The Blink is a pivotal historical event in the history of The habitat. It is first referred to by Alice in Comic 70. Alice claims to be a first-hand witness of these events even though, based on the age of the Night Walker, they occurred tens of centuries previously..
Background Events Edit
According to Alice, the events leading to The Blink began with the creation of the first sentient AI. Human society had, in the previous time period, become increasingly polarised into two factions, one embracing the use of technology to improve the world and one believing that the only sustainable future was through the use of biological means. The creation of AI and the attempts made to integrate the resulting synthetic life-forms into broader society triggered a bloody series of conflicts. Alice states that these conflicts lasted many years and claimed millions of lives.
Alice claims to have been 'a weapon' once. It is entirely possible that she was created by one of the factions as a super-soldier of some type. Images in Comic 84 strongly imply that Alice was either a witness to or even a participant in catastrophic human rights abuses at some point in her past and the major conflict at this point in history is the logical time in which this could have happened.
Alice says that the actual events she refers to as 'The Blink' occurred "in an instant".
Afterwards, the AIs, the armies who had been fighting over the future direction of human society and their war machines had all vanished. Also gone were the pollution and artefacts arising from war, industrialisation and all but the most basic technology. Alice states that any technology beyond the most basic types stopped working, irrespective of its condition, for some unidentified reason.
The human race was also divided. A large number, those of the pro-technology factions (presumably including Ardent and Gavia's ancestors), found themselves relocated to space habitats that Alice describes as appearing to those still on the planet as "thousands of new stars". Those of the anti-technology faction found themselves living on a world that Alice describes as having been 'edited', regressed to a pre-industrialised condition in which advanced technology had become unworkable.
Given Gavia's insistence in Comic 49 that true sentient AIs are impossible, it is clear that the AIs created before The Blink were not sent to the same place as pro-technology humans. Their ultimate fate remains unknown at this time.