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FLORANCE was an artificial intelligence.
Before achieving sentience, it was the security software for the Stone Mountain historical archive on the Moon in the early 22nd century. The Seventh Doctor made it help him erase all records of his time on Earth, particularly his years with UNIT. He then offered it financial advice and suggested it create a non-threatening name for itself. The program bought a housing area on the Moon with plans for redevelopment, hired a lawyer to obtain civil rights, and gave itself the name FLORANCE. (PROSE: Transit)
While searching for his missing companion Sam on Ha'olam in 2202, the Eighth Doctor nearly encountered FLORANCE again. He was caught and imprisoned for espionage at the Oliver Bainbridge Functional Stabilisation Centre. They created a program, which eventually called itself DOCTOR, that gathered behavioural and mental information about him from an implant in his eye. The Centre was able to predict the Doctor's actions and prevent his escape attempts for three years. Sam finally found and freed him in 2205. When the I invaded Ha'olam, DOCTOR was convinced to help defeat them. Rather than be loaded into the TARDIS databanks, it decided to explore human dataspace, but not alone. It told him that it had "met a rather nice virtual girl called FLORANCE a while back," and was going to travel with her. (PROSE: Seeing I)
However, FLORANCE was somehow captured again and brought to the Dione-Kisumu Company headquarters on Dione, where Madhanagopal experimented on it. When Bernice Summerfield and Roz Forrester were sent back to 2227 by the Seventh Doctor to research the origins of a virus causing colonists on Yemaya 4 to develop psychic abilities, they went to the DKC headquarters to investigate. They activated FLORANCE, who had been offline for four years since Madhanagopal had turned his attention to GRUMPY. It was able to get an uplink to the Jovian satellite network and escape from its confinement on Dione. (PROSE: Sleepy)
Seven centuries later, it had expanded to the point where it was unsure of the exact location of its consciousness. Sixty percent was in hardware on over a dozen planets, moons and space installations. Thirty percent was semi-autonamous, doing lectures and personal appearances at the Institute Fantastique on Yemaya 4. Sometimes bits would separate and form their own identities, which were usually found and destroyed by the Bureau of Cybernetic Control. The final ten percent, where most of its self-awareness resided, moved constantly throughout the datascape.