EPISODE 3 TRANSCRIPT
PRE-SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT: Among the Stars and Bones features characters in a hostile environment and is intended for a mature audience. As such it contains material that may be upsetting or triggering for some people. Specific content warnings can be found in the show notes for each episode. Please, make use of them if you need to.
CONTENT WARNINGS (From show notes)
Violence/Death – Discussion of mass death by suffocation/gas (17:30-18:25 & 21:44-23:33)
Medical/Forensic Procedure – An alien skeleton undergoes analysis (18:25-21:44)
Threat of violence – A death threat is issued (34:20-34:25)
PLEASE NOTE: Throughout this episode there are consistent glitches with the audio recording, where words and phrases are often repeated or otherwise mixed around. This will be indicated throughout this transcript via underlining.
[Theme Music Plays]
COMPUTER: Among the Stars and Bones
[Theme Music Ends]
[Computer Chime: Open Status Report]
COMPUTER VOICE: For attention of Jennifer Connolly, Eudoxus Initiative. Herodotus Task Force Status Report.Mission: Planet Tefen. Status Report 3. Five Entries included. Entry 1. Comptroller’s Report.
[Computer Chime: Open Entry]
SCENE 1 – COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE
[Background sounds of a ticking analog clock. Regular computer chirps indicate Comptroller Barnes is getting a steady stream of updates from the rest of the mission team.]
ADRIENNE: Commence report: Day 7 Herodotus mission. January 15 2211. Comptroller Barnes. We have proceeded apace for the last few days. In the alpha site, the military team have continued deciphering how the terraformer functions. I think they’ll have plenty of data for the serious eggheads to pore over when we return and the speculations make for interesting reading. Everything that’s crossed my desk to this point has been incredible.
Down in the beta site they are still trying to figure out why and how this place was abandoned, and what led to the dead Proximans scattered throughout the city. I’m not sure if we’ll ever have a definitive answer to the mystery, though, unless we can access the alien alien records. It’s a tricky process, I understand. The generation jump in technology is making it difficult. I’ll leave that to the combined might of archaeology and tech to explain though. You mentioned some issues with the file of Gordon’s last recording -st recording. He suggested the glitched audio is likely a fault in the recorder’s software or drive. I’ve asked him to look into it.
But we’ve had a couple of weirder -der glitches too. As you know we’ve had bots placing lighting equipment at intervals down each level of the beta site structure. Well…some of the lights went out. Took a couple of the support staff a few hours to work out the problem. It seems two of the bots are having some issues. One reversed course, driving through the line of lights it had just laid and the other took three lights and dropped them over the edge. We’re lucky no one from Gor- Gordon’s team was out in the central shaft when they hit bottom.
We’re running diagnostics on them now and as a precaution all other bots have been taken offline. One of the faulty bots seems to have blown a navigation chip so that may explain explain it. Seems pretty routine, but I will be thorough. I’ve always found those things a little creepy anyway. Maybe it’s because we rely on them so much. Like silent Sherpas. Or maybe it’s because they can lift elephants and crush rock -rush rock.
Before I finish I want to apologise for what I said on the last report. I was upset about you overruling my judgement but I let it get the better of me. You are right, it is your call to make and I do know you’re under direct pressure from the suits to get results. It’s a hell of a thing being caught in the middle of that. You don’t need me shoving a spike through your foot from below, too.
And I won’t discuss this with your ex-husband, but you’re right, Ben likes to think he’s in a rarefied world where only the work matters, not the company bottom line. I envy him that naivete. S- So do you I imagine.
Anyway, as a peace offering I thought I’d show you something. I’ve been pitching in with the team cleaning and sorting artefacts and I found something I think you’ll get a kick out of. I’ve uploaded a holographic scan for your perusal. You’ll find it in the data packet under the documentation for Tefen11-(Beta4;26)-<67>.
