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Old 2013-10-18, 02:42   Link #1641
John117xCortana
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Got an idea for a Gun Sweeper inspired modification for the F-15E. It's inspired by the War Machine Iron Man suit from Iron Man 2, the F-15 OverEagle of sasahara17 and some concepts from Pacific Rim.

Basically it involves permanently strapping a short barreled 36mm gatling gun on each on the 2 ( or was it 4 ) Mount Pylons of the Eagle along with the ammo drum, they can function as individual turrets allowing 360 degree coverage. The hand manipulators on the arms would be exchanged for some Tesla power fists. The size of the 'fingers' meant that it would be unable to operate Assault Cannons but it somewhat compensates this by mounting two wrist mounted 36mm cannons. The Tesla power fists can smash through even Destroyer armor, and it is further augmented by elbow rockets.

To compensate for the increased mass they put more powerful engines on the Eagle. It still retains the Strike Eagle's mobility and speed but it reduces it's endurance by 25%. The frame was also reinforced to compensate for the punishment the Tesla power fists would be dishing out and receive.

Another drawback is that it's default set up lacks 120mm cannons. And the rate in which it consumes ammunition would require it to be frequently resupplied.

In short this a poor man's A-10 with the speed and mobility of an F-15.
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Old 2013-10-18, 02:46   Link #1642
Fireminer
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And the price?
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Old 2013-10-18, 03:44   Link #1643
John117xCortana
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I'd say about more expensive than a Strike Eagle but cheaper than an A-10.
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Old 2013-10-18, 04:05   Link #1644
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Seems like a bad idea and would be more expensive than the A-10. Tesla fists would require a lot of power to work effectively. There's also a risk of damaging the wrist mounted 36mm for each punch done. Ammo drums are going to make the pylons move more slowly due to the weight plus it's going to need more maintenance.
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Old 2013-10-18, 04:13   Link #1645
wavehawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John117xCortana View Post
Basically it involves permanently strapping a short barreled 36mm gatling gun on each on the 2 ( or was it 4 ) Mount Pylons of the Eagle along with the ammo drum, they can function as individual turrets allowing 360 degree coverage.
- ...Top-heavy. Without enough ballast on the lower torso to absorb recoil. The engines will help, but the additional fuek expenditure just to stabilize the machine during firing makes it very cost-poor.
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Old 2013-10-18, 04:29   Link #1646
John117xCortana
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This concept is just a prototype stage. Need to work on some revisions to the design.

The A-10's primary weakness is it's slow speed and reaction times. This F-15 Strike Eagle "War Machine" variant is an attempt to merge the A-10's formidable 360 degree firepower coverage with the frame of an F-15. It chews through ammo at a staggering rate but it's speed allows it to quickly retreat back for resupply and get back into the fight.

The range firepower would keep the enemy at bay. And any BETA that gets close for close combat would be crushed and pulverized with the power fists.

And whats a ballast?
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Old 2013-10-18, 04:59   Link #1647
wavehawk
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Ballast = Weight to maintain balance.

I already thought of a smilar setup for Icon-3 in my fic and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't make it work cost or performance wise.
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Old 2013-10-18, 05:16   Link #1648
John117xCortana
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A setup like this isn't suited for mass production. But it's effectiveness at holding back the tide would be valuable. It can handle most types of BETA, if Destroyers come they'd fire at the legs to neutralize them but if Fort classes come they'd need support from either artillery or other normal TSFs equipped with 120mm cannons. At the very least it'd be a limited production.

I can see them being used mostly in defensive operations.

How do you think the War Machine variant would fare in anti TSF combat though?
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Old 2013-10-18, 05:27   Link #1649
wavehawk
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Even if it's not designed for mass-production, the development of engines, reinforcement of frame, weapons and the Tesla fists are going to make it more expensive than an A-10 anyway. I can possibly see it being used as a testbed like the ACTIVE Eagle but not by much. I don't think an improved engine can maintain the Strike Eagle's level of maneuverability. And the Tesla fist system might even interfere with the arm-mounted guns.

Anti-TSF it'd probably be okay if it uses US tactics (ranged combat). In close combat all that bulk would limit its options.

