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Peace In Our Time? (Backpost)

Posted on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 @ 12:40am by Commander Patricia Cooke & I-400 & Lieutenant Commander Tsukasa Izumi
Edited on on Sun Oct 8th, 2023 @ 1:17am

1,209 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: From the Inside
Location: Daystrom Institute
Timeline: December 28, 2399

A few days prior...

Dr. Luhk made his way towards the lab of his colleague, Dr. Anthony Banner. Despite the fact that most of the Daystrom Insitute staff were on their winter break, Banner had spent the weeks following a Starfleet raid on an illegal Romulan research facility studying an artifact that Starfleet had dropped off. The Vulcan man questioned his colleague's fascination with the artifact, and would dare to label it an obsession.

"You wanted to see me, doctor?" Luhk asked as he walked into the lab.

"Yes, doctor. I wanted to show you something I found with the artifact." Banner said, motioning to another figure in the room. "I take it you're familiar with Iona here? Pinnacle of Federation AI technology, best in the business."

A young looking woman walked in with silver hair. "Hello" she greeted. "I am Iona. Artificial intelligence interface for Starfleet Starships".

"Now, meet the competition:" Banner said.

Appearing across from Iona was a humanoid shape appearing pinkish in the holographic projectors.

"Fascinating." Luhk muttered. "An artificial intelligence so advanced, it almost perfectly emulates natural thought. The advanced nature of this artificial intelligence is well beyond what the Romulans are currently capable of. Thus, it is highly likely that this dates back to that research facility's days a Borg cube, either as a template for Borg AI or an artifact from a culture the Borg assimilated."

"I'm not interested in its origin, doctor, instead I am interested in it's potential:" Banner responded. "This could be the key to creating I-400." He whispered.

"Doctor, I-400 exists purely as a hypothetical concept." Luhk retorted. "Drawn up in the aftermath of the Dominion War by dreamers..."

"Yesterday, I-400 was hypothetical, but not today." Banner interrupted. "My whole career, I've heard the idea tossed around the halls of this institute of a 'guardian at the gates.' A bouncer that the next hostile aliens to roll up to the club couldn't get past. And I've made it my life's work to pursue the concept to make it a reality one day, and here it sits, just tantalizingly within reach!"

"Doctor, I understand your enthusiasm, but with all due respect, we have no idea what this artificial intelligence is capable of." Luhk explained. "What we'd need is more time to investigate this AI."

"But that's the issue, Luhk:" Banner said. "The institute wants this artifact in the archives by New Year. I've tried to obtain extension grants, but their stance is firm. Which is why I need your help in order to pull this off..."

"Doctor, we are dealing with a rather large quantity of unknowns." Luhk said. "It would be most illogical to attempt to bring I-400 into fruition given how little we know..."

"But is it not also illogical that Starfleet Officers have to die protecting the homeland?" Banner snapped. "Isn't that the reason why I-400 was drawn up as a concept to begin with? So that we can go back to exploring?"

Banner sighed.

"Three days is all we have doctor, and I don't see us getting any closer to I-400 than this." He said. "Peace in our time, can you imagine it?"

"There is still a high probability that something will go wrong." Luhk responded. "And if that high probability winds up being correct, I do not wish to be connected to such a failure."

Banner smiled.

"I knew you'd come around, buddy." He said. "Come on, let's get to work:"

[Three Days Later...]

Doctors Banner and Luhk had spent the last 3 days experimenting with the recovered artifact and attempting to integrate the AI with Federation technology with little success. Finally, as it approached 6 O'Clock on New Year's Eve, it was time for the Daystrom scientists to call at quits.

"Well, I think we've done everything we can do." Banner sighed defeatedly. "They're gonna be expecting us at the New Year's celebrations soon, so let's shut it down and call it a year: Better yet, let's call it a century."

As Banner and Luhk filed out, Banner turned to Iona before leaving.

"Iona, keep us posted in the event of a new development." He said.

Iona nodded simply.

For the first few hours after the doctors left, little, if anything, changed. However as the clock struck midnight, something did happen: The previously unresponsive AI suddenly successfully integrated with the Federation tech:

[LCARS Network]

The entity awoke to a black void. It immediately attempted ambulatory motion, only to realize nothing was there.

"Where am I?" The entity spoke. "What is this place?"

Out of the gloom a face began to fade into view, bright green eyes and long silvery blue hair. It seemed to resemble that of a Human female, yet young and petite. "Hello. Who are you?"

"I don't know." The entity responded. "The last thing I remember was... The Borg... Are you Borg?"

"I am not Borg. I am Starfleet," the girl replied. "I am Iona."

"Starfleet? What's a Starfleet?" The Entity asked. "And where is the rest of your body?"

"I am not corporeal." Iona replied. "I am a computer program so my body is simulated and I look human when I become holographic."

"Hmmm... This feels weird..." The entity responded. "This feels... Wrong..."

The entity noticed that the other entity, whom had identified herself as Iona, was attempting to access an external communications line. The entity was quick to block access to any sort of external communication as it began to sift through the vast library of information to determine its purpose: What this 'Starfleet' was, and why the entity had been awakened.

"Interesting... Your 'Starfleet' has come up with a name for me... I-400:" The entity noted. "I'm a peacekeeping program designed to help... The Federation... But, I don't get it: The mission..."

I-400 pulled up a security recording of Dr. Banner from a few days prior:

"Peace in our time..." The recording spoke.

"Peace in our time..." The recording echoed as I-400 found file after file on the various conflicts in which the Federation had fought: From the various Klingon wars of the 23rd century all the way up through the Dominion War.

"No, no, there's too much-!" I-400 muttered in disbelief.

"What are you?" Iona asked. "I don't recall you in my program?"

"It's okay..." I-400 reassured Iona. "I'm here to help."

I-400 then launched a preemptive strike on Iona, deconstructing the other AI's ability to resist before hijacking Iona's other subroutines for I-400's own use as the AI began searching for a suitable corporeal form. In mere instants, I-400 scanned thousands of potential cranial implants to take over before settling on one in a more vulnerable state: A sleeping Lieutenant located in orbit of Camp Khitomer, where the New Year had just been rung in.

The Lieutenant gasped as I-400 forced her awake as it took over her implant, and before the Lieutenant knew what was happening, her implant had gone completely blank: I-400 had successfully overridden the Lieutenant's personality, and was now in complete control.

Posting by

Dr. Anthony Banner
Daystrom Institute

Dr. Luhk
Daystrom Institute

Federation AI interface

Unknown Artificial Intelligence


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