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Full Version: Weren't the crew already doomed before WAU
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The way I see it, even if the WAU didn't do anything crazy and focused on its regular tasks, the crew would've been done for eventually.

A year or so (I don't remember the exact dates) they began to starve to death, evidently they didn't have the means to fish effectively.
Even if they could produce their own food, the station would only be able to generate power for another decade or two.

Honestly what was their long-term plan, what after that? There's no surface and the station had no supplies, it would slowly break down, or be plunged into cold darkness, whichever comes first.

It is the WAU that allowed them to learn how to create the ark, which they launched into space with a longevity of thousands of years. Although probably not intentionally so by the WAU, in the end it turned out better than it would have without it.
(07-26-2016, 03:07 PM)cantremember Wrote: [ -> ]A year or so (I don't remember the exact dates) they began to starve to death, evidently they didn't have the means to fish effectively.

Why do you think so? From the top of my head, Omicron has fish farms that seem to be in working condition and were operated until WAU screamed.
The only station that was starving was Tau. That was because they were in the Abyss, where they probably can't fish (and have limited space to potentially establish a greenhouse) and rely on the plateau stations to supply them. Omicron cuts them out, and they can't control the Climber from the Abyss, so after a while they run out of food. That's how I understood the story.
Also, Akers was able to stay at Delta for five full months. Sounds like other stations might have had extensive supplies or were even self-sustainable.
I seem to remember notes mentioning other sites were running low on food too, empty fridges and cafetarias, although I should replay to be able to tell for certain.
Tau was stocked by Omicron, but the other sites weren't getting any new supplies from the mainland either.

The fish habitats outside Omicron are really small, and I didn't find any info that suggests they used them as food source. The habitats were probably already there from before the comet struck, when they didn't even had a need to farm fish. My impression is that the fish habitats had some scientific purpose, as there's a laboratory and some fish studies going on inside Omicron.

In any case, even with food, they still only had limited power (two decades or so)
That's why the Ark was made. Because no matter what, humanity was eventually going to wither down there, and so they wanted to create something that would last; the Ark. I'm sure they were working on the Ark shortly after the comet struck, knowing that they would be doomed. That's why they looked for any way of survival (if you can call it that), which made some people believe they would transfer into the Ark.
Yeah but it's the WAU making copies that inspired her, and also allowed Catherine to learn about how to do it herself for her ark in the first place.

Without the WAU going berserk, they wouldn't have had gained the knowledge to create the Ark and would have been doomed to whither over time.

So in a way, although the WAU caused them a lot of suffering, in the end it's what enabled them to have their Ark live on in space. Which to me is quite ironic, the WAU largely contributed and acted as a catalyst with the copy procedure, in causing humanity to be preserved in some way.

So although quite indirectly and probably unknowingly, it did succeed in its ultimate task.
The WAU created the Vivarium long before it went berserk. It was a continuous process that started when the comet hit that made the WAU's protocols begin to overwrite itself. What it did in the beginning isn't clear, but at some point that involved creating the Vivarium, which people found and Catherine used to create the Ark. Some time later, the WAU went a step further and started corrupting, capturing, and killing people.

So, yes, the WAU succeeded in its task. And then it took a few steps backward.
(08-14-2016, 10:48 AM)Abion47 Wrote: [ -> ]the WAU went a step further and started corrupting, capturing, and killing people.

I think that WAU was doing it because it thought it was saving people. Since it would think that it (WAU) is a superior form of being, WAU was trying to save the humanity by converting ("enhancing") people into cyborgs. It can even be said that it succeeded to a certain extent, because cyborgs outlived the humans, but without a purpose - none of them is conscious enough to actually attempt to fix the stations and ensure its long-term survival.

I was thinking, however, that it would make a great idea for a sequel, for Simon that stayed on Earth (or even two Simons, since there are at least two of them) to team up with WAU to try to survive. Some of the game theories support this possibility, especially the theory that Simon was brought to life and assisted by WAU all the way through as the first conscious cyborg creature that WAU was able to create. If WAU could replicate this success further, it could with Simon's help create many more conscious cyborgs that would essentially feel like reincarnations of the original crew, knowing what to do to possibly fix the power station etc. It's a long stretch of imagination given the physical state of several stations, but on the positive, it's not clear what cyborgs need for survival - probably no food, based on Simon's behavior.

What would be the purpose of their attempt to survive? Possibly, to look for any other survivors on Earth - I don't buy that there was absolutely no one else who made it, there gotta be submarines and possibly other subwater stations, even though a year is a really long time to survive in their circumstances. Possibly, to try to restore the humanity through genetic replication - that's a huge task, but what if WAU had all the time in the world to try? Lots of questions - how to get to the surface, for one. But they built the Ark, so who knows what other amazing things they can come up with.

Lots of speculation, but you can see I just really loved the story and would love to see sequels...
The problem is that none of the WAU's creations are suitable for long-term survival. Every single "survivor" is either comatose, a robot, or a walking corpse. The comatose people can't help for obvious reasons, and the robots are all either in denial or insane, so they can't help either. The people who are walking corpses aren't going to last long, since their entire existence depends on the structure gel, which in turn depends on electricity to stay active. And that's assuming that the corpses themselves don't start degrading.

Another thing is that assuming the WAU is sentient, and assuming the WAU is well-meaning, any chance of cooperating with it is unlikely, since there aren't any reliable ways to communicate with it. The WAU was meant to be a warden unit, not a full AI, and as such there aren't exactly HAL-style terminals on the walls to talk to it. The only people able to effectively communicate with the WAU are the people who consumed so much structure gel that they themselves are going insane.

