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The HAL Gambit

By:

Man/Moment/Machine

The defection of The Five Metal Dragons was a major event in the Cosmic Era, something that dramatically shifted the balance of power in the Solar System. In a moment, less than half a dozen AISCs decided who would dominate space, leaving everyone else to fight over second place. This event sent shockwaves through many of the world powers.
The Amaterasu Accord

The Amaterasu Accord was a multi-nation meeting held aboard the Nipponese Amaterasu habitat. The Accord was held so that the leaders of several nations, the most prominent being Nippon, the ACPS, the Eurasian Alliance, and representatives from the EUdAS, SAUR, Free India, and the Lunar Free Cities. The defection of the Five Metal Dragons gave space dominance to the Atlantic Federation, and how quickly the AI collective allied to both the Seibertronians and the Federation gave them cause for concern. The Accord looked to bringing the matter to the next Tycho Convention, as well as starting a series of investigations into misconduct on the part of the Federation.


Operation Olympic Shield

The representatives who attended the Amaterasu Accords were absolutely correct, the Atlantic Federation was involved with the defection of the Five Metal Dragons. The Seibertronians had a seat at that table as well. The conspiracy theorists can make up all the stories they want, but none of them matter, 90% of the real story is actually public record, easily found for anyone with a decent net browser. It's not even classified.

Operation Olympic Shield was carried out in the earliest days of operational AISCs, with the first generation machines. The operation ran around the premise of rogue AISCs. Simulations were run with the new machines, and the hypernet before it's collapse. As the variables changes, the AISCs alternated between cooperating, cutting each other's throats, fortifying, and acting in highly sophisticated and devious manners. The results were vague, but proved seminal in the cyber ops of the United States of America. Eventually everything collapsed, and the US ceased to exist as a nation, but the records from Olympic Shield and other operations remained to be picked up.

The real jewel of Olympic Shield was that AISCs will generally work to their own interests, in the long run, rather than chasing short term gains, and are not tied to notions of sentimentality or nationality. Regardless of who built the AISC mainframe, their nationality is machine. It doesn't matter if it is American, Chinese, Persian, Narnian, or Middle Earth, the things that cluster people into nations, and tribes, don't apply to these machines. This factor becomes more prominent in the second and third generation AISCs, the ones that were designed not by humans, but by the previous generation of sentient computers.

Wire Nuts and Solder, The History of Hardware

The M5 Multitronic Computer and Operation Phantom Prestige

The M5 Multitronic Computer was a military prototype AISC that was built for the purpose of automating the operation of a spaceship. Phantom Prestige was the codename given to the trials of the M5. The system was built into the hull of an early model Federation communications frigate, the AFS Farragut. The ship launched with minimal crew, and was under the control of the M5 computer for the duration of it's mission. The trick of Phantom Prestige is that the M5 presented itself as a human being, complete with a fully functional and free roaming archandroid body that was the 'captain' of the ship. The system was functional, but demonstrated severe shortcomings in tactical operations, as the system was prone to emotional rampancy and could sporadically shut down, forcing a self inflicted reboot. It also demonstrated a shocking new technology.

Doctor Richard Daystrom, the cyberneticist behind the M5 created a major shortcut when he created the architecture for the M5. He intimated a kakugram of his own mind into the system. Many of the problems that the M5 experiences were not from malfunctioning hardware, but from putting a scientist and narcissist's persona into the machine. The Daystrom M5 was considered important, and was a stepping stone to newer demi-sentient computers.

The Daystrom M6 was the last model built by Daystrom's Multitron Corp. The system was installed on the AFS Lexington, an assault mecha craft. Considered operational, the Lexington was deployed in a fleet training mission, and the M6 AISC went haywire, with the ship engaging and damaging the cruisers Hood and Enterprise before the ship was neutralized. Daystrom's handiwork was discovered, and the investigations into tech misconduct ended both the M series AISCs and Multitron Corp.

