Unoperated Navis

This is Donald Murdoc, freelance reporter, bringing you a few articles I've recently collected offering contrasting opinions on the options available to navis that find themselves without operators. A long-existing, but under-the-radar problem: What happens to navis who are abandoned? It's an easy enough matter for the operator to replace their navi, but when the opposite occurs, navis have no real guidance in the matter. The articles presented below offer opinions by retired Netpolice officer Cranium and a well-known (if slightly sensationalist) journalist, Gurta Wurm.


Source: Cranium's homepage, which is largely devoted to the discussion of navis without operators:

Quote ()

Operator's neglect is what leads many navis to the poor state of becoming unoperated; there's not much that can be done to change that. Many people think that as soon as you get rid of the PET, your navi goes with it. This is often not the case, as the net is a vast storage space beyond your personal terminal. The navi is often left abandoned on the net, not knowing what options they have available to them. I'd like all of you navis to take a moment to think of what you ought to do if this hypothetical situation becomes your own.

There was a time where some netpolice officers had the unfortunate misconception that all navis without operators were labeled "Rogue." This is not the case. A Rogue navi is a navi with no operator, yes, but a navi only achieves the status of "Rogue" after performing a crime, which is kept on our record. It should also be noted that aiding a Rogue navi is another indicator of Rogue status, so on-the-fly judgments may be made accordingly. Still, becoming a Rogue should never be considered as an option for any navi without an operator.

An important fact to remember is that without your operator and his personal terminal, your lifeline is cut. You can't receive aid in battle, and more importantly, you can't reassemble your data after deletion like most navis can without the aid of special technology. In short, you're on your own, and with virus attacks as they are, I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

The right option is to seek out a navi shelter. These "navi shelters" are not organized by the government, but are run as public homepages. The homepages are protected by other navis; you'll find safety in numbers. I'd ask that you consider advertising yourself for adoption by a new operator. Many operators are unsure of how to design a new navi and would be more than willing to adopt you and give you a new terminal to connect to.

Most importantly: the mafia is not your friend in this. If you are approached by a mafia recruiter, do not be swayed by anything he tells you. Joining the mafia is not your only option. Hell, it's not even an option. The mafia will use you to their own ends. To their recruiters, you're just profit. Furthermore, if they have to dump you to make their exit after being cornered by a netpolice operative, they'll be more than willing to do it. You're an acceptable loss and there's a million more of you out there, the way they see it.

The easiest way to avoid this topic, which is uncomfortable for everyone, is to make educated decisions regarding your own navi. Taking care of a navi is a commitment and hell, we're practically human. Dumping a navi isn't like dumping out an appliance that you no longer use. We'll all benefit if you guys take some time to talk it out, navi to operator.



Source: Gurta Wurm's weekly newsletter, "The Worm."

Quote ()

Now, I don't support the mafia by any means, but I think it's high time we paused to consider the sort of motives that might lead an unoperated navi to join up with a net mafia recruiter. We're all quick to point the finger when we imagine some hulking, ogre-like navi bribing these lost souls into a life of crime, but really, are there any alternatives worth considering for them? We know that the netpolice offers no sponsorship to any kind of shelters for these navis. The few organizations that do spring up for them are really nothing more than pounds for navis. They offer a slim chance of adoption for the navis they house. Beyond that, the navis have nothing. They are deprived of their chance to virus bust or netbattle, due to their lack of an operated PET.

Can we really condemn them for choosing an organization that allows them those advantages again, with the additional promise of monetary rewards? The mafia offers these navis opportunities for advancement! The net police offers them at best nothing and at worst deletion. If we consider the net mafia and net police two heads of a single coin, can we not see why navis are drawn by the sweeter deal?

Next time you condemn a navi for his decision to join the mafia, perhaps you should instead direct an accusing finger at the police organization that fails to support them.

-Gurta Wurm
Wow... this really put things into perspective for me. My navi's technically my mentor and my best friend but this kinda makes me look like a parent or a room mate. I kinda wanna request a bit more information on the mechanics of deletion. As in where would you actually go for reconstitution. I kinda read this article on Netbattler Monthly a couple of years ago about that one group of "Rogue" navis... my memory's kinda fuzzy, unfortunately. I wondered what they wanted though... hmmm... anywho back to the discussion at hand. I kinda also want to look into the adoption of navis. If we have navi shelters, there has to logically be a way to reconstitute that all-important "lifeline" Cudos Don for this information! I must also agree with Miss Wurm. The idea of a black and white moralities clearly cannot exist in the real world. In those Dimensionman comics I so adore, we all knew Dimensionman was the... well... man! Here in Electopia, it's much more difficult.