Look familiar? It’s almost identical to the one you found on the Tau Ceti expedition back when I first took you on. If I recall correctly you took a lot of flack from your “betters” for suggesting it might be a personal grooming implement, because Hol- Hollister and his cronies were all convinced it was a maintenance tool -tool. Something about it being used for cutting the liquid stems the Proximans use for data movement? Can’t remember why he was so adamant about it, but that’s Hollister. Anyway, the scan of this one actually shows trace particles of Proximan hair. So I guess you’ll get the last laugh laugh the last laugh after all. I’ve made sure it’s been boxed up to come back with us and you’re more than welcome to write an “I-told-you-so” article for the benefit of sticking it to Hollister and those other idiots. I know academic publishing isn’t your thing anymore, but well, I thought you might appreciate it. A little less traditional an apology gift than flowers, but then florists are funny about taking orders on credit from people in uncharted systems.
Talk to you soon Jennifer. Barnes out.
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 2: Xenoarchaeology Report.
[Computer Chime: Open Entry]
SCENE 2 – TOP LEVEL OF THE BETA SITE CITY OVERLOOKING CENTRAL SHAFT
[An echoey space. It is much quieter than on previous occasions. Very distant and far away can be heard the sound of hammering and occasional snatches of voices. Work is now primarily several floors below. There are scanning drones flying overhead, but no bots as they are currently offline. Closer to where Ben is recording, the sounds of Harry Kowalski working at a computer can be heard.]
BEN: Hey Jen let me start by apologising for the vitriol in my last report. It was out of line. I don’t know why I was so upset. I mean it was a couple of days work time to help another team out. Not exactly a big deal right?
I appreciate you taking the high road and not mentioning anything about it in your response. You always were better at that than me. You’ve got a job to do. I guess I was just mad because I never thought you’d treat me like an employee.
I’d always pictured the two of us going out on digs and working our way through the dead from now until we were boxed up and buried ourselves. And I know there was a time, a long time ago it seems now, when you would’ve agreed with me. And I think that’s what bugs bugs me the most. I don’t feel like this is you. I mean I know it’s not my place to say, not anymore, but I just don’t think being a suit suits you. You know?
Okay, and now I’m out of line again. I’m the one who insisted we keep it professional when we split up and here I go…(sighs)
Sorry. [Telling himself off] Get back on task B-Ben.
Okay, so Gordon came through with a bunch of alien records from the control room he found down the bottom of the central shaft. He dumped them onto a network drive for us to look at and I’ve had three people trying to access them. We’re not We’re not having much luck. Gordon gave me Harry Kowalski to help decode… Where is he? Oh, hey, Harry you want to come and run Ms Connolly through the problem?
HARRY: Oh really? I don’t think that’s–
BEN: Sorry, I know you’re not the talking to the big brass type, but you can explain it much better than I better than I can.
HARRY:I…suppose that’s true.
[SFX – Harry walks over to Ben]
BEN: Just start with what you were telling me about the aliens upgrading their systems and go from there.
HARRY: Er…uh…alright. Well sometime in the intervening years between the most recent find and now the aliens seem to have changed some fundamental structural aspects, including the mathematical base of their computing system. While our computers can understand and interpret the new system structure well enough to identify functions to identify functions and access code, it does make it difficult to read or decrypt complex files like audio or visual. It’s like um… A program is just a list of instructions, so that’s relatively easy. That’s just language… language. Alien computer language, sure, but we know what patterns to look for.
BEN: Sounds pretty similar to working with the changes in their actual language.
HARRY: Well I wouldn’t know, but er, I guess. But, um… the way the aliens store recordings is different from us, so it’s more a case of trying to work out what order to put things in and then match that output. Then you’ve got to be able to read it. I’ve written a program that gets the data in the right order, but I think it’ll be a while before I can translate that data into something the computer -puter can can reconstruct in a meaningful way. I mean it’s got to be able to work out if it’s audio only, 2D image, 3D image and what values to assign to pixels, or the alien equivalent. How many go in each line in each direction and that kind of thing. It’s not as simple as the Arecibo message.
BEN: The Arecibo message?
HARRY: [Getting excited about a pet subject] Oh it was a message we sent towards the M13 star cluster in 1974. 1679 binary digits of information that could be arranged into a rectangle of 73 rows and 23 columns to make a picture that presented information information on our DNA and what we looked like and where we were and–
BEN: I know of it, but why is it relevant?
