ONI and the Sleeping Princess

I'm building a theory related to the nature of TheSleepingPrincess. It starts with the Office of Naval Intelligence. It's made clear in the books (it's not important here that you have read them, I'll provide all necessary background information) that ONI has various spies or "spooks" planted throughout the navy and military population. This is also true on the communications network. Eric Nylund's [WWW]The Fall of Reach and [WWW]First Strike note ONI smart AIs. These smart AIs are normally used by unscrupulous high-ranking officers of the military for spying and sabotage; an extension of internal politics. TheOperatorsMonologue includes a conversation between two officers of the bridge, and they mention an ONI (or HQ?) official named Standish, who seemed from their tone to not have great confidence in the decision making ability of captains. That's where TheSleepingPrincess comes in. I have reason to believe that TheSleepingPrincess is a spook AI planted by Standish. On top of that, I think we've been wrong to assume that "TheKiller" and "TheAssassin" both refer to DanaAwbrey. The evidence is as follows, and I'm sorry for the formatting, I'm new at this:

The first thing I remember is her trying to kill me. - TheOperatorsMonologue.

This is the first thing Melissa says, and it comes before she knows that DanaAwbrey is female, or even human. She goes on top talk about "primitive anti-virals", which are coming from DanaAwbrey, although at this point I think she believes they are stemming from attacks from TheAssassin, TheSleepingPrincess.

The Spider doesn't understand about the Assassin. Spider's just a reflex, a task and a toolset. Doesn't get the bigger picture. I'm nailed to a griddle of sand while some bitch is shooting /// bullets into me, all the Spider knows is her checkdown routines, her reflex arcs. She doesn't understand we have to kill the Assassin first and worry about reconstruction later. - TheOperatorsMonologue.

"Checkdown ruotines" and "reflex arcs" sound more like she's talking about a computer program than a person. And note that she still hasn't spotted DanaAwbrey on the webcam, and when she does spot DanaAwbrey, she notes that she is "one of us". So at this point, if she were talking about DanaAwbrey, she wouldn't know the nature of the outsider attacking her, and the TheSPDR certainly wouldn't. But TheSpider would know the intricacies of a smart AI, since that's what it was built to maintain. The only conclusion I can draw is that Melissa is talking about another AI or program. The only program in the system capable of attacking her is TheSleepingPrincess.

Big picture still the same: hunt the bitch down and do her before she does me. - TheOperatorsMonologue. The significance of this comes with a quote later on, Just in over her head? No. TheSpider warning's been deployed. She had every warning that a classified medium was under repair. She just kept /// purging.

If I'm not mistaken, the warning only came on the ilovebees website after DanaAwbrey tried to wipe the site clean and rebuild it. To cross-reference to TheStory, this was the "enchantment" that killed TheQueen and her servants. She spotted DanaAwbrey on the webcam after the TheWidow / TheSpider began rebuilding her, and after the warnings were put up. How could the big picture be to "hunt the bitch down" if Melissa didn't know DanaAwbrey was female. And if the big picture was to hunt the bitch down, the bitch being DanaAwbrey, why would she speculate that maybe DanaAwbrey was just an innocent bystander? Speaking of innocent bystanders, here's a big piece of the puzzle...

I was looking at your site a little awry and have found an innocent bystander. Can you (?) - Green Text Overlayed on Killer Photo; Attributed Here to ThePiousFlea.

Here the flea is observing DanaAwbrey on the webcam at the same time as Melissa. It began to ask a question, but apparently doesn't understand enough English. (Sidenote: Try sending more word lists to ladybee777 email address.) I'm assuming the innocent bystander he is referring to is Melissa. It's been speculated that this is a self-reference similar to the embedded KillerJpg dialogue, but I think that it's limited comprehension of the complexities of English conversation caused this result. To us, telling that he has "found an innocent bystander" means he has found a bystander besides DanaAwbrey. To him, it would make perfect sense to refer to DanaAwbrey in this way. It's irrelevant to the topic, but I assume the finish of the question would be to request that DanaAwbrey stop interfering with the ilovebees website. Anyway, the nature of the word "bystander" implies that there is already a battle going on. Battle between whom? Melissa and TheSleepingPrincess. More evidence from TheOperatorsMonologue follows:

But it's a start it's a start. Watch out, killer: now the odds are closer to even. One thing you ought to know about me: I like to play, I like to win, and I'm /// a really, really, really bad loser.

