|“||That thing is what will save us. A.L.I.E. didn't understand what it meant to be human, but A.L.I.E. 2 will.||”|
|— Becca [src]|
A.L.I.E. 2.0, also known as the Spirit of the Commander, was an artificial intelligence that resided in a cybernetic neural implant known as the Flame. Created by neuroscientist Becca Franko, the Flame was designed to allow the AI to directly interface with a human brain and augment it. The Flame held the minds of all its previous hosts (a.k.a. the Commanders).
The Flame was central to the Grounder faith such that the Grounders were usually loyal to whoever possessed the Flame, bestowing them the title of Commander. Due to its importance, a spiritual order known as the Flamekeepers was tasked with keeping it safe. The Flame was used to pass experience and wisdom from one Commander to the next. It also enhanced its user's mind and senses.
Raven Reyes later deactivated the Flame in an attempt to save its last user, Madi Griffin, from Sheidheda. The Flame was then revealed to be the Key that the Disciples had been seeking because it held the Anomaly Stone code needed to start the "Last War". The Disciples attempted to retrieve and repair the Flame, but it was physically destroyed by Gabriel Santiago after an aborted attempt at repair using Eligius technology.
The artificial intelligence known as A.L.I.E. 2.0 was the second iteration of a program created by the neuroscientist Becca Franko. The AI's code resided in a cybernetic neural implant known as the Flame. As mentioned in "Thirteen", the Flame was made of a crystal matrix.
Becca started working on A.L.I.E. 2.0 after its predecessor, A.L.I.E., came to the conclusion that the way to "make life better" was to fix the "root problem" of "too many people". Becca believed A.L.I.E. failed because it was incapable of understanding what it meant to be human. As such, Becca did not design A.L.I.E. 2.0 to be a conscious, sentient AI in the way that its predecessor was, but to connect with humanity on a biological level via the Flame. She believed that this would allow it to appreciate the value of life.
A.L.I.E. 2.0 was a passive AI that interfaced directly with a human mind via surgical implantation of the Flame in the host's brain stem, typically accessed through the back of the host's neck. Only those with Nightblood could bear the Flame as without it, the Flame would liquify the nervous system of its host in a matter of seconds. Once the Flame was implanted in a Nightblood, the AI would merge with the organic brain via the brain stem, and proceed to share and store information.
The Flame was activated with the Latin phrase "ascende superius" ("up higher" or "seek higher things"), and deactivated with the Latin phrase "quia nunc vale" ("goodbye for now"). Once activated, the Flame could sense a nearby human mind and would, if close enough, automatically burrow into the person's neck to implant itself in their brain stem. When not in use, the Flame retracted and went inert.
The Flame was also designed to survive the death of its host, the only way to remove it aside from the deactivation passcode. According to Becca, the AI would protect itself such that "if you drown, it will swim; if you burn, it will crawl out of the flames."
Ultimately, the Flame was deactivated by Raven Reyes so as to save its last host, Madi Griffin, from one of its previous hosts, Sheidheda. After an aborted attempt to repair it using Eligius technology, Gabriel Santiago shot the Flame and thus destroyed the AI for good.
When a host died, their mind, including their memories and consciousness, was uploaded to the AI. The Flame stored the minds of these previous hosts and allowed them to communicate with its current host, usually through dreams. These interactions could only take place when the current host's mind was "still enough," such as when the host was asleep, unconscious, or in deep meditation. If summoned by the current host, previous hosts could also interact with each other in a "dream space" that existed in the Flame.
If a host was still alive when the Flame was removed, their mind was not stored in the Flame. Gaia explained in "The Children of Gabriel" that this was because a person's mind can only be in one place at a time. It was, however, possible for a mind that was saved in the Flame to be transferred to another similar device such as a Mind Drive.
After the Flame was surgically removed from Madi Griffin, she still retained fragments of previous hosts' memories in her mind. However, these memories were not stored in the part of Madi's brain that typically pertains to memory storage, suggesting that the AI permanently augmented her brain in some way or that the way the Flame was destroyed while still inside of Madi's head resulted in memories being left behind throughout her brain.
