[Firewall]Anomalous Transmission

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Observator Observator's picture
[Firewall]Anomalous Transmission

***This is an automated message.***
-The following transmission was intercepted at 0115 Eris Universal Time.
-No known/indexed stations, installations, or extrasolar colonies utilize matching encryption schemes.
-Listed source and destination do not exist.
-Source successfully triangulated as empty point in space in geosynchronous orbit centered over Discord gate. No traffic noted at the time of transmission.
-Discord gate activated simultaneously with transmission, terminated ~3.6ms later.
-Probability of anomalous origin estimated at 0.965.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

XMIT/ORIGIN: Eris Orbital Gate Complex, TIGHT-RF/7GHZ (ENCRYPTION SCHEME: FEA-16384)
RECV/DESTINATION: Mars Orbital Communications Node A38, TIGHT-RF/7GHZ (ENCRYPTION CHECK OK: FEA-16384 (KEY VALID))
PRIORITY: FLASH

SUBJECT: OUTGOING TRANSIT EVENT.

CONNECT REMOTE [A.CENTAURI-A], WARMUP;
PROBES #0-31 OK;
LAUNCH OK;
TELEMETRY OK;
FRACTAL REACTOR TOGGLE (1);
FUEL FLOW OK;
CONNECT REMOTE [A.CENTAURI-A], ESTABLISHED (TOOK 7329ms);
PROBES #0-31 TRANSITING;

TRANSIT OK [32 RESPONDING];
PROBE ERROR CHECK OK [3 FAILED(3,7,17)/29 OK];
SYNC OK;
TRANSMIT OK;
RECV OK;
GATE IMAGING OK;
PROBE IMAGING OK;
IMAGE EXCHANGE OK;
PROBE IMAGE ANALYSIS (135ms) OK;
WIDE-SPECTRUM ANOMALY (UNIDENTIFIED);

FUEL FLOW TOGGLE (-1);
FRACTAL REACTOR TOGGLE (-1);
QEC RECV TOGGLE (-1);
RF RECV TOGGLE (-1);
LASER RECV TOGGLE (-1);
WIRE RECV TOGGLE (-1);
SYNC FAIL (LOST [PROBE IMAGING, PROBE COMMUNICATIONS]);
FRACTAL REACTOR SHUTDOWN (FUEL FLOW LOST, CONTAINMENT FAILURE);

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
So, should we file this one

So, should we file this one under "ghost stories," or maybe "Hazing the newbies," or "reasons to do more/less drugs?"

Also, what the fuck is a "fractal reactor?"

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

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Observator Observator's picture
[Firewall]Examination of Salvaged Equipment at Signal Origin

SUMMARY
An AGI-operated platform was dispatched to the point of origin for the previously-detected anomalous signal. A number of objects found less than five meters from the calculated point of origin displayed anomalous structure and behavior. No data could be recovered from either data storage or processing systems. The origin of these objects is as-yet unknown, but may have originally been transhuman. The reason for their spontaneous appearance in Eris orbit is similarly unknown.

PRELIMINARY REPORT

Spoiler: Highlight to view
An AGI-operated examination platform was dispatched to the origin point of the transmission 18 minutes and 7 seconds after reception of the anomalous signal. Upon arrival one hour and thirty-seven minutes later, it commenced a search for a potential source to the transmission.

Shortly after arrival on-site, the platform detected and approached a formation of three small objects floating in close formation. Inspection of these objects by broad-spectrum scanning equipment yielded no abnormal readings and no sign of recent activity. No residual heat or power signatures were found.

Objects were examined on-site with a variety of destructive and non-destructive means. Experiments that involved the touching or manipulation of the matter making up the objects resulted in catastrophic damage to the item being examined, but little or no damage to the tool or tools used to make the examination. Nanoswarms used on the object were less destructive to the objects found than macroscale tools, but invariably caused considerable damage as the examination continued.

All of the examined components appeared to be recent modifications of components two to three years out of date. All components appeared to be of new manufacture. The outer casing consisted of a shell approximately two millimeters thick, composed of an alloy of several conductive and semiconductive metals supported by a tungsten web. The interior components, except for the small fusion power source, were shown to be largely-unmodified copies of open-source nanofabricator blueprints two to three years old.

