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Type: Editorial
Subject: The Unofficial History of the Jaeger Project by Thom Davidsohn
Chapter: Chapter 14, Page 142
Transcript:
"When I started it was all just a brainstorm, the kind of what-if that makes great science fiction," Dr. Caitlin Lightcap says, looking out at the view of Schenly Park from her office on the outskirts of Carnegie-Mellon campus. “Once in a while it makes great science, too."

This would be one of those times. There had been lots of initial work on getting giant robots to stand up and fight. What the program’s leader, Jasper Schoenfeld, needed was neurobiological expertise. And he found it in Dr. Lightcap. She worked only in the lab, until during the testing of one of the early prototypes, the pilot, Sergio D'Onofrio, when into seizures. Knowing that D’Onofrio was in danger of his life due to the neural overload, Dr. Lightcap patched herself into the Jaeger’s command systems via the onboard control mechanism know was the Pons. The addition of her brainpower to D’Onofrio’s saved the mission, and the Jaeger program was revealed to the astonished public. In the process, the twin piloting interface system known as the “neural-handshake"—or, in pilot’s parlance, the “Drift"—was created.

Dr. Lightcap got out of the cockpit and back into the lab was soon as she could, refining her next-generation Pons and creating new iterations of the command interface until it was ready for full deployment.

"Looking back on it, all I did was try to save a friend and colleague’s life," Dr. Lightcap says. “But sometimes that’s how science works. You plan and plan, and then things go completely wrong, and out of it all comes a great advance. It’s not accidental, exactly, but you can’t always control it, either."

The innovation of the Drift made the later-generation Jaegers possible because the complexity of their systems demands more than a single human neural interface can provide. Doubling the brainpower has the effect of essentially squaring the available bandwidth, for reasons that Dr. Lightcap can explain but this reporter cannot…

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