Besides storing and sharing the minds of its previous hosts, the Flame also granted its host enhanced abilities. On the capabilities of her AI, Becca said in "Thirteen": "A.L.I.E. 2.0 will run all the possibilities, she'll see the mistakes before we ever make them. It will know our wants and needs because it's their wants and needs."
Becca designed the Flame to "amplify what is already there" in a person's mind, including their capacity for good and evil. Because of this, Becca warned Callie Cadogan of the danger should the Flame, and thus its power, merge with the wrong mind. In the right mind however, Becca believed that the Flame was the key to saving the world.
As shown in "Anaconda", the Flame granted Becca heightened senses such that she could hear frequencies other humans could not. This allowed her to decipher the Anomaly Stone code needed to activate the Judge's test.
Spirit of the Commander
- Main article: Commander
Becca Franko finished her work on the Flame two years after the first Nuclear Apocalypse. Convinced that it was the key to saving humanity, she genetically modified her blood to become a Nightblood and made herself the Flame's first host. After Becca's death, the Grounders worshipped her as a martyr and she became known as Bekka Pramheda ("Becca, the First Commander" in Trigedasleng). The Grounders established a tradition in which whoever took on Becca's spirit (a.k.a. the Flame) became their new Commander.
A spiritual order known as the Flamekeepers (Fleimkepa) was also established, dedicated to safeguarding the Flame and serving its bearer (a.k.a. the Commander). Because only Nightbloods could bear the Flame, scouts would search the lands to find Nightblood children to groom as potential Commanders. When the Commander died, the Flamekeeper was responsible for retrieving the Flame and overseeing the Conclave in which a Nightblood successor was chosen. The Flame was then implanted in the new Commander during an Ascension Ceremony.
Nearly a century after Becca's death, the Grounders were no longer aware that the Flame was an AI, having lost a lot of knowledge about the history and nature of the Flame. Its origins became shrouded in myth and legend, and it was instead enshrined as a receptacle of the spirit of previous Commanders. In "Demons," Raven Reyes speculated that the reason later Commanders such as Lexa were not aware that their minds were enhanced by an AI was because parts of the program degraded over time and got lost.
The Flame was shown to literally store the consciousnesses (a.k.a. "spirits") of the previous Commanders within it. The current Commander could use the Flame to call upon their predecessors for wisdom. The previous Commanders would then appear to the current one in a sort of dream. Through these projections, the current Commander was given guidance and memories were shared.
One of the spirits stored in the Flame was Sheidheda, the Dark Commander, who used this opportunity to try to manipulate new Commanders for his evil bidding. The Flamekeepers came up with a Separation Ritual that isolated him from the current Commander. In "Memento Mori," Flamekeeper Gaia explained that the ritual involved calling upon previous Commanders to confront Sheidheda in the Flame's dream space.
Gaia tried to perform the ritual on the Commander at the time, Madi Griffin, but was interrupted. As a result, Sheidheda was able to quarantine the code of the other Commanders, preventing Madi from communicating with anyone in the Flame but him. He was even able to possess Madi's body briefly. Raven was forced to activate the Flame's kill code in "The Blood of Sanctum" to save Madi, but was too late to stop Sheidheda from transferring his consciousness to Russell Lightbourne's Mind Drive. The Flame was then surgically removed from Madi and buried by Gaia on Sanctum.
Meanwhile, the Disciples were looking for the Flame because it held Becca's memory of the Anomaly Stone code needed to start the "Last War". The Disciples intended to repair the Flame's code with the Eligius computer used to repair corrupted Memory Drives, as both technologies were created by Becca and were thus compatible with each other. The Flame was undergoing a successful repair and data extraction until Gabriel Santiago shot it, physically destroying the Flame and taking with it all of the spirits of the Commanders still stored inside.
