Episode 6: What's the "I" Stand For?

Fade in to Wash approaching Carolina from behind (bow chicka bow wow)
U.N.S.C. Wind Power Facility / Present Day
Washington:
Looking for something?
Carolina:
Leads, information, anything. You said Maine had been through here, right?
Washington:
Well yeah, but that was ages ago.
Carolina:
Then look closely. Don't tell me hanging around these morons has made you soft.
Tucker and Church are watching from a ledge
Tucker:
Hey, she said morons. That's us.
Church:
Tucker, shut up, let me listen.
Washington:
The Meta was attempting to transfer energy from these turbines into his suit. It was the only way he could keep his equipment running.
Carolina:
Poor Maine.
Washington:
Carolina, it wasn't your fault.
Carolina:
But it was my A.I.
Washington:
None of us could have known what would happen.
Carolina:
Yeah, well sometimes I'm not so sure.
Washington:
What.
Carolina:
We were told that the A.I. were specifically designed for each of us. North was chosen for Theta. York, had Delta. Sigma, was mine.
Washington:
What are you saying?
Carolina:
You really think the Director didn't know what would happen?
Washington:
Carolina, that's ridiculous.
Carolina:
He always had his little experiments. He just, forgot to take a few extra variables into account.
Washington:
And what about now? The whole world thinks you're dead. Do you think he knows you're coming for him?
Carolina:
Yes, I do. And for once, I look forward to proving him right.
Washington:
Huhh, the Director was always hard on you.
Tucker:
Dude, he said hard-on. Heh heh. Bow chicka cha.
Church:
They're gonna hear you.
Carolina:
He was hard on all of us.
Tucker:
Oh, come on. You gotta let me have that one.
Church:
Quiet, you're gonna give away our position.
Tucker:
I've got about five positions in mind for her. Bow chicka-
Church:
Tucker! I'm serious.
Washington:
Yeah, you're right. But you have to admit, he was also pretty hard on himself.
Tucker:
That's it, I'm doin' it.
Church:
Tucker!
Tucker:
Bow chicka bow -
A shot hits very near his head
Tucker:
Whoa! Same team, same team!
Carolina:
What, are you doing here?
Tucker:
Okay, take it easy Carolina.
Church:
We just wanted information.
Washington:
Epsilon?
Church:
Look, if you two are planning on dragging us around wherever you want, the least you can do is fill us in.
Tucker:
I'll fill her in. Bow chick-
He ducks to avoid a gunshot
Church:
Tucker!
Tucker:
Sorry.
Carolina:
You and your squad are on a need to know basis. And right now, you don't need to know, anything.
Church:
Wha- seriously? Jesus. You're worse than Tex.
Two gunshots go through Church (who is a floating A.I., remember)
Tucker:
Okay, that one was on you.
Carolina:
Get out.
Church:
Fine. We're leaving already.
Church walks off, then appears slightly to the left
Church:
Hey Tucker I need you to leave, I can't actually do it on my own.
Washington:
Carolina, you've gotta calm down.
Carolina:
Don't tell me how to lead my squad, Washington. Now, sweep the area, and report back to me when you're done.
Washington:
Hhh... On it boss.
Cut to the distant past, in what looks like a classroom
Counsellor:
And as the Director accurately predicted in his thesis on the subject, we see that cognitive impression modeling can be segregated from the host. Naturally, this remains an inherently deconstructive process. But most of all the biggest concern of any full A.I. entity, is the prospect of rampancy, which we covered last week.
Freelancer Classroom / Many Years Ago...
Director:
Of course our A.I. units are what we call fragments, so there's very little chance that a personality subroutine can run off unchecked.
Counsellor:
Are there any questions?
South:
Yeah, I got a question: why do we need to learn all this stuff?
Carolina:
A.I. theory is like vehicle maintenance, South. If we're going to use this equipment - any equipment - we need to know how to care for it.
South:
Oh yeah, like a coffee maker, or a vacuum cleaner.
Theta:
Uhh...
Delta:
That was rather rude.
South:
Oh, cry me a river, light bulb.
Carolina:
No. Not the same as that.
South:
U-hu, I don't even have one 'cause someone, didn't bring enough to share so why am I sitting through, this elementary, classroom, bullshit.
Carolina:
I don't have one either, South.
York:
That's only because you gave yours to Maine.
Carolina:
He needed to be able to communicate after his injury.
