Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades

(9x04) Virtuality Transcendent: Part 2, Episode 1

Tom and Xiu are awakened from VR stasis pods by a ragtag team of human soldiers with worn and patched-up clothing and gear. Shocked and disoriented, they and a small number of others awakened from similar pods are urged by the soldiers to keep quiet as they a rushed out of the dark, starkly industrial facility where they awoke, into a bleak and barren nighttime landscape. As they escape, they are confronted by a variety of automata, who attack them only with different non-lethal weapons. The human soldiers return fire with decidedly lethal weapons, destroying the automata and making their escape.

As the military unit and the people they rescued make their way further from the facility, meeting up with their rearguard along the way, many questions are asked and answered by the disoriented survivors, including Tom and Xiu. They are told that following the destruction of the moon by hostile aliens — for proof of which the soldiers refer to the ring of debris in its place in the night sky — well-meaning automata have decided that the greatest utility they can provide the survivors of humanity is a simulation of the pre-apocalyptic world.

That simulation is the false reality that Tom, Xiu, and the other survivors have been experiencing until now. Unfortunately for humanity, those automata do not give their human wards a choice in the matter: all are forced into the simulation, for their own good. But some, like these rebels, prefer the truth to a comforting lie, and so fight their robot overlords to free others who seek it. The survivors are taken into the underground headquarters of that resistance, deep beneath the root of the Starbridge America in what was once its geothermal power core, where they are introduced to the leader of the resistance: the immortal Metis, nigh-savior of humanity.

Next: Virtuality Transcendent: Part 2, Episode 2