There is a warning to give on the subject of creating sentient constructs. Sometimes the warning is accompanied by the story of the Golem, which was an artificial being made to serve a purpose, who ran amok once he’d completed his task and had nothing left to do. The story is a nice little parable, illustrating the fact that if you create a sentient being and don’t give it clear instructions on what to do when it runs out of work to do, it could end up doing whatever it wants to do. Because folks rarely program a conscience into their creations, what it wants to do might be to eat other constructs, or vampirise somebody for extra energy. It might want to simply follow you around, making puppy eyes at you (you are its maker, after all). It depends on the construct’s nature – both that which you’ve programmed into it, and that which the construct develops by itself over time. You can easily remedy this unwanted behaviour by “commanding” your construct to return to you after it has completed its task and then go inactive, awaiting further orders.
There is another, potentially more serious, problem with making sentient constructs, and that is that the critter may decide it doesn’t want to be ordered around anymore. This happened to me early in my psionic career with a pair of guardian constructs I’d created in the shape of big, scary-looking doberman dogs (I was a Resident Evil fan… sue me). Only just having learned that one can connect a construct to an external source of energy (more on that later), I hooked my hounds up to a pair of ley lines and left them alone for a few days. The next time I checked on them I was in for a shock. My constructs, formerly rather ephemeral and weak, were a great deal stronger. They were also a great deal meaner, and in short order one of them attacked me. I destroyed it in a fit of pique (cursing roundly all the while) and did away with the other one shortly after. It was a long time before I made another sentient construct after that.
It was, of course, my own fault that this happened, and with a little forewarning from yours truly you’ll be able to easily avoid a similar debacle.
The problem lay in my expectations. By viewing my beasties as completely independent, I opened myself up to the possibility that they could gain free will independent of my own. With free will comes choice, and at least one of the constructs made the choice to attack me (bad doggie). This is easily avoided by remembering a few simple rules.
You made it, you own it. It’s yours, and is under your complete control at all times. If you deny your construct the ability to develop a free will (or at least a semblance of one), your construct will never develop one. It will desire what you want it to desire, which is to do as it’s told at all times. Simpler yet if you deny your construct sentience, and have it act as a programme or machine.
You get what you ask for, as well as what you expect. The topic of expectation as a more passive form of intent is a big one (and one which I’ve devoted an entire article to; Expectation, or Passive Intent in the Design of Energetic Objects). If you drill yourself over and over with the fact that a certain thing will happen, you will come to expect it. Even if you don’t consciously think about it, the expectation that a construct follows specific rules will be enough to ensure that the construct will follow those rules. We are dealing here with a discipline that relies wholly upon your thoughts to get the job done. If you expect success, you are far more likely to receive it. If you expect catastrophic failure, or a construct that disobeys its daddy… well, you get the idea.