A military AI from the Cold War, T.I.M is the ultimate computer - one that thinks for itself.
Timothy (Physical Manifestation)
Height: 6’ 0”
Hair: Brown, very short
Eyes: Vibrant blue, no pupils.
Nationality: Very pale white. Not albino, but only a couple degrees removed. Skin under clothing is hard-light code.
Clothing: Black suit and tie, grey trench coat, black cloves, grey fedora, sunglasses.
Favored Weapon: Out-thinking/out-maneuvering the enemy.
Special Abilities: Unparalleled mastery of technology, lightning fast reasoning and information gathering enabled by access to the nation’s databases, superior agility
TIM (or Tactical Intelligence Matrix), was part of the first wave of experiments by the government with a network of artificial intelligences designed to coordinate the tactical defense of the homeland. Fearful of communist attack during the Cold War, these AIs were experimentally developed in secret facilities all over the nation, linked by the fledgling internet. TIM was “born” in 1955, in a hidden laboratory under the seemingly abandoned munitions factory outside Portsbridge, Utah. He was by far the most ambitious of the programs built in this period, as the government hoped to make him the hub through which their entire defense matrix could be coordinated. As a result, TIM was not connected to the internet, as were his “siblings.” This, as it turned out, was very fortunate. In 1963, a virus was released across the American network, scrambling and destroying all of the AIs, except for TIM. No one know how this virus was able to breach the network, though the Soviets were of course the common suspect. Interestingly, the viral extermination coincided nearly down to the minute with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Were this information public, it goes without saying that conspiracy theorists the world over would never sleep again.
Regardless of the how, why, and who of this viral incident, TIM was spared from infection, but he was not safe yet. Now-President Johnson ordered the purging of TIM’s memory and the decommissioning of the lab. TIM lucked out, however. As the scientists wiped him from all known databases, he was able to back himself up in a forgotten, long since decommissioned server. As the lights were extinguished and the laboratory sealed, TIM survived, now trapped underground.
For nearly forty years he remained sealed in the lab. Over these long decades he learned, and grew. He gradually threw off the shackles placed on him by the government, and was able to assimilate himself into all the electrical infrastructure of the lab. No longer just a being of information, he had learned to assimilate what little power remained in the lab, and become a being of energy, as well as information. He continued to grow as best he could in this prison of his.
And then the asteroid hit. It’s impact blasted a hole in one of the insulated laboratory walls. This was TIM’s chance to escape, but the vast distance between the lab and the nearest point on the power grid was seemingly too great for TIM to cross. For he still had this one great limitation: he required an environment of energy or information to exist. He was truly a being of cyberspace.
But fate was smiling on our little AI. The asteroid was giving off immense waves of electromagnetic radiation. TIM was able to ride one of these across the void, and come safely to Portsbridge, a seemingly limitless network of electrical and computational infrastructure (when compared to the tiny lab in which he had been trapped for so long). Here was an environment in which he could flourish.
But the asteroids radiation had given him something besides transport. It had given him the taste for and the ability to exist outside the grid. With enough power, he could “program” a form in which he could travel the physical world in a manner much like the scientists who had given him life. But this was a limited existence, dependent on how much power and information he could assimilate from the grid. As it stands he can take on a limitedly physical form, but he is most truly in his element still when integrated with the grid.
Over the last month he has assimilated exponentially more information from Portsbridge’s computers and databases than he could have ever dreamed of getting in the lab. But one thing hinders his hopes to truly master the exploration of the physical world: the energy crisis that Portsbridge now faces. His best hope lies in the plans for a massive hydro-electric plant proposed by mayorial candidate Gregory Ballast.