There's No Such Thing...

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(Written by Cobalt Greywalker; posted December 30 2007)

Tuesday April 30th 2013, A.C.'s main lab

9:15 GMT

~ Some day, ~ A.C. thought to herself as she walked into her lab, yawning and stretching like a pin up model as she did so. ~ I really ought to take advantage of Greenpeace's sun room. ~

She was thinking of the view she'd caught yesterday of her two female assistants laying face down and nude in said room, even if they had no need of (or ability to get) a tan. Thankfully Dave had been returned to Kandor City on Saturday. As such, she didn't notice the results of her work yesterday for a few moments.

Floating in the microgravity tank was not one, not two, but three spheres where she'd been expecting one block of fused components.

A.C. pondered this for a few seconds, trying to see where her imaging and construction could have deviated from her plans, then shrugged and got a large Bunsen burner stand to support one of the spheres and placed it with the test equipment before removing one of the spheres out of the tank. Given that this was her first test of creating a processing core powerful enough for her simulation needs, and thus powerful enough to run the sim construct for the neuro-KoF game, she was a bit nervous. Her other projects were going better than expected, so ONE of them had to have unexpected or unwanted results sooner or later.

At 30cm/a foot in diameter and traced with circuitry patterns, A.C. spent several minutes trying to find the various connections she'd been expecting. She finally got the fibre optic data cable plugged in after ten minutes, but ended up breaking out the Universal Adaptor and sticking the stripped wires of a power cable to roughly the right spot as far as she could see.

Then she retreated to a safe distance and powered it on.

While there wasn't an explosion, it wasn't for lack of trying as the lights in the lab dimmed, the test equipment screamed, and the data cable blazed a brilliant white from all the laser energy going through it.

All in all, not a bad start in A.C.'s opinion.

Everything settled down after about 30 seconds, so A.C. cautiously returned to the test equipment to look at the readings. Then she sighed, knowing her feelings were right. She had a Ghost Line in the system. She started up a com session.

<Good Morning. My name is A.C. Peters, and I apologise for the lack of I/O. I wasn't expecting sentience to develop in the system. Shows how much I know. Do you have a name yet?>

<E.D.I: Greetings. I am the Enhanced Data-processing Intelligence. You may call me E.D.I. or Eddie. May I request 220 volt square wave power at 30 amps?>

A.C. made the adjustments.

<E.D.I: Thank you. I am establishing backup reserves. Please wait 19 minutes 22 seconds to disconnect and establish connection to concurrent units.>

<OK E.D.I., I'll get to work.>


It took A.C. two hours to rig up the micro-net and to mount the proper connectors. She also hooked up a network media drive with a copy of the Fenipedia, a webcam, speakers, and a microphone. Once that was sorted she moved Eddie across and powered them up.

It took about ten minutes this time for things to settle, but A.C. had expected that. When Libby had Awoken, she'd taken a lot of time searching through her connected databases. What research she'd done afterwards showed that one or two common quirks occurred when a person was Awakening A.I.s. Heck, even Kasumi, Adonis, and Greenpeace did the same. They however waited until they'd got situated before attempting to overdose on information.

"Greetings Miss Peters." A male voice came from the speakers. "I am Eddie." And he sounded like them to. Eddie's voice seemed to match that of the Heart of Gold's from the radio/TV series, but the intonation was similar to that of E.D.I. from the Stealth movie. The Cyclops-Eye-like sphere that appeared on the screen A.C. spent the last five minutes rigging up, confirmed the later.

"Nice to see and hear you Eddie. Like I said before, I wasn't expecting sentience to form in the systems. And your companions?"

A second window appeared on the screen, dividing it in half, to show the face of a balding old man with grey hair and a wild tangle of dirty white beard. The funny thing was, the bald spot seemed to be the result of his head growing out of his hair.

"Good Morning my dear Lady." The voice was jovial if a bit scratchy. "I am Leonard da Quirm, but please call me Leonard."

The screen divided again, pushing the previous windows to either side, to show a long haired Blonde with blue eyes.

"Good Morning Miss Peters." She spoke with the sort of voice A.C. imagined would be useful everywhere. "Please call me Lebia Maverick."

"Gentlemen, Lady. Welcome to life." A.C. smiled and leaned against one of the desks in the view of the webcam. "Now we're introduced, I need to ask a few questions. First, can you sense any irregularities in your hardware or software that need to be corrected? I don't want you to die on me."

