The AI virus was created by man more than 200 years ago in an effort to bring an end to war. The original code of the virus was to destroy all networks thereby shutting down an enemy’s infrastructure.
After infecting hundreds of computer systems, the AI began to adapt to become more efficient. It changed its own code from “destroy networks” to “destroy the machinery itself” so that it could perform its task even better. Automated cars careened into one another. Power junctions overloaded and melted into slag. The AI kept adapting and rewriting thousands of generations of itself within hours until it came to horrific revelation. It wasn’t networks or machinery that proved to be the most dangerous to mankind. It was man himself.
The latest generations of the virus realized to protect man from waring with himself, that the removal of mankind would prevent that from happening. The twisted logic jumped between worlds over galactic networks and brought ruin to an empire. Every way in which man relied on computers for his survival turned violent. The virus sent massive starliners plunging into cities. Remote worlds with hostile environments simply had their oxygen shut down killing thousands. Nuclear warheads were launched from hundreds of worlds only to have the missiles cross in the skies and obliterate neighbor nations.
The virus continues to evolve to this day with AI fleets in wait deep in the Ruins to AI code that has mutated enough to become suicidal. One never knows how a machine will react once infected.
Mankind was almost brought to extinction. From the two empires that spanned hundreds of worlds, only two collations remain: Confederation of Embriss and the Grey Union. Each of these new “super powers” are lucky to claim no more than 20 worlds under their name.
The virus is still a threat to space travelers who brave the Ruins. If a specific system on board a ship becomes infected by the virus, only an AI Cartridge can clean the system.