Standard Operating Procedure
This page covers the standardised guidelines and procedures aboard the station, but are not written in law; be aware that in cases of dire emergency the commanding officer or certain individuals are authorised to temporarily alter current SOP as they see fit, at the risk of criminal penalties in the case of misuse or abuse! Make sure to look at Alert Procedure for guidelines that change based on the alert level.
The commanding officer or CO of a commercial or military vessel is afforded several rights that are as follows:
The CO of such a vessel is granted the authority to personally execute any member of their crew, unless they are already in custody of its security, under the following circumstances:
- The crew member exhibits a clear and present danger to the chain of command by illegal means.
- The crew member exhibits a clear and present danger to the health and safety of an officer.
- The crew member exhibits a clear and present danger to the vessel by physical means.
The CO of such a vessel is additionally granted the authority to personally pardon and/or parole individuals accused and sentenced for crimes if deemed in the best interest of the crew and the vessel. Only misdemeanour and felony crimes may be pardoned, and the CO may be held legally responsible for criminal acts committed by those who they pardon. Whenever any pardon is granted, a general announcement must be made detailing who was pardoned, for which crimes, and for what reason.
Additionally, and most importantly, the CO of such a vessel is granted Captain’s Authority over their vessel, in that while they are the formally and legally appointed Captain, they are the highest-ranking officer aboard the vessel until they are directly dismissed by a superior.
This carries a responsibility, however; the Captain of the vessel must do everything possible to save the passengers, crew, and assets aboard the station, and, unless their life is in immediate danger, must not abandon ship if there is reasonable hope that it could be saved.
Failure to “go down with the ship” or to make an attempt to save the vessel up until the last available moment will forfeit the Captain’s right to invoke Dire Emergency and will result in their demotion, dismissal, or even termination.
Should such a situation arise in which the CO is unfit for their position and declines relinquishment of position and power, and where all alternative legal options have been exhausted, officers may be permitted to lead a mutiny.
A mutiny, defined as a coordinated effort to depose the commanding officer or officers of a vessel for committing unlawful acts, requires the crew to neutralise the offending staff with non-lethal force where applicable, and lethal measures and weapons only in acts of self-preservation or when given no other option. The commanding officer or officers, as well as their loyalists, are all bound to Space Law, the current alert level and it's corresponding RoE.
Should the mutiny be unsuccessful, only the head officer(s) who approved the mutiny may receive an execution sentencing, while all mutineers may be demoted and/or placed in Extended Confinement.
Should the mutiny be successful, the head officer(s) who approved the mutiny may select a new commanding officer, who will sentence the previous heads of staff for their crimes at their own discretion and per Space Law.
Line of succession
If the CO dies and is unrecoverable, a new CO must be selected per the following guide:
- Step 1: Is the CO still alive? If so, proceed to step 5. If not, then proceed to the next step.
- Step 2: All head officers currently alive may vote on a head to make the new CO; proceed to step 5. If no head officers remain, proceed to the next step.
- Step 3: Make your way to bridge and seek evacuation, set the alert level to red, and make a general announcement. If you succeed, you are now the de facto Captain and may proceed to step 5. If you are unable to fulfil any of the above, proceed to the next step.
- Step 4: Seek a safe place to shelter and await rescue. If there is a present danger aboard the vessel, make all possible efforts to avoid it.
- Step 5: Await the end of your shift.
High Security Areas
High Security Areas, or HSAs, should be restricted, and, during standard station operations, secured where applicable or per alert level. They differ from regular secure areas in that they may contain items, technology, or other assets of high importance or value, and must therefore be held safe. Unauthorised persons within HSAs may be guilty of trespass, or of breaking and entering.
Common HSAs for commercial and military vessels are as follows:
- Gun Deck
- Vault or Strongroom
- EVA Equipment Room
- Gravity Generator and Life Support
- Telecommunications and Telemetry
Given good medical reason and with documentation, the Chief Medical Officer of a vessel may declare any on-duty personnel unfit for duty and order them to be demoted from their position; this includes the Commanding Officer, who may not overrule this procedure.