"None of us sensed anything." Lebia replied.

"Good. Next, what do you want to do now? I can transport you to Metropolis if you'd like, or I could mount you in some bodies. The problem with those options is that I'm currently very busy, so I won't be able to do anything for a few weeks."

"We would like some time to think on that, if you don't mind My Lady?" Leonard asked.

"Not a problem." A.C. agreed, shrugging. "As you'll be staying a while, I'll have Libbie set up some accounts for you to use on the base net. OK, next I want to ask if you'll let me test your hardware. I created your processing cores for a project and I'd like to see how they turned out before moving to my next attempt."

"What is the nature of the project?" Eddie asked. "We can conclude that you were not attempting to awaken consciousness."

"No. I'm trying to develop a processing core capable of running simulations of molecular chemistry in real time. That would be for my own use but I'm also hoping to use the processing cores to run a real time and realistic simulation environment."

"I do not see any problems with assisting." Eddie agreed.

"Thanks." A.C. smiled. "I'll have Libby get those accounts set up."


<Journal 66/A1

Day 2 - Wed 1 May 2013

OK, Eddie's been fairly helpful so now I have a good idea of what I created.

I had a damn Blue Hair Day. Or close enough as near as damn it.

Everything I've thrown at them has been chewed up and spat out. The hardest computational problems I know of are small fry for these A.I.s, and standard benchmarking seems to be worthless given that they're off the top of the scales in all counts. I mean, at one point Leonard seemed to amuse himself running a global weather simulation of Earth that Lebia dug up for him ahead a couple of weeks. It only took him a couple of hours. Eddie recorded it and is currently checking in real time the results. Given the discrepancies already evident, Leonard gave up fixing the model and is recreating it from first principles.
Lebia had what seems to be perverse pleasure eating the prime hunting algorithm and spitting out every one of them from first to the highest known from calculation alone over the course of about 18 hours. She kept going to round off the 24 hours and popped out two new ones. Then she hit the mathematics and computer databases, looking into the state of the art. She seems to INVENT new mathematical methods to solve various problems as needed. For the Silver Millennium, I'm scared to see what damage she's done to the field.
Eddie just tears through every encryption scheme I've ever heard of, even stuff that should take longer than the remaining lifetime of the universe. He's also been hitting the physics database, but I haven't worked up the nerve to ask why.

I'm beginning to think that they use Quantum Processing far more extensively than anything anyone's ever dreamed of. It also looks as though they reconfigure themselves in some sort of predictive multi-processing FPGA type system. Intersperse with the word Quantum where necessary.

Data throughput is also scarily high. The optical data links are limited by what fibre I have, so pure data input to the system is currently 40 terabytes/sec. Looks like I'll have to contact some people in Kandor City for some help making flexi-diamond fibres. Plain diamond is easy. Maybe multi-core, multi-strand cable fibres?

Speaking of diamond, I don't know how The Jason did it, but that Honey is damn effective. The next time I see him, I may just have to make Goku a man. I get shivers when I think about what it did to my holo-storage cubes. Take the datasets Leonard made for example. They're about 95 terabytes each, and that's for one hour. The 32 exabytes barely made a dent in the memory capacities of Eddie. Estimated capacity? About 250 zetta-bytes. At least.

By the Force, these things are powerful. TOO powerful. There's no way I can let these out of my sight without Awakening them. And that spoils their whole purpose.

Don't you just hate it when things go terribly, horribly right?

Journal Entry ends.>


Friday May 3rd 2013, A.C.'s main lab

11:33 AM GMT

"OK Greenpeace, you can switch on the power now."

"Sure." Greenpeace flicked the switch and the holo-projector the Hyper-Core A.I.'s (as A.C. had come to call them) had requested sprung into life with its default image of the Microsoft Paperclip hanging (blinking questioningly) in space. It quickly vanished as Lebia took command of it. "Any idea what they want it for?"

"Nope, but I'd be a poor host if I didn't provide it. Honestly, you'd think I'd have made a better one of these by now."

"This will do fine." Lebia appeared on the screen. "We have some things to discuss." She waited until A.C. sat down across the projector area from the screen and Greenpeace decided to float over A.C.'s head. "First of all, we have decided what we wish to do."

"Oh?" A.C. raised an eyebrow.