And even if they could communicate with the WAU, that's working under the lofty assumption that the WAU is something that they can see eye to eye with. On TVTropes, it's called Blue and Orange Morality, where a being is not Good or Evil by any conventional means, but whose priorities and moral compass are so dissimilar to our own that it reaches conclusions that we couldn't understand. The WAU is not being malicious, of course. It is merely doing its job by any means necessary, and from its eyes it must figure that it is doing good. But it cannot understand what it means to be human, which means that things like intelligence, coherence, individuality, autonomy, and general comforts of living are not something that it deems important - as long as people can be considered "alive", then it has accomplished its task. And to take it even further, it will have succeeded under its own terms if those alive people are also kept under a state in which they can't possibly jeopardize their safety or the safety of others. Humans cannot reason with such a being, because even what seems "logical" won't necessarily be the same for us as it is for the WAU. We just think too differently.

I don't buy that the WAU intentionally created Simon. There is nothing to suggest that the WAU cared about anything other than keeping people "alive", using the loosest possible definition of the term. Every being it created was either alive but inert, stark-raving mad, or hostile to the point of being completely feral. Even Ross wasn't really all there, to be honest. But even if Simon was created by the WAU for a purpose, Simon's body isn't a permanent thing. Like I said, Simon's body depends entirely on the constant flow of electricity from the battery pack as well as the continued integrity of the corpse he is using as his vessel. Once either of those things fail, Simon is dead.

As far as other underwater stations, that isn't just a theory, that is canon. A map (I believe it was in Upsilon) shows seven other stations spread across the globe:

Spoiler below!
[Image: i2vybm.jpg]

The purpose of these stations isn't known, but an important thing to note is that the map shows Alpha, not Pathos II. This isn't a map of general underwater installations, it's a map of Carthage points of interest. Perhaps it marks other underwater bases where Carthage is conducting other experiments or stuff.

So yeah, there is a ton of potential for sequels in this universe. I just greatly disagree that there is one in which everyone gets together with the WAU and becomes best buds.
(08-15-2016, 09:08 PM)Abion47 Wrote: [ -> ]I don't buy that the WAU intentionally created Simon.

What is your theory how Simon the clone came to existence? Who uploaded him?
(08-16-2016, 04:55 AM)wtcelesta Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-15-2016, 09:08 PM)Abion47 Wrote: [ -> ]I don't buy that the WAU intentionally created Simon.

What is your theory how Simon the clone came to existence? Who uploaded him?

I didn't elaborate my meaning. What I meant was that I don't buy that the WAU intentionally created Simon as part of some effort to create "improved intelligent cyborgs". The track record of the WAU's creations don't really demonstrate that the WAU was trying to create more "human-like" humans.

There are three and only three examples of the WAU's creation that showed humans that weren't either comatose, murderous, or delirious. And that is Ross, Catherine, and Simon.

Catherine was uploaded inside a robot, similar to mockingbirds like Carl Semkin or Robin Bass. However, unlike anyone else, Catherine was able to come to terms with her situation almost immediately. That by itself is an impressive feat, but I don't attribute that fact to the WAU. For one, the robot that housed Catherine wasn't anything special - no structure gel and no apparent modifications (other than the damage inflicted by the Flesher, anyway), so there's nothing to suggest that Catherine's creation was somehow special or different than any other mockingbird. And for another, when Catherine's mind was transferred to an Omnitool, she didn't go completely insane due to her mind occupying a body analog that is about as un-human as possible. So her sanity and coherence is not something that I attribute to the WAU, but rather her own intimate understanding of brain scans coupled to her sheer willpower to make sure the ARK project gets completed.

Ross is a bit of a strange case. I think that his situation is similar to Catherine's, in that his knowledge of the WAU directly contributed to him maintaining his individuality, but that's not all of it. He wasn't directly influenced by the WAU, but rather reanimated by the structure gel already present in his body when he was placed into isolation. The WAU couldn't get to him by normal means, so it covered his glass cell with structure gel and bombarded it with electromagnetic radiation, which eventually succeeded in repairing Ross' damaged body and bringing him back to life. (Coincidentally, this act led to the WAU ultimately killing everyone at Omicron. This is just another example of why the WAU is not a trustworthy entity.) However, a number of Ross' activities don't instill confidence in his level of sanity. For example, every time you see him, he is on a one-track mind that Simon kills the WAU, getting noticeably frustrated whenever Simon delays in any place. And when Simon does get to the WAU, he attempts to kill Simon regardless of what he chooses to do. So no, while Ross is intelligent, I don't believe that he is sane. I think he is another form of what happened to Akers, with the structure gel taking over his facilities and making him go crazy driven on whatever his prime motivation is.

And that leaves us with Simon. There's no arguing that Simon is both sane (as sane as a person who got spirited a hundred years into an apocalyptic future can be, anyway) and intelligent (debatable, but irrelevant). However, I don't think that he is an example of progress on the WAU's part, because he is the only creature directly created by the WAU with both of those qualities. No other creation even comes close. My belief is that the WAU is trying to put all of the brain scans it has access to into as many machines as it can find. As long as it has brain scans, then the WAU can still bring more people back to life. However, there are only so many pilot-seat-enabled machines in Pathos II, so it inevitably ran out. Still having some brain scans that it hasn't yet used, the WAU was trying to experiment with anything that would work - the DUNBAT and the power suit, for example, as well as all the cortex chips it could get its hands on. The fact that Simon ended up with the body he had was, frankly, an inevitable eventuality of the WAU just trying to find anything that would work. But like I said, Simon's body is not a permanent solution, and he has weeks if not days before either his battery runs out or his body decays to the point of unusability.
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