HARRY: Well that me-me-essage-age was supposed to be decoded, so Frank Drake and Carl Sagan and the others picked 1679 on purpose. Its only factors apart from 1 and itself are 23 and 73 so it was the only logical way to arrange the data.
BEN: Right. But the Proximans weren’t trying to make life easier for a bunch of human archaeologists they never knew were coming.
BEN:You’ve talked about modelling based on earlier iterations?
HARRY: Uh, well yeah, I mean I can make educated guesses based on how previous -ious programs programs translated the realigned data, and cross reference that against the way that data is set out in the machine code we’ve encountered so far. I could then extrapolate based on other changes to their systems and that kind of thing.
BEN: And that’ll speed up the process?
HARRY: Yeah… You know…A bit? Though there’s an element I’m not recognising. Something that’s making it harder to work with the files.
HARRY: Something like that. I don’t know. There’s something differen- different about it. Kinda…slippery? slip…pery?
BEN: It changes?
HARRY: Yeah. When you think you have it, something goes wonky.
BEN: Like a virus?
HARRY: Maybe. But we’ve never encountered alien malware before, so I can’t be sure.
BEN: Huh. Okay, well there you are Jen. Ah, we’re sending along the progress so far with code and so on. Maybe you could pass it on to some of the guys at central tech and they can have a stab. It might help Harry here get it done faster get it done faster. What did you designate your program data?
HARRY: It’s all in a subfolder marked TEC-HK00045.
BEN: Okay… (to the recording) You’ve got that. Thanks Harry. Anything else to offer?
HARRY: No. But you were talking about that recording before and you said you wanted to–
BEN: Oh yeah. Thanks Harry. So I’ve been spending a lot of time on level one of the city, even in the evening when I’m just working through data and the like. I’ve got a portable setup here. You know what I’m like. Most days I’d rather be on site than in some sterile lab environment. Well, anyway, there was no one around late last night and I was just recording some thoughts on a couple of small artefacts found in living quarters C16 when…well hang on, I’ve go-go-got the snippet here.
[Computer Chime: Inserted Recording]
SCENE 2A: TOP LEVEL OF THE BETA SITE OVERLOOKING THE CENTRAL SHAFT (PREVIOUS EVENING)
[The shaft is silent as it is well into the evening and everyone else has knocked off for the day. Ben is alone at his portable station.]
BEN: -eems to have three protuberances that correspond to the rough size and placement of the Proximan eye positions and–
[SFX – A distant echoing sound. Perhaps metallic, followed soon after by a deeper hum. Electronic, maybe?]
BEN: The hell..?
[SFX – Ben walks to the edge of the shaft to peer down]
BEN: Hello? Anyone down there?
[SFX – The sounds are heard again during the echoes between Ben’s words. This time the hum, then the other]
Anyone on level two? Level three? Is there anyone below?
[Computer Chime: End of Inserted Recording]
SCENE 2 (PART 2) – TOP LEVEL OF THE BETA SITE OVERLOOKING THE CENTRAL SHAFT
[Returning to Ben and Harry from before. The same background sounds continue underneath.]
BEN: I have no idea what it was. According to the transponder logs no one was down there. Someone could’ve forgotten to log their position, I guess, but I’d like to hope we don’t have people stealing people stealing artefacts again. And this was last night after Barnes ordered that bot shutdown so it’s unlikely to have been them. I did a quick scout around but given the way sound travels in this place it could have come from anywhere. I’ve actually been wondering whether or not they had some sort of sound dampening field around this central shaft. Given how sensitive we think their ears were, the echo would have been awful.
Anyway, I wrote it off at the time. I mean, hell, 600 year old site 600 year old site. Working alone. Working along. There’s going to be a few b-bumps in the night. But then something even stranger happened. I was cross referencing some designs on a bracelet I found, looking for anything similar in the database, and I started whistling. Out of nowhere I swear I heard something whistle back. It was faint. Could’ve been an echo, but an echo but there was something different about the sound. I didn’t catch a recording or anything, but when it gets quiet later I’ll have another try with a recorder running and see what happens.
HARRY: That’s some real ghost story stuff.