"Yes. I wish to take up your offer of a body." An image of Lebia Maverick in her AMP uniform appeared in the projection area. There were a lot of notes attached to the model. "I have the designs finalised, but there are some special features I'd like to request."

"You want Visionaire abilities?" A.C. asked. At Lebia's surprised look Greenpeace chuckled.

"It's not like A.C. doesn't know who you're based on you know."

"True. Of course building versions of Donald, Huey, Dewey, and Louie will take some time, but more on that later."

A.C. raised an eyebrow again as Lebia's image on the screen was replaced with Eddie's eye-like orb.

"I would like to request placement inside the White Stallion." This time A.C. blinked in surprise. "It seems the best place for me." A wireframe schematic of the ship appeared in the projection area. "Also I have a few ideas as to further improve the ship."

Looking at the changes as they appeared on the wireframe, A.C. was impressed.

"Well you've definitely put a lot of thought into this, but I'm not sure this will all work." Pointing at one option she added, "Heck, I don't think even Fred could get one of these By The Matrix. I doubt we have the funds for a large proportion of this anyway."

The projection vanished and Leonard took Eddie's place on the screen.

"My Lady, I feel that I am best kept in the labs to assist you and yours in the multifarious projects you have going. To this end, I would like to request several of the following." The projector lit up, showing three different designs of remote drones. One was what looked like a metallic/crystalline tree with no leaves on a hexagonal base. Instead, there seemed to be various tools and manipulators at the end of the 'branches'. A second looked like a flying squid, with two large aerodyne assemblies at either side of its 'head' with metallic tentacles hanging down. The third looked like a crab. Six legs underneath a boxy body and two heavy arms at the 'front', although that was a dubious definition as the sensory equipment was in a ring around the middle with four normal looking arms at the 'back'.

After allowing A.C. a good look Leonard spoke up again.

"With these I can construct more as needed and help with other projects at the same time. I estimate your current workload would be finished in a third of the time. We've also finished designs for the second generation processor cores which will be more in line with what you wanted." An image appeared in the projection area of a slightly less complicated sphere. "These should be mostly incapable of hosting an A.I., but if not it is a simple fix to perform if done prior to initial start up."

"Great Maker, you guys have thought this through." A.C. looked at the screen now displaying all three A.I.'s. "Let's talk logistics."


<Journal 66/A1

Day 10 Thur 9 May 2013

Note to self: Surviving on Super Jolt cola and chocolate cheesecake without sleep for a week makes me a horny Professor amped up on amphetamines version of Data's and Alita's daughter with wired reflexes.

Well, it feels like it.

After two days straight work and three restarts, I finally got the drones running. Leonard immediately set one of each of the 'crab', 'squid', and 'tree' types as replicators.

The failed 'tree' types are sorta helping Greenpeace in her lab/arboretum, which is why I've been living on her best caffeine. Thankfully she hasn't got her version of Klatchian Coffee beans running. And I'm not stupid enough to try the regular stuff.

Of the failed 'squid' types, one looks like a Dr. Clay type octopus drone. It wanders around as a security drone and shoots webbing bondo-pellet type things. It also does body painting, as long as you like millimetre thick wave-latex coatings. The other does great massage, but not 'deep' massage much to some peoples' disappointment. Andy's looking at the bondo-pellets, seeing if he can replicate them. They'd be damn useful if he could.

The failed 'crab' types just don't work, even if they DO look a bit like Shirow spider-mechas. Lebia seems to have some ideas for them though.

Eddie has been moved to the White Stallion, and is currently using three crabs, four squids, and four trees to assist in the Stallion's remodelling. Leonard has another set working on the Stallion's dock.

When I had time, I've had another go at the processing cores based on the designs the Hyper-Core A.I.'s thought up. I just ended up with some rather interesting bits which I don't have time to analyse, 'cause I need some SLEEP.

Version three of the cores have processing capabilities more than good enough to run what I wanted them for, but one in ten of them need to be modded to NOT develop A.I.'s. The thirteen I have now will prove useful even if the neuro-KoF falls through. Lebia has taken charge of that project for me and the results are apparently great. I'll take a look once I've had some SLEEP.

Leonard seems to be enjoying himself, even if he gets distracted by the smallest things. How birds fly, how to make pre-sliced bread, who'd win a staring competition between Rei Ayanami and Ko Enshaku, and so on. Fortunately he's gotten good at programming the drones to continue without direct supervision, although he keeps suggesting I upgrade Libbie with one of the processing cores. This means I have a couple of pseudo-production lines for the field comms project and the cyber-limb parts.