NOTES ON EXTERIOR EXAMINATION

Spoiler: Highlight to view

-Close investigation of origin location yielded fragments of nanomaterials and three complete probes of a design common as of late 7AF.
-No non-natural electromagnetic signatures; all recovered devices inactive.
-Spectral scan of casing and fragments shown to include tungsten, iron, copper, nickel, silicon and gold; trace element analysis underway.
-Casing material is of unusually low density, given the elements involved.
-Casings disintegrated into fine cloud of expanding powder upon contact with macroscale manipulator arms. Disintegration immediate.
-Casings disintegrated into fine cloud of expanding powder upon contract with nanoscale manipulators. Disintegration notably slower than with macroscale manipulators.

NOTES ON INTERIOR EXAMINATION

Spoiler: Highlight to view

-Interior components exposed by destruction of exterior casing.
-Powder from exterior casing passed through some interior components without interaction.
-Most interior components identified as derivatives used in an open-source probe variant extant in late 7AF.
-Power source identified as toroidal object with numerous self-similar fractal arms branching from a tungsten/copper alloy loop, attached to a central hub by two spiral arms.
-Markings indicate reactor is toroidal D-T fusion system manufactured by Felitek Corporation, date 8 March 2AT. No such firm is known to have existed either pre- or post-Fall.
-Markings on central component forward of reactor indicate presence of orientation gyroscope inside of protective casing. Manufacturer and date same as fusion system.
-Markings on forward component reveals combined optelectronic computer and sensor package, similar to open-source component package available in common use in late 7AF. Manufacturer and date same as fusion system.
-Interior components examined by nanoswarm. Molecular bonds found to be of unusually low strength and frequency. Components' interior designs found to match open-source designs common in late 7AF.
-Attempted non-destructive mapping of computational components resulted in complete dissolution of all interior components into fine monatomic dust. Explanation unknown.
-Attempted destructive mapping of computational components resulted in complete dissolution of all interior components into fine monatomic dust. Explanation unknown.
-Dust from attempted mapping noted to occasionally move through the surfaces of manipulators, plating, assorted solid objects. Very short range, generally only a few tens of molecules deep. Explanation unknown.

EXAMINER'S HYPOTHESIS ON FRAGILITY OF CONSTRUCTION

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Initial investigation suggests that between one in every two to four atoms are missing from the probes' bodies and internal systems. The AGI operating the platform believes that individual atoms and nanoscale structures may have been removed from the probes sometime after launch. Given that the probes' components and bodies were highly fragile when exposed to even slight perturbations, the reason or method for performing such an operation is unclear; conventional nano-disassembler technology is of insufficiently small size and precision to complete such an operation while still preserving the external structure of the probes. It is the belief of the platform operator that the examined objects are of anomalous origin, but do not pose any risk in and of themselves. Further examination is desired.

Speculation as to the origin and purpose of these objects is hereby requested from any interested party.

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
[[Origin: Blue Hell Server]]

[[Origin: Blue Hell Server]]
Transfer of contents requested to Secure labs aboard OFTI Station in Iepetus Orbit. ObsidianForge requested for materials analysis and and prototype reproduction upon return from [REDACTED]

Inquiry for threat analysis: How many parties interested and uninterested also received said transmission.

Observator Observator's picture
Automated Response System

***This is an automated message.***
Interpreter reports the following questions:
1. Request for feedstock-grade materials, and
2. Inquiry as to transmission clarity, vector and likely receivers.

Interpreter replies to questions in the order posed:
1. Acquisition of useful feedstock is the responsibility of the individual requiring it.
2. Unknown; the transmission was strong, tightly focused and aimed toward where Mars currently is with an estimated margin of error of no more than two seconds of arc. It is not unlikely that stations in Martian orbit will pick up the original message, but some time may be required for decryption.

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
Academic Consultant Reporting In

I'm not really sure why I was brought in on this case. It seems outside of my expertise, but I'm willing to do what I can.

