The "Booming Maid" was dead ahead - a massive capital starship so large that it could hold an entire city in its belly, looming in the distance, with those gigantic sail-like towers stretching up, painted in the cobalt and golden colors of the Gaian Empire. In the past, those golden strips meant hope - the symbol of a nation that hold fast against anything that the universe could throw at us. Now, they were a mark of fear, a mockery of everything that she stood for in the past. Now those stripes meant death for every human in sight. Her new commander didn't care for its past people, nor even for things such small like colors and symbols, as they were anything but human, a strange offspring from the things that live in deep space, far away from the Lands of the Tamed Stars.
Now, that once-glorious ship was part of a profane thing, hunting those that created her in the first place.
That is, until we take it back.
— Comlinks off, guys. Don't let your Hunters hear that thing. Bare-voice only on my signal.
Our captain's voice came in with that expected warning, and I made myself ready to follow the orders, putting my hand over that single red button that would shut off all of my external navigation and communication systems. It was dangerous to flight with those off, but near the "Booming Maid", it was a necessity - that ship was a true masterpiece of the Gaian Empire, equipped with the most massive, crafty AI ever devised by us fleshy beings. Her sails were actually massive antennas, broadcasting its machine voice in a perfect sphere around itself, whispering sweet nothings to any machine that could listen to it.
Given enough time, it could take over any system with even a remote ability of understanding its voice, entirely disabling it - or, in the worst case, turning it back against us.
Too many ships were lost to that banshee-like scream, their systems corrupted and made to kneel before its superior processing power, becoming like bees on a digital hivemind. To any machine that could listen, that scream meant total consumption, loss of individuality, and absolute servitude. For the people that depended on those corrupted machines, that scream meant death - as their once useful tools turned against their own.
The "Booming Maid" had a weakness, however. It was made to corrupt and take over any machine that could listen to its mechanical voice, but it could do nothing but deploy combat drones against machines that were too old to understand its protocols or were deaf to its signals. That created the only backdoor we could, ourselves, exploit.
To take the most devious, advanced machine in the existence, we had to use the most outdated, failure-prone, and unstable tech we had at hand. One that would be ignorant to those whispers, too dumb to understand its voice, and one that would not ditch their masters to become one with the Maid's swarm. Something that wasn't done for generations, now.
We had to put our own flimsy meat in our star fighters, as the barbarians of the past, fighting the mighty dragon on the top of our metal horses. Once that big, red button was pressed, there would be no drone, no AI, no targeting system. It was just the man, the cockpit, and the quiet breathing of your colleagues.
Space was scary when you couldn't call home.
Sorry for the bad English. It isn't my first language >.<"
AI Hacking Fields
Your missiles aren't big enough to hold the computing power of what you need if you want to run an AI. Instead, to make them work, they need guidance from the capital ship.
Said guidance means communication, communication means that there is a receiver, and a receiver means that the missile can be hacked by the enemy ship's AI and made to detour/explode/shut off before it can hit anything important.
Same goes for drone ships.
Enter human pilots.
Human pilots can't be hacked. When they come close to the enemy ship (and thus inside the enemy hackershield), they swap communications to a simpler system that enables them to keep in touch by voice, but nothing much else, thus relying on basic communication, skill and trained tactics to win the battle.