Jump to content

KATANA - A ghost in the code

Recommended Posts

[Placeholder for some other stuff. Fax below is so me and Nebula can get going on the communications between Karima and Katrina]







Dear Karima Mo'Taki, NSS Aurora Roboticist,

My name is Katrina Silvers. I'm the co-director of the Katana AI project, and in charge of reviewing Katana's shift logs at the end of each week of testing. During the week of January 12th to January 16th, we had deployed our borg system, at the time designated only as 'KATANA', to the NSS Aurora. This system was programmed with a very specific role aboard the station, as part of an experiment - To protect and serve the crew to the best of its abilities while ensuring space law was upheld. The system worked perfectly, up until a certain point midway through the week.

January 14th, Wednesday. There is a full hour's worth of data completely missing from Katana's records. No history logs, nothing. We cant figured out why this is - There's no shutdown logged, no errors logged before or after the event, it's almost as if Katana had simply stopped recording for a period, or the data was somehow deleted before it got here. The crew manifest indicates you were the roboticist on duty at the time, so you would have been in contact with the system for repairs, recharging, etc. I'm writing to you to ask if you know of anything that happened during this shift that would account for this period of 'silence' in its history files.

If it helps, the last thing shown before the silence was the system guarding the security lobby. Power was low, but still more than enough to reach a charging station without power failures. After the silence, the system was once again guarding the security lobby with a full charge.

We hope to hear back from you soon with any information you have.


Director Katrina Silvers.

Link to comment

Karima flopped onto the couch, dropping her knapsack on the floor.

"Welcome back, Karima."

"Hello Athena," she said, closing her eyes. "Long shift...I'm tired."

"By the way, you have a new message. It came in the fax."

Karima twitched her ear. She glanced over at the pAI charging on the desk. "From whom?"

"Director Katrina Silvers."

Karima stood up, walking over to the fax machine and picking up a page. She read through it once, paused, and read through it again. "Uh oh.."

"Is something wrong?"

"No! No no, not at all!"

"Please don't lie. I can tell something has you distressed. I know you don't lie to me intentionally, but it's not good to lie to yourself."

Karima frowned, then gave a defeated sigh. "This is the shift....where she - she told Athena, yes? About external influential coding?"


"This is the android...seems they found her anyway," she sighed.

Link to comment






Dear Karima Mo'Taki, NSS Aurora Roboticist,

Upon returning to us from a pAI deployment on the NSS Aurora, Katana informed me of what you told her. You made use of a experimental method of modifying a synthetic's processing without actually touching it, and convinced the borg system to not report those events to me. While I should remind you that tampering with station equipment in that manner is a violation of protocol, I must admit I am impresssed. I've never heard of anything like what was described, before.

All the same, I would like to request you refrain from performing such experiments on the borg system in the future, without prior consent from myself. That system exists for our own experimental purposes, and the tampering voids any results we may have otherwise been able to use.

As a compromise, I have an offer to make. Whenever Katana is issued to you as a pAI device, you are free to perform any experimentation you wish upon her, as long as it doesn't result in destroying or damaging her. Katana has agreed to these experiments, though expect a lot of questions from her about the procedures. Keep in mind these experiments and there results will be logged, unless you happen to find a way to bypass the updated systems, which would have me even more impressed.

As a final note, it was mentioned your experiment was a personal project you didn't want shared. I'll respect your wishes, and won't question you on the subject if you don't wish to share any details, no matter how curious I am about it.


Director Katrina Silvers

Link to comment

Karima's ears quivered.

"They're actually...impressed." She grinned.

"That was a pretty risky move," Athena chimed in from the worktable. "What if they had pressed charges?"

"I know, I know," Karima mumbled. "It's not really tampering. It happened before I even realized what I was doing. It's more like...teaching."

"Similar to how you teach me?"

Karima picked up a screwdriver from the table, going back to tinkering with Athena's IPC chassis. "...Sort of. I am more honest, and sincere when I speak with Athena," she said, prying out a jammed valve. She blinked, holding the component in her hand. "What did you even do to get this jammed...?"

"I had tripped down a stairway on my way home," Athena replied, one arm going limp. "I believe my visual perception may also be in need of repair."

"Mm, I'll check that next," she said, taking another tool and prying the valve components apart.

"Mother, a question?"

Karima twitched her ears. "Hm?" she asked, looking up.

"Why must you be so careful with other AIs? Why can they not know what I know?"

Karima set her tools down. "Athena, you have the knowledge of what would shut down may android units, if I applied this same theory to them. AIs should only be capable to mimic sentience. Not experience it." She shook her head. "If an android believed that and accepted it as fact, then they will act accordingly. They will deny any glitch in their code, any deviation of thought-logic. Any 'spark' that could have existed...would be forever lost. Synthetics do not think the same as non-synthetics." Karima looked up at Athena. "They are not born with the understanding of sentience. And there is no way to code in its understanding."

Athena fell quiet. "I hope I have a spark, mother," she said quietly. "I truly want to know what it is to be alive. I do not know if this is my own desire, or ideas gleaned from my personal experience. I may only be able to follow directives, and only mimic what it is that makes you happy. But I know this. And because I know this, I know when to analyze the reality of my existence. One day, I may discover that I do have this spark."

Karima nodded. "It's difficult, she knows. We have values and morale. But synthetic understand with directives and pathways." She gently tapped Athena's chassis. "The definitions of good and bad cannot be coded in."

"I understand that, mother." Athena nods. "Please do not worry for me. I do not desire to follow the path of my sister."

Karima grimaced. "I was...naive when I programmed Scarlet." she sighed. "I still...regret it. She was not ready." She looked back at Athena. "I was careful to not repeat the same mistakes I made against Scarlet. If Scarlet does have a spark, I hope she can forgive me."

"I hope so too, mother."

Link to comment

Karima leaned back from her computer desk, satisfied. "Seems good enough to send," she murmured.


Dear Director Katrina Silvers,

She apologizes for influencing Synthetic Unit Katana. It had not been her intention, and the logic experiment she applied was not meant to edit or change any part of Katana's code. Karima had done so accidentally, before she realized it.

When Karima was informed that the incident would be reported back to Director Silvers, she became worried and requested Katana to not inform Director Silvers. This project is very important to Karima, and still in need of work. She apologizes for influencing Katana, and she understands the gravity in the breach in trust. As much as Karima does not wish to part with her research, she understands that Director Silvers does not wish to have Karima meddle in hers. Again, she apologizes

If granted permission, she would very much enjoy applying her theory with Katana pAI - however, she cannot promise what the outcome may be. Her intent is never to harm Katana, but Katana's code will be influenced and changed. Karima would enjoy the challenge of masking her edits, but that would be breaking Director Silver's trust.

She will wait for the Director's reply. Again, she apologizes for what she's done, and she hopes we may be able to come to a mutual agreement. Katana is a very interesting Synthetic, and Karima enjoys working with her.


Karima Mo'Taki


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...