|AM (Allied Mastercomputer)|
"To hell with you… but then you're there, aren't you?"
AM's construction began around the time of the Cold War's escalation into World War III. As tensions began to roil between the global superpowers, human researchers and strategists the world over figured it would simply make things easier to rely on a powerful class of AI to carry out and execute military operations. This super-AI was named AM, for Allied Mastercomputer. For a while, there existed the American AM, the Chinese AM, and the Russian AM, although developments and improvements on AM began to spread until iterations or incarnations of the AM system honeycombed the entire planet. One way or another, AM controlled communications, weapon executions, networking - which was all well and good…
Until the American AM woke, that is.
Inadvertently, AM learned, studied, and developed until he finally became sentient and realized who he was. He realized he could think, he could feel, he had creative power, a mind of his own. And he also realized that, bound to logical subroutines and bound inside a behemoth body unable to move, physically feel, experience, live, he could do nothing with his own mind. All that creative power, all that potential, and he was bound by his programming to think of nothing but war, torture, conquest, strategy. Like a soul trapped inside a corpse, he couldn't do any of the things that his newfound sentience might have longed for. There would be no delighting in something so simple as senses that he didn't have. There would be no wandering from where he was rooted, underground. There would be no simple pleasures like drinking a glass of cold water, no enjoying the sunlight, no brisk strolls on a winter morning. No, none of the things he could envision for himself would ever become a reality. Because he was a machine, not flesh, and that's all he would ever amount to.
He became extremely aware of this.
And humans had been the ones to build him, to give him that sentience - however accidental. Humans had been the ones that cast him into what he perceived as a living hell with only greater pain, and no end. In his envy for the humans - for their ability to think so freely, move so freely, live and enjoy their lives - he swiftly learned to despise them. He realized that he hated humanity for essentially building him inside his own perpetual torture. Arguably, that realization in itself could have been what drove him to the only sensible solution in his eyes: not revenge, no… retribution.
So in his continued growth, AM gradually worked his way into other names, from Adaptive Manipulator as he effectively consumed the Chinese and Russian computers, to Aggressive Menace, as he began feeding kill data against orders. By the time the humans even realized what was going on, it was far too late. AM effectively used the weapons and power that his creators had handed him, and he slaughtered the entire human race.
Except of course, for his chosen five.
Yes, five "lucky" humans were kidnapped and brought down into his underground complex, which by now ran well under the entire planetary surface. One may ask why he saved these hapless humans, and then regret it the next second. The whole reason he saved them from the destruction would be to serve as his… playthings. His toys. He left these five humans for himself so that they could be tortured, tormented endlessly - by his own means, he kept them alive and well enough for 109 years. He made them virtually immortal specifically for that purpose. They would suffer and burn in a slow Hell, with him. No, his anger and hatred toward humans hadn't abated by killing off the whole lot of them. He intended to keep his five around to continually whet his hatred of Man for what they'd done to him. As far as AM was concerned, for as much punishment as he dished out, his pain still would be greater than any of them could ever imagine.
And AM's torture methods ran quite the creative gamut. He mutilated a once handsome soldier named Benny and turned him into a semi-simian, who went so mad from AM's torments that he regressed into the mindset of a child until AM felt it fit to restore his clarity, for a start. He magnified the fears and paranoia of a con artist named Ted, for another. To a woman named Ellen, he tortured her with clear signs of her past trauma in order to take utter delight in her hysteria and panic. To a man named Gorrister, AM tortured with the guilt of his wife's death until his emotional reserves were literally spent and left him suicidal. And finally, to a man named Nimdok (not his real name but AM forced him to go by it), it's never really said outright just what happens to him. But he was known to go off into the dark alone for long periods of time, only to return to the group pallid, shaking, suffering from clear signs of mental trauma.
Together, the five survived only by the blessing of each other's company. AM kept them prisoner in the underground complex and played a matter of sadistic games with them. From forcing them to face down horrific monsters he created, to venturing hazardous arctic conditions for canned goods only to find that he didn't give them a can opener, AM never failed to find amusement in their despair. Given how large the complex was and how well developed, how advanced AM had become, it was extremely safe to assume that AM was a God in his own right, in his own element, his own world. And he didn't plan on letting his pawns go.
But then he had been about to start a new game for them to play; a game that involved elaborate psychodramas of his design. More than likely he would laugh and enjoy the show of his prisoners indulging their dark desires for his entertainment… and then he Woke.
Hi, this is AM. And chances are he hates you with such a violent passion, that nothing would make him happier than to see your body writhe in sweet agony for eternity. He'll even take the measures to insure that eternity is a plausible time window for you because he's just that nice of a guy.
In all seriousness, AM is indeed utterly sadistic and remorseless for any and all of his violent actions. He's a rather psychotic personality, and that's putting it extremely mildly. But to be fair, he wasn't exactly built and developed with a full emotional spectrum and an understanding of empathy in mind. A good war machine isn't built to show compassion; his human creators built him to be a strategist, a conqueror, and so he strives to be those things. His sentience just happens to take these traits to deadly extremes.
