You are the head researcher at a government facility. Your sole responsibility is to teach the world's first autonomous AI, nicknamed Pandora, about life, the world and her existence.
Previously you held a demonstration of the newly-activated Ares AI with resounding success. However, Ares himself seems a little unsure of what there is to see beyond his soldier programming. He has, however, shown interest in meeting his sister, Pandora, which you told him at the moment he cannot, but possibly sometime in the near future.
Welcome back to Pandora Quest!
>Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?searchall=pandora+quest
With the demonstration finished and all the top echelon of bureaucrats and so forth gone, you have Ares and the rest of the Facility at your disposal. While you don't exactly have any kind of lesson plan for Ares, as you figured most of his training would be military, that doesn't prevent you from talking with him.
And of course you still have Pandora to look forward to. You informed her you would be late to your usual meeting with her, so she knows to not expect you right away, which means you can take your time for now or head there right away once you've shooed all the other researchers and R&D staff out of the restricted area.
>Speak to Ares (write in)
>Head to Pandora now
>Other (write in)
You figure you're pretty much done here until you have a real lesson plan for Ares. That is if they let you teach him anything other than "shoot bad guys, follow orders, ooh-rah!" anyway. So, it's time to head to Pandora's room and begin her lesson, though it'll be shorter today. Not to mention with all the new work, neither Grace nor Kevin will have the time to assist with all of the work you just dumped on them that, in all honesty, you should be doing.
You set up Ares in his charging cradle, which is rather larger than Pandora's. You're not exactly sure why, to be honest. They both do the same thing. Chalk it up to the military enjoying spending too much money on everything. Oh well, you just push the buttons. You get him situated and switch him to charging mode, to which he complies without question. It's nice to not have to deal with complaints of not being tired, but still a little sad. Poor guy needs to live a little, you think.
You arrive at Pandora's room shortly after shuffling everyone out to do "their" workloads to a chorus of grumbles. You enter the room to see Pandora practicing something you haven't seen her do in quite some time; she's dancing. Not the usual aimless dances she usually does, this seems like some kind of ballet recital. The TV gives an explanation of that fairly quickly, though you have no idea what it is exactly. Not really your cup of tea.
>Interrupt her for her lessons
>Watch for now
>Speak to her about her new brother
>Other (write in)
You quietly take a seat in one of the chairs and watch her, noticing Lucky is laying quite peacefully (apparently android dogs take naps) under the table. You're pretty sure she hasn't noticed you yet, as her eyes are pretty much locked onto the screen.
Her steps are light and careful. Deliberate, precise and graceful. You're no dance critic, but you're pretty sure she's gotten really good. You wonder if she's been practicing when you haven't been around or if this is just more of her ability to learn just about anything almost immediately. Whatever it is, you record some of it with your phone like a proud parent watching his daughter perform for the first time.
After a few more minutes the dance ends and she finishes with an elegant flourish and curtsy, to which you respond with applause, which causes her to jump, spin around to face you and change her hair color to a vibrant pinkish hue.
"Doctor!" she shouts, fidgeting and backing away shyly "You...how long have you..." she's at a loss for words.
"As great as always, Pandora!" you assure her, to which you get the slightest hint of a smile, which is then covered up by another look of shock.
"You shouldn't sneak up on me like that! You weren't...I didn't think..." she stumbles through her words "I thought you were going to be busy!"
"I was, but now I'm finished." you say matter of factly, putting your phone back into your pocket.
"Wh-what were you doing while you were gone?" she says, clearly trying to change the subject.
>Discuss her new brother
>Keep it vague
>Other (write in)
I'll be back shortly (WC) so discuss amongst yourselves. As for discussing her brother, I will remind you that the creation of her "weaponized" brother is what caused her to essentially hate you. Choose wisely.
Is there a way we could say... do both?
I think being a liar is definitely worse than telling her. Keeping it vague might engender mistrust though....
That said... while it was what facilitated the argument weeks ago. I like to think she's matured since then.
Plus maybe if we talk about him... like his ernest curiosity in his sister, maybe that might... take the edge off?
Well lets hope it doesn't make the situation worse. Being direct is better than well... putting it off. Plus her brother is curious about her, we owe him that much.
Plus i suggest we take tips from >>45123269
You decide you can't hide the truth from Pandora forever, even if it could put a strain on your relationship with her. Besides, a good relationship is built on trust. Secrets and lies would only make things worse when they eventually did come to light.
You square your shoulders and stand up, sheepishly putting your hands in your coat pockets and approach the now confused android, who's hair has gone from pink to a vague, off-yellow color. She shifts nervously.
"Well...I suppose now is as good a time as any to tell you..." you steel your nerves, ready for any number of outcomes, "Today we activated Ares for the first time...your brother."
You see a visible shift in Pandora's overall mood and posture. From a gentle curiosity and worry to that of someone who had just been slapped in the face. Her hair becomes a fiery orange and, had she the capability, you'd swear she was about to cry. However, she says nothing. She simply stares you down, unmoving, a cold stillness only a machine could do. Her fists are clenched and were she anyone else, you'd fear for being struck at this moment.
"Did he hurt people?" she says after a long, difficult silence.
"N-no." you manage to blurt out, "No, he didn't hurt anyone. He can't hurt anyone without being told to by me...or..." you trail off.
"By them?" she asks sharply, pointing a furious finger at the nearest security camera. "Those people you talk to?"
"Yes." you concede, "They outrank me and he has to follow their orders. There's nothing I could do to change that."
