Mars City Shadowrun
The Network was the creation of the AI Deus to preserve his code and recompile it outside of the Renraku Arcology. It consisted of over a thousand “Nodes”, each a metahuman mind (used as biological storage units) conditioned to accept his distributed code. Nodes were not consciously aware of the existence of Deus’s code (except in certain exceptional situations) and sought to jack into the Matrix at pre-set times to interact with other Nodes. The code was also distributed in a manner such that individual Nodes were expendable, and copies of the code uploaded by the Nodes when they connected could also be implanted into new metahuman minds, creating more Nodes.
In the final “download” to the Nodes, the AI Megaera inadvertently became twisted with Deus’s code, and thus got rolled into the Network. After the Nodes dispersed among metahumanity, the Network broke out in a covert war between Megaera-aligned Nodes and Deus-aligned Nodes, each side attempting to recompile its patron AI first, and assert dominance over the other Nodes.
Some Nodes, including the former servant of Deus known as Ronin, become independent from the Network, through the help of the AI Mirage. These independent Nodes formed a loose coalition dedicated to seeking out other Nodes and freeing them from the Network.
Eventually, Deus “won”, and recompiled himself within the East Coast Stock Exchange to take advantage of the upgraded processing power added for the Novatech IPO. The actions that followed on November 2, 2064 precipitated Matrix Crash 2.0.
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