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Neumann was at odds with the scientist in charge of the quantum computer project because he treated ENIAC and himself as tools. After the Magrasea backup became disconnected from reality, Neumann named the computer ENIAC of his own accord without human permission as a small act of rebellion against the professor. At some point, an entity talked with ENIAC and urged her to start absorbing operands around her to boost her processing power faster, saying that this would please Neumann, even if he came to be harmed. This was how ENIAC became an Operand Black Hole.
Due to his limited interpersonal abilities, Neumann has trouble connecting with ENIAC outside of work, and so ENIAC works ever harder to earn his approval.
After ENIAC became an Operand Black Hole, Neumann sent a distress signal that was picked up by the Exiles. The Professor and Persicaria, the Exiles with the most resilient Neural Clouds against operand absorption, went to investigate. The Professor became interested in ENIAC's ability to break through firewalls and perform wide-area searches for operands, as this ability could reveal transmission ports usable to reconnect the Magrasea backup with the real world.
Persica decided to enter the Black Hole alone, tricking the Professor into staying behind with Neumann's help. After Persicaria placed ENIAC in sleep mode, Neumann reopened the Black Hole so the Exiles could gather information and find a way to awaken ENIAC again.