Muna Kipasi Incident

The Attack of The Museum Ship Hume

The Museum Ship Hume
Image from Steve Bowers
The Hume approaches Muna Kipasi

Museum Ships, despite their often large size and considerable power, are usually no threat to modosophonts who are wise enough not to attack them and attempt to steal their collections. The arrival of such a vessel is generally a cause for great excitement in a local star system. However, a Museum Ship will occasionally violate all known codes of conduct in the course of collecting specimens for eir collection. This happens rarely - in about 0.05% of ships across the entire history of sophont Terragen vessels, but it is enough to have resulted in a certain caution being displayed towards them by subsingularity sentients.

The most famous (but by no means the most extreme) example occurred in one of the Muna Kipasi orbitals (Goldfishnebula Plexus, Negentropy Alliance space) in 6992. A Museum Ship identifying itself as the Hume approached the system and requested a number of biological specimens. Rather than being satisfied with acquiring standard biological data (geno/phenotypes with some non-sophont mindstate uploads) Hume wanted live specimens, including sophonts.

When the local authorities refused, the Hume neutralized system defenses by launching a diverse swarm of drones. This hyperbright force engaged space- and ground-based installations, mostly using high yield amat weaponry for maximum damage. Finally, in a move that would have long lasting consequences, ground targets were seeded with self-replicating area denial weapons. E then abducted more than five thousand sapient and subsapient bionts from Rohoan Ring, a Bishop Ring with one of the larger and more diverse populations in the system. Denizens of this ring found their local angelnet turned against them by a devastating cyber attack, as the utility fog wrapped tightly around various sapients while larger utility bots grabbed others and carried them towards several dozen smaller spacecraft that had landed at various locations across the ring floor. Once these smaller craft had filled up, they lifted off and flew to the Hume, which was keeping station near the ring's hub.

The entire incident, including the disabling of system defenses, took a little over 12 hours, after which the Hume beat a hasty retreat, leaving the system heading corewards. After eir departure it was found that eir initial attack had also destroyed all telescopes and interferometry arrays across the system, making long-range tracking of the ship impossible. Additionally, the area-denial swarms left behind continued to plague the locals with ongoing attacks to sapients and infrastructure. Most system resources had to go into fighting these swarms until the arrival of the Negentropist 24th Quick Response Task Force nearly nine months later, by which time the Hume was long gone. The Task Force attempted to locate the ship using their own long-range scanning and tracking resources, but ey failed. Neither the Hume nor the abducted bionts have been seen since.

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Development Notes
Text by Victor Daniel, from original material by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 08 December 2001.