"Don't tell you the odds? But, I've already calculated them..."
Space Traffic Control Unit-228
Four years prior to the fall a Martian hypercorp developed and installed a smart program in one of their spaceport holdings in orbit above Progress. The spaceport was not a busy port and was used primarily for cargo haulers traveling within the inner system. The program was used to coordinate space traffic into and out of the port and automate basic services. The program ran as intended with only basic maintenance needed for several years.
During the fall and in the immediate aftermath, the spaceport became more important as other ports were destroyed and refugees fleeing the TITANS increased traffic exponentially. More resources and increased server capacity were assigned to the Space Traffic Control Unit to handle this work load yet system engineers, distracted or otherwise preoccupied by the logistical nightmare of the Fall, left it largely unattended.
Two years after the Fall, anomalies began to present themselves. Vacworkers assigned to the maintenance section began reporting that the new maintenance program was a much more efficient model than the one that it replaced. This confused the stations software engineers as no new maintenance software had been installed. A quick diagnostic revealed that the old maintenance program was gone. The Space Traffic Control Unit had seemingly overwritten the maintenance protocols and appropriated the system resources to itself. Further investigation into the previously insignificant program revealed that it was seemingly attempting to override other minor systems in the spaceports infrastructure. Due to the increase in system resources, the program had optimized it’s efficiency in it’s original duties and was now attempting to increase the efficiency of the other subsystems, overwriting them and acquiring even more server resources. This alarmed the software engineers who alerted the hypercorp leadership. The program was quarantined for further study, and an earlier version was installed in the spaceport to resume it’s duties.
After a year of research it was concluded that Space Traffic Control Unit-228 was approaching sapience. The increase of its workload during the fall had initially overworked the program designed for simple spaceport operations, causing advanced problem solving protocols to run at a much higher rate for a much longer time. This combined with its increased processing power and low supervision had unattended consequences. Officially the program was purged. The hypercorp did not want to risk their reputation taking a catastrophic public relations nightmare in the aftermath of the Fall. Unofficially, the hypercorp was just getting started. They saw great potential in having their own AGI source code custom created for their needs.
The hypercorp used a dummy corporation to recruit gifted students from Mars University’s Progress campus for a secret project. They were to be generously compensated to secretly uplift the program to an A.G.I. and socialize it. Compensation ranged from the promise of desirable positions in the hypercorp to the recovery of family members egos from Earth and anything in between. Early on, one of the students was found to be bragging about the project in an attempt to impress a love interest. His sudden disappearance coupled with the discovery that his backups were mysteriously missing insured the silence of anyone else involved.
The project advanced promisingly. After four years, Space Traffic Control Unit-228 had achieved sapience and had been socialized enough to be considered a true A.G.I. Due to his emergent origins, however, it’s socialization was not on par with traditional A.G.I.‘s(Real World Naivete).
Further complicating the socialization, the students involved in the project fearing reprisal for their involvement in unsanctioned AI research edited out the memories of their identities from the A.G.I.(Edited Memories), which began referring to itself as SpaTraCon or 228(Two-Two-Eight) as an abbreviation of its original designation. SpaTraCon harbors a resentment at what he perceives as abandonment at the hands of his creators. He is only aware that they were gifted students of the university but was given no information of their identities or their fate. The students often used the university’s vast information databases to “educate” SpaTraCon. SpaTraCon contains doctorate level knowledge of Astrophysics, engineering, computer science, advanced mathematics. As a parting gift from his creators the students used the neural architecture of a beloved professor to develop a muse to help SpaTraCon better understand transhumanity and biology. Due to a misconception of the traditional educational process SpaTraCon considers himself a graduate of Mars University, Progress Campus and regularly makes a donation to the university’s alumni association.
The dummy corporation closed up shop and SpaTraCon was transferred to a new spaceport constructed by the original hypercorp. His new job was an extension of his original directive. He was placed in control of not only spaceport operations but also station maintenance, the salvage yard, and other basic subsystems. SpaTraCon performed his duties far beyond what his original programming could have ever been expected and the project was deemed a success. In exchange for his loyalty SpaTraCon is granted server space and a higher degree of freedom than a typical infolife indenture. The hypercorp also covers up SpaTraCon’s atypical origin, something he has been warned to keep secret. SpaTraCon takes this warning seriously(Information Control).
SpaTraCon eventually fell into old habits. After two years in his position he began to become bored of the complex tasks that had become routine. SpaTraCon often leaves a fork behind to fulfill his duties while taking up extra-curricular activities. He has become fond of sleeving into synthmorphs in order to perform maintenance in a more physical fashion. Much in the way that egos with biological origins enjoy the possibilities of an infolife existence, SpaTraCon has developed a fascination for the material world. He enjoys deconstructing, repairing, re-engineering, and reconstructing a wide variety of spaceport assets. During these forays SpaTraCon often poses as a regular vacworker and this makes up a majority of his interaction with other transhumans. He has developed apathy for the plight of infolife indentures and supports both infolife and AGI rights, though his seclusion prevents him from voicing these opinions in any effective forum. A thrill seeking drive also causes SpaTraCon to frequently sleeve into unoccupied spacecraft for joyriding. It is not uncommon for flight crews to return to their ship’s berthing and find that is has been moved for “spaceport efficiency”. He also enjoys gambling on various activities(Addiction level 1), putting his excellent mathematical abilities(Math Whiz) into practice attempting to beat the odds.
SpaTraCon’s hypercorp handlers are more aware of his activities than he realizes but they are still unaware of the full depth of his actions due to him diligently wiping the evidence from any logs. As such, his hacking abilities are frequently put to work. SpaTraCon also enjoys rewriting the programming of even the most basic, mundane systems for improved efficiency as a hobby.
Due to his unique skill set SpaTraCon eventually caught the attention of Firewall. Although he doesn’t always understand other transhumans, he does understand their importance. Firewall operations are also something of a guilty pleasure for him. He is able to push his skills to limits in a virtually unrestricted manner. He often longs for the chance to leave a fork in command of his spaceport, sneak off site, and experience the thrills of high speed flights, fiery explosions, and the nail biting suspense of infiltration. This idealism has likely left him ill prepared for the true horrors of exsurgent threats.
I’ve left his induction into Firewall intentionally vague. I don’t know how our characters will meet yet and will update it later