First Contact Protocol


 Eirene, diplomatically fitted Orca class envoy ship

From Internal Communications:


:://Incoming Transmission… carrier signal established…
Message follows:


Cmdr Locnor
Re: Operation Ripley amendment request


As an adjunct to the Brand of Sight, I request that a first contact protocol be established and included in this plan. In the case of inter-species contact, every action could have far reaching repercussions. Should we be the first to arrive at such an event, the responsibility for the path forward is a load not easily borne.

Should we be prepared to defend ourselves, yes, eager for military action, no. We could benefit in unimaginable ways from a peaceful outcome.

I advise that the first contact party have at their disposal, a diplomatic envoy trained for and equipped to handle a first contact situation. The envoy would attempt to establish the environment for at least a primitive level of communication and mutual exploration. Should such actions fail or, the stars forbid, a hostile first encounter, then may the void have mercy on us all.


Submitted for approval, please find the following proposal for a first contact protocol:

Approaching first contact:
1. Envoy wing maintains a distance of no less than 4 Km.
2. Passive scanning and subsystem inventory may be performed by the whole wing and may monitor in this way throughout the encounter. Any weapon like energy signatures are to be logged and reported.
3. If no communication has yet occurred, the unarmed diplomatic ship may close to .25km.
4. If no communication has yet occurred or if contact has begun active scanning, the envoy may commence active scanning (for as much as you get from a warrant/cargo scanners).
5. If no communication has yet occurred, the diplomatic ship may perform maneuvers and broadcast a series of pulses that contain the first 30 prime numbers.
6. If no communication has yet occurred, authorization is given for a vetted and hygiene scrubbed gift payload of human produced technologies and food stuffs may be released.
7. If no communication has yet occurred, the wing will back to a distance of 8km and observe while waiting for further diplomatic orders.


In the event of hostile action:


  • Should the contact at any time deploy weapon-like systems or fire upon the wing or diplomatic ship are to take no hostile actions.
  • If a warning/communication shot is fired, the wing may dispatch a single representative to respond in kind.
  • Should hostile intent be established, even in the event of the diplomatic ships destruction, the wing is to fall back without aggression for a distance of 10km.
  • If the contact breaks off, the diplomatic mission may be attempted again.

However, should the contact pursue, while maintaining actions denoting hostile intent, and the protocol has been followed, command of the wing and the fate of humanity falls to the local Cmdr in charge and his/her command structure.


End Proposal


I applaud your efforts in preparation and trust that if this proposal is not accepted, one like it will be. Additionally, should the need arise, the Branch of Sight is currently refitting the Eirene, a diplomatically fitted Orca class envoy ship, for this purpose. It will be stationed at Cubeo and its crew trained and aware of their mission and the risks involved. The 13th would not be held accountable for its fate. Should the need arise for such a vessel, it is at your disposal.


Fly safe, commander.


:://carrier lost…

[–]CMDR_NightshadyNightshady (Lord Commander, 13th Legion)

CMDR Locnor –

Your dedication to see peace over war, your hope in the goodness of beings outside of our species, and the extensive thought you have put into this statement is… most impressive.

Perhaps Operation: Ripley should have it’s own contingency- a contingency that when the Thargoids do arrive, they will do so without ill intent. Unfortunately, I am not the type of person who could discern this, as my passion for defense of the Empire does not allow me to see clearly, but I think perhaps you might be that person.

I would like to offer you the opportunity to lead up the diplomatic arm of Operation: Ripley. If you accept, the 13th Legion and those that flock to the defense of the Empire against alien invaders will abide by your contact protocol, with the following caveats:

  1. Two diplomatic ships may approach the contact zone, each of which will be escorted in separate wings of warships. As many alternate diplomats can be selected as you see fit.
  2. The diplomatic ships must stay within 3km of at least one fast attack fighter.
  3. If the diplomatic ship takes fire, it must immediately return to the safety of the combat wing, but the combat wing will NOT engage unless the diplomatic ship is destroyed by INTENTIONAL harmful actions of the alien forces.
  4. Intentional destruction of a peaceful and unarmed diplomatic vessel will end the diplomatic phase of Operation: Ripley, and it will revert to a full military operation with intent to safeguard humanity by any means necessary, including full-scale assault by all combat wings.

Please note that I take this Operation very seriously. Your acceptance will mean that we will run mock exercises to ensure that if and when the time comes, we are trained appropriately for this encounter.

I await your decision.

CMDR Nightshady Lord Commander, 13th Legion


CMDR Nightshady –


You honor me with such a request. A higher calling for one in my field, nay humanity, has yet to present itself. The desire and opportunity for peaceful discourse and trade with a species other than our own represents an inflection point so profound it may be the single most important point of human history. The alternative, war, is likewise daunting in its significance to our timeline going forward. So upon due consideration and review of your terms, I find myself unable to decline. I accept.


As a first order of business, I name CMDR Andariel as my second. He brings a wealth of experience, particularly in areas that I find myself lacking, together, I believe we can fulfill the charter of a first contact diplomatic arm of this operation. I trust him implicitly and he shall serve as a full extension of the authority of my office at all times. He says it, I back it.

I would request one final boon before we set down this course. That contained in whatever combat contingent we bring, at least one long range contingency ship capable of escape, should the diplomatic operations fail. I trust this is already part of your plan, however, explicitly, I would ask that this chosen vessel be outfitted to maintain wide beam sensor and telemetry links with both diplomatic ships at all times. Ideally, this ship would be capable of some amount of thermal/sensor/visual stealth, although only using it if necessary.


Should the diplomatic mission fail in the event of hostilities, this ship is to leave the system immediately and report as much data back to the appropriate channels with all due urgency. I understand this may mean that an additional ship need be added to your two wing plan or leaving the diplomatic escort wings with one less defender. I leave the details to you and your team. However, I believe we can both agree that any data collected in this scenario would prove more valuable to the defense efforts than the safety of a mere two wings.


We’ve submitted RFPs to numerous design agencies for the Eriene science and diplomatic refit, and have begun securing funds for a sister ship, the Pax. Several alternates, ship and pilots, will be sought in short order.


With that, it would appear you and I have a lot of work to do. I look forward to working with you.


-CMDR LocNor