The Flame is small and flat, with the shape of an elongated hexagon. It has numerous long tendrils used for sensing, moving, and attaching to its host's brain. The Flame glows with a blue tint when activated, and when deactivated, its tendrils retract and it turns a dull brown color. Becca's company logo, the infinity symbol, is engraved on the Flame.
|Many Happy Returns||Absent|
|Fog of War||Absent|
|Long Into an Abyss||Absent|
|Survival of the Fittest||Mentioned|
|Coup de Grâce||Absent|
|Bodyguard of Lies||Absent|
|Blood Must Have Blood (Part 1)||Absent|
|Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)||Absent|
|Wanheda (Part 1)||Absent|
|Wanheda (Part 2)||Absent|
|Ye Who Enter Here||Absent|
|Watch the Thrones||Mentioned|
|Terms and Conditions||Mentioned|
|Join or Die||Appears|
|Red Sky at Morning||Appears|
|Perverse Instantiation (Part 1)||Appears|
|Perverse Instantiation (Part 2)||Appears|
|Heavy Lies the Crown||Mentioned|
|The Four Horsemen||Appears|
|A Lie Guarded||Mentioned|
|The Tinder Box||Mentioned|
|We Will Rise||Absent|
|Die All, Die Merrily||Mentioned|
|The Other Side||Absent|
|How We Get to Peace||Absent|
|Sic Semper Tyrannis||Appears|
|The Warriors Will||Mentioned|
|The Dark Year||Absent|
|Damocles (Part 1)||Mentioned|
|Damocles (Part 2)||Mentioned|
|Red Sun Rising||Absent|
|The Children of Gabriel||Mentioned|
|The Face Behind the Glass||Mentioned|
|The Gospel of Josephine||Mentioned|
|The Old Man and the Anomaly||Absent|
|What You Take With You||Absent|
|Ashes to Ashes||Absent|
|The Blood of Sanctum||Appears|
|From the Ashes||Mentioned|
|Welcome to Bardo||Mentioned|
|The Queen's Gambit||Mentioned|
|A Little Sacrifice||Mentioned|
|A Sort of Homecoming||Absent|
|The Dying of the Light||Flashback|
|The Last War||Absent|
- Gaia (performing the Ascension Ceremony): "Through the dark, the Flame lives on. The body passes, but the Spirit is strong. The Spirit has chosen. Let the Commander ascend."
- Indra: "What is this? Wanheda is no Natblida!"
- Gaia: "The blood of the Commanders is your blood."
- Clarke Griffin: "May the Spirit of the Commanders guide me."
- -- in DNR
Notes and Trivia
- The A.L.I.E. hologram is version 1.0 while the chip known as the Flame is version 2.0.
- A.L.I.E. has been searching for A.L.I.E. 2.0 since Becca Franko locked her up in the house on the island and went to Polaris to work on version 2.
- A.L.I.E. fears A.L.I.E. 2.0 because she knows its the only thing that can stop her.
- Throughout Season Three, Clarke Griffin and her friends thought that the Flame would give them a command of some kind that they could enter to destroy A.L.I.E.. Instead, it simply aided Clarke in finding and using the AI's existing kill switch.
- In "Perverse Instantiation (Part 2)", the Flame was able to protect Clarke while she was in the City of Light. Clarke was also able to use the Flame to summon the spirits of Lexa and Becca.
- Sinclair discovers the access code to A.L.I.E. 2.0 (the Latin phrase "ascende superius") by translating a phrase in Becca's notebook.
- In "The Four Horsemen," the Flamekeepers, or Gaia at least, are shown to keep a totem in the form of the Flame in a necklace around their necks. This fake Flame appears completely identical to the original minus the technology inside. It is unclear where it comes from. It is possible that it was made by craft or glassblowing.
- Gaia states in "The Children of Gabriel" that Clarke's mind is not saved in the Flame because a person's mind can only be in one place at a time, and since Clarke was still alive when the Flame was removed that means her mind also left the Flame.
- When the Flame is destroyed in "The Blood of Sanctum," the computer screen showing its data flickers before the data disappears. All that is left is a message reading "Signal Lost A Fatal Error Has Occurred."
- Javier Grillo-Marxuach, tumblr, Mar 10th, 2016
- 'The 100's' Becca, ALIE II and the night bleeders' origin, interview with Jason Rothenberg, MAR 3, 2016.