Earth, Sol System, United Nations of Earth (UNE)
After a fatal incident involving the USS Navigator yesterday, scientists are calling for an investigation into the safety of the controversial, newly introduced Automatic Exploration Protocols (AEP) on UNE science ships.
The ship’s computer instructed it to traverse through the Hell’s Maw black hole system on its way to a level II anomaly, leading it straight into the system’s notorious Dimensional Horror and causing the death of all crew on board as well as minor injuries to the massive eldritch being.
The ship’s logs show that the late captain of the Navigator, scientist Tames K. Jerk, had manually set the ship to ‘Passive Stance’ two years ago in order to bypass a system with a lone space amoeba and never reverted to ‘Evasive Stance.’ As a result, the crew was caught off guard when the computer routed them through the hostile system.
The UNE’s Science and Technology First Union (STFU), of which Jerk was a member, has long since been an opponent of the self-surveying technology. STFU member Mikhail Kontarsky told Xenonion News:
“This would never have been a problem if the ship was manually piloted. Humans have never made piloting errors before. No human-piloted science ship has ever accidentally ran into a hostile while on ‘Passive Stance’ before. This technology took our jobs, and now it’s taking our lives.”
CybrexCorp, developer of the AEP, claims that once the ship was in the system, its sensors could not detect the black Dimensional Horror against the blackness of space or the blackness of the black hole. It was not until the massive leviathan fired its particle lance at USS Navigator that it was detected by the sensors. And at that point it was too late to make an emergency FTL-jump.
CybrexCorp CEO Nax Golarisg told a press conference:
“We are doing everything we can to fix this issue. The AEP is not currently designed to work in dark environments, like space. Until then, we advise all ships to steer clear of Hell’s Maw and check your stance setting.”
The Dimensional Horror could not be reached for comment, and seems unlikely to press charges.