A brave attempt to rescue a stranded Commander in Elite Dangerous has ended in tragedy following malicious interference by a real-life cat.
That's according to Reddit user Cpt_Shinobi, a member of Elite Dangerous' Fuel Rats - a near-legendary organisation of players that dedicate their time to saving ill-prepared space explorers who find themselves stranded without fuel, often light years away from civilisation, from a slow, faintly embarrassing death.
The Fuel Rats have been liberating players from impending deep space asphyxiation for years and they're good at their jobs - with an incredibly high success rate of locating players, wherever in the galaxy they may be, transferring fuel, and sending them on their merry way. Few reported aid attempts have resulted in both rescuer and rescuee exploding in a horrifying head-on collision, and fewer still have been the result of a cat. Until now.
"On the Ninth of October 3304 at approximately 2:30am," Cpt_Shinobi posted to the Elite Dangerous subreddit, "After a successful rescue in Col 285 Sector KB-X A17-3 a feline co-pawlot aboard the responding Fuel Rat's ship activated the ship's boost. The resulting collision caused the loss of both the client and the Fuel Rat's ships."
Unfortunately, before the Fuel Rat involved (name withheld) could explain the incident, their client - now the proud, and presumably somewhat surprised, owner of a useless pile of super-heated space debris - logged off. "Our deepest apologies go out to the client whom left chat and unfriended the Fuel Rat before explanations could be given," continued Cpt_Shinobi.
The Fuel Rats are currently attempting to contact the unfortunate player to offer compensation, and will be launching an investigation "to determine if safety protocols were correctly followed". These safety protocols may or may not (as suggested during the resulting Reddit discussion) involve lowering landing gear ahead of a refuelling to prevent unscheduled boosts.
However, as Cpt_Shinobi pointed out, when faced with the deviousness of a cat, any and all safety measures may prove utterly inconsequential: "Don't rule out that the cat might have stowed the landing gear, turned on the windshield wipers, ejected all cargo, turned off flight-assist, left paw prints on the desk and likely activated Silent Running."
"Please don't take this too seriously," Cpt_Shinobi added for the benefit of those likely to take the whole thing too seriously, "we find it very humorous that a cat killed a Rat."