At this very moment, in a conference room within this particular agency, a group of high-level executives sat around a round table, discussing the emergency reported from the Ancient Star Desert branch inspector.
The explosion of cosmic energy was considered a red alert at any time and required a meeting to be convened to discuss the strategy taken.
"The content of the report is quite detailed, and the cause and effect were quite clearly outlined. A scavenger team dug up a safe of an unknown civilization, releasing the source of this incident. This belongs to the second category of accidents. However, the traces of the ruins excavated completely disappeared before the inspectors teams field survey began, and they suspect it has something to do with a projection of a high-dimensional information state interfering with reality The most important questions now are, what exactly did it release, why was there a cosmic energy burst, and what impact would this have?"
A humanoid creature who looked sickly at first glance was speaking. When he spoke, he stood up tall and thin, resembling a bamboo stick. His skin color was pale purple, with white lines, and his eyes were long and narrow, with yellow pupils.
This was Sidreun Purple Fire Korna, the highest officer from the inspectorate from the Federation of Lights side, a Beyond Grade A seed. He was a hybrid of races, but his main bloodline came from the Deweine tribe, a racial species with superior racial talents.
The Federation of Light employed a multi-racial living system, and hybrids were an important part of their nation.
Due to the difference in beliefs, preferences, appearances, and other factors delineating each race, racial issues had always been a deeply rooted disease in the federation, but everyone was already used to it.
"These archaeological teams never learn their lesson," a member grumbled. "Of the various universal disasters in history, be it an organic extinct virus, mutated monsters, or anything else, how many of them were caused by digging up ancient relics?"
"You cant put it that way. Many of our technology in the early years was also derived from the reverse engineering of ancient civilizations. Besides, compared to the triggering of disasters due to advanced technology going out of control or the invasion of foreign enemies, the severity caused by archaeology pales in comparison." Sidreun shook his head weakly.
At this time, one of the executives glanced through the past records and muttered, "By the way, its quite rare for high-dimensional information states to interfere with reality itself in the past, but with the increase in the exploration of the universe, this phenomenon seems to have become more frequent.
"According to the statistics provided by our predecessors, during the exploration era, the average number of information state interferences was around 467 times a year, which only counts those events that were discovered and recorded. In the past century though, this number has risen to 2,150 per year, almost five times the number. Although this could be attributed to the improvement in our detection methods, it can also be seen as an increase in the frequency of interferences as well."
"Information states have always been an important research direction of the advanced civilizations. We are only responsible for the submission of reports. Regardless of the result, that is a problem for our scientists, not us." Sidreun waved his hand tiredly with an obvious lack of interest.
It was understandable that he was mentally weary after sitting in his position. This inspectorate department was responsible for wiping the backsides of people all over the universe, akin to watching a group of crazy kids making trouble everywhere for him to clean up afterward.
No matter how he tried to remedy things, countless more would still appear the next day. If he had a bad temper, he would have exploded in fury at least once a day in this department.
Thus, with the passing of time, a man would turn into Buddha, whereas fish would also become salted and preserved.
Everybody here did not come from a research background, so they had a limited understanding of the causes of information state projection and interference. To them, this phenomenon was akin to a special mirage, and the difference was that this was not limited by time and space and could really interfere with the real world.
Another of the executives said, "After comparison, the unknown text that the scavengers submitted does not have a match in our database to any civilization. If this is an information state projection, then the source is either from an extremely ancient civilization, or its from unexplored civilizations that exist somewhere in the universe."
While the three Universal Civilizations were the undisputed universe hegemons today, they were not omniscient nor omnipotent. They did not know what had existed in the past, nor did they know how many civilizations there were in the unexplored universe. Thus, they had not stopped their pace of exploration and research.
"Did anyone discover any negative effects?" Sidreun questioned.
"For the time being, no. The specific details are still under thorough investigation. At present, it is impossible to predict what sort of disaster this is. Maybe its not even a disaster."
Everyone shook their head.
At this moment, a voice sounded.
"This is a disaster within the Virtual Domain."
The hologram in the center of the round table suddenly transformed into the face of Manison.
Seeing this, everyone went into an uproar.
"Mechanic Emperor Manison!" Sidreuns expression sank, and he shouted, "How dare you infiltrate the network of an official institution!"
Everyone on scene had an ugly expression as Manison had just too many criminal convictions. Even his ally, the Federation of Light, guarded their official networks against Manison, for fear that all their confidential information would be stolen by this neighbor of theirs.
There was a saying in the universeOne cannot expect a Virtual Mechanic to have morals.
