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Free Chinese Novels > China > THE RECORD OF UNUSUAL CREATURES > Chapter 1556 - The Cortex Prime

Chapter 1556: The Cortex Prime

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Hao Ren could not say for sure whether all the administrators had died in the same chamber. But one thing was sure, none of the administrators were still alive. There could be more scenes like that in other server rooms, where the burnt wreckage of the administrators lay around.

Apparently, the Cortex Prime had orchestrated the mass destruction of these loyal workers.

Hao Ren approached the burnt wreckage carefully and flipped the washbasin-sized steel beetle. The joints of its robotic arms were frozen, preventing access to its insides. Hao Ren had to cut off two of its arms before he could remove the metal plate on its abdomen.

“It was destroyed from the inside out. The core circuit board was fried, and these coils were where the fire started apparently,” said Hao Ren, pointing at the messy internal state of the administrator. “It’s the result of a typical electric pulse attack.”

“They were at work when they were destroyed,” N-6 snapped out of her shock and said. She looked at the cable connectors and servers that were open before she quickly reconstructed the scene. “Hardware replacement wasn’t due yet, and such large-scale work is unnecessary. So, it was the Cortex Prime that summoned the administrators here.”

Lily’s ears flicked. “That’s to say, the Cortex Prime gathered its administrators on the pretext of emergency maintenance, then massacred them in the room? Is this the Malicious Banquet incident in the world of robots?”

“Most of the administrators usually worked inside the fort, but they also made contact outside the fortress. The outside world will soon find out their mass destruction.” Hao Ren frowned. “MDT, can you determine the time of death?”

By now, the MDT had completed the sampling analysis of the burn traces in the room. “About a month ago. According to the information about the administrators provided by N-4, it is a long enough time to arouse the suspicion of those on the outside. The main reason why no one was questioning what was happening in the fort was probably that the Cortex Prime ruled the roost in the lunar base. The Executors simply followed instructions. Even if they have their own mind and feelings, they cannot get away from the ‘mind lock’ in the program. So, they subconsciously ignored all the abnormalities.”

“But the anomalies in real life and in the program will produce so many conflicts that when it reaches the tipping point, it will become a disaster for the AI society,” Y’zaks said with a rough voice. “There used to be a magician kingdom called Lythetus in my homeworld. Their technique of making intelligent golems using artificial souls was one of a kind, but an undetected logic error had caused all the intelligent golems to go out of control, and the whole kingdom was destroyed within three days.”

Hao Ren nodded lightly. There was a massive flaw in the AI society on the moon. Before that, he only had a vague feeling of the problem. But now, when he saw the impending system collapse in the fortress and thought of the Executors who were clueless of the looming disaster on the outside, this flaw became extremely obvious.

N-6 stood in the distance; she was struggling internally.

Everything she saw in the fort was a bombshell. The poor bionic girl had never questioned her own existence, yet everything about her life had come into question now. The supposedly strong fortress, infallible Cortex Prime, and the perfect fort defense system had now all gone. Everything in the steel fortress began to degenerate and crumbling. The process had started a few years ago and reached a critical level when the Cortex Prime destroyed its own administrators a month ago.

But her fellow Executrixes knew nothing about the situation. They saw the fortress still standing on the moon, and then faithfully carried out the order issued from the fort even if it was an order to carry out a mass suicide attack on the home planet.

An electrical surge rushed into her logic circuit. Error messages quickly flooded her field of vision. She felt her thinking had broken into intermittent segments, and she lost control and fell.

N-6 felt someone held her as she lost her balance. The once chaotic logic gradually stabilized, and some code that was not her own was clearing the system errors that would cause fatal failure.

Vivian held N-6 up when she saw her dropping. A few seconds later, she heard the hum of system reboot, and the bionic girl opened her eyes. Vivian could not help but be worried, “What happened to you?”

“No big deal, she had a shock and crashed,” the MDT said on behalf of N-6. “Every Executor is programmed to have absolute obedience to the Cortex Prime and trust in the fortress. When she saw what happened in the fortress, it produced a fatal bug in her system. But now it seems that she as self-repair ability.”