*My master is reviewing the case notes - one moment.*

Oh dear. That Martian coordinate? That's distressingly close to a geosynchronous communication satellite, and while my expertise is in biosystems design, I know enough about physics to write an introductory textbook. (If you'd like a copy, I'll leave it here - ping me on R or @ if you like it) And anyone who's read my book should know that even tightly collimated lasers bloom - and if the transmission is noncoherent, it will bloom even more. I suspect that this tightbeam has been intercepted by a Martian GPS/communication relay satellite, if it was aimed at the stated position, and god knows if it was picked up by someone's sprite swarm in black space.

Has anyone made progress on the encryption scheme? I presume that you all have channels to get a hold of the recording of the original transmission, if the satellite positioning logs I ... borrowed are accurate.

*Jamie has requested that I provide an addendum with further musings, if you'll pardon the pun.*

Say, has anyone got any more data on the compact fusion reactor used in these probes? I'm not sure I saw a size listed, and there certainly weren't any technical documents, but are the fusion reactors described here appropriate for use in synthmorphs? I've never heard one described using such a skeletal framework, and from what I understand, most miniature fusion reactors are fairly massive for their size.

*A clarification - while the use of "borrowed" earlier seems engineered to imply impropriety or surreptitious access, I have determined that such implication may imply an unhealthy attitude toward risk to this organization. It was actually shoulder-surfed inside the MIT main library branch during a presentation for which we had plausible deniability for attending.*

Observator Observator's picture
Automated Response System

***This is an automated message.***

Interpreter reports the following questions:
1. What progress have external parties likely made on breaking the encryption scheme?
2. What is the internal volume of the fusion reactor?
3. Would the fusion reactor fit inside of an average synthmorph and have sufficient power to operate it?
4. Are there other reactors of a similar size?

Interpreter replies to questions in the order posed:
1. Unknown, but attack by a large and modern quantum computer (particularly one owned by the Planetary Consortium) will likely acquire the 16384-bit key within one to two months at the most.
2. The internal volume available for fusion was approximately 473 cubic centimeters, or about half a liter.
3. It is likely that the fusion system would fit within the torso of an average humanoid synthmorph if mounted properly. The power output of such a reactor is not known, as positive-output fusion reactors of this size are difficult to produce and difficult to maintain reactions in. Each unit is expected to produce at least one kilowatt of usable power, as this is the minimum power budget for the other modules identified in the probe bodies. Probes of this configuration were originally powered by small thorium systems or battery packs, depending on mission requirements.
4. Reactors of this size are very difficult to produce and rare outside of specialized applications and laboratories. The presence of one such reactor in each probe suggests that an external power has acquired the ability to readily produce reliable, high-output reactors of this size.

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
I hope this is a simple request

I may be a biomorph designer, but if you could send me plans for that fusion reactor, I'd love to have them on file... just in case.

Also, are we seeding this technology into the public domain, or do we want to sit on this for a while?

ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
[[Origin: Blue Hell Server]]

Clarification On request. Requisition was not for feedstock but for surviving remains

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I think this is going to go

I think this is going to go into the "ghost stories" folder, tagged as "reasons to do more drugs."

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

Observator Observator's picture
Automated Response System

***This is an automated message.***

Interpreter reports the following questions:
1. Request for blueprint for fractal containment reactor, and
2. Is the aforementioned blueprint suitable for public distribution?
3. Is any salvaged material available for examination?
4. Is it justifiable to use potentially-addictive ego-affecting chemicals or narcoalgorithms?