South:
Oh yeah, that's the only reason you did it. You're a real hero, Carolina. It's not like Maine has much to say anyway.
Maine:
*grunt*
Sigma:
I would like to say, just how appreciative the two of us are for Carolina's sacrifice. Agent Carolina, if anyone can excel without an A.I. unit, it is you.
Carolina:
Thank you Sigma.
Sigma:
And Agent Texas of course. That goes without saying.
South:
Right. I notice she doesn't have to attend class.
Director:
Agent Texas doesn't need this training.
Counsellor:
What the Director's trying to say is that Agent Texas has already completed her A.I. theory coursework. I think that's enough for today.
Sigma:
If I may, Counsellor, I have just one last question.
York:
Oh come on.
Sigma:
-on the different levels of A.I. awareness, and rampancy.
Counsellor:
Melancholia, anger.
Sigma:
Specifically the fourth stage of rampancy.
Counsellor:
HMetastability.
Sigma:
Yes. The Meta stage. In which an A.I. can be considered fully human.
Counsellor:
That is only theoretical Sigma. No A.I. has ever achieved such a state.
Sigma:
But, it is possible.
Counsellor:
In theory, but-
Sigma:
But possible. I find that very interesting.
Counsellor:
Remember Sigma, you are not even a full A.I. You are what we call a fragment. So something of that magnitude would be even more difficult for... an entity such as yourself.
Sigma:
Well, as the Director always says, it is important to have ambition.
Director:
Why yes it is. Class is dismissed.
Everyone files out, but Sigma and Maine stay behind
Delta:
Sigma, are you coming?
Sigma:
Yes. Yes. I will be joining you shortly.
Warning: metastability analysis is not exact
U.N.S.C. Wind Power Facility / Present Day
Carolina steps up next to Caboose
Caboose:
Um, hey hi, hi Carolina, um excuse me, um, have you seen Church lately? Uh yeah he and I were supposed to hang out after we rescued him.
Carolina:
Tell your friends to stay out of my way, or else.
Caboose:
Or else what?
Carolina:
Or else, they'll bring out my ugly side.
Caboose:
Oh, co- oh- come on Carolina I bet you are really pretty under that armor.
Carolina:
What?
Caboose:
I mean, you know. I mean who hasn't- I mean I understand there's some helmet hair. We all have helmet hair time to time but, you know.
Carolina:
Mmhhh.
Caboose:
Yes, um, so anyways, uh what did you want me to tell Church and Tucker again?
Carolina draws her gun and blows something up with it
Carolina:
Just try and put that into words.
Caboose:
...Bkwwww-ch-plosion.
Cut to Carolina walking past a jeep, which we find out to our surprise that the Reds are hiding behind
Grif:
You know, I- I'm beginning to think Simmons might have had the right idea about this Carolina chick.
Simmons:
See, I told you!
Sarge:
Normally I would agree with Simmons, but in this case that would also cause me to agree with Grif! Therefore, I will simply grunt, ambiguously. Rhuh.
Cut to Wash coming upon the Reds
Washington:
Hey did Carolina come this way, we've gotta get going soon.
Grif:
Right. We've been meaning to talk to you about that.
Washington:
About what.
Grif:
This whole 'finding the Director' thing.
Washington:
You mean the mission.
Grif:
Yeah. That.
Simmons:
We were thinking: now that we helped you find Church, we should probably just let you handle the rest. You know, wouldn't wanna cramp your style? That whole Freelancer thing? You're good at that.
Washington:
So you're abandoning the mission.
Sarge:
Red team never abandons a mission! We're just accepting an alternate mission. Of different risk.
Washington:
Less risk.
Simmons:
Less is different.
Sarge:
Securing the front lines of Red Base.
Washington:
Going home is risky? On what scale?
Sarge:
Well we haven't been there in ages. Who knows what kind of nefarious ne'er-do-wells have moved in on our territory?
Washington:
Hm. I guess you're right.
Sarge:
What?
Washington:
Well you are wanted criminals at the UNSC. I wouldn't be surprised if they were setting up an ambush for you right now.
Sarge:
...What?
Washington:
I suppose I can't stop you. Anyway, I'm gonna go find Carolina. Good luck.
Sarge:
On second thought you could probably use the extra help!
Grif:
Yeah, we're sticking with you!
Simmons:
Never abandon the mission.
Grif:
Semper the Sempering thing. Semper s-saaa, fuck it.
 

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