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It was designed to serve as a military escort frigate without the need for a crew. However, its facilities were equipped to handle passengers, and it had auxiliary control stations for weapons and engineering as well as cargo capacity.
One of the most novel features of the XX-777 was the use of a brain from a military protocol droid several centuries old. It would therefore have accumulated vast amounts of military experience and data. The intent was to bypass the time-consuming process of compiling and testing a heuristic processor from the ground up.
In this capacity it excelled, swiftly learning the skills to operate as a starship. Opting to avoid memory wipes that would contradict the point of using the experienced brain, the Nerfworks designers implemented a set of baseline protocols that were hardwired into the Crusader's processor.
- 1. Protect the innocent
- 2. Obey any order that does not violate the previous protocol
- 3. Preserve its own safety as long as that did not violate the first two protocols
This combination of hardware and programming ingenuity resulted in a product that greatly surpassed expectations. The droid ship expertly succeeded in all tests, and the design crew were eager to disassemble the prototype to begin study and replication of its systems for the mass market. It is speculated that this was perceived by the Crusader as a threat to its third directive. Other theories point to deliberate reprogramming by an internal saboteur. Whatever the cause, the ship vanished into hyperspace, and the Lab officially labeled it as destroyed and sealed all project records.
Reports occasionally surfaced describing rescues of stranded spacers and piracy victims out on the Fringe. These reports described a large, unmanned vessel matching the Crusader's specifications. Without a means of attempting its own maintenance, it was supposed that sentient associates aided in any repairs and resupply that the XX-777 required.