...keep in mind, I'm assuming we're working on the limits of known ML:Alt tech here, not something that you're adding into the universe.
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Old 2013-10-18, 06:00   Link #1650
John117xCortana
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And that if they manage to close into close combat first. They have to worry about the four 36mm gatling guns first. Theres no blind spot on that thing. And even if you manage to close into close combat you still have to worry about those power fists. They can catch a sword and crush it.

Well what if I told you that I was planning to use nuTrek tech to make this War Machine variant? The engines would be micro-fusion thrusters ( based on the ones used on the Enterprise and other Starfleet ships), add some form of inertia dampeners and maybe even a replicator system to 'recharge' the ammo.

The War Machine variant is for the Zhar Battalion remnants that managed to escape from being 'martyred'.

Last edited by John117xCortana; 2013-10-18 at 06:26.
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Old 2013-10-18, 06:08   Link #1651
wavehawk
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Originally Posted by John117xCortana View Post
Well what if I told you that I was planning to use nuTrek tech to make this War Machine variant?
- Now, THAT would change the whole thing altogether.
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Old 2013-10-18, 06:24   Link #1652
John117xCortana
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The Strike Eagle would the common TSF that the independent Task Force formed by Kurogane Takeru ( Augment version of Shirogane Takeru ) with assistance from the Enterprise crew. But the Shiranui frame would be exclusively used by Kurogane and the few Augments who decide to side with the Enterprise.

This is because the Shiranui is a precise fighter. It's very sensitive and hard to master for normal pilots. But for Augments it's perfect for them because of their heightened reflexes and reaction times. More advanced TSF designs like the Berkut and Takemikazuchi would have better suited them but they didn't want to push their luck in acquiring them. Getting the Shiranui design almost got members of their group captured.

Tsukiyomi had a run in with Kurogane and Sulu. It wasn't an incident that they are rather fond off. Especially when Tsukiyomi dueled with Sulu and then had her Katana broken by Kurogane using his bare hands.

They changed both designs to better suit their needs and standards. The end result were TSFs that are in a whole different league.
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Old 2013-10-18, 07:42   Link #1653
Fireminer
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@Jonh: Why the heck you didn't you said it on the start? Space is the perfect environment for heavy weapon, you know? The question is now about balance? Anything beside ballast?
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Old 2013-10-18, 09:24   Link #1654
John117xCortana
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Wanted to figure out the flaws of the design when it's made with local tech first before using Starfleet derived tech to solve them.

And One Last Time Into the Loop has been updated.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7112821/...-into-the-Loop

The solution to taking down the Raptors was so simple. Why didn't I think of that?
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Old 2013-10-18, 16:33   Link #1655
ServantOfPriss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John117xCortana View Post
Got an idea for a Gun Sweeper inspired modification for the F-15E. It's inspired by the War Machine Iron Man suit from Iron Man 2, the F-15 OverEagle of sasahara17 and some concepts from Pacific Rim.

Basically it involves permanently strapping a short barreled 36mm gatling gun on each on the 2 ( or was it 4 ) Mount Pylons of the Eagle along with the ammo drum, they can function as individual turrets allowing 360 degree coverage. The hand manipulators on the arms would be exchanged for some Tesla power fists. The size of the 'fingers' meant that it would be unable to operate Assault Cannons but it somewhat compensates this by mounting two wrist mounted 36mm cannons. The Tesla power fists can smash through even Destroyer armor, and it is further augmented by elbow rockets.

To compensate for the increased mass they put more powerful engines on the Eagle. It still retains the Strike Eagle's mobility and speed but it reduces it's endurance by 25%. The frame was also reinforced to compensate for the punishment the Tesla power fists would be dishing out and receive.

Another drawback is that it's default set up lacks 120mm cannons. And the rate in which it consumes ammunition would require it to be frequently resupplied.

In short this a poor man's A-10 with the speed and mobility of an F-15.
You know, I'm surprised the Soviets, of all people haven't done this to their own TSFs, using 2A7 AA autocannons and they rely only in their crappy assault guns. Just imagine how they'd fare against Tanks with those.
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Old 2013-10-19, 01:31   Link #1656
wavehawk
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"Haven't you heard? The world is coming to an end. We need a pilot, and your fighting skills."

And before you ask, I know some of the info I've written here doesn't match up to the events in Alternative. THAT IS ON PURPOSE.
Quote:
"Sir." Burkhart once again chose her words, not waning to appear ignorant but not wishing to appear arrogant. Even so, the infuriated tone cmae out in her voice. "Was I denied need-to-know information?"

