The year is 2022 and scientists have managed to revolutionize data storage by devising a way to store digital information as DNA at an affordable price.
The original idea involved converting the information to 1's and 0's and then converting it to DNA sequences as A's, C's, T's and G's. This new DNA was then synthesized into a liquid and could be stored as such until needed, at which time a DNA sequencer could turn it back into digital information.
This did, of course, cost an astronomical amount of money in the beginning but seeing the difference that shrinking all of the worlds data storage facilities into small containers could have on the world spurred several groups to dedicate their efforts to make it affordable.
By the year 2024, this dream was completed, and by the year 2028, it was affordable enough even for colleges to have them for students to work with before entering the field.
It was at Harvard University in America that a curious student working on gene editing had the odd thought of what kind of gibberish the machine would spit out if he ran the entire human genome through it as if he was trying to convert information back into a digital medium.
At first, the resulting information just looked like gibberish to him but after a few moments, he realized some of the mess of symbols looked familiar. He quickly did some searching online and found what he was looking for immediately. The information spit back out was incredibly similar to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics!
He attempted to load the resulting information into a translator but unfortunately, it came back mostly as a mess. Many of the hieroglyphs were only partially complete but he could see some options for what certain ones should look like. Attempting to fix all the errors that the astronomical amount of data that the entire human genome supplied though was well outside his ability, unfortunately.
Instead, the student notified the school who then notified the military, as this was clearly something big. The military took over the same day and both the student and the school were sworn to secrecy.
At area-51 in Nevada the government continued to run hundreds of human genome samples through the machine to confirm the information and every test came back with hieroglyphics and most sections were the same but some of the areas that had been incomplete symbols were complete in other persons genome samples.
The scientists at area-51 quickly set about gathering genome samples from as many varied people as they could from every section and culture of the world in an attempt to fill in as many of the gaps as they could before they attempted to make guesses. They even took the trouble to secretly obtain samples from the various protected indigenous tribes that lived on the various island around the world and in the Amazon and such, as their population had the least mixing.
Eventually, someone had the bright idea of obtaining DNA samples from mummies as well, as some of it had degraded over time but they do still preserve some samples and that would give them samples from the same time period as the language this was outputting in.
After months of gathering all the samples they could and continuously running them through and comparing the results to the rest, they finally had a complete set of information and set to work translating and making sense of it.
It took dozens of experts and two years of translating before they finally had a large enough section of it mapped out to begin to understand the message. It seemed to talk about being some sort of instructions on how to create some sort of new biological being through gene editing and cloning using human DNA as the basis and heavily editing it.
This was perhaps the greatest discovery man has ever made, finally hinting at their origins and even solidifying that some higher power or more advanced race had taken part in humanities creation.
Still continuing in complete secrecy, the American government spent the next 10 years translating the rest of it with the largest team it could assemble that understood the hieroglyphics enough. Since many of the things they explained did not exist to the Egyptians much of the information had to be translated by hand rather than pushing it through a translation program.
After 10 long years, they had enough translated and enough of the advanced terminology understood for what it was to devise a program to do the rest, as continuing by hand would take hundreds of years for this much information. The human genome is massive after all.
The program succeeded and the American government began the project and created what they called "Adam" due it being the first of its kind. When completed Adam had the appearance of a normal oak tree seed despite its human base.
The very second that Adam came into being however things began going terribly wrong. Massive amounts of unknown energies began appearing on the various monitoring equipment and Adam exploded roots out in every direction.
Area-51 was quickly overrun and destroyed as the roots took over everything and nothing seemed capable of stopping it. Steel doors, napalm, explosives, freezing it and anything else in its way was simply ignored in its relentless spread.
Its roots burrowed deep into the earth and it began growing into what was seemingly an enormous oak tree with its upper branches sprouting into the heavens.
When Adam had finished its growth it was now encompassing a 100-mile radius around the epicenter and its top had expanded all the way past Earth's atmosphere and into space itself before finally halting.
This entire growth process took only a few hours, giving the American government very little time to do anything about it or to prepare a response for the world.
Something of this size was, of course, visible for quite a distance and with modern technology was known to the world within minutes, but before panic could grip the world time itself seemed to freeze.
People could not move or speak, planes were frozen in the air, birds in mid-wing flap and so on - yet people could still think and were aware of the stoppage. It was during this freeze that humanity first heard the voice of the System.
A mysterious voice rang out in the minds of every human at once. Its language was not understood and yet people knew the meaning. Its words could not be remembered and yet the meaning was burned into their minds.
It was as if it was their own bodies giving them this information rather than an outside source.
"After many millennia Humanity has once again reached the zenith of its current evolution and the time has come for a trial to push it to its next level.
As was done when we initiated the previous ice age, the weak will be culled the strong will survive and innovation and adaption will be forced upon your collective race.
The seed of Yggdrasil has been planted and will soon bloom, spreading its children across the planet and bringing new possibilities to the human race.
New energies and materials will come into being to be utilized, improved upon and experimented with on your journey to the next level of your species while you battle for survival.
The creatures of the planet, however, will be affected by these energies just as you gain the power to utilize them. The energy will also condense and create creatures never before seen. These threats are what will truly push you.
Within Yggdrasil and its offshoots lie places to test the strongest among you and conquering the challenges within will allow you to advance on your way to ascension. Good luck humanity."
As the voice faded from the minds of humanity the being that was previously known as Adam, now known as Yggdrasil, suddenly shook as if in a violent wind. Suddenly from many of the billions of leaves covering the tree countless seeds identical to the first shot out covering the world.
Wherever a seed landed it quickly grew into a slightly smaller version of the original but still covering many miles each. A few were near the size of the original, some simply the size of an office building and all sorts of sizes in-between.
After each sprout grew they began emitting mana, Ki and other energies which fueled the growth of massive forests and plant life that soon took over the planet. Buildings had trees sticking straight through the concrete and out the top, vines dug through steel as they wound their way up and nothing stood in the way of this unnatural spread of nature.
Electricity and running water were now gone with the exception of extremely small pockets where the infrastructure was lucky and still ran to some areas or in the cases of a private generation facility that was spared. Humanity was brought to its knees in a matter of hours.
From this destruction, however, humanity will enter a new age - an age filled with magic, dragons, death, and growth - the age of Yggdrasil.