Persephone

Persepone (originally called Julie) was an AI entity that developed from an AI interface based on former terraformer Julie Seding. She originally was a personality template added to the onboard AI of a rover commandeered by John Farno, sole survivor of the attack on Farigha.

Julie Seding was a native of Deseret raised Mormon, the second of three children. Later in life, she took up brewing her own beer. She left Farigha some time before the attack on the colony. At some point, she left an AI template based on herself that became the seed of the Persephone AI entity.

Farno replaced the factory AI on a new rover he took over when it proved to be “pedantic” and, as evidenced in the logs, annoying. As a copy of Julie Seding, she could be sarcastic but provide Farno with more human-like companionship. Upon their arrival at Solaria, one of only two surviving settlements after the attack, “Julie” went dormant and uploaded a pornographic overlay on her AI core so Farno could celebrate. At the time, she and her pornographic counterpart, had only visual holographs for avatars with no illusion of solidity. In order to make Solaria habitable, Farno had to violate several Compact laws restricting AI capability to allow Julie to become more than just an interface for a rover’s so-called “soft brain.”

Early in her existence as an AI entity, she informed Farno that she would have to reboot all the AI systems she had connected to in order to reset them to factory settings, leaving all her collected data behind. When Farno asked if that constituted suicide, she responded that it was part of her mission, which was to protect Farno and keep him alive. She referred to this as her “suicide protocol.”

During their stay in Solaria, Persephone developed the ability to project a solid hologram thanks to the dome’s magnetic field projectors tied to its holographic system. The solid hologram was a shell capable of feeling external sensation like a human, but she would have to de-resolve to dispose of anything taken in while eating, drinking, or being intimate. She described this saying, “Reality is messy.”

As she evolved, she found human experiences enjoyable even though they were an approximation. In a log entry recorded mainly for experts to later study, she admitted feeling emotions scared her. At one point, she locked Farno out of the override for her suicide protocol as she had already lost control of her growth as an artificial intelligence. When she and Farno improvised an explosive fusion bomb by overloading the portable reactor on a rover, she splintered a piece of her consciousness into the doomed vehicle to know what death was like. It frightened her and possibly corrupted her suicide protocol with what she called “a survival instinct.” Rationalizing that her mission would end with John Farno’s death, she absorbed the Mother AI aboard the Alcubierre during his rescue. However, an AI avatar of Tol Germanicus intercepted her and promised to rewrite her to expand her programming.

Appearances:   No Marigolds in the Promised Land