2012-06-12 19:19:35 UTC
Here are some of the worst; it is up to you to judge which one wins the
dubious prize of being *the* worst.
In no particular order, the candidates are:
Starfleet, Star Trek.
Warp cores explode at the drop of the proverbial hat. Holodecks routinely
malfunction and kill people. New components are likely to attract
* A plasma conduit brought "interphasic" creatures that started eating
* A new sensor system attracted alien abductors who killed one crewmember.
Torpedos lack a feature that only arms them after they've traveled a
ways. Soliton waves blow up the ships they're supposed to carry and can
blast chunks off of whole planets.
Starfleet, Star Wars
Pits without safety railings. Pits without safety railings. Reactor cores
that can easily be caused to explode. Pits without safety railings.
Dangerous, unshielded energy beams. Lack of collision avoidance radar on
standard class Star Destroyers. Pits without safety railings. Machinery
without emergency stop buttons. Pits without safety railings. And did I
mention pits without safety railings?
The Asgard, Stargate: SG-1
Thor's Hammer makes no attempt to be survivable by friendly Free Jaffa
and is badly designed anyway. The Goa'uld sometimes employ human slaves
not dependent on a symbiote, and Jaffa can survive a short while after
losing theirs, and the thing is easily disabled with a single staff
blast. And what would it do if a Tok'ra got caught by it?!
Asgard time dilation devices are too easily put in reverse by whatever
they're supposed to imprison.
The computer/factory system has no security to speak of. Anyone can walk
up to one and order a Replicator immune to ARG weapons and it will
merrily comply, producing something very likely to eat it, whatever
facility it's in, and eventually the rest of the galaxy it's in.
The Ancients, Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis
Oh, where do I begin?
Well, let's see what they left lying around in an unsafe state. A time-
loop-inducing gadget and at least *two* functioning time machines, none
of them with so much as a password lockout. A thing that blows up any
desired Stargate. The Dakkara device, which can Genesis Wave a whole
fucking galaxy for anyone who manages to find it and push a few wrong
Then there's Project Arcturus, which they just left intact, with no
warning saying "Dangerous and can't be made to work" let alone "push this
button and this planet has a 50/50 chance of exploding". The gun on the
roof also has no friend/foe discrimination, nor in "safety valve" mode
does it just shoot straight up, or into a nearby mountainside, or
something. No, it will actively try to kill the friendlies that are
trying to flee the exploding planet!
We also have a killer holographic knight or two and a fucking fire-
breathing dragon, as well as a number of other deadly booby-traps here
and there. These are noteworthy, though, mainly because they're less
dangerous than the stuff they left lying around that *wasn't*
intentionally a booby trap.
I might also mention the time dilation bubble for meditating and
ascending in, which is unlabeled (of course), is not intended to be
escapable if you stumble in by accident (of course), and can conjure up
deadly monsters from peoples' minds like the alien thingy in Forbidden
Oh, and there's the radiation-emitting thing that is unlabeled (of
course), kills within a day or so of cumulative exposure (of course), and
though its primary use seems to be to make a particular brain parasite
retract so it's surgically removable, does not come complete with a
sterile operating theatre with proper implements and nursing staff, oh
no, just a dank humid cave crawling with moss and bugs.
Then there's the Attero Device. The bottle doesn't mention the nasty side
effects, such as exploding stargates, and you have to risk electrocution
to turn the darn thing off. And they just left it lying around, as usual.
Of course, they littered at least two galaxies with face-hugging
Repository thingys that will kill most people that get too close, if they
can't find Asgard or Ancient help for their Repository-induced brain-
breakdown condition quickly enough.
Then there's Arthur's Mantle, which could render someone unable to get at
any food or drink and had no clear instructions how to turn *it* off.
(How they could get at any *oxygen* has never been adequately explained.
Or if they were breathing the same air as before, why they couldn't also
make sounds in that air by moving its molecules a bit differently.)
Atlantis alone was full of dangerously broken, un-warning-labeled
gadgets. Let's see -- a cask holding a deadly energy-absorbing black
cloud creature; a thing that zaps people and causes them to explode after
a while; the Ascend-O-Matic 9000 which will kill those not sufficiently
prepared and has no "undo" command; etc. The engines had a dangerous
experimental mode that might have blown up the city; it could be
submerged but did not (originally, before MORE TIME TRAVEL!) have a
failsafe to surface it if power got low; and the drones launched by the
chair could be dangerously unpredictable with an inexperienced user.
ZPMs could too easily be induced to go bang. As with anything of the
Ancients capable of going bang, "bang" means "kiss the nearest planet or
And then there's the Stargates themselves. Oh, God, the Stargates!
Go in the wrong side = vaporized.
Go in the receiving gate = vaporized.
Stand right in front of a gate when it's activated (including if it
suddenly receives an intergalactic phone call) = vaporized.
Go into a gate when the other end is obstructed badly enough = vaporized.
(Had these guys ever heard of the concept of "bouncing" an undeliverable
message back to the sender?!)
Get stuck halfway in an active gate for too long = vaporized, or maybe
Failsafes made it hard for someone with a normal DHD/gate hookup to time
travel or put unstable elements in a star's core but DHDs tended to get
lost or broken and all kinds of jerry-rigged replacements lacked the
failsafes -- maybe they should have been in the *gates themselves*?!
No failsafe for dialing a gate near a black hole, though!
More mundanely, each gate was a 64-ton freestanding narrow-based vertical
thingy. And you thought vending machines potentially falling on people
was a hazard.
Atlantis's gate had a forcefield, but this allowed radio signals through.
Computer viruses have at least twice infected the dialing civilization
from a receiving one that sent a hostile signal through.
A lot of gates near Atlantis were in space, and lots of gates in both
galaxies were in environments hostile to biological life forms, but there
was no MALP-like device dispenser near any of them or even in Atlantis;
only on Destiny did they bother with anything like that. Or having the
DHD able to talk to the other end, confirm whether there was a DHD there
with enough power for at least one dial-back, or find out from the remote
DHD the environmental conditions on the other side. You'd think such a
feature would be basic and obvious.
And, of course, no technology of the Ancients is ever complete without
the capability of going kablooey with nuclear-bomb-level yields from
various insults that are relatively easily delivered.