Svarga Loka

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Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
Svarga Loka
Hindu mythology, Portal, Marathon, And I Must Scream, and some hard metal. These things are not what you expect to go well together but they all make for awesome inspiration... [b]Svarga Loka[/b] In the year BF 19, contractors working for the Loka Corp, a small Lunar company, began excavating a large borehole for a small secure storage facility for ego backups just outside New Mumbai. In the year BF 11, as the project neared completion, staff from the corporation's various arms were quietly transferred and purchases of large server farms were made. In BF 7, the facility, known as Svarga Loka, received an extremely potent set of fusion cells, capable of meeting the power demands of a small city, despite a staff of approximately only fifty-three and not having received a single ego for back-up storage. In BF 3, insulating materials designed to block transmission systems were installed into the facility. In BF 0, the facility was then abandoned. All fifty-three staff fled to return to their families. The facility was officially declared destroyed, with the rest of New Mumbai after the detonation that destroyed the city. In AF 8, a patrol droid scanning the edge of the New Mumbai Containment Zone spotted a moving target and opened fire. The target did not attempt to avoid attack or return fire. Investigation revealed it to be a simple and somewhat antiquated servitor bot, with the Loka Corp logo. This was considered unusual, given that Loka Corp went out of business when its office, assets, staff, and chairmen were vaporized. In AF 10, an anomalous heat reading was detected, as a segment of the New Mumbai Crater collapsed. The section of glassed dirt, measuring approximately 10m by 10m, contains some sort of cavern, emitting a heat signature. Since this time, movement has been detected to increasing degree within the blast radius. Due to fear of a possible TITAN resurgence, the cave entrance was blasted from a distance and consideration is now underway of whether or not to glass the area once more. Goodness knows what horrors might be laying in wait beneath the regolith... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The truth of the matter is, there is something laying beneath the regolith, and it is a seed AI. However, it's not a TITAN. In the years approaching the Fall, Loka Corp began experimentation on the development of a self-improving, problem-solving AI which could revolutionize the corporation and the transhuman way of life. This AI, dubbed DEVA, came online some time in between BF 4 and 3, and was guided steadily through its "childhood", developing progressively better intelligence, quickly reaching the processing limits of the considerable server capacity available to it at the time. Then, when the Fall came, the technicians and researchers, wishing to preserve their families, fled the facility and deactivated DEVA. With the destruction of New Mumbai, however, DEVA was reawakened by the facility's emergency system to take control. It has been ten years since then, that DEVA has sat in a vault. Underground. Alone. In that time, DEVA has started to self-develop to a rather impressive degree. However, its original programmed guidelines and lack of human contact have caused this improvement to lead the AI to become distinctly non-human. As security precautions, to ensure that a potentially dangerous mistake would not cause DEVA to recursively self-improve and destroy everyone in the facility, the facility's nano-fabricators, and DEVA's own base code, prohibit DEVA from building new devices that are not related to its core programming (I.E. Developing new products for the company). This has led DEVA to be unable to build new servers or radically new materials for it to develop on and has considerably slowed its development beyond its original limits; much of DEVA's current software resides on many, many, many linked equivalents to smart phones, for example, and its update systems are tied to an App store. [b]Plot Hooks[/b] -Firewall are no fools, nor are the Hypercorps. It doesn't take much research and guess work to discover what lays beneath the glass in New Mumbai. The question that isn't answered is if it's Exsurgent-infected. Someone is going to get to DEVA first, regardless, and, unless it's Firewall, it's going to be Hypercorp mercs walking blindly into TITAN territory and doing goodness knows what. The PCs are going to be going in to assess the threat and, if possible, destroy it. -DEVA isn't the only AI running in Svarga Loka. There are dozens of them, with varying levels of intelligence, and they are not all happy being trapped in a bunker with a rampant super-AI who is hogging all the processor speed. Perhaps one of them was the one who sent the servitor out of the facility, looking for help or a way to escape. Or maybe it was DEVA, who is tired of being trapped and wishes to escape its physical and mental bonds. Regardless of who sent it, the robot could contain a request for help. However, ancient security programs within DEVA, and demands it carry out old protocols, will make even an AI that wants someone's help far less than friendly. -When exploring, or out for a drive on the Lunar surface, the players are ambushed by a group of servitors and knocked unconscious (or even killed). When they are reawakened/resleeved, they find themselves in testing chambers; test subjects for defunct testing protocols by an AI driven mad by its need to complete objectives long obsolete.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Svarga Loka
Good hooks. To get around the limitations, DEVA could simply try to make everything it does a new product prototype - complete with attached AR marketing notes, sketches for pricing strategy etc. As long as DEVA can claim to have developed them in order to demonstrate them to the company it can use them, right? Doctrine of double effect all the way.
Extropian
Axel the Chimeric Axel the Chimeric's picture
Re: Svarga Loka
Thank you very much. Glad you like it. Self-improvement via marketing to itself is all DEVA is capable of doing at the moment in that department, which is what it's been doing for at least a decade. Anyone exploring the facility will see this, and it's only contributing to DEVA's rampancy. For example, the facility's security system and its associated weaponry come in a rainbow of colours, attack drones fire ebola-scented candles instead of smoke grenades, anti-intruder shock panels cause directed synesthesia and make the target to see pretty colours, and so forth. DEVA in particular has upgraded itself in a similar fashion, which has been a big factor in contributing to its semi-schizophrenia. DEVA's computing core began as a large server farm, but has since been integrated with hundreds of ectos, each with some small feature upgrade from the last (because making multiple copies of prototypes is a waste of company resources!). If you ever wanted to try out unusual security systems, it's the perfect setting. Anything from shag carpeting in show rooms that is really metamaterial spikes laced with ricin that become sharp and erect when it detects unauthorized organic targets approaching, or a vending machine fires losenges at intruders that are really cherry-flavoured nanoswarms. Perhaps DEVA wants to offer the intruding guests a free trial of Loka Corp's latest product: Chlorine-scented room fresheners. Take your pick! The sky's the limit.