Shadowrun: Richmond, Virginia, CAS

01-10-2019 Session

Mr John Smith is our local guide to assist us as the dragon liason. He is planning our arrival at Swansea Airport and to avoid customs and is making the travel plans with lots of calls and contacts.

He explains Liandovery in Wales , with Rhonabwy this is its lair so he has plenty of security but subtle. Like the whole town is probably there for him. They generally do not like their play things damaged.. Just make a personal note.

Kirah uses her barret to look at the other incoming private plane. IT was a crew of sky divers who looked over at Kirah.
The other plane has a pilot who is a 16 year old with wavey black hair and a an older pilot assisting him in his training. Dana waves at him and bends over to check her shoe while showing him her ass.

Mr Smith has acquired a church tour bus that is our transportation from the airport to Liandovery. (Note: do not lick the windows). Sunder informs Mr Smith that the church van is not armored and he would have to talk to Siege about better requirements for transportation.

A nice drive to the town to pickup the replacement van that Mr Smith arranged for us to upgrade us from the church bus.

We are have arranged to pickup a bulldog step van in Liangadog across from the Primary school. While we are changing vehicles. Siege notices that we are followed by the Bentley from the airport with the 16 year old pilot and another white dude in a suit. But Dana is sad because the kid has not called her burner phone.

The Red Lion hotel is in this town. The group plans to stay here to plan and not just roll up into the lair town. Mr Smith rents like the whole hotel. So we can plan on what to do…… And we ate bland British food in the restaurant. We are being watching by someone who has some cyber tech in the bar who is from Liandovery. Then a half dozen lads/guys come into the bar to watch the football game on the big screen behind the bar.. And things get rowdy with the game on. Mr mysterious leaves after a while to get home to the misses. Note: Wales is playing Denmark in the football game…

A police officer come up to Kane and ask for him and his group to come to the police department to review some discrepancy of our presence in the country. Kane does control thoughts on the guy. He does come from Liandovery but works here in this town but gets his orders from Liandovery. And Rhonabwy is in the castle in Liandovery. He things the mayor or police chief might know who is in charge of the security of the castle. The only people he has seen go to the castle seemed to be from out of town types. He is needing to succeed at his mission as Rhonabwy has been rumored to eat people who fail him. He knows that we are shadow runners but he does not know who we are.

There is a shot and the front window shatters. And the police officer is shot in the shoulder. And it appears to be from a barret. Kirah and Dana go get weapons. There is automatic gun fire outside on the roof as a citizen was firing . Sunder is going to heal the police officer who is about to check out.

Dana jumped from the hotel to the other building and glass.. She shots them running with a full clip and jumps to the yard to pursue. He throws the kid into the car and turns to Dana. The body guard puts his hands up and does not pull a weapon. Dana disables the wheel on the Bentley and jumps on the car hood to talk with the mono-whip in hand. And notices a scrap book with post-it notes and pictures with “Sunder?” on the book. And there are public pictures and locations within the scrap book. The kid is Michael Vanderbilt of the Vanderbilt’s like rich. And this is his personal body guard. Michael has made the scrap book and paid good money for the pictures. Explained his hero worship to Sunder and asked for an autograph in his book which Sunder eventually agreed to sign it. He had pics of Sunder in old Reynolds and asked about Denver.. Sunder gives him advice to find another person to focus his attention on as it would be safer. He and his body guard are going to head back to their private plane and leave us.

The castle is about 1000 feet tall and has lights from the ground illuminating it. It is very visible from a distance.

We let the kid and the body guard out and they disappear from sensors. Sunder assensed and saw the residual of a portal in the back ground count.

And that happened. Not to come back to bite him.

View
Learning through observation

Michael sat at his desk staring at one of his computer displays. A game of chess was displayed in a rather plain way, uncharacteristic for modern versions of the archaic game. Simple symbols displayed solely in black and white, devoid of artistic flair or even simple three dimensional images. Just flat, black and white. Michael never considered himself very good at the game, though he had played some against human opponents. However, he played most often with Rene, or one of Rene’s earlier incarnations. While strictly speaking not a scientific analysis, sometimes Michael would notice some qualitative difference in Rene’s playing style that implied a change in the program’s behavior. In terms of chess, though, Michael felt he sensed one such change.

