Sourced from Dr. Tetsuo Haldeman. Keeping the Peace: Hegemonic Discourse and Technological Coercion in the Periphery. Accessed from The Network on 2282 AD.
Continued from The History of PRISE and FUSION technology
In combination with BCI Research, the Titan Space Academy college has developed the integration of brain-starship control to a finely controlled process. Dubbed “Fusion”, the technology lets a single pilot control the huge starships required to transport unrefined actium around the system.
Pilots send commands to the ship’s cortex which diverts the command to the appropriate sub-system. During the Fusion process, pilots mesh deeper into the cortex which allow time to be expanded into higher unit increments allowing more commands to be issued. Fusion with the ship and its cortex allows access to the Network, a cache of additional commands, tactics and abilities. Accessing the Network and generating the experience to obtain these talents all takes a comparative minutia of time, which can mean life and death in space combat.
Fusion with a starship’s cortex is not an easy process, and each time a pilot connects with a starship, the Fusion process must be repeated. During each journey, the pilot needs to fuse with their starship, increasing their skills and abilities from the Network as they go.
From creation, each cortex is keyed to its pilot using a one-way algorithm, ensuring no one else can fly the ship. PRISE starships are triggered to explode once hull integrity falls below a critical level. Both of these measures are designed to dissuade pirates from choosing PRISE ships as targets.
The training and technology offers a tremendous advantage over traditional “stick” pilots. However, many students burn out from the course’s requirements, wasting the huge investment PRISE puts into them. After analysing the most successful pilots, PRISE has learned that they have one thing in common – a particular gene known afterwards as FUSI-11. Henceforth, prospective students were tested for this gene, and only allowed to proceed into the college if their DNA showed its existence.
After learning that the exciting lucrative life of a PRISE pilot was dependent on a gene, at no cost to the student, PRISE has no shortage of applicants and successful pilots.
The peacekeeper starships start winning the war against the pirates. With more pilots than starships, PRISE refine their selection process. With a huge investment in the pilot, fusion cortex and starship, PRISE’s biggest concern is the thought that the pilots might find working for the pirates more attractive, whether it be for money, power, or more mundane pleasures. What PRISE wanted more than anything else in their pilots was unquestioning loyalty. The PRISE bureaucrats looked to one of their member states in particular for lessons on obtaining this: Japan.
Because success at being a pilot was now largely based on genetics, pilots are selected at a very young age. They are recruited as children, and grow up with little or no outside influence. PRISE instigates a moral code copied from Bushido, the ancient honour system of the Samurai warriors, with PRISE taking the place of the traditional Daimyo. Of the eight virtues (Righteousness, Courage, Benevolence, Respect, Sincerity, Honour, Loyalty and Self-Control), the one most emphasised was loyalty.
By the time fusion trainees are 18 they are fully qualified and able to control their starships. At that age, the pilots are tested. This test is not a test for a gene, nor even a test for piloting aptitude. The pilots are asked to fly a mission. During the mission, they come across an empty commercial starship flying under robotic control. The pilots are told that the starship is carrying 1000 passengers. They are ordered to destroy the starship. No reason is given, merely that PRISE requires that the pilot does so.
Pilots that destroy the starship continue their education. Pilots that do not are told to leave the school; leave everything they know and have known their entire lives, and venture out into the galaxy. Some of the more humane PRISE officials thought that despite their Bushido training not providing them with an unquestioningly loyal pilot, at least the student would have some moral compass to guide them. More knowledgeable officials know that ideally, the rejected pilots would not continue to live. But also that that number of disappearances would undoubtedly raise questions.
PRISE does not want questions or investigations. They are about to reveal a new breed of starship and level of pilot fusion. When the sleek new black starships known as Seigyo enter a system, everyone will know that any chance that pirates have will be zero. PRISE will control the mining, and will obtain their tithe from every tonne mined, regardless of where in the galaxy it occurs.
Rejected pilots make a living as pilots for hire, either protecting cargo from pirates, or hired by PRISE and other space agencies to hunt particular pirates down. Because of the Japanese connection, and because the pilots are often at a loss after being told to leave the school, rejected pilots have become known as “Ronin”, after the Samurai warriors who lost their lord. As with the Ronin of old, some turn away from the honourable path, and make a living plundering the cargo of weaker starships. Some even use their talents to hunt down and kill.