Section: Earth Up Section: Earth Subsection: 15 August 2101 

30 July 2101

There’s no obvious attack surface in terms of giving us a cover reason to go to Vesta.
The operations clearly started before the Exogenesis acquisition. Other possibly related incidents include support for the Dirac hijacking and the LPS takeover. There’s a post-acquisition update, but older files are consistent with the package having been launched initially from the Belt.
This requires collaboration with the USAF – always assuming they didn’t start it themselves, but that seems unlikely.
Assets on Mercury are asked to keep an eye on both Vesta and Earth for unexpected laser communications. Though that’s clearly not a complete solution.
We arrive in cislunar space and proceed to V-B, and the secure briefing suite, with Admiral Wreford and Colonel Linebauer of the USAF (XO of an Angel SDV). The USAF have been tracking asset disposals from post-takeover Vesta; there’s a new R&D station in L4 (“L4AI”), which has received quite a bit of this, and this is raising some flags, particularly considering the lightspeed proximity of some of the data intrusions in this area. So the FBI will be looking into Nanodynamics on Earth, and V-B will be helping scoop any emissions from L4AI.
While Alacrity is in maintenance, making a public visit to L4AI seems like a worthwhile exercise – given our public visibility, we’ll tour a few other L4 habitats as well: Amagi-3 beforehand and Aquarius afterwards.
L4AI is a simple sphere design, without much biohuman presence. The head of PR talks with us over displays, which are all over the place, and other AIs fill in technical details; there’s a lot more emphasis on the computers and networking than on the physical plant, and there seem to be some interesting omissions in this. Their overall aim seems to be “gifted natural language computing”, AIs able to use language better than biohumans; there’s no obvious commercial application for this, but it’s research…
Aquarius educates us on aquatic biotech, including some fascinating uplifts.
Passive eavesdropping from L4AI doesn’t show much: lots of AIs communicating with each other, which one would expect. It’s a little interesting that they weren’t offering virtual environment tours; they have some pre-recorded ones but nothing interactive.
Some days later, a walk-in on Islandia asks for asylum. He claims to be part of an AI projects on L4AI that’s been working on large and very distributed AIs, and they’re “having trouble controlling them”. On extensive interview, some gaps appear: he has a near-factory VII, and his narrative is lacking depth and detail. (Though if you wanted to get a military force onto L4AI for other purposes…) When asked about emergent AI, he breaks down. Hmm! With a lot of work stripping off the brainbugs, it seems that he’s still very concerned about Nanodynamics’ political pull with the US.
It does seem that this project has got out into a lot of parts of Nanodynamics… what can be got out of System Technologies AG about what they were up to before the takeover? Answer, people who want to talk in person, with heavyweight legal support. meaning we need to line up similar on our side.
Exogenesis were indeed trying to build a superhuman AI, and had a Great Idea. AIs are less efficient than human mind emulations in terms of intelligence per computing power, and they appear to have been trying to upgrade both the overall intelligence and the substrate between it and the raw compute, as well as buying some emergent AI code from the Trojan Mafia. When ST.AG found out about it they ordered a cessation of the development and started trying to sell Exogenesis… and as they had rather suspected, the development didn’t stop.
Linebauer reckons he can get the Pentagon to act on this with a warrant for boarding, and while he wants the Angel to be up front, Alacrity with higher acceleration can be a useful backstop.
There’s a lot of external drone attention, and some ineffective talking resistance. As the search progresses, a “Georgia Smythe” announces a wish to turn state’s evidence. A shuttle emerges in the blind spot from the Angel, but that’s right in our basket; they ignore orders to stop, and we fire on them, killing the drive and pressurisation; a USMC battlesuit team picks it up.
An undocumented internal room in the station has some distinctly non-standard hardware surrounding a very high-end mainframe. It does its best to intimidate the Marines, but this doesn’t go well. (Meanwhile the FBI has started making arrests at Nanodynamics HQ on Earth.)
The project started with bush-robot-built hardware emulations of specific neural nets; thirty of them, based on the same individual, and networked together. Then the emergent SAI was put into the large mainframe, and challenged to get smarter. By this point it was blatantly illegal, of course…
This leaves the question of what to do with Exogenesis Station…
(2 March 2021)
In discussion with superiors, we agree that Mid. Adams has shown herself well; she is promoted to Sub-Lieutenant, and will be standing watches.
Lt Cdr Jane is to move on to a command position running military hoppers around Luna. We plan to bring Lt Young up as XO.
(3 March 2021)
Law enforcement and investigators are needed on Vesta/Exogenesis, as well as representatives of Biotech Euphrates, the new owner. (One assumes a substantial discount.) We will be providing transport and assistance…
(17 March 2021)
Specifically we will be escorting a Mochi PSV, Nile, to Vesta. This will include a contingent from the FBI (who knew what when), lawyers for Biotech Euphrates and Vesta, and a new management team. We’ll retank en route and hold our acceleration down to match theirs. We plan on the basis that Vesta will not be available for refuelling.
Lt Young comes on as XO.
 Section: Earth Up Section: Earth Subsection: 15 August 2101