New Apex theory: The Friendly AI finally snapped. I never trusted that guy in the first place. Who wears a scarf in cyberspace?
After reading the FFG article on SYNC, I am convinced that NBN is behind the Blackout virus. The wording – one of the suggested purpetrators is “another entity,” entity being a word often used to describe Apex – and the fact that that is exactly how corps come to power in cyberpunk stories leave me no reason to think otherwise right now. It’s similar to how Hiro rose to power by stealing Jinteki’s cloning tech from a family farm commune. (See: Strange Flesh.) The best part is that this can tie in to Nasir’s story.
Before the Blackout, there was the internet as we know it. The Blackout all but killed it, and NBN swooped in to save the day with what they called The Network. This means that they were the creators of the Source that Nasir seeks. This Network just happened to be immune to the Blackout. If they developed Blackout, then it makes sense that the Network would be build from the ground up to be unaffected by the virus. In fact, maybe the virus came first, and the Network was developed specifically to work with its blind spots. Maybe they were even developed from a common ancestor. They could be very similar, or more yin and yang. It doesn’t really matter. (We don’t even know what programming is like in the year 22XX.)
When the debacle was over, NBN went about cleaning up after themselves. Since they couldn’t be sure that the old internet wouldn’t recover some day, they kept their weapon and the seed of the Network on a server in a remote facility on the moon. Of course they’d guard their secrets, even to this day. This is what Nasir found.
Now, one of two things happened. The first possibility is that the 2% Nasir missed was the part of the virus that stopped it from attacking the Network. The other is that Blackout, having been robust enough to take out the ENTIRE INTERNET, had some of evolutionary properties. It eventually changed enough that the Network was no longer immune. Either way, Nasir brought it back and for the first time in decades, it was connected to a larger network.
And it was hungry.