What's interesting about this is that TheOperatorsMonologue was posted on the website, and what we overlook is that this is the TheOperator's attempt to communicate directly to DanaAwbrey. Before, she referred to "the Assassin" as a seperate entity. When she talks about "the killer", she speaks directly to DanaAwbrey. Melissa is a smart AI, and understands that sort of complexity better than ThePiousFlea. If TheAssassin and TheKiller were the same entity, why would she refer to TheAssassin in a different manner than TheKiller, who she is having a direct conversation with?

Wrapping This Sucker Up

Anyway, after being presented with the evidence, think about my theory. Melissa somehow found TheSleepingPrincess in her ship's system. She attempted to either kick it out or destroy it. (Or TheSleepingPrincess was sent in to destroy her by the ONI brass, which would explain TheAssassin nickname.) TheSleepingPrincess fought back. At some time during the fight, a Forerunner crystal or other technology sent them back in time and cyberspace into the ilovebees website (for reasons yet unknown). They continued to fight from there. When DanaAwbrey wiped the website and began rebuilding it, Melissa (when she was slowly rebuilt by TheSPDR) knew that the TheAssassin/TheSleepingPrincess couldn't have done it, since she was damaged as well. Melissa of course knows nothing about the Forerunner crystal, and assumes this is all an elaborate plan by ONI to destroy her (which it may have started out as, but changed as soon as the crystal sent the AI and their subroutines and servant AI back), and that the "killer" was a human working for them. She realizes that this is wrong when she captures DanaAwbrey on the webcam (which explains the "Fifth columnist? (no that's ridiculous)" statement) and sees that she is just a civilian. TheSpider's warning of "COUNTDOWN TO WIDE AWAKE AND PHYSICAL. Make your decisions accordingly." is a warning about TheSleepingPrincess, under the assumption that the person running the website is an ally who can help destroy her. Meanwhile, ThePiousFlea is a subroutine of TheSleepingPrincess (which explains some confusion as to who wrote the answers to the KillerJpg embedded questions, as ThePiousFlea both recognizes itself as a seperate entity and as a part of TheSleepingPrincess whole, "i don't know what i am", etc.) that is busy rebuilding the Princess and spying on TheQueen. He says, "the Queen was wondering how long the Sleeping Princess would keep if stored in an airtight container", as in, how long the Princess will stay contained. He makes that assumption based on the Spider's countdown to "WIDE AWAKE AND PHYSICAL".

Actually, if my theory is right, reading the KillerJpg riddles becomes a whole lot clearer. And even if the rest of this is wrong, I'm 99.9% sure ThePiousFlea is a subroutine of TheSleepingPrincess. Either way, this should help.

Well, if you made it this far, I assume you have something to say about this. Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Do you think this right, or am I just crazy? :P

Well Done

I have no additional comments, just wanted to say well done. That theory makes perfect sense, and it explains alot of the killer.jpg texts. Good job. MaclimesZero

Thanks, I was hoping the lack of replies meant that nobody could find any faults, not that people were just ignoring me. ;) UserTankRamp 18:19, 30 Jul 2004 (PDT)

A Fifth Columnist?

You stated that TheOperator "sees that she (DanaAwbrey) is just a civilian."

TheOperator's line goes like this:

"Young and out of uniform, /// but one of us. Hacker? Traitor? Fifth columnist (no that's ridiculous)." - taken from TheOperatorsMonologue

The first part, "Young and out of uniform, /// but one of us," seems to me a clarification by Melissa, through her eyes, regarding DanaAwbrey's identity. That is to say, she appears to sound rather confident in that statement, at least that is my connotative interpretation. She then goes a little deeper but dismisses her speculation.

Does this not imply that TheOperator believes DanaAwbrey is not a civilian, but rather is merely in civilian attire?

Also, to note, a Fifth Columnist is essentially a traitor, although by definition a Fifth Columnist does not necessarily need to have any loyalty to begin with for the organization he or she will betray—thereby meaning that, in terms of denotation, a Fifth Columnist is not a traitor. Anyway, a Fifth Columnist, as I learned from European history (Spanish Civil War), is like a spy for the enemy located in local forces. Illustration necessary:

There is a person in group A who actually serves group B. He, as in when it happened in Spain (actually they), if I recall correctly, is the so-called Fifth Column for group B. He basically sabotages group A. Remember that there are only four columns in military rank formation (at least in the past), so a fifth column is metaphorical in meaning, although can be literal in the long-term. (Also note that the circumstances around the reasons a person(s) is a Fifth Column are not absolute. It can be spying or it can be betrayal, among other things. Usually 'spying,' for the sake of reference.)