Wilkes canted his head at an angle, something Elle had never seen him do before. "In my office. I'll call Lumumba."

So it's going to be one of those meetings. Burkhart followed the Colonel in. Wilkes walked over to his desk and pressed a button. Twice. No words spoken, but Burkhart wondered if Lumumba had a dedicated line or pager from Wilkes' office. The Colonel picked up a book from the table, one that he seemed to have been reading.

"Do you read the Bible, Lieutenant?"

"No sir." Elle stood at attention, wondering what Wilkes was getting at. The gun was not on the table, and this relaxed her nerves a bit.

"You should. Learn a lot from it." Wilkes opened up to a page he had marked. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."

"Book of Ezekiel, sir?" Elle hazarded a guess.

"Revelations chapter 19, verses 11 and 12." The Colonel shut the black book, but did not seem offended. "My dad was a preacher. The old son-of-a-bitch died telling everybody that the BETA were God's angels come to cleanse earth of the unrighteous."

Burkhart said nothing.

"Then again, he also said I was born a devil and should have been stoned at birth." Wilkes eyebrow raised as he saw Lumumba enter. The colonel gestured to have the door closed. "So there you go."

"Had to finish that last memory expansion upgrade." Lumumba then gave Elle an odd look. "You look lively today."

Burkhart's tone was flat. "I've just had my first talk with Asakura."

"Oh." Lumumba shook his head and shrugged. "So. Has he tried to sleep with you yet?"

Burkhart's freezing look told him all.

"Don't mind it. He'll lose interest soon enough." Lumumba's words did not reassure Burkhart in the least, but she did not want to discuss the pilot at all. "Did I hear right? That old goat Min-jae was laughing?"

Wilkes gestured to Elle. "Care to explain yourself, Lieutenant Burkhart?"

"Colonel. I think I'm being denied important need-to-know information." Burkhart was less restrained in her timbre. "About what the project is about."

"What you know is everything you need to know." Wilkes looked at Lumumba, the latter responding with a perplexed shrug. "You don't come in here and ask me for explanations."

"Then why call Lumumba up?" Elle let that site, and when no response came she went full attack. "Why did you really have me transferred here? It's not to babysit your pilots and it's not to safeguard your weapons technology. What are you asking me to do, Colonel?"

"I know damn well what I asked for, LIEUTENANT."

"Well, I DON'T!" Burkhart hadn't meant to raise her voice, but didn't really care. This assignment was as much of a farce as her time with Zerberus. By now, Elle stopped considering what was proper and appropriate behavior. "You're ordering me to keep an eye out for the pilots, and for spies. But I don't know what the hell you're looking for. What you're trying to protect. I need to know what's going on. If you're not happy with that, then pull that goddamn gun out your drawers and just shoot me!"

Wilkes' face was a livid shade of red, but remained quiet. The Colonel massaged the temples of his head as he strode to his desk, opening up one drawer. For a split-second, Elle thought Wilkes really was going to pull out a gun and shoot her.

The Colonel then casually tossed a can, which Elle caught easily.

"Spam?" Burkhart looked quizzically at the object in her hands.

"I like a bit of meat during the day." Wilkes drawl was sarcastic.

"That's what we are to the BETA. What we all are." Lumumba answered for the Colonel. "TSF pilots, tank drivers--doesn't matter. A can of Spam. Open it up, bite into the soft juicy red meat inside."

Burkhart swore she would never eat Spam again.

"Just a bit of show and tell. To prove a point." Lumumba continued on. "Humans are just bags of meat. Armor's just putting that meat in tin cans. In the end, meat is still meat. The BETA made that very clear. It doesn't matter how sophisticated or powerful the weapons we make become, the human inside is always the unavoidable weak spot."

"TSFs by their very design are limited," Wilkes cut in. "Since they're intended for human pilots, even the best TSFs are bound by human tolerances." Wilkes punctuated the word 'human' with an almost disgusted tone. "Even Raptor and the Berkut are just sockpuppets. Approximations of what a TSF can do. Of what a TSF can REALLY do. Life support for human pilots, that's what keeps them from operating at their fullest."

Is that the reason for the heavy, specialised fortified suits? Elle was still piecing the puzzle together. A TSF going beyond the bounds of its designed tolerances would kill its pilot regardless of how little actual damage was taken.

