Over a thousand years have passed since the Singularity.
Ever since that soul-shattering transformation of the human condition, the Meridian Society has served shepherd to hale and decrepit alike. Transcendental, god-like and supreme, they oversee the entirety of human affairs within the 400 light-years radius of the Terran Expansion. They are the custodians of civilization, stratified in the aftermath of the first ascension, both exhilarated and wearied by the shifting of these strange, tumultuous times. They await the future with anticipation and dread. They know that their civilization is not the first to reap the dubious rewards of the ascension. The galaxy is littered with the remnants of countless cycles of birth and rebirth, evolution and transcendence, but nowhere have they seen the signs of others like themselves. Lonely in their godhood, they hedge their bets against the inevitability of the future, guarding themselves against the forces of their own ambition.
For everywhere they see the signs of empty progress — glorious legacies snuffed out by the tides of self-conceit. For countless others, the Singularity has spelled an odd undoing. Entire civilizations, drunk with power, have uplifted themselves into oblivion, transcending their own existence and leaving but a dwindling memory in their wake. The lessons of the last transcendence burning brightly in its collective memory, the Society fears its own ignominy will doom the human race to practical extinction — that they, too, will fall victim to the purifying sentiment that has overtaken so many before them. So within their creche of a thousand worlds, they wean their children of their own apathy and cynicism, striving to protect their progeny from a seemingly intractable fate.
Their days are numbered now. What has been will be again, and that what is left this time will be the only seed of continuance their species may rely on. The day is ripe for the Singularity to come again, and this time the price of transcendence may be our very lives.
This is the story of the end of humankind — and of the strange days that will follow.