North America went dark twenty-two hours ago. The first we knew was when the American stock exchanges started lagging out while processing transactions. Then the big data centers timed out - the old majors, Google, Yubei and Amazon.
The social nets went down. News went down. But we’ve been networked for over a century - this isn’t just about bits, it’s matter now!
Three hundred million networked vehicles dropped off the grid. Factories, railways, delivery drones, heating systems - a whole country of city blocks shot through and encrusted with microprocessors reverted to dumb matter.
Look at this video recording from one of our satellites: a wave of darkness spreading east from California, fast as fiber-optics can carry it.
We had no choice but to cut them off; sever the suboceanic cables and hope it wouldn’t touch us, whatever it was.
So far, we’ve contained it. But we can see the air growing dim with the smoke rising above American cities.
That’s why we have to send you in blind. There will be no data feed, and no satellite link on this mission. Your team will stay in touch through shortwave radio. We can’t take the risk of broadband contamination.
The situation on the ground is likely to be dangerous. Some parts of the Americans’ MILNET may still be working - meet up with them if you can.
The epicenter appears to be somewhere near Stanford.
Find out what happened out there.
Good luck, Captain. Our hopes fly with you.