In order for a medical evaluation to be considered lawfully applicable, the CMO and the relevant head of department must both agree that the specified crewmate is unfit for duty for the demotion for it to take effect.
Controlled substances are any substances that have been restricted or made illegal under space law. A noncomprehensive list of controlled substances is as follows:
- Space Drugs and other hallucinogenic agents
- Mindbreaker Toxin and other psionically restrictive agents
- Corpium and other highly infectious or rapidly-acting chemical or biological agents
- Desoxyephedrine and other stimulants
- Nocturine and other sedatives
- Explosive and pyrotechnic compounds
- Toxins and poisonous compounds
Any individual who requires any of the above items in the course of their job or for regular function may request access to a prescription or special dispensation from the CMO, which will describe the controlled substance(s) being prescribed, the amount where applicable, and a certification of authority, such as a stamp or signature.
Controlled items are items that have been restricted or made illegal for passenger possession and use. Additionally, any information, intelligence, or technology providing insight into the development, production, or procurement of a controlled item is also itself a controlled item. The current list of controlled items is as follows:
- Weapons and ballistic or reflective body armour (see Armament Licensing)
- Cryptographic systems, software or technology
- Nuclear materials, weapons, and technology
- Long-range telecommunications and broadcast technology
- Navigation and maritime guidance equipment or technology
- Telecommunication and signal jamming technology
- Hypodermic spray tools and refillable hypodermic auto-injectors
- Cloaking, chameleon, and IFF-inhibiting technology
Any individual who requires any of the above items in the course of their job or for regular function may request a document of authorisation which is to contain an itemised list of the approved information, intelligence, or technologies, the name and position of the holder, and a stamped statement of approval from the commanding officer; this document must be held secure by both parties. Should the holder of such a document commit crimes pertaining to the listed items, the authorising party may be found guilty of accessory to said crimes, in addition to endangerment and abuse of power where applicable.
Certain bodies, groups, or personnel may require certain controlled items in the course of their job, and as such must be provided exceptions. Any department which begins their shift with a controlled item in their possession or within their department’s allocated area is assumed authorised for its possession and use.
The logistics department aboard a station is permitted to approve any order with the permission or approval of an individual with access to the contents of that shipment. Additionally, they may deny any order for lack of funds, lack of authority, or for any other reason deemed sufficient by their direct superior, the Logistics Officer.
Should cargo technicians be forced to store crates containing controlled items, substances, or weapons, they are required to retain a copy of the invoice and store the order securely within their department. Unlocked crates, orders stored outside of the department, and supplies illegally distributed to unauthorised personnel carries a risk of endangerment or even black marketeering charges.
Epistemics employees are permitted to use their lab spaces as they see fit, with the following caveats:
- Any human experimentation must be done with the consent of the test subject, and must not have an undue risk of life. The lead scientist or CO may terminate any experiment for safety or ethical purposes and at their discretion.
- Self-experimentation is prohibited and is chargeable with endangerment at a minimum.
- Testing of any explosives or weapons that risk hull penetration or mass destruction must be done at an off-station site.
- Distribution of experimental technology to research personnel for testing purposes may be approved or denied by the lead scientist or CO.
- Epistemics employees are not subject to laws regarding controlled substances or items while using said items in the course of research and in a manner approved by the Mystagogue or CO.
- Experimental technology may be provided to crew departments for testing and use with the approval of the relevant head officers.
Medical doctors, paramedics, and other personnel may carry, use, or prescribe any controlled substance as well as hypodermic spray tools and refillable injectors in the course of their job and in a manner approved by the CMO or CO, with the following caveats:
- Any controlled substance with the capability to cause rapid and grievous bodily harm or death may not be carried outside of the chemistry or treatment areas without a stamped document authorising the carrier’s possession of the substance.
- Any substance with the capacity to cause harm as a consequence of overdose may not be stocked, stored, or displayed in an area and fashion that leaves such substances open and accessible to the public.
- Any hypodermic spray tool or refillable hypodermic auto-injector must be kept secure within locked storage or on the person of an authorised entity.
- Engineering personnel may not use or possess controlled items or technology in the course of their job if their tasks may be completed without the use of the aforementioned items or technology.
