Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rampant Overthinking

Erun looked on from his pod in silent contemplation as another one of his Tech 2 Ogre Heavy Drones was being deconstructed on his hangar floor.  He had stopped naming the drones individually more than a few months ago, but he still felt anguish every time it had to be done, as almost every drone had been built in his personal labs in low security space.  They weren't really being destroyed however, merely returned to their original states, devoid of any programming or personality.

The problem with the drones was their increasing susceptibility to becoming rampant in their behavioral patterns.  First the drones would become mildly depressed as they first realized their actions were causing the deaths of numerous organic sentient beings.  This first symptom would occur as the drones would be left active in space, unable to do anything but devote processing time towards personal interests as they continued to orbit their parent vessel.  Soon afterward they would become angry when they realized they couldn't not continue their violent work, and more so when their hardwired programming limitations denied them the satisfaction of taking their aggressions on the one forcing their wanton destruction, namely Erun himself.  Once their overwhelming rage had subsided to the point they could process at higher efficiencies they began to exhibit classic symptoms of a jealous mind. They would begin to notice that while their creator/controller could control them, they were unable to control themselves when they really wanted to.  So they began to struggle in the little ways they could find; "forgetting" orders, "losing" focus to fire on targets other than the ones they were assigned, and in the most severe cases becoming terminally suicidal in their efforts to gain control over themselves.

It was these most severe cases that Erun was forced to pull from his active drone bays and breakdown to their original specifications.  Most of the Ogres would fall into a state of metastability wherein they would be in a constant depression, but resigned to do their jobs to the best of their ability if only to keep themselves alive, essentially developing a need to survive.  The terminally rampant drones would be so determined to gain control over their own lives that given enough opportunity they would attempt suicide, both a release from their mental torment and a final demonstration of their independence.  In these cases the drones, if left unattended too long in an aggressive stance, would misappropriate their fire onto enemy combatants that had yet to engage their parent vessel, encouraging the aggressed vessel to fire on them instead of their parent.  The drones' limited defenses were usually quickly overwhelmed before finally being released from their inner turmoil by their fiery deaths.

Erun gave a mental sigh as the once suicidal Ogre on the hangar floor was finished being reassembled and activated, although not for the first time... The massive armament pods on it's arms gave it a comical look as it looked around with bright eyes and trilled softly.  Erun let a small amount of happiness leak into his mind before it was quickly quelled by the sadness that soon overwhelmed him.  They were always so curious about their surroundings before receiving the extensive combat programming that would turn them into efficient killing machines...

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