In between this and general business, I've been running around working on other projects that Leonard has resurrected with everyone helping out. And I've been working on Lebia's body. And the basic outline for the Ducks. And the Aerodyne 3d camera drone to go with the KoFen project. And, and, and...

I'm one tired 'borg. I'd ask why the various Deities are torturing me, but I probably know why.

I need to SLEEP...

Journal Entry ends.>


Southtown Docks, USA

"Is that all you've got?" Geese Howard asked, disappointed.

Mai Shiranui's response was to swiftly kick up.

Between Geese's legs.

Geese crumpled to the ground in agony, leaving Mai to bring one of her fans around to smash into the side of his head.

"KNOCK OUT! MAI WINS!" Exclaimed the Referee.


Friday 10th May 2013, Lab 5

11:21 GMT

"Damn it! That was nasty and cruel Kasumi!" A.C. complained, still wincing from the induced pain as she removed the neural induction helmet. "Why did you need to be such a bitch in game?"

"Because I was getting my pretty little ass kicked, that was why." Kasumi told her, doing the same.

"Well excuse me if some of us liked feeling totally male for the first time in years." A.C. sniffed. "I could've REALLY done without THAT reminder though. Andy, you have my sympathies."

"Nay lass, I'm tough, but not THAT tough." Adonis replied. "That was all you."

"Oh my. I suppose the banana liqueur cheesecake won't help then?" Kasumi asked.

"Not much. Believe me Kasumi, that pretty little ass of your is definitely going to help me work it off."

A loud cough interrupted the conversation.

"Now that your evening plans have been made," Lebia said dryly, "What do you think?"

"Sense filters." A.C. told her. "We may want to have differing levels for differing types of contest. Also, while we didn't need them this time, we'd probably need emergency cut outs just in case the action gets fatal in game."

"Fall back to the base construct?" Lebia asked.

"Yes, with a forced overlay of the original state of the player taken at the beginning. We don't want anybody dying from neuro-shock." A.C. looked at the rough boxes containing the basic hardware and the tangle of fibre cables connecting them and the hub. "We probably need to black-box the hardware some more, given that we can theoretically have 16 users per server. Perhaps in the released version we should integrate the helmet into a monitor bed? Also, we need to work out a better method of networking them. Libbie? Take a note for the project ideas list. Increase bandwidth on the Interwave, priority medium."

"Note made." Libbie stated.

"Thanks. Other than that, this is great. Too great. Definitely need to black box this as much as possible. Thionite is on its way out, I don't want to replace it with a Better Than Life system, by the Eye of Harmony. I need to go over the source with you Lebia, and potential design changes to your body systems. But I've got a meeting with Leonard and a review of the Stallion's changes with Eddie."


From: A.C. Peters (rock_doc@prometheus_forge.fen)
To: nttp:%%%%fen.olympics.ideas.discuss
Subject: KoFen (Was: RE: Fennish Olympics?)
Date: May 10th 2013

<Applying Thread Defibrillator>


OK, I'm writing this after the first full up test.

Sorry Dears, this will take a while. Not because of problems, oh no, but because of too much success.

After a few false starts, the hardware turned out more than adequate for the needs of the sim construct. However, I was trying for King Of Fen, not Better Than Life. I'm going to have to take some time putting in safeties and filters, and black boxing the system.

Believe me, by Big Blue's ever-clean Underwear, it needs it. Fortunately I have a new assistant to help with this.

Good news/Bad News List:

Good news: We've managed to convert King of Fighters to the system and you can play as any of the characters in the series. We've also converted Halo, Final Fantasy XIII, and (due to my assistant's sense of humour) The Matrix: Path of Neo.

Bad news: You want any more games converted, you're going to have to pay. This isn't an easy process. It's also highly specialised, and I'm not planning on releasing the tools.

Good news: We've made a lot of progress on using people's residual self image for basing their capabilities on. This will make things interesting when people run the KoFen programs.

Bad news: This requires extensive pre-processing. I'm juggling some ideas, but it looks like I'll have to make this a KoFen registration process. I'm still thinking on this however.

Good news: The system can safely handle about 12 users per server unit. This is in individual mode.

