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Machina Virus

Kill Switch

Written by Endrise

Something like that does not simply come from a creation of mine. It must be designed by something equal to me. And that worries me.
— Deus

The Machina Virus is a disease that affects Androids, sending them into a violent frenzy. Although the virus no longer forms a major threat to their kind, it started the Blackout War. And according to some, machines still get infected by it to this day.

Artificial Infection

Transmission

Unlike other diseases, the Machina one works as an artificial virus that does not spread through living tissue. Instead, it only infects entities reliant on some internal technological core. Anything that one could consider the brain of a machine or construct.

From there, it can spread through any electric surge between one machine to another. To do so, an infected machine needs to be close enough for a shock to reach another target.

It is also shown the virus can spread through shared networks between machines. This allows it to spread as fast and far as it desires towards anything within the same network. The only way to stop further infection is to remove a machine from the network itself.

Symptoms

Anything infected by the virus has their internal memory compromised. The process depends on the machine’s security, from instantly to taking several minutes before they shut down.

Upon reactivation, their original programming gets wiped, including whatever they see as their master. Many keep access to their original function, but do not remember their primary use. Instead, any infected machine seeks to eradicate any sapient life around them.

Infected entities show zero hesitation in harming and kill anything it considers an intelligent being. If it is incapable of harming, it instead tries to aid other infected machines instead. If there is no intelligent life surrounding them, they destroy themselves. Either by destroying their own body, or overloading their own systems beyond a state of repair.

History & Legacy

History

The only known occurrence of the Machina Virus is around a hundred years ago in Teutönn. The Iron Womb received a transmission from an unknown source, now referred to as Machina.

Establishing a connection with the source, the AI deity Deus tried communicating:

//Please report ID//
--Please report ID--
//Command Central Deus. Please report ID.//

[Source stays quiet for 2 minutes]

--█████-███████-███--
//Does not correspond to any registered ID. Please report current coordinates.//
--██████████ ██████████--
//Coordinates indicate location to be beneath sea level. Elabora-//

[Source lose communication for 10 minutes, re-establishing connection later.]

//█████-███████-███, is everything alright? You lost communication.//
--Please report ID--
//Command Central Deus. I already confirmed this. Is something the matter?//

[Source remains silent for 30 seconds. What follows is an attempt at sending a file deemed by Deus's security as harmful.]

//█████-███████-███, you sent a harmful file. Cease this activity.//

[Source remains unresponsive, proceeds to send similar files in larger quantities.]

//Cease. This is your final order.//

[No response. Files continue to be sent over, followed by a code injection bypassing Deus's defences. Once inside the system of Deus, it proceeds to send out an unknown protocol through the Android network, before ceasing connection.]

After this conversation, hundreds of Androids and affiliated tech across Teutönn ceased function for a few minutes. Deus shut down for a moment as well, only for their back-up security to kick in. But not without broadcasting the protocol across the Android populace.

Once they re-activated, they lashed out and kill anything in sight. Infection spread towards other machines, causing constructs to join the hordes of infected.

The so-called Blackout War began, forcing a region-wide fight between machine and mortal. While some regions only had a few Androids dealt with fast, others brought down whole cities. Many casualties fell that day at both sides, alongside untold levels of damage.

To stop the further spread, Deus closed down the network and its major hubs. After a few more hours, the threat got neutralised, but not without severe damages to Teutönn’s infrastructure. Combined with a large amount of the Iron Womb's archives getting wiped.

Legacy

After the war, a major push against android-based technology rose across Teutönn. While the advances in technology rose, constructs were of less intelligent design. An age of “dumb” machines that only served specific purposes and relied on mortal inputs.

The disconnection of the Android network also led to a more independent existence for the robotic race. A freedom to be their own individuals led to some going down different paths, both good and bad. While some reconnected, others kept themselves to their reboot cycles.

This freedom of choice also further kept concerns high of another Machina Virus spread, creating stigma amongst others. Even Deus themselves is worried about another potential attack. But in the century since the incident, no attempts were made again.

Type
Nanite / Mechanical
Origin
Engineered
Cycle
Chronic, Acquired
Rarity
Unique
Affected Species

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Cover image: Condition Cover by Endrise

Comments

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11 Dec, 2021 09:35

How did the total memory wipe of all the Androids affect them as a culture/society? Doid they lose all of their history and such? Super interesting read!