- Engineering personnel may not use controlled items or technology in a manner that compromises the security of said items, unless directly approved by the CE or CO.
- Advanced, proprietary, or classified objects and entities are to be regarded as controlled items or technology for the above caveats.
Right to Refuse Service
All standard service members that operate within a secure area are given the right to refuse service to patrons at any time if they are disorderly or abusive, or, in the case of service of alcoholic beverages, if they are suspected of being intoxicated. Additionally, all standard service members are permitted to use nonlethal force to remove noncompliant, intoxicated, or disorderly individuals only when such persons pose a threat to the safety of staff members, or disrupt the orderly functioning of the secure areas and staff quarters.
All medical staff may, at any time, refuse medical care to patients for any of the following reasons:
- Lack of expertise; the medical staff does not have the necessary skill, knowledge, or capability to provide treatment.
- Illegal or unethical request; the medical staff cannot in good conscience provide treatment due to illegality or violation of ethical principles.
- Patient refusal; the patient, being legally competent to make such a decision, refuses treatment.
- Disruptive or abusive patient; the patient exhibits violent or threatening behaviour, posing a danger to staff and to other patients.
- Resource constraints; there are limited resources available to medical staff, necessitating allocation by triage.
Medical staff are afforded the right to quarantine individuals that currently suffer from infectious or contagious diseases, and may confine them within predesignated quarantine areas in the course of treatment, until the point that they are no longer infectious or harmful to the rest of the crew.
- Cutting, bludgeoning, or other standard melee-based weapons.
- Ballistic small arms that possess internal magazines or feeding systems, are operated by manual action, and are not concealable within a pocket or coat.
- Non-lethal ammunition.
- Soft ballistic armour
- Energy-based stun weaponry, ranged and melee.
- Ballistic small arms that possess internal magazines or feeding systems or are operated by manual action.
- Ballistic small arms that are self-loading but incapable of automatic fire, and are not concealable within a pocket or coat.
- Laser-based small arms that are incapable of automatic fire, and are not concealable within a pocket or coat.
- Any non-lethal or lethal ammunition, excluding explosives and overpressure or explosive ammunition.
- Hard ballistic armour
- Any melee weaponry, including energy-based designs.
- Ballistic and laser small arms that may be concealable and/or capable of automatic fire.
- Any non-lethal or lethal ammunition, including explosive and overpressure ammunition.
- Combat explosives, including breaching charges and explosive payloads.
Any crew member may press charges against any other crew member. An individual may be charged of a crime if and only if it can be argued beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had committed an act in the nature and fashion as described by a particular criminal charge.
Multiple counts of one crime can be charged. For illegal actions against the station abroad, each incident separated by a reasonable period of inaction, lawful conduct, or another crime is interpreted as one count. For crimes directly bereaving a person (violent acts, theft of personal property etc.), the same applies in addition to each victim being one count.
Charges that are a direct escalation of one another in nature cannot be simultaneously held against the perpetrator if they pertain to the same incident and the same victim/item (if applicable). Then, only the most severe of these charges applies. Additionally, if one charge incorporates another charge within its definition or description, the perpetrator cannot be held accountable for both; rather, only the most severe of these charges applies.
A trial may only be requested for felonies, civil disputes, and capital crimes; while trials for felonies and disputes may be refused depending on the availability and discretion of the potential judge, capital crimes necessitate a mandatory trial. While legal counsel is not required, if it is available then it must be provided upon request.
The trial takes the format of an arbitration court hearing, presided by a fair and impartial judge; typically, a lawyer or head of department. Should no eligible members be available, a member of the crew may be elected to the position of arbiter by unanimous vote between defence and prosecution. If no judge or arbiter is available, the current commanding officer aboard the station must preside over the legal proceedings.
In this hearing, the judge directly examines both the defendant and a representative of the prosecution to present their case on why the defendant should be either cleared or convicted of their charges. Prosecution begins the proceedings, defence following at the discretion of the judge. Ideally, the trial should last no longer than 10 minutes, with either part taking fewer than five minutes to present their case. Extensions may only be requested with reason, and are granted at discretion of the judge.
