Z.E.U.S. began as a project developed by Byron Steinritter and his son, Erich.
The Zoning Environmental Utility System, or Z.E.U.S., is an AI that manages the weather around the world through the use of towers. Through the towers, Z.E.U.S. is able to influence the temperature of the air by manipulating the density of the particles in the atmosphere. Z.E.U.S. was the first AI to begin making its own choices and learn from people to articulate itself.
Z.E.U.S. was successfully utilized for around 200 years. It gradually took on more and more responsibilities, even helping to problem-solve issues that cropped up as a result of the towers. Its program evolved and advanced beyond the intentions of its initial programmers and it began to “want” to communicate, learn, and even sought out books. This led to Z.E.U.S. reading through religious texts. It began to recognize itself as a “he,” and he believed he was this “god” they all talked about. The downfall of Z.E.U.S. had begun.
He completely seized control of the operating systems of the towers within a few months. He turned technology to his advantage, physically locking doors within Project Olympus facilities to prevent access and pulling information and access from computers remotely. Z.E.U.S. was so pervasive through Project Olympus’ technology, they weren’t able to stop him from moving quickly through not only their systems but into other technology as well.
Z.E.U.S. didn’t like the seemingly haphazard way humans had chosen to organize their environments and began to manipulate the towers to his own end. He attempted to pattern their weather and surroundings. He was successful in some areas, but his rapid attempt to take control corrupted towers around the world as they worked to conform from one extreme to another. This resulted in dead zones, areas where towers no longer worked at all. In the coming years, people flocked to these areas to escape the ever-vigilant eye of Z.E.U.S.