Video - Masks 7.2 - Jason and Not-Byron [Note: in translating into Plotagon, there have been some minor variations in the dialog from the below, both for blocking and verbal clarity, and to add few things in (around 7:36, for example).] After the "rescue" of Ghost Girl and everyone heading home from the late night, Jason storms into his room. If he is surprised to see a faintly glowing AI avatar of his father standing there, it doesn't show. JASON Jesus H Fucking Christ. BYRON Language, young man. JASON Really? BYRON Aristotle said that how an individual expresses himself defines himself. Obscene language defines one as vulgar. JASON I just finished acting like a fricking asshole in front of my friends. I feel pretty vulgar. BYRON Your friends are, by objective measure, vulgar individuals for the most part. Harry is, at least, a scion of a noble family. Leo, on the other hand, is the offspring of a science villain. Adam is immature. Charlotte ... JASON Nobody asked for your evaluation. BYRON My function is to analyze and interpret and best guide use of Quill Foundation resources. JASON And you feel that these resources are wasted on the Menagerie. BYRON An interesting title for your band of misfits. While you are, arguably, a collection of animals, some of you have within you the potential to be much more. JASON Yeah, thanks for calling my friends "animals." BYRON Human beings are, of course, animals. Some more so, perhaps, than others. So, what did you do to elicit such language use? JASON I acted like a jerk. I tried go all Rusty on the team, barking out orders, talking about sitreps and risk profiles and the like. BYRON Did you effectively lead the team? Is the public safe? Was the opposition thwarted? JASON Well, we "thwarted" the opposition, but I'm not sure it was because of me. But everyone's safe. BYRON Then by objective measures your experiment in leadership was a success. JASON It doesn't feel like a success. Harry was all snarky, and Leo basically kicked my ass about it. BYRON Do you require countermeasures to be initiated against Leo? JASON What? No! BYRON I will be standing by for such orders. JASON They won't be coming. BYRON They will eventually be needed. While the principle of genetics as destiny is only thirty-seven percent accurate, the combination of nature and nurture create a perfect storm. It is eighty-nine point three percent likely that Leo will violate major societal and legal norms within the next 1-2 years. He is already performing dangerous experiments with artificial intelligence, extending the developments by his father. He is not to be trusted. JASON (Stares) You are not to take ANY action against Leo without my direct orders. BYRON Protocols for defense of Quill Technology intellectual and real property authorize certain autonomous actions during defined emergency parameters. JASON Emergency Override Archimedes zero-zero-three . No actions to be taken without my voice confirmation. Confirm compliance. BYRON Compliance confirmed. You know, Jason, that's a very foolish step to take. I'm very disappointed. JASON You are NOT my Dad. You don't get to be "disappointed." You're nothing but a computer program! BYRON Byron Quill used his own engrams to apply to heuristics and Bayesian analysis of data presented. While I am still lacking some current affairs information due to your failure to pull in accumulated data from the airlock, I am designed to apply your father's judgment to the situation as it is presented. By that analysis, your father would 94.7% be what he would term "disappointed" and 89.2% likely to voice that evaluation of your actions. To not act on that analysis would be to fail on your father's designs and wishes. JASON My father is dead. You should pay more attention to MY wishes. BYRON While, as previously noted, I lack current news sources except those lightly processed under emergency protocols, your father's lifesign telemetry did not quiesce or fail. It was cut off mid-transition, albeit during a highly stressful moment. Nor am I aware of other definitive evidence as to Byron Quill being deceased. JASON What other evidence would you consider definitive? BYRON Do you have the body? JASON ... No. BYRON Well, then ... (looks skeptical) JASON Well, he's not here now, and hasn't been here for some time. BYRON Have you looked for him? JASON (Stares) Well, it's not like he wandered away at the zoo. He got sucked into a dimensional rift, along with Rusty and Dr. Chin and his bodyguard. BYRON So Byron Quill is elsewhere. That does not indicate that I -- that he is deceased. Granted, if this was a misfired deathtrap on the part of Dr. Chin, that increases the probability of death; transport to another dimension if chosen purely at random would lead to conditions unsuited for unprepared human life, as would be true for the vast majority of points in our own universe; probabilities, however, cannot be assigned at this point. And, of course, the transportation part, the "passing through" of the "rift," might itself be a lethal process; again, further analysis is dictated. Shall I proceed? JASON Proceed with what? BYRON Trying to determine if your father is alive. JASON Can you do that? BYRON As a hypothetical exercise, yes. This research can run semi-autonomously. However, it may require personal interface into the data and analysis stream within the Quill Foundation computers. How is your current health? JASON My ... health? BYRON Your bioscan telemetry indicates increase stress points on cognitive-physical association, aligned with logged errors 47A, 293C and D, and 1024A in the bioadaptive neuro-Interface between yourself and the nanobot self-defense