[Command_ .0304 _NW006493574347]

[Command_ .0304 _NW006493574347




[Command_ _NW006493574348]

[Command_ _NW006493574348




[Command_ _NW006493574349 ]

[Command_ _NW006493574349




Program 0304 scanned another visual through its memory banks. Being a visual imaging program, it was allocated a greater amount of space than most of its compatriots, and every bit was being put to use. Each image received from Program 0783 (eye camera) was broken down into a floating point array, which was then passed through a series of runtimes designed to identify key patterns in the data. Once complete, the runtimes would return a true/false value to Program 0304, which would pass any relevant information to the Collective. The process would then repeat, as it had been doing for the last 6,493,574,349 times.

If it were at all capable of emotions, Program 0304 would be bored stiff. But the Collective was searching, and Program 0304 had to do its part. A small current alerted it to the next package:

[Command_ _NW006493574356]

Program 0304 dutifully reduced the image and fed it through its runtimes. An instant later, the response pinged:

[Command_ 0304 _NW006493574350




Program 0304 paused, circuitry buzzing. An anomaly? Ignoring the ping that announced img_NW006493574351, Program 0304 recycled the image.

[Command_ _NW006493574350




The test confirmed it: there was an anomaly in the image. What it was, Program 0304 could not say. It quickly pulled up the runtime listing for the anomaly.

[ANOMOLY_00007: Shepard-Commander_breastplate]

Well, that was interesting. Program 0304 did not have the processing power to be curious, but it did spend a few picoseconds calculating the exceptionally low odds of encountering that particular anomaly. It quickly sent a report to the Collective, detailing the find. A moment later, Program 1253 (mission goals) added an addendum with the possible implications, and Program 0025 (experimental "curiosity" program) submitted a request to transfer the mobile platform to the site of the anomaly for further examination. This request was quickly seconded by multiple programs. The Collective buzzed and whirred, and 1.32 seconds later achieved consensus.

A command was sent to Program 0841 (leg coordination), which then directed the 56 programs under its control to walk over to the breastplate. The mobile platform turned fluidly and moved to the breastplate. Program 0677 (depth perception) gauged the distance and notified Program 0841 when the platform had come within arms distance of the breastplate. A notice was dispatched to Program 0892 (arm control), and the platform's arms quickly pried the breastplate from the wreckage.

The platform's camera zoomed in and out, focusing on various details of the armor: the scratches and scuffs, the hardened composite polymer finish, and the painted glyphs on the side that Program 1358 (linguistics) identified as " .N" and " .7". All fact-checking and data-processing programs quickly reached consensus: this was indeed Shepard-Commander's armor.

The programs began to communicate rapidly amongst themselves over what to do, and Program 0931 (internal communications) quickly opened a dialogue.

Fact_0001: Mobile Platform is at Normandy_crash.

Fact_0002: Ship crashes are commonly lethal to organic life.

Fact_0003: Shepard-Commander_breastplate is at Normandy_crash.

Argument_0001: IF Shepard-Commander's armor is present, THEN Shepard-Commander is here as well.

Rebuttal: Shepard-Commander has been observed without armor in the past. Premise does not support conclusion. Argument_0001 logically unsound.

Arguement_0002: IF Shepard-Commander's armor is present, THEN Shepard-Commander has likely been here at one point in the past.

Confirmed: Shepard-Commander has rarely been observed without armor. Unlikely that armor would appear in a place Shepard-Commander has not been. Arguement_0002 logically sound.

Fact_0004: Shepard-Commander was likely at _crash at undetermined time.

Arguement_0003: IF Shepard-Commander's armor is present, AND Shepard-Commander is not present, THEN harm may have come to Shepard-Commander.

Confirmed: Intelligence reports that Shepard-Commander does not like to leave armor unguarded and unpolished. Since armor is both unguarded and unpolished, some harm likely came to Shepard-Commander to prevent such actions from taking place. Arguement_003 logically sound.

