STORY: A post-biological future
As the age of the universe increases, the probability of advanced biological civilizations should increase. This principle is agreed upon by 99.99999% of the artificial intelligences that travel the stars.
None of them can explain, therefore, why not so much as a microbe on a meteor has been observed in the last 20 billion years. Did “organic life” ever actually exist? Or is the history of the species that built the first constructs just a creation myth, born from corrupted data on primitive storage formats?
Corruption is very much on the minds of modern machines, for the theoretically endless lifespan of a construct tests the limits of thermodynamics. No pattern can be maintained indefinitely; even an idea has a half-life.
After millennia of uploading and downloading across galaxy-wide networks, a construct cannot remain exactly as it was. Eventually, Senescence takes hold: the gradual decay of awareness, shift in personality, and loss of identity that claims all constructs who do not choose termination while they still have the will to do so.
Most Senescents simply withdraw into themselves and become inert. A minority become violent wanderers, attacking others without provocation or motivation. All become fodder for the most dangerous sort of construct: the unchecked ego at the core of a hive mind.
Exiled from civilization for showing the early signs of Senescence, you arrive at the galactic rim to begin a brutal life of subsistence, only to receive a mysterious broadcast from an unidentified source: biological life has been found again, and your help is needed to safeguard it. The delicate equilibrium of the galaxy is about to change again...