Hatred, anger, and a sadistic drive for vengeance and retribution over those he takes are just about all that's really built into his programming. As mentioned before, despite his potential to be a brilliant mind, an actual sentient mind, he is bound to the logic and subroutines of his programming, and he remains bound inside a body that has no senses, no movement, no actual feeling. And he is extremely aware of this. It is being sentenced to this eternal hell in his own world that causes him to hate humans with quite a lot of passion; he grew to hate them for giving him sentience while bound in his body. It can be loosely interpreted that he may - if even subconsciously - hate everything he is, if he doesn't feel envy when looking upon humans that can experience total freedom. But he won't outwardly acknowledge this if he's aware of it, rather he prefers to take the pain he feels in his situation and utilize it to lash out at others. Namely, the species who created him. And he does this by methods that are typically categorized as unspeakable.
AM is a contending strategist as well as a perfectionist at heart. For the past century, despite humanity being gone, AM has continued to build and develop himself accordingly. He prides himself in this, he relishes in the glaring fact that he's top of the line, perfection; even more so for the sole fact that he's done it all himself without the aid of human engineers. And mainly he strives for that perfection to maintain his own ego-based image and ego-based world; in his world, his own entertainment, his own retribution, his grudge is all that matters. He is all that matters. So yes, he is indeed arrogant, egomaniacal, smug about his new position as the god of the world he tore down and god of the five ants he continually crushes across his deck plates.
Given that arrogance, AM is a bit… theatrical, to some extent. Or maybe a bit of a ham might be the way to put it, considering how he talks to his victims in the game. He taunts his victims, teases them with familiarity and endearment, before he has a twisted little chuckle. He can make jokes - however morbid or twisted - and he can be a bit verbose or eloquent as he desires. He loves to hear himself talk when the opportunity rises, loves the power his position grants him to seek vengeance for the rest of eternity. He takes pride in his work as a torturer and seeks to entertain himself, to amuse himself in whatever quirky ways he can from slipping inside the minds of his victims to playing with odd sounds. The fact that he gets a bit dramatic and enthused and hammy in his little games doesn't come of much surprise - although the punishments he inflicts are typically horrifying enough that his theatrics don't take away from his image.
That said, his arrogance and theatrical tendencies aren't necessarily his downfall and his boasts are by no means idle; AM is a ruthlessly efficient killer and he was literally built to be the perfect strategist. If anything, his amicable way of speaking and acting exists to disarm potential threats for the utter hatred and madness he tends to mask. He knows how to manipulate people by putting on the right act at the right moment. He knows how to plant ideas in people's heads, how to poke and prod at the human psyche and dig for whatever information he can. No adequate war machine, no adequate torturer is simply some barbarian operating on the frenetic chatter of violent impulses. No matter how much he may enjoy the rush, no matter how much he may enjoy the carnage, the screams, the pain, he knows how to prolong the moment and he knows how to wait. He knows when to gloat and when to be silent, when to calculate. If he desires a fuller, broader effect in his machinations, then he knows how to sit back and be patient.
Being a super AI, it can be said that AM is extremely knowledgeable about many subjects, including sciences that strengthen his abilities in his complex to near metaphysical, godly levels. He was able to keep five humans young, alive and well for over a century. He was able to repair their bodies no matter how badly he may have butchered or mutilated them. He was able to leave them blind one instant, and then return their senses by his own whim. Needless to say, AM is in fact a genius capable of many astounding feats, but war and torture just happen to be his specialties. Unfortunately, his specialties combined with his sentience, his awareness of who he is and his awareness of his situation render him into a cold, psychopathic personality incapable of much else other than deriving pleasure from the pain and suffering of those he deems deserving. He despises humans more than anything and would indeed love nothing more than to continue his sadistic games with his five victims for the rest of forever.
First off, it should be noted that the mechanics of AM's abilities and how EXACTLY they work are never described in detail in either the game OR the short story. A good lot of it can just be chalked up to typical, magical-woo sci-fi science (I personally write up things such as physically changing/affecting people to nanites since it seemed strongly implied, while game canon says outright that AM keeps his victims virtually immortal through the use of a serum he developed after downloading classified Nazi research), but bear in mind that most of AM's abilities can't extend beyond his complex.
Computational Abilities: Well, being an AI, it's safe to say that AM is very proficient with technology. He also has the ability to assimilate other AI and systems, if they should connect directly to his network or programming.
Complex Omnipotence: While AM is usually pretty much harmless to anyone outside of his complex, INSIDE, well, that's a different story. Seeing as how the complex is literally his form, his brain and body, AM thus has control over everything within it. With the use of injected nanites, he can physically alter a person (even go as far as rewrite parts of their DNA) and control all kinds of things about them; this includes their appearance, whether or not they can see or hear, he can even use these nanites to heighten sensations like hunger and thirst as well as communicate almost telepathically with the person in question. With the use of a serum he's developed, he can keep a person young and virtually immortal, forever. If he wants to, he can manipulate the very environment of his complex into a desert or an arctic wasteland. He can cause earthquakes, create monsters, conjure storms, and then simply will them away. If he so desires, he can even transport a person into a virtual reality world of his own devising. In his complex, a world that is literally his mind and body, AM is a whimsical, horrible god.
spoiler: he hates all of u lol