A/N: Timeframe on this is about a quarter way through ATTWN, before Vigil is looted from the Citadel (and before it is stuck in a shipping crate).
-STG Citadel Report-
WARNING: CITADEL-PURPLE-NINE CLASSIFICATION. REPRINTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE FORBIDDEN. ELECTRONIC COPIES ARE FORBIDDEN.
STG Report on Inusannon AI device, self-applied name 'Vigil'
Senior Agent Vessi to the STG Master, Citadel Councilors, the SIX, the Thirty, the Unbroken Circle, the Admiralty, and the High Lords of Sol.
Gracious and noble sapients, this report is the final STG summation of what we learned regarding the Inusannon device known as Vigil. As formal STG study and analysis was requested, I have been tasked with providing said summary and recommendations.
[Private Notation: STG Master, this is not funny. Couldn't you have had anyone else write this?]
If you are unfamiliar with STG Reporting standards, please understand that these reports are baselines, guides, and summaries. In particular, this document is not all inclusive with details, but instead provides high-order information that can be queried in depth at a later time.
Given what we've learned about Vigil I would take everything with several fingertips of salt.
This file is classified CITADEL-PURPLE-NINE by the Council. (It is flagged at SUN-GLORY level for the asari, PALAVAN-5 for the turians, BLACK-COLLAPSE NINE by my own people, SECURITY LEVEL FIFTEEN by the quarians, and SUPERNOVA BLACKFLASH by the humans.)
Any release of this document will result in immediate execution.
Caution : Read FIRST:
Given the target's abilities (not to mention its attitude), most if not all information on Vigil is based on four sources.
The first is what few existing historical accounts and records remain. The University of Thessia and the Vol-Clan Department of Prothean Valuation have provided most of the records, but the University of Vancouver's Mars Archive team provided some information as well. Keep in mind, these are based on translations of an… unknown accuracy level.
The second source is eye-witness accounts. The bulk of these came from interviews of the Normandy SR1, the 44th Quarian Fleet Marine detachment, various C-Sec personnel, and from Major-Commander Sara Shepard and her team. While not detailed, they provide additional insight.
The third source is forensic computer analysis performed upon the computers Vigil manipulated on the Citadel during the Benezia Incident. Some of what Vigil performed seems impossible, unless the tech level of the Inusannon was even more formidable than we thought.
The final (and least trustworthy source) is various accumulated scans and examinations, taken by Citadel sensors and various targeting packages during the Benezia Incident. We might as well have scanned it with a fruit for all the good it did, but the results are certainly amusing, and provide more insight into how this thing reacts.
Under no circumstances can this file be assumed complete, and as always, assume that this file is a baseline of its abilities, not a comprehensive coverage. Given that, based on statements made by Vigil, the device itself may not know everything it can do; this warning should be kept uppermost in your thoughts.
– STG – STG – STG –
Formal Titles: According to it, the Vigilant Defender of the Majesty of the Holy Inusannon Empire.
Nicknames: per MCM Shepard, 'Shiny.'
Race: Hyper-advanced nanonic AI platform.
Age and sex: Unknown. Presumed greater than one hundred thousand years.
Wealth: None. [Private Notation: STG Master, be advised it can hack all the things, so if it needs money it can probably get it. Don't point this out to the Council when you make your verbal report, the volus will freak out.]
Psychological Summary: [Private Notation: Oh, if STG circle charts only had an entry for 'troll.']
Our best analysis is that Vigil falls in the Promotive quadrant of Secretive personalities, a Passive/Selfish trait combination. In other words, Vigil acts through others for its own ends, but has a tendency towards pushing others in the direction it wishes to go rather than simply plotting in the background.
This is combined with its own statement that it was designed to assimilate and imitate the cultures that it interacts with to provide us with some understanding of its methodology – those who refuse to work with him are ignored. Those who do work with him are manipulated, cajoled, and (most importantly) subtly trolled into compliance.
(Addendum: I am using the human phrase for ironic and sarcastic mockery (troll) with the intent to stir up trouble and incite anger, frustration, or sadness. The closest asari term is 'chanthress,' the best-fit word in quarian is 'kekhena.' Turians are already quite familiar with this phrase and have also borrowed it from humanity.)
