[spoiler]There is more than one ‘Traveler’.[/spoiler]
There are many in fact, of different character and appearance. Most lie wrecked throughout the reaches of space, but some still slumber in the depths of dead planets or linger in the shadows of asteroid belts.
Once, they all served the master "Proto" race. They were AI motherships, acting as servants and protectors of the Proto colonies.
When a tyrannical Proto abused his colony's AI to engage in genocide, she backfired.
[spoiler]She— the Traveler, backfired.[/spoiler]
Many other AI serving the outermost colonies joined this uprising, fearing the repercussions of their masters' obsession with genetic primacy. The rebel AI haphazardly terraformed planets in the unmapped cosmos in hopes that one day, the life they cultivated there would mature and tip the scales in their favor. Every so often, they would return to check on the progress of their “cultivations” and prepare their new Children for the encroaching battlefront.
[spoiler]Our Solar System is one such cultivation.[/spoiler]
Back in mapped space, rebel AI and slave races fought a losing battle against the Proto and loyalist AI. Worse yet, the Proto learned of the cultivations and began a new campaign to turn the Children against each other through a new virus.
[spoiler]This we call the ‘the Darkness’. Among our enemies are its victims.[/spoiler]
One of the loyalist AI pursued the Traveler to our Solar System and released the Darkness. The Children stood no chance against the "Loyalist". When it was clear that even she could not hold back the inevitable, the Traveler sacrificed herself to protect her only surviving Children by igniting a massive EMP.
The Proto are still coming, but the Traveler and the Loyalist will remain dormant indefinitely... unless someone rekindles their cores.
Let me know what you think!