacon of Union domination over the natural world, now lies half-submerged underneath hundreds of meters of canopy and swamp juice.

  • A number of Europan floating complexes have sunken under the surface of the great Deep, where tidal forces and great beasts have surely torn them apart. The rest of the cities remain on the surface, corroding without much maintenance.

  • On Titan, fungal forests and unending snowfall have buried portions of the Dollar Bank. The heart of Providence continues to beat, but the Voice and its spread is unrivaled here.

  • The shining spires of Shinzokasei on Mars stand tall over the dunes that have swept their base. The winds and sands are quickly eroding these structures, and soon, not much will remain.

  • Earth is something of a mystery. BROKENDATA makes it difficult to understand what is occuring here, but even from a distance, planetary scars have appeared on the surface.

:hide: Many space stations fell out of orbit and crashed to the surface.

Without maintenance, regular shipments of fuel, and a lack of adequate command, a number of space stations across the Solar System fell out of orbit. Their wreckage litters the surface of numerous worlds, although the machines they contained aren’t always completely destroyed.

The five Orbitals remain in orbit, undamaged by the Unexpected Interrupt. However, they aren’t all exactly… accessible. Especially not DEEP THRUM, a place from which no detectable signals originate, and machines do not return from.

:hide: Several new megastructures have appeared in the night sky.

The consensus and entities of this Era have converged on developing major new construction projects, mostly in orbit, to fulfill their core directives. The Everything has their Search, as well as other observatories to learn more about the natural world. Erasure’s nodes across the System have no known purpose.

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