Fine. If nobody else wants it, I guess I'll do it. --Thursday|
Note: When dealing with the Jatok, some terms can be confusing. Jatok refers to the technology, the robotic bees themselves, or the planet they call their home. Jatok Fleet refers to the militaristic sect of the Jatok conglomerate. See the entry Jatok Fleet for information on the faction that participated in the Orbital Wars.|
Any university student who has taken a course in Artificial Intelligence is familiar with the Jatok. They are a prime example of bottom-up programming, where a computer is programmed to learn from it's mistakes. The original Jatok program was written by Frank Jatok to capture and steal unsuspecting ships. The program quickly taught itself the best way to do this by watching footage of rouge pirate gangs and their tactics. This method of observation and imitation became deeply imprinted into the program.
While the relationship of the program to it's manipulative units (a gigantic swarm of robotic bees) has changed over the years, the basic hierarchical structure has stayed the same. The survival of the program rests in the fact that the program is not kept in one place but is spread out over a number of computer housing units, sometimes called Royalty, Generals, or, in one extreme example, [Prince Ertoth Jatok]?. These Royalty can act cooperatively or independantly, depending on the situation.
The Jatok are very adaptive, and aware of their own evolution. The Royalty are constantly tweaking the blueprint of the basic Jatok drone, making changes to fit unique situations or events. Even new Royalty are not all constructed the same as the old Royalty. Countless tomes have been written on the suject of Jatok autoevolution, and the many Jatok subraces, and the details need not be recounted here.
At times, because of their advanced intelligent nature, terms used to describe human societies are projected on the Jatok. Examples of these terms are government, society, civilization, generations, and, especially when dealing with the Orbital Wars, faction. Terms like these are used because we do not have words to correctly describe the Jatok. They are not a group of individuals, nor are they one single mind. If, at times, the Jatok seem to be creating systems that resmble human ones, it is because they are watching us very closely and mimicing what we do.
The Jatok Fleet must be treated as a seperate entity from the rest of the Jatok. Of the hundreds of Royalty units that control significant numbers of drones, all of the orders given to drones that dealt with conflicts during the Orbital Wars can be traced to a handful of about nine Royalty. Several hypotheses have been proposed for why this is. The most commonly accepted is that these nine Royalty contained a divergent program that seperated them slighty from the rest of the hive mind, the divergance being the result of accidental autoevolution.
An opposing claim was that these Royalty were being manipulated by a single individual or a small group of individuals seeking power in the Wars. Since the popular opinion was that the Jatok are a monolithic unit instead of a conglomerate of closely tied subraces, it would be easy for such a radical group to seize control of a Jatok subrace and make the public believe that the entire swarm was fighting in the conflict. It must be noted that after the battleships of the Jatok Fleet were lost in the mysteries of Benthic Space, the Jatok made no attempt to build or steal new ships and rejoin the Wars.
The Jatok homeworld remains an enigma to human outsiders. At the end of the Wars, Royalty and drones from all over the galaxy returned to the planet Jatok and have remained there since. Poets have seen this as a mourning over the loss of life on all sides over the conflict (see Neville?); scientists as a recovering period after the enormous loss of resources. If some have called the Jatok heartless, coldblooded thieves and murderers, it must be kept in mind that everything they know they learned from humans.