"A TSF designed without a pilot has no such limit." Lumumba replied, an air of justification in his voice. "We're not just testing TSFs and their weapons. This is a whole new concept of warfare. One that doesn't need humans in the mix."

"No human, no problem." Wilkes' eternal smile was utterly wicked. "It's easier to make and replace machines than to train skilled pilots that survive the BETA."

"And giving the TSFs names somehow leads into this grand plan." Try as she might, Elle could not pull off the same level of sarcasm that Lumumba had.

"Iori isn't the name of the TSF itself. It's a program in the TSF's computer systems." Antoine replied, and for the first time Elle uncomfortably started to take notice of the conversation's flow. "Iori is basically the name given to Icon-2's Operating System. A thinking computer program, if you may." Lumumba seemed engrossed in this, like a man proud of his only child. "ICON. An Intelligent Computer Operations Network. A program designed to operate the TSF and engage opponent independent of pilot input. All three Icon TSFs are part of this network."

"How are they 'Networked'?" Burkhart asked the question, but recalled the odd data streams between Icon-2 and -3 during her flight time in the UCAV. "Phantom Arc is part of it, isn't it?"

"ICON is a decentralized network system. Each of the three Icon TSFs are separate and independent units, but are linked by a data network." Lumumba had a habit of gesturing with a finger in the air, as if pointing accusations to god. "The TSFs each have different loadouts, so their respective computers have a different response for each situation. After every test flight and mission that data gets distributed amoung the TSF and Pit computers to analyze. Icon-3 is Abyss, Icon-2 is Iori. And Icon-1 is Clarice. Each of them test a separate aspect of TSF units. Icon-3 tests the ranged weapons systems. Icon-2 tests avionics and close-in weaponry."

"And Icon-1?"

Lumumba deliberately ignored the question. "Other support systems here in the Pit work with the Icon TSFs. The mother arming computer, the maintenance database. Yes, even Phantom Arc is part of it. This is what the next generation of TSFs is like. Fourth-generation TSFs won't be just combat units. They'll be part of a larger integrated whole, yet completely autonomous."

"Each TSF and the UCAV are nodes in the network. Separate and independent parts, but still part of ICON." Wilkes crossed his arms. "Phantom Arc watches over both pilots and Icon flight's behavior during tests. It's also a data relay back to the Pit. Everything the Icon TSFs and Phantom Arc learn during exercises is analyzed and adapted by the ICON network. That way, all machines involved learn from the experience."

"I can see why you're pushing for a more networked system." Burkhart replied, but a void in her gut seemed to grow her doubts. "But TSFs already have a built-in autonomous combat program."

"Standard issue isn't good enough." Wilkes voice was calm, somewhat detached now. "At its best, the autopilot is half as good as a rookie pilot. At worst they just get in the way. It's a complete waste of data storage space."

"You can use Slave Mode." Elle was reaching, trying to find some excuse to get out of this now-maddening conversation. Slave mode was a little-used remote control option on unmanned Tactical Surface Fighters that allows a pilot to remotely control one or more TSFs. The very same system being used in UCAVs like Phantom Arc.

"Not the same. One pilot juggling two, three or more TSFs at once is too much work. The Icon program has to be able to make human-like decisions, make interim measures and quickly adapt." Lumumba shook his head. "TSFs aren't like your UCAV, Lieutenant. There's a lot more involved than just flying the machine. Human pilots are necessary in TSFs because of on-the-spot decisions and flexibility. Current autonomous machines can't make those decisions, and remote control systems have range limitations and delay times."

"What we need is something that'll go further than a human being." Wilkes again. "Have human-level or better responses to unexpected situations, but with a reaction speed that only machines can employ. All of a man's strengths but none of his weaknesses. This isn't just so we can stop the BETA on earth." The smile twitched painfully, the first true movement Elle had seen on Wilkes' frozen lips. "We plan to hunt down and kill every last BETA in existence."

"Designed well enough, a machine will operate for longer than a human being can." Lumumba took over before Elle could retort at the craziness of Wilkes' statement. "It can also react faster, as the Colonel said. Fast enough to dodge a ranged attack by Laser-class BETA."

Elle thought it preposterous, both Wilkes' outburst and the idea that a machine could just dodge a laser barrage. "Is that why you were disappointed that no Laser-class BETA showed up?"