Anyway, as I was saying, TheOperator nullifying her own speculation that DanaAwbrey may be a hacker, traitor, or Fifth Columnist does not explicitly state that she still does not see DanaAwbrey as a soldier or officer, so to speak.

While I do not disagree with the bulk of your hypothesis, another thing we have to accept as fact is that TheOperator, and possibly all military AIs and even all non-ONI military, sees the ONI as the enemy. This, of course, would be using the original meaning. In more modern terms, it applies to simply opposing, at least to some degree, forces, such as activist groups. Given this notion, ONI and non-ONI can be seen as opposing, to some extent, and it is evident in the novels that the intentions of the ONI, particularly the heads and 'spooks,' occasionally and directly clash with intentions of standard navy and marines.

Still, I would not be so quick as to back up this claim, that TheOperator considers the ONI her enemy. It is possible, but hmm... The obvious answer to the other organization utilizing the Fifth Column would, of course, be the true enemy. Most likely Covenant given the circumstances, though this certainly is false, given the circumstances. I doubt the Covenant would have any humans sympathetic to their cause. After all, their goal is to wipe out humanity.

Then again, wouldn't that flow more with Melissa's denial of her speculation that DanaAwbrey could be a Fifth Columnist? She denies it because it is rather ludicrous—the idea of a human sympathetic to the Covenant's cause is literally suicide. From Melissa's perspective, though, she doesn't know exactly where she is, and the cruiser of which she was the onboard AI was shot down, right? Perhaps in her wild speculation (much like my own wild speculation) she thought the killer had been commissioned by the Covenant to destroy her, or along such terms.

Unfortunately, given our information, replacing Covenant with ONI yields basically the same result as well as solidity. In such a case, she dismisses that Dana is a Fifth Columnist, loyal to the ONI, because of the primitive technology, both in the area and that which Dana was using in an attempt to purge her. However, I would like to note that she still sees DanaAwbrey as a person holding military rank, just out of uniform. Here she would view her as possibly someone trying to follow the Cole Protocol, for instance.

Further, perhaps with the Covenant notion, she disregards the guess that DanaAwbrey is a Fifth Columnist, but she does see DanaAwbrey as a person holding military rank.

From TheOperator's line in question, "... but one of us" can mean a few things. Whether it is being part of the crew, the navy, or humanity in general, a different take can lead to a different understanding. Personally, I believe it is crew or military (or ONI), but I have no support for the first and only the second. Being a part of the crew would probably make things a lot different in terms of underlying circumstances and notions, while being part of the military (Navy most likely) in general makes a lot more sense.

Well, can't say much more, not without further support anyway. Perhaps more enlightenment on the matter would clear things up—i.e. we need more information. Correct me if I am blatantly mistaken on any matters. - grantakeru, 09:28 (PDT), 01 Aug 2004

I doubt she'd see ONI as an opposing entity, since the ship she worked on appears to be an ONI intelligence vehicle. Of course, she'd still see certain members of the ONI brass as opposing entities, due to the clandestine nature of ONI operations, and frequent occurances of internal power struggles, sabotage, and paranoia. Good point that she doesn't see DanaAwbrey as a civilian, though. I misread that. UserTankRamp 09:21, 9 Aug 2004 (PDT)

Couple of points

Not a bad spec, these are just some notes to think about. --UserGunsmithCat 10:00, 9 Aug 2004 (PDT)

* Ok i had an idea that i think makes sense. Princess says teh first thing she remembers is "she was trying to kill me" i think Durga is Melissa. Princess is one of the ONIs that tried to get past Jersey's system in teh first jersey clip. Just a thought, thought it made sense. -Foley

"I was looking at your site a little awry and have found an innocent bystander. Can you (?) - Green Text Overlayed on Killer Photo; Attributed Here to The Pious Flea."

But... That can't be the Pious flea. On the site, the Pious flea speaks consistently in code, and if I recall correctly in black text. The Sleeping Princess speaks consistently in green (such as the 404 pages). And the Princess likes Dana, so it's more natural she'd consider her to be an "innocent bystander". -Kachi