Project: New Moon – FOIA Dump

Before I got my start in the ERI, I was involved in a student activist committee which believed in the free flow of information. For some reason, Doc really wanted me to post this.

It’s an email conversation which we asked to be declassified as part of a peace protest a few years back. It finally made its way out of the courts. Now if they’d get around to declassifying the rest of the database then maybe we could make some progress, but it’s a start.

Contractor Document – Do not distribute!
Government of Equestria – FOIA Document 2090 – Seal expires February 14th, 2129

To: Spark [REDACTED]
Subject: Welcome!

If you’re reading this then you’ve been selected as an engineer for the LUNA project. Congratulations [REDACTED], you’re among the top in your field!

I am [REDACTED], your government liaison. It is my job to make sure you have everything you need to complete your contract quickly and efficiently. I don’t need to remind you that everything you do on this project is confidential, as per standard operating procedure. Any leaks will be followed up by the justice department under penalty of perjury.

You are part of project NEW MOON. First, some background:
We need to improve the old LUNA AI that has been running much of the day-to-day power grid in Canterlot. Technically, the same AI runs most of the grids in Equestria, but on different servers. We’ve never standardized the scripts between the various crown corporations and there isn’t much of a need to. Unfortunately, the coders who wrote the original LUNA are long-since retired. That’s where you come in.

The specifics of the contract have already been mailed to [REDACTED] (that’s your on-file address, please let me know if you’ve since moved!) but I’ll give you a quick overview. Most of the existing controls on the LUNA are obsolete, but the power-coupling procedures are still top of the line. We’re going to be creating a new AI that will both take the place of the old one, and serve as the chief administrator of the fusion reactor that’s being built in Everfree (you’ve probably read about it in the papers).

You and a team of three others, [REDACTED], will meet next week to begin the planning phase. I’ll have the rest of my writeup done by then and everything will be emailed to you the day before, but here’s the general overview of the new features.

Matter Fabricator
The AI is going to have access to one of these. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s just an assembly line that can be reconfigured. The AI will need protocols to interact with it. [REDACTED] worked at ProtoLight Labs, who built the fabricator, so she’ll be a good candidate to get on that.
The fabricator is for allowing the AI to construct new robots to carry out tasks at its discretion. The technology is still in its infancy, so anything bigger than a pony will need to be shipped to the reactor – don’t worry, that’s part of the logistics ponies’ jobs.

HX DENC Density Dampener/Refractor
These are technically in the prototype phase but they’re all we have at the moment. They’re for the really nasty problems. I haven’t seen one used yet, but supposedly they can allow a machine to dissociate itself into a gas and reform someplace else.
We couldn’t get anypony who worked on them to join the team, but we did get a copy of the API. It’ll be in your inbox tomorrow morning.

Satellite Uplink
The reactor has its own satellite relay which can bounce signals anywhere in Equestria in case conventional communications go down. There’s not going to be a direct internet line out to the reactor, so I’d recommend getting this online first.

Mass Power Transmitter
[REDACTED] was also on the team which developed CELESTIA, which is currently managing the base on [REDACTED]. The MPT can transmit energy through space to power it remotely, meaning we won’t need to ship fuel there anymore (a huge plus!).

If LUNA 2.0 is a big success, it’ll be taking over for CELESTIA on [REDACTED] management. Make sure the two AIs are fully compatible in case we need to switch LUNA out if there’s a bug.

Those are the big ones. I suspect getting the fabricator will be the big sticking point. I’m a PR pony, but making an AI that can create other robots to do stuff? That’s way out of my pay grade.

If you have any questions or you need anything from the other agencies, just let me know. Your budget has been doubled for political reasons, but don’t feel like you have to use it all ;)

From: Spark [REDACTED]
Subject: Questions

I do have one big question – what’s for lunch? ;)
Srsly, everything sounds good. I got the emails this morning and I can’t wait to meet the team.

To: Spark [REDACTED]
Subject: Answers

Glad to hear it.

From: Spark [REDACTED]
Subject: Attendance

didn’t make the meeting, but I got in contact with her afterwards.

Hey, is it true that the reactor’s been picketed by activists? I don’t want to go getting a black eye from crossing a picket line.

To: Spark [REDACTED]
Subject: Protesters

Yeah, but we’ve got a back entrance. They won’t even know you’re in the building.

The reactor’s being built on an old castle site, which was the only flat spot that wasn’t covered in trees. Apparently, we picked that site because logging the place would just piss everypony off even more.

I’ll be taking your team up personally on Friday, and I’ll show you how to get in. It’s kinda spooky, but if you follow all the power cables we have running through the brickwork you’ll eventually find the hub where the construction is taking place.

From: Spark [REDACTED]
Subject: Cool

This is so cool. I feel like I’m in a spy novel or something.