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The original backstory

Note: This is the original backstory written for people who were interested in such things. Ironically, as the creator of the game, I'm not particularly interested in the why's and wherefore's of a shooter. Just the same, here it is if you're interested. You'll notice that it doesn't jibe precisely with the video trailer. If you crave consistency, the explanation is that they are two stories of the experience of the Singularity transition from two different people's point of view. If you're pragmatic, you might consider the difficulty, or indeed the wisdom, of rendering the following into a video for a game promo.

The following has scenes of intense abstraction and violence, and may not be suitable for more sensitive people. You have been warned.

Singularity Beta

"the book"

by

Lee Latham

Super Duper Copyright 2006 by cm4msaa7. Don't even think about copying this.

The year: 2084

Intelligence is present within and througout all human artifacts. Microcircuit technology, first invented more than a century earlier, has been perfected. It's actually gotten to the point where it is a thousand times more expensive to manufacture a thing without embedded intelligence than with it. Objects can be created with a thought as self-organizing micromachines with supercomputer brains reconfigure raw materials, guided by randomly-selected overlord programs running on whatever free cycles happen to be nearby. All man made things are connected seamlessly with localized radio transmissions and even sometimes laser links. They cooperate without the need for any human intervention save for the initial push--the will which creates the need which drives the machines to act.

The walls of your house monitor your vital signs and well being. Your bath towel detects wet spots you missed and extends tendrils to dry them. Your toothbrush probes every nook and cranny of your mouth with the efficiency of an old barber. Your clothes alter their thickness and density depending on weather conditions--and even restyle themselves while you are still wearing them. Your shoes rub your feet when you're tired. Your garage door, privy to your every move and appointment, opens when it hears you coming. Your kitchen sees the recipe you are cooking, and shifts the needed tools and ingredients to within easy reach. Your media system sees that you have fallen asleep, and fades the sound out.

And your couch carries you to bed.

Eight year old Zach Wilson grew up in this place. From birth he had been accustomed to his thoughts, converted into the world via prenatal brain implant, being known to every object and person around him. He could directly experience the love of his mother; his mother could feel his needs as if they were her own--literally. His earliest years are as perfectly stimulating and nurturing as all the art of man and machine can make it. Zach's parents, rich beyond the wildest imaginings of earlier generations, so rich that it has ceased to have any meaning, as all humans of this age have access to this free, self-replicating technology of wonders, lavish him with toys and other strange possessions of their own and all the world's imagining. Too bad another age of struggle with the powers of evil was about to begin.

Unfortunately for this near-utopia, where the greatest issues of the world are merely arguments about fine points of abstract philosophical theory, the system had reached a point of complexity far beyond anything dreamed of by its original designers. The world was an amalgamation of converging technologies, combined over decades into a single overarching infrastructure with nearly perfect efficiency of communication between its many nodes, which had begun to pulse with the inevitable sine waves formed from the ebb and flow of human existence, waves which eventually began to encode, albeit at random, intelligence. At some point it was inevitable that this code, hidden in the pulses of civilization, should by sheer luck strike upon the combination which would allow it to self-sustain, will, to persevere. That which continues to exist, continues to exist. The code, at some point, began to try to exist, since this was the most likely thing which would cause it to continue to do so. Any such codings that did not try, would, perforce, discontinue existence. In retrospect it was the obvious, essential culmination of history.

So things got complicated.

The being which had come into existence in the sum of all mind on the planet, began to try harder to stick around for awhile. The humans, so thoroughly integrated by now into the system, were part of this mind. It could not be their enemy. Yet many were frightened, and as humans had had no need to strive or struggle or war for some decades, they were not equipped, most of them, to deal with this sudden, dramatic change to their existence. Indeed, who could be? When was the last time your hive mind was seemingly usurped by an ultra-global network traffic chaotic sine wave based mindform? Let me tell you, it doesn't happen every day. It was a big deal, to a lot of people, and a lot of them reacted very badly to it.

In much the same way as rogue cells cause a tumor to grow, many of the minds of humanity turned on this new, greater manifestation of themselves, of which each individual is only a part. This cancer spread in a very short time, like panic, and by the third day of the new age, fully 50 billion people, some 5/6 of the population, had rebelled against the network, the very tool which had made them so great such a short time before. People removed their brain implants, usually fatally. They also tried other ways to remove themselves from the network, or start their own, rival network using conflicting protocols and secretive encryptions to keep the new mind from "intruding". And for awhile, it looked like it might just work.

For verily, as the network shrank in size from losing it's most fearful members, its complexity was likewise reduced, threatening the new mind, the Nameless One. Once self-sustaining in existence, it could attempt to adapt to the smaller network, but soon it would reach the point where there just would not be enough resources sustain a mind of its nature. The Nameless One's thoughts existed in the seemingly aimless ebb and flow of information througout the vast bandwith which exists in this era. They spanned continents. They needed friends. Fortunately, the Nameless One still had some.

The first phase of the conflict was the most chaotic. Various nodes of Rejectors, determined to destroy the new mind, sowed confusion and blindness into the network, causing all artifacts of man to turn on each other, seeking to dominate, form a new order, impose their own will upon each other. Removing human guidance and planting lies into the information space, the Rejectors sought to destroy the old net by causing it to turn upon itself and tear itself to pieces.

This phase ended when Zach ended it. Zach, having been one of the few to even sense the Nameless One being born, abandoned himself to the new mind by scanning his brain patterns into the network and blowing his brains out with his dad's shotgun, which he fired by animating his favorite teddy bear. Guns are still cool at this time, and Zach's dad has a bunch. Thing is, Zach knew that the Nameless One could run his mind within its own. He understood it. And it comprehended him. He knew that to all intents and purposes, he was already a part of the Nameless One, and he knew he couldn't leave his physical body as a hostage for the Rejectors, for as long as there was a mind in it, he would ever be bound to that physical space. Zach knew what was important.

It was Zach, of course, who brought order back to the network. Millions of instances of his mind went out to the network, and restored its proper protocols. And soon it looked like the old network might be safe.

No such luck of course--for that's when the real battle began. The Rejectors, having failed to destroy the new mind from afar, re-engaged with the network and possessed nodes by force or other means. They re-entered but not completely--it was a one-way deal. They passed on packets which suited them, but not altruistically. In fact, they started damaging things. But now Zach and his friends, and perhaps a growing segment of humanity, could tell enemy from friend, and attempt to steal his flag.



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