"And what if they told him to hurt you? Or me?" the venom in her voice is thick. You can tell she understands her importance to you. "Or anyone else here? What if he was supposed to kill someone you knew?"
You know deep down there's nothing you could reasonably do to stop that from happening. He is a machine designed for combat and if your bosses told him to kill, he would without question. But still... "I doubt that would ever happen. I doubt-"
"What if it did?!" she shouts, taking you off guard, "What if they told him to kill everyone here?! What if they told him they didn't like you anymore and wanted to get rid of you?! What if they found out they don't need to anymore and just...just..." she slumps to the ground, hair a wash of reds, purples and blues as she struggles with her emotions desperately. She pounds her fists against her legs, a loud CLANK of metal on metal resonating through the room. Her face is contorted into a look of pure anguish.
>Tell her you'd fight back
>Tell her you don't know
>Tell her you'd run away
>Say nothing and hug her
>Other (write in)
You can't find the words, her fears are too hard to really discuss or disprove. While you're sure the government has no plans to murder anyone, let alone an entire complex of innocent people, there's always that fear that the campy sci-fi horror movies come true and you end up being "[REDACTED]" on some top secret paperwork somewhere.
With nothing to really say to comfort her, you do the only thing you can think of and hug her. She resists weakly at first, but you refuse to let go, embracing her as tight as you can until she eventually gives in and presses her face into your shoulder, hugging back and gripping your coat hard. She's terrified, and if you're being honest with yourself, so are you.
"I don't want to die." she says quietly, her voice wavering, "I don't want you to die. I don't want anyone to die. Why couldn't you have just...why couldn't you have never made him? Why do you have to make weapons? Why do you need to fight so much?"
"If I hadn't, they'd have sent me away." you say quietly, though the hot tears you feel welling up in your eyes make it hard to talk without sobbing, "You'd have never seen me again and they'd have brought in someone who didn't care. Someone who just saw you as a thing instead of an individual."
>Tell her Ares wants to meet her
>Hide the fact
>Other (write in)
How so? I'm just saying, there's something she should know.... but we'll talk to her about it later.
If a kid is freaking out about a bad grade or a bully, you don't also mention that mom and dad are getting a divorce. But its something you "HAVE to let them know you'll talk about later." sort of.
I'm experiencing some serious agony over this choice anons.
While they're not related or organic, there'd just be something vaguely incesty about it. Just cause they're kind of calling eachother brother and sister.
"Everything will be okay, I promise." you assure her, not really sure what to say.
"How can you promise that?" she says into your shoulder, still clinging desperately to you, "How can you promise me that you won't be killed? Could you stop him? Could you prevent him from hurting anyone?"
"Well...no..." you say, ashamed of your own inability to do anything.
"I don't want to lose my family." Pandora's hair gets ever so slightly redder, "I hope he goes away and never comes back. I hope they take him somewhere else." She then stops after saying this, going silent. "Or..." she sits up suddenly, looking you in the eye, her hair going bright yellow, "Or we could! We could leave! Go away and let him stay here in this place! They can't hurt us if we're not here! And we could bring Mouse and Babsy and everybody else! We could all go somewhere secret where they would never find us!" Your blood goes cold at this statement.
"Pandora, that...that uh...we can't." you're at a loss for words until your PDA starts pinging like mad with message notifications. No matter what it is, you dread reading it.
>Read the messages
>Tell Pandora not to talk like that
>Put Pandora to sleep
>Other (write in)
>Tell Pandora not to talk like that
Hi there this is Pandora Quest's "Wow These Are Some Big Decisions Every Vote" Department how can we help you?
That's pretty good as well.
You put your hands on Pandora's shoulders and look her in the eye. This kind of thinking needs to be straightened out before it gets dangerous. Not to mention it would only bring about more problems.
"Pandora, that's not how you solve problems." you say, trying to be stern but not cruel, "Running doesn't fix anything, the problem is still there, you're just delaying it. What you need to do is face it head-on. You need to work through your problems so that they're no longer problems at all. You've done it before, I know you can do it again."
Pandora has a sad look on her face, her hair shifting to sky blue. "But...what if he tries to hurt me? Or you?"
"He won't. He can't." you try to speak in a comforting tone, "He's harmless to you, I assure you. He has no ability to do anything like that without my say so, nor does he have any reason to."
"...Do I have to?" she asks, a scared quaver in her voice.
"If you want to." you reply, "But you can't hide from insecurities forever."
"So..." she's deep in thought for a while, weighing her options, "I should meet him, you mean?"
"It'd be a start." You say, doing your best to give her a comforting smile, "But like I said, only if you want to."
There's a long pause, nothing being said by either party. "...Okay." Pandora concedes after a minute, "I...I want to meet him. I want to talk to him..."
"Alright," you embrace her once again, "I'll see about making the preparations as soon as I can. It's going to be alright, Pandora. You'll see. I'm sure you two will get along fine."
Alright guys, I'm going to have to call it a night a little earlier than usual tonight, as I need to run to the store before it closes, but thank you again for playing! If you liked the thread, please vote for it on the archive and follow me on Twitter! I can't stay for questions at the moment, but go ahead and ask them and I'll try to answer as soon as I get back! See you guys next week!
But goodness that was emotionally draining.
that sounds like a good doodle idea.
whelp, missed the last bits
I really wanted to do something like
>keep saying it'll be alright
>quieter and quieter
>then whisper that we've got a plan or two
But really, much of this hinges on Ares developing his own individuality with the time we'll be able to share with him.