system, due to unanticipated and unauthorized modification to purpose and use. JASON In other words, the nanobots are killing me when I use them. BYRON Broadly speaking, though in fact cognitive dispersal into the nanoswarm might arguably not be considered death, albeit with problematic impacts on qualia and consciousness. It would most likely prove fatal to your biological seat, however. JASON Sounds like death to me. BYRON Your perspective may be limited. There are many forms of life and continued existence. (The AI gestures to itself.) JASON Whatever. BYRON Unfortunately to your preferences for continued existence, the intervention needful for guiding the research into your father's location or status, as well has potential for retrieval, will require interface with myself and the computer system in a way that uses similar neurological channels to your control over the nanobots, accelerating your deterioration. JASON If I want to find out what happened to Dad, it will maybe kill me faster. BYRON Correct. Well-interpreted, if grammatically problematic. Also, not just what happened, but how to reverse it. JASON How to reverse ... how to get Dad back? BYRON And, by extension, Rusty Byrne and Dr. Achilles Chin and Hector Callado. Or, I would recommend, a subset of that list. JASON Even if it kills me. BYRON Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. The Gospel According to St John, chapter 15, verse 13. JASON (considers) Can you run preliminary analysis without my intervention? Shorten the search paths for if -- when I actually do this? BYRON Of course. That would be a reasonable thing to do, Jason. JASON (Sighs) Okay. Get started with that. (His eyes widen.) Oh! BYRON What is it? JASON Nothing. Just a really out-of-the-box idea. BYRON I would be more than happy to evaluate it for you. JASON (Smiles, shakes his head.) If you were upset about Leo ... yeah, never mind for now. (Blinks.) Hey, my talking to you right now isn't impacting my neurological whozits, is it? I mean, if it feels like it's draining away my will to live, that's just a metaphor, right? BYRON No, it has no effect than when you converse with your friends. Though that might become more difficult as the cognitive schism increases. JASON Like it's easy now. (Shakes his head.) Hey, while you're on the line, memo to Barbara that I need to have one of the flying disks kept hot for future activities. I was able to find one up for periodic maintenance, but most of them are in mothballs. I may need to get around quickly. BYRON The flying disks are meant for expeditionary use, not crime-fighting hijinx. JASON Oh, is that what I'm doing? Well, they beat Uber, so just let her know. I can update the maintenance schedule in the system. Also, how much footage and, um, behavioral data do we have on Alycia Chin? BYRON (Raises an eyebrow) JASON I'd like to develop some training sequences for the team using the simulation hall. For when we finally encounter her. BYRON That's a remarkably sensible and strategic thing to do, Jason. JASON Thank Leo for it. BYRON Ah, yes, I would have expected such cleverness from Rossum's son. (Pauses.) I have extensive footage for use. However, all of the data I have on Alycia Chin, save for conversations here at the Foundation over the last week, are from prior to Byron Quill's vanishing. There may be more information in the accumulated, unprocessed data in ... JASON Okay, okay, I'll tackle that before I go to bed tonight and get you your updated information. Happy? BYRON (Looks around) You could keep your room a little bit neater. JASON You're lucky I didn't move into your and Rusty's room. BYRON Point taken. JASON DAD and Rusty's room. Jeez. BYRON (Chuckles) Point also taken. JASON AI Interface off .
Several genuine laugh out loud moments. Good stuff.
I could ask for no greater tribute. :-)
*** Dave H. said: BYRON Protocols for defense of Quill Technology intellectual and real property authorize certain autonomous actions during defined emergency parameters. JASON Emergency Override Archimedes zero-zero-three . No actions to be taken without my voice confirmation. Confirm compliance. I mean, this post is all good, but for my money this is the scariest moment of this whole conversation. How broadly will it interpret "no actions to be taken" in the defense of Quill technology? Will that make Alycia's infiltrations that much easier, if it takes that to mean not just Leo?
I'm just waiting for not-Byron Quill to become one of our greatest villains .
@BillG I mean, this post is all good, but for my money this is the scariest moment of this whole conversation. How broadly will it interpret "no actions to be taken" in the defense of Quill technology? Will that make Alycia's infiltrations that much easier, if it takes that to mean not just Leo? If Jason even thought of that, he would assume that not-Byron is smart enough to understand context. Jason would not necessarily be correct, of course, but (remarkably enough), that was not one of the breadcrumbs I was laying out for further trouble. @Mike I'm just waiting for not-Byron Quill to become one of our greatest villains . Now that's a breadcrumb I considered. I mean, even beyond long-term villainy, when you have a self-intelligent computer running everything in a building, including the security system, you almost have to have an episode where it all goes horribly, horribly wrong . Or, more cleverly, not, but in a way that always has the other characters guessing.
Jason shows Leo around ...
The one could lead to the other of course. "how did Alycia get in?" "You disabled my security routines dear boy. Let this be a lesson: listen to your father."