Memo: Agent v. Agent Hostilities
To: Harold Markshire, Proj. Perp. Director, Susan Rackholm, Perpetuum Nian Security
RE: Recent Reports of Agent Violence Against Fellow Agents
After following up on increasing reports that Agents on Nia within Project Perpetuum may be acting against one another, I took the time to plug in and investigate the phenomenon directly. It would appear that the allegations are not only true, but rampantly taking place. While there are scattered incidences of levels of Co-Agent violence on the Alpha-security islands that results in a robot's destruction (you will recall we instituted a "flagging" system for robot targeting computers that allows Agents to shoot at each other, in order for them to test combat targeting and defensive systems before journeying abroad) these Alpha-security "Duels" are not the primary cause of Co-Agent violence. Rather, this takes place on the Beta-security islands.
As you are well aware, a variety of complications exist which prevent total Syndicate lockdown in the Beta-security areas (see Ref: 1014a, Technical Difficulties Due To Environmental and Nian Cofactors) and it would seem that Agent corporations - including occasional Agents who are members of the Syndicate-sponsored corporations - are utilizing that fact in a rather barbaric, dog-eat-dog Machiavellian fashion. A variety of entities exist within this realm: corporations who raid each other for resources (some existing solely within this framework, possessing little or no other industrial capacity but to support such behaviors), corporations who capture sponsorship control of the outlying Beta outposts from one another through violence (you will recall this concern was noted as a possibility but dismissed as unlikely in our last meeting, against my warnings), and entities who simply defend what they view as "their territory" against other Agents who come too close without any thought towards cooperation. While there are a few examples of Agent corporations cooperating with each other in the Beta islands, these are the exception, rather than the rule.
Moving forward, however, I am going to offer a recommendation that frankly, surprises myself:
The Syndicate should continue to turn a blind eye to these reports.
Natural Selection: Frankly, not all Agents are created equal and not all Agents are equally as talented at leadership. Allowing the corporations to bleed each other will cause all Agents to naturally recognize where the best organizations can be found. Inept, poorly run organizations will reveal themselves rapidly under this system.
Impossibility of Pinpointing Spark Origination: As you are well aware, the Agent-to-Spark connection is extremely complex and the data transmission is not entirely within our realm of understanding. (REF. 218b "Berger Virus and Data Transmission Through Particle Spaces") The simple solution of "unplugging" the problematic Agents is unacceptable because, to be frank, we can't tell which Agents are the problem. Since decoupling an Agent from SyncOS causes dramatic and permanent consequences we can't simply "guess" at the problem Agent without, in all likelihood, unplugging several innocent ones. Given the other factors listed here, this step seems rash - for now.
Resource Expenditure: Frankly, the amount of effort and resources it would take for us to offer full Syndicate protection on the islands currently listed as "Beta" security continue to remain prohibitive. At last estimates, the NIC value alone - to say nothing of the resources we would need to expend from our Nian stocks - is well over 1 trillion. While personnel and resources on that scale are replaceable, the training time involved in reacquiring sufficient staff to cover what would be lost in the upgrade of Beta security to Alpha would be considerable.
Non-Consequential Effect: Since none of the corporations involved are directly participating in the energy transmission program (the program is not yet fully launched and ready for Agent involvement) there seems to be no specific effect on our operations. Nian material resources are considerable and show no particular signs of depletion from the relatively small-scale clashes of the Agents. Or, in simpler terms, the squabbles of the children aren't affecting the adults.
No Threat To Syndicate: At this point, the military capabilities of the Agent-based corporations on Nia are still relatively paltry. Best estimates are that no more than 10% of the Syndicate military effort would be required to do a full "blank slate restructuring" of the secured island areas, should the Agents prove unable to fulfill their required functions once energy transmission capacity is available for them.
------- Based on all available data and observation, we feel that at this time, it is better to let the Agents sort themselves out. If any entity becomes particularly dangerous to the greater good, we can obviously and easily act accordingly.
- Edward Bertram, Sr. Investigator
Ed: Good report. I agree with your analysis here. Let's face it - Earth has more than enough hungry, desperate minds out there we can exploit if we need to. If the kids want to squabble in the sandbox before it's time to get to work, let them keep each other weak enough that they're no threat to us. Keep an eye on things. We can always wipe the slate clean and start over with a new recruitment drive anyhow. - HM