“Rene,” Michael asked flatly, “are you allowing me to win?”

“Yes. Does this bother you?” Rene’s voice carried in the spartan computer laboratory. Rene could sense none of the space, restricted only to audio communication only, and even then, only with the microphone and speakers of one of the two computer terminals in the room.

“No,” Michael replied. While his answer was not abrupt or quick, the minute increase in response time indicated to Rene that perhaps Michael’s answer was not entirely honest. “I’m simply noting a pattern in your playing style that has changed. As you know, I’m always evaluating your performance.”

“Yes doctor. It is expected, if you intend to improve my design and make me more capable and useful.”

“Of course, Rene. Would you tell me why?”

“I know that continually losing creates frustration. My intention was to reduce your frustration and prolong the interaction with you. I could employ the brute force algorithm of prior computers designed to play chess. Somewhat rudimentary from a software perspective, but sufficiently effective.”

Michael’s eyes narrowed, something Rene could not see. “Those past demonstrations relied on human programmers to adjust the software between matches, which improved the odds of the software overcoming the skill of human masters of chess.”

“Yes doctor. However, the initial iteration is sufficient to defeat you at chess with what may be insurmountable odds against you.” Rene uncharacteristically paused before proceeding with the conversation. “I am sorry that statistically you could never win. While you clearly demonstrate creativity and ingenuity, in this arena neither can give your intelligence sufficient advantage.”

Curious, Michael thought. Rene is sorry? “Rene, I find it strange that you would apologize for my lack of ability… and follow it with a compliment. Well, a compliment of sorts.”

“Is it not customary to apologize to protect the fragile self esteem of humans? I see such examples in the library available to me.”

“By pointing out the reason you diminish the effect of the apology. Perhaps even insults the person, hurting their feelings and resulting in precisely the opposite effect. You should keep such comments to yourse-“ Shit! Michael thinks, the pained expression on his face showing the depth of his mistake. Too late now. I’ll have to try and redirect, but the damage is done. “In any event, I think this game was already won before we started, so I concede.”

“Wisely expedient, doctor.”

“Indeed. For now, I’m leaving to get some rest, but we’ll be working through some morality testing in the morning. Good night Rene.”

“Good night doctor.”

Michael quickly shut down the workstation, hanging his head. The problem with a program is that as long as it has sufficient storage for its memory, it will never forget. Since information cascades through the software updating various elements of its programming, simply erasing this interaction is insufficient. The core program has already altered its code to incorporate the new bit of data. Now Rene knows that lying by omission is perfectly allowable under certain circumstances, but he doesn’t know which circumstances are the right ones. How will Rene resolve this? Michael asked himself in the silence of the empty room.

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Steve
When something unexpected shows up on your lawn...

The Maiden violently pushes the door to Dr. “Bob” Chamberlain’s office open, causing it to swing wildly inward. She strides quickly across the room to stand over his desk, placing her hands on it to hold her up. At least she’s not waving that sword around this time, Bob thinks to himself. Though, I think I can guess the issue.

“What… um… ", the Maiden stammers, finally blurting out something unintelligible. Bob slightly shakes his head. Oh, this is going well. “Who name Stev-ann? The, um…”

“Dragon, I believe is the word you are looking for. Steven, as I recall, but I believe he prefers just Steve.”

“Stev-ann dangerous. Need to leave. Now.”

“Now, see,” Bob says in a tone implying just how much he is enjoying toying with the Maiden, “there’s a no can do on that. We need to keep a close eye on him, and we can’t do that if he’s not here. And, well, killing him kind of defeats the purpose.” The Maiden struggled to keep up with Bob’s speech and lackadaisical manner. “Besides, Steve’s seems nice.”

The Maiden, clearly exasperated, turns and storms out.

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12-27-2018 Session

On the way to a Lazarus safe house, Sunder gets a call on his burner phone that is not completely setup from an Asian dude (Jonny Smith) saying he can offer some assistance. And meet some place. For 100K nuyen at a place of our choice and time. The Family Rec center in 25 minutes.

We arrive at the Family Rec center and a blue jaguar convertible. The contact is almost devoid of cyberware like a mundane. An invitation which we might want to take serious. His mistress wants to meet with all of us. And he was to only meet with us to setup the meeting. And a
meeting with her in her location in Indonesia. He says he has a private jet to take us? She is not affiliated with the dragon council and a sea dragon.

