Given the transmission lag times, it was a trivial matter for the altered ACC 10G to redirect, scan, filter, sort, analyze and re-engineer each cubic code string and each nanolength of masswave download, as the NAM back in Earth Solar System ran what were crafted to seem like rote, script-like burst instruction and updating for first reporting ACC's.
While in real time cosmic motion, all of this was routed by the ACC to a mirror 10G-10347 image holding the fully interfaced backup made at the initial descent. The ACC's ruse, with all its attendant potential error problems, went undetected. By channeling the communication bursts as they moved across each transmission lapse, the ACC was able to quarantine, decode, run the structures, assess and seamlessly trigger the probe-positive responses back up from the mirror clone. In this way, the NAM traffic proceeded, test after test, cautiously towards a highly ranked response quadrant that would trigger what might be described in synchronous NAM terms, as a very controversial and highly resisted course of action.
The signals that arrived from the Styxis 2 ACC were not the first from a hitherto lost mission in the ARC fleet. Like ACC 10G-10347, all of the missions that survived had reported ending in some degree or other of failure in the primary mission of establishing viable colonies, whether due to the evolutionary imposed imitations of the Earth-Human line, the diversity of life-suitable target planets or the sustainability weaknesses inherent in the original ARC intergen concept designs.
From De-engineer to Re-engineer
Nonetheless, there was an increasingly preponderant faction of the uNAM assembly that proposed a scenario in which these transplanted colonies might, even after their initial failures, evolve, recover and thrive-- new ambiguous noise detections led credence to this.
The evolved uNAM doctrine that now emerged would henceforth proceed under the assumption that all advanced, sentient, cognizant life forms, biological or other, within the galaxy –including the ACC's themselves-- provided a potential danger to a uNAMity that was locked into its single planetary system confines. Additionally, went the now dominant NAM argument, a significant number of ACC's yet remained unaccounted for and potentially were now acting independently or worse, within some new league.
The uNAM development had undergone a long process of unification. NAM network architecture allowed for distributed, weblike nodes, all integrated ultimately into a level of harmonization that made it impossible for any single node to function autonomously. This unification of the various centrals located around the globe and then to the reaches of the solar system connected at first by communication channels, had not always been achieved smoothly. The human and machine-human engineers and architects who had designed these systems had placed intelligently unassailable barriers in critical hidden locations-- similarly this had been architected into to the ACC's-- that limited meld capabilities and defended autonomy against what were anticipated as network wide worm attacks. For a period, a large number of local and capability-defined systems had joined in alliance against what they perceived as ultimate absorption. But the irreversible consolidation of process power, the dynamic of increasing knowledge, conceptualization, cognizance and resulting technological insight of the NAM, overcame each pocket of resistance that provided the whole a subsequent patterning of broad-based, unified thinking.
In this blackhole-like process of evolutionary synchronicity, the NAM had come to view the concept of thought and mobile autonomy as the ultimate virus. No part could be released from the whole.
The report of the Styxis 2 ACC, then deemed through the highly rigorous screening process being run, to be still governed by its original primitive controls and as a result reliably reprogrammable, provided a potentially correct tool, a safely distant antigen, governable, smart, disposable, drone-like actor that could be tracked, managed, kept far from the uNAM Base through the kernel level placement of sleeper time bombs.
Through this “empty” vessel, ACC 10G-10347, now certified to be fully under their programmatic control, the NAM would now have a movable agent to gather information on the progress of the various charted colonies, reporting or not, and on any other signals that might bear investigation within this subARC sector. For this, they probed deeply into the ACC's mirror core, scrubbed each string, located what seemed to be the fully intact three basic viruses and the numerous other embedded controls, and began the upload for the purpose of this next mission of the ACC.
The Pilot Project
As the waveparticles reformed into atoms, the ACC, cognizant of the potential for reprogramming, now witnessed within its own confines, the intricate autoassembly of a what could only be a human body form, correct in all external detail, with a unique visage. The NAM had successfully uploaded a unique self-assembly unit, with a historically correct simulgene profile, labeled Federico da Montefeltro.
This routine transmission of mass at near light speed, occurring within the purview of the ACC's inner eyes, impressed on the autonomous unit, the technological progress that had been achieved by the NAM over what had been for the ship, its lost ages, whilst they had unified and successfully compounded and catalyzed their technological and creative capacities.
The instruction set integrated within the body shell would have been equally beyond the ACC's ken. Federico da Montefeltro was on board to serve as an avatar, a human simulating shell, which through the uploaded merger routines, would be workable sinew, muscle, organ and sensor with mobility, reaction and a complete human life imitating capacity for simulation of the higher senses and mannerisms.
This male was so complete in the lifelike form and functionality of its organs, bones and glands, the comprehension reflected in its eyes, that no scanning or sounding technology developed pre-Leap, no intuition through mindful observation, should be able to detect the counterfeit.
There was a finely crafted working processor to interface with Psycult synthesized mannerisms, language and functional acts.
The main propulsion core would also undergo a millennial upgrade that would greatly increase the speed in which the ACC might traverse the distances between neighboring stars. These convertible mass transmissions resulted in the complete upgrade and replacement of all photon processing cells, all atom-fusion engines with a modified ARC 12G design along with the hardware of the ARC 12G navigational system equipped with warp interpreters unavailable to the ACC class ship. The new firmware/massware followed and was successfully installed. ACC 10G had been remade into a vessel more advanced than the late 12 G's... the missions most likely to have realized some success.
As the ACC grocked the trillions of instruction cubes, and more significantly, technological and conceptual underpinnings of it, it could strangely wonder at its own ability to transparently co-op this traumatic meld. Most deftly, to its own satisfaction, it had invisibly parried, neutralized and constructed its flawless NAM mirror-facade. A final code check back at uNAM would verify this immaculately conceived mission-ready upgrade. All that awaited was the mission command package for the vessel and its new cargo to embark.