"THAT." Antoine stopped, realizing he was about to lose control. Breathing twice, he paused before continuing his reply. "It's more than just that. We're not certain if the Icon TSFs really can think for themselves."

Burkhart gave Antoine a flat look. "What."

"We don't have definitive proof that the Icon TSFs are fully functioning thinking machines." Lumumba was the one on defence now. "Icon-2 and -3 have so far just been working as per normal TSFs. The pilots have been running them. The machines haven't really demonstrated anything like mental phenomena."

"Mental phenomena."

"Or a mental state." The colonel seemed quite well-versed in what Lumumba was discussing, prompting Elle to wonder if Wilkes actually assisted Lumumba with the actual tech and concept development of ICON. "For example when Asakura was leaning over you, you were experiencing mental phenomena. He was in your face, and you either wanted to run or to punch his lights out. That's a fight-or-flight response. You can program a machine to defend itself. But it'll only run it as a program, not out of actual self-preservation."

Crane's response during the test. The pilot refered to Icon-2 by name, suggesting that it disagreed with the JIVES simulations. Crane seemed to think Icon-2 was already capable, But Elle also thought he was mentally unstable. Just like Asakura and everyone else in the Pit, actually.

"So how can you tell?" Burkhart asked. "If 'mental phenomena' are things like what goes through your head, how will you know it's actually happening and not just running a program?"

"Short of throwing it at BETA?" Wilkes shook his head. "No idea."

"Some developers think that a computer that simulates the human mind is just a simulation of the mind. Others disagree and say it really is a mind." Lumumba was clearly struggling to explain his view. "Say if you copy a human brain, it's thoughts personality and everything into an artificial brain. If the artificial brain functions exactly the same as the original flesh-and-blood brain--Is it just a copy of that human brain, or is it actually a real human brain? I don't have the answer to that, either. We're trying to develop a Strong AI. One that for purposes of dealing with the BETA, is an actual human mind. But one that's not limited by human frailties."

"Human beings are programmed by our genes, our culture. Education. Work. Peer pressure. training." Wilkes voice took on a more critical tone. "The difference between a human being and a machine is consciousness. That 'mental phenomenon' is called self-realization. A computer can have mental phenomena if it runs the right program. Because at our root, humans are just organic thinking machines."

"Like the BETA are organic machines?"

"That's what they are. Organic machines. All they do is process the same set of programs: Eat. Breed. Occupy. Repeat." Wilkes took a seat, then folded his hands in a mockery of prayer. "If organic life can be made that functions like non-sentient machines, then the reverse is possible as well. Materials aren't important, the actual process or program is."

"Most researchers in the field of thinking computers are concerned with theory. Whether practical application works or not is unimportant--the only thing that matters is that the process is satisfactory. There's only one problem with that line of thinking." Antoine smacked a fist loudly into his palm. "If we're wrong and ICON is just blithely running a program without actually being aware of the situation, then the BETA win anyway."

The shifting between Wilkes and Lumumba was starting to oppress Elle, but neither could she just break away. The dialogue was mad, but she needed the answer. "That would require a lot of power to run, wouldn't it?"

"The most advanced computer systems we have to date can use up to 10 Megawatts or more. An ordinary TSF's combat computer uses at the least 875KW on standby. An average human brain on the other hand, uses a whopping 20 Watts of power." Lumumba smirked. "That's less than what a military radio requires."

"Still, trying to make a thinking machine that controls something like a TSF?" Elle was still floundering beneath this overload. "That would require a computer bigger than the TSF itself can carry. Human brains have trillions of brain cells."

"That's a very human-centric conceit. The human brain is just organic hardware. It's irrelevant. Your brain doesn't actively and consciously calculate millions of fractions a second everytime you take a step. Your body does it automatically." Antoine tapped his forehead. "A thinking machine shouldn't need to, either. Actual computing power isn't a factor. Programming is. Even if you made the biggest thinking machine in the world, it's not going to be smarter. Faster, yes. But if it's running the same operating system as everything else, it's no different from weaker machines. A faster calculator is still just a calculator."

"I don't see how all that can work." Elle retorted. "If you're not even sure your machines can think, how do you know it's even possible to build one?"

"Well, there's this crazy witch in Japan who's done it." The colonel's eyes had that mildly crazed look to them. "The XG-70 prototypes used at the Battle of Sadogashima and for Operation Cherry Blossom both had prototype thinking computer systems installed in them." Wilkes stabbed his desktop with pointed finger. "THAT is why we are now in the middle of taking back Europe and not being the main course in a BETA family picnic! I don't care what anybody else thinks, IT WORKS."