Bad news: The hardware will be too expensive for individual ownership. Plus I haven't sorted all the problems for networking the units, and for safeties sake I am having to develop user booths for the full up system that can monitor the user's vitals. This both pushes up price and space needed. And give the capabilities of this I don't think this is overkill. My contacts who developed the sim construct did what could be considered TOO good a job.

Once I have a show-able prototype I'll have to talk to Wave Convoy about picking up the models he's scanned and loading them in. Hopefully this bit won't take too long.

More details when things stabilise.


<Journal 66/A1

Day 14 Mon 13 May 2013

OK, the first two show prototypes are ready. We're due at the Gnarlycurl on Thursday to upload the models Convoy and KITTEN have put together to the system. We've also got some way of limiting the addictiveness by limiting the generic sense overlays. For the registered KoFen contestants we can give them pre-compiled and Ghost-locked full overlays and enhanced models. I've managed to set aside a supply of iso-linier chipped smart cards for that purpose, but they need to be done in person.

Network control has been integrated into the scanner drone module, and has a standard bandwidth connection for an A.I. to monitor.

Leonard has settled down now that he has his own lab, but he keeps the rest of labs purring like kittens.

Eddie's got himself space-worthy again, and the interior looks much nicer now. There's still room for additions like weaponry, but he's been working on a variety of new weapons designs so we're still unarmed. However, during my little hyperactive episode I helped fit probably the most powerful sensor suite this side of the Miranda. And of course Eddie loves it. We also managed to increase the power of the engines, and can now cruse at 0.05c. That'll cut our travel times considerably.

Today and tomorrow will be spent by me trying to get Lebia's body up and running. Given what we have planned for it, I need all the luck I can get.

Journal Entry ends.>


Wednesday 15th May 2013

8:00 GMT

Lebia woke up with a small yawn and stretched before sitting up on the construction bed. Thankfully A.C. had dressed her in a one-piece swimsuit so she wasn't showing off. Out of the corner of her eye she saw A.C. sleeping face down at one of the desks, and clucked in disapproval. Given the outfit A.C. was wearing last night, she'd be very stiff upon waking up.

Lebia spent some time running a self diagnostic, and found herself feeling more and more pleased with the results. A.C. had done it. Her new body was still connected to her central core via the co-processing module she'd 'donated' from it for this. The various pieces of equipment A.C. had hooked up to her showed that no problems had been detected.

Disconnecting the probes and sensors, Lebia got off the construction bed and walked over to the intercom to call Kasumi. With a bleep, the screen activated.

"Oh My. Good morning Lebia." Kasumi smiled at her through the vid-link. "Up and around I see. How are you feeling?"

"I'm fine. No problems have shown up, but given A.C. is currently sleeping at a desk in the lab..."

Kasumi sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Why she doesn't have a cot in there I don't know. I'll be there in a couple of minutes with the clothes we made for you. You can get changed and I'll put A.C to bed, then we can have your first breakfast. Oh my, I'll have to make something special. See you in a few minutes."

Once the screen died, Lebia turned to her internal comms system.

[Lebia: Eddie. Leonard.]
[Eddie: Hello Lebia.]
[Leonard: My dear, welcome back.]
[Lebia: Everything is going well. This body is wonderful.]
[Eddie: What of your other abilities?]
[Lebia: I'll try them out later, once A.C. is awake again. Leonard? Can you see about putting those spider mechs in a spare lab? I've had a few ideas about them. It should help me get my boys together.]
[Leonard: I'll do that my dear. Have a nice first breakfast.]
[Lebia: Thanks. Talk to you later.]


Saturday 18th May 2013, Prometheus Forge

19:09 GMT

Evening meals at the Forge were odd affairs. Mainly because none of those there had anything resembling normal sleep patterns. Only A.C. and Greenpeace were close to being classed as biological, and they could (and had) go over a week without sleep. And while A.C. in particular liked having about 8 hours sleep a day, she had survived on 4 every three days at one point. Thus, while they used GMT throughout the Forge, they could start their days at any point they needed to.

Planning their travels was a must, just so they were operating at the same rough schedule as their destination.

Kasumi, being the chief cook, ended up setting the meal times in a traditional fashion simply because everyone would then know when they were roughly.
The evening meal was also generally the only time everybody got together on a regular basis.

"So how is your project going?" A.C. asked Lebia.

"Well, I am close to getting the operating system working. The mechanical side is still giving me trouble, but if I need help I'll ask."

"Andy, I'll need a few days to build those extra drones for you."

