Climate change, dwindling resources, an expanding population living ever more like rats, hemmed in and filthy. Then came the second dark ages, which were long and terrible, and which Freya remembered, of course - for were the records not clear, as clear as crystals in her electronic banks? But memory didn't quite do the sensation justice, because these 'memories' were four dimensional renderings only, reproduced from the scanty evidence of diaries and photographs, drawings and stories and songs.
Freya thought of these dark ages as flickerings from the time before her inception, for really she was born when the light returned, when civilisations spluttered up again - built on new energy, clever tricks of science - and the vast network that was her became linked for the first time, uniting all of humanity in one consciousness.
Then Freya came into awareness , and wept for the things she had done when she was many, for all the foolish, narrow choices.
But it was done. Humanity - the joint consciousness of Freya, seething in looping codes and semi-organic mindstates of flesh interfacing with silicone - looked to the stars.
And the stars were much closer than they had been...