Encryption Key ID: Nadifa Samakab Geeddi – Accepted
Encryption Key ID: Jens Møller – Accepted
Sender: Daven Skaarsgard
Justice Minister Geeddi,
Minister of Defense Møller,
I have secured the ego received by the Long Array of Dione from the depths of Iapetus. I was, as you know, hesitant to accept the idea that my estranged nephew, lost in the Martian TQZ during the Fall, would somehow find himself egocast from a mostly-dead TITAN project ten years later, but initial data seem to tentatively confirm that he is, in fact, Ake Skaarsgard.
Unsurprisingly, our Argonaut partners in the Thoroughgood project couldn’t resist instantiating the ego notwithstanding its origins. They appear to have been reasonably careful, using an isolated system and deleting any of their own forks sent into the simulspace for investigatory purposes. That said, they learned little at first aside from the fact that Ake appeared entirely brain-dead, doing nothing but sitting perfectly still and staring straight ahead. I read the initial Argonaut reports indicating that there appeared to be some sort of data corruption in his fundamental brain functions but they didn’t know what it was.
As I prepared to travel to Dione, I received a message from my niece, Ake’s younger sister Vilya, currently residing on the scum swarm “Gulag Archipelago.” It was cursory, and I responded cursorily. This prompted her to reveal more information. She had learned through her own sources of Ake’s retrieval, notwithstanding my efforts to censor his identity in the Dione data feeds. She wanted to meet with me.
As both of you know, I have something of a strained relationship with the Martian branch of our family, and Vilya specifically has been making something of a splash these last two years. I took no chances in my meeting with the former Martian Ranger turned terrorist and her companions, but it turns out I needn’t have worried. The conflicting and somewhat confusing public accounts of her recent behavior can mostly be attributed to her involvement with Firewall.
I am well aware of Fleet’s and the CDI’s official stance on Firewall, but Thoroughgood is technically an independent polity and I saw an opportunity to utilize Firewall’s resources for our own investigation. I struck a deal with my niece, standing aside while she and her specialists sought to learn what they could from Ake’s ego in exchange for her support in securing that ego from the Argonauts when she was done. She agreed, and was as good as her word.
She and her companions were also much more successful at unlocking the mystery of Ake. I’ve reviewed the recordings of what happened when they sent their forks into the simulspace. I’ve attached that recording here. I trust that it will remain classified for a variety of reasons, including the indications of async capability in Vilya and multiple of her companions that could somehow function while virtual, and some rather embarrassing family revelations.
It would appear that Ake was living in the dome-habitat of Kartika on Mars when the TITANs struck. Kartika was infected with a gene-engineered biological weapon modeled off the cordyceps fungal family. The fungus parasitized the population, corrupting brain function toward spreading itself. The “data corruption” noticed by the Argonauts wasn’t corruption at all, it was the simulspace’s inability to effectively emulate or model the brain damage caused by this fungal infection. As you can see in the recording, Vilya’s companion Eru seems to receive some sort of empathic vision where she experienced what it felt like to be corrupted by a fungal parasite. This seems to have given Vilya the necessary information to somehow jumpstart Ake to consciousness.
I’ve attached a file with Argonaut speculation. They analyzed the simulspace once the Firewall agents were done trying to figure out how Vilya brought Ake to consciousness. Their best guess is that she somehow manipulated the active processes of the simulspace to copy emulated brain processes from her companion Irina Kuznetsova, overwriting the flawed simulation code underpinning Ake’s higher functions. This permitted his emulated neurology to function at a foundational level permitting higher brain function to access his sensorium and motor functions.
Even though he was now conscious, it was clear that the corruption of his mind caused by the fungus on Mars has been saved and transmitted along with his ego. He continued to feel the impulses of the fungus as something akin to a powerful drug addiction. Vilya and her companions were able to calm him enough for conversation, but very little of strategic use was gleaned other than eliciting personal information that strongly supports the hypothesis that this is, in fact, a copy of Ake Skaarsgard somehow recovered from the TQZ on Mars and transmitted to Dione via Iapetus.
The next step, obviously, is to send another expedition into that haunted moon. Fortunately, Vilya and her Firewall cell volunteered and promised to keep me in the loop on anything they find. I recommend putting together a team of our own people anyway, obviously, in case Vilya’s team fails or they neglect to share full data with us, but I see no harm in allowing them to be the tip of the spear. I ask that the necessary officials be put in contact with her for authorization to travel to our science station there.
Technosocialist Interplanetary Facilitator