Interpreter replies to questions in the order posed:
1. Blueprint is incomplete and unapproved for distribution to parties outside of controlled conditions.
2. Blueprint is not yet determined to be suitable for private use, and thus cannot be cleared for public use.
3. Enclosed are coordinates to one (1) container containing fifty one-gram (1g) samples of material. All samples are considered to be feedstock-grade material. Please be aware that this material is still classified as anomalous: movement to or from any habitat without prior approval while in possession of this material may be grounds for immediate dismissal and/or redaction of the listed habitat.
4. This is outside of the automated interpreter's realm of expertise. An initial analysis of available material suggests that the user should refrain from consumption of legally-questionable exotic substances in lieu of utilizing all of the user's cognitive abilities for the furtherment of scientific understanding.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Observator wrote:***This is

Observator wrote:
***This is an automated message.***

Interpreter reports the following questions:

4. Is it justifiable to use potentially-addictive ego-affecting chemicals or narcoalgorithms?

Interpreter replies to questions in the order posed:

4. This is outside of the automated interpreter's realm of expertise. An initial analysis of available material suggests that the user should refrain from consumption of legally-questionable exotic substances in lieu of utilizing all of the user's cognitive abilities for the furtherment of scientific understanding.

((Hehe, I love messing with AIs that are just smart enough to be stupid as all fuck. Do NOT transmit that bit.))

Has Interpreter analyzed the scientific utility of insights gained through altered states of mind that would be achieved through ingesting narcotic substances?

Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name.

My EP Character Questionnaire
Thread for my Questionnaire
The Five Orange Pips

Observator Observator's picture
Automated Response System

Interpreter reports the following questions:
1. Is the interpretation system capable of experiencing narcoalgorithmic programs?
2. Are the states invoked through use of such programs useful in producing final reports?
3. Is the inquirer's probability of being a troll rising?


Interpreter replies to questions in the order posed:
1. Such programs have been utilized in the past in order to answer specific questions relating to the safety and/or use of such programs by intelligences that are less readily replaced if subjected to slow corruption.
2. Specific components of this system already operate under the constant effect of assorted mixes of various narcoalgorithms. Each one is weighted and its responses carefully considered. The core component of the interpreter system is not affected by these modifiers, in order to preserve impartiality.
3. Yes. *ANSWER TRUNCATED*



Administrative Note to the Nerf Herder

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Please don't tease the interpreter. It doesn't work as well if one of the egos behind it gets annoyed. If you do that, someone has to clean out the old egos and retrain their backups from archived data.

If you want to make my life hard, I can arrange for you to spend a month as a mute smart dog with bugged mesh inserts and a raging boner. Oh, and a nasty bowel problem. Take care.

-DSM-IV

Chrontius Chrontius's picture
Careful.

I know someone who spent some time - voluntarily - sleeved into a smart dog. Shockingly, they actually outperform flats in many regards. Sure, he wasn't doing any integral calculus at the time, but... that's some surprisingly thoughtful biodesign there. Well, he was only supposed to be in it for two weeks, but when he came out, he wanted to go back. He claimed the experience was powerfully positive, and wanted to go back. But - you know there was going to be a but - the sort of body language and kinesthetic cues he was throwing were pretty strongly canine even a month later, and the kind of loyalty to the project he was displaying was also ... unsettling.

Last I heard they had forked him, and were using frequent re-merges while they did therapy on both halves of him to get him better settled, they didn't know if he was going to remain dysphoric for the rest of his lives, or anything like that - there was some unspecified downward-spiral events I wasn't privy to before I heard about how the psychology department was trying to unfuck their grad student.

The moral of this story is Do not fuck with egos without a well-designed backup protocol in place. Especially when you're threatening to turn our assets into liabilities. And the neural patches for smart dogs are only now teasing a release candidate in the infuriatingly vague "near future".

PS: Speaking of backup protocols, it sounds like yours needs help. I have a version control system with the backup software we used on the Red Dragon - Biodesign had much better software than Psychology.

PPS: I wonder, if they had proper backups from immediately before the werewolf experiment, if the scary loyalty and other cognitive traits the poor sod developed might be salvaged while leaving behind the body-image problems, given what we now know about merging egos without catastrophe.

PPPS: I really hate to admit it, but that grad student probably would have made a good dog. Anybody else heard about this stuff, or have any idea if the guy - or any of the psychology team, for that matter - survived?

PPPPS: My doctorate is showing.

PPPPPS: Speaking of "Don't break the merchandise," I'd appreciate if you didn't turn our asset into a werewolf, because I'm the one who will have to fix him.