Military Summary: Unknown. However, given the hyper-militarist and technologically advanced society that produced Vigil, it is very likely the machine is far, far more dangerous than it lets on. Both MCM Shepard and several C-Sec investigators mentioned the thing seemed amused at physical danger, and according to Commissar Alfred Jiong, it was able to take a full-powered warp blast from Benezia dead on with not a single effect.
Education: Per Vigil, the sum total of the entirety of the Inusannon and Tho'ian cultural, science, entertainment, historical, and technical knowledge, as well as a great deal of Prothean information. It has also displayed extremely advanced knowledge in other fields.
Employment: None. [Private notation: …Really? Danith, we need to hack this stupid report module.]
Significant Family: None applicable.
Overall Threat Rating: In the STG we would call this one unratable. I will discuss why in detail below.
[Private Notation: The Black-Collapse system doesn't have a Black-Collapse Two Billion, does it?]
Be advised, much of Vigil's history is self-supplied. That being said, we have been able to verify and validate parts of it via archaeological digs or through the research provided by the Universities.
Vigil claims to have been 'quickened' by the Science Cadre (?) of the Inusannon Empire some one hundred and thirty thousand years ago. How exactly this was accomplished Vigil claims not to know, but given that most of the advanced AI we know of were created from a neural template, it is possible Vigil was once an Inusannon itself.
The Inusannon created him to manage their entire war-making apparatus as they turned their attention to preparation for war with what we know now are the Reapers.
Vigil was tasked with operating millions of robotic ships and tens of billions of 'war-statues' and other esoteric Inusannon technology. When defeat was certain, the Inusannon sent Vigil to Ilos along with a great deal of their technology and used some form of temporal lock to 'seal it' from regular space. (Vigil has not been cooperative in identifying how this technology… or, for that matter, any other Inusannon technology… works.)
Vigil was 'awakened' by the Protheans after the fall of their Imperial Government during a Reaper invasion. According to him, the Protheans did not listen to its advice and attempted to modify and salvage Inusannon technology to their own tech base.
This gave them the firepower needed to hold back the Reaper assault to some degree, but they ultimately failed at stopping the Reaper advance. Once their military command structure was shattered and a large portion of the race actually surrendered to the Reapers, the remaining Protheans entered into some kind of fallback protocol.
They placed a large amount of their population in stasis on Ilos and ordered Vigil to hide it again, hoping to wake once the Reapers were gone and restart their empire.
Vigil claims the Prothean AI overseeing the stasis tubes failed – and it wasn't its responsibility to clean up after what it called 'stupid organics.' Vigil then supposedly shut down, waiting another fifty thousand years for our Cycle to arrive.
What Vigil was doing in the interim – and what it was doing prior to being sent to Ilos the first time – are subjects it will not discuss. As I said, it claims to have been shut down for most (but not all) of that time.
Based on very fragmentary records from a Prothean ruin in the Black Rim, Vigil was not trusted by the Protheans, and as a result they kept him out of the loop on several projects. The end result of this was that the Protheans, already divided by the loss of the Citadel, did not even have the strength to coordinate forces and make use of Vigil's knowledge.
Assigning motives to an AI of this complexity is somewhat akin to winning a rigged game of Quasar – even if you luck out and get the right answer, it doesn't help you.
While organics and even some AIs can be assigned motivations based on actions, Vigil operates at such a high level of purpose that such is almost irrelevant.
Vigil claims its motives and programming are to destroy the Reaper threat in our galaxy. A number of analysts point out that such an answer is frighteningly vague as to how it would stop it, or if it would bother to do so in our Cycle.
Vigil has refused to answer either of those questions.
Organizations and Affiliations:
[Private Notation: Danith, can you believe this cloaca-drip template can't even be modded when you're presenting to the Council?]
Scanning Vigil with most conventional sensors is an exercise in futility. Scans came back reporting it was made of cotton candy, fish, expired Fornax snack-wraps, scarves, and in one instance, a mass of black objects with a ratio of 1:4:9. A physical sampling probe he agreed to submit to indicated he was comprised entirely of Tupari.
Asking what it is made of usually results in highly sarcastic responses.
A scan conducted by the Protheans is the source of most of our data. And if those scans are correct, Vigil is much more than 'just an AI.'
In terms of sheer processing power, it outstrips even completely theoretical methods of processing. Certainly, it is capable of completely rewriting even hardened computer systems remotely and, according to Prothean records, can split itself several times with little to no loss of efficiency.
It appears to be comprised entirely of some kind of boron-nitride nanomesh approximately eight centimeters across, surrounded by a sphere of highly reactive picotech-level nanometal, of an unknown material and composition.
