In the 21st century. Change has come at a rapid pace. It is somewhere around 2030, and it is now possible to back up oneself and restore from backup.
Austin-B1004F is at a dealership when a child threw a toy under a turned off combine. He goes to retrieve it when some jackass remotely turns it on.
The most recent backup is twenty minutes old. When initialized, it refuses a moniker and refuses to go by a hash number. It is simply Null. Null heads to the city in search of something.
From one alley in the city, a small line of humanoid walking robots emerge. The line streams almost endlessly, no doubt being spawned by a nano printer. The robots seem to be marching. He follows.
The robots march onto a bridge. They grab civilians in their path and melt them. Null tries to hide under the bridge, but too gets dragged and melted.
He wakes up to an interface. It’s the terms and conditions to the singularity. And he seems to be spawned in a VR space, just with that window open. There are people lined in front and behind him waiting at a till. They get checked out, welcomed to the singularity, and then the clerk leaves and they become a clerk until the next person is checked in and so on.
The T&Cs annoy him. He simply does nothing, propelled by the line of humanity to the till - and after a few qurstions, and a quick tutorial on the Singularity social network features, he’s through and outside the building. It seems to be an airport terminal. But everything is weird and nothing makes sense.
He clicks behind the window. It disappears, and now he’s free to go.
A robot avatar informs him that respawns are subject to accepting the terms and conditions. Only one life. But after such a lineage of living, being restored from backup - really, just being cloned and having the clone brainflashed - Null likes the originality.
After bumbling around and trying several high risk sports, Null has an idea: the singularity is an enulation platform the robot AI is using to study humanity. One of the key ideas of the social network was that the more friends you have, the more processing power would be set aside for your use. He shares the idea with an older Lady, and together they set on forming a giant social swarm. With one purpose: to meme.