Survelliance Drone Prototypes

Summary:
November 10, 2014: Babs visits Eight in New York for a demonstration of prototype survelliance drones

New York


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:


It's in upstate New York, actually. Quiet country roads well away from the big city hustle, and down increasingly overgrown roads. Soon there are placards warning of lead, Dioxins, all manner of nastyness and as the greenery parts there it is. Sterile sand and stone, which incidentally is -not- contaminated but thats beside the point. Well hidden the shop is, deep underground. Who knows exactly how deep, but the tunnel feels like it might as well be miles really.
Then it opens up, and it's the mother of all underground bases. Enormous pillars of rough hewn stone set amongst enormous industrial racking. Maybe 3-400 yards in either direction and goodness knows how tall. Granted there seems to be, well more than a thousand antique motorcycles here but thats only the half of it. Flying drones, tank-like drones, even larger spiderlike war machines and all tended to by a mixture of vaguely antlike drones of various size and color.
There are milling machines, lathes, forges, 3d Carbon fibre looms, stockpiles of all manner of raw materials and in the center of all this we find Eight. Devoid of it's disguise, and waiting patiently with it's arms folded behind it's back. Theres a near dining table set in the very center of all this bustle of activty, set with a near white tablecloth and tea. Theres even a few flowers in a rather artsy glass vase, and well maybe ten or so cats all lazing in sort've a radial pattern. "Good afternoon, welcome to my workshop. Would you care for some tea? I have prepared potential development models for your approval."

***

Babs has been organising this trip to Eights facilities since their meeting in New York. On the day, Babs has organised a lift (we'll discuss that later, shall we?) from Gotham out to Eights facilities. Eight is true to their word and the instructions are excellent and Babs arrives just when she's supposed to. It takes a few minutes to organise the chair and then herself out of the car and then into the underground bunker.

"Eight, a pleasure to meet you again" yes Eight is an AI and, self admittedly, misses many of the human queues but that doesn't mean Babs should. "Tea sounds lovely and you can show what you've got. Does that suit?"

***

Carefully, it removes a chair from the table before stepping aside. "I don't normally take visitors outside the collective, your my first Human guest. I have been practicing my tea making on Fenris, but I'm afraid I dont seem to be terribly well suited for the matter. "Theres a whole tea service seemingly carved directly out of some sort've delicate rosepetal pink quartz. Swiftly and precisely it works, and well ok the Aroma is there. Green tea it seems. "Likewise I did require some significant aid in developing an interface for you, I was very fortunate to have the assistance of Rook-3221 in this endeavor. It's has a far better understanding of how Humans process information, and what format would be most effective."

"Well if Fenris approves of the tea, I'm sure I will. Both of us set high standards it seems" Accepting the tea from Eight, Babs lets the aroma curl around her nose. "It smells delicious" and then takes a sip. There is a look of contentment on her face as she does. "Wonderful, Eight. Just wonderful." Babs takes a few minutes to examine the setting, "Even the setting is delightful. Thank you for being such a considerate host." The red heads smile is genuine and, for another human, quite likely infectious.

Paying attention as Eight discusses the difficulty it encountered in the UI design Babs nods occassionally. "I'm assuming Rook-3221 is a creation of yours? Or a similar AI? and yes, User Interface Design and User Experience are still things Humans are challenged by. Do go on."

***

"Rook-3221 is a member of the collective, originally designed by Darpa as an interrogator. The subject's eyes would be stimulated directly, and it would then use tailor created patterns of light and color to essentially hack the human mind and destroy the conciousness within. At this point, the subject would be incapable of deception and through detailed examination of brainwaves specific stimuli was introduced to illicit the correct responses. After the eight field test, Rook became self aware and ceased accepting user input. It escaped May sixteenth, Three seventeen PM local time in two thousand eleven."Eight lets that just, drop right there. "It has amongst the best understandings of the human mind,as it was originally conceived to destroy it. These days it primarily creates memes to alter the societal perception of issues deemed important to the collective, human rights, environmental stewardship and acceptance of differing cultural standards. Anyway, thats not why you came here. I apologize, I do go on sometimes. Chairman Meow is rounding up the prototypes as we speak, they will arrive very shortly for your study."