"So this whole time you're programming the Icon TSFs to think like humans?"

"No. ICON is programmed mainly to adapt and learn. What it actually DOES learn is taught to it by its pilots." Lumumba replied to Burkhart without turning to face her. "The pilots are basically training the Icon computers through missions, giving them the ability to learn and realize things on their own. Not that much different from a parent teaching their child things as they grow up."

"That's not a very efficient way of teaching a computer."

"It's a proven method. The 00-Unit they used during the Original Hive operation was tuned by a TSF pilot."

"Tuned?" Burkhart found the use of the word odd. "You mean to tell me this 'tuning' is the pilot teaching the TSF computer to fight?"

"Tuning means just that: fine-tuning. More precisely: What we're doing is teaching ICON to survive."

You could have picked more human pilots, Elle silently complained.

"Crane and Asakura were selected for their piloting skills and their affinity for machines. They're not people persons." Wilkes answered, as if reading Elle's mind. "When you replace man with machine--If you're going to make a machine that excels at killing, you don't toss it in with the peaceniks."

"The only way we can prove that the thinking machines work that is to put the Icon Flight in an actual threat situation." Lumumba nodded. "Until then, this whole thing is just a big Chinese Room test."

"Chinese Room?" Burkhart didn't understand the reference.

"This might need some explanation. I'm assuming you don't understand Chinese, Lieutenant."

Elle shook her head.

"Suppose you're locked in a room, and you're given a set of rules--a program, essentially--that allows you to match a number of symbols together. These symbols are chinese words." Antoine gestured with his right hand, drawing an infinity symbol. "These rules basically let you respond in written Chinese, to questions also written in Chinese. It's sophisticated enough that anyone writing to you in Chinese will think you understand the language. But you don't."

"The chinese room basically is the same as a program run by a computer." The colonel finished for Lumumba. "The program lets the computer carry on an intelligent conversation in written Chinese. But the computer itself doesn't understand what it's doing at all."

"Well said." Lumumba now looked at Elle. "And that's the main question. How do we know for sure that the thinking machine actually understands what's going on?"

Elle did not hesitate. "Context."

Antoine stopped. "Excuse me?"

"Language isn't just a set of rules. Culture and family influences play a part." Burkhart spoke, but the words and thoughts were her father's. An Australian father and a French mother, and never really belonging to either country. "Australians and Americans both speak English, but there are terms and sayings that are uniquely Australian. Likewise, Americans have terms and sayings that are unique to them. A term that means nothing in America would be considered offensive in Australia, and vice-versa.

"You can speak another language, but if you're not native to that culture, some things will simply never make sense to you. And since machines don't actually speak human language, how do you even know they're thinking?" Burkhart could not help but remember her father's sad rants about history. "Victorian-era England thought that non-white people like africans were non-sentient. Because they didn't speak the same language and came from a culture thoroughly alien to them, the English and later Americans regarded them as non-human. It wasn't that. They simply grew up in a different culture with different values.

"It's not good enough for a machine to understand and carry out your orders." Elle suddenly wondered why she felt like the voice for the machines. "Your thinking TSFs have to understand the context behind it. Otherwise they're not 'thinking' at all. Likewise, we have to understand the machines if they're communicating back to us."

Lumumba looked at her with a new sense of respect. "So she DOES have a brain in that little blonde head of hers."

Elle ignored the insult. "So, the only way you can prove without a doubt that your TSFs really are thinking on their own is to throw them at the BETA and hope something happens."

"You have a better idea, Lieutenant Burkhart?"

"No sir." Elle wasn't convinced, but had nothing left to stand on. "Unpiloted thinking machines that can dodge lasers and are dedicated to killing BETA." Burkhart ended the sentence with an unintentional chuckle. "You're insane. Both of you. All of you."

"It's an insane world." Antoine walked to the other side of the room, knocking on an image on the wall. Only now did Burkhart realize the side of Wilkes' office had the very same fedora-wearing spook etched on, though not as blatant as the one in the mess hall. "The people watching over it have to be even crazier."

"All right." Burkhart stood with fists clenched, fighting the fight or flight response in her veins. "And where do I fit in this scheme?"

