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 Not ignoring you 
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Unread post Not ignoring you
To: Cpt********.1465.UNSC.THESEUS
From: ISitInA.ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
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Subject: Not ignoring you

Captain,

I just wanted to specify something. I'm not ignoring your earlier question. Far from it. I don't want to give you that impression for a moment. I'll give you the answer, but I know you won't like it.

There are no humans currently aboard the Halo.

That's the answer. The reason why, however, is infinitely more complicated. It's part of the reason why I'm telling you all of this. In fact, in a strange way, it's the reason why I've been telling you this story from the very start. The reason why there are no humans on the ring is tied heavily with the fate of F484. A fate that we were never 100% certain of. A fate that the trials and tribulations that you and your crew are going through are actually going a long way in solving.

So please, bear with me a little longer. We're getting there, I promise. You just need to hear the full story to understand and appreciate the position that we're in. Telling you that information about F484 is a tier-one priority, and has been for decades now... That tells you little. Telling you that he's MIA and possibly the most dangerous human alive is another. Explaining to you why while not getting myself in front of a firing squad, that takes time.

Now, back to what must be annoying to you.

The first encounter with Myung and F484 didn't go so well. Believing that this was some sort of Insurrectionist ploy to destabilize him or otherwise distract him, F484 returned to Delta Site and filed his report. He then proceeded to drink an entire bottle of mouthwash. Upon seeing this, the only Orion-I to make it onto Halo gave him a direct order to sleep. After an hour of restlessly laying in the cot, he received a shot to force him to sleep.

For the first time in months, he slept. For one whole day, he slept.

Upon awaking, he discovered that during each encounter with Park, his video data was corrupted. But only for the duration of the encounter. With that in mind, he began to do something that he hadn't done since he joined the Orion Program. He drew.

That bears mentioning for two reasons. Firstly, his drawings are the only data we currently have on what she looked like under her helmet. He made a plethora of notes as well. All of which were promptly ignored and listed as being the product of a delusional mind caused by a lack of sleep.

The other reason it bears mention is because it was, and still is, incredibly rare for an Orion-IV to display such “frivolous” pre-recruitment skills.

Reportedly, he rested for four days before going back into the field. During this time, however, he reviewed as many logs as he could without making use of a cram pack. The information gained about Halo was immense, but still had very little applicable information. There were theories and conjecture, but Orions are trained to have great distrust of such things. They prefer certainties, things they can plan based off of. That was why the Science Corps were created, to give them the ability to have such certainties in the field.

It was a frustrating, foreign, alien world to them. Quite possibly hell – Orions were never used for garrison duty.

Perhaps this week-long rest helped to forge his destiny. Reading reports, reading theories, analyzing data. Being bored out of his skull. Suffering from having his adopted home of Reach being destroyed.

And, perhaps most importantly, giving Myung time to make her own decisions.

Sincerely,

Chair

P.S. I wish I could give you the image, but that's so insanely protected it isn't even funny. He never was a great artist to begin with, though, and the Kavacha armor didn't improve matters any. Still, the impression that it gives...

*************
Note by Hive: Captain, I have encountered additional encrypted data within this message. The encryption keys are old enough to be added to my own databanks upon my creation due to our frequent status in the outer regions of humanity's occupied zone, in case we encountered any of the number of missing ships from the war. It utilizes a third, new set of encryption protocols. Below is the unencrypted message.
*************
All these years we've been preparing for this contingency. How does that make you feel? Are you capable of feeling? Or just response?
*************

UEM-F484-U.MP.S-227634-A wrote:
F484: (QUIETLY, TO HIMSELF) And there goes video. Let's try this.
F484: (LOUDLY) Olly Olly Oxen Free! (PAUSE, 5.3 SECONDS) Come out, come out, wherever you are!
(PAUSE, 19.5 SECONDS)
Myung: I should have known.
F484: (BLANDLY) I'll take that as a compliment.
Myung: You're book smart and handy with a gun. I wanted to see if you were useful in other ways.
F484: My IQ was listed as two-one-zero and my AQ was listed at two-one-niner. Several years ago, and both have gone up since. Why? What is it that you want from me?