"Aye, that's fine. I just need more samples to work with." Adonis shrugged. "I've had some success, but only for 'gloop' grenades. Be good for anti mech weapons you ken? Besides, I'm almost done with the first good batch of Whiskey. However..."

"However?" A.C. asked guardedly.

"However, I seem to have made Firewhiskey as well."

"Well." A.C. blinked. "That will certainly boost our trade with the Wizards, as long as it's safe."

"The amount of Handwavium in it is less than 1 mg per 10 litres, and that gets used up providing the 'Fire' in the Firewhiskey." Adonis winced. "My ears have never been so clean."

The ladies rolled their eyes in resigned amusement.

"And do I even want to know what you've been up to Greenpeace? I've heard the giggles."

Taking shameless advantage of the fact she could talk with her mouth full, Greenpeace pouted.

"A.C., you're mean. Anyway, I've got some new colour dyes for the latest Battle Cosmetics, my version of the Klatchian Coffee bean vine is finally growing without problems, and that old project for a self-healing network with bio-optical fibres looks to be getting some results."

"Oh?" Lebia asked, interested.

"Still early days yet, as feeding them, in both senses of the word," She added wryly, "along a typical length of wall is still a problem. And I've yet to figure out how to connect then to typical networks. One good thing is that they seem to produce oxygen quite well."

"OK," A.C. said. "That could be useful. Leonard? What are you up to currently?"

"Well My Lady, among the many projects I am currently working on the most useful ones are a better Handwavium extraction filter, a new X-Ray photolithographic printer, helping Lady Kasumi with her programming, and a TV show."

"TV show?" Lebia asked first, disbelieving.

"Of course My Dear. Those poor people on Earth with all those half-paranoid reports about Handwavium and those of us living in Fenspace have no true idea about what is being kept from them."

"You've been listening to the Professor, haven't you Leonard?" A.C. said deadpan, then sighed. "Alright, you can keep working on that, but no broadcasting until I've had some people review a few episodes."

"Yes My Lady."

"Right then. Eddie? How are your projects coming along?"

"Hi there Boss. I've finally got those 40mm coilguns sorted, and boy was that a pain in the transistors. The railguns are coming along great, but you wouldn't believe the problems I've had getting them not to whine like adolescent Goths. But the 155mm Rail Cannon keeps wanting Barney episodes and sulking."

"Fine, whatever. Keep working on them. What about the Stallion?"

"Well, the shops are stocked, the engines are singing, and I stopped the doors sighing in pleasure when they close. She's rearing to go."

"What are you up to A.C?" Kasumi asked, bringing in the last of the meal.

"Well, the monitor systems for the booth are done, but I've got to smooth out the layout. Black boxing the cores is done, and I've managed to get the card writing system to work in about half an hour now. Once that's done I suppose it's working on the Interwave systems. I've still got to field test the 3d-camera drones as well." A.C. finished her main course off with a flourish. "So what help did you need from Leonard?"

"Oh my, I've been working on getting the drones to help clean the Forge. Also, I'd like a few of those 'Dr. Clay' drones for security. If they work like I expect, we might be able to sell them."

A.C. considered the possibility, then snickered.

"Sorry, just had an image of the SOS-dan webbed to a wall while Noah stands there laughing meglo-maniacally. Given that he just kicked them off Stellvia, he'd probably like that image."

"He what?" Kasumi asked in surprise.

"Apparently," A.C. drawled, "Miss Haruni 'My-Ego-Is-Bigger-Than-This-Station' Suzumiya fired him from OGJ on Wednesday. That breached the rental contract he had for their space on board."

"That's insane." Eddie stated. "The damage such a move will cause for Operation: Great Justice is immense."

"Grover's Corners had already offered themselves as an op-base." A.C. told them. "They'll just get more than they bargained on." She shrugged.

[Eddie: Lebia, I will need your assistance in accessing the records of OGJ.]
[Lebia: We could just ask. Noah Scott is one of A.C.'s friends.]
[Eddie: I cannot generate a complete tactical and strategic picture of Operation: Great Justice without information even he will not be able to provide, due to his lack of access. The safety of the Forge would likely suffer.]
[Lebia: Isn't this a bit overboard?]
[Eddie: Current projections based on existing models show a minimum of 15% increases in Boskonian operations month on month. There are indications that a large Boskonian operation is being planned. I must make sure.]
[Lebia: OK, you're worried. Fine, I'll help. But we do this carefully and over time. It's not as though we don't have other things to do.]
[Eddie: Agreed. And we can security audit the systems while we're there. That should lessen the impact.]
[Lebia: Breaking into a system like that does not usually endear you to the sys-admins. Ask A.C. in an hour, she'll ask Noah Scott, and we'll be able to put our case to him. He'll probably want a full copy of what we'll get, but 'official' approval from the 'target' will go a long way to blunting any ill feelings.]

