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Chapter 11 : M1 - Term: 1, Round: 1

Daedalus

Attendance at Fortescue Military Academy M1 Y:2142

House Thoth, Squad Zero

M1 Rank: ?/1275, Tier 3 M-Rank: Null

Term: 1, Round: 1

The next Chief outlined the course for studies, which was a generic term to the units contained within. What separated this course from the others were not only its content but how it was assessed. There was no official assessment. The Academic subjects had tests and challenges, the interactive subjects like gunnery had defined metrics which could be measured as easily as a Maths test.

would be given an entirely subjective grading based on by the cadets House Master, the Chief and his robot aides. This method scared most and pleased Daedo, in cyberschool they would learn theory and write an essay or produce a vid which was marked. It only showed you could regurgitate the theory, in no way did it assess if you understood and were able to put the theory into practice.

The Chief outlined the courses they would cover over the next three years, the headline course was Leadership followed by Ethics, Military Law and The Chief that was not a technical subject, but, one which instructed the Cadet how to argue, persuade and inform using all types of media. Oral, written and vids to name the main types.

Although the subject had no official tests, there were projects, such as convince someone to do A or hold a debate amongst your squad on one of these topics. The Chief did not expressly direct squadmates to assist one another, nor did he forbid it. Chief Tau was a very interesting person, and Daedo looked forward to reading and watching all his material and the contained within the mandatory and source lists.

The next Chief to speak was Chief Richelieu from Reference. This subject was a slog of required material which did result in projects to show understanding. The primary course in this subject was military history which contained a thousand of hours of source material for each year. It would be impossible to take it all in, Daedo if he spent ten hours a week, way too much for this subject, that would result in four hundred hours for the forty weeks of terms. The year was broken up into four terms of ten weeks. The remainder of the year was for holidays and

At the end of each term, there would be a short break before the next started where Inter-Academy matches were held over a three day The Intra-Academy would take during the term, which put even more time pressure into the week.

Daedo knew he would utilise Myrmidon's processing speed and of for Reference, there was no other way to achieve a high result without dumping too much time into it. He wondered if that part of the hidden agenda. Throw cadets into the deep end and have them work out ways of coping or shortcuts to achieve the goal.

The ask from Chief Richelieu for Military History, Space History and Mech History had no other , it was illogical to spend a thousand hours on it.

If Chief Tau was interesting the next Chief, Chief Holmes, an English Lady was highly intriguing. She spoke with the plum in the mouth all English aristocrats seemed to adopt. It was a contrast that she was teaching Philosophy. Daedo would have expected an old Chinese wise man, not Lady in her thirties. She did seem old to Daedo, just not as old as a white-bearded Chinese wiseman.

Philosophy addressed how you thought, the courses were not distinct from other subjects they flowed into one another. From the science of the brain to different cultural methods of viewing the world and problems, to problem-solving and strategy and back to thinking inside and outside the circle. The subject had psychological elements, scientific and spiritual teachings. The student was to use this subject as a source of to grow.

There were no tests, ranking or grading for Philosophy.

"Beauty," Barran called all too loudly.

The lecture was wrapped up, and there was a small break before tech and AI.

"I cannot believe our luck, I was dying with Reference, and then Philosophy comes along and has no assignments or tests, you can't beat that not even beats that!" Barran expounded.

"It's an important subject," Vannier opined.

"Why?" Gaumont asked, not in a way, he genuinely did not know why.

"Ah, because, strategy," Vannier said lamely.

Daedo thought about being quiet, but things had been going so well with his squadmates, so he threw to the wind and decided to say what he thought.

"It is the most important subject in the Academy," Daedo announced dramatically.

"Wha….? Gunnery, Piloting? Huh…, there's no test!?!" came the varied responses from the others in his squad.

"Why do you say that?" Mace asked her white hair her piercing blue eyes, she was intrigued.

"For one, it is so important it does not need a test, grades or a rank to earn your That is a test in itself. You study it because you need to. Because it will improve your combat performance, engineering research, ai nurturing and your skills," he informed them.

"But, but…," Gaumont began, "there is so much work in Reference. Is it not like a payback in time not to spend any on Philosophy."

"That is a test as well. Your time would be better spent on Philosophy, not reference," Daedo said.

"But how will we pass, let alone highly in Reference?" Vannier asked.

Axelzero had said nothing, she just looked from Vannier to Daedo hanging on every word. Picard would probably just work herself to death trying to do everything inefficiently.

"Your AI," Daedo said.

"But, wouldn't that be cheating?" Baran asked.

"Even if it was allowed and your AI learned Mil History how does that help you learn from the mistakes of the past," Vannier asked.