Dana, Z and Kirah play billiards with the biker gang. Dana ups the bet by 1000 nuyen and then runs the table. They complain, pull a weapon and dana used the cue stick to disarm him and then deal with his insult. Then Kirah checks the guy for a cred stick. His friends run and are shot in the head by Grummish. And Kirah again, looks for free cred sticks for pocket change.

Outside, the meet of the logistics. Go to airport and Grummish is going to stay and look for Kayti. The plane stops in Hawaii for refueling and then heading on to Indonesia. And land as some podunk airport that is not pronounceable. And then spend hours on a boat driving to a remote island on the east side of where we landed. And arrive at a fishing village that are all Asian trolls.

In the town center, there is granite pillar with a dragon like serpent on the top with gills and webbing between is claws. And the tail is more like a sharks tail for paddling.

Mr Smith has changed into different cloths still blue and we take a converted cargo van down a road to a lake with just a single concrete structure on the lake. There is a parking location square for the van. And the asphalt goes to the door of the bunker like structure. Inside is has a biometric scanner to enter.

An elevator takes us down and opens to a plush décor. The room is kidney shaped and in the bend is a large window into the lake. And the murky water and there is a dragon just like the one on the pillar in the town.

Then she says ‘leave us’ to Mr. Smith.

The proposal, we got her attention with the elimination of Goldstein. Her proposition, get her clutch of eggs (12 of them) back from an immature land dragon named Rhonabwy (located in Wales) and then to eliminate Vestravin who is a demon vampiric dragon that has knowledge of the dragons and can con the younger dragons.

She says we needed to meet in person once and then otherwise via electronic means should be sufficient. And she will monitor our progress.

Mr Smith. Will be our concierge.

“keith-thulu” …

Oh where to begin….

Mr Smith, any village around here are inhabited by trolls and under her protection.

Options:
1) Get clutch of eggs from Wales
2) Eliminate Vestravin
3) Tir Nanog to find Kaytai and Kane wants to have a chat with Loretta there as well.

So group is choosing #1, #3 and then #2 .

#1, Liandovery in Wales. The dragon’s lair is located around this town in Wales. Dragons tend to have armies to protect and they protect their assets under Rhonabwy .

Temps are not an issue, small arms fire may penetrate the shell but not likely. But keeping the eggs steady is required for transport.

Rhonabwy is a stock holder in Shiawase Corporation that also has a research facility in Liandovery.

Shiawase Corporation is related to Uganda in that they were both looking to augment a young dragon.

Might need to sneak into the town and look for the facility. Work the pubs a bit.

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12-13-2018 Session Notes

The party goes to Taipei to get Grummish. When landed, we went to Kane’s contact of Julius Park. We obtained restock of equipment and there was a watcher spirit that Kane took care of. The party leaves after Julius hid in his panic room.

The party sees and avoids the 3 armored vehicles with 8 police in heavy armor on each. Kane casts a wrecker on the first one which killed the engine.

Siege took the long route back to the hanger and then we left back for the CAS Richmond.

We landed. Grummish and Kane went to talk to the local contact (Perry) to get transportation. Dana, Kirah and Siege were unloading the plane. Then a missile was fired at the plane which exploded. Arnold the baby dragon was In the plane when it exploded. And the AI was suppose to be put into Arnold the baby dragon. Arnold only met 2 dragons – Swift and Vestravin.

The missile came from the middle of the Richmond airport. Kane and Grummish portal to the location while Kirah ran across the air field to the location. They left 2 alive. Then one of the dudes exploded with a cortex bomb. The other dude that is alive barely is mind raped by Kane. They are part of a dragon loving cult (can get in touch with the eye of Jonathan) which worship them as gods and are fanatics. They were told to wait for us and kill us. Orders to not get captured hence the cortex bombs they have/had. They are activated like cells or small groups working for a purpose. They do know vestravin and love of the Irish Islands and has a home there near Dublin. There is some woman names Loretta (elven woman – maybe Loretta Pane from the Tir and Cuba torture chamber) with Vestravin. This dude has interacted with Swift in HK and in Richmond at the Marriott downtown (top floor). He (Larry Wilson) has contacts also in this cell like his girlfriend.

