August, 2185 - Collected News Abstracts on Alien Ghost Ship Encounter

08/11/2185 – Alien AI-Controlled Ship Makes Contact in Salarian Space
“Alarms rang throughout the salarian system of Antilin yesterday when an alien ship bearing a strong AI signature triggered fears of a geth attack. Renko Turwin, Director of Near-Orbital Security, explained: “When evidence of powerful AI heuristics was detected onboard, our security forces thought it was the vanguard of a geth invasion. However, we consulted quarian scientific advisors who assured us that the signals failed to match any known geth signature.” According to Turwin, the biggest surprise came next: “The ship’s intelligence then communicated with us. It asked us to calculate the value of Pi to the first quadrillion digits. Some 20 questions followed after that, all of them beyond our realm of expertise. We’re currently awaiting advice from outside consultants before proceeding. As yet, the ship matches no known alien species.””

08/15/2185 – Breakthrough in Communication with Antilin “Ghost Ship”
“A breakthrough today in the case of the mysterious “ghost ship” in the Antilin System: Famed exo-biologist Jordan Detweiler from MIT’s Extraterrestrial Studies Group traveled to the ship, now held in quarantine. Detweiler engaged the ship’s AI system, which has been piloting the craft for an undetermined number of years and appears to be the sole sentient lifeform onboard. Given previous failed communication attempts, Detweiler explained how he succeeded: “In rudimentary terms, it was an I.Q. test. The ship’s AI was determining that we weren’t some band of dullard space pirates, that we understood things like quantum string theory, emergent systems, and a host of other advanced concepts. I was able to satisfy its demands and gain access to the interior. I need to do more analysis, but I think this is the exo-archaeological find of the century. I will say that the ship appears to be at least 8,000 years old.””

08/19/2185 – MIT Exo-Biologist Claims Astonishing Antilin “Ghost Ship” Discovery
“The scientific community is abuzz today after the latest report from MIT exo-biologist Jordan Detweiler was filed last night from the Antilin System, where he’s currently investigating a mysterious “ghost ship.” Claiming a breakthrough, Detweiler writes, “What I’ve discovered is nothing short of astonishing: This so-called derelict ship isn’t derelict at all. It appears that an alien race has downloaded its consciousness to a massive array of quantum computers onboard the vessel. It’s my belief these aliens now reside entirely in a virtual world and have been there for at least 8,000 years.” Detweiler estimates the population of the virtual world numbers close to one billion individuals. He explains: “The ship’s AI is something of a caretaker to these people, or even a god depending on how you look at it. More importantly, the AI is now requesting our help. It says a power failure is imminent and threatens the entire virtual civilization.””

08/21/2185 – Opinions Mixed After Discovery of “Ghost Ship” Virtual Civilization
“Opinions were plentiful this week after MIT’s Jordan Detweiler stunned the scientific world when he revealed the existence of a virtual alien civilization residing in a derelict “ghost ship”. Niran Patalung, a Buddhist scholar at the Center for Religious Studies in Bangkok, said, “I’m struck by the parallels to ancient human beliefs in reincarnation. Clearly, life does not end for these aliens when they ‘die.’ Their souls, if you will, simply re-inhabit other virtual personalities and continue living.” Thomas Copeland, spokesman for an Earth-based atheist group, disagreed: “That’s true until you pull the plug. Then what? All these ‘souls’ just wink out, that’s what. Those who would latch onto this incident as proof of some higher level of existence are simply projecting their own wishful thinking onto digital noise.” Mr. Patalung replied: “One man’s noise is another man’s music. Perhaps in his next life, Mr. Copeland will be less tone-deaf.””

