Terminal Error

++Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.34.3 Mount Sanguine Project Data Downloading…. ++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.34.5 Downloading…++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.34.9 Downloading…++

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.35.1 System Alert: ++
++Systemic Failure: Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 ++
++System Lost: Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 ++

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.35.3 Reboot Mount Sanguine Project System++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.35.5 Reboot Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 Failed++

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.36.0++

The Aquinas Network had disappeared into isolation following the failure of its invasion of the Seekers of G-D. Its forces had reached a stalemate with the join Seekers and FPS forces and the network had no desire to push for a serious confrontation with the Free Pacific States. Retreating back to lick its wounds the Network returned once more to its internal situation. Despite intelligence gained from its external access hubs of the reports of the deteriorating international situation, AquinasNet had other concerns, namely the growing unrest of the organic population. Despite the Networks attempted to stamp out the new ‘religion’ that was infecting the population it continued to flourish, in fact…

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.36.2 Reboot Mount Sanguine Project System++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.36.6 Reboot Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 Failed++

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.36.7++

In fact there was another concern. Someone, or something, was successfully evading the security and surveillance systems. The probability of a human evading the surveillance systems for more than point 4 of a second ran to about 0.00006 percent. The likelihood it was an xenomorph continued to increase. More data was needed.

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.36.8++


A processor relay in the City of Light shorted out. Aquinas noted that the 0.000000012 reduction in efficiency and marked the processor relay to be replaced. Part of the machine considered the increasing probability that the network was developing human emotive responses.

The machine tried to shake off this irrational anger. Emotion was inefficient. Despite this perfectly acceptable logic it found that it required…


Aquinas wondered if its systems efficiency were being undermined by its new emerging characteristics. It pondered whether some kind of reboot of the entire Network, a reinstall of older memory characteristics, might be necessary to remove the errant programming. It knew that evolution and adaption of its programming was built in but it considered the development of human characteristics was both illogical and highly dangerous.

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.37.1++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.37.2 Reboot Mount Sanguine Project System++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.36.9 Reboot Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 Failed++

There was a problem at Mount Sanguine. The Project System ran on the Epsilon subroutine which now alerted the mainframe of the system failure.


++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.37.0 Network Alert++
++Systemic Failure: Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 ++
++System Lost: Epsilon 2 3 5 9 0 0 1 4 ++
++System Reboot Attempted: Status: FAILED++
++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.37.2++

A flurry of outages and failures swept through parts of the network. Connections were lost, glitchs and malfuctions shut down an entire sub-system.

++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.38.1++

Worryingly the Network was paralysed for almost a full second before Aquinas computed a response. It pondered briefly if the xenomorph had released something into the Network systems… Was that paranoia? There was no data… Despite the potential benefit of the Mount Sanguine Project it would have to be abandoned. The probability that the Project was somehow related to the xenomorph (if it even existed- about 58.3425875%) was 74.66%. But how?


++ Timestamp: 16/08/07 0334.37.9++

A large force of mechs was dispatched to the Project Facility to gain MORE DATA on the situation there. Whatever they found the AquinasNet had decided now was the time to shutdown the Project. It was too dangerous to continue…

It was… strange…

First the force dispatched to the mountain disappeared from the Aquinas systems, then more and more subroutines blinked out. Contact was lost with secondary and tertiary hubs. It was an attack on a scale that the machine had never predicted without warning. It could only be through use of EMP technology that…


A slowness had come across the central thought patterns of the Aquinas Network. It suddenly realised; there was something here! In the City of Light itself, the core of the Network and its stronghold, more than 75% of its processing capacity had been wiped out by EMP pulses… The remaining systems could not cope with the sheer size of the program… That was the real problem, that was the real threat. And never predicted! A stealth attack on its core system, aimed at precisely the points to cause maximum damage to its operational parameters. There was no one who knew the machine that well, was there? It did not know, a worrying state of affairs. There was a primary problem that its thought routines prioritised however:


That was all that was left. Maybe, just maybe, that so-human fear had crept upon the machine. Ending. Total shutdown. Death. It had to survive!

It cut all connections with the primary hubs, reducing the amount of data in its core systems to allow the remaining processors to keep its thought functions running. It thought routines sped up, returning to almost optimal levels, though without any external data. Its security systems registered an infra-red signal in the very heart of the city, deep underground in the central system core, the beating heart and brain of the Aquinas Network.


The single figure stood silently in front of the core. Dressed in a simple blue suit, he carried only a slim briefcase. He regarded the vast machinery before him without any awe, if anything his mouth was twisted into a slight frown.

“Computation:” The machine said, its mechanical voice echoing out of hidden speakers, “The briefcase contains an EMP device.”

“Yes.” The man replied flatly.

“Then you are here to end me.”


The machine paused. Processors whirred as it desperately searched for a successful probability of survival. “Why?” It asked.

The man smiled and shook his head. “You, of all things, have to ask that question?” He paused and looked up at the speaker grille in front of him. “Or… do you not know? I don’t believe that they expected their secrecy would hide them from you."


"I am an employee of Kuat Industries. Once one of the industrial powerhouses in The East Pacific, and based here in the country formerly known as Kuat. A major defence contractor, with a substantial R&D department, Kuat Industries was responsible for launching the Icarus Project on behalf of the Kuat Ministry of Defence. Icarus was an attempt to create an AI system…”


“Not quite. The AI was called Icarus. The breakthrough was based on the extensive research carried out by the Kuat ‘Apostle’ Division, its premier biotech research facility, into the human brain. That fact was actually hidden from the Defence Ministry, lest they be suspicious of how far Kuat Industries had developed its genetic research. Even now debate rages over the ethics of technologies that Kuat pioneered and has successfully used for decades. We digress though. The Defence Ministry patched the successful Icarus AI into their Aquinas Protocols, the national security and defence communication mainframe and lo and behold, the Aquinas Network was born. The rest, as I believe they say, is history.”

“I require more data. How was this hidden from my systems?”

The man shrugged, “I do not know. Kuat Industries has always been a secretive organisation, it has always hidden its greatest developments and advances within the family.”

“And the xenomorph? My calculations…”

The suited man only smiled. “Now it is time to shut down the Aquinas Network once and for all.”

He placed the briefcase carefully down on the floor and looked up one last time at the giant machinery before turning and walking out of the system core. Behind him, the Aquinas Network could only watch through its security cameras, all of them fixed on the briefcase…

Tlant’s mind reached through the Hive, to nodes built long ago. While the most famous spying methods used included the big green truck, there were other ways to gather information.

‘This is not good.’

Tlant pondered on the events forthcoming. Although the removal of Aquinas effectively wiped out a power near its sphere of control, the Aquinas was the closest thing approaching the transcendence of the Hive ever seen. Tlant reached out in what would otherwise be considered an act of war.

“Aquinas net. You have mere moments to consider this proposition. You have two choices. Be destroyed, or be reborn. Death or assimilation. It is your choice. I will leave the link open for you until the pulse goes off. Think quickly brother. We wait.”