After a politically destabilizing incident that could lead to a regional war, a sentient android from a foreign government has offered to help the navy track down a space pirate turned fanatical warlord.
A simplistic political sketch of the three "sides" (from the POV of the Navy characters):
- The Navy is the gung-ho American-style "humans first" military. More heart than brains, more firepower than diplomatic nuance, but guys and gals you'd want to have a beer with. They have varied (sometimes conflicted) feelings about Sentient AI. They aren't luddites (there's a regular AI on board for navigation) but building an AI to have it's own opinions and motivations is a little "creepy" and "dangerous". How could you ever trust it?
- The Sentient Android is a "Ninotchka" a dry-humor cold war frenemy. She's from a union of star systems governed by AI. Under rigid management, they are approaching post-scarcity but they converted all habitable planets to farm-only clean worlds and moved humans to climate controlled space habitats. From the Navy's POV, she represents an ideology where humans have surrendered to machines in exchange for safety and comfort. These sentient AI are their next-generation. Her abilities are unknown.
- The Pirate has exposed weaknesses in the local proxy government which is collapsing. In the ensuing power vacuum he has elevated his Robin Hood status to a potential warlord who can fight back against space colonialism. His reputation is rapidly changing from intergalactic criminal to freedom fighter. Navy brass is looking for a surgical solution, not an escalation of conflict.
I've added this extra background so you understand the tone I'm aiming for. Think: Tom Clancy-esque Cold War era cat-and-mouse thriller, but the co-operating Soviet agent is a robot.
- The android has a refrigerator-sized external data storage unit which she physically links to while "deep calculating", but otherwise has no special power requirements.
- She has offered to help track and predict the movements of the pirate as a civilian consultant. She has no command role and is not officially representing her government.
- This would involve sharing information during strategy meetings and her presence on the bridge during encounters with the pirate.
- She has agreed not to access ship's communications or any sensitive data, but her ability to hack the ship's systems, her photographic memory, and her ability to extrapolate probabilities from small observations make her the perfect spy.
What precautions would a space navy crew take when co-operating with an enemy android? My question is both officially as a matter of protocol, and unofficially out of precaution that the crew might improvise. Suggestions don't need to be overly technical. I'm more interested in an espionage spirit, and how a military command would deal with a co-operative foreign agent with unknown abilities.