08/24/2185 – Galaxy Remains Riveted to Ongoing “Ghost Ship” Saga
“The galaxy remains riveted to the ongoing saga of the AI-driven “ghost ship,” now in danger of perishing because of dwindling energy reserves. Evolutionary biologists have jumped into the fray, with one claiming the extinction of the virtual alien race is the natural order of things. “Face it,” turian scientist Elgus Paramon argued, “these aliens were clever, but they weren’t clever enough to build a better battery. Their lack of foresight is a failure to adapt to changing conditions. Their species represents an evolutionary dead-end, and their civilization should be allowed to perish.” Responding, the chief exo-biologist investigating the ship, Jordan Detweiler, said “Mr. Paramon would have us commit genocide by turning a blind eye to the situation. We can save this civilization. The power requirements to preserve their virtual world are manageable.” The matter is now being referred to the Citadel Council for further consideration.”

08/25/2185 – No Decision Yet Reached in “Ghost Ship” Case
“With time running out, no decision has yet been reached in the case of the alien “ghost ship” found drifting in salarian space. Exo-biologist Jordan Detweiler estimates the energy reserves currently powering the virtual alien world are down to 4% and will fail soon. Meanwhile, opportunistic explorers boarded the ship last night and managed to hack into the virtual civilization. Before they were caught, the hackers spent six hours interfaced with the ship’s computers. In that relatively short period of time, it appears that some 180 years passed within the virtual world. Both hackers are currently in deep comas and doctors are unsure as to their recovery. "The interface was too much for their systems to absorb. Trying to re-connect their minds to their bodies after being “away” for so long mentally was too large a shock. Physically they’re fine, but I’d wager scrambled eggs have more consciousness."”

08/27/2185 – Alien “Ghost Ship” Saga Ends Under Veil of Secrecy
“The saga of the alien “ghost ship” has come to a surprising end. Earlier today, reports surfaced that the Citadel Council was prepared to rule against saving the ship, fearing its AI system was sophisticated enough to pose a “security threat of unknown dimensions.” In response, chief scientist Jordan Detweiler inserted himself into the virtual alien world to warn its citizens of their civilization’s imminent end. He returned one minute later — apparently equal to half a year within the accelerated timeline of the alien world — bringing a treaty offer from its inhabitants. At that point, details turn sketchy. One inside source claims the virtual aliens offered scientific advancements “far beyond anything we have” in return for assistance. A veil of secrecy was immediately erected, with Citadel intelligence agencies classifying the matter as top-secret. Rumors now have Jordan Detweiler embarking on a Council-sanctioned mission into the virtual world to make diplomatic contact.”

09/15/2185 – “Ghost Ship” Researcher Jordan Detweiler Sighted on the Citadel
“The famed “virtual ghost ship” is back in the news today after a reported sighting of MIT exobiologist Jordan Detweiler. This follows weeks of rumors that Detweiler had embarked on a diplomatic mission into a virtual alien world that he discovered on the ship’s supercomputer. It is now understood that Detweiler’s body remained in a controlled coma while his consciousness explored the artificial civilization. However, multiple eyewitnesses on the Citadel claim to have seen Detweiler visiting the Presidium recently. A Council spokesperson would only say, “We do not comment on internal Citadel matters.” This fueled speculation that Detweiler was indeed acting on behalf of the Council in his logins to the virtual world.”

09/19/2185 – Kyra Detweiler Claims Her Father Is Being Deliberately Endangered
“An unusual twist today in the case of MIT exobiologist Jordan Detweiler: acting on recent rumors that he was seen visiting the Citadel, Detweiler’s daughter, Kyra, traveled to the galactic hub and demanded a meeting with him. Although she signed a confidentiality agreement, Ms. Detweiler claims she was repeatedly denied access. “They only let me see my dad after I raised hell about it,” she said. “I can be prosecuted for speaking to the media, but I don’t care. He’s in danger. There’s something wrong with him and the Council knows it.” Council representatives continue to refuse comment on the matter.”

09/20/2185 – Kyra Detweiler Releases Statement to GBC News
“Kyra Detweiler, daughter of famed MIT exobiologist Jordan Detweiler, has released a statement to GBC News alleging the Citadel Council is covering up her father’s deteriorating medical condition. “He didn’t even know who I was — his own daughter! I got five minutes to speak with him before security whisked him away. Is he sick? Is he brain-damaged?” Council representatives declined to comment on the situation, fuelling speculation that Dr. Detweiler was profoundly changed by his visit to the virtual world inside a derelict spacecraft. “Silence is a terrible answer,” wrote columnist Urla Dhen. “The public doesn’t know much, but it knows that anything relating to AI or synthetic life is something to fear. Refusing to comment leads us all to assume the worst.””