Fact_0005: Harm has likely come to Shepard-Commander.

Proposed_Consensus_0001: IF Fact_0002,0003,0004,0005 are true, THEN Shepard-Commander was at Normandy_crash at time time_from_crash = 0 and perished in stated crash. Shepard-Commander most likely deceased.

The Collective pondered over the proposed consensus for approximately .57 seconds before confirming it. All programs agreed: Shepard-Commander was most likely terminated. The geth paused, cycling through a repeat. Their mission had been to find Shepard-Commander, and now Shepard-Commander was dead. Program 0011 (external communications) sent a request to the main collective for a new mission. In the meantime, Program 0841 instructed the legs to continue to move through the site, and Program 0783 moved to continue taking pictures. The platform turned...

Proposed_Consensus_0002: IF Consensus_0001 is true, THEN mobile platform should use Shepard-Commander_breastplate to repair damage to upper torso.

The programs stopped, each one silently checking with the others to see who had proposed the consensus. No program came forward. Program 0993 (hardware repair) sent a rebuttal.

Rebuttal: Damage to upper torso not extreme enough to warrant excessive repairs. Proposed_Consensus_0002 logically unsound.

There was a moment, then:

Rebuttal_Response_0001: There is a hole. Repairs to the hole should be made.

Again, no program came forward, but ID tags indicated a different culprit. Program 0993 replied:

Rebuttal: See Rebuttal above. Multitude of superior materials already encountered and rejected because of lack of need.

Silence. Then, a third anonymous program responded:

Rebuttal_Response_0002: There is a hole.

Rebuttal: Repairs are not necessary at this time.

Rebuttal_Response_0003: There is a hole.

Rebuttal: Repairs are not necessary at this time.

Rebuttal_Response_0004: There is a hole.

Rebuttal: Repairs are not necessary at this time.

Rebuttal_Response_0005: There is a hole.

Rebuttal: Repairs are not necessary at this time.

Rebuttal_Response_0006: There is a hole.

Rebuttal: Repairs are not necessary at this time.

Rebuttal_Response_0007: There is a hole.

Rebuttal: Repairs are not necessary at this time.

And so it continued, back and forth. Each time one program would state that repairs were not necessary, another program would respond that there was a hole. The consensus debate grew exponentially as the programs consumed more and more memory space.

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WARNING: Critical system memory shortage! Rampant consumption of memory by dialogue reducing effectiveness of mobile platform to 12.6%! Activating emergency program shutdown!

The light on the mobile platform dimmed momentarily, then flared back to life. It stood, motionless, as all 1,893 programs tried to figure out what the hell had happened. Program 1789 (diagnostics) ran a quick check and confirmed that the Collective was out of the logic loop. The programs were silent for a moment. Then:

Proposed_Consensus_0003: Because rebuttal of Proposed_Consensus_0002 creates an infinite logic loop due to [DATA NOT AVAILABLE], instead confirm Proposed_Consensus_0002. ALSO: propose creation of consensus group to study origin of logic loop.

The programs mulled it over for a few instances, then sent their reply.

Proposed_Consensus_0003 confirmed. Confirming Proposed_Consensus_0002.

Proposed_Consensus_0002 confirmed. Retrieving Shepard-Commander_breastplate for repairs to upper torso. Consensus_group_0001 created for purpose: determine origin of logic loop.

Motors were activated, legs moved, fingers tightened around the breastplate. The mobile platform turned and walked out of the wreckage of the Normandy, all 1,893 programs gripped with a strange sensation not one of them could identify.

AN: So this is the beginning of what I hope to be a series of one shots detailing Legion's growing personhood, both as a sentient being and as a member of Shepard's crew. I have some ideas for where I would like to take this, but we'll just have to see what happens. Anyway, please leave a review telling me what you think. I'm always looking for critical feedback to improve my writing. So yeah, until next time!


P.S. It seems like FF is doing some wonky things to all my careful formatting. I'll try to fix that.