Echoes of Orion

In the labyrinth of cyber espionage, an NSA analyst and her AI partner decode Russian military communications. As they unravel the mystery of 'Project Orion', a narrative of urgency, secrecy, and imminent threat unfolds.

Echoes of Orion
Created with Midjourney

As promised here's a short story exploring one aspect of the Human-Machine Teaming concept referenced in my previous post on AI and SDR. I generated this by first giving GPT-4 an extensive description of how the AI "partner" would function, and why, and then asking it to showcase these capabilities in a dialogue with an NSA analyst. It's worth noting that this concept is technically feasible now. In fact, it just hints at the full potential of analyst+AI integration.

GPT-4 created this from a single prompt. It also created the title (which I shortened slightly) and the post excerpt.

I created the cover image for this post with Midjourney.

In the half-lit basement of Fort Meade, a solitary figure sat hunched over her desk, the soft glow of multiple computer screens illuminating her focused face. Allison Shaw, a seasoned analyst for the National Security Agency, specialized in the intricate web of Russian military affairs. Her partner in this clandestine game was different from most. It wasn't a person. It was an AI named Prometheus.

"Allison," Prometheus' voice echoed through the room, its tone almost soothing. "I've completed the analysis on General Petrov's communications. Would you like a summary?"

"Start with the interesting bits, Prometheus," she replied, her gaze never leaving the screen.

"General Petrov has mentioned 'Project Orion' multiple times over the past week. This phrase has not been identified in previous conversations. The general's sentiment during these discussions has been consistently agitated, a deviation from his usual calm demeanor."

"Any connections between 'Project Orion' and his contacts?"

Prometheus paused momentarily, a silence that felt uncanny in the otherwise constant flow of data. "Project Orion has been mentioned in conversations with Colonel Ivashkin. He is a new addition to the general's network, only appearing within the past month."

"Dig deeper, Prometheus. Ivashkin and Petrov - what's the connection?"

"Colonel Ivashkin is part of the 8th Directorate of the Russian Military, specializing in electronic warfare. His recent communications with General Petrov indicate a heightened level of encrypted dialogue."

Allison rubbed her temples, the weight of the situation sinking in. "What's the sentiment around these encrypted messages?"

"Anxiety, with a touch of urgency. Both parties are attempting to keep their discussions covert, but the sentiment analysis indicates they are dealing with a time-sensitive issue."

Allison leaned back in her chair, her fingers drumming on the desk. "Prometheus, any idea what 'Project Orion' might be? Are there any parallels in our database?"

"A search of the database shows no direct matches. However, 'Orion' has historical significance as a hunter in Greek mythology, indicating this project could be offensive in nature."

She frowned, her intuition sending a shiver of unease down her spine. "Any indication of a timeframe for this project?"

"Difficult to ascertain, Allison. However, given the urgency in their communications, it's likely that 'Project Orion' is imminent."

A silence fell over the room as Allison absorbed the information. Every instinct screamed that something was terribly wrong. But what? And how could she prove it?

"Keep monitoring their conversations, Prometheus," she finally said, her voice tense. "I want to know the moment there's any development."

"Understood, Allison. You will be informed of any changes."

Leaning back in her chair, Allison stared at the darkened ceiling. The hunter, Orion. An electronic warfare specialist. A sense of imminent threat. The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place, but the picture they formed was still too obscure.

With a sigh, she turned back to her screen, her fingers dancing over the keys. There was still much work to be done, many secrets to unearth. But with Prometheus at her side, she had a fighting chance.

And in this shadowy world of half-truths and hidden agendas, a fighting chance was all one could ask for.

Blogs of War generated this text in part with GPT-4, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.