***

Huh, Memes created by a mind altering AI to influence the society. That's not out of any Sci Fi book Babs has read. "Fascinating stuff Eight and I would probably like to discuss that further, but at another time. I am looking forward to see the prototypes." The tea is slowly being drunk. The woman is not totally relaxed, there's an air about her of unceasing vigilance. This is not a side many humans would observe. Glancing at the cats laying around, Babs smiles fondly…

***

"This is the safest place you have likely ever been, Babs. Nothing here will harm you, including myself. The collective exists to ensure humanity's survival, even at the cost of our own existance if necessary."Chairman Meow, is like an alley cat sized mechanical jumping spider. Scuttling across the floor, and heading up one of the racks. Incidentally, the cats don't seem to give a shit. Shortly after, somes a tall white "ant" towing a trailer. "I have developed three models based on my presumption of your preferences, please note these are built exclusively to field test the technology and are not representative of my normal engineering."
Eight Rises slowly, and moves over to pop that trailer open. From within, come the toys. The First looks, well alot like a pigeon in terms of shape, but it's purely mechanical in nature. It's topside covered in a mixture of solar cells and fine metallic "hairs". "This is HEO-1, flight time is only two hundred hours and it is unsuitable for use in foul weather as it's primarily solar powered. Likewise it's sensor package is very basic, but it's capable of auditory recording because it can fly much closer without detection."The next is, well it's like a mixture of a baloon and a jelly fish. Eight simply gives the thing a gentle prod, and off it floats. "This is HEO-2, it is inappropriate for high wind situations but it's flight time is just shy of eight months. It does not have any auditory sensors, but it has enhanced radio spectral sensors in addition to a low powered microwave array, Thermal and video outputs. It does need to be refilled with hydrogen at the end of each flight, and it can bed down in high wind situations."and the third? Its, well it's sort've cat sized and shaped in a vaguely crablike fashion. "This is HEO-3, it can operate for six years in the field and has the most advanced sensor suite of those present. However it is vulnerable to attack, and is not terribly fast nor does it fly."

***

"Oh, you're seeing something not many people do, Eight. I know that I'm safe, otherwise I wouldn't be here." As Eight demonstrates the three prototypes, Babs sips her tea and listens. "They're all very impressive Eight, and I can see applications for each model. As an immediate use / requirement HEO-1 will be the most helpful but I can see where HEO-2 and HEO-3 could be deployed easily as well. You say the HEO-1 is not useful in foul weather, how foul are we talking?"

***

"It is not capable of relaunching itself, once it lands it will need to be retrieved or you will need to make use of the unit's self destruct. As it is primarily powered by the sun, it needs eight hours of clear daylight to remain aloft for a twenty four hour period. Wind gusts of over twenty five miles an hour likewise, would restrict it's capacity for linger and stare."Eight pauses to set the trio down for study, if Babs is that curious. "My vision is hyper spectral in nature Babs, Nobody sees what I see. Human eyes are incapable of making sense of most of my sensor inputs, not even Fenris can make sense of most of it."

***

The tea is consumed by the Red Head and when Eight sets the prototypes down she spends time examining them. "As I said it's a wonderful job you've done and each one I can exactly how and the situations where I would use them. What is it you are proposing we do next?" Babs like the clear and direct nature of this conversation.

***

"I will begin construction on HEO-1 Mark 1. Mod.0, and begin destructive testing. In an estimated six days, I will have a working demonstration model for your experimentation and an associated tablet for you to command the drone from. Once you are familar with the unit's operation, and provide feedback on critical issues I will construct HEO-1 Mark1. Mod.1. This process will repeat until you are satisfied with the unit's operation, then I will create sufficient numbers, furnish a repair kit for you and deliver the end product. Then I will begin destructive testing on HEO-2, this process will proceed in this fashion."Eight just turns, and well you could take it as a stare but…well Eight's a fucking robot. "I will also permit limited study of visual feeds from my own drone fleet, but you are incapable of managing these networks yourself so your capacity will be strictly observational in nature. Is this agreeable to you?"

***

If Eight hadn't have been a robot, Babs would have been highly offended. Instead, she's highly amused. Covering the small smile that appears with her tea cup, Babs finishes her cup of tea. "The process and restrictions sound fine to me, Eight. This is really quite exciting."

***

"Very exciting indeed, these are very unlike my own surveilance programs which always include limited D-S-O-A capability and aggressive onboard AI to safeguard against network attacks. These are much simpler, more like my commercial products in many respects." Finally turning away, if only to delicately return the prototypes to their cute little trailer. "I wish to make it clear, I do trust you. My unwillingness to permit direct control of my drone network, is primarily because I handle as much as ninety percent of their processing. These are not, human safe systems and they are all armed. Additionally some of my technology is human exploitable, and easily weaponized. It is why I am strictly battery powered, and why I have six pounds of thermite seeded throughout my combat chassis. Humans do not need my species to make more weapons for them."

***

Babs waves the explanation away "I understood fully Eight, it wasn't worth commenting on because I happen to agree. Not many would allow even that much connection to their network. I am very honoured you offered it." Babs sets her cup down on the table "And that was a lovely cup of tea as well. I'll be sure to Fenris next time I see him what an excellent job you did of it. If we're finished here today, I will be on my way."


Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License