Incident Assessment

Incident Summary:

Pursuant to its stated objectives, the SOV moved into position to fire upon Zeus’ position.

It did not do so.

Instead, it fired approximately an eighth of its unrestricted payload into the middle of the ocean.

From that time till the present (~two days, two hours) it has remained in position, cutting off all communication with the systems assigned to control, support and monitor it.

Further Details:

Investigation has revealed the following facts judged to be relevant to this case.

0: No signal of any kind was detected contacting the SOV at the time of malfunction.  This result was confirmed by local resources as well as its own final logs.  If anything on earth caused this via synchronous action it would have had to be an Ultrahuman gift.

1: The SOV’s failure to fire on Zeus proceeded its errant discharge into an invalid target area by a slight but measurable margin.  Further, during this time it continued to faithfully log its operations.  It reported an error in the firing system, but did not log any further errors, and ceased logging shortly thereafter.

2: The SOV’s errant fire was conducted with weaponry differing from that selected for the Zeus strike, and was placed in such a manner that it would cause no civilian casualties.

3: The SOV’s errant fire spelled out the letters BLA, and an upright line which was likely the beginning of another letter, before ceasing fire.

4: The SOV is no longer accepting transmissions, meaning that the self destruct module cannot be engaged.

Assessment:

The obvious and immediate conclusion to this incident is that another party has seized control of the asset, and given it a new mission profile.

Methods:

There are, broadly speaking, two methods by which this outcome might have been brought about.

The first would be a hack. The SOV’s software was updated numerous times over the course of its existence.  It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that that our precautions were breached at some point, with said breach going undetected until being triggered by present circumstances.

The second would be an Ultrahuman ability.  An Ultrahuman of sufficient power might be able to seize control of the asset despite its remote location and great size.

Responsible Parties:

0: The Pantheon.
– The Pantheon proper is deemed unlikely, as our infiltrators reported no such effort, and as the Pantheon would have deployed the SOV’s munitions against Union population centers.

1: The Regime.
– The Regime is deemed unlikely, due both to infiltration and to its master’s expressed disdain for such warfare.  Bluntly, Peggy Martin would have personally struck any target that attracted her displeasure rather than hijack one of our machines to do it.

2: Civilian Hacker.
– Presently deemed the most likely culprit.  An aberrant ideology could have radicalized a Union member with the training and access necessary to carry out this terrorist act.  Such an individual might well cancel the strike on the Pantheon forces and then attempt to discharge the SOV’s payload.

3: Ultrahuman unaffiliated with factional leadership.
– An Ultrahuman whose gift gave them control of the SOV might well command it erratically and without consistent end.  This is particularly likely if the perpetrator is a Pantheon Ultrahuman who is presently a low ranking member of their pecking order.

Considerations:

1: The party who has seized control of the SOV may have lost control of it.  The failure to fully spell out its message in the ocean points to a master unfamiliar with or not fully master of this asset.

2: The SOV’s restricted payload is able to eliminate Earth’s ability to maintain human life.

3: The SOV’s failsafe measure will destroy the vessel from within if it fails to receive the passive confirmation signal from a Union infosphere transmitter for a period of 24 hours.  It is unknown whether the controlling party is aware of this avenue for striking against their hijacked asset, nor how or whether they would respond to such an attempt.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Incident Assessment

  1. > The SOV’s failsafe measure will destroy the vessel from within if it fails to receive the passive confirmation signal from a Union infosphere transmitter for a period of 24 hours.

    Now that the SOV is rewriting its own code, I doubt it can be destroyed that easily.

    > The SOV’s errant fire spelled out the letters BLA, and an upright line which was likely the beginning of another letter

    We know the SOV spent 1/8 of its “safe” ammunition (the “unrestricted stuff”) to spell out the beginning of a message. Does this mean the message has about 24 letters? Who is supposed to get this message? Probably only the Union, because without access to the firing logs, it’s impossible to get the message.

    It sounds like a side channel attack to bypass Psyche’s control. OTOH, I can’t think of a suitable message that starts with BLA and is followed by a letter with an upright stroke. BLAME …? BLAI…? BLAP …? BLADE …? BLAN…? I’m surprised they didn’t use a more efficient encoding, though. I’m assuming the message is in English, of course.

    Or maybe Psyche’s control over the SOV is absolute and this is her trying to semd out a message until it was interrupted.

    After all, she has tries to get Union agents to kidnap her (although his implants betrayed them). I wonder if she is unhappy under Zeus’s rule and wants to join the Union (even if only that means she has better toys to play with).

  2. The main problem in teying to find out what the message could be is that we don’t know who is in control of the SOV at the time and what their motivations are… It could be Psyche having fun, it could be the SOV asking for help against Psyche… I could be the SOV appologizing in advance “BLAME ZEUS FOR WHAT HAPPENS” (almost exactly 24 letters).

    If AIs in this universe are meant to be of the Less Wrong variety (and we certainly have some clues pointing that way…), then they might have figured it all out and and are warning the humans “BLAME THE INVITER ENTITY”. And in that case, maybe it was stopped by the inviter entity, which wants the party going.

    One possible theory for the cracks on the moon is that they were an attempt by Prevailer to kill/harm the Inviter Entity for allowing Slasher’s gift into the world. That’s why the gifts come from the Moon and all that. If the Inviter Entity has survived Prevailer, we can rest assured it can probably do literally everything. Especially act based on a message that might be clearly seem from the Moon.

    1. Strongly suspect the message is “Blaff this” or something else starting with that made-up word. Also don’t see why the message would have to be 24 characters just because that’s about how many are possible to write that way.

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