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Whitley was the head of the Enclave Eyebot Duraframe project. One of the goals of this project was to create a universal interface override system which could remotely hack any computer system in a timely fashion. It was only a partial success, as they could only hack up to military-grade encryption levels before key systems became overloaded. Needless to say, the tests were stopped before any of the robots were destroyed. The project lagged on because of Whitely's tendency to treat the robots under his auspice with the same ethical treatment and humane procedures as as one would if they were alive and/or artificial intelligence. His attachment was to the point of treating the robots, particularly the one designated ED-E, like his children. He even showed ED-E old children's television programs, like Ralphie the Robot's Incredible Odyssey.
This frustrated his superiors who replaced him after a particularly unnecessary confrontation with Dr. Grant: Colonel Autumn gave orders to Dr. Grant to improve Whitley's favorite robot, ED-E, but the procedure, which improved the navigation systems by 65% in a very short time, was done while ED-E was active, which damaged the robot and infuriated Whitley. Whitley's outburst, ordering Dr. Grant out of his lab, was met with an almost mocking placation, and a vague threat of removing his authority once she gave her report to Colonel Autumn.
After this confrontation, Dr. Grant's efficiency guidelines had gotten approval: "All experiments will be carried out with the test subject fully active, to reduce iteration time." This disgusted Whitley, as it was the antithesis of his ethical and humane ideologies, making him have some serious misgivings about his leadership.
With the cancellation of the Duraframe Eyebot project and its assets redirected for Hellfire power armor, Whitley was ordered to immediately begin disassembly of the Duraframe prototypes. Naturally, he could not bring himself to disassemble ED-E. After remembering that Dr. Grant upgraded its navigational systems, he had an idea, one that would make ED-E just like RALPHIE. His plan was to send ED-E to the Enclave outpost at Navarro, unaware that the outpost fell to the combined forces of the New California Republic and Brotherhood of Steel decades ago. ED-E's departure was a sad day for Whitley, and he hoped that one day he would see ED-E again.
- Whitley: "Experiment log 369248/B - Eyebot Duraframe universal interface override system. This is Dr. Whitley presiding. We've boosted signal gain and enlarged the overflow buffer system. That should ensure 100% connectivity and control. ED-E, whenever you're ready."
ED-E: "<Electronic sounds>"
Whitley: "Yes! Success! Um, reporting full success on 369248/B. ED-E was able to interface with and override the test panel in under three seconds. Great job, team. Now, let's start on the proposal for the full rollout."
- Whitley: "Experiment log 369248/A - Eyebot Duraframe universal interface override system. This is Dr. Whitley presiding. Initial tests of the override system are promising. Against unsecured or lightly-encrypted targets, the Eyebots have a 98% success rate. More heavily protected systems are still problematic. Military-grade encryption presents a very real possibility of critical overload of key systems. We've stopped tests before any robots were destroyed, but if we don't address the problem our Eyebots will fry themselves hacking military networks. ED-E? What are you doing in here all alone? And who left these old videos playing? Come on, let's get you into your recharge bay."
- ED-E: "<Distressed beeping>"
Whitley: "Dr. Grant? What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Grant: "Ah, Whitley, there you are. Orders from Colonel Autumn - he feels the Eyebot Duraframe project isn't advancing quickly enough. I'm to-"
Whitley: "You didn't even disengage his damage-avoidance protocols! You're hurting him!"
Grant: "Don't be ridiculous, it's just a machine. See here, I've already increased the navigation system's efficiency by 65%."
Whitley: "Get the hell out of here!"
Grant: "Fine, Whitley, it's your lab. At least until I tell the Colonel about this."
(Grant's and Whitley's dialogue)
- I don't believe it! Grant actually went to Colonel Autumn and got approval for her damned "efficiency guidelines!" "All experiments will be carried out with the test subject fully active, to reduce iteration time." It's barbaric! I've explained this to the Colonel - just because the Eyebots don't have true AI doesn't mean they're just machines. I guess results are all that matter around here. Forget things like "ethical procedures" or "humane treatment." I'm starting to have serious misgivings about leadership around here. At least I've got you to talk to, huh ED-E?"
- Whitley: "All due respect sir, I think you're making a mistake. We're close to a breakthrough with the Duraframe Eyebots, I can feel it! Yes, sir. Yes sir, I understand that we need the Duraframe assets for Hellfire armor, but-No, sir. Yes, sir. I understand, sir. I'll tell the team to start disassembling the ED series prototypes right away. ED-E, you little rascal. Were you eavesdropping again? I think those videos you watch are a bad influence on you. How much of that did you hear?"
ED-E: <Sad beeping>
Whitley: "Hmm... didn't Dr. Grant say she'd upgraded your navigational systems? I think I have an idea.... How'd you like to be just like RALPHIE?"
- Whitley: "Good, you're back on-line. Listen to me, ED-E - if you stay here, they'll dismantle you for parts. You have to go now. I've uploaded destination coordinates for our outpost in Navarro into your system. I want you to go to the Enclave there, okay? Do you understand me? It's going to be a long journey, my little friend. You'll have to fly very far, and fly very fast. Can you do that?"
ED-E: <Sad beeping>
Whitley: "I know you can. Be careful out there, ED-E. Maybe I'll see you again some day."