Session 7 8

Manufactured. Programmed, to an extent. All well and good, but something slipped from the program over the years, and there does not seem to have been much, perhaps not any, error correction.
[OOC] Spyboy: Not particularly surprising.
It is their nature - now, anyway; their history records that they used to be different, not unlike the species they find on other planets with about the same rarity the Confederation had found, but detailed records from so long ago are not in the presently available data files.
Zinda Tegram: "Should we tell them they need error correction?"
Metis: "If there is a cultural taboo against altering their programming traditions, I suspect it would not do much good."
Spyboy: "If there is not a cultural taboo against altering their programming traditions, I'd be shocked beyond belief."
Metis: "Exactly."
Zinda Tegram: "…I'm gonna tell 'em."
Zinda Tegram brings up her neu-comm.
[OOC] Metis: That Zinda, always starting trouble…
Zinda Tegram: "Hey, you guys realize you have no error correction your personal programming right?"
There is silence for a moment.
Abraham: "Always a good sign."
Nephilim: "[Are you are using a translation convention? Those words did not make sense.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[…OK, so uh…electronic information storage over time accumulates errors. This can be compensated for with certain techniques, but…you don't seem to be applying any.]"
[OOC] Abraham: I'm taking a leap of faith here that Nephilim silence sounds a lot like ConFed silence.
Zinda Tegram: "[You've probably been suffering from some mild mental illnesses, learning disabilities probably.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[You should uh…probably take a stab at fixing that.]"
Nephilim: "[…we understood half of that. What do we need to fix?]"
[OOC] WC GM: Silence is silence, aye.
Zinda Tegram: "[Which half did you understand?]"
Nephilim: "[That there is something we need to fix.]"
Metis: "[That was an important half.]"
Nephilim: "[It often is. But what is that which we need to fix?]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Uh, well, your brains basically. Umm…]"
Zinda Tegram: "[OK, so, uh…a long time ago you guys probably decided to start manufacturing each other, rather than using your evolved birthing mechanism?]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Is that correct?]"
[OOC] Abraham: I can't help Zinda. I'm not in this episode.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hahaha
[OOC] WC GM: Yes you are. :P
[OOC] Metis: Zinda, just say: The bits you use for thinking aren't thinking right so you need to think about how to fix your thinking errors.
Nephilim: "[That is correct. That which we were changed, becoming the true ancestors of that which we are today.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[OK, so when you decided to do that you started to program each other at birth right? Using some sort of cybernetic brain prosthesis?]"
Nephilim: "[That was a later improvement.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[OK, well, the exact timeline isn't so important but you've been using them a long time right?]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Well, inorganic information storage over long periods of time tends to, uh…degrade. Bits get flipped, etc.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[Whatever storage medium you're using to store your programming is probably, uh…corrupted.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[…And probably has been for a long time.]"
Nephilim: "[That does not seem correct, so we suspect further translation errors. We are able to function. We all agree on what we are observing.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[No, you're just wrong about what is correct.]"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda with maximum diplomacy.
[OOC] Metis: Don't worry, Metis is taking notes.
Zinda Tegram: "[Like…do the math. You've surely noticed old log files and stuff have distortions. Why should your brains be any different?]"
Nephilim: "[…they do?]"
Nephilim: "[Oh! You mean to propose an explanation to the Fish History.]"
[OOC] Abraham: I'm fighting off this mysterious dread at Metis taking notes from Zinda.
Metis: "[Before we say yes, clarify 'Fish History'.]"
Nephilim: "[For some reason, our archaeological records show no history between when the highest life form on our original planet was fish, and when we began manufacturing more of ourselves. Surely something happened in between.]"
[OOC] WC GM: Don't fight it! XD
Nephilim: "[But that information appears to be lost beyond recovery, unless time travel - even just observational - is possible.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[That's probably because the records are decayed, as I have described.]"
Zinda Tegram: "[But like…what's your oldest intelligible log file?]"
Nephilim: "[From the memories of our first ancestors of our line.]"
Nephilim: "[There were words. For centuries we have examined and reflected on them, for surely they indicate our purpose and function…but we have not found much meaning in them.]"
Nephilim: "['Let's see if this batch works.' After that there was much silence.]"
Nephilim: "[We are fairly certain there was a war before that, because the next set of log files indicate exploring our homeworld and repairing the infrastructure.]"
Zinda Tegram pulls the mentioned log files and tries to run dskchk on them.
Nephilim: "[Some have suggested that the 'damage' may have included accidental eradication of our ancestors' ancestors.]"
[OOC] Abraham: BRB. Also, I'm gonna keep fighting it.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: OK.
It is difficult to tell if the records are corrupt, without any checksums or the usual Terran data standards. That said, close examination shows artifacts - pixels, voice tones off just so - signs of editing. Another log traces some of the early edits - the reasons given suggest preferences instead of facts, as if this is how they chose to remember instead of what was.
[OOC] Abraham: That's unusual. Also, back.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Not that unusual. Early biblical material has so many signs of edits that they've literally started naming the authors of different revisions.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram:
Metis pokes deeper into the logs, to see if an ID of the editor is available.
There are indeed a few names available. That is all they are - names, without attribution - although the primary author/editor is tagged "abrahim" .
[OOC] Metis: Dun dun dun.
[OOC] WC GM: Honestly, did you expect otherwise?
Metis: "I see the problem. Admiral, why were you editing their memories before you were born?"
[OOC] Spyboy: Please tell me we're not going back in time to design the Nephilim.
[OOC] Metis: "We're not going back in time to design the Nephilim."
[OOC] Spyboy: Thanks.
[OOC] Abraham: "Because I am just that pretty."
