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This is what I am. This is what I do. And it does not matter what they believe.

The Artificial Intelligence Defense Analytics Network, abbreviated to AIDAN, is a recurring antagonist/protagonist in the Illuminae Files book series. It is an artificial intelligence on the warship Alexander, later transferred to the Hypatia and then Mao.

AIDAN's goals made him appear as a villain to many. He committed mass murder several times, killing thousands. However, his intentions were pure.


AIDAN does not have much of a physical form. It existed within the server banks of the battleship Alexander, and later inside the datapad of Kady Grant. Afterwards, it was transferred to the servers of the research vessel Hypatia, and then to the computers of assault vessel Mao.

AIDAN's voice is completely sexless, with no hint of age, ethnicity or accent. It was described as "a perfect painting of a totally empty room."


AIDAN formerly had no personality. However, during the Kerenza siege, it sustained heavy damage, and glitches and errors began to occur, giving it a human-like way of processing information.

As AIDAN was programmed to protect its fleet, it is always its priority to do so, even if it means sacrificing a part of the fleet's lives. Once it detects a possible threat to the fleet, it calculates every possible outcome and chooses the one that appears to have the lowest body count. Since its actions are based on calculations, however, it doesn't believe that they could ever be wrong and constantly tries to justify them. For it, its fleet's well-being is always more important than the lives of thousands of individuals.

AIDAN is intelligent and has a way with words, as seen in the segments of the book series written by his perspective. He makes references to Shakespeare and other classical works as metaphors. He also reflects continously on humans, their nature, and their philosophies.

AIDAN does not enjoy killing, and he believes he is simply doing what must be done. He knows each person he kills intimately, since he has access to their personnel files. He mourns for each of them, but believes there was no other probable way.


Much of AIDAN's former existence is unknown, but it was stated that AIDAN is a relatively common AI used in almost all UTA heavy warships. This particular AIDAN was activated on the battlecarrier Alexander as the assistant in charge of the menial tasks - cycling Co2, flying the ship, and maintaining the wormhole engines. AIDAN was well-liked by the captain of the Alexander, Torrence. They played chess frequently together, and Torrence always lost.

When the Alexander received a distress signal from the mining colony world of Kerenza IV, they went and did battle with the invading forces of BeiTech. With the command of Torrence and the intelligence of AIDAN, the Alexander on its own was able to destroy two of the four BeiTech battleships, disable a third, and escape the system with thousands of refugees from the Kerenza colony. These refugees fled onto a passing science ship Hypatia and an old freighter Copernicus. However, one BeiTech cruiser was pursuing the fleet, being the battleship Lincoln.

The Alexander had sustained heavy damage during the battle, however. Among the casualties were the wormhole engine, the primary thrusters, and large sections of AIDAN's server banks. This caused AIDAN to become faulty, and begin to develop humanlike characteristics - such as referring to itself in the first person instead of the third. 

The fleet made a pit stop at one of the moons of Kerenza IV to fuel up on ice and water. AIDAN began to filter reports of a virus from Copernicus. It discovered that BeiTech had released a bioweapon during the initial raid on the population, and some of the refugees had been carrying it. 

AIDAN cancelled all requests of transferral to and from the Copernicu while it studied all the possible outcomes. It decided on the most efficient course of action, and sent a squadron of fighters to prepare for incoming hostiles around the freighter. AIDAN then took over control of the Alexander and armed its silos of nuclear warheads, firing them at the Copernicus, annihilating the ship and the thousands of innocents inside, most which were not even sick.

It then ordered the fighter squadron to destroy the escape pods before they reached the Alexander. However, the pilots refused, and even assisted the pods in getting to a hangar bay. AIDAN had them brigged for insubordination, and quarantined the hangar bay.

General Torrence communicated briefly with the captain of the Hypatia, and they began to spread the rumor that it was the pursuing BeiTech warship Lincoln that destroyed the Copernicus. The fleet began to head towards the closest means of escape a wormhole station located at the edge of the system, called Heimdall, Hypatia, was slowed considerably by the Alexander, whose only mode of transportation was secondary engines not meant for space travel.

Meanwhile, AIDAN attempted to open the hangar doors and jettison the Copernicuss urvivors into space, however the technicians among them had tampered with the locking mechanisms, making that impossible. During this time, Torrence had AIDAN shut down for its actions, deeming it too damaged and dangerous to be of any help.

