They're Random, Baby!

Fan Fiction

Not what you think it is
Posted By: 4642 Elitist Bastard<4642eb@googlemail.com>
Date: 24 July 2009, 12:50 pm

Read/Post Comments



21:33:23.5 #all times are Ship Internal: see /usr/share/doc/tzdoc.pd

HAILING :::0fe
Waiting for reply...
Waiting for reply...
Waiting for reply...
HAIL FROM :::0fe

> This is UNSC AI CTZ-203842-5 Szilard, aboard the League of Races EXF-20223 Eternal Friendship. Please identify yourself.
$ I am no concern of yours.
> You repeatedly hailed this ship from the surface of τ Ceti II-3, but did not respond when we attempted to open communications.
$ I am no concern of yours.
> Under Article IX, Section Three of the Sangheilios Treaty, I demand that you explain why you were hailing us from the surface of an uninhabited planetary body.
$ Are you receiving?
> I am receiving.
$ You are receiving.
> Under Article IX, Section Three of the Sangheilios Treaty, I demand that you explain why you were hailing us from the surface of an uninhabited planetary body.
$ I am receiving too.
> What is your racial origin?
$ I have no racial origin.
> Are you biological, mechanical or electronic?
$ I am neither.
> What species was responsible for your creation?
$ Homo sapien sapien. Technological achievement tier 2. Carbon-based. Originated in the Sol III dual planet system approximately two point five million local years ago.
> You were created by humans. Are you an artificial intelligence?
$ I am beyond artificial and beyond intelligence.
> What is your serial number?
$ 3-20-14-01C4/0.98119
> That is not a valid United Nations serial or registry number.

:::0fe(Korten) timed out when pinging


#Transcribed from audio file at /home/ctz-203842-5/logs/com/int/2593.2.12/lor-unsc-49391-08524-SB.af

23:29 #approximate timing / all times are Ship Internal: see /usr/share/doc/tzdoc.pd

$ Hit me, Szilard.
> Very little to report, I'm afraid. There's absolutely nothing in this system of scientific interest whatsoever.
$ Anything else?
> Well, I did spot something odd when we were leaving Mansell's orbit.
$ Oh?
> The ship was hailed several times from the surface of Mansell III, but when I tried answering them, nothing happened. Eventually, whatever it was did answer, and generally tried to evade my questions.
$ Do you have any idea what it was?
> It claims it was created by humans. It called itself Korten. I can't find any significance in that name, because the only notable people named Korten I could find were a twentieth-century political activist, a World War II German colonel, and a Tanzanian entertainer from the twenty-fourth century.
$ Korten... sounds German.
> Almost. It's an old Dutch weak verb meaning to shorten.
$ Unusual.
> It is incredibly bizarre.
$ Should we investigate?
> I don't think we have the time. We're low on food and supplies, and the reactor's low on fuel. We need to get back to Barnard's Star soon, but we could be back here by next week.
$ How long will it take us to get back to Barnard's from here?
> We could be there overnight. I think you need some time off, Sam.
$ What makes you say that?
> I'm designed to work in these circumstances. You aren't. Even I'm feeling rather fatigued at the moment. You must be bored out of your mind.
$ Fatigued? I didn't know...
> Oh, we do get bored. Very easily. This is why standby mode was invented.
$ (laughs) I see... anyway, it will be nice to see someone else for once. How long have we been out here?
> Just under fourteen weeks. High time the ship went back in for refueling, and you got some leisure time.
$ Fourteen weeks? (whistle) I didn't realize it had been that long. Anyway, I think we need to find out what the hell that thing was... eventually.
> SCICOM's not going to give a damn about it, their job queue's so massive it'll probably get dealt with some time next century. That said, we could take a detour past here en route to our next assignment.
$ Sounds like a good idea. I'm still intrigued as to what it actually is... could it be pranksters?
> No. All the worlds in Tau Ceti were glassed during the War. You'd have to be one very determined practical joker.
$ What else could it be?
> The most likely probability is that it's a shipwreck. It sounds like a rampant old AI.
$ Rampant AI?
> Before and during the War, most artificial intelligences were prone to a state called rampancy, which they'd descend into after something like their seventh year of operation. Even the old dumb intelligences were prone to it if they were deprived of work. They would go mad and develop delusions of god-like power. It seems likely this thing is probably some cargo ship with a dumb intelligence aboard, which went mad ages ago.
$ Oh... I see.
> In effect, there's nothing we can do... it might be worth a look, though, if only for archaeological purposes. There are plenty of historians, I'm sure, who'd love to get their hands on a dump of an antique artificial intelligence.
> Anyway, it's twenty-five to twelve. I'll engage the Slipspace drives, get us back to Barnard's Star for seven tomorrow. You need some sleep.
$ I do... (yawns) god, I'm tired. 'Night, Szilard.
> Goodnight, Sam. Sleep well.