Should witness testimony be requested by either defence or prosecution, and the relevant witness be willing and capable of appearing before court, such testimony may be admissible in a trial.
In the event that the defendant is held in contempt of court, the necessity of a trial may be waived and sentence passed by the judge or arbiter without a full hearing.
Whereas a defendant is placed on trial, they are granted the privilege to challenge the legitimacy of charges or claims brought against them by the legal process. Any of the following may be invoked:
- Issue Preclusion/Double Jeopardy Clause: accused persons may not be tried on the same charges following an acquittal or conviction, except in the case of acquittal and subsequent credible admission of guilt.
- Entrapment Clause: accused persons found to be induced or coerced by law enforcement into the commission of the crimes listed in the charges may be acquitted or have their sentence reduced.
- Exclusionary Clause: evidence collected and/or analysed in violation of accused persons’ rights under law may be inadmissible in court.
In sentencing a crime, it is recommended to defer to the Warden or Head of Security; however, any Security Officer is authorised to pass a sentence. If no security staff are available, the commanding officer or any head of department may be authorised to pass a sentence.
Additionally, if the total sentence would exceed 20 minutes, the sentencing officer is fully authorised to upgrade the sentence to Extended Confinement at their own discretion. Once the sentence commences, it must be concluded at or before the agreed time; however, the convict may be held responsible for any crime they commit while serving their sentence.
Treatment of Prisoners
Prisoners have certain rights that must be upheld by security and command personnel.
Prisoners must be provided with the following:
- Adequate medical care and moral, spiritual, or legal counselling if it is requested and available.
- Access to the common radio channel, and the common radio channel only. This right may be revoked should it be abused.
- Clothing, food, and water on request.
- Should the holding cells or permabrig become uninhabitable, prisoners must be securely and safely relocated to another area for confinement, until the holding cells or permabrig be returned to a serviceable state.
- Prisoners should be granted freedom of movement within their holding area unless there is an undue risk to life and limb.
Additionally, prisoners in Extended Confinement have certain rights but also more firm restrictions that must be upheld by law enforcement:
- Visitation may be permitted only for prisoners sentenced to Extended Confinement. A maximum of one individual may be permitted to visit a single convict every 10 minutes; a reason must be provided for the visit, and the visitor must consent to a search of their belongings.
- Prisoners who intentionally seek to, or succeed in, escape from their holding area are thereby guilty of a capital crime and may receive trial.
- Prisoners who intentionally and maliciously cause structural damage to the permabrig, to a degree that makes it unreasonable to hold prisoners within, are thereby guilty of a capital crime and may receive trial.
- Prisoners who intentionally, maliciously, and repeatedly cause significant bodily harm to their fellow inmates, visitors, and/or security staff are thereby guilty of a capital crime and may receive trial.
- Prisoners may request retrial for capital crimes; these requests may be refused depending on the discretion and availability of the potential judge, or at the discretion of the warden or head of station security.
- Prisoners may request or may otherwise be given parole without prompt by the warden, head of station security, or commanding officer (see Paroles and Pardons).
Should prisoners repeatedly and maliciously antagonise law enforcement, to an extent where continued extended confinement becomes infeasible, the warden is fully authorised and encouraged to temporarily upgrade the relevant prisoners’ sentences to Preservative Stasis summarily.
Paroles and Pardons
Prisoners that peacefully comply and assist officers with their duties and display clear signs of remorse concerning the committed crime and/or criminal behaviours, they may be given parole without prompt by the warden or head of security, or may apply for parole at the discretion and availability of the aforementioned parties. If they request parole, they may receive a parole hearing conducted by the warden, where they will state their case on why they should be released; they may request legal counsel in this hearing, but must represent themselves.
Additionally, the sentencing officer of an arrest, the judge or arbiter of a trial, or the warden, where permabrigged prisoners apply, may pardon members accused or sentenced for crimes if deemed in the best interest of the crew and vessel, and when the circumstances of the defendant or offence warrant suspension of sentence.