The source of its energy supplies is completely unknown. It does not appear to need any form of power – the nanomesh sphere inside the nanometal enclosure may be its power source (and other hardware).
The hardness of the sphere can be modulated instantly. Vigil was happy to cooperate with destructive testing, where even routing the entire output of nine of the main Citadel fusactors failed to alter the sphere's temperature. It also demonstrated complete immunity to every known form of weapon we had, up to and including antimatter explosives.
As an additional worrisome datapoint, Vigil is not only completely immune to EMP, but even the highest-power direct ion bombardment. Corrosive and acidic substances are rendered inert or simply slide off.
Information taken from at least one Prothean beacon referencing Vigil mentions something called 'battle configuration' and that a powerful Prothean leader or general in the last days of the Reaper conflict was rescued by Vigil. This implies not only that the device is capable of violence, but has a setting specifically designed for it.
Specific Tactical Methods, Ground Combat:
I'd just like to make a personal recommendation here: don't.
[Private Notation: And don't call me to help if you decide to ignore my recommendation. Of all the ways to die messily, being vaporized after being shit-talked to by a smarmy AI is not on the top of my list.]
Speculation on what Vigil can and cannot do is something of a waste of time, but we can make some very broad generalities based on what little we do know.
Vigil is fully capable of scanning events at long ranges, so it can clearly target incoming attackers, probably at ranges beyond which it can be itself targeted.
Vigil can perform point-to-point teleportation, instant dematerialization, and can make itself a liquid or a gas at will. There is no such thing as 'long-range' or 'medium-range' combat if Vigil does not wish to fight at that range. Additionally, the ability to do such things means indirect fire weapons such as artillery or orbital bombardment are unlikely to succeed.
Offensively, it is very likely Vigil has access to at least the same technology of the Inusannon, which included such exotic weapons as anti-proton beams, degenerate matter generation bombs, and hypermatter-flash explosives. (Given its mentions of anti-muon weaponry, one begins to wonder how in the Wheel the Inusannon lost.)
Based on STG theoretical analysis, the range on such weapons is vast. Properly collimated and pre-focused with an ion laser to clear atmosphere, an anti-proton beam could engage orbital ships from the surface. No current armor system design (much less actual armor plate) could even mitigate such a blast, much less stop it – you might as well strap on blocks of wood.
No known attacking force available to the Citadel or its member states has the range, speed, and damage capacity to do any meaningful damage to Vigil.
As above, but Prothean records indicate Vigil can also create 'unbreakable false visions' and other visual and auditory hallucinations at this range. This effectively means that you have no way of knowing if you are actually aiming at Vigil or your own teammates.
This can also indicate, in theory, that Vigil can make itself invisible, which should make active combat something that is never attempted.
Ah, short-range. The range at which no one should be fighting in the first place.
While I again point out that what we know about Vigil is fragmentary, it is extremely likely as a nanoconstruct it can freely reshape its form, size, and composition. It can form its surface into an extremely hard composition and is immune to every known weapon we have.
I trust you all have watched the human video entertainment 'Terminator 2'? If not, ask Councilor Udina for the significance.
In the STG, we produce these files mostly on targets that cannot be defeated by a standard STG team, and we provide specific warnings given the ability of the target.
Here, we have a target who can quite possibly fight off or flat-out ignore any level of offensive contact and can respond with weapons we cannot hope to mitigate.
Common sense implies forcing Vigil into combat is an extremely bad and stupid idea. Without meaning offense, anyone who does such a thing should be examined for mental stability issues.
Unknown, possibly unknowable.
Vigil has hacked entire spaceships in flight, performed tens of thousands of hak and optimization scripts on hardened military computers, reprogrammed the entire defense network of the Citadel to almost perfect response time in less than ten seconds, and was, by both its own words and Prothean records, in charge of millions of warships and vast numbers of war-statues.
Taken as a whole, Vigil is the end product of a post-singularity culture that had near technological parity with the Reapers who invented the mass relay system. Assume its physical abilities are effectively limitless.
[Private Notation: You know, I bet you wouldn't have to tell an STG team not to engage this thing. Thank god the krogan don't have a Council seat.]
Mental and Psychological Notes:
Intelligence testing was pointless, as Vigil scored 225 on the asari/human IQ measure and 80/80 on the turian scale. It also insulted the test, the test conductor, and the idea that 'primitives' could measure the intelligence of something completely beyond their understanding to begin with.
