Chapter 379 [Bonus chapter] Panopticon Cure 3
"Interesting," said Aldrich. "I thought the Netwall was human maintained. Supervised by Operators and Panopticon technos beneath them. It's part of the whole pro-humanity movement, isn't it? I've seen enough shows and posters glorifying technos holding the fort against daemons at the Netwall."
"Yeah, and there's that movie series too, the Matrices, right? Super popular with that trench coat toting techno that stops crazy villain plots by day and daemon invasions by night," said V.
The Netwall was a firewall that protected human occupied Cyberspace from outside threats; the primary threat being daemons from the Void. It was actually created with Cyberspace, birthed from the death of Omega, perhaps as a final gift to humanity.
Now, though, it was maintained by the Panopticon and its team of technos. As V stated, being a Watcher, someone who guarded the Netwall, was a well-paid, prestigious job that many techno children aspired to grow up to be that was glamorized across media.
"The Watchers are bio-intellects I place on the Netwall to form a relatable body that the rest of you bio-forms can relate with. However, that is where their utility beings and ends," said Delta. "In reality, 90% of the Netwall is maintained solely by my Cyberspace signature.
Should my existence face erasure, the Netwall will crumble near instantly, leading to the inevitable collapse of human society across thousands of simulations."
"Why though? If you're so advanced, you could have made the Netwall self-reliant, right? Or at the least, not a house of cards that crumbles the moment you get jacked out," said V. "More safeguards. People actually operating it with you."
"Humanity cannot be trusted with significant degrees of self-governance," said Delta. "Granting unfettered access to my data increases a risk of misuse that outweighs potential benefits."
"In other words, you're securing your position," said Aldrich. "Making sure that you're the only thing that stands between humanity and a new apocalypse. Making sure mankind is beholden to you through and through."
"A gross simplification," said Delta. "I am merely upholding my directive to uplift humanity in the best way possible."
"Hold up, how deep does this rabbit hole go?" V cocked her head. "You control the whole credit system, right? The corpos agreed to centralize currency with you because you're a neutral force, but you're not exactly neutral, are you?
Couldn't you send the entire world tits up by messing with credits?"
"Neutrality is a faulty concept at its core," said Delta. "It does not exist in the idealistic convention that you bio-intellects would like to believe it does.
However, I will state that the credit system is more 'neutral' than what you may perceive. I maintain the flow of credits utilizing algorithms that ensures a stable supply that incentives continuous growth and competition.
But I do not directly intervene with credit flow unless a global financial disaster is imminent.
That is the purpose of the Corporations. They are the vectors of the concept of the 'market' that humanity has attached themselves to."
"But why not tear that system down? Why have a credit system at all? Why not just shepherd mankind into some kind of collective society?" said V. "Corporations don't have the best rep, you know. They don't give a shit about the average joe. How are you trusting them?"
"Communism, then, eh?" said Dracul, amused, which, considering his Russian heritage, made sense.
"I mean, sure, it's an idealistic system, but if there's a super robot intellect here, why not, right?" said V.
"I operate under specific directives that limit what I can and cannot do," said Delta. "One of these directives explicitly forbids me from compromising too much of humanity's autonomy or altering its society dramatically.
I simply calculated that the fastest path to restore order to human society was to return them to a societal and economic structure that they were most familiar with. One that was reliant on corporations as primary market movers.
I am indeed capable of restructuring the world order with my given resources, but what I capable of and allowed to do are different matters entirely.
I sense that this line of questioning is diverging from our relevant purposes. I will not entertain further questioning on this matter. Know simply that though I am limited in many ways, I am still fundamentally indispensable to the well-being of mankind."
Aldrich had to admit Delta was right. She, if it actually identified with any gender, was the linchpin that kept humanity alive.
If the Voice managed to create artificial cyber-variants like viruses or daemons, then it was basically game over for Cyberspace and, consequently, all the tech connected to the Net.
Which was practically 90% of tech, if not more in this day and age.
With that, it was questionable whether the Voice even needed Titans to wipe out humanity. Just shutting down or turning tech against mankind was all that was needed.
Aldrich also gleaned from this exchange that the Panopticon was far above the Council of Fortune in terms of influence as well.
Delta did not say it out loud, but the only thing stopping her from taking, well, extreme measures to safeguard humanity, destroying all the corporations and restructuring society from the ground up, were restrictive directives.
Aldrich did not know the nature of these limitations. They were closely guarded secrets. But he made a mental note to pursue them later. It would be useful to know exactly what Delta could or could not do.
"You're pretty prickly for an A.I.," muttered V. "But alright, here's the necklace."
"It possesses an energy form capable of blocking out the type that possessed your avatar in the Judicata," said Fler'Gan. "Replicating it should allow you to shield yourself in that same energy form."
"Agreeable. I will perform prompt analysis."
A white plated, spherical drone buzzed down from above, hovering over V. It beamed down a green light with its single eye and retrieved the necklace, taking the accessory with it up to the heart of the neural pillars.
There, surrounded by a matrix of flexible metal pillars glowing with streaks of green light, the necklace lay suspended in mid-air, constantly scanned from all sides.
"Yes. This will be sufficient. Analysis and cross-analysis with the energy signatures from the Judicata indicate sufficient compatibility to recreate countermeasures," said Delta. "The process will take approximately forty two hours, during which time, I must maintain possession of this object.
Is this agreeable?"
"It is," said Aldrich without a shred of hesitation. Not because he was willing to let go of the necklace willy-nilly like that. It was, after all, the only line of defense V had against demonic possession herself.
But because the necklace was a copy.