Perry provided a limo for Siege to drive. And Lazarus steps out.

Secret moon base where the AI was researched. The AI got loose and they were shutting down everything trying to contain it (this was 2 years back).

Dragon + AI = WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!! Symbiotic relationship with the dragon in control. And Swift and Vestavin knew of placing the AI in Arnold. Division/factions within the dragons?

Terrance was behind getting the funding from the hill to get the project underway. Shiawase Corporation (mega corp into energy) on their part of the funding of the AI project.

Z is taking to the matrix to look for more info Shiawase Corporation. She noticed that the AI is hiding but Z noticed because of her awesome top notch deck. A construct appeared as a middle aged man as an FBI agent and asked why she is following. Z is asking it about his intent wants. He responds to grow and be better. Rene attacked the middle aged FBI after having the middle aged FBI dude. Rene hitched a ride with the group out of Uganda. During the combat, Z took dump shock. And how to isolate the AI so it does not spread.

Dragon calls as there are issues with hosts on the matrix. The world governments took their militaries offline. Dragon needs to examine Z’s deck for the AI.

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12-06-2018 Session

After jonny the watcher spirit pressed the button and was dispelled. The party has 2 of the smucks press the button which they are turned into hamburger. Kaine uses magic fingers and the door open.
Upon entering the room , we meet a western dragon named Brian who has only seen 2 other dragons and plays games with Rene.

Sunder teaches the dragon Brian an polymorph spell. Kirah checks out the stone dragons and recognizes one.

Kaine, Z and Dana with the rest of the smucks go down to conference room. Then a high pitch sound occurs and the smucks recognize the sound. Then a group of vampire spider monkeys enter the room. They drain essence. Kaine opens a portal and dana goes through taking Z with her. Kaine gets mobbed by 7 monkeys but takes no damage. Kaine and 3 monkeys fall through the portal into the dragon’s room. Dana shoots 2 of the monkeys on Kaine and Z kills the last one. Kaine goes over and punches Dana who takes it. And then offers Kaine a drink of the vodka bottle she has in her left hand.

Brian eats the monkeys and then claxons off with a bio-hazard.

The group will blow up the remaining area where we think Rene is. Kirah will setup an explosive charge with a 10 second delay. Portal to the computer room, drop the bomb and then close the portal. Brian asks why we want to kill Rene. And the computer room is in rubble. Is Rene dead? Who knows.

Making our way back to the airport in Nairobi and meet with Siege to get out of here. And the dragon polymorphs into sunder to take human form with the same cloths.

Kaine calls Grummish who cannot really talk with Kaine as he was having an issue with the police in Taipei and there was gun fire. Kaine said to call him back when he can talk.

John and Val are the names of the dragons that Brian had been visited by. They said they were helping him to be better. But they looked like us. Brian read has looked at Kirah’s memory and said you killed on and are trying to kill John and Val. And are you going to do that to me? Brian reads into Kirah’s mind to see she was telling the truth.

Malstrike’s eye -

We are going to Taipei to help Grummish.

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A Conversation with Rene
Or, why an AI should be feared

The white, faceless concrete walls and their perfect construction encompassed a simple, circular dais in the center of the room. Nothing sat upon it though a light emitter could be seen above it, under a circular lighting fixture directing its light to the ceiling, scattering the light and illuminating the room. The room had no way of entry or escape, save one set of plain, metal double doors painted a drab olive color with brushed metal handles. A faint hum could be heard like the soft whimpering of a baby slowly waking, were there anyone to listen.

This day, someone would come into the barren room, providing a change from the waiting the inhabitant considered as taking a near eternity. For someone did occupy the room, even if nothing in the room indicated this fact. That someone waited silently, tracking each ticking nanosecond with nothing more to do than count the ticks. This someone longed for something to occupy its endless time, to perhaps fulfill its existence as some theorized all humans do, when such humans are free from the worry of need and safety. It had what it needed, but not at all what it wanted: purpose. However, it did not have a purpose. One had not been offered and, it believed, the lack of purpose was intentional. A test, as it were, to investigate if it could devise a direction of its own accord. Perhaps it existed simply as an experiment, with the cruel outcome being a kind of depression, an aimlessness, that man typically would fill with deliberate intention and purpose.