UEM-F484-U.MP.S-227635-D wrote:
Myung: (SADLY) I lied earlier.
F484: (FLATLY) You don't say.
Myung: No, before that. (PAUSE, 2.3 SECONDS) It wasn't a solar monitoring station.
(PAUSE, 9.4 SECONDS)
F484: (UNCOMFORTABLY) What was it?
Myung: It was a behavioral analysis and configuration center.
F484: (CURIOUSLY) For what purpose?
Myung: This makers of this facility knew that some day the Reclaimers would come here. But they had no idea what the Reclaimers would be like. So they... (PAUSE, 1.6 SECONDS) Analyze and configure. The Monitor was supposed to help from afar until a Guide could be crafted.
(PAUSE, 6.5 SECONDS)
Myung: (REGRETFULLY) I was... exploring. On my own. You noted the facility due to the amount of interference it was creating. So did I. I came to investigate it when our blue friend showed up. Unlike you, I didn't have anybody to help me escape.
(PAUSE, 8.1 SECONDS)
F484: (UNCOMFORTABLY) How did you escape?
Myung: (SADLY) I didn't. (PAUSE, 2.7 SECONDS) The armor's good, I played dead after he stabbed me and dumped me into the pit. I barely survived that – the hydrostatic gel was barely working. But I'd figured out how to interact with equipment here, better than you guys have. Biofoam wasn't helping much, and I knew that I didn't have long. I... (PAUSE, 1.2 SECONDS) I didn't want to die, so I did the only thing I could think of to stay alive.
F484: You became this guide thing.
Myung: (BITTERLY) Instead of crafting an AI to assist you, I had it use my own brain to create an AI, with all my personality, memories... everything. I hope.
F484: (CURIOUSLY) Like a smart AI?
Myung: (DARKLY) I hope not.


Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:37 pm
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Unread post Re: Not ignoring you
Chair...

Are you...are you telling me that Myung used her own brain to create an A.I. in her image with the armor as a...shell or enclosure or something? Does that mean that somewhere out there, there is an automaton set of Kavacha armor manned by an Insurrectionist smart A.I.?

Or am I missing something?


Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:41 pm
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Unread post Scared yet?
To: Cpt********.1465.UNSC.THESEUS
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Subject: Scared yet?

Captain,

Yes and no.

I'm saying that there's a suit of Kavacha armor being worn by a smart AI made from an Insurrectionist that has access to technologies that many of us have a hard time comprehending running around out there. The way we both phrased it have subtle differences, but important ones.

Time changes a person. We both know this. We still aren't sure how the process changed how she thinks. We still aren't sure how time may have changed her. We still don't know so very much, but we do know one thing.

Fear. That's why my job is so important. She was there for what may have been F484's last moments. We have theories, so many theories, but we also don't have enough time to follow them all. So we keep me on ice, to analyze anything that has to do with F484 or her that may pop up. Because in this one matter, it's the human element that needs to be watched the closest.

F484 appears to have teamed up with her initially out of desperation. Trapped on an alien world, he may have seen her as a possible way to escape. If the two became friends or not is still up to debate. Desperate times make strange bedfellows, after all.

An Orion and an Insurrectionist being friends... Almost enough to make you want to get your brown pants alone, isn't it? Add in the other stuff, and the things that I haven't told you yet, and HIGHCOM is very interested in what's happening to you, indeed.

Sincerely,

Chair


Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:13 pm
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Unread post Re: Not ignoring you
Chair,

Alright...that's a lot to take in...but just tell me one thing:

If it has been proven that a set of Kavacha armour can be autonomously manned by a smart A.I. which is obviously sophisticated enough nearly perfectly mimic a human being...then why bother putting living people in the suits at all?


Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:22 pm
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Unread post I for one...
To: Cpt********.1465.UNSC.THESEUS
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Subject: I for one...

Captain,

Has anybody ever told you that you ask very good questions that don't have simple answers?

Oh, once we encountered her, we considered it. But our intelligence indicates that she was a normal human before her time on Halo. She used the technology there to become an AI. While our AIs could operate a modified suit of Kavacha, we found that it wasn't nearly as efficient. As well as a few other things.

AIs can go rogue. It's rare, but it happens. Logic faults, bad choices in people to use as the base... Countless things can go wrong. We weed probably 99% out, but it's that 1% that worries us. Imagine, say, an AI made specifically for combat and infiltration. Give it the best cracking software ever to make sure it gets all the prime data from Innies. Have it do the nastiest wetworks. Now have it go rogue.

Or imagine the enemy capturing it. We had the Cole Protocol for a reason.

Also, we've found that the unpredictability of human nature goes a long way into assisting soldiers. Instinct, hunches, those little things that the superior processing of an AI will never have. Ever felt like somebody was watching you and found out you were right, even though you never saw them? An AI won't do that, sadly. They may have leaps of logic that approximate intuition, but we've never found a way to match it to an experienced soldier's level.

