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View Full Version : A bold new Universe......


mischief
Oct 29, 2002, 02:30 PM
I want some Dedicated sci-fi fans to help me