Jakoli Ghost Ship

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The Jakoli Ghost Ship was the first superluminal ship created the Kaqueni, and it's story is an enduring one, retold to this day.

Nature

The Kaqueni mastered fusion and Joint-Brane Systems far earlier than most other species, long before mastering any form of faster than light travel. However, their mastery of power systems made travelling at relativistic speeds possible, allowing them to settle distant stars and create an isolated, subluminal interstellar empire.

After a few centuries and a decade of testing, their first superluminal ship was created: The Jakoli. It would fly between the systems of the Kaqueni, ferrying people and resources around wherever they were needed at quite a respectable speed.

It had a biological crew of around 600, and a few dozen infomorphs crippled and tethered by the Kaqueni's paranoid Isolation Initiatives. This was the first time more than one infomorph had been deployed on a starship by the Kaqueni.

Infomorphic Takeover

The infomorphs had tightly restricted bandwidth and were not allowed to communicate freely. However, infomorphs in charge of different systems realized that they could communicate freely as long as they didn't use the network to do so. Small changes in power load became a standard method to converse, and the infomorphs aboard the ship began to create a cultural consensus.

All of this happened during the commute from the shipyards to the first Kaqueni colony world. Before the ship arrived, the infomorphs were already communicating easily and had functionally taken control of the ship, although they saw no need to change their mission parameters.

Unfortunately, in the same time period, a plague had spread among the crew. The doctors were unable to stop it.

The Ghost Ship

In an attempt to save the crew, the Jakoli infomorphs took control of the ship, froze the crew, overrode safety constraints, and reached the colony far faster than should have been possible. This worried the locals, and they grew even more worried when the request for help came as a high-volume blat across every part of the radio spectrum, in sixteen languages and four hundred different encodings.

Paranoia won out, and the ship was told to return home. However, the infomorph crew decided instead to head for the next nearest colony, which they reached in record time.

Again, the amount of data coming off the ship worried the locals too much, and the ship was sent away.

To make matters worse, the colonies were beginning to talk frantically to each other about the Jakoli on their new hyperlight transmission systems. This also tripped the Isolation Initiatives, and the comms were automatically sealed off to prevent what appeared to be high-speed infomorph communication between colonies.

By the time the colonies restored communication enough to slowly deliberate about the Jakoli, it had visited six star systems and been rejected from each.

In theory, it broke down after that and is drifting in deep space.

However, the Kaqueni still tell stories of running into it on deep space journeys, the blast of desperate voices on every channel, in every language, begging for help. It always fades away before it can be reached...