Interview with a Galactic Federal Hyperfund Site Manager

David Stark / Zarkonnen
15 Jun 2023, 9:26 p.m.

Thank you for tuning in! Today we have a special guest on our show, Mr. Zhax from the Galactic Federal Hyperfund Site Management Organisation.


Mr. Zhax, thank you for joining us today. To start out, can you tell us a bit about your organisation's work?

I'd be happy to! We manage a number of locations all across the galaxy that require containment and remediation efforts beyond what is available to a typical galactic polity. The hyperfund programme was created roughly 270 million years ago to take the strain off Galactic Federation members, and to ensure long-term continuity of efforts.

Long-term continuity?

Well, to be frank, across a time scale of millions of years, information about dangerous locations is easily lost. Data is corrupted, languages change, species evolve, go extinct, or undergo fundamental changes in substrate and psychology. At the same time, sites can stay active and dangerous potentially indefinitely. Which is where we come in.

You're talking about sites, but can you be more concrete?

Of course! The most common type of hyperfund site are solar systems that have been entirely converted into self-reproducing nanite mass. With these, we have to make sure that no nanite mass exits the gravitational pull of the system, and that no one tries to enter. Most sapients are not aware of this, but there are roughly 30 000 star systems within the galaxy right now that are off limits due to nanites.

Other common types of site include planets and moons with portals to what we colloquially call "hell dimensions", usually created in an attempt to generate power or develop a method of faster-than-light travel. Or planets, systems, or entire local clusters which contain artefacts with cross-species memetic hazards. Most memetic hazards are species-specific, you understand, but every once in a while one pops up that's universal enough to be dangerous long-term.

I see. What does your organisation do about those places? How do you make them safe?

That's a common misunderstanding, unfortunately. By the time a location enters the federal hyperfund site programme, it's very unlikely that it can be made fully safe within usable time scales. So our mission focuses on remediation - making it relatively safe - and containment, making sure it doesn't do additional harm. But of course we're also actively researching novel approaches to improving safety, such as "blue goo" counter-nanites, hyperspace annealing, and accelerated proton decay.

That makes sense. Of course, one question our listeners will be interested in is - who pays for all of this?

As a Galactic Federation organisation, our activities are funded by your taxes, tribute, and involuntarily extracted bodily fluids. Assuming your polity allows outside contact and your culture recognizes numbers as a valid form of information, you can interface with GalNet node GN.GFHSMO to access a detailed budget report at any time.

I was also wondering if there are any sites that are too large - even for your organisation?

Not locally, thank the ancestors. But there's a reason why galaxy 22 Reticuli B is glowing a strange shade of green these days. We try to keep in touch with our exogalactic counterparts where possible.

Thank you! Our time is nearly up, but I have one more question, perhaps the most important one: what is your organisation doing to contain these sites?

That's the major challenge, really. We have to make sure that sapients do not interact with our sites long-term. We've commissioned a number of studies into barrier energy fields, psychic dread projectors, and pocket dimensions, but any sufficiently advanced form of containment is more likely to attract curious sapients than to deter them.

We also tried using depictions of sapients in a state of distress, but that was found to be insufficiently universal. Did you know that among the Rebaxulans of Villum III, spontaneous detachment of the tentacles, accompanied by intense gushing of internal circulatory fluid, is a sign of joy?

So for now, for star systems, we default to shaping all objects in the outlying asteroid belt into the well-known galactic standard hazard warning symbol - a circle containing a semicircle and two dots.