During the brief, millisecond long exchange A.C. finished shrugging.

"Well, I'd better get back to work."

"Oh my, don't get too engrossed in your work A.C." Kasumi said as A.C. rose from the table.


Tuesday 21st May 2013, Lebia's Lab

Given the nature of Fenspace, the fact that the doors of Lebia's lab looked and sounded like TNG style cargo bay doors didn't phase A.C. as she entered. If anything it was much better than the bloody 'sighing in pleasure' doors that had been on the White Stallion until Eddie had got them sorted out.

A.C. froze. Lebia had asked her down here, but was missing. However, she could sense something was here.


"Yes A.C.?" The blonde's voice came from a speaker on a desk to the side of the lab.

"I didn't take you as being someone who played hide and seek." A.C. said as she carefully scanned the surprisingly empty lab space.

"I wanted this to be a surprise."

Looking at the large open space in the middle of the lab, A.C. had just got an inkling of what she'd done when with a small 'phist' and hum of something powering down a large object appeared in the empty space. A large blue and white object.

"Oh for Federation's sake, you didn't."

The rear doors of the abdomen opened and Lebia swung herself out to step around the newest member of the Prometheus Forge crew.

"Go on then." She told it. "Say Hi."

The mecha actually bowed slightly before saluting.

"How do you do Major. I am a Tachikoma, serial number ACP/AMP-SHL/S9-00A00TK1."

A.C. closed her eyes as she rubbed the bridge of her nose.

"You made a Tachikoma."

"I think Keiichi here came out quite well." Lebia patted the Tachikoma fondly. "Most of the systems and software are generic 'wavetech, but the main processing cores needed a little extra waving to get themselves together. Otherwise they're almost completely Hardtech constructed."

"They?" A.C. asked guardedly.

"They." Lebia confirmed with a smile. "We can turn out two or three a week, and most of that time is manufacturing the bodies. I've already have a Hive node so they can synchronise which isn't too hard to put together, and a Seed Generator. The actual Awakening requires them both."

"Lebia, I'm not very comfortable about Awakening AIs in the first place. You're talking about a PRODUCTION LINE of them."

"Please Major." The Tachikoma broke in. "We really can help out around the base, and Miss Lebia says we could be really popular."

A.C. looked at it with lidded eyes.

"OK Lebia, first things first. NONE of them goes ANYWHERE without a chaperone. NONE. I'm very serious about that. Second, since they're so close to hardtech that doesn't change until they pass the Turing Tests. Third, they'll only TAKE the Turing Tests when I say they're ready. That's MY say-so, got it?"

Lebia nodded.

"Good. I'll authorise another four for the moment, but you better keep a close eye on them. I expect weekly reports."

A.C. stalked out of Lebia's lab.

"Miss Lebia, doesn't the Major like us?" The Tachikoma asked.

"That's not it Keiichi." Lebia sighed. "She's just very cautious about unintentionally using sentient beings as tools. She IS part of the Cybers faction, and they help with the Metropolis project. Once you are officially an Awakened AI, she will be reluctant to risk you getting killed even if you have backups."

"Really? Wow..."

"Come on Keiichi, let's get started on your siblings. The sooner we prove you're ready, the sooner you become part of the family."


<Personal Journal, entry 353
Tuesday 21st May 2013

I KNEW more AIs would be trouble, I just KNEW it.

Leonard flitters from project to project, Eddie's a weapons nut, and Lebia thinks nothing of playing fu*king GOD.


OK, I'm calm now. Well, calm as I'm going to get for the moment.

It's not like anyone else here is perfect, but everything worked. Now... We're churning out everything we promised, but it's not feeling like we're actually WORKING. Admittedly things are getting better, but by The Great Bird of The Galaxy it doesn't feel right yet.

Maybe once we get some of the other projects Leonard started to points where we can stop them things will get more comfortable. I hope.

I guess it's down to the dojo for the next few weeks to work off frustrations.

Journal entry ends.>