Ultima Ratio Imperium Stellarum

(Because a comment thread back a ways suggested a mention of the big dakka that hopefully no-one will ever have to use might be in order…)

CASE DYSPEPTIC FLARE

MOST SECRET (ULTRAVIOLET) / EYES ONLY DYSPEPTIC FLARE

NEED-TO-KNOW ABSOLUTE
HARD COPY ONLY/NO TRANSMISSION
ORIGINATOR-CONTROLLED DISSEMINATION
TRACKED-COPY DOCUMENT
NOCONTRACT
NOFORN
SPECIAL SECURITY PROCEDURE BASILISK FIDELIS

Proceed (+/-)? +

EXECUTION:

STRATEGIC ACTION MESSAGE ONLY
IMPERIAL SECURITY EXECUTIVE ONLY
FIFTH DIRECTORATE VETO
WARMIND APPROVAL ONLY
X-THREAT ONLY

SUMMARY:

[SSP image elided from file]

The ultimate sanction available to the Existential Threats Primary Working Group at this time remains the use of weapons in contravention to Chapter I of the Ley Accords, to wit, weapons inducing severe uncontrolled stellar perturbation up to and including sequence change.

Three weapons systems matching this criterion are currently provisionally available under CASE DYSPEPTIC FLARE, representing extremal response cases to otherwise uncontrollable excessionary-level existential threats. Deployment of any of these weapons systems indicates a willingness to sterilize entire star systems, and in itself constitutes a x-level photon and particle radiation hazard to nearby (range < 868 light-orbits, typical) star systems. These systems are:

  • DYSPEPTIC FLARE SHANK, deployment of relativistic kill vehicle from the deterrent fleet maintained by the Black Flotilla on stellar impact course, inducing megascale coronal mass ejection; and
  • DYSPEPTIC FLARE EMBRACE, use of extended iron-bombing or (untested/theoretical) twist-pinch device to induce stellar core collapse/artificial nova; and
  • DYSPEPTIC FLARE HELLFIRE, deployment of CALYX HOLLOW or other strangelet device to stellar target, causing supernova-equivalent conversion event.

(WARNING: DYSPEPTIC FLARE HELLFIRE has intrinsic and unknown black-level-plus existential threat potential, since the energetic conversion event may (p > δ) spread undecayed strangelets at relativistic speeds sufficient to prolong their lifespan,  enabling them to reach other star systems, where they may in turn trigger conversion events; as a worst-case scenario this could lead to self-replicant galactic annihilation.

As such, deployment of DYSPEPTIC FLARE HELLFIRE is absolutely prohibited except when the Transcendent warmind certifies that the x-risk prompting its deployment is of severity/range greater than the projected worst-case result.)

Note that as an extremal response case, deployment of CASE DYSPEPTIC FLARE requires consensus approval of the Imperial Security Executive, subject to override veto by vote of the Fifth Directorate overwatch, and Transcendent warmind approval.

Note also that special release conditions (noted below) apply to DYSPEPTIC FLARE, including but not limited to certified prior release of minimum three non-extremal response cases in failure state; threat (p > 0.5) of SKYSHOCK activity; unlimited collateral budget approval; and strategic ethics stricture <= ABYSSAL.

WARNING:

Communicating ANY PART of this NTK-A document to ANY SOPHONT other than those with preexisting originator-issued clearance, INCLUDING ITS EXISTENCE, is considered an alpha-level security breach and will be met with the most severe sanctions available, up to and including permanent erasure.

Proceed (+/-)?

 

Trope-a-Day: The Ark

The Ark: One of the projects of the Emergency Management Authority/Fifth Directorate are the “Civilization-Backup Ships”, ark vessels hidden in deep space with as close to a complete backup of civilization as can be managed – the notion being that in the event of an extant existential threat large enough to threaten the survival of civilization entire (what’s called in the jargon a hard civilization kill event), they’ll come online under CASE NIGHTFALL ASUNDER, get the hell out of Dodge, and reboot it somewhere else.

An Alternative View

“We are, of course, exactly the existential threat that the Republic deems us to be. Not in the manner they, for the most part, believe, but an existential threat nonetheless.

“It is easy for us to forget, since neither do fish think of water nor yet birds of the sky, that we dwell within a society founded upon a miracle. I refer, of course, to the Transcend. By the formation of this superorganism, with unprecedented cooperation, genius, and not least a healthy dose of good fortune, rumors aside, we have squared an impossible circle. We enjoy, simultaneously, perfect liberty and perfect coordination – or as asymptotic an approach to it as an ever-growing Cirys swarm of computational elements can achieve.

“What is the danger in this? None, for us. We dwell within the garden of our god-selves, where all is fair, glad, and wise.

