Sakabkei Kiijata Speaks on DERAIL Activities
Sakabkei Kiijata responded to our requests for an interview, and came in earlier today to speak on DERAIL’s presence in Eugales and the surrounding systems over the last three weeks. When we sat down to conduct the interview, he had much to say on the subject:
"I will comply with DERAIL as far as the law will allow, and as far as my infrastructure and staff will not be compromised, be it structurally or mentally. But I have critisim regarding their performance during the prior raid that uncovered synthetic intelligence, human and human-augment conspirators.
"I make no secret of my opinion of [DERAIL], and their conduct. I believe them to be idiots with excavators.
"Let me put this into context. When I was a child, I lived in a more rural area of my homeworld that was undergoing development before I was old enough to find my own way. I often stayed at my grandparents’ home while my mother and father oversaw projects that would bring prosperity to our settlement, strung out as it was, but would respect the local ecosystem as much as possible to limit retaliation by the local flora and fauna.
"Our home’s plant and animal life was very hostile to people that didn’t respect nature. There were ways to develop human infrastructure, even in the middle of the woods, but they were constantly observed, and any deviation that disrupted the ecosystem, be it the construction was too loud or the area under development grew too quickly, or any attempts to displace the wildlife outside of specific circumstances usually resulted in said wildlife making a seeminly vengeful attack on a person or persons responsible for the disturbance.
"So foresters, like my grandfather, pioneered the way for human settlement and development without retailiation before I was born. He did a little of everything, replanting trees, observing and taking notes on much of the animal life, conversing with his coworkers on ways to best displace wildlife in a manner consistent with the natural order, and directing construction projects like making gravel roads through dense forested areas that were too large to go around.
"I often had opportunities to see him work while staying with him. He was quite old by this time, but even in retirement he chose to volunteer his skills to jobs overseen by younger foresters. I even pitched in with direction from him at times, and it was some of the closest looks at nature I ever received at this time, before I was old enough to critically analyse our impact on the environment, and gained a greater appreciation for the world I lived on.
"Unfortunately there wasn’t always a mutual understanding between the foresters and the construction workers. Many times there were contract workers from off-world that came under strict instruction to obey certain protocols set by their companies and laws set by the planetary government. Sometimes those protocols, developed over time by their parent companies through experience with our world, and the laws set by the government were ignored in favor of a more expedient or cheap alternative.
"Due to the manner in which the environment responded to such attempts, most mistakes were learning experiences, and weren’t repeated. But there was one case of mistakes that while minor to most, I’ve learned is no less important a mistake to avoid making.
"There were many gravel roads through densely wooded areas, and many of them crossed rivers several times. Culverts were installed under the roads that would allow the rivers to flow unimpeded. Our world was a little colder than most, and winters were especially harsh, so frost upheavals from blocked culverts had to be avoided at all costs, lest the roads collapse and spill gravel and trace amounts of manmade material into rivers and streams.
"That might not at first cause a response from the wildlife, but they would be agitated and restrict human access to the area for a time after if such happened, preventing repair and further prevention to reduce our impact.
"One of the local animals, an aquatic rodent that prefers deeper waters to avoid detection by predators, likes to dam up culverts with twigs, sticks, logs, rocks and mud to raise the water table. Most of the time, they do this dam construction deeper in the forest, where its impact does not affect human activities or infrastructure, and the wildlife are used to generations of such activity.
"But when they dam a culvert in spring or summer seasons, unmitigated flooding causes the roads to wash out, and make the entire section of road bordering the river to become a dam, which it wasn’t designed for and would eventually collapse with water flowing over and under it. So whenever a dam would appear, it woud be dismantled before the water rose too high to wash out the roads or cause a catastrophic collapse. If it went unchecked into the winter, the frost upheaval from the raised water table would bring about a collapse later in the spring, and that almost always caused immediate calamity.
"Anyway, there were two ways foresters and their associates solved the problem. The first was to dismantle the dam by hand, which while time-consuming, was the most efficient means to remove the blockage, if there wasn’t a lot of silt or clay or mud beginning to collect at the bottom of the culvert, and reducing the total amount of flow.
"The second was, and I’m abreviating what my grandfather said, as he was more colorful with his words, “an idiot with an excavator”.
"I once got to see such an instance in action. Off-world contractors were brought in to remove a large dam from a culvert, and this decision was brought about to resolve the problem as quickly as possible, and they thought that the noise would discourage the wildlife from building the dam again in a few hours time, as the rodents were notoriously persistent in keeping water levels high.
"Unfortunately the whole process became something of a circus. The excavator took four hours to arrive, as the drivers of the vehicle were unfamiliar with the area. They couldn’t get into the river to access the dam directly as it was too deep, so they sat the excavator on top of the mouth of the culvert and brought the bucket down and in to try and scoop out the debris.
"On top of damaging the edges of the culvert, sides, and top, overall reducing its length, they started to erode the sides of the road upon which the culvert was built, and I watched in awe as the driver struggled to pull back from the side of the road as it collapsed under him, and blocked the culvert entirely, reducing the width of the road, and making the original problem worse.
"There were similar attempts with larger equipment in the years following the idiot, and while most of them were not as terrible an event, most did damage the culvert sides and tops, and that resulted in costly replacements down the line, and gradual reduction in the roads’ traffic loads until someone went out to widen them again. This last affect was not as bad as the first, but having a choke point like that along any road with traffic deliberately spaced apart by minutes because it has effectively become a two-way with a one way crossing anywhere at its length did reduce the amount of work that could be done in a day.
"Since then I have used my grandfather’s description of the contractors to describe any usage of equipment or force beyond what is necessary to the point of impracticality. When doing more with less saves time, money, and work hours that includes filling out report forms.
"It is this description that I think best embodies what DERAIL is. Overkill to the point of impracticality. They may have succeeded in catching several synthetic intelligences, and human conspirators that aided them, but with their show of force they made the remaining persons and AI scatter, thus making them harder to track. It was very unlikely that they succeeded in detaining all individuals involved in one strike, and thus they will have to dedicate more time and resources to tracking down the remaining elements, all the while disrupting general life and functions in areas they believe to be contaminated, or harboring dangerous people, causing more harm than I wonder the amount of harm such persons would cause if they were left undisturbed.
“My grandfather used to say, “Nature does not need more reasons to want us removed. The more we push it, the more it pushes back, and people wonder why so much of the wildlife is hostile to people. Wouldn’t you be just as hostile if some invaders came into your home, and tore it down to make their own? Tried to drive you out into your neighbors’ homes? Drive you and them out further with every year? Makes it seem like even if you don’t pose any threat to them, all they want in the end is to see you exterminated. And anyone would fight tooth and nail if it meant they wouldn’t be wiped out.””