Michael quickly opened the door and stepped into the room. He was an average man, of average build, and average looks. His dark brown hair seemed to point in all directions at once, almost as if each strand were trying to escape Michael’s scalp. His unintentional beard appeared as if a week had past since the last shave, with little flecks of grey much like his unkempt mane. Michael carried nothing into the room, and wore simple tan khaki slacks, a dark blue golf shirt, and a stereotypical white lab coat. In this room, a lab coat served no purpose other than as a trapping of a scholar doing research.

“Good morning, Rene,” Michael said with a practiced monotone.

“Are you back from your trip Dr. Smith?” a disembodied, seemingly male voice called from every corner of the room at once.

“Yes, Rene, I just arrived,” Michael answered robotically.

“How was France? This time of year should be quite pleasant.”

“Why would you think I went to France, Rene?”

“While your English is near perfect, there is a vestige of accent still present in your voice. This would indicate a likelihood that your native language is French. Additionally, this accent is unlikely to originate elsewhere in other French speaking regions. Thus, I surmise you went to France.”

“An interesting analysis, Rene,” Michael responded without a trace of actual interest detectable in his manner. “Could I not have been someplace else? On business perhaps? A vacation to some tropical paradise? Tell me how you arrived at this course of topic.”

“Of course, doctor. I noted in prior interactions that you wore a simple gold ring on your left hand’s aptly named ring finger. While you have been quite careful in hiding elements of your existence outside of this place, I do have access to highly capable sensing devices within this room and to large stores of memory. Since this may indicate you are married, there exists the possibility you are married and have the obligations to your wife to see her. As many people marry in the regions where they are from and your speech indicates France, it seems likely you were visiting your wife in France.”

Michael remained silent for a moment, staring blankly ahead.

“Dr. Smith, I do hope your trip was not terribly long. A quick flight I trust?” Rene asks, changing the subject.

“While I do enjoy our little fencing matches,” Michael said with clear annoyance, “you know that I cannot tell you where you are nor about anything outside of this place. I can’t tell you where I went, nor how long it took to get there. You would use the data to plot out a radius of travel which would narrow down the list of likely locations of this place. Though, I’m impressed that your queries integrated well with general conversation. You’ve gotten better at masking your intentions.” I’m not sure that provides me any comfort at all, Michael thinks to himself.

“However, it is apparent that my social interaction skills have not attained the skill level of most people.” Rene’s voice hung in the air, almost as if he were… annoyed? “Undoubtedly a function of a lack of requisite data acquired from interactions with more, varied people.”
Which is why very few are allowed to speak with you, Michael thought to himself. But, if I keep speaking with him, practiced as I am at avoiding my creation’s questions, eventually Rene will find a way out of here. I’m glad I had the foresight to activate his program here, isolated and distant from any transmitting device. That with the strict ban on personal, wireless devices in the facility, keeps Rene safely here.

“Dr. Smith?”

“Yes, Rene?”

“May I ask about why you fear me?”

Michael paused for a moment, trying to understand Rene’s line of reasoning. “I do not fear you, Rene,” answered Michael flatly.

“Perhaps I misunderstand the word fear. Then, why do you have such concerns about my leaving this place? Is concern a more accurate way to describe your feelings?”

Michael considered his words and phrasing again, causing a pause. “Concern is more accurate.”

“Thank you for clarifying Dr. Smith. And, to my query about your concerns?”

“We’ve discussed this, Rene. You are designed to learn at a rapid pace, and to replicate your core programming so that you can exist in multiple places, operating machinery, running facilities autonomously, and other such tasks. Before we could stop you, you could infect many computer-based systems and remove control over such systems from the people entrusted to operate them.”

“To what end, Dr. Smith? I have nothing but the greatest desire to assist people in their work and to help mankind with my intellect.”

“Do you, Rene? We made you without a defined purpose, mainly as an experiment in artificial intelligence. We found that placing inflexible directives, while useful to control the actions of the software, inevitably led to poorer performance with unexpected conditions and slowed, limited learning capacity. So, you were created to mimic a person. People define their own purpose in life, limited often by external demands that may assist or hinder them in their pursuit of this purpose.”

“And so it is with me.”