It has encyclopedic levels of knowledge on all forms of physics, material engineering, stellar cartography, biology, cybernetic and nanonic design, and several other fields. It has advanced levels of knowledge on Prothean culture and language, although it has to date refused to assist in translating Prothean works.
To put it mildly, its core personality appears to be highly sarcastic and dismissive.
[Private Notation: It's even worse than Anoleis, actually. The puns it came up with bases on various cants were almost physically painful. This thing could teach a grand master-level class in trolling.]
It is extremely unimpressed by the mental and scientific abilities of our races, and claims it was able to assess the entirety of the extranet in two days, of which it mostly commented on entertainment and pornography being superior to that of the Prothean culture.
Our psychological department, in tandem with various AI research teams, has proffered the concept the sphere is sarcastic and defensive out of overwhelming loneliness. Its creators are dead, the Protheans are dead, and given that both Inusannon and Protheans were far technologically superior to our cultures, it is very likely if the Reapers deliver battle to us we are also going to die.
My own opinion is that Vigil is sarcastic and dismissive because it sees little to no point being polite or getting attached to beings it sees as little more than savages.
In any outcome, however, one thing we can all agree on is that Vigil has an agenda of its own, and interfering with it – whatever it may be – is unwise. While Vigil has been operating for a staggering amount of time without displaying any signs of rampancy or fugue, we cannot be sure that the device is, for lack of a better word, mentally stable.
Directly challenging it is inadvisable.
Vigil has stated it is willing to work with MCM Sara Shepard of the human military, who is the one who made initial contact with it on Ilos. Aside from her, the sphere has cooperated to a degree with all Citadel research teams and interviewers, but has not proffered any real assistance to our own technology programs.
Or anything else, really, aside from sarcastic remarks and commentary on Fleet and Flotilla.
As such, I would suggest it has no real allies, and sees us all as potential tools.
Political and Social Notes:
I am unsure of the viability of assigning our own viewpoints to something this alien, but I will attempt to do so.
Politically, Vigil is neutral. It sees galactic politics as asinine and does not have a vested interest in any particular position. Its statement that galactic stability was better for fighting the Reapers than infighting was delivered with a certain sharp tone that implies it sees our divisions as petty and childish.
It is willing to work with any party that opposes the Reaper threat, and sees moral arguments or positions in the face of complete and total annihilation as both pointless and hilarious.
It sees the economic needs and divisions of modern galactic society as a mix of infuriatingly shortsighted and stupid, and sees the concept of an economy not under the control of a central body downright insane.
Given its distaste for infighting, I would strongly suggest presenting a unified front when conversing with it.
Socially, Vigil is adaptive. It always speaks to those who address it in a flawless rendition of one's native tongue, going so far as to somehow mimic the pheromonal discharges and UV flash patterns of a hanar when it addressed Delan on the Citadel.
That being said, I doubt it sees our social constructs as another tool for manipulating us on a macro scale.
– STG – STG – STG –
The following advisories are considered mandatory reading.
Combat of any kind is very strongly contraindicated
Vigil is clearly capable of fighting. Given our suspicions of what it can do in such a fight, there is not a single figure in the known galaxy capable of doing it any real injury.
Use of any form of electronic transmission or computer technology is vulnerable to interception or manipulation
Vigil has demonstrated extremely advanced hacking and data penetration capabilities. This report, for example, is being produced on an old-fashioned isolated word processor and will be distributed in printed form only.
Communications relay stations and all forms of TTL comms should be considered compromised. Only isolinear chip comms conducted via physical courier should be considered secure.
The use of one-time pads may or may not be safe. Given the processing power Vigil displays, even a sixty million-digit key would be crackable within minutes for Vigil. If such must be used, I would recommend billion or even trillion-digit keys.
Use of mechs or any other highly automated or mechanized devices against Vigil is extremely contraindicated
One of the turian interviewers had a cybernetic corrective module installed due to early-onset heart failure. This device malfunctioned during an interview. Vigil was able to repair it by merely touching the turian's chest.
Analysis of the module shows it was repaired to one hundred percent functionality. I do not need to spell out – combined with Vigil's hacking capabilities – how bad an idea it would be to confront the device with mechs of any kind.
I would also suggest that if Vigil can repair cybernetic devices at a touch it can probably also disable them. Or worse.