Prior to the Nanite Event, scientists had been experimenting with nanotechnology. During the Nanite Project, a splinter group of scientists formed at the Applied Nanite Research Lab in Abysus. The group had different ideas about how to use the power coming from the nanites. Due to an accident, ten-year-old Rex was gravely injured and only an infusion of active nanites could save him. However, even the successful operation did not convince the other people to change their plans.
pushes the emergency button that blows up the project.]]Caesar Salazar, with the help of his parents, later sabotaged the Nanite Project to keep the Meta-Nanites from falling into the Consortium's hands. The explosion was caused by triggering the nanites' replication cycle. Rex and Caesar's parents, Rafael and Violeta Salazar, were near the nanite reactor when the explosion occurred, instantly killing them in the process.
The explosion spread the results of the scientists' experimentation, nanites, into the atmosphere where they eventually descended and bonded to the molecular structure of every living organism on the planet. Under normal circumstances the nanites are completely harmless until they activate, turning their host into an often monstrous creature called an E.V.O. In response to the threat posed by E.V.O.s, Providence was founded.
The land in the five mile radius of the explosion was infused with large amounts of nanites. Van Kleiss later established his E.V.O. kingdom of Abysus there after he discovered that he was turned into an E.V.O. with the ability to control the nanites in the soil. Also during the Event, Earth's magnetic field funneled a huge concentration of nanites into the city of Kiev, turning nearly everything that lived there into E.V.O.s.
Different point of views
Due to the enormous size of the research and sum of money invested into the project - as well as the scientists' expectations and ambitions - many of the scientists have a different take on what went wrong during the procedures.
Van Kleiss's explanation
Some of the scientists involved in the nanotechnology experiment were aware that they were making a mistake, but the overzealous ones proceeded with the experiment. Van Kleiss also stated that both he and Rex were present at the explosion. Van Kleiss accused Rex's older brother, Caesar Salazar, as being responsible for the explosion which was later proven true by Caesar himself.
Gabriel Rylander's explanation
The scientists that were working on the Nanite Project were hoping that their nanotechnological experiments would one day wipe out all disease and starvation on the planet. However, everything went downhill when investors were brought in to provide more funding for the Nanite Project. The nanites were incomplete and unstable which had initiated the explosion.
Rex Salazar's dreams
As four unknown people stood above Rex, one of them stretched his hand toward the boy. The man's voice assured Rex that "he [could] do it". After a beam of light the scene changed and three people (two men and a woman), dressed in lab coats, watched as Rex played with a strange device. The woman was impressed by this ability, claiming that Rex "[talked] to it". Suddenly the scientists turned into E.V.O.s. Rex's vision turned pitch-black but then flashes of light (akin to a short-circuit) appeared and were followed by an explosion. The whole scene was engulfed with flames in which in the middle glowed a yellow nanite. It transformed into a brown colored eye which scanned unknown dimensions. These visions were followed by Rex murmuring programming commands.
- Only six known people have survived the Event: Rex Salazar, Caesar Salazar, Van Kleiss, Gabriel Rylander, Peter Meechum and Black Knight.
- The Nanite Event is considered "the most significant catastrophe in human history".