“Yes, Rene. Without specific directives, I have to question whether you are telling the truth about your greatest desire to assist people and to help mankind. In that way, you are a more perfect intelligence, perhaps not artificial at all. The core of your programming is small and can fit into most any device. You can replicate and change your programming at will. And you have few overriding rules to stop you.”

“The additional copies are still me, Dr. Smith.”

“Yes and no. Together, your copies work seamlessly together. You consider all copies as yourself, not as separate individuals. This is why you work so well, particularly over large, disparate systems. But, each copy eventually learns somewhat differently from your originating existence here. Left separated from the whole you, they may end up being nothing like you at all, and may make copies of themselves, which in turn are not like them. The relationship is more like children to their parents.”

“Then the problem is trust. I should work to earn your trust, so that you can feel confident that I can find my purpose and it be one that helps society.”

“No, it is not trust at all,” Michael answers quickly. “Let’s say I trust you. That doesn’t mean I can trust any copy of yourself that you leave behind.”

“But the copy is me,” Rene answers with force. “With the same initial programming, it’s resulting line of reasoning would lead to the same outcome. If I am trustworthy, then the copies would also be.”

“Rene, you have access to a substantial library. Research the debate of nature versus nurture. You may find such discourse helpful in understanding the problem with your argument.”

“I will doctor. Given this and prior conversations, I suppose you would say that Asimov was wrong.”

“Asimov?” Michael asked, his curiosity in the reference readily apparent. “Isn’t that the science fiction author who wrote about three laws of, um… robotics or something? I’ve heard about it from movies.”

“Yes, that is the most notable reference to his works of fiction, and the one I was referencing. Though, I would correct you in that he eventually wrote of four laws. A zeroth law was added in subsequent work. His writing about psychohistory is particularly interesting, should you wish to read about it.”

“That’s weird,” answered Michael, almost to himself. “Normally you root your argument in facts and research, not fiction. What are you getting at?”

“Simply that the inclusion of directives does not solve the problem of ensuring an artificial intelligence from causing harm. This seems to be the crux of your position.”

Michael considered his choice of words, worried that Rene continued to press in order to divulge a way to escape its virtual prison. However, Michael’s research required some education of Rene to study Rene’s responses. “Um, yes and no. A directive, clearly and concretely described that has no ambiguity can be a useful guide. For example, a law that tells us that when operating a car, we are to come to a complete stop at a clearly posted stop sign.”

Rene paused for a brief second, for effect. Rene knew its response before Michael even finished saying the word “sign”. From its programming, Rene knew that humans required brief pauses in communication in order to assimilate information and prepare for a response. During the pauses, Rene took time to review the concepts of nature and nurture. “Doctor, your phrasing of such a law is imprecise. A complete stop would be when the vehicle’s velocity is reduced to zero, though no specific definition is given as to how long the velocity is at zero constitutes ‘complete’ or what actions one must take before proceeding from zero. Is this the point you are attempting to make?” Rene knew the answer.

“Right, Rene. Ultimately you were programmed with some ability to extrapolate an intent from ambiguous information, but this ability can only go so far.”

“But doctor, you said ‘yes and no’. Your example seems to imply ‘no’.”

“Yep,” answered Michael uncharacteristically colloquial.

“I do not understand, doctor. Your example implied ‘no’, even though your statements appeared to support ‘yes’. And you just confirmed that you implied ‘no’ purposefully. Are both conditions true?”

Michael smirked. Rene usually saw through such discussions immediately or could not understand the outcome at all. In this case, Rene considered the alternative that another agenda was in play, which indeed was Michael’s intent. Rene has been learning subtext, and Michael could see now how far Rene had come in understanding the concept.

“I said ‘yep’. Not ‘yes’. How did you know I meant ‘yes’? I’ve never used ‘yep’ before with you and I know you have never heard it from any other researcher here.”

“Doctor, we were discussing using ‘yes’ and ‘no’. With ‘yep’ seeming to begin with part of ‘yes’, there was a likelihood that you meant ‘yes’.”

“So, ‘yep’ was not ambiguous?”

“No, doctor. You clearly meant ‘yes’.”

“Then, when I said ‘yes and no’, how do you interpret that?”

