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Project Golem Phase 3 - Raising the Temple

Posted on Thu Dec 22nd, 2016 @ 12:24am by Commander Akiva ben-Avram & Lieutenant Elsa Johansson

Mission: S1E2 - Unity
Location: Science Lab
Timeline: Mission Day 13

Everything seemed to be in order with the ship. Akiva figured now was as good a time as any to begin the final phase of Project Golem. He had already drawn upon the highly capable junior officers in the Science department for help in fashioning a suitable installation interface that would help transfer the fetal AI code from the base positronic matrix to the new quantum positronic matrix that Chief Engineer Himmel had helped him design.

Now he needed somebody supremely gifted in both the Science and Engineering fields. Lieutenant Johansson was the Chief Science Officer aboard the Vindex, and had led the Engineering staff on the Cukela for over a year before. Perhaps she could find a way to help him with his wildly experimental solution.

As he entered the Science Labs, Akiva felt much more nervous than before. What if this was beyond Elsa's capability? Or worse--what if she simply refused to help? It's not as if he could order her to do so. Still, it was worth a shot.

Akiva found Elsa in her office going over some paperwork or other. "Hello again, Lieutenant." He stood halfway in and halfway out of her office. "I would ask a favor of you, if I may?"

Elsa saved her project on her PADD before looking up. "Of course, Commander. What can I do for you?"

"You may have heard tell about my not-so-secret project," Akiva said flatly. "What most people don't know is that it's near completion. All I need is to perfect the skeletal framework and, well, her body, and I should be able to install the new quantum positronic processor to which I can upload the nascent AI from my original positronic matrix." He pulled a PADD from behind his back. "I had some ideas," he said while extending the PADD to Elsa, "but I can't do it alone."

Elsa nodded as she took the proffered PADD. "How much time do I have to review this, Commander?" The right corner of her mouth quirked up as she added, "I may be the head of this department, but I'm definitely not its brightest light."

"I'd like to nail it down before we reach Unity," Akiva said. "Optimistically, I had hoped to attempt a controlled trial synthesis today... assuming we could get the intramolecular processor up and running." He paused a moment, the next words sounding funny in his own ears. "Molecular cybernetics is a cutting edge field. I don't think anyone is supremely experienced, but I know you have a strong head on your shoulders."

Elsa arched an eyebrow in response. "Have a seat then, Commander, and I'll get us both of Soderblandning while I make a cursory review. And let me emphasize that is a cursory review, sir," Elsa added as she put the PADD down and walked over to the replicator. "Two cups, Soderblandning, hot," she ordered. As she carried the two clear cups of light brown liquid to her desk, she asked, "I hope you won't mind me asking, sir, but is the Captain aware of your project? Considering recent events, it only seems prudent for me to ask."

"Of course I did," Akiva said. "This actually isn't my first attempt," he added grimly. "Granted I didn't get as far those times, they still ended badly." His eyes stared off into some past horror. "Very badly." A shake of the head returned him to the present. "At any rate, Captain Ainscow was so supportive that she volunteered to let us map her neural patterns as a starting framework for the positronic brain. Biynah will develop her own personality, but her temperament should be very similar to the captain's."

"Mmmm," Elsa grunted noncommittally as she began reviewing the material

He reached for the tea. "I'm actually quite excited about the possibility of molecular cybernetics. Even conventional cybernetics is far and away from the robotics on Hebron. In some ways, we're still stuck in the 21st century." Considering the ubiquitous ancient religion of the colony, that statement struck him as particularly funny. He suppressed a chuckle without explanation.

"That might not be a bad thing, Elsa said," still not looking up from the PADD. "I sometimes feel technoethics hasn't advanced from that era. My instructor in comparative philosophies at the Academy was always fond of quoting a religious and social leader of the time: Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. Hmmm," Elsa paused, put down the PADD Akiva had given her, and picked up her own PADD. "If I might make a suggestion, Commander?"

Akiva set the cup down. "By all means," he said. "I am all ears."