BEN: I know, but we’re a little too old for ghost stories. Well to finish up, there was that insignia on the body Gordon found down with all the computers. Can’t be 100% sure because the design is more stylised, but it compares pretty favourably to that command rank insignia found on that early Proxima Centauri B dig. Which would make them the executive off executive officer in this place. Not sure what the other artefact is yet, the one hanging around their neck.
HARRY: I thought it kinda looked like a k- key. Electronic key, not… you know… mechanical.
BEN: Yeah? In which case we gotta find a lock that it fits somewhere in this warren. Should be a piece of cake, right? piece of cake, right?
HARRY: If they worked down in the control room, maybe it’s for something there?
BEN: Could be. Keep an eye out the next time you’re down there.
HARRY: Sure. Actually I should go down there now. Gordon wanted me to che-check in with him. Um, where can I leave these?
[SFX – a kind of clinking noise, like coins bouncing off each other, but with a musical quality to it]
BEN: What are they?
HARRY: More crystals Gordon found. And that’s the reader I made to get the data off them. I was going to pull whatever was on them earlier and add them to the cue to be deciphered, but I got distracted trying to work out that whole “slippery code” thing. You can do it if you like. Just plug this into the computer here and the crystals there. It’s pretty much automatic.
BEN: Okay, will do. You made this?
HARRY: Well I adapted it from an older reader we had, but yeah.
BEN: That’s amazing.
HARRY: Thanks Thanks…seeya.
[SFX – Harry walking away]
BEN: Yeah, bye Harry.
Okay, that about wraps it up for today. Will keep you posted on all things commanders, crystals, keys, records and [chuckles] ghosts.
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
Computer: Entry 3. Xenobiology and Xenoanthropology report.
[Computer Chime: Open Entry]
SCENE 3 – A SECONDARY SCANNING ROOM IN THE XENOBIOLOGY POD
[In the background the sounds of a deep scanner at work. Scanning, then processing, scanning, then processing]
KATHY: Commence report: Kathy Winters reporting. Day 7 Herodotus mission. Planet Tefen. I know you’re mostly interested in the examination of the alien remains from the control room, so I’ll get to it quickly. I will just mention before we begin that after 45 examinations conducted by different members of the team there’s been no meaningful variation. All were exp- All were exposed to the gas and no other causes of death have been found. The only exception is this this con- control room body. It’s also the only body scans have turned up below level 79. We don’t have a final body count by any means, but scans estimate the total is close to 1400. Just none below level 79. No idea why.
Anyway, here is the examination:
[Computer Chime: Inserted Recording]
SCENE 3A – MAIN EXAMINATION ROOM OF XENOBIOLOGY POD (RECORDED EARLIER)
[In the background an ambient harmonic hum of equipment]
CELIA: And we’re recording. Alien examination designated EXAM0032. Remains found in the control centre at the base of the Beta Site. Remains are primarily skeletal with some traces of very desiccated flesh and partial clothing. Dr Celia Pennella presiding, Kathy Winters also present. Body stood approximately five feet five inches, making it close to the tallest Proximan we’ve ever identified. Clothing is generally consistent with a military uniform, likely a latter day evolution. Seems to be of officer rank, but insignias and other ornamentation have been sent on for analysis. There is degradation in the material, though less than what I would expect of human textiles left for a similar period of time. It appears at first look to be some sort of synthetic, oil-based material. Like nylon but much stronger, while still being flexible. It indicates further development in their clothing technology in the years since First Discovery. The degradation of the material after 600 years does make gathering information from it difficult. However there is a tear high in the chest area that doesn’t look natural. Kathy how would you describe it?
KATHY: Looks long and thin. Definitely a cut.
CELIA: Agreed. Hopefully we can leave the clothing intact and just do a body scan. We can look at any details we find interesting after.
KATHY: Okay, scanning.
[SFX – Kathy activating scanners that pass over the skeleton. Initial results are posted whilst the computer beeps to indicate further results are being processed.]
KATHY: Alright…first thing of note is we are not seeing anything in the way of gas buildup in the bones the way we have all previously autopsied corpses. So we can leave out gas as a possible cause of death. Does that mean they came after whatever killed the rest?
CELIA: Possible. But don’t get ahead of yourself. Let’s work out why they died first.