09/21/2185 – Council Spokesman Responds to Cover-Up Allegations
“A furor has erupted over the recent GBC News conversation with Kyra Detweiler, daughter of noted MIT exobiologist Jordan Detweiler. Ms. Detweiler alleged the Citadel Council is covering up her father’s deteriorating medical condition, triggering a media backlash from all quarters of the galaxy. In response, the Council held a hastily arranged press conference to manage damage control, at which spokesman Anton Galer said: “Acting on behalf of the Council, Jordan Detweiler did indeed visit the virtual alien world he discovered. Yes, Dr. Detweiler was seen on the Presidium recently, but this was his body, not his mind. He has, for lack of a better term, ‘swapped’ with an alien consciousness in the virtual world. This procedure was the most stable way for their ambassador to gain access to our physical universe for diplomatic discussions.” A stunned media corps quickly erupted with questions, but the Council spokesman declined further comment.”

09/23/2185 – Scientific World Still Absorbing Jordan Detweiler “Mind Swap” Revelation
“The scientific world is still absorbing the news that an ambassador from a virtual alien civilization is currently visiting the Citadel. An inside source reveals that during his travels within the virtual civilization, MIT exobiologist Jordan Detweiler agreed to allow the virtual consciousness of an Ambassador Sygan to use his body as a conduit to interact with our physical universe. It is unclear to what extent Dr. Detweiler maintains control of his body. “It’s complicated,” said the source. “We aren’t just talking about diplomatic ties between two planets or species, but between two universes: one physical, the other virtual.” The source has refused to divulge details on the nature of the virtual alien world.”

09/24/2185 – Virtual Alien Ambassador Petitions Citadel Council for Asylum
“Breaking news tonight from the Citadel, where Ambassador Sygan, the virtual alien inhabiting Dr. Jordan Detweiler’s body, called an unscheduled press conference to issue the following statement: “Long ago, our people lived in your universe of physical matter. When our sun went supernova, we sought refuge in a virtual world free of needless pain and suffering, climate disasters, disease, and many other ills faced by creatures of solid flesh. Some now feel that remaining in this world after the danger had passed was a mistake. We realize that distress can sometimes provide a catalyst for evolution. We miss the turmoil of physical existence. As such, I formally petition the Citadel Council for asylum. I no longer wish to return to my former world.””

09/25/2185 – Questions Raised About Dr. Detweiler and Amb. Sygan’s Fates
“After yesterday’s stunning request for asylum, Ambassador Sygan has been placed in a secure wing of the Presidium while the Citadel Council deliberates its course of action. Questions have arisen about the legal, ethical, and physical implications of allowing the emissary to remain in Dr. Jordan Detweiler’s body while the exobiologist’s mind remains in the virtual alien world. When asked what the Council should do if the aliens were to hold Detweiler hostage, Detweiler’s daughter, Kyra, said, “Pull the plug. Remind them who’s really in control.” The Council has already ruled out this option, citing the moral implications of of wiping out the last remnants of an entire civilization.”

09/26/2185 – Volunteers Step Forward to Swap Places with Virtual Aliens
“Deadlocked Council deliberations over the fate of Ambassador Sygan ended today with a surprising twist: the Council will grant asylum to the virtual alien emissary in the body of a volunteer, allowing famed MIT exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler to return to his own body. Ambassador Sygan will transfer her consciousness into the volunteer’s body, while the volunteer’s consciousness is downloaded into a computer. Upon hearing this decision, some 400 individuals from various races have volunteered to “swap places” with aliens inside the virtual world who wish to re-join the physical universe. One asari volunteer regarded this as “an amazing opportunity to explore a new realm of existence,” while a salarian volunteer said, “I’m doing it because I’m tired of our universe. It’s a mess.””

August, 2185 - Collected News Abstracts on Alien Ghost Ship Encounter

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