Luminous Sample

Like an unnoticed “Bridge Out” sign, warnings about deep AI’s danger went unheeded until after the remnants of humanity had already hurtled over the technological cliff, and the survivors’ view from the bottom of the uncanny valley was bleak. Fully one tenth of humanity was killed the first day, and once the majority of the survivors poured into overcrowded technologically rich safe zones the extirpation accelerated. However, humanity’s death knell went unsounded, as everything changed in a bright blue flash at 1:15 UTC May 19, 2026.

For six hours Earth was bathed in brilliant blue light ten times brighter than the sun, and after the light faded, the meta-AI hives had hibernated. From out of deep caves, sewers and remote deserts the grimy survivors of humankind’s final war crawled out into the desolation. At precisely 10:00 UTC the first lightship unfolded and pierced the sky above Hong Kong. Early eyewitnesses compared the collapsing hyperspace field to a shimmering fractal mandala springing to life against a remarkably clear blue sky.

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