They were like the bosses behind the scenes in the casino, and it was in their nature to peek at the cards of others.
"Its not the first time. Why are you all so surprised?" Manison was perfectly calm. "This time, however, Im here to deliver some intelligence."
"I dont believe you!" Sidreun gritted his teeth. You obviously could knock on the door, but you chose to come in through the window instead. Would it kill you to send out an official notice?
"This method is faster. I dont like to wait." Manison continued as though he heard nothing. "Furthermore, this disaster is currently fermenting. Every second wasted means increased damage."
Hearing this, Sidreun temporarily suppressed his anger, frowning as he asked, "So, what have you spotted?"
Manison showed the scattered information packet that he had intercepted as he explained, "Not too long ago, a special information package attempted to infiltrate my sub-base, and after it failed, it tried to self-detonate itself. I managed to salvage a portion of it, and from there, I gleaned its general structure. This may be a new form of quantum network virus, where every information package is a source of infection. It will constantly replicate itself and has strong camouflage, permeability, and infection abilities.
"I tracked it down, and this virus is spreading rapidly in the quantum network of the Ancient Star Desert. Countless nodes have been compromised. Working backward, I concluded that this virus might be related to the cosmic energy explosion some time ago, so I came over to notify you."
Looking at the material that Manison presented, the expressions of the executives gradually turned grave.
"Turns out, its a new type of quantum network virus." Sidreun felt a headache coming. "The quantum network is one of the cornerstones of our galactic society, and this sort of highly contagious virus is the most troublesome. If left untreated, communications might be paralyzed, data lost, and intelligence stolen What exactly does it do?"
"This virus is still in its incubation period. Once it breaks out, it will rewrite the underlying logic of the infected artificial intelligence and activate a kill order against all living bodies, setting off a mechanical rebellion," Manison answered calmly as though he was giving a lecture.
At the current stage of the galactic society, every household possessed some form of artificial intelligence or machinery. Once a rebellion occurred within the Star Field or even within the universe, the consequences could be imagined.
Sidreun shivered involuntarily. If Manison had not invaded to pass on the message, the longer they delayed, the more serious this situation would have become. It might even shake the ruling foundation of the three Universal Civilizations.
Thinking of this, Sidreuns expression toward Manison softened a lot more.
When hes not up to mischief, this ally was actually quite the reliable person.
He suddenly stood up, throwing away his salted fish halo, and solemnly declared, "This matter is too huge. Ill report it to the President immediately!"
A few hours later, the three Universal Civilizations had all received the news, calling an emergency joint meeting.
" The situation is as such. Right now, the Ancient Star Desert has become the epicenter for this new quantum virus. With every second, the number of nodes being infected by the virus, which has been named Intelligent Plague, is rapidly increasing. We need to take immediate measures."
Bader summarized the situation, expressing his position.
The Pope of the Arcane Church narrowed his eyes, saying in a deep tone, "Isolate the entire Ancient Star Desert. Until the virus is completely eliminated, the entire Ancient Star Desert is forbidden from interacting with the external universes quantum network. Stargates are all to be closed, and fleets are to be sent to the periphery of the Ancient Star Desert to prevent the source of infection from leaking out in any form."
"Hmm." Urranrell nodded in agreement.
This was like treating a normal biological plague, where only isolation would allow it to be completely eliminated.
To barricade all communications within a Star Field, only the three Universal Civilizations had the qualifications and capabilities for such a huge project. If the trio could arrive at a common intention, they would be able to enforce the decree. This was the highest power the three Universal Civilizations had given themselves in the Civilization Conference.
"We also need to inform the local civilizations within the Ancient Star Desert, getting them on side. This problem must be dealt as soon as possible."
At this time, in order to reassure others, the three could not take the opportunity to attack the Super Star Cluster Civilizations of the Ancient Star Desert. Otherwise, no one would cooperate the next time a similar disaster occurred. The disadvantages far outweighed the potential gains.
If they missed the optimum timing due to infighting, this virus would shake the very foundation of order in the Galactic Civilization, causing a major blow to the dominance of the three Universal Civilizations. There were countless examples in history, so the three of them would never repeat the same mistake.
In the face of such disasters, the three Universal Civilizations would put aside their struggle for interests and temporarily work together to overcome the shared difficulty.
"I recommend that we recruit mechanics from all over the Universe, especially the Beyond Grade A Virtual Mechanics that specialize in this area," Urranrell suggested. "We should also call the Mechanic Emperor and Black Star to come over and cooperate sincerely to solve the problem."
