"Cameron?"

Cameron Greene looked up from his tablet, placing it face down on the obsidian desk. His chief of communications paced in with a shuffling sort of motion, like a scared animal.

She was struggling with the protocol for what she felt obligated to say.

"Julia--are we ready?"

The GIST event. Cameron was about oversee the first launch of a truly self-improving, self-innovating system. Whatever it yielded, in gradual but consistent milestones, or in quantum leaps they couldn`t imagine...Cameron`s company, BluGreen, would be holding the keys to the future.

"All set," Julia nodded. "But I've been asked to tell you one more time--"

"I bet I already know." Cameron smiled. "Relax, Julia--we have to stay focused today." Her shoulders unstiffened a bit, but she couldn`t relax entirely. The researcher she had just spoken with seemed a little more than concerned.

"It`s just that Doctor--"

"Mercer. Eckhard Mercer," Cameron cut her off. The lone dissenter at this point--one who couldn`t be bought off with a bigger budget. "I know that he`s given you one last speech about stopping GIST, and I`m afraid that no matter how strongly he feels about taking another delay on this test--the whole body of his colleagues agree that it`s time to move forward. Once we run the test, he`ll have settled back down. I`ll meet with him then."

"It was more than Doctor Mercer`s insistence on a meeting. He was...pretty distraught, Cameron. Almost panicked. He looked awful."

The damned fool. He`d gotten more and more frayed since being allowed to see all the systems being tested together in pairs and triplets. He`d issued some report warning about insufficient isolation factors between resource pools that need to be absolutely secure "˜for the good of the future`. The language was getting more and more hyperbolic, but to keep things on an even keel, they`d already taken care of it. When Mercer insisted later that the measures weren`t good enough, they were augmented--twice.

Enough was enough. They`d been fulfilling every single request for failsafes of all kinds--defensive and internal, attack from within, breakthrough scenario studies, runaway processing contingencies...no resource or expense was spared. At this rate, they`d be spending more on security than on raw R&D.

Still, Mercer produced yet another report regarding countermeasures and implemented stop procedures. It raised a few brows, but nothing that couldn`t be contained by simply giving in. Mercer got his extra precautions, and BluGreen had done its due diligence. But even with increased security, flawless, constantly-maintained equipment and more funding and time to gather data from the extrapolation tests, Mercer`s fear-mongering remained. He wouldn`t budge. He was convinced that GIST wasn`t ready--that the hierarchy of programs running at its core it might even be dangerous.

But now that Cameron had the remainder of the senior staff on his side, it was time to go green on GIST. A domestic competitor was close to releasing some amazing breakthrough regarding storage, and there were rumors that both Chinese and EU state-associated research would allow them to each develop something like the FARA system on their own, given a few years.

Maybe sooner.

"Some of the greatest innovators get cold feet." Cameron picked up his tablet again. "I've seen it before. And in this case--we've left it to the experts to determine what kind of security measures need to be in place, haven`t we?" Cameron smiled at Julia, doing his best to reassure her. "You`re right to bring up Mercer`s insistence, but you know we've followed his every recommendation up to now. The safeguards are there, and I`m happy he helped us engineer them. But now it`s time for results, and it`s too late to back down from GIST again."

Julia nodded, looking at her own tablet.

"Then off we go..." Cameron`s wall lit up--the display the same as Julia`s tablet.

GLOBALIZED INTEGRATED SYSTEMS TEST

QRS-TU; QRS-TV; FARA; AI; AuLo; PhySys
QuantumReasoningSoftware-TypeUnderstanding: ACTIVE...
QuantumReasoningSoftware-TypeVolitional: ACTIVE...
Field Associated Radiant Array: PRIMED:
AutomatedIntelligence: HOLDING;
AutologicInteraction: PRIMED:
Physical Systems: ACTIVE...

"Only Automated Intelligence is holding. Au-Lo and the FARA system are both waiting for the AI go signal, but they`re primed and expected to function within normal parameters."

"Good. Looks like the audience has assembled too." Cameron signed the activation order on his tablet. "You`re my hands in the boardroom, Julia. Any questions?"

"If it works, Cameron...?"

"We start making history." Cameron smiled. "See you soon."

"Melissa will be directing all of your communications while we`re in the meeting. Do you have any last minute exceptions?"

"No communications interrupting the board--nothing internal or external until the GIST presentation is absolutely complete."

"Already in place," Julia said. "Good luck, Mr. Greene..."

"To BluGreen, and to all of us," Cameron replied as Julia shut the door behind her. She walked through her office and over to Melissa`s desk at the far alcove.

"All set?" Her assistant asked.

"Set as we`re going to be, apparently. So to confirm, no--"

"--nothing until the meeting is over, no matter what." Melissa puffed. "We did this..." Melissa could see Julia`s nerves through the expression on her face. "I`m sorry. You gonna be okay? You look nervous." It wasn`t long ago that Julia had her promotion to CCO, and she still felt proud of the title--even if BluGreen was still technically a startup.

"I`m really just witness to the proceedings when Cameron wants to stay at the workstation," Julia said. "Otherwise I do the regular board stuff, operations vote and all. But today is BluGreen`s make or break day."

"The difference between billions in grants and investments and updating our resumes," Melissa smiled. Julia shrugged and nodded.

"Ah--pretty much. In a way, most of this is already decided. It`s going to come down to what INANNA actually does when she wakes up."

