The Scriveners Clan’s legal ownership of their dredger has been supported by the civil rights organisation Advocacy.
The ancient Dredger-class bulk cruiser, currently located in the Oochost PC-C c29-0 system, is inhabited by a nomadic tribe descended from the vessel’s original crew. Orion University claims that the cruiser is its commercial property, but has failed to make contact with its occupants.
Rhiannon Grady, director of Advocacy, explained:
“For centuries, there has been widespread legislation to protect remote communities from cultural contamination. These laws apply to micro-societies, such as those found aboard generation ships, that evolved in isolation.”
“Therefore, Orion University should not presume to deprive over ten thousand people of the only home they have ever known. Unlike cases such as the Golconda, which requested emergency assistance, in this case we are legally and morally obliged to respect the status quo.”
Professor Elizabeth Perez, head of anthropology at Orion University, responded:
“I was involved with the Golconda aid efforts, and fully appreciate the delicacy of this situation. But the dredger’s age and condition makes it a hazardous environment for its people. Evacuation should be considered for their own safety, with appropriate measures to minimise cultural disruption.”
The university’s megaship, Scientia Aeterna, has halted attempts to gain access to the Scriveners Clan dredger. However, it has not withdrawn its remote override of the vessel’s hyperdrive.