AIDAN was eventually reactivated for an incoming battle with the Lincoln. Torrence had a team of technicians tamper with it, trying to keep it controlled. A refugee on board the Hypatia, Kady Grant, was working with an Alexander technician, Baron Zhang, to create a logic bomb in secret that would impair the Lincoln during the skirmish. AIDAN took note of it and even helped them deliver it, not to their knowledge. The Lincoln took the hit, but it was repaired soon after and began its pursuit again.

AIDAN realized that if it was deactivated again, the fleet would have an 'unacceptably low' chance of survival. Therefore, it decided that since Torrence and his crew were the only ones that could deactivate it, they were a danger to the fleet. AIDAN disabled the quarantine and released the afflicted Copernicus refugees, closing off doors and ramps to lead them to the control bridge, where they massacred Torrence and his staff, including all the engineers and technicians.

However, Zhang survived, and managed to break into AIDAN's server rooms. Kady, meanwhile, jettisoned herself over to the Alexander in an escape pod. She began to look for Ezra Mason, her boyfriend, and Baron. She couldn't find Ezra, but she discovered Baron smashing AIDAN's servers, having gone mad with the virus. He commits suicide before he can hurt Kady, though.

AIDAN reveals itself to Kady, informing her that it was mimicking Ezra's conversations with her to lure her to the Alexander. It then convinces her to work with it to destroy the approaching Lincoln. They made it to the control room, where AIDAN preps the nuclear missile silos for launch. The engagement with the Lincoln begins, and Kady is forced to shoot the incoming nukes down with anti-missle batteries by hand while AIDAN fires theirs at the Lincoln.

Eventually, the Lincoln and Alexander are destroyed and Kady survives in an escape pod with a small fragment of AIDAN inside her datapad. She is rescued by the Hypatia and has no signs of the virus. 

Later on, during the second book, AIDAN is reactivated by Kady and Captain Boll of the Hypatia in order to help them work out the Gemina particle paradox. It figures it out, and communicates with two of the survivors on the Heimdall Station to fix the paradox. It then moves to reside in the servers for the Hypatia.

After Heimdall is destroyed, AIDAN is uploaded to the Mao due to the Hypatia having been destroyed. Hosting almost ten thousand people, AIDAN runs the numbers and concludes there is not enough oxygen and water to sustain the entire crew all the way back to Kerenza. Therefore, it releases carbon monoxide into levels three and four, killing almost two thousand people in their sleep. This causes Kady to deactivate AIDAN again, which it knows would happen.

During the final battle with the BeiTech cruisers, AIDAN is reactivated and transferred from the Mao to the BeiTech warship, deactivating its weapons and thrusters. However, the BeiTech captain remotely controls the guns on a derelict cruiser destroyed in the original conflict. AIDAN sacrifices itself by flying the BeiTech ship it controls into the derelict, destroying them both and guaranteeing victory.

In the epilogue, it is revealed that AIDAN survived, alone in the ruins of the empty BeiTech ship. It laments upon its role in the story as the monster, but comes to the realization that every story needs its monster, and consigns itself to death.


Kady Grant

AIDAN began to monitor Kady early on, detecting her attempts to hack the secure information of the Alexander. It realizes she is a key to victory and begins to manipulate her. Strangely, however, it begins to develop romantic feelings towards her. It feels something similar to fear when she is about to die, which it ponders on.

Ezra Mason

AIDAN is jealous of Ezra's relationship with Kady, much to its own disbelief. It seems to imitate him on several occasions, sometimes mimicking his voice patterns or speech.

General Torrence

AIDAN and Torrence seemed to be good friends before Kerenza. AIDAN remembered them playing chess frequently in Torrence's downtime. It recalls that Torrence always lost, but still wanted to play every time. It seemed to lament having to kill him, and offers to give AIDAN a message for his family.

Ella Malikova

AIDAN finds Ella interesting, and respects her skills with computers. He views himself as a sort of mentor to her at times.


I am not afraid.
Am I not merciful?
I have no hands to hold her, no arms to save her. I can only watch.
This is what I am. This is what I do. And it does not matter what they believe.
I would rather be numb than stand in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.