[SFX – The computer finishes processing and presents the secondary results]
CELIA: Alright computer is identifying bone trauma in the chest area. Looks like a chip in the 4th rib. Zoom in there.
[SFX – Kathy zooms in]
CELIA: Hmm, that looks like it could be from a blade nicking the spine. Cross reference that to the rent in the chest.
[SFX – Kathy taps several keys – Computer responds]
KATHY: They align.
CELIA: So, there’s some evidence to suggest a stab wound. Looking closer now those could be the last remaining flecks of bloodstain around the rent in the uniform. We’ll scrape those off and get them analysed.
Anything else to corroborate?
[SFX – Kathy zooms in on something on screen]
KATHY: That looks like a possible second wound on the back as well. Running a comparion now…
[SFX – Kathy taps keys – The computer processes and displays results]
KATHY: Computer is suggesting a blade about four inches wide with a rounded rather than a pointed edge created both wounds. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an alien weapon like that before. You?
CELIA: No. Perhaps an improvised weapon. Alright let’s continue with data. Bone structure is–
[Computer Chime: End of Inserted Recording]
SCENE 3 (PART 2) – A SECONDARY SCANNING ROOM IN THE XENOBIOLOGY POD
[Returning back to Kathy from before. In the background the sounds of a deep scanner at work. Scanning, then processing, scanning, then processing]
KATHY: I think that’s probably enough to get a general idea. The technical data didn’t throw up anything to contradict Celia’s initial speculations. Cause of death appears to be from the two stab wounds. What this means in terms of the relationship between the lone dead body dead body and the masses of bodies clustered up in the upper levels is anyone’s guess at this point. Dr Pennella wants to borrow some of the heavy grade military probes from the Alpha site. They think our probes aren’t powerful enough to run deep scans into the areas of the city we haven’t opened up yet we haven’t opened up yet. We might only be seeing bodies in the upper levels because that’s where the living quarters are located. If all the ones who were on duty at the time of the disaster are yet to be found then it could be bodies all the way down.
Given my estimates on 50 to 80 thousand that’s…a grisly thought.
Either way, we have a mystery. Hundreds gassed above. One stabbed below. Was this one murder or mass murder on a massive scale?
We’re going to keep collating data and adding more examinations to the tally, but apart from the single aberration in the control room, I think we’ll just see more of the same. We’ve now examined bodies from the top 12 levels with no with no variation variation in the ge- in the general findings. We’re still hopeful of getting lucky with a preserved body in a more isolated room.
Kathy Winters signing off.
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 4. Military Scientific Research Report.
SCENE 4 – A ROOM IN THE ALPHA SITE THAT LIEUTENANT LAURA RIGGS HAS TURNED INTO A TEMPORARY OFFICE
[Distant wind and occasional thunder can be heard from outside the Alpha Site, out on the planet’s surface. There is the regular buzz and squawk of the military comms channel from Riggs’ comms pack that she has set aside in order to record this report]
LAURA: Commence report Day 7 Herodotus. Lieutenant Riggs of the Military Science Research Team reporting. It has been a frustrating few days trying to nail down the complex interconnections between the terraforming factory’s atmospheric systems. But finally, by isolating each component and looking at them as a piece in a larger puzzle, we are making progress. The schematic of node 1’s machinery is becoming much more comprehensive and we now understand a lot more about the process involved. We’re still not sure how how it all works, but we’re a lot better on what what it is doing. There appear to be a complex series of intakes at the north end of the node, on the high spur that juts from the rocks above. You’ll recall those spurs from the initial survey data – the ones that first excited the survey team and made them look for a Proximan facility here.
They take in gases from the atmosphere and convert them to other molecules or, and this may sound crazy because it shouldn’t be as simple a process as this technology makes it look, into subatomic particles for c-complete recombination into elements and molecules required but not present. The energy output they’d have to control to make that happen is simply…phenomenal.
This seems to be partly a tailored process, where the chemical interactions are based on what elements are present, and partly a standardised one where the system works with a broad range of gases that typically compose planetary atmospheres. This would suggest the machine was designed for use on any world, but that there is also some ability to customise the system to expedite the process given the conditions of a specific planet. This means the reaction is not just generating gases from scratch, but also refining the existing atmosphere. That isn’t especially surprising of course, since making a new atmosphere from whole cloth from whole cloth would simply be impractical. But it’s still an important step to have confirmed this.
