IA IA disclaimer fhtagn!
Author's Note:Remember my mention of how Eden Prime became Seraph in this timeline? Well, Seraph found a certain preserved Prothean. He's in for a rude awakening.
Seraph (POV: Javik)
As I awoke, I noted that my capsule had been moved. This was obvious given that it was currently on what seemed to be a balcony overlooking a rather large park. There was a table across the room from my current location, with two chairs. The left chair was currently occupied by what seemed to be a winged furless biped wearing a white body suit. Performing a quick tactical analysis, I determined that attacking this strange being would get me nowhere, and instead stated a greeting. I apologize for not saying what said greeting was, but it doesn't translate well into your language.
With that, the strange biped gestured to me, and then to the other chair at the table. Not seeing any other options besides jumping out the window that could be an artfully designed screen for all I knew, or trying to break down the door which could be who knows how thick and made of who knows what, I sat at the table.
=timeskip of indeterminate length=
Learning that the being in front of me was an avatar of a ludicrously hyper-intelligent planetary AI, and that she had converted 90% of the planet into computronium by mass was quite a shock. Absorbing what this 'ASB's technology base included also had some infuriating moments. I shall share the highlights below.
"I'm not quite sure what to make of this pistol. I pull the trigger and whatever it's pointed at explodes, but there isn't really anything in there except a grip, the trigger, and an aiming system. There really shouldn't be room for any functional components to achieve this result."
Seraph answered with "Ah, you seem to be operating under the misconception that what you're viewing is a conventional energy or kinetic weapon when it is in fact nothing of the sort. In fact it operates by firing microscopic superluminal projectiles, which are given a boost to get going by the fusion cell in the grip. These projectiles generate an event horizon in front of them, which accumulates matter while traveling. Eventually it gets to the point that the warp field can't handle the buildup and the whole thing explodes in a burst of Hawking radiation."
I sighed and simply nodded.
"So, let me get this straight. You are working on synthetic element zero despite being perfectly capable of building warships that can murder Reapers in large numbers without a single atom of it. Dare I ask why?"
"Logistics concerns. While warp drive is better for short trips, eezo FTL is faster over long distances. In addition it allows for the easy violation of thermodynamics, which could easily be used to operate entirely ex nihilo. This also can easily eliminate our fuel concerns. We also require absolutely immense amounts of eezo to construct the Gate network, and we are starting to deplete our currently known sources."
"Those are all logical arguments for its use. Yet I feel it somehow cheapens the arrangement, despite your attempts to circumveent the limits using Element Zero places on you."
"That's a valid point of view. Also, we've managed to synthesize eezo already, we just haven't managed to make the process industrially viable. Fortunately, we should have it figured out to that degree in under 5 years."
For this purpose, I appropriated the old human gesture known as a face-palm.
"On the note of not using Element Zero for much, would you care to explain how this reactionless 'gravity' drive that is so ubiquitous in the ASB works?"
"Strictly speaking, it isn't reactionless in the slightest."
"I'm fairly certain that 'energy in, thrust out, no reaction mass required' counts as reactionless."
"That it does, but that isn't what's going on in the slightest."
"Would you please elaborate?"
"Not to the extent you're hoping. All I'm allowed to say is that it works using neutrinos, it's only called a 'gravity' drive to confuse the aliens, and the rest is classified."
"That is completely unhelpful."
"I. Know. That. Already. It. Is. Classified."
"I'll stop asking then."
"I'm somewhat curious as to how much processing power you actually possess, given that you're apparently operating at the point where it's almost literally impossible to improve your computing mediums."
"Well, the first thing you need to know is that the figure of being able to fit a human-level mind into a pack of cards is mostly a lie."
"Our computronium can run about 10^50 mathematical operations per second per kilogram. This figure drops to 10^48 if we're including the self maintenance systems, which we usually do."
"It takes roughly 10^37 mathematical operations per second to simulate a human-level mind in real time, though this figure increases to 10^40 mathematical operations per second once encryption, other security, and time compression are factored in."
"Doesn't this mean someone's security is smarter than they are?"
"So, back to the previous topic?"
"Certainly, the average ASB citizen only takes up about 10 milligrams of computronium, though if we leave out all the self-maintenance, time compression, and security we could theoretically fit someone into a tenth of a nanogram of computronium."
"So why the 'pack of cards' figure?"
"Almost all of that standard is for armoring and engines so that if their bigger body gets wrecked they can eject and escape back to a safe location. Military versions are also equipped with those micro warp missiles I showed you earlier."
"Ah. Curiously, what is my current status in the ASB?"
"Legally speaking, not much. Only I really know about you at the moment, though that's likely to change the millisecond you get out of this simulation."
"This is a simulation?"
"Yes, yes it is."
"And that brings up another question-"
"Sorry to interrupt, but you had quite severe cellular degeneration. I didn't know how to fix it given that you're the only Prothean I've ever had to provide medical care for, so I had to do an upload. Welcome to being an infomorph, Javik."