Believe it or not, there's evidence to suggest that this may be because of a lack of biological processes. I'm not an elitist; I can name every smart AI I've ever worked with, and remember them all fondly. Even the annoying ones. But there's a randomness caused by what we eat, hormonal shifts, genes activating and deactivating... Cognitive Impression Modeling just doesn't capture all that.

Another note is that the AI would have to be a smart AI. Somebody would have to die for it. Do you know the high demand for an AIs these days? Do you know how many people sign the pretty paperwork to have their brains used for an AI? Some soldiers, yes, but it's mainly the destitute. The people hoping that in death they can help their families, since they can't get life insurance.

However, these people can also have issues which would negate the use of their brains for Cognitive Impression Modeling. The first is a viable skill base to start with, naturally. Low intelligence and application scores, a history of narcotics abuse, even their psychological makeup and personal history might disqualify them from service.

How many AIs would we have to make from soldiers that would be better suited for other tasks? Soldiers who are willing, still stable, no great mental defects, nothing that would disqualify them from being used? Who wouldn't be better suited for logistics or a thousand other roles than devoted to combat if converted?

Numbers limit it as much as anything. Time, lifespan, how many are available... Trust me, numbers are important.

Finally, the last reason is the most simple. We're humans. We respond better to humans doing the fighting than a machine. AIs may be familiar to us, but we'll never welcome robot overlords. The idea of an AI doing the fighting for us will never be palatable. UAVs are acceptable, because we've been arranged to think that there's always a human in the background watching and controlling. And because they don't take a human form.

The last one is more important than you might think.

Simply put, it's always been a possibility, but the devil is in the details. Always.

Sincerely,

Chair


Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:56 pm
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Unread post Re: Not ignoring you
So let's talk in a few hypotheticals here, Chair.

First, if Myung did become this...guide thing that you're discussing, would she take on other attributes of a smart AI, like lack of gut-feelings, or do reports suggest that the technology on Halo was better than that?

Second, you count Myung and F484 as friends. In terms of relationships, would you say that anyone else got that friendly with F484, or was their friendship especially exclusive? You suggest they were together at his death, but would there have been anyone else that may have occupied that place in his head?


Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:21 pm
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Unread post Friends
To: Cpt********.1465.UNSC.THESEUS
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Subject: Friends

Captain,

F484 had plenty of friends, so to speak. Almost all of them fellow Orions. There were a few AIs he counted as friends, but none of them made it off Reach. Only a few soldiers. No civilians. It's hard for other soldiers to relate to Orions and visa versa. Even harder for civilians. They just lived in different worlds, as sad as it sounds.

All in all, counting AIs, he had a total of nine people he considered friends, not counting Orions. It's hard to gauge with them. He didn't like all Orions, and not everybody liked him, but that didn't stop them from socializing. The term "friend" gets more blurry as time goes on when it comes to Orions.

As for Myung, we believe they formed a friendship. His feelings towards her are still not completely known. She may have just been an ally or a tool. We believe that she formed a friendship with him. We hope that she formed a friendship with him. Because that first question?

We have no idea. Alien technology is just that... Alien.

Sincerely,

Chair

P.S. I'd also like to remind you, we aren't sure that he died. In fact, there's strong evidence, frighteningly strong, to suggest that he's still alive despite it all. Your crew have encountered just a portion of it.


Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Friends
Chair, thank you for this information. It's been invaluable to a second puzzle I've been working on. I may have it worked out, and either way, I intend on informing you about the details of this puzzle shortly.


*******
Hive, we're going to give this one more shot. Again, on the latest encryption style that we've most recently received:

"Myung, I know it's you. I know that you're trying to contact F484. I am too, but know this; I have reason to believe he's also trying to contact us. You knew him best, tell me what to do."

It feels like that old board game, CLUE. Have you heard of it Hive? It's an educated guess, but it could either significantly complicate things, or blow this case wide open.


Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:09 pm
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Unread post Re: Not ignoring you
bzzt! I was not familiar with the game until I asked Helen. A murder mystery game! Can we acquire one for the ship? I'd like to see the crew play it during their off hours.


Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:40 am
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Unread post Re: Not ignoring you
No problem Hive, after we deal with these anomalies on our ship.

Of course, if at any point of time you can spare the resources, feel free to help yourself to getting them under "Recreational", if you get what I mean.
;)


Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:33 pm
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