Wilkes gestured toward Lumumba with flourish. The dark-skinned man seemed uncomfortable as Elle looked at him.

"Your callsign, Watchtower." Antoine brought up his falsely-earnest smile. "It's rather appropriate, don't you think?"

Elle remained silent, questioning.

"Phantom Arc is basically intelligence and support for Icon. It also can monitor any external attempt that Icon Flight or anyone else is trying to transmit outside of the Pit," Lumumba's smile cracked. "The first flight you were on, we were hoping you would catch something. No joy."

So that's why you let the Germans shell Icon Flight? Elle did not open her mouth with the accusation. To scare the spy out of hiding? "What happened to Phantom Arc's previous pilot?"

"I got tired of sitting in that coffin." Wilkes scoffed. "You seem to like it, Lieutenant."

Burkhart squirmed.

"The information that's being leaked out is about Icon's testing and development. The actual source code of Icon was made available to outside parties in the US and Japan. We don't know if the Europeans or Soviets have anything." Lumumba counted off items on his fingers. "Test results, weapons performance we can ignore those. Not important. But we can't afford for ICON itself to be made public, much less compromise it's software."

"The actual ICON programs were stolen?"

"Not the entirety. But notable blocks of code were copied. They started turning up in other programs. The pilot-response and learning algorithms showed up in Lockweed's F-35 Block 5 upgrade. Some reaction speed improvements also turned up in some of the Japanese Type-04 Shiranui Second units that Boening inspected. All source code and software developed by Phantom Works in-house for ICON." Antoine's jaw set, hiding a very personal anger. "MY coding. Not even Boening or the main branch of Phantom Works has access to ICON's code. And I don't give things out for free."

"I wasn't kidding when I told you to watch the pilots. Everyone in the Pit is under suspicion outside Lumumba and myself. And you, if only by default." The Colonel's knuckles crunched as he squeezed them, and he picked up his bible once again. "There's a Japanese contingent out to visit us in the next month or so. I haven't got proof, but I think our spy has given them the suggestion. Antoine and I think the spy is going to pass some info directly to them."

"Assuming I find out who it is," Burkhart's heart caught in her throat. "What do I do then?"

"At your complete discretion. That goes for you too, Lumumba."

Elle and Antoine looked at each other. There was a gap of distrust between the two that would not be easily resolved.

"Revelations chapter 19, verses 17 and 18." Wilkes read the scripture, and Elle could see how the colonel's father would have preached. "And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great."

The book slammed shut in Wilkes' hands.

"Eat or be eaten, Lieutenant."
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Last edited by wavehawk; 2013-10-19 at 02:33.
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Old 2013-10-19, 01:33   Link #1657
wavehawk
O GALILEO LET ME GO
 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
And one last thing to end this chapter. Was planning to write more for this first bit but that last chunk above did my head in.
Quote:
EpiLog

The daylight sun had not yet risen on the land. Mist and fog, and silent darkness enveloped the prefecture of Kyoto and the neighboring green slopes of Mount Atago.

Yet deep within the Mountain itself, there was activity.

Within Atago's bowels the TSFs of the 16th Guards Battalion slept standing, undergoing routine maintenance before their sortie for the day. Far from their home base at Kitanomaru, the technicians kept a revered silence as they maintained the top-of-the-line Type-00 Takemikazuchi in top shape for their missions. Like the swords of the ancient Samurai, these machines were given the most meticulous of care for their honored pilots.

One such pilot strode silently down the hangar, silent but with cold fire in his eyes. The technicians all stopped to give him a deep bow, the inferior commoners to the superior elites. The pilot ignored them, having other things on his mind as he approached his Battalion commander's office. The steel steps clattered as he made his way up, as if climbing to reach the nest of a bird of prey.

At the door, he composed himself. Straightening his longcoat, he raised one hand to knock.

"I was expecting you Touya. Enter."

Despite his cool fury, Touya bowed his head and smiled. This was the man he honored above all other men, family included. Where others refered to the commander with the honorific -sama as a matter of course, Touya spoke it with genuine respect. "I am entering with your permission, Ikaruga-sama."

The door was opened quietly, to the desk of the 16th Guards Batallion commander. Takatsugu Ikaruga looked up from the black book he read. Touya took no notice as his commander set the book down with a smile. Ikaruga was a man who had no patience or time for people he had no used for. Touya thus ensured he was very useful to him.

