Confused? Start here.
“Ok, I take your point about Sorrow.” Said Alex. “Who do you suggest?”
“Can’t you just pick a field officer with nothing to do?” I said.
“They’re all busy. It’s the Olympics.” Said Alex.
“You’re not busy.” I said.
“ I’m not a field officer.” She said.
“Well neither am I and at least you have real combat experience.” I said.
“ I’m far too busy.” She said.
“Watching beach volleyball, apparently.” I said. Which in some jobs would be enough to get you fired but in the Department you’re unlikely to get fired for anything less than treason. But then we are very careful with our recruitment.
“ I’m on call.” She said. I think she would have said more but her yPhone rang. “Yes?” She said. “What?… Oh Good Grief… I thought we had a rule about this… Oh bring him up.”
Suddenly the room felt about 10 degrees colder. Which is what usually happens when Alex gets angry. There’s a reason they call her “Ice Cold” Alex.
“What’s up?” I said.
“The DRG have another Artificial Intlegence.” She said.
“What? I thought they were banned from creating A.I.s after the last time.” I said.
“They were. This one seems to be an accident.” She was reading the report on her yPhone.”
“The rest of the world has been seeking A.I. for 30 years…”
“Oh at least that.” She said.
“And they built one by accident?”
“It had better have been by accident.” She said.
The door was flung open with an extravagant bang and a loud flourish. I’m sure Chris Elsewhere was aiming for the other way round but you can’t always get what you want.
Max Mocha trailed in behind him looking sheepish. Chris bounded into the room waving his yPhone, unfolded into a tablet, in front of him.
“We made a rule about this. You agreed to it. No more technological singularities and definitely no A.I.s” Said Alex. The Department takes a somewhat jaundiced view of A.I.s. There’s less of a problem with the technological singularity but the DRG are definitely not allowed to have one. Not after the mess they made with the last one.
“We didn’t build it. Well we didn’t build it as an A.I. anyway. And you can’t turn this one off.” Said Chris.
Alex glared at Max who just nodded.
“They left Mycroft running all weekend and when they got in this morning he’d achieved sentience and hacked his way out of the building. We got an e-mail from him saying he’d backed himself up on a hard drive in the Diogenes Club and he was willing to come back in once we negotiate a Salary. The Diogenes Club are backing his legal claim to person-hood.”
“And?” Said Alex.
“Well I’ve looked at the paper work and I’m no lawyer but I think we’ll have difficulty finding a definition of person that excludes him without excluding half the upper ranks.” Said Max.
“Who’s dealing with this?” Said Alex.
“Well I already spoke to the big boss and she tapped you.” Said Max.
“I can see you’re busy. I’ll go bug Sorrow.” I said. It was definitely time to be in another room. Preferably in another building.
“Not so fast.” Said Alex.
“What?” I said.
“Mycroft needs field testing and Chris needs to get out of my sight. Take them with you.” She said.
“Jesus suffering fuck.” I said.
“Language!” said Chris, covering the mic on his yPhone. “Not in front of the children.”