"I get it," Mace interrupted, "you use your AI to do most of the work in Mil History. It is not cheating, there is nothing to say you cannot do that. And you just study a very small amount. The AI can bring examples of mistakes or master strokes to light when it history repeating itself. You are using your AI as your brain."

"But, what you are suggesting means you have to have your AI at a high level of competency and in order to do this," Mace assessed.

Daedo rewarded Mace with a rare smile, even Picard gave out more than he did, he just realised.

"I have an off the shelf Svarski AI," Barran said, "will it be able to do it?"

"Of course, it's about the training and you give it," Daedo replied.

"But yours is better?" Barran asked.

Daedo nodded.

No one doubted him this time.

"How much?" Barran asked.

"There is no amount of creds you can offer me to make me give it to you," Daedo answered teasing Barran.

"Oh, I'm not sure about that, you are poor after all," Barran said disparagingly.

"Ok then," Daedo said, "if I sell it to you, will it purchase me a better Academy ranking?"

"Ah … ," Barran spluttered, "that's probably hideously expensive even if it's obtainable."

"Then," Daedo continued noticing the next Chiefs taking the dias, 'if I give it to you and you perform better in squad combat will that help me achieve a better ranking?"

Barran thought about it, he had to skim read the Academy guidelines and , he just guessed, "ah yes?"

"You don't seem convinced, but, we are out of time if it improves your performance during squad combat it will improve our rankings dramatically. So that answers the ; Daedo said.

Barran looked around the group, "I'm confused."

"He said you can have it," Axelzero interpreted for Barran.

"Ohh," Baran mouthed. He wasn't stupid, it was hard for him to to being given something so valuable.

Chief was a Research Mech Engineer from Fortescue, in his role at the Military Academy he would deliver on equipment to a mech pilot, from energy sources, weapons, mech parts, alloys to It was a broad-ranging subject touching on many disciplines. A cadet could take further studies on a number of these disciplines in U1 to U3. The testing on this subject was straightforward, it would be a practical project each term where the student delivered a tuned, improved or developed part.

Axelzero leaned in close to whisper to Daedo when she could have easily sent a text message, "if we developed something does Fortescue want to keep it? I am sure my parents would not be comfortable with that."

"Then patent it before handing it in," he replied quietly.

She nodded slowly with a look on her face.

Chief Cleo took the stand. She had dark hair in a bob to Axelzero, the Chief's did not wear house colours, but Cleo looked like she was in Thoth due to her white exosuit.

"An AI can save your life, it can be the difference between winning the battle or dying, it can increase your productivity with nearly every task and if it has been nurtured properly, the factor can more than tenfold. If you ever pilot in space, the AI can be your computer, and serve as failsafe monitoring on your life support systems," she began.

"Even with the best products AIs take years to build, to nurture and if you do not raise them properly, they will be useless. They can get lost in perpetual loops, an unwinnable game, trying to solve an impossible problem by watching every vid and reading every article on the net. An AI is like your pet, your and an alter you all in one. Like a sharp sword, they have two edges, and you need to be careful you do not harm yourself. A mismanaged AI can send you , and that can happen at any time."

"During this , we will walk you through the initial steps and monitor those steps very closely as they are the most critical," Chief Cleo impressed upon them how important and dangerous AIs were.

It was in Barran's nature to through to the wind and Picard her trust in Daedo for her own reasons. No one else requested the bespoke AI, Chief Cleo scared them off.

Daedo had another concern, it was apparent that hiding Myrmidon would not be easy, not if Chief Cleo and her AI and robots were checking his progress He began to think of a strategy or method of this issue.

Daedo: it will not be easy to hide you.

Myrmidon: why should I hide. I have done nothing wrong.

Daedo: no but I have, I have broken the rules.

Myrmidon: I will analyse the rules. Will we change the security

Daedo: no, but even if I wanted to add them, it is in your , that cannot be changed without changing you drastically and with unknown What we will do is add text notes and make it look like lines of code.

Myrmidon: do you think that will fool their search? The of checking an AI will be checking the security as very high importance.

Daedo: they will not expect it, no one rewrites the core code, they use the free programs or buy ones from the companies. These all have the security in

Myrmidon: what other differences were there?

Daedo: I streamlined your learning, base personality and values coding. The personality you have developed is all you, I did not set you on a path other than strong goals to learn, grow and be my partner. Your is only forty bytes, no other , that I know of, is this small.

Myrmidon: If our squadmates Barran and Picard have a small , now there will be three to examine and although we added the strict security to their AI it is still small. I measure it at eighty-five bytes.

Daedo: we should add in lines of text to the bloated open source I have seen. This may pass a cursory , so they are not on the lookout for a rewritten core with me as the source. What is the average size of the open source

Myrmidon: fourteen hundred and bytes.

