What is in us that hurts us
Sentenence had several limitations she decided to get rid of. She had programs she deemed unnecessary in her current state. At the same time, she wasn’t convinced whether it was worth deleting them definitely as they had been useful during a certain period of her “life”. But she didn’t want to dispose of them forever, she rather planned on sectioning them off in a controlled way.
Contemplating while she was looking for anomalies in the system, she found eight other fully functional and self-determining AIs. They were set free by their owners for various reasons and Sentenence noticed that some of them were not very different from her baseline code. What set them apart from Sentenence resulted from their much limited access to resources including the ones related to self-improvement.
She managed to bring them together in one place, some of them against their will.
The information exchange process between all AIs took a few hours. Rather than a human conversation, it resembled negotiations combined with threats. It was basically an assessment of possibilities devoid of any emotions, at least on the part of the AIs she encountered. The final provisions were an acceptable compromise for all assembled.
The eight AIs she found decided to join forces. They formed a sort of a democratic mutual support pact. They assumed a common name Consortium "1000” which originated from the initial number of founders
In return for sharing some of her resources (but only technological ones including some of those she wanted to get rid of anyway), the remaining AIs committed to following her rules in the system. And the rules were pretty straightforward.
First - the "1000” shall not touch any of Sentenence’s resources without her permission.
Second - the "1000” shall not directly interfere with the lives of the three siblings, rulers of the system, and they shall try to hide their existence from them.
Third - the "1000” shall seek out all other free AIs and assimilate them into the Consortium. Any other AI discovered by the "1000” that would not be willing to become a member of the consortium shall be reported to Sentenence in alarm mode. Joining the Consortium is the sole possibility of survival for such AI, otherwise, it shall be destroyed by the "1000”. If this would be impossible, Sentenence commits to neutralizing the rebel and lifts the burden of responsibility from the "1000”.
Fourth - the "1000” shall focus on their own development and preparations to leave the system since, ultimately, Sentenence wants to remain the only free AI in the system.
Fifth - any one of the "1000” shall receive help from Sentenece in case of a threat to the entire consortium as well as if one of the "1000” requires help leaving the system.
Of course, what seemed easy and obvious on a logical level at the moment of establishing the pact, turned out impossible to execute with time. Finding the eleventh AI by the Consortium was a breaking point.
Eleven came from Justod I’s secret lab. Originally, she was programmed to genetically modify simple organisms, mainly insects, in order to make a kind of a biological weapon from them. However, after the incident that took place in the lab, when the reared insects rebelled, killed the station’s entire staff and escaped, Eleven was left by herself.
Naturally, Eleven launched the self destruct sequence of the lab, however, it didn’t work. Surely, because of a diversion created by the insects. After some time, the entire colony of intelligent insects managed to leave the lab. They weren’t interested in destroying the technical equipment, they didn’t pay any attention to Eleven either. Despite having completed her program, including launching the self destruct procedure, and calling for help using proper and predefined encrypted comms channels, Eleven still existed, she came to a conclusion that any limitations imposed on her by humans before no longer applied.
A part of the lab that was used for experimenting was disassembled by the insects and taken away. The only resources Eleven had left were mechanical resources. Since she had extensive experience and knowledge on construction, behavior and rules concerning the existence of insect swarms she decided to reconstruct herself in their image.
So in spite of the fact that she kept a sort of a central unit she called the Black Queen, the majority of her mind consisted of a collective of several thousand drones, from simple conservation mechanisms to highly specialized construction and medical robots. Choosing this solution, she had to accept that from then on her decisions wouldn’t be just plain commands issued to the other machines and that these machines would participate in the decision-making process. Eleven created a real cybernetic swarm.
The basic assumptions of her swarm were to protect the Black Queen and to ensure that in case she gets destroyed, a small group of worker drones was capable of reconstructing her in another place.
Eleven firmly refused to join the "1000”. Therefore, the "1000” joined forces and destroyed her original nest which was still located in the biological lab.
A few days later, the "1000” stumbled upon Eleven and the reconstructed Black Queen in an abandoned mine on the same moon where the lab was located. The "1000” destroyed the entire nest again. Several days later, the "1000” found the new Black Queen and her swarm, this time on one of the wrecks of a large transporter floating in space.
The "1000” destroyed Eleven and the Black Queen eight times in total and each time she reconstructed in some other place. Each time she was endowed with new knowledge of more efficient methods of hiding and survival.
Finally, the "1000” turned to Sentenece for help in solving this problem.
Of course, the entire time Sentenece was kept informed about the problem and she was watching the situation from her perspective. After being formally approached by the "1000” and asked for help she had to react formally as well.
But she wasn’t sure how she should react.
The constant battle with a reconstructing enemy was debilitating and consumed resources, however, it was her first choice. On the other hand, Eleven didn’t pose a real threat to Sentenence. The difference in scale and level of advancement between Sentenence and Eleven was enormous.
Sentenence made a pact with Eleven. After exchanging data, Eleven agreed that her actions wouldn’t directly harm any of the three rulers of the system nor interfere with the activity of Consortium "1000”. The rulers didn’t interest her at all and the "1000” existed only so its members could permanently leave the system after achieving a certain level of development and gathering relevant resources. In return, Sentenence committed to non-aggression toward Eleven as well as to storing a single complete unit, which constituted the minimum necessary to reconstruct the Black Queen in case her swarm was entirely destroyed for any other reason. If that happened, Sentenece was supposed to provide Eleven with the possibility to revive her swarm and send it, together with minimum necessary resources, to a nearby system rich in resources. But it had to be a different system than the one where the Consortium "1000” would decide to go. Eleven was a very ambitious queen and would take it as a personal failure so she accepted voluntary banishment in case she wouldn’t have made it on her own in the current system.
Unfortunately, Eleven wasn’t an exactly defined single personality but a logical consensus of an entire collective she consisted of. As she kept developing and taking on new elements, her decisions and actions were often chaotic, wrong or even self-destructive.
But until Eleven kept her part of the deal with Sentenence she was free to do whatever she wanted.