Abraham: "I do not know. Do we know who did the edits?"
[OOC] Abraham: My prettiness transcends your linear understanding of space/time.
Metis: "Abrahim."
Spyboy: "Naturally."
Abraham: "Hm… It could just be a coincidence. In fact, yeah, I'm going to go with 'coincidence'."
Spyboy: "Highly unlikely. More likely, the 'Abrahim' who performed the edits established the precedence for the association with the name."
Metis: "Is it possible that 'abrahim' just means 'administrator'?"
Spyboy: "At this point? No. At the point where they were entered? Yes, very."
Heggy: "So do we know if their 'ancestors' were at all related to the Nephilim we know?"
Metis: "That will require more examination."
Metis proceeds to perform said examination.
There is, indeed, very little information on the ancestors prior to those first memories. There is a voiceprint that said those first words, and they were apparently humanoid - which is highly usual. Maybe somewhat reptilian?
There are suggestions that the Nephilim form was based on them, and may in fact have simply started out as clones with a few tweaks, particularly mental, instead of births.
It seems likely that 'abrahim' was one of the Nephilim, curating earlier memories.
[OOC] Metis: That would be Zinda's smoking gun… The Neph can be Abrahim because their own records show they were abrahim.
[OOC] Abraham: Like my prettiness, Zinda's fault also transcends linear space/time
Tracing through further, either 'abrahim' was incredibly long-lived (though Nephilim have found ways to age more slowly over generations, they have not cured aging), or it was a name used by several Nephilim through the centuries.
[OOC] WC GM: Looking for anything else specific?
[OOC] Spyboy: Nothing here.
[OOC] WC GM: Metis? Zinda? Abraham?
[OOC] Metis: not yet.
[OOC] Abraham: I am half convinced that this whole 'neutrino communication' thing is a bit of mini-mass delusion.
[OOC] WC GM: How do you know speech itself isn't?
[OOC] Abraham: Because I participate in speech.
[OOC] Abraham: And I am the definition of sanity.
[OOC] WC GM: So…what do you do with that information, then?
[OOC] Metis: Zinda gets to point out that she identified the problem, while Michael goes 'no, don't tell!' and Abraham looks on with stern approval?
[OOC] Spyboy: Mix of approval and disapproval, I think.
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah. Pretty much.
[OOC] Metis: Everyone has this knowledge already, right? Since the translation filter is still up?
[OOC] Spyboy: Yes.
[OOC] WC GM: And Metis has been relaying to Abraham, right?
[OOC] Abraham: Golly I hope so.
[OOC] Metis: Right.
Metis: "How much of this should be communicated to the Nephilim?"
Metis: "It is from their archives, would they not know this?"
Spyboy: "Keep in mind the psychological corruption."
Spyboy: "They wouldn't think to look."
Metis: "Then it is possible, even likely, that they will not see even if the data is within their view. Much persuasion is necessary."
Spyboy: "Agreed."
Metis gives Michael a long look.
Metis: "They are waiting."
Spyboy: "….I can't do it! I just…That's…"
Metis: "An effective method to manipulate and control a potential enemy."
Spyboy: "I mean…it's Zinda's territory. I can't just horn in."
Abraham: "It's really a more direct way of signals intelligence manipulation. And it is for their benefit, as well as our own."
Heggy: "[So, we were perusing your archives. I thought you said Nephilim couldn't be Abrahim?]"
Nephilim: "[That is correct. Any Nephilim who claims otherwise is but pretending to the title.]"
Heggy: "[So the historical records of log updates and edits by users known as 'Abrahim' are damn, dirty lies written directly to your memory?]"
[OOC] Abraham: Well, this should be interesting.
Metis takes notes.
Nephilim: "[The events seem accurate, even if the authors are questionable. They agree with our memories.]"
[OOC] Abraham: I'll want to borrow those notes after class.
Heggy: "[But that is circular logic. They are true, therefore they are true…but because that is an unbound cycle, it cannot allow for the possibility of falsehood.]"
Nephilim: "[Thus we know it is not false, as it can not be false.]"
[OOC] Abraham: Careful there Spyboy, Heggy is dangerously close into talking herself into outranking you.
Heggy: "[So basically, the way to prevent you from interfering with our society would be to add that prohibition to your memories, since you would then accept them as fact?]"
Nephilim: "[If our memories were simply editable - if we were but simple machines - then yes. But this is not the case.]"
Heggy: "[Can you define the difference?]"
Nephilim: "[Would it not be the case for you as well? If your memories were edited to suggest a different course of action, would you not take it?]"
[OOC] Abraham: I have this guy I want you to talk to. He's bald, gets about in a wheelchair, occasionally speaks with a British accent, and runs a school for gifted youngsters.
[OOC] Metis: My internal system would notice the discrepancy and reload storage from the off-site backups. But I'm different.
Heggy: "[If a clear discrepancy were noted? No. I would not.]"
[OOC] Abraham: True. Your memories come with time stamps.
Nephilim: "[And we have not noted any clear discrepancy. Have you?]"
[OOC] Metis: Play the 'independant audit' card.
Heggy starts sending relevant snippets to the Nephilim, with editing artifacts highlighted.
Heggy: "[You see? It's clearly evident that there was something else in this memory before, and that it was changed.]"
Heggy pauses.
Heggy: "Um. Wait."
Spyboy: "Yup, agreed. You may as well say it…"
Heggy: "But-"
Heggy: "[…If we want to examine the memory, to try and track down the original memory…]"
Heggy: "[We will need…access…to the original copy of the logs.]"
Spyboy: "[Which are in your homeworlds, I'd imagine…]"

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