“The danger for others, though, is this: success inspires emulation. By those, perhaps, without access to the cooperation, or to the genius, or to the alignment of random factors. The optimum we stand atop is a narrow pinnacle. One step here, and you have instead a rabble with superempowering technologies. One step there, and all choice is sacrificed on the altar of utility. A misstep at any point in the climb, in the absence of the Coricál Consensus, and that civilization ends in hedonium, or false-maximizers, or hegemonizing swarms, or other blight.

“Ordinarily, few sophonts would consider such high-risk activities; but few high-risk activities have the appeal of Utopia.

“We pride ourselves that we harm none; but our example may teach many self-destruction.”

Antinomian Thoughts column, the Imperial Infoclast

Trope-a-Day: Sociopathic Hero

Sociopathic Hero: The Fifth Directorate has special tools (ICE BLUESHIFT) to induce the capacity for this sort of behavior – albeit very high-functioning ones, who genuinely don’t have any desire for cruelty [1] – under special circumstances, because in the existential threats business, sometimes necessity really does mandate, and so forth.  (They are also responsible for performing the various feats of mental editing necessary to let the operatives in question not go crazy when their empathy and conscience get switched back on.)

[1] Because that requires empathy, don’ch’know. There’s no point in hurting someone if their pain would be as essentially irrelevant to you as everything else.

Fire Brigade

INVOKE INVOKE INVOKE
CASE INFERNO ANTEDILUVIAN

UNCLASSIFIED

IMMEDIATE ACTION ORDER
PROCEED UNLESS CANCELED

SUMMARY:

There have been determined to exist within DANGER CLOSE range of Associated Worlds space two stellar bodies (full galactographic coordinates in file) profiled as existing in pre-supernova state within planning time horizon 129, these bodies identified in catalog IGS 21492 and IGS 33126, henceforth coded INFERNO ANTEDILUVIAN BILIOUS and INFERNO ANTEDILUVIAN CAUSTIC.

This situation constitutes a civilization-scale x-threat, severity NIGHTFALL EXIGENT.

CASE INFERNO ANTEDILUVIAN invokes x-threat management authority to dispatch relativistic missions towards identified targets BILIOUS and CAUSTIC equipped with appropriate monitoring hardware and autoindustrial seeds suitable to initiate star lifting projects, capable of reducing the present mass of each body to levels beneath the supernova initiation threshold and taking such other measures as are necessary to prevent initiation while this is done.

ISE/EXT-PWG SIGNOFF
AUTHENTICATION SEQUENCE FOLLOWS

Trope-a-Day: Precursor Killers

Precursor Killers: While not actually known with any certainty, it is generally believed that the Precursors were wiped out by… the Precursors.  (Being the lovely near-solipsists described in the previous trope, well, once they started interfering with each other’s whims, they just couldn’t cope with each other’s’ existence.  Splat.  There are other theories, but this is the leading one.)

…so far as the best-known, usually-referred-to-as Precursors go, anyway. Why there is a general lack of extant Precursors around is a whole other problem. Suggestions on a postcard, please, addressed to the Existential Threats PWG, codeword BERSERKER VOID.

Malignancy

MCASE UNGUENT SANCTION

MOST SECRET (ULTRAVIOLET) / EYES ONLY UNGUENT SANCTION

NEED-TO-KNOW ABSOLUTE
HARD COPY ONLY/NO TRANSMISSION
ORIGINATOR-CONTROLLED DISSEMINATION
TRACKED-COPY DOCUMENT
NOCONTRACT
NOFORN
SPECIAL SECURITY PROCEDURE BASILISK FIDELIS

Proceed (+/-)? +

EXECUTION:

STRATEGIC ACTION MESSAGE ONLY
IMPERIAL SECURITY EXECUTIVE ONLY
FIFTH DIRECTORATE VETO
X-THREAT ONLY

SUMMARY:

[SSP image elided from file]

The Existential Threats Primary Working Group has maintained in secure storage a number of sub-black level threats, and has access to two black-level threats, of type BURNING ZEPHYR – i.e., unlimited autonomous nanoscale replicators (“gray goo”).

Case UNGUENT SANCTION represents an extremal response case to physically manifested excessionary-level existential threats. It is hoped that, in such cases, the deployment of an existing sub-black level or black-level existential counterthreat may ideally destroy or subsume the excessionary-level threat, replacing it with one already considered manageable, or in lesser cases, at least delay the excessionary-level threat while more sophisticated countermeasures can be developed.

Note that as an extremal response case, deployment of CASE UNGUENT SANCTION requires consensus approval of the Imperial Security Executive, subject to override veto by vote of the Fifth Directorate overwatch.

WARNING:

Communicating ANY PART of this NTK-A document to ANY SOPHONT other than those with preexisting originator-issued clearance, INCLUDING ITS EXISTENCE, is considered an alpha-level security breach and will be met with the most severe sanctions available, up to and including permanent erasure.

Proceed (+/-)?