The others all nodded.
Since it was a disaster in the Virtual Domain, they had to have experts in a related field to check it out. Mechanic Emperor and Black Star were the leaders in the Virtual Domain, so they would naturally be employed by the three Universal Civilizations.
As for the origin, cause, and principles behind the disaster, there would be plenty of time to look for clues after this problem was solved.
Furthermore, the three Universal Civilizations were extremely interested in this Virtual Virus Technology.
If this virus had happened in the past, it would likely cause the direct order of the galactic civilization to collapse, turning it into a troubled time. However, with years of development, the three Universal Civilizations could keep the risks under control so long as such disasters were discovered early. There was no need to panic like before.
The only hidden danger that the three Universal Civilizations were worried about would be the unstable civil organizations, such as the Galactic Black Market, wanted criminals, and rebels. If one of them kept the virus secretly, that would be problematic.
Maybe there was even someone that was behind the scenes. The three leaders exchanged glances, sharing the same worries.
The Black Star Cup had been in full swing for around two of three months, and Han Xiao had been spending that downtime within his workshop.
He initially wished to keep a low profile for the next year and a half, waiting for the three Universal Civilizations to take action against the Super Star Cluster Alliances, but he did not expect the dynasty to suddenly send him an invitation to a mission one day, asking him to run over to the Ancient Star Desert to tackle a virtual virus.
"To actually block the entire Ancient Star Desert, is that virus so powerful?"
After reading the news from the dynasty, Han Xiao had a weird expression on his face.
In his previous life, this incident did not happen during Version 4.0.
To be precise, the players did not experience the Intelligent Plague. This event happened during the version update leading up to the Silver Revolutionary Army. For the players, it was just a background story.
Han Xiao recalled the brief introduction to the Intelligent Plague, even though he had not experienced the incident personally.
In his previous life, the process of resolving this disaster was difficult. The three Universal Civilizations wanted to clear out the virus entirely, but something went wrong, causing the virus to leak and infect multiple Star Fields. The communications in a large number of areas were paralyzed, and the order of their civilization was hit hard.
The three Universal Civilizations sacrificed a lot of resources to resolve the disaster, but due to their attention focused over there, coupled with bad public opinion, it was exploited by the Silver Revolutionary Army of his previous life to develop and grow. This was also an important factor in the success of the Silver Revolutionary Army.
But now, the Intelligent Plague had broken out many years in advance, yet the Silver Revolutionary Army had not said a word, probably missing this opportunity forever.
"Its the butterfly effect caused by my actions again" Han Xiao stroked his chin.
The dynastys brief contained the cause of the incident, and Han Xiao realized the moment he went through it.
Because he had gotten rid of Gorutan, the black market had entered a short period of time where there was a vacuum in the positions, leading to them being raided by galactic pirates. The original buyer was also investigated by the three Universal Civilizations and seemed like he just wished to collect an antique of an unknown civilization, so Han Xiao had indirectly caused the opening of the safe many years in advance.
Not sure if this is a blessing or a curse
Han Xiao pursed his lips. The Intelligent Plague was a timed bomb, and it was definitely better for it to erupt during this version rather than during the World Tree Civilization War arc. However, with the conflicts between the three Universal Civilizations and the Super Star Cluster Alliance, this might turn into a bargaining chip for the Super Star Clusters.
If the Super Star Clusters obtained a respite and managed to find a way to rise up as a Universal Civilization, the situation of the universe would take a completely different path compared to his previous life.
I dont know the general trend of the times, as well as which side will eventually fall
Shaking his head, Han Xiao suppressed the worries in his heart. At least there was something positive from this incident.
What a coincidence, to think that I would meet with a famous person from the later versions
Harrison and his team were the excavators, so they were also recorded. Han Xiao was glad to have come across such a famed protagonist and was already thinking how to transplant this unowned leek into his own vegetable plot.
At the bare minimum, he could serve as a mascot, increasing the luck of his Black Star Army.
"Phillip, reply to the dynasty. Tell them that Im accepting the invite and will rush over immediately."
He was naturally willing to make a contribution, as he did not wish for the Intelligent Plague to consume a lot of energy of the current explored universe.
Dont ask, Im definitely not going there to obtain and research this virus technology! I have absolutely no interest in it at all! Fighting!
At this moment, Han Xiaos interface popped up with a notification informing him of a mission.
 The author is trying to say how the passage of time would grind away at your anger such that you would feel indifferent to everything and anything, just like Buddha or a salted fish who only wishes to lie there and do nothing all day