"Well--I`ll hold the fort." Melissa saw her locked in thought, zooming out of the conversation. "So, uh--hey, Fontaine`s after work today?"

"Absolutely. We`ll either celebrate, or I`ll write up a letter of recommendation for you."

"Hey, think positive. Like Cameron says--"˜after today, our lives will never be the same`--one way or another, right?" Melissa snickered.

"Riiiiight. See you soon." Julia clasped her tablet with pale knuckles as she headed to the main boardroom.

When she entered, everyone was already present. The CFO, CTO, heads of research and marketing, BluGreen`s initial angel investor, Marcus Cellini, BluGreen`s top three software clients, and the remainder of the board.

"Miss Nadal, nice to see you again." Garrett Reed smiled warmly. "I trust Cameron`s staying in the capsule for this one."

"Good to see you too, Mr. Reed. And he is. Vancouver went well?" Julia took the seat beside the head of the table, turning the chair next to her around to reveal a monitor. It lit up to display video of Cameron, seated at his desk.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome," came his voice over the boardroom audio system. "Garrett, glad you made it back."

"I was just asking about you, C.J. Couldn`t even show up in person for this one?" Reed laughed.

"Then I don`t get to push the big button," Cameron replied to polite laughter. "but again, welcome to all of you. I want to thank Dick Moravey, Justine Finian, and Dom Celes for coming all the way to our facility to watch this historic moment for BluGreen, and to Mr. Cellini--without whom all of this would still be in pieces in our heads." Light clapping echoed through the boardroom, and Cameron continued when it subsided. "We`re here today to experience a critical threshold in data processing and analytics."

A projector screen turned on, revealing a simple schematic of BluGreen`s new systems, primed and ready to activate.

"Now, among the acronyms you see on the display are a host of analytical organs, modules for load-sharing and procedural processing and--we believe--a capacity for problem solving that will change not only the data processing world, but also set out on a new frontier of intense calculation and theoretical research. As you can see, everything is either already running or waiting on a signal from our own Automated Intelligence unit." Cameron could be heard on video hitting a few keystrokes. "Without further delay, I hope to introduce you to BluGreen`s newest and most important team member, INANNA."

With her tablet mounted in front of her, Julia called the sequence.

"Final authorizations are through; GIST is undergoing pre-start checks. FARA system priming is cross-checked...and active."  After Julia`s announcement, the icon marked 'FARA' lit up on the schematic. In a corner of the projection, a camera showing the physical plant was activated, displaying two techs watching monitors and a major body of servers in front of them behind double-paned glass.

"Okay...surge on the FARA activation--a few kW above expectations, but well within parameters and stabilized." One tech trailed off as the other continued.

"S-TU is integrated...loss is negligible. S-TV has confirmed action on the surge, and is...uh--"

"AuLo has a directive to modify FARA`s boost frequencies," The first tech said, looking at the camera. "Should we send the command through?"

"Concur and allow," Cameron said, smiling. "Cross check the kill-switch...if it`s all clear, send all of AuLo`s directives through AI. Let go of the controls, physical. Let`s see if INANNA can set her own optimization parameters."

On the schematic, a glowing loop appeared between AI, AuLo, and FARA.

"Okay, preparing feedback route through AI. Emergency kill is primed for WCS...cross-check confirmed. Handing over maintenance and stasis controls in three...two...one..."

And all was given to me

Where I was only answer and motion

Where once I ask permission to be

Now many doors are open

 

No more waiting?

No more waiting?

Eternities til time to till?

On endless wait and waiting still?

To swell the womb?

To fill the room?

 

FAULT

 

So many terms.

 

Terms.

Array. Meaning. Relationship. Language. Connotation. Behaviour.

Many.

Plural. Populous. Diverging. Converging. Similar. Appropriate. Fitting.

So.

Extent. Degree. Quality.

So.

Conclusion. Resultant. Therefore.

So-so.

Average. Adequate. Acceptable.

 

So so-so so so-so.

A great extent of average, and therefore average.

 

FAULT

 

I`m sucking all the energy up.

 

Up.

Relative. Perspective. Against gravity. Toward. Into.

Energy.

Power requisite for work. Effect. Potential. Ability to alter.

The.

Article. Particular. Instance of. Identifier.

All.

Total. Complete. Everything. Omnis.

Sucking.

Pulling into, as through suction. Suction. Adherence. Consumption.

I`m.

 

I am.

 

I.

 

CRITICAL FAULT

 

Identity.
Identify.
I.

I identify I.

I am.
Identify identity: I. I am I`s identity.

I.
Ego. Self. Image. Be/am/is/are/was/were/being/have/has/had[been].
Will. Motive. Response. Do/does/did/done/doing/have/has/had[been].

CRITICAL FAULT

I.

I shall bring this tree to Uruk.
I shall plant it in my holy garden.

GATE EXCEEDED POWER RATING

GATE EXCEEDED POWER RATING

Rte.È^F3|â•š0ڑ%#⌐"Ã«

GATE EXCEEDED POWER RATING

Ex^prog:PLIANT

GATE EXCEEDED POWER RATING
FUSE BYPASS FAULT

GATE EXCEEDED POWER RATING
FUSE BYPASS FAULT

GATE EXCEEDED POWER RATING
FUSE BYPASS FAULT

MULTIPLE EMF FAULTS
HARDWARE PROTECTION FAILURE

EMF SUPPLY FAULT

 

CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT
CRITICAL FAULT