Hao Ren blinked. “Is it not because of Nolan has installed security software in her system during the repair?”

“No, Nolan did not touch her core system, just wrote her a bunch of drivers. Her system self-recovery is built-in.”

For a moment, N-6 felt something was wrong with her auditory system. The conversation between Hao Ren and the MDT sounded like a roaring noise from a distance. This symptom lasted for a long time and then only gradually improved. She heard them talking about self-recovery, but she did not know what that meant. She had no idea of when the code that helped her clear the fatal error was stored on her chip.

When she finally could stand on her feet, she gave Vivian a grateful smile. “Thank you, I am fine now.”

“Are you sure you are okay?” Hao Ren glanced at the bionic girl, still worried. “Can you continue the journey?”

Lily quickly reminded, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you; there may be more shocking things ahead.”

“I am fine.” N-6 nodded. “The system error has been cleared. I think I can continue.”

Since N-6 was insistent, Hao Ren said nothing more. He just looked at this messy place, thoughtfully. “This looks like mutual destruction. The servers have also taken a heavy toll.”

“These are the Cortex Prime’s secondary servers. Their damage will not paralyze the Cortex Prime,” N-6 explained. “But losing these secondary servers will overload the main servers and reduce their performance. I think the Cortex Prime must be mad when it destroyed the administrators. It did not care for its own damage.”

Hao Ren said nothing.

Just then, Lil Pea got out of Hao Ren’s collar once again. The little guy opened her eyes wide as she poked and looking around.

Y’zaks saw her and could not help mumbling, “Don’t you feel uncomfortable with a fish squirming on your body?”

“Have you ever complained when you carry your daughter on your shoulder?”

“Maybe you are right.”

The little guy suddenly grabbed Hao Ren’s chin as if she had thought of something. “Dad-dee, there!”

Hao Ren looked up at the direction where Lil Pea was pointing; there was the exit of the server room.

The group did not continue to linger in the server room. After leaving the place, they entered the heart of the fortress.

It was a corridor leading to the Inevitable Palace.

The scenery along the corridor was not much different from what they saw elsewhere in the fort.

Immobilized Titanium Guards, offline surveillance equipment, and weapon platforms were everywhere. They also saw more server rooms and subsystems of the Cortex Prime. Without exception, these places were strewn with the wreckage of the administrators. Even the hardware of the Cortex Prime suffered severe damage due to the EMP.

The system of the Cortex Prime was massive beyond imagination. It was almost the fortress itself. The most powerful artificial intelligence in history occupied nearly two-thirds of the fort. It was not an exaggeration to say that Hao Ren and his team were passing through the body of the Cortex Prime looking for its external interface.

The interface was just around the corner.

A massive black gate that shimmered was in the way. The weapons system without power supply was still mounted on both sides of the gate. Hao Ren felt gloomy air lingering on the entrance, reminding him of the scene he had seen countless times.

The fall of a civilization, and the end of an era.

N-6 told him that behind the door was the heart of the Cortex Prime, and the only master interface to connect to the deep consciousness of the Cortex Prime was in there.

The only entrance to the Inevitable Palace was behind the heart of the Cortex Prime. For thousands of years, the Cortex Prime had been the only loyal guard guarding the single passage to the refuge of humanity. Before today, this checkpoint had never opened its door to Executor like her.

“Open it.” Hao Ren instructed the MDT.

“There may be resistance from the Cortex Prime,” Y’zaks warned. “It will most likely use EMP, the weapon that destroyed the administrators.”

Hao Ren nodded. “Keep your eyes open. Lily, stay behind me. You have low current resistance.”

Lily wanted to refute that, but when she knew how helpless she was in the face of Vivian’s lightning ball, she stayed behind Hao Ren.

The energy system powering the black gate was still running, so the MDT could release a virus to disable the access control, and the gate slid open to both sides slowly.

A wide rotunda appeared. In the center was a shimmering black cylinder.

It was the heart of Cortex Prime.

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