Bomand Incident

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The Bomand Incident was a friendly fire incident and major score for improbability. In A.Y. 6842, the U.E.A.S. Bomand, traversing the outer edge of a solar system, was struck, without warning, by an N2 missile. The weapon hit the aft section, instantly killing 25 members of the 76-man crew and utterly crippling the ship. 10 more crewmen died attempting to reach escape shuttles and life support shelters, and the survivors were not rescued for 18 days. During this time they endured great hardships, including one man who was confined to a space suit linked to an oxygen tank for the entire duration.

Sensor logs and a damage assessment proved beyond all doubt that the ship had been struck by an armed N2-missile built (and presumably launched) by the Foundation. But the nearest Foundation ship was over 20 light-years away. Relations between the Foundation and the Alliance had never better; and there was, quite literally, no explanation for the unproved attack.

Because of the loss of life and the serious nature of the incident, the Foundation asked for a trilateral commission: the Foundation would carry out its own investigation, the Alliance would complete a second investigation, and a third team, combined of both Alliance and Foundation personnel, would do a third investigation. Only if all three parties could reach an agreement would the matter be considered settled.

Alliance Investigation[edit]

The Alliance investigation very quickly stalled. Their only useful conclusions were that the missile had been fired at extremely great range. They could find no evidence that the weapon was homing, and what little of the trajectory had been recorded by Bomand's sensors indicated it was traveling in a straight line. Since the Bomand was on a hyper-space pause and coasting, such a shot was well within the capability of a scout ship or stealth vessel outside of sensor range. However, the Alliance's team agreed that there was no possible motive for the attack, and that if destroying the Bomand were an objective, why had the attacker not persisted or fired a second shot?

No consensus was reached, and the Alliance team agreed to accept whatever findings the other two teams made.

Foundation and Joint Investigation[edit]

From the start, the Foundation team shared information freely with the joint team, which did not pass along anything to the dedicated Alliance team (to reduce the chance of bias). Their finds, while improbable, were quite extraordinary.

The Foundation concluded that the missile did not originate from a recent conflict. Based on the trajectory, they were able to trace its course, and determined that it had been fired over two hundred light-years away, and more than three hundred years earlier.

The missile, they theorized, was one of thousands fired during the Kamian Succession Wars. This one, launched on the outer edge of a neighboring star system, had traversed open space. For three centuries, it had traveled at 70PSL through the void between stars. The missile's motor, guidance, and maneuvering systems were long dead - but the warhead had remained armed.

Conclusions[edit]

Far-fetched though it was, the Alliance accepted the Foundation's theory. The odds, extraordinarily small though they were, were not non-existent. Further, Foundation weapons tests indicated that an N2 warhead could, under the right conditions, remain active for centuries. Bomand had, very simply, been the most unlucky ship in the entirety of space.

Despite no fault being found, the Foundation still provided generous compensation to the crew of the Bomand and their families, as well as decorating the survivors. The dead were declared as "the last casualties of the Succession Wars".

Afterward[edit]

Upon publication of the Foundation's conclusion, other reports were given of similar accidents, wherein isolated spacecraft, orbital stations, unmanned probes, or mining-stations on asteroids were hit by debris, or even whole missiles. These soon received, wherever substantiated, the 'Bomand Treatment'.