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 The Monitor 
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Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:26 pm
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Unread post The Monitor
To: Cpt********.1465.UNSC.THESEUS
From: ISitInA.ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
Origin: ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
Received:
Sent: ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
Classifications: Captain's Eyes Only, Message Archival Allowed, Neural Net Upload Permissions Denied
Attachments: 4 (UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32A-A, UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32A-B-C, UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32C-5, UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32E-1, 43 Mb total)
Subject: The Monitor

Captain,

How are you today? I just realized, in all this time we've been talking, I haven't asked you how you were doing nearly often enough. I feel... kind of silly for not asking earlier. I know that it must be tough for you, but... Well. Know that I am in your corner, if nothing else.

Now, a little more about the ring. (We're getting close to done, I promise.)

A Monitor is not what we think of when we read the word. At least, not in the context of a Halo. It's very well-structured in later reports to differentiate between a display and a Monitor. A Monitor is an artificial intelligence crafted for the maintenance and operation of the Halo facility itself. It takes care of all day-to-day tasks, including defense.

From F484's reports, we've gained more intel than the direct observations of the people who were evacuated to the facility. He states that they exist in a strange in-between state from our Smart AIs and the Dumb. Though they have as much physical thought conduits as programming (much like the Smart), almost all of these conduits are somehow broken down from their physical state into raw data. In essence, at a normal operational state (no damage to the ring, no alerts, everything running smoothly) over 75% of its physical thought processes will be stored as data. Only when necessary will these be transferred back into their physical state.

How this is accomplished, naturally, is unknown.

However, this also means that those which are always in a physical state are constantly being used. Since the basic laws of nature were mastered but not bested by the Forerunners, this means that over time faults can develop. Consider that reportedly over 100,000 years ago, the rings were activated. This would leave plenty of time for just the laws of thermodynamics to take their toll on the Monitor.

For this reason, once every two decades a Monitor must enter a diagnostic mode. During this time, all processes are analyzed, all hardware checked, and everything that is still deemed in perfect operational condition is backed up. In between “checkups” the backed up data is further analyzed and strengthened. Should any faults arise, they are restored from the latest optimal backup. Failure to do so could result in “erratic” behavior and logic.

In other words, they could go Rampant, just like our Smart AIs.

It's kind of depressing that though they could master feats of astroengineering that make ours look like children playing in a sandbox, they still couldn't completely stop their AIs from going crazy due to the ravages of time.

During the time that humanity came to Halo, the Monitor was in one of these periods of self-check. Though the analysis was ended early due to our presence, it still took some time for the “lightbulb” to boot up.

I should also note that the most common report about a Monitor from those who were on Halo described it as “that annoying floating glowy thing.” When that descriptor makes it into official UNSC reports written by high-ranking officials, I start to wonder just how incredibly annoying it must have been.

Sincerely,

Chair

*************
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 the third encryption set. Below is the unencrypted message.
*************
A dangerous gamble, trusting her like that. But it paid off, didn't it?
*************

UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32A-A wrote:
Monitor: (FLATLY, ELECTRONIC) Diagnostic abort complete. Boot-up complete. Warning – after emergency diagnostic must be run from start.
(PAUSE, 9.7 SECONDS)
Monitor: (EXCITED, ELECTRONIC) Oh! There are Reclaimers here! No wonder diagnostics were ended. Goodness, I was worried that it was the Flood for a moment. Now, let us see what they are up to. (PAUSE, 4.3 SECONDS) Well, I wonder why they are choosing to reside in storage complexes instead of at proper habitats. Perhaps they merely do not know that the habitats were built for them! (PAUSE, 3.1 SECONDS) Then again, it was not assumed they would be so tall. I wonder what data has been collected so far. Language files have finished compiling... Seven languages? That is impressive. Behavioral protocol collection has been paused? (PAUSE, 4.3 SECONDS) This must be some kind of mistake. A Guide cannot possibly exist. I have yet to authorize the creation of- (INTERRUPTED)
(DISCHARGE OF M7 G/GNR)
(EXPLOSION)
F484: Mission complete. You'd better be right about this. I used up the entire battery on... Negative, I slagged this thing. Over.
Myung: (COMMS CHANNEL) Don't worry, a new one will be constructed from the old data within 48 hours. Get back here so we can talk in person. Over.


UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32A-B-C wrote:
F484: (OFFICIALLY) Area secure, ma'am.
Myung: Do you have to secure the area every time we talk?
(PAUSE, 12.6 SECONDS)
Myung: (SIGH) Right. I forgot who I'm talking to.
F484: How's it going?
Myung: Slowly. Quickly. I'm not sure. (PAUSE, 2.7 SECONDS) Here, I brought you some food.
F484: (DISMISSIVELY) Right.
(PAUSE, 6.8 SECONDS)
F484: So what exactly are you doing?
Myung: With the Monitor destroyed, the facility is opening up the previous archives for loading into the new Monitor. I'm using this opening to copy as much data as I can and insert it into my own databases. That way I can analyze it and see if I can figure out...
(PAUSE, 5.6 SECONDS)
Myung: (HORRIFIED) Oh god.
F484: What's wrong? A snag?
Myung: No! Listen to me! I don't have databases! (PAUSE, 2.4 SECONDS) I'm not supposed to have databases.
Myung: (NEAR HYSTERICS) I'm not supposed to be able to copy things to myself. People don't do that. Machines... Machines do that.
F484: (UNCOMFORTABLY) Hey, hey. Come on, Charlie. Come on. There's... You don't... Um...
(PAUSE, 4.3 SECONDS)
(HELMET REMOVED)
F484: Eh? Eh? See?
F484: (MUFFLED) See? ...Actually, this stuff ain't half bad.
(SOUNDS OF EATING)
Myung: (LESS EMOTIONAL) Only you would think eating would cheer me up.
F484: (STILL MUFFLED) And you get to see my face.
Myung: (STRESSED LAUGHTER) And the fact that you don't get any sun.
F484: (CLEARLY) I do. Fifteen minutes a day when in a secure location.
Myung: (INCREDULOUSLY) And an area you just secured doesn't count?
F484: This whole ring doesn't count.


UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32C-5 wrote:
F484: Don't.
Myung: (CONFUSED) Don't what?
F484: Don't take off your helmet. (PAUSE, 0.8 SECONDS) No, I don't mean it like... No, it's just that when you don't take your helmet off, I can sometimes forget that you're not a Golf-Three Orion-Four.
Myung: And that's a good thing?
F484: Yeah. It makes you one of us instead of one of them. I... I'm not explaining it right. I... Sorry.
(PAUSE, 12.4 SECONDS)
Myung: (CAUTIOUSLY) So, how do you treat a Golf three Orion?
F484: Well, whenever I'm with them, I always... I used to always either be helping teach them or telling them stories. It helps pass on experience to the next generation.
(PAUSE, 2.4 SECONDS)
Myung: (CURIOUSLY) So tell me an Orion story.


UEM-F484-U.MP.S-2A32E-1 wrote:
F484: So when I was done smacking the guy, I smacked him again.
Myung: (CONFUSED) Wait, how does that even- (INTERRUPTED)
F484: Don't worry about it. Anyway, there was another one coming up behind me. I was lucky enough to stick him with a blue, remember when I picked those up? It wasn't enough to kill him, though. Remember, when they're that highly ranked, they have insane shielding. But it did achieve two very important things. First, it hurt him. Second, it gave me time to get back into the 'Hog. The gunner was still trained on the grunts coming down the hill, so I decided to reposition it a bit. Two words: hand brake.
Myung: I think that's one word.
F484: Listen, which one of us...
(PAUSE, 13.7 SECONDS)
Myung: (FRIGHTENED) That's a cruiser!
F484: (ANGRY) Oh hell no! First those bastards take Reach. They are not killing us here!


Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:14 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:26 am
Posts: 76
Unread post Re: The Monitor
I'm almost afraid to ask, but... How did the mechanical will-o-wisp deal with the destruction of its predecessor?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hive, encode this:

"Who do I trust? Who should I trust?"

Also, if possible, try to convey a sense of looking over the shoulder.


Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:02 am
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Unread post It's surprising!
To: Cpt********.1465.UNSC.THESEUS
From: ISitInA.ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
Origin: ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
Received:
Sent: ERROR DATA UNAVAILABLE
Classifications: Captain's Eyes Only, Message Archival Allowed, Neural Net Upload Permissions Denied
Attachments: 0
Subject: It's surprising!

Captain,

It's like the little bugger didn't even care. It mentioned that a previous version had suffered a "catastrophic hardware failure" but beyond that, it didn't seem to mind too much. It just kept right on going, trying to find the Guide so it could resume its proper duties as a Monitor.

Of course, when it introduced itself to us, it made sure that we had no weapons on hand that could damage it and to tell us that it meant us no harm. Regularly. Apparently, every time it met a human, it announced this. Even if it had met them before.

Not that I could blame it, really.

Sincerely,

Chair

*************
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 the original encryption set. Below is the unencrypted message.
*************
Anybody who says trust me should not be trusted, naturally. Everybody has their own personal agenda in life. Find somebody who has an agenda close to yours, or one that helps out your own. But always remember, agendas change.
*************


Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:13 am
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