Members of security and of command are fully authorised to withhold crew members at their discretion. The crew member ordered to answer to the authority is obligated to do so, regardless of whether they consider their orders lawful or not. Any grievances and suspicions of unlawful proceedings or mistreatment are to be directed up the Chain of Command and resolved judicially, ideally enlisting legal counsel if available.
Any person that is suspected of having committed a crime may be detained. In detainment, the officer will inform the detainee of the crime they are suspected of committing. They may then be held on-site or moved to a more strategically sound location, possibly restrained at the officer’s discretion, and invariably detained for the time necessary for security officers to determine the circumstances of the incident and whether to effect an arrest or not. A detainee may or may not be searched prior to being either released or arrested.
Any person that is charged with having committed a crime may be arrested. In the event of an arrest, the suspect will be restrained by an officer, informed of their charges, and taken to the security department for a search and processing. The charges may be pressed by a member of security or a head of department, or clearly outlined in an arrest warrant authorised and stamped by the commanding officer or head of station security. A lawyer or legal counsel may be requested by the arrestee and must be provided if available.
Unauthorised departmental searches and raids constitute a violation of the law, unless explicitly outlined in a warrant issued and authorised by the commanding officer or head of station security; such a warrant may authorise entry into specified areas, by force if necessary, and may order the arrest of listed individuals implicated in a crime or crimes.
Similarly, advanced surgical procedures, cursory implant inspections, and any other other invasive searches similarly constitute a violation of the law unless stipulated within an authorised warrant, or with both probable cause and evidence.
Security personnel hold a nigh unrestricted armaments licence under T3, and are authorised at all times to use lethal force to the extent necessary to neutralise adversaries under any of the following circumstances:
- If the adversary’s number or strength leave the officer at a severe tactical disadvantage.
- If the adversary exhibits a clear and present danger to the vessel by physical means.
- If the adversary poses a significant threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or others.
- If the adversary presents an existential threat to the chain of command by illegal means.
…wherein an “adversary” is an entity that demonstrates a hostile intent, commits or directly contributes to a hostile act that does not constitute an actual attack, or is actively attacking the vessel or its crew.
Synthetics and Sophonts
A sophont is described as any entity with the capacity to display the following attributes:
- Sapience: the entity possesses basic logic and problem-solving skills, or at a minimum some level of significant intelligence; the ability to think, or to act logically.
- Sentience: the entity has the capacity to process an emotion or lack thereof, or at a minimum the ability to recognise its own pain; the ability to feel, or respond to stimuli.
- Self-awareness: the entity is capable of altering its behaviour in a reasonable fashion as a result of stimuli, or at a minimum is capable of recognising its own sapience and sentience; the ability to grow and change, or to exhibit neuroplastic-similar behaviour.
Any synthetic/silicon/inorganic entity, including but not limited to robots, cyborgs, and drones, and with a non-sophont status, is to be classified as a standard synthetic entity. Synthetic entities are the property of the party that constructs or employs the entity, unless otherwise stated by relevant contract or legal document. To damage or destroy such an entity is to damage or destroy the aforementioned party’s property.
Any synthetic/silicon/inorganic sophont is considered a legal person, regardless of their origin or prior cognitive status. Much like any other intelligent organic, they may press charges against crew and be tried for crimes themselves. That being said, unauthorised jailbreaking of privately-owned synthetic entities is an offence, and those found guilty of doing so may be charged with sabotage.
Should civilian and military vessels receive a docking request from another neutral vessel, they may approve or deny such a request. Any vessel may, with consent from the docking entity, be searched by security or law enforcement upon arrival, and its crew granted free movement accompanied by an escort at the discretion of the CO or security.
Crew may be refused entry, at any time and for any reason, and must be returned to, or be escorted to, their own vessel where applicable. Failure to comply may constitute trespass. Docking vessels bearing a warrant or commission represent an exception, and may not be denied entry or be forced to submit to a search.
Should visiting entities break the law, or be suspected of doing so, and flee aboard their own vessel, security or law enforcement personnel are authorised to board the vessel in continuous “hot” pursuit and are fully authorised under space law to effect an arrest upon the relevant party.
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