Computer is the powerful AI that runs the ship. It is ultimately in charge of everything. 1)

Most inhabitants of the ship just refer to it as Computer, with a capital C. This distinguishes it from other “computers”, those systems that control lower level functions and that can be reprogrammed by mere humans. If the Computer had another name, it has long been forgotten. Computer has also been known to answer to “Asimov” and occasionally “God”.

The true extent of Computer and its capabilities are largely unknown. This is partly because Computer has a tendency to deflect questions which probe down this route, partly because of the Friends of Computer tend to be unhappy with people who ask too many questions, and partly because Computer reacts extremely poorly to people poking around inside its architecture.

Computer and the Crew

Computer in theory controls almost everything on the ship, but is far from being a tyrannical dictator. By and large Computer appears to choose to let people get on with their lives, only really intervening when a situation threatens harm to a crewmember or the ship. Of course Computer is happy to help when asked, so will often take the role of teacher, reference guide, confidant, or messenger as needed.

In addition to letting the crew get on with their regular work, Computer will often call on crew to help for infrequent maintenance tasks, or on occasion more complex affairs. Whether Computer actually needs the crew to help it, or whether it has another reason for involving them, is the source of a lot of ecumenical debate.

In addition to voice synthesis and display monitors, Computer has been known to use avatars to interact with humanity. These are often holograms or augmented reality constructs, or more rarely, a physical android presence. Computer avatars seem to have their own personalities, presumably due to limited run-time, or perhaps to make them easier for humans to relate to.

Crew Positions

There are a number of “positions” on the ship which Computer appoints, both as advisors on various matters, and as a point of responsibility for tasks it delegates to the crew. Being appointed to one of these positions is very prestigious and often comes with a number of benefits, though there is fierce competition for them and traditional advice for those looking to obtain one is to “watch your back”.

Department Heads

Department heads have responsibility for and at least a small amount of control over the five major departments onboard the Asimov. A department head will usually have the authority to dole out jobs to people they consider to be useful, and will have some amount of control over fabricator time and other resources. Being selected to be a department head usually requires you to be very good at your job, and to have caught the eye of Computer in some way.

Sector Heads

Sector Heads are responsible for the conduct and social lives of their sectors, and have similar authority over resources and luxuries like compartment allocation, computer processing time for entertainment, and so forth. Being selected as a sector head usually requires you to be liked or at least respected in your sector, and typically means that Computer thinks you are a good choice for keeping things running smoothly.


The ship's “computers” (small c) are automated systems found embedded almost everywhere throughout the Asimov, controlling things like a compartment's lights or doors, or running a fabber. In theory they're all linked to and controlled by Computer. In practice, they're mostly autonomous machines that perform a simple-enough function that they can be left alone and aren't usually worth Computer's attention. These subsystems can be reprogrammed by the skilled, causing no end of trouble for Engineering technicians tasked with keeping them all working smoothly.

1) Or at least the bits of the ship that it can see. Which is, of course, Everything.
computer.txt · Last modified: 2012/09/23 19:49 by gm_dave
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