"You could possibly grow the silicone covering by using a synthetic molecular motor. Create a silicone based amine group, use a phosgenic reaction to create spontaneous rotation. This would also allow your...golem?...your golem to regenerate its 'skin' as well. The positronic brain could even be given a subroutine to interpret the need to..." Elsa paused, obviously trying to come up with a description. "In a nutshell, anytime your golem's skin needed to activate the molecular motors to regenerate it's skin, a subroutine could be developed that the golem would interpret as hunger for a particular supplement."

"That was what I'd hoped you would say," Akiva said happily. "I have the industrial replicator synthesizing the polyalloy skeleton as we speak." He smirked. "I'm not Chief of Ops anymore, but I still know my way around the machine shop. If the molecular motor is finished around the same time, then, well, happy birthday Biynah." Noticing his tea had stopped steaming, he took the cup back up so he could finish it before it got cold. "At any rate, I say we give it a shot. What do we need?"

"Well, instilling synthetic molecular motors in your silicone skin won't be a problem. As I said, it's just a matter of instilling the appropriate silicone animes in your golem's skin. The concept for the synthesis of artificial induced proteins to do 'work' is at least five centuries old, and that's just among humans. The real task, I suspect, will be introducing the subroutine in your golem's brain to seek the correct supplement to initiate the healing process. So I can do a modicum of research, send Operations the correct chemical formula, and they can start growing your skin. Once you have your musculoskeletal system ready to overlay, that is. And I'm assuming you have someone in Medical with an artistic flair to help you develop all the appropriate attributes?" asked with a hint of smugness to her smile.

Akiva's expression was a frown mixed with a wry smile. "I do. I was hoping for a quicker timeframe, but it is what it is. I'm just happy that we don't have to reinvent the wheel with conventional cybernetics." He thought for a moment, then asked, "Since we're growing the flesh, how difficult would it be to grow the musculature, tendons, and so on? I'm not strictly going for an anatomically correct android, but... that wheel is already invented."

"Applen och päron," Elsa responded with a shrug. "We're talking different types of systems, Commander, with different functions. I don't see how you'll be able to shortcut any of the systems. Perhaps the neural circuitry..." Elsa tapped her lip. "Might be able to rig something for growing synthetic neural technology, using the techniques they use to grow bio-neural gel packs, but that's something that will require some research. As for the rest, Commander, everything is function specific."

Akiva chewed his lip for a moment. "The current polyalloy endo-frame includes shock absorbers that will be fabricated directly into the skeleton. The thought of a silicate-grown 'flesh' just got me carried away with other possibilities. Your neural gel pack theory, though, has promise. I'll bring that up with Dr. O'Reilly." His eyes flashed away from the wall back toward Elsa. "I like the way you think," Akiva said. "I knew I was right to come to you."

Elsa either did not notice Akiva's compliment, or chose not to take notice of it. "You might want to consult with the senior computer systems specialist over in Engineering as well, since she's the one who deals with bioneural circuitry every day. I had a friend at the Academy whose senior project touched on this matter. She got a posting to Daystrom Institute right out of the Academy. If we still had contact with the Alpha Quadrant, I'd be calling her up right now. But if wishes were horses..." Elsa made a note on her PADD and added. "I'll work up a formula for your synthetic skin, Commander, including the production of modified proteins that will be your molecular motors. I'll try to work up something for you to review on synthetic neural generation, but as far as placement on actuators, sensory input..." Elsa shook her head. "I would even know where to begin."

"Where I come from, Robotics was the fourth 'R' along with Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic for anyone with mechanical aptitude," Akiva said with a hint of smugness. "We lived and died on our machines, particularly on one day out of seven. I think with the doctor's input, I'll be able to take what you've done and make it work for a synthetic person." He finished his tea, then stood up and prepared to leave. "I really appreciate your doing this for me," he added in a moment of naked sincerity. "I plan to hold a small ceremony before the activation. I hope you'll be there."

"I'll have the synthetic skin for you in an hour, and what research I can dig up on nerve regeneration by the end of Beta shift," Elsa answered noncommittally. "If you need anything else, Commander, my office door is always open."

Akiva nodded. "Very good. Thank you again."


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