|WIP: This article is a work in progress and is not yet approved for usage in the RP.|
|♫ Edorti - Leiana|
A new concept in control systems, FLOW flash-reads the users neural patterns and compiles them into a ROM-Construct. The ROM-Construct is ran at tremendous speed - its output surpassing the accuracy, speed and constitution of any organic pilot and the unpredictability, resourcefulness, spontinuity and lateral thinking of any AI system. Unfortunately, run at these speeds, the construct rapidly enters heat-death and corruption. FLOW also has a number of undesirable side-effects.
It was created in early YE35 and remains highly classified and blackbox technology wherever it is implemented.
While conventionally the raw bandwidth and accuracy required for a near complete neural read wouldn't be possible because of biological limitations, FLOW overcomes these barriers by essentially moving the goal-posts.
This is achieved by altering the neurochemical balance of the users brain to induce a state of controlled neuralfalaptic shock - similar to the state of 'shock' entered during fight or flight - specifically after a severe injury - in which various hormones and neurotransmitters heighten the sensitivity and responsiveness of the pilot's brain beyond conventional limitations.
All non-critical neural functions consuming processing bandwidth in the brain (such as recording memories, consciousness, etc) are also put on hold briefly, leaving the user in a vegitative state.
In this state, pathways can be lit up in very controlled ways via electromagnetic stimulation (akin to a flash-bulb in the dark) to be read by an electrogravitic scanner which reads the three dimensional shadow on a per-atom basis.
This model is then compiled into neural pathways and then into the hard-logic of a conventional ROM Construct. This rapid 'shake and bake' compiling method unfortunately has a much lower accuracy than 'slow burn' methods - though it is well within acceptable bounds for focused operation.
After reading and writing information in this brief cycle, the user is then returned to a normal state.
The technology is far from perfect for a wide variety of reasons - legal, ethical and even in terms of the health of the user and its tragic capacity for abuse.
Despite what is stated by the Consortium, FLOW is based on an Occhestran conceptual control system pioneered as far back as YE-13. With the current state of affairs regarding the Occhestran, use of such a technology would be classified as leveraging the spoils of war-crimes and hence illegal under a number of different international treaties.
In addition, this rapid and lethal exploitation of ROM-Constructs – which in many nations, might be viewed as life-forms in their own right – is legally, morally and ethically debatable as a form of digital slavery and perhaps even torture.
Unfortunately, due to the strange nature of FLOW, pilots may experience a number of possible side-effects and even health hazards with extended use beyond stated tolerances.
If a pilot experiences a skip in time momentarily, do not be alarmed: this is the FLOW engaging in another read or write-back cycle, which overrides the users ability to form conventional memory, interfering with their perception of time.
This phenomenon, known by pilots as 'the jumps' is not unlike the heightened state of awareness humans enter during fight or flight (a state of shock in which all non-mission-critical functions cease). FLOW's read/write cycle induces a form of controlled neuroleptic shock - minimizing possible interference and thus the margin of possible error during the process.
Important is that the pilot should not panic: they are not in any danger as their product construct remains entirely lucid through the entire procedure.
Extensive use of FLOW during any single sortie has a number of notable side-effects caused by unnatural neurochemical inbalances, hormonal changes, extended vasodialation, blood-calorific consumption and severe stress.
These include (but are not limited to):
While the neural control of the M2 may allow a user to completely negotiate these problems (often being completely unaware of them), they usually only become obvious when disembarking, sometimes requiring hanger crew to aid exhausted pilots.
Long-term abuse of FLOW can result in serious cognitive changes in the user, usually linked to changes in the user's neurochemestry and hormonal systems - known collectively as Post-Flow Neural Shock Syndrome or PFNS. While entirely preventable in its early stages with regular medical checkups, PFNS is close to irreversible once it sets in.
Early symptoms to look for include unusual behavioral changes such as cognitive bias, self-obsessions.
Later symptoms include audiatory, tactile and visual hallucinations and later delusions - descending into negative symptoms, such as emotional blunting, slowed cognitive performance and eventually in severe cases, a vegetative state, coma and eventually without treatment, death.
In simple terms, Post-Flow Neural Shock Syndrome is essentially the brain growing so used to the state of controlled shock during the read-write process that the neurotransmitters of the user adapt to the new neurochemical climate, similar to opiate addiction. Eventually, through continued extensive use, the user will be unable to function normally within proper neurochemical tolerances - experiencing many of the side-effects experienced normally after conventional operation of FLOW - yet none of the side-effects when disembarking or in the cockpit.
Often, the body and mind grow so acclimatized that their performance during FLOW is actually heightened - at the cost of their standard of living and even their lives.
Since the construct itself is essentially independent aside from its read-write cycles, in the event of a system malfunction that kills the pilot (for example, inertia-cancelling failing and the constructs maneuvers crushing the pilot), the construct will continue operation even after the pilot has died for as long as 3 minutes.
During this time, the construct - being a cognitive copy of the pilot - will be aware that the pilot has died of this and will be faced with the inevitability of being wiped when the read/write process occurs next (since there is no source material) or being corrupted by the life-time limitation of all ROM Constructs.