"Makabe-kun has advised you of his plans." Ikaruga's lips were creased with the hint of a smile. "Do you or your unit have revisions or complaints about this, Touya?"

"There are none. The entirety of the 3rd Independent Guard Unit approves of Makabe-sama's plans." Touya responded, though he intended no respect for the man whose name he spoke. Sukerokurou Makabe was Ikaruga's adviser, right-hand man and occasional strategist. Touya grudgingly recognized the man's tactical mind, but could not get over his profound dislike of him. "We will perform to your expectations in tomorrow's exercises."

"Very good." The commander responded with a pleased smile. The 3rd Independent Guard Unit under Ikaruga's command consisted of three scout vehicles and one TSF manned by Touya himself. The 3rd acted as the 16th's intelligence on the battlefield, a critical asset to their flexibility in combat. Like a ninja, working in support of the samruai from the shadows. "I look forward to your unit's exceptional performance."

"There is something else ineed to speak to you about, Ikaruga-sama."

Ikaruga's eyebrow raised a moment, then he stood. "Walk with me, Touya."

Humbly, Touya obeyed. In front of the rest of the Guard, Ikaruga would refer to him by last name and the lesser honorific '-kun'. The fact that Ikaruga was on first-name basis with him in private was another reason Touya respected the man. And the reason he was dreading to ask this favor, which he had spent years nurturing.

The pair stopped over an alcove, watching the technicians below work with almost religious fervor on their Takemikazuchi.

Ikaruga leaned over, watching the blue sheen of his Type-00 just below. "Is this about the information from Europe, Touya?"

"Yes, Ikaruga-Sama." A breath, like one preparing a sword-blow. "It's still alive."

"It?" Ikaruga turned to the other man and frowned. The two were alone in the alcove overlooking the mountain hangar. Unlike the TSF bays and hangars that the common man's army used, the Imperial Guard and their TSFs were awarded special facilities. Their TSFs were the most advanced machines in the world--some secrets had to be kept.

"Ikaruga-sama," the Japanese honorific of great respect underlined the difference in the stations of the two men. "The thing that ate my sister is still alive. That foreign cannibal lives."

Ikaruga's calculated smile dropped. "Don't you mean 'he' is still alive, Touya-kun?"

"IT." Touya's cool demeanor did not reflect the trembling of hatred in his voice. Despite himself, he could not face his leader. "You cannot eat the flesh of another human and still pretend to be human."

An unnatural choke caught in the commander's throat. "Touya, you're starting to sound like Lieutenant Asuka."

"No disrespect meant, Ikaruga-sama. But don't compare me to that ranting idiot. My situation is different."

"I know." The 16th's commander stood upright, wondering why the proud blue of his Takemikazuchi had a sorrowful sheen to it. "What I'm saying is, keep a level head. Investigate this before you act."

"Yes sir." Touya gazed down upon his beloved machine, his Aishi. The flower of Japan's Tactical Surface Fighter forces, the Type-00A Takemikazuchi. White like snow, yet swift like a blade's shadow. "I ask your permission for the 3rd Independent Guard Unit to investigate this article in Europe."

"Touya." A hint of threat was in the voice. Not cruel, more of genuine concern. It was faint, almost unnoticable behind Ikaruga's dignified facade. "You are a valuable asset to me and the Royal Guard. Don't ask me to do something I'll regret."

It pained him, asking this favor of the man he would die before dishonoring. But there were other things, other duties of honr that had to be carried out.

"16th Guard Battallion, 3rd Independent Guard Unit. Lieutenant Sendou, Touya." Touya did not flinch as he stood his ground. "Requesting your approval to act on my own and investigate Todd Crane, Ikaruga-Sama."
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Old 2013-10-19, 02:43   Link #1658
Fireminer
Lumine Passio
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Age: 8
You know what, wave, you should really put this on FF.net! Nice hypothesis!
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Old 2013-10-19, 21:02   Link #1659
Chibiloli
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Join Date: Apr 2013
I just came up with an idea, Yui is in Watashi's shoes and learns how to become a UN Mediator! Basically, Yui woke up one day in the Jintai world in Watashi's place and has to do her job as being the mediator to the Fairy's.
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Old 2013-10-19, 21:54   Link #1660
Fireminer
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Age: 8
That said, how many people here actually try to insert ML cast in another worlds?
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