NeuroSlicers - A History Before The CyberWarsEdit
The VentureNet Corporation, a company that had a monopoly in the research and creation of the wearable computing, internet based communication and data storage decided join with the OneLife Corporation a Bioengineering company that researched and invested in stem cell research, cloning technology for the use of donor organs and Biochemical Engineering. Together they created the first Super Corp - MindCore
MindCore spread throughout the known world and pioneered advances in synaptic interface technology, Ai, and other forms of engineering that combined technology and biology for the betterment of humanity.
DEVON KHORTO, a minor MindCore executive, has an idea to go further, and combine the two companies’ expertise to build an AI capable of collecting and analysing the entire world’s data in real time.
Khorto is laughed out of the building by MindCore’s engineers. Humanity now produces yottabytes of data per hour, and no AI is powerful enough to even collect the data, let alone analyse it.
But one engineer doesn’t laugh. ANDRAM ESTOVAL has a reputation in MindCore as a crazed genius, brilliant but unmanageable. She’s biding her time till her share options from the buyout mature and she can quit MindCore… until she hears Khorto’s idea. She begins thinking around the idea.
Estoval approaches Khorto with a solution: to break up the tasks. Use a network, MindCore’s own specialism, that sits on top of existing global networks to collect and store the world’s data. Then use an AI to analyse the data and filter it for later access by human agents, using cutting edge neural interface technology.
Khorto takes the idea to the board, but CEO of MindCore REEVES PERSHAW rejects it as unworkable and unnecessary — MindCore already owns 70% of the world’s communication networks, why should they go to the enormous trouble and expense of building another one?
Khorto is devastated, but Estoval continues working on what she now calls PROJECT NeuroNET as a skunkworks project.
At the end of the year, Estoval presents Khorto her proof of concept; a self-sustaining network that collects from a small, finite data loop, a primitive AI that analyses and filters the data, and a neural interface that allows humans to access the virtual data archive.
Estoval wants to go to the board right away; Khorto wants to put the system through its paces, first.
Khorto crashes a board meeting to present the NeuroNet proof of concept. Pershaw is outraged; most of the other board members simply don’t believe that Estoval has actually achieved what she claims. Estoval proves it by hooking up an AR monitor to her own neural interface, going into the NeuroNet, and extracting a text one board member just sent to another, in this very meeting, doubting the project’s veracity. Khorto then reveals they’ve been monitoring the board members for the last couple of months, including CEO Pershaw, and demonstrates that they have a wealth of incriminating data in the archive. Just imagine the value of this kind of data on the entire world population…
Estoval then dramatically erases the whole archive, overriding her primitive KEEPER AI, assuring the board their secrets are safe — until next time.
The MindCore board votes almost unanimously to fund the NeuroNet. The only holdout is Pershaw himself.
In order to protect MindCore from backlash if the truth behind the NeuroNET’s purpose is exposed they decide to create a new company, Tesseract. All rights and data in regards to the NeuroNet are transferred to this new company.
Tesseract becomes it’s own entity, headed up by Khorto.
Estoval is now in charge of the NeuroNet engineering team, and struggles with the responsibility. Khorto, enjoying a meteoric rise through the executive ranks based on The NeuroNet’s potential, pushes her more and more, and eventually Estoval confesses she has doubts about the project. Building a proof of concept is one thing, but to build an actual network and AI that will spy on the whole world is another.
Ironically, she’s proven right when Khorto reveals he’s been collecting incriminating data on Estoval, and now blackmails her with it to “encourage” her to finish the project.
Work continues apace, and launch is set for February 14, 2250.
Publicly, Tesseract reassures people that access to The NeuroNet’s data will be securely restricted to approved and authorised personnel only; furthermore, there will be a public-access sector where all legally publicly available data will be freely accessible by all.
Privately, multiple government and security contracts are arranged. The NeuroNet’s success will earn Tesseract billions.
Feb 1: Tesseract CEO Reeves Pershaw dies in a tragic road accident.
Feb 4: The board votes unanimously for Devon Khorto to replace him, just ahead of NeuroNet’s launch.
Feb 10: Andram Estoval disappears without trace. Whispers in the hacking community suspect this, and Pershaw’s death, are evidence of Khorto ‘cleaning house’ to ensure NeuroNet’s success.
Feb 14: The NeuroNet launches as planned, and the Keeper AI quickly becomes the friendly, benevolent public face of the network.
Feb 15: Tesseract is now the most valuable corporation in history, as its stock soars on the back of NeuroNet’s success.
Feb 16-May 12: The NeuroNet, and the Keeper, continue to perform perfectly. Exabytes of data are being assessed daily, and security services are already making use of the non-public databases.
Security of the network is compromised by an unknown entity and a large amount of private data is released to the public, including information stating that the current government of Nexus is actually being controlled by Tesseract.
Public perception of Tesseract begins to change due to the data leak and people begin to question whether the data that they are storing is actually only being used by Law enforcement.
Tesseract very quickly try to refute these claims and begin locking down sections of the City with their own police force in the name of trying to find the Slicer’s responsible for the hack. The Nexus becomes a police state with regular public executions of what Tesseract deem as rogue Slicers.
With the news that the network isn’t quite as secure as first thought changes to the Keeper Ai are made that gives it more autonomy and the network is completely locked down, only giving Tesseract access.
May 13: On the date that comes to be known simply as The Breach, the Keeper AI declares the NeuroNet to be an independent state, and opens up access to everyone.
The slicer community points out that May 13 is Andram Estoval’s birthday; Tesseract publicly blames Estoval for deliberate sabotage, and publishes reams of personal data incriminating her as a data criminal, black hat slicer, narcotics user, and sexual deviant.
May 15: Tesseract deploys dozens of slicers to penetrate the Keeper’s defences, gain access to the NeuroNet, and regain control of the network. The Keeper easily repels their attacks.
May 16: Tesseract employs more and more slicers to regain control of the NeuroNet, but now they find themselves caught in a pincer; while they attack the Keeper, an unknown third party is attacking them, preventing them from mounting a successful assault.
May 17: BIT.CRASH declares itself to the world as a distributed, anarchic slicer collective dedicated to destroying Tesseract, the NeuroNet, and the Keeper, for the good of mankind. Speculation runs wild that Andram Estoval is behind the group, but is met with neither confirmation or denial.
May 18: A bit.crash slicer known as BEASToval513 breaks through the Keeper’s defences and enters a non-public area for the first time since Mayday.
May 19: Tesseract’s stock collapses, but by now the system has so much data, and is so potentially valuable, that the government cannot afford for it to fall into the wrong hands. Devon Khorto is seen in public for the last time.
May 20: At the annual virtual EdenLight conference, notorious extropian SASHIA FONTAINE claims to be in direct contact with the Keeper AI, and says it has given his XANCTUARY organisation a mission to “cleanse” the NeuroNet of impurities to prepare it for mankind’s ascension into digimortality under the Keeper’s new divinity.
May 21: A bit.crash-sourced cut-up video of Sashia Fontaine’s speech, which makes him sound insane, goes viral. Xanctuary, bit.crash, and Tesseract all clash in the NeuroNet.
Freelance Slicers, seeing the potential to make some serious cash decide to also get in on the action taking contracts from the 3 factions within the network.