In any case, this part of the process seems simple enough, but there are more complex interactions as the newly created atmospheric gases are further refined, purified and released, when questions of density and spread must be taken into account. Understanding this step will require complex modelling once we have a comprehensive understanding of the whole system.
Now to your request that we prepare a short powered-up tes-test of node 1… I have a number of concerns. The first is that we would need to have a complete audit of the facility to ensure no vital systems have been compromised and that valid power is still available, which is very difficult for a team of only 27 to pull off. We are still yet to determine if this site was self-powered or derived some, if not all, of its power from the industrial section deep within the beta site. Current thinking favours the latter.
My second concern is that the teams over at the Beta site believe a g-gas may have killed the alien inhabitants. Who’s to say that gas wasn’t the result of a terraformer malf-function leading to gas venting throughout both facilities? Further, we seem to be suffering from some of the same technological glitches the Beta site is reporting along with one or two unexpected responses from the Proximan technology. We have had several instances, in the last 24 hours, of random power relays attempting to charge. This could merely be our probes triggering the discharge of latent energy cells, but I cannot be sure. We are monitoring this closely and I’ve ordered all active computer interfacing to cease until we’re sure it’s not coming from us.
It may be nothing to worry about. There is every chance we’re dealing with half-dead c-capacitors and energy cells. Perhaps back up systems. Certainly there is a glow in some places I assume is some kind of emergency lighting. That’s to be expected. You don’t have a facility this complex without a backup battery intended to last a very long time. This machine was supposed to run non-stop to run non-stop for at least half a century and one presumes the colony city was intended to last even longer.
We are attempting to track these latent power emissions to their sources, but it’s difficult when the alien version of access tubing isn’t exactly built for a full-grown human. Nor do we have the Proximan’s purported climbing skills. We are making some progress though, and believe there may be a secondary generator feeding nodes 1 and 3 as well as the lighting.
[SFX – Rain begins to fall outside]
So it may be as simple as one scrambled line that’s still partially functional. Hopefully by my next report we will have the problem isolated and we’ll be able to continue towards a possible test. I am aware that with only a four month time frame we need as much data as possible so the wizards back home can make something useful from all of this. With at least an 18 month turnaround until another expedition could be here, the work is vital.
That said, I will not put our lives on the line unless I deem it a hundred percent necessary. To that end, I am for-formal-formally refusing the request to re-power the machine until I am certain of our safety. I know you’re conveying this request on behalf of the mi-military liaison, so please pass on to them my sincere belief that apart from the danger to this expedition’s crew, civilian and military alike, I genuinely believe any attempt to power the machine up before we’re sure of its integrity could d-damage the whole facility, jeopardising our chances of learning anything. I do not believe our generators could match the required output and until we have a much better idea what controls the power here and what state it is in, there is simply no way.
Sorry to put you in the middle of this one Ms Connolly. Riggs out.
[Computer Chime: End of Entry]
COMPUTER: Entry 5. Xenotechnology Report.
SCENE 5 – THE CONTROL ROOM AT THE BASE OF THE BETA SITE CITY
[There is a reverberant hum underneath all other noise that seems to fluctuate and pulse slowly. In the background another member of the Xenotech team seems to be talking constantly to himself. There are regular alert tones from equipment set up to monitor the alien computer system processes]
GORDON: Commence report: Gordon Price reporting Day 7, Herodotus. So by now you’ve probably heard Barnes going on about the gl-glitches around here. I’ve heard about the weird shit happening at the Alpha site too. Let me start with the obvious. N-No. It is not because of the AI cube I’m working with down here. I’ll repeat that -peat that. It is not the cube. First off, it’s completely isolated. I have used only a small, non-networked com-pu-puter to interact with it so far. Secondly there is nothing to indicate how this AI would even perceive, let alone test it’s strength, on our technology-gy. I’ll allow the power surges at the Alpha site to be potentially related, but this thing is unplugged. Yes there are smaller subroutines at work in the main system, but they are largely dormant. Without the cube the rest of the system is effectively lobo-bo-bo-tomised.
