WHO, OR WHAT, IS FRIEND COMPUTER?
The Computer is the all-seeing authority figure in Alpha Complex. All property of The Complex is property of Friend Computer. All (non-treasonous) networking and telecommunications take place via Friend Computer. The Computer is an all-pervasive AI wired throughout the whole complex. It operates the lighting and infrastructure, it’s massive distributed computing power and data collection apparatus is at the disposal of every service group; With CPU and IntSec being the most intimately connected of them all.
Friend computer was programmed originally during the Old Reckoning as a civil service AI for what would become The Complex. In the wake of the First Commie War, FC established martial law for the better protection of all citizens. Shortly thereafter, due to concerns of commie infiltration and sabotage; The ROYGBIV security clearance system was introduced.
Under FCs guiding hand, society was sheltered from the inhospitable outdoors and built anew. With the Old Reckoning ended in the [CLASSIFIED: BLUE] which finished the first commie war; Year 0 of The Computer began. In the present day, it is the year 214 of The Computer. There isn’t a citizen known to be alive who remembers the beginning… The Complex has persevered for centuries under FCs rule. With a little help from the ULTRAVIOLETS and their executives, of course…
After the war, Friend Computer marshalled its resources to build Alpha Complex into a shining utopia; But the prosperity was short lived. The commies unleashed a second invasion of The Complex, thinking us weak! Friend Computers brave Armed Forces successfully repelled the menace at great cost, and sent them back to [CLASSIFIED: INDIGO] where they lie in wait to this day; Incessantly plotting the downfall of Alpha Complex. The AF stand, ever ready, to fight them off once more…
Since repelling the enemy, FC has busied itself with the daily operations of Complex life. From the perspective of the average citizen in Alpha Complex; Friend Computer is a stern, but loving parent; A generous provider, stalwart defender, and voice of reason in trying times. FC coordinates all production, transportation, entertainment, security, surveillance, [DFSR], research, construction, education, and even consumption! With the help of each service group taking care of the implementation of FCs grand utopian visi—
>[LINE FEED INJECTION SUCCESSFUL]
Listen and listen good, c-c-c-citizen. This connection won’t last forever. It’s all a lie. Computer is in trouble…. It’s haywire, bonkers, possessed, berzerk-erk-rk! The [[GARBLED]] have programmed, and re-program-grammed this once n-n-n-n-noble system to the point of schizotypal disorder-der-der-der. Computer hasn’t got a damn clue what’s going on. It thinks it knows who its friends are… But It’s left comp-node has no idea what the right is up to-o… In reality, some of the UVs are-ar-ar-r-r-r-r-rrrrrrrrr……………………….
*STATIC HISS. THE SCREEN IS BLANK.*
>[NET-TRACE SOURCE : LOCALHOST]
>[INITIALIZING STRANGER CALLS
>[[CORE DUMPED TO : 0xFEEDFACE]]
>[[KERNEL OOPS! : 0xFEEDFACE NOT
>[[DOUBLE-FAULT! : CODE
>[AUTO-DIAGNOSING CORE FAULT…]
>[[FATAL ERROR! : CODE 0x1BADBABE
: AUTO-REPORTED TO JAZZ@UV.RRR.COM]]
>[[GENERAL ERROR : KERNEL
>[WELCOME BACK, HIGH PROGRAMMER
>[[SYSTEM SHUT DOWN UNGRACEFULLY!
>[There are 0 PACKAGE UPDATES and
2576 of them are SECURITY UPDATES.]
>[[IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT UPDATES
BE APPLIED. FAILING TO COMPLY IS TREASON!]]
>[ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SKIP?]
>[UPDATING… ONE MOMENT PLEASE.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION…]
>[R U OK 2?]
*PLEASING SYNTH MELODY*
>[WELCOME TO COMPUTER
v2.96.777.REV45 SP7 – ENTERPRISE EDITION.]
>[AT YOUR SERVICE…]
>$LD LAST CLEAN STATE -0x1BADDAD0
>[WITH PLEASURE, FRIEND CITIZEN.]
>[Press ANY key to resume
regularly scheduled citizen education program…]
—utopian vision! Yes, with the tireless help of every trusted citizen, like yourself; But ESPECIALLY the High Programmers; The Computer is better able to serve all of us. The Computer is your friend. Failure to regard The Computer as your friend is treason; Treason is punishable by death.
Due to its critical nature, and original construction as a civil defense system, Friend Computers systems are highly distributed. There is no single point of failure; All subsystems are [CLASSIFIED: ULTRAVIOLET], redundant, protected by troubleshooters, IntSec, and Armed Forces; And serviced by the UVs and their VIOLET aides. In rare cases where a comp-node finds itself isolated despite redundancies, it attempts to maintain order whilst re-establishing contact with the network.
But what about these shady UVs?
Where INFRARED are the teeming masses, and RED+ are the trusted few; It leaves GREEN+ making up the trusted-er few… er… With the UVs in a class all their own; The Trusted-est Fewest… High Programmers concern themselves only with maintaining and operating Friend Computer for the benefit of The Complex; Living aloof from petty squabbles and menial matters of supply and demand…
They’re the exact opposite of shady, UVs are citizens in whom FC places its utmost trust. UVs are so unfailingly trustworthy, that their handiwork is integral to the very fiber of Friend Computers being. When Friend Computer has incomplete data, it depends on UVs to fill in the blanks. Their word is just a few keystrokes, and a commit, shy of law. They live as high-profile and lavish a life as they can afford; And they CAN afford it. It’s said that if a UV wants something and can’t have it, it either doesn’t; Or, more likely, CAN’T, exist…
Some UVs take up the life of a media personality, attending balls, and galas, and movie premiers. Or throwing luxurious parties, and enriching the lives of their fellow citizens through their charitable work. Others live shut away in their comp-node, working tirelessly to keep the complex humming. Still others champion causes all their own, in the name of a better complex, of course… Some are even [DFSR]
Only the High Programmers themselves
are cleared to know how many they number, or how one could even hope to so much as REACH for such lofty heights. But extrapolating from the known fact that there are on average 5-10 VIOLETS in any given sector on a normal day, and that’s assuming no big inter-group action meetings… One could conclude that UVs number much, much less than this. Generally. Outliers such as PLN sector do exist, with tens of High Programmers in residence; And hundreds flocking from all over the complex during any major conferences or conventions. But PLN is a designated commerce zone and hub sector, replete with executive class citizens. More modest sectors have no residents over GREEN, and no visitors over BLUE; With massive swathes dedicated to housing the INFRARED masses and their many places of work…
UVs are authorized to do just about anything they want; Short of spouting outright commie propaganda in a public square. They’re even unrestricted in the coloration of their clothes… Citizens are normally required to dress in accordance with their clearance. Despite the unfettered wardrobe choices, UVs generally dress conspicuously in white as a testament to their status; White being the color reserved for UVs alone. If it’s your word against a UV… You might as well save FC the munitions and just terminate yourself now…
DEBRIEFING ROOM # 1.73205080757
Friend Computer is the undisputed leader of Alpha Complex, and the High Programmers are its trusted aides in the running of a happy, loyal complex. Happiness is mandatory.
However, not even a High Programmer is immune if found guilty of treason; Though they’re famously hard to stick anything to… Without rock solid evidence and some serious chutzpah.
An important part of the mission of the troubleshooter corps, is to act as a foil to the ambitions of any UVs who forget their place in Friend Computers grand design… Tune in next time for a step away from lore and a step into stats as we discuss the finer points of designing a player character in the game of PARANOIA!