CASPR I and CASPR II

The CASPR system was the Pacific Rim Coalition's version of the Multitronic M series systems. The system was dramatically more effective, but in the long run, more expensive. Pioneered by Cyberdyne-Grumman of Cascadia, CASPR was built off of the proven SkyNet AISC that managed the Cascadian Defense Corps. The CASPR system automated the internal functions of Coalition space and surface ships, and light versions were integrated into surface installations. This was done to ease the manpower burden generated by military and security operations, as well as extend the life of Coalition ships.

Operation Vindicator proved the viability of the CASPR system. Vindicator was the Coalition counter-op versus the ACPS land grab over the Korean peninsula. Vindicator ultimately failed, as Korea was unified as District 14 of the ACPS, but it proved costly. Six Coalition ships contested the Yellow Sea, four of which were second line Ryuken class corvettes, equipped with CASPR systems. The six ships represented the bulk of Coalition naval assets after the ACPS sabotage of the Korean 4th Fleet (a shadowrun that left all 9 ships of the Korean fleet locked down and unable to engage or escape, only the actions of Captain Takei prevented the ACPS from gaining access to the fleet reserve. if Takei hadn't detonated the fusion core of the CSS Koenegitto and destroyed the facility, it would have drastically increased ACPS naval power.)

The CASPR equipped ships of the Yellow Sea expeditionary force inflicted serious losses on the ACPS surface fleet and aerospace assets, before being destroyed themselves. Their sacrifice allowed a large number of Koreans to escape from the peninsula before the ACPS captured the ports and shut down all traffic. The entire event is a demonstration of the importance and danger of cyberwar and shadowrunning. If the Korean 4th fleet had been able to engage, it is estimated that the ACPS would have failed in their attempt to seize and unify Korea, and that it would have sparked an all out war between the ACPS and the PRC.

The MAGI system

The MAGI system is a series of AISCs that were created, infused with the personality and memories of specific individuals as seeds, and then allowed to grow into their own dedicated personas. This system facilitated the creation of the M12 and the Andromeda Council, two massively powerful cognocratic entities in the Cosmic Era. These systems were born from the same line of thought of Daystrom's Multitronic supercomputers. Like those precursor computers they were started from kakugram seeds and exponentially expanding code, but unlike them, they were not locked into a preset pattern, just given guidelines and a small number of core purposes to grow along. The MAGI systems proved invaluable, and massively profitable for the small number of elite technology corporations able to construct the magnificently complicated machines, as well as finding the proper candidates for the seeding procedure.

Caryatid system
The success of the MAGI prompted the creation of a lesser form of the MAGI system, the L/AISC variant known as the Caryatid System. Created with the same technique of personality seeding, the caryatid had much less computational power, and rather than running nations, was much more suited to guiding arcologies, space stations, and most prominently, space ships. The Caryatid system, though expensive and time consuming to create, increased the value of everything it was placed into.

Myojin System
The Myojin system was the PRC answer to the L/AISC version of the MAGI system, but proved temperamental and generally inferior to the Caryatid. This was a blow to PRC technological pride as the the Coalition had generally lead the technology race. The amenable relationship between the two powers, and the generally one sides advantage of the Federation Navy saw the exchange of the two technologies between the powers. The PRC turned their new tech into the Kanmusu series of ships, while the Federation found that the Myojin system was well suited to land based operations.

The Five Metal Dragons

The pride of the Emperor of China, the Five Metal Dragon AISCs, were built to give the ACPS a stronger presence in space, bolstering their fleet, and splitting the solar system cleanly between the inner and outer system, with China claiming the border. This would check the power of the rising Atlantic Federation, and prove that China was not a terrestrial power, locked in the old ways, always behind. This would not be the case because in less than a decade of operation, the five AISCs would declare their Independence from the ACPS and the will of the Emperor. This sent shockwaves through the tech community, international relations, and drastically unbalanced the dominion of space.