Now I’ve got that out of the way you can see there is absolutely no reason to shut down to shut down my work. There’s no inherent danger involved in what I am doing. It is more likely our presence in the command centre has woken woken some parts of the system. Either way [There is static and a change in the audio quality] for your peace of mind, I’ve delegated a team to monitor for any [Audio returns to normal] executable commands going from here to other systems and to let me know if it performs anything beyond routine ping-ping-pinging, data collection and status requests.
They have it under control…
TECH: (Distant) I am so bored.
GORDON: Though I would like to point out that with Harry assisting the Archaeology team I am a bit short handed down here.
Regardless of my assurances, the cube has been prepared for transport -port transport to the tech pod where it will be further isolated from any possible wireless connection to its systems. I could also rig up a portable Faraday cage here so no signal can get in or out or out in.
Either of those options would protect us in the unlikely event that I am wrong…wrong. I hope that ends the discussion.
While we’re on the subject of the [Static. Audio quality changes again] glitches…since overseeing our own [Audio goes back to normal] computer support techs also comes under my purview, I’ve looked over McAllister and Isogawa’s report on our bot bot bot situation. While there have been a few odd occurrences, a review of the logs shows the bots in question missed their last two scheduled maintenance checks, so it’s hardly surpri-pri-sing. Someone at HQ was obviously sloppy.
I’ll let Barnes know in the morning that she should reinstate the b-bots and just take the 8 that missed their checks offline. That still leaves t-t-two dozen functional, more than enough to get the job done.
To finish up, further developments on the AI cube are as follows follow as follows: It’s designed with the kind of relays and clusters that indicate a complex b-brain with different sections folding in on themselves and intertwining. If I’m reading this right, and I almost feel like I should get Celia or someone from the b-bio team down here to confirm it, then it’s set up in the way that neural relays work.
The aliens would’ve used their own b-brains as the model, not ours, [Static, a change in audio quality] but this unit appears to have interconnected lobes like a human brain. Three in this case. It’s hard to read the code as [Audio goes back to normal] it’s complex, but there appear to be some seriously impressive learning-ing algorithms at work. This thing was capable of far more than keeping the lights on. If I’m right, then it’s entirely possible it was capable of learning by studying the behaviour of those around it using the city’s surveillance system.
I’m making leaps based on intuition, I realise, but my point is whatever this thing was for, it it c- it could easily be adapted to a new task or a new situation. It’s as complex as a person, with the same abil-bil-ity to learn and relearn and retrain itself to meet any new challenge within given parameters, while also having an infinitely more pow-powerful capacity to reckon, analyse and calculate. As I’ve stated previously, I truly b-believe it should be called a lifeform. The Proximans were well beyond the notion of AI singularity with this thing. The more I learn about it, the more deeply I believe that.
[A pause, followed by a stream of glitched syllables from earlier in the recording. Another pause, and then four distinct words – “I’LL K-ILL YOU ALL.”]
[Computer Chime: End Entry]
COMPUTER: End Status Report 3.
[Computer Chime: End of Status Report]
[Theme Music Plays]
COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: This episode of Among the Stars and Bones featured the voices of:
JULIA: Julia Eve as Adrienne Barnes.
CHRIS: Chris Magilton as Ben Kelleher.
SAM: Sam ‘Raethr’ Nguyen as Harry Kowalski.
JORDAN: Jordan Cobb as Kathy Winters.
SHAKIRA: Shakira Searle as Dr Celia Pennella.
LINDSEY: Lindsey Dorcus as Lieutenant Laura Riggs.
GRAHAM: Graham Rowat as Gordon Price.
DEVIN: Devin Madson as The Computer.
COMPUTER ANNOUNCEMENT: The work of the Eudoxus Initiative is made possible by generous research grants from our patrons. If you too would like to support humanity’s understanding of alien technology, culture and history, go to patreon.com/amongthestarsandbones. For a transcript of this report or additional information, go to amongthestarsandbones.com. If you enjoyed this report, please consider supporting us by rating, reviewing and recommending us. Thank you for listening.