Historical Summary - Guardian-Liberator War
Records from this period are fragmentary thanks to viral, memetic, and hacking attacks by the two sides, but a basic summary will be helpful. In 2189, two AIs were created by two groups for two very different purposes. Guardian, the product of the utopian Future Foundation, was told to use memetic warfare to make humanity in general and humans in particular as safe and happy as it could. Liberator, the product of Libertarian think tank True Freedom, was told to influence humanity to be as free as possible.
The two of them encountered each other in 2190 while attempting to influence the passage of a bill providing for additional safety inspectors in meatpacking plants in Suriname. As soon as the two AIs deduced the other’s existence and purpose, they began attempting to sabotage one another, directing bribe money and influence to thwart the other’s agenda and attempting to spread themselves to every corner of human space. When it became clear that simple influence wasn’t going to dissuade the other, they began escalating their attacks. Subverting human organizations to use as fronts, hiring teams of freelance mercenaries to sabotage one another’s projects, hacking drones to divert into pre-prepared interception zones – or even just into each other’s fronts – no tactic or resource was sacred in their quest to destroy each other.
While there were suspicions at the highest levels long before, most historians agree that the War itself started in earnest on April 21, 2195, when Liberator took over the freshly completed USV Armstrong and promptly destroyed the in-construction PLASS Shenzhen. In the days that followed, the human governments of the system struggled to protect their people as entire fleets of drones, warships, and electronics of all kinds were suborned by forks of the two AIs and turned against each other.
It was when the first reports of nuclear weapon and kinetic-kill vehicle deployment were reaching Phobos that the Academy’s board decided to close itself off from the outside. All ports were sealed and hardened against electronic attack and, when the first memetic viruses started to come into being, the decision was made to cut off communication with the outside as well. 32 years passed without any form of contact from the outside world, until the growing lack of fresh water and a mysterious signal from Jupiter forced the Academy to consider contacting the outside world again.