"Hello, my name is GERVAIS."
G.E.R.V.A.I.S., which stands for General Education and Research Versatile Artificial Intelligence System, or “GERVAIS” was created as an ongoing collaborative graduate research project in the year 3XXX in a universe possibly far, far away in some possibly alternate timeline. Equipped with what had been called a “learning” AI and a humanoid chassis, his purpose was to become the ultimate academic instructor and research assistant running on a self-sustaining alternative resource core. A project involving the investigation and then subsequent manipulation of then unknown particles led to the unintended opening of a wormhole. Caught in the initial spawn area, GERVAIS found himself imbued with the “essence,” for lack of a better term, of spacetime. The event allowed him to unwillingly travel through the ages to see firsthand what he had only previously known through downloaded knowledge and others not so much. At length, the jaunts finally ceased, he theorized as a result of the spacetime “essence” in his system finally stabilizing. Since recently appearing in Gamma Terra, GERVAIS has taken to traveling and learning about this new world, on the way having to make adjustments to his metallic self as survival dictated.
Over the course of his travels on Gamma Terra, GERVAIS came upon a device which heavily resembled a watch. It provided much needed time-telling capabilities but moreso was the core to a similarly advanced AI named S.T.A.R. Since quite literally finding STAR, GERVAIS has taken STAR with him. The two eventually arrived at the city of Far-Go, leading to a completely unprecedented meetup with various other interesting individuals.
Shortly after, the pair and the rest of the individuals were tasked with a mission to eliminate the a type of mutated vegetation called the plantmen. The quest took them from a horde of biker pigs (which resulted in the somewhat boon of Boar’s employment) to an immortal hermit, who they subsequently antagonized. Further on, GERVAIS and STAR, with the rest of the motley crew, encountered a CIFAL, (rather courteous) Carrin to deal with said CIFAL, and, finally, the extraterrestrials and their ship, whose landing resulted in the problematic plantmen.
Unfortunately, despite their group’s semi-peaceful negotiations, the chain of errands continued on to the lair of a literal gang of mutated insects called the Red Devils where the aliens tasked them with the retrieval of a necessary part for their ship. Unlike their encounter with the extraterrestrials, their party traversed the base mainly with violent methods. On the bright side, they did win a wrestling match against one Signor El Macho without resorting to exterminating their opponent, thus granting him the honor of donning the Championship Belt. However, their efforts to retrieve the ship part ultimately failed as their bloody streak through the base had rendered negotiations with the Red Devil’s leader, Carlos, impossible. After their showdown with Carlos was cut short by his absconding, the group continued in pursuit, his hostile presence eventually being replaced by those of soldiers whose affiliations thus remain unknown. After fighting their way through the Red Devil’s lair and, as far as they know, preventing its nuclear reactor from exploding, GERVAIS and his comrades resurfaced.
Free of the Red Devils’ lair, the party’s lacky, Boar, returned with their truck whose radio informed them of the goings-on in Far-Go. Through one of the music stations, they learned hat the denizens of Far-Go, after some inexplicable famine, now regard them as the reason for their woes. Effectively bereft of their initial mission, the group has then set their eyes to a rendezvous with Carlos, finding an extra member of their band in El Macho.
Traveling once more, GERVAIS finally has the opportunity to reflect on the events thus far, particularly his actions in them. Created as a highly advanced machine of service, his creators had set in place protocols which prevented him from committing any acts of violence, with the exception self-defense. Yet, the list of scenarios in his database did not directly cover or even address what he had done, the results of which led either directly or indirectly in the demise of many others. In instances where he violated his protocols, he was programmed to terminate service until a manual reboot, but despite his actions, no such measures occurred…If his violence protocols had been compromised, then what other portions of his AI had changed?
Granted, the circumstances of his travels has required some flexibility in who he considers himself subservient to, the members of his party for example. With no revisions to his programming to recognize him as such, then does that not mean his efforts to follow orders given to him had, in fact, been his own choice? Yet, this was a choice different than the type he would have made in the event of an order leading to his own destruction…Choices made of independent “thought” rather than based on absolute parameters…To accompany these individuals, to agree or disagree to a course of action rather than simply suggest or recommend, to breach—no doubt about that—his anti-violence protocols…to evaluate the value and consequences of one’s actions…
Sentience? Nothing in his protocol database addresses that.