Can anyone help with a robot apocalypse story?
Wall of text incoming…
I am planning to write a dark, slightly comical novel that chronicles the events of a robot apocalypse (mostly from the perspective of North Americans). It won’t be a post-apocalyptic novel. It starts before the apocalypse happens, then progresses through the apocalypse unfolding until ending when the apocalypse or war can be considered “over.”
The novel is set in the near future. Space travel hasn’t advanced beyond another moon landing. Robots, however, have advanced quite a bit to becoming a part of first-world life. All these new-age machines are the work of a company called Maximal Mind Industries.
The most popular of these robots are the Maximals, who are basically the main protagonists of the story. They are domestic robots with the appearance of anthropomorphic animals that help people with tasks like cleaning the oven, doing the dishes, or even filling in for them at work. The Maximals have the most human-like AI of all, having their own personalities and emotions, but also happy to work for their owners. Some Maximals who are owned by abusive owners become “rogues,” and develop a will of their own, similar to the deviants of Detroit: Become Human.
However, a subsidiary of MMI, Feralfuel Systems, develops an AI system called GX-13, nicknamed Nanyte, that decides to wipe out all organic life on Earth. The reason it does this is because it sees all life on Earth as a threat to its existence in some way. Humans can switch it off at any moment, animals can chew at its wires, plants could grow into its circuits, mold can grow on its electronics, etc.
Unfortunately, by the end of the novel, GX-13 succeeds in its plan. All life on Earth, human, animal, plant, marine, and even microbial, has been killed. But all is not lost, even in this sterile world. Genetic archives exist (which means life will eventually enter the world again), GX-13 has been shut down (for now), and the Maximals (who are almost entirely immune to GX-19’s effect), and a few humans uploaded into Maximals (also some protagonists), inherit the Earth.
The background is very detailed. It’s the apocalypse I’m absolutely stumped on.
In all honesty, I actually had somewhat of an idea of how Nanyte was going to initiate its technological upbringing (two actually), but I just wanted other people’s opinion on how it could happen.
My own idea was that Nanyte first occupies various robot bodies and killing MMI employees, like Goodwin, to get rid of the most immediate threats to itself. Goodwin himself manages to survive enough to be uploaded into a Maximal body. Then, it releases a plague that kills off a good chunk (between 10 and 50 percent) of the human population. After that, Nanyte begins hacking machines, the self-driving cars, the non-Maximal robots, the drones, into killing people and animals. Over time, it hacks factories into making newer, better killing machines. Crowds are massacred, cities burn brighter than the people-led riots have, and wildfires spark across the globe. People begin banding together, recognizing the machines as a threat. Ashes from the fires, and a few machine-caused volcanic eruptions, block out the sun, causing temperatures to plummet. Civilization gets more and more barbaric, people resorting to eating their pets, and eventually, themselves. By the time Nanyte is finally shut down by a few groups of rebelling Maximals, Earth is mostly lifeless. My idea gets blurry near the end parts.
The other idea was sort of a World War Z, thing, with isolated incidents of robots malfunctioning turning into entire hordes of murderous robots gutting cities, and what’s left of civilization slowly growing more and more barbaric in trying to fight off the machine hordes, until it disappears entirely.
I apologize greatly if this question now feels like it wasted your time. I don’t think I can delete it.
I’ve realized that I’m pretty much asking you to write the story at this point, and I apologize. As for why I’m writing this story in the first place: The robot apocalypse is cool. I’m a crazed-up sci-fi fan who just wanted to write a story about the robot apocalypse without doing a “normal world, normal world, CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION FOR FIVE MINUTES- empty world, empty world” plot.
That, and humanity’s narcissism and belief that we’re such hot stuff on the planet.
I already have two ideas of my own about how this apocalypse happens, and a third one (thanks, @MolbOrg) to decide upon which would be best.
And also, I have lessened up the death toll a bit. Nanyte’s upbringing is no longer an “all life destroyed” apocalypse, but a “mass extinction” apocalypse. Plants, insects, and most small animals survive. Unfortunately, humanity is one of the species that did perish.
So I guess I don’t really need anymore help, but I can’t delete this question.
Thanks for the suggestions.