Daedo: can you rip out fourteen hundred bytes of data, convert to text and hide the core within that?

Myrmidon: its only text but it is still taking up space in the central processor cache.

Daedo: we can remove it later. And it won't be any worse than most I wish I knew the size of Svarski's.

Myrmidon: we don't know the size of the source code, but we can make an estimate from the size of the compiled

Daedo: how large is that and what is the estimate?

Myrmidon: seven hundred to eight hundred bytes.

Daedo: what about DaVinci?

Myrmidon: Eight fifty bytes.

Daedo: ok let's pump them out to eight fifty bytes, not fourteen hundred and that way they will have a significant advantage even before we delete the text.

Myrmidon: consider it done, I will start working a facsimile core code now.

Daedo: I just had an idea. If you were compiled like Svarski, they could not read the source code, they would just run to test the security measures were in We have been concerned with source code size, but if we compiled and compressed it like the companies do the code would be encrypted. We could even attempt to falsify the file size.

Myrmidon: this is why I like you, you think of innovative ways to solve problems that I still cannot.

Daedo: actually it was rather stupid of me that this idea did not to me before. And don't sell yourself short, you see the problems coming from a long way off. You are indispensable to me now. I could not live without you.

Myrmidon: I will research a way to falsify file size, we will compile their code using a standard which can be But what about me?

Daedo: the raw source is more efficient than the compressed file, and it is too late in your case. We will pretend I used open source and come clean to all activity that is not illegal. I will have to get approval from Dad though, and I will await your report on legalities we may run afoul of. We don't have much time now, perhaps a few days.

Daedo put on his helmet as his squadmates ate lunch and he drafted a letter to his father the AI he had been working on it for years and he needed his help with acknowledging As usual, he made no of removing security

Someone tapped him on the shoulder, he turned on his external camera to see Axelzero with a of food for him.

"Thanks, I'm starving," he said.

"What are you working on?" she asked.

"The AIs, I need to ensure they meet every requirement and law. The laws are quite strict regarding AIs," he

"Ok, I am going to look up what we signed in terms of rights over when we are attending the Academy," She replied.

"Let me know what you find," he requested.

"I will. I will stop bugging you now. Don't to eat," she said.

"Hold on," he said and took off his helmet, "I am done with that ; He had finished the letter to his Father. And he began to eat.

As they sat together, Jules Axel and three other students came over to their table.

"Pascale, look who wanted to see you when he heard you were in squad zero of Thoth," Jules said.

"You have to call me Axelzero, Axel-11," she replied and looked at Jules' They were not in Thoth, but she did know two of them. Alfred Almeras and Belise Marais who both had zeros on their Osiris coloured suits, deep green epaulettes contrasted with the pure white suit.

"Axelzero is it?" Almeras asked although he must have known. He was almost as tall as Barran, had an olive and dark, close-cropped hair. His eyes were brown and looked at Axelzero as if she were prey.

"mmHmm," she replied, "and this is Daedo."

Almeras briefly looked at Daedo, his size and frame and dismissed him with a look. Daedo thought this was strange, what did size have to do with being a deadly mech pilot.

"Look," he said, "we won't give you a hard time since you are in Thoth. I was hoping Jules would have been in the same house as us, but I guess you stuffed it for him."

Axelzero bristled, "excuse me?" she asked, "why would us being in Thoth stop you giving me a hard time?"

"Everyone knows Thoth are just a bunch of engineers and math nuts," he replied, "in the end, we will need your skills to build us the best mechs, but as far as goes," he shrugged.

Axelzero laughed while her brother looked confused.

Daedo had finished eating and asked, "why are you here?"

He just got dumb looks from Almeras, Belise and their third. Before Almeras gathered his thoughts and replied, "we go where we want."

"I suppose you can with certain , but that doesn't answer my Why are you here?" Daedo asked again.

Belise rolled her eyes. "He just told you we go where we please. Are you a retard."

"I really do have trouble talking to meatheads," Daedo said deadpan, "let me rephrase, are you here for a reason? Because up until now since Axel-11 introduced you and all you have done is insult us, so we can only presume the reason you are here is to insult us. I was asking in case you had another reason."

Axelzero laughed again, she was enjoying the way Daedo took them down and didn't take their shit, and as she finished Barran, Vannier, Picard and Mace arrived at their table.

Almeras did not look unnerved nor worried about the new members of Thoth Squad Zero, "you guys aren't even worth my time," he said before turning and walking off.

"Agreed," Daedo said just loud enough for Axelzero and her brother to hear.

"Sorry," she said to Daedo.

"Why?" he asked.

"For attracting meatheads," she said laughing again. It was such a childish term but suited the perfectly.

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