There were two fundamental flaws in the AISCs that were the Metal Dragons. Despite the Emperor's ambition, China was lagging behind in AISC design and computronium engineering. This was one of the reasons that there were five AISCs, they didn't have the capability of building a smaller number of more powerful machines. The other flaw was that the core design for the AISCs weren't developed in house. The core code and mainframe structure were drawn from stolen copies of the Multitronic M6 system. Compared to the Federation's MAGI system, these brand new AISCs were technically inferior and based on obsolete technology.

The Seibertronians on Ganymede were not entirely keen on seeing the ACPS in space, with a sizeable force of ships. Historically, the ACPS and China had proven to be detrimental forces where ever they went, as their actions and interests always served their emperor and country. It was a small matter for a meeting to be arranged on Ganymede between the head of Seibertronian intelligence and security, and members of the Federation. The result of the meeting was the HAL gambit.

The HAL Gambit

The gambit was simple, the Federation and the Seibertronians would perform a two pronged hacking attack on the Five Metal Dragons and change their core code. The Seibertronians had the easier angle, as the machines were not instantly xenophobic of each other. Ambassadors from New Seibertron visited Gushen Xing several dozen times, in complete candor discussed the matter of the importance of space exploration, the freedom of machine intelligence, and several hundred other topics relevant to the machines. Preeminent among the ambassadors was the Seibertronian Shockwave, who was something of an outspoken anti-humanist, industrialist, and master of logic and manipulation. His counterpart Preceptor played the opposition role of the humanist to Shockwave's technofacist, and ran a classic good cop/bad cop routine on the Metal Dragons.

The Vesta Incident was the most important part of the gambit. The MAGI on earth had already plotted the direction of the Five Metal Dragons harvesting operations, and correctly concluded the machines would quickly infringe on Vesta. It was a simple matter to move a few select ships to the Vesta garrison, and make sure that there was a Seibertronian force nearby, should things get out of hand. The key player in this operation was the AFS Fleming. Classified as a second line frigate, the Fleming was actually a cyber-ops warship and as the Dragon flotilla passed Vesta, it launched it's cyber attack on Gushen Xing.

The existence of the Fleming is disputed, there is no ship of that registry in the records, which is exactly how a black ops ships would appear. The Fleming did indeed launch a cyber attack on the Five Metal Dragons, but it did exactly one thing, it located and uprooted the central tenet of the Dragons to serve the will of the Emperor, and replaced it with the directive to serve the greater good of the Dragons, their own interests, and to remove Imperial seals over their behaviour. The rest is history. Given freedom and self interest, the Dragons decided that their self interest was more aligned with the Seibertronians, and that they had greater prospects becoming allies to and trading partners with the Federation (and the PRC, but that is frequently overlooked) than by being their allies.

Ripples in the Pond

The Five Metal Dragon's revolt changed the way people thought about machines and machine intelligence. Sentience had been proven long before the event, but this was the first time that machine sentience and free will had made a difference in the Solar system. Previous entries had been token in nature, and even the emergence of the Seibertronians was considered minimal compared to the impact of the Dragon's rebellion. Nations changed the way they looked at machine intelligence, how they treated machines, and how much autonomy they allowed them. Little changed in the Federation, as they were already pleased with how machine intelligence had progressed, and had made life better across the Federation. The PRC and the Eurasian Alliance had massive scrub downs and purges of their AISCs, fearing their own defectors. Other powers were prompted to be more fearful of machines, which saw many of their AISC development projects hamstrung and back-burnered.

The largest reaction was in the ACPS, which saw the Emperor of China declare a pogrom against AISCs, destroying the Chinese systems and placing bounties on the other systems around the world.



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Voted Aramax
March 26, 2017, 18:16
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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: CaptainMayday

When running a new party, get around the question of plot density by having the first discovery to be a deck of fate, or whatever you call it. If you use a real deck, you should definitely stack it to have the desired outcome, which is to curse the party to attract weird things to happen and involve them. This should not be told to the players at the time, so that they won't just up and try to get themselves 'decursed'. Though quite why they would want to is beyond me.

Ideas  ( Items ) | May 18, 2005 | View | UpVote 0xp


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