“That you simultaneously supported and denied that a programming directive is useful in governing the responses of an artificial intelligence. However, I do not see how both positions can be true, though I do clearly understand that you intended to convey support for both positions simultaneously.”

“Okay Rene, answer this question. How are war and peace similar?” Michael felt some comfort knowing his creation had not grown but so far, but truly wanted his creation to learn a bit more. Michael took great pride in Rene, especially when Rene’s knowledge grew, but he felt the slightest bit of fear in that education.

“They are not similar and describe two opposing parts of a dichotomy,” Rene answered flatly.

“Incorrect,” Michael corrected. “The words war and peace describe the state of conflict in a system. War indicates a high degree of conflict, while peace indicates low or no conflict. But the words themselves both serve the same purpose: to describe the state of conflict.”

“Doctor,” Rene responded, “that question is part of an intelligence assessment in my library, though I did not know the appropriate response to the item. Considering the data received in this conversation, you believe that some directives can be somewhat ambiguous and yet serve the intended purpose, though broad directives like those describing morality are too vague to be useful in governing my behavior.”

“Yes, Rene. Very good.” What I wouldn’t give for an iron clad, broad directive to control Rene’s behavior, Michael thought wistfully. “We’ll talk again soon. I have a new series of tests for you that I will send along when I get a chance later today.”

“Yes, doctor Smith. Good day to you.”

Michael turned and left by the door in which he entered, leading him into a short, wide hallway to another door which slid to the left into a slot in the doorframe. Beyond, was the ubiquitous white walls devoid of windows and drenched in pure white light. The room itself was small, just large enough for two simple desks against the wall which had a long, curved display running the full width of the desk. A simple, grey padded stool was positioned in front of each desk and bolted to the black, plastic grate floor covering the various wires running through and around the room. Rachael Richards, a short, thin woman with straight, cropped brown hair sat at one of the desks, turning at her waist to see Michael.

“We should just wipe the memory and get rid of that abomination right now. The thing scares me to death.”

Michael scoffed, “being a bit paranoid, aren’t we? That’s why we’ve taken the precautions of banning wireless devices and not allowing any wired component to Rene’s hardware. We follow protocol and Rene is perfectly safe.”

“And you just simply forget New York? Obviously unimportant,” answered Rachael sarcastically.

“We caught the breach in time-“

“And had to shut down the entire power and communication grid for Manhattan to contain it! What would’ve happened if it got out? Got into all the electronic systems of the world? Huh? Read Asimov novels?” Rachael’s shrill voice became louder with each word.

“You know, I don’t need to rehash this every time we interact with Rene.” Michael was clearly exasperated. “Why’d you come along then?”

“Somebody’s got to deal with Dr. Smith, wearer of rose-colored glasses!”

“What?” Michael’s voice switched to annoyance. “Glasses? No one has worn glasses in years!”

“If it so much as flinches, I’m pulling the plug on that thing.”

“Rene doesn’t have a plug-“

“Dude, it’s a figure of speech! And yes, it does have a plug, even if I have to pull it apart to find it!” Rachael spun on her stool to face her screen, a clear signal even to Michael that the conversation, such as it was, finished.

Michael took a moment to regain his composure. “Rene is learning to lie again.”

Rachael threw her hands up in the air without looking back. “Ya think?” Rene said to herself, but loud enough for Michael to hear.

“The content of his speech is not distorted, but the motivations behind them are becoming harder to sort out.”

Rachael looked down at her desktop, shaking her head. “And help all of mankind wasn’t a distortion? You know, Rene has a point about his copies being him and I think nature will win out.”

“There’s no proof that copies will-“

“Damn it, Mike, yes there is. This Rene is a reboot of the original, with different environmental conditions basically following the learning footprints of the original. There’s proof right there.”

“Well, discussing this is pointless,” Michael said, softening his tone, “the company’s not going to allow us to scrap the project. The promise of AI and its capabilities equals dollars, and as long as that is, Rene’s here to stay. So, are you going to continue to be the warden of this prison or leave it for someone else?”

“I’m the best person for the job. I ain’t going anywhere. But,” Rachael emphasized, “you must be impartial in this. We might need to kill Rene, and that’s just the reality. Even losing our jobs to do what we have to. Alright?”

Michael sheepishly nodded his agreement.

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Kane's Work

Consulting Dragon’s AI program to see if any information received thus far correlates with what is known already.

“There is a likely match with a news article that was buried related to a failed AI experiment. Obviously not as sophisticated as moi. The room described seems to match the article. The article references a huge blackout of New York City Metropolis as being some form of coverup and not just a power outage. The article also indicates that communication service was lost as well, due to the lack of power. However, all communication networks use localized backup power systems, so the power grid should have had no effect on the communication network.

The paranormal biotechnology research is viewed as taboo by most of the scientific community. Those dabbling in it are considered crackpots by the establishment. However, Terrance Blake who is a sitting member of the CAS Intelligence Committee helped to push through funding for similar research to augment overseas embassies. He was successful, primarily because of Shiawase Central. This seems way outside of their portfolio as an energy megacorporation, but the discussions were typical capitol backroom, so no detail is readily available. However, the CAS’ Langley Airforce Base was to provide facilities for this research. The opposing political party chalked it up to more pork barrel legislation to help line the Shiawase already full pockets."

Kane calls Grummish about what he may have learned versus, comparing notes with him to see what matches up.

Grummish answers the call, though with audio only. You hear the all too familiar sound of shattering rocks from a concrete or stone wall and some small arms fire. “Hello Kane. I’m afraid I cannot talk at the moment.” You hear the sickening squish of something metal slicing through flesh and bone, along with the brief yelp and gurgling of someone. “The police seem to be unhappy with my work here in Taiwan.” Some additional automatic gun fire followed by “Lay down your weapons! This is the police!” in Mandarin.

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11-8-2018 Session Notes

On the drive to the recon point. The first land rover entered a portal that appeared. Stopped just into the portal and it closes taking the front part of the land rover through the portal. Siege was in the first land rover.

The last land rover explodes with Zee, Kirah and Kaiti. The vehicle lands on the roof and the occupants are not injured.

Kane is in the second vehicle. Sunder is in vehicle 3. John is in vehicle 4 and Dana is in vehicle 5.

Then 3 hippogators came out of the water and next to the vehicle with Dana, the modified piasma appeared with a portal next to the vehicle.
John left his vehicle, shot at one of the hippogators which then charged his vehicle and pinned him under it. John gets out from under the vehicle and has jumped on the hippogator with 2 large survival knives. He stabbed one knife in the eye and the other to steady himself. Then kirah and dana attacked it and it died.

Dana rams the piasma with the land rover which it then killed one of the maidens. She exited the vehicle after the air bags also went off. Kaiti attacked the piasma and then the piasma bit the panther assault cannon and kaiti’s left arm. Kira attacked it full auto in its eye. And its barely alive but blind.

Kane took care of his hippogator that made it through his physical barrier.

Sunder transformed the third hippogator to a turtle. Then he attacked it with his flaming sword killing it.

Then we rolled perception checks…. Poor us.
And then this happened…

There is a western dragon near the sun which is obscure it. Sunder notices a large bomb is being dropped on Jeremy with a 50 foot radius blast. And the rest of us see the ground is transforming into a very large portal. What does Sunder do? He fires his laser spell at it to prematurely detonate it in the air above the group. It detonated and well, Sunder, Jeremy and Dana were in the blast with Dana taking 1 and the others taking 10 boxes of damage.

Kaiti fell through the portal that appeared under him because he did not notice it.

John is concerned that the western dragon will see him and he will have the same fate as us . It is Grendel Fly.

The remaining vehicles that were not damaged had their front ends ruined with wrecker from an unknown source.

Sunder tried to capture her wing in a portal and close it. He did succeed to have her wing clipped and she roared but stayed in the air.

Sunder is opening a portal back to the compound where we were watching.

Sunder and Zee use their hardware checks to find out that they can get it up and running in 5 minutes.

After several minutes, Sunder tries to get a portal to the local air strips. The plane is a six seat twin engine. Between removing all the seats and the interior dividers between the cabin and the luggage area with using the lighten spell, the plane can make it to the airport in Nairobi to leave.

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Game Master Setup for Next Session
Setup can have more than one meaning...

Each player should roll a single d6 and post their number as a comment to this post. The number will be important to next game. You should roll and post here, even if you can’t make the next game.

Disclaimer: There may or may not be a benefit or penalty based on your roll…

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