Whenever I go for my rounds, it's really easy to misdiagnose people just because of how rude a person is, but you can't. All life is precious in the hospital, and I'd have to extend that rule out to life in general.

- Polonius Carbonium
Here's a fun fact most Navis are blissfully ignorant of (see above): this will happen to everyone, no exceptions. We don't have natural lifespans, and unless you get yourself deleted somehow, you will see your Operator die, be it by aging, illness, or something a bit more violent. It's happened to me more than once, so let me impart a little wisdom to you all:

Plan ahead. Most humans know when they're on their deathbeds, so by the time that comes, you as a Navi should know where you're going. Some choose to die along with their Operators. Some get inherited by family members. Some decide to make something of themselves and join the NetPolice or NetMafia. Whatever the result, all these Navis have contingency plans.

If something unexpected happens, though, and you lose your Operator unexpectedly, those contingencies might not work out. At this point, most Navis will curl up in a ball and wait for someone to rescue them. Pathetic! You're just asking to be preyed on if you do that. The situation sucks and you don't want to think about it, yeah, but get up and do something about it. There are a lot of scumbags out there, but the average Operator will be willing to at least transfer you over to a shelter if they find you stranded, if not adopt you themselves.

So there you have it. Rules to live by for an unoperated Navi, by an unoperated Navi.


Former unoperated Navi.

-Mill Alidine

Doesn't that only prove my point?
Useful input towards the discussion, thank you both. I guess this is all the more reason we should follow former NP Officer Cranium's original advice and discuss our navi's futures with them ahead of time.

Just like our own world, the navi world is filled with more people and events than we can keep track of. While we have death to think about, our navis do not. This is both a blessing and a curse to them, as its obvious advantages are counteracted by an uncertainty in regard to their operator's mortality. Anyis asks us all to brooch a topic that nobody wants to think about and I'd agree that it's better to do it earlier than later.

Further discussion on unoperated navis is welcome.
I hate to bring up the more glossed over point, but doesn't the whole "abandoned navi" thing put us on the same level as viruses? I understand that criminals should be punished, but to go out like that?

Couldn't the net police hire some of these homeless navis? I mean, you've gotta have the potential for a rather large backup network or something. why can't you have a 'citizen navi force' where(while not with operators and still under the 'adoption' status) they can at least support the city and have the potential for re-compiling?

I mean, the main reason they join the mafia is because they get desperate, and while it's not very cost effective, it helps make things easier, more navis that have 'homes' mean less navis that are mafia...

Sounds like there's a bit of politics underlying the citizen task force. Granted you'd need people to be there all the time... that would probably cost some money... still, one has to wonder for the reasons of joining the Mafia. Desperation may be a common reason one would say but I guess the only way to know for sure is to be an "abandoned navi.", right?

- Polonius
The idea of a "civilian navi force" that would go unoperated and help the police sounds appealing, but then you have to remember the fact that unoperated means unprotected. An unoperated force would not have the same potential to reconfigure themselves if deleted and the netpolice could never support such reckless behavior as putting oneself in harm's way with no insurance against deletion.

As to why there is no attempt to house or protect them by the netpolice, while the netpolice does support the shelters by opinion, I doubt they'd have the manpower to provide them protection. At worst, supporting the shelters with defenses like that could create a public opinion that they were being sought as draft opportunities or could even draw mafia attention to them. The last thing that the police want to do is to get the abandoned navis drawn into the mafia war, which we all know has been escalating with the recent event of the Great Net War. It's a lot safer for them for now if we don't bring the police into a defensive role there.

Then again, all of that's just my opinion and I may be biased with a lean towards the netpolice due to my navi's status. Currently, while they may be a target for mafia recruitment, at least we haven't seen any mafia terrorism directed towards them. If the NP use them as drafting facilities, I have no doubt that we'd see mafia opinion shift to an increasingly unfavorable view of the shelters. By that, I mean that the mafia would see them as a threat rather than just as a nuisance.

You're right, Polonius; we can't treat all abandoned navis like they're the same case. Besides the reasons for their abandonment and their states of preparation, we must also consider that they each have their own personal motivations. Some mafia recruitment might just be unpreventable. It's important to remember that not all abandoned navis will feel any sort of influence by what we (or I) would consider civic duty.
I wasn't aware that unoperated Navis were a common occurrence on the Net. It's a weird idea, for a creation of SciLabs or whoever to be just ditched like that. It's like building a machine, then, years later, leaving the machine to go off and do its own thing.

I'm not good with words... but this subject is, um, interesting to me.

~Guy Tholmes