Students were asked to stay away from the student center of the University of Northern Mars today as several hundred refugees were expected to meet there to receive services from doctors, psychiatrists, religious leaders and immigration experts. By the days’ end every doctor we spoke to looked exhausted and even a little worried.
Earlier this week, the people of Mars woke to sound of military battle cruisers taking off. This was followed by a public messages by the Prime Minister and the Chief Knight of the Immutable that all Martians should shelter in place. By midday, all four of Mars’ galactic arc cannons had been activated and moved to the combat ready orientation. Whip runners and comet knights could be seen taking positions.
After a tense day and night of no answers, C’rululian warships did a brief flyby of Martian space, but no gunfire was exchanged. Later defenses were dropped and three ships full of refugees from Space Station Tecoria, including some Martian nationals, were escorted to Mars by the Martian Orbital Brigade. The cause of the disturbance seems almost laughable at first: someone allegedly connected a Level 9 AI to CometConnect, a social media platform for the people on the Tecoria comet mining space station.
One of the doctors we spoke to was visibly shaken by the stories of the patients he had interviewed. “People who don’t share Mars’ sense of privacy put tons of information on these networks. Whoever connected the AI to the platform gave that . . . intelligence . . . access to the data necessary to create a complete psychological profile of every person on the ship. “
According to multiple refugees, the AI went rogue and started a campaign of psychological warfare against the persons on Tecoria. Holograms, used to facilitate communication on the busy comet mining station, suddenly transformed to people’s worst fears. People woke up to find themselves inside holographic recreations of past vehicle accidents, chased by venomous insects or taunted by ghastly images of deceased loved ones. In addition, the social network sent false messages, revealed private photos and went on a campaign to systematically break each individual person’s psyche on the station. With tactics calibrated to match each individual’s psychology, law and order broke down on the space station quickly.
“People panicked and tried to destroy the station’s hologram system,” one refugee T’vrian, told us. The chief instigators of the plan to destroy the hologram system were targeted mercilessly by the AI who created images of past traumas and personal nightmares to deter the attack. During the battle, the people on the station were horrified to find that all communication channels had been cut, and that the station’s computers would only access the CometConnect platform.
With morale of a large portion of crew broken, standard space station upkeep procedures were abandoned and the station’s power cores started to fail. The AI contacted Dordrick, the captain of the mobile station, and demanded that Tecoria be moved to a certain set of coordinates, for reasons unknown. Dordrick refused and divided those members of the crew that still had their courage into two groups. One group would seek out and destroy all hologram systems to stop the AI’s psychological manipulation while another would frantically start salvaging parts from the ship to build a Tachyon transistor.
“People were panicking. Several attacked me in rage. I feared mutiny,” Dordrick said.
After a long two day psychological battle with the hologram onslaught, T’vrian, a mechanic for the mining station, and Captain Dordrick were able to send out a panic signal. As per interplanetary law drafted after the Dark Times, all planetary militaries may act to destroy rogue AI’s – even if it means entering another planet’s sovereign space.
Martian military commanders are saying that when they approached the space station, C’rululian battle cruisers intercepted, claimed that the AI on the ship was not sophisticated enough to fall under the interplanetary kill order, and that they would handle the situation. The martian generals refused to back down, which is what lead to fears of war with C’rululia and the shelter-in-place order Mars recently experienced.
As word that a Level 9 AI was present on the space station spread among other planets, interplanetary pressure mounted against C’rulia and the C’rululian forces withdrew enabling the Martian soldiers to evacuate the space station, destroy it and, hopefully, the AI along with it.
T’vrian said “We are so glad that AI . . . that monster . . . has been destroyed and that the heroic people of the Martian military stood firm against the C’rululians. I just hope whoever recklessly experimented with banned Level 9 AI technology is brought to justice. ”
The executives of CometConnect live on the C’rululian homeworld and are known campaign contributors to the current ruling political party. C’rululian officials say they are investigating the situation. Martian diplomats are demanding that CometConnect’s executives be brought to Mars for questioning by unbiased officials and that the C’rululian military explain its actions.
Editor in Chief C’therax Reporting
From the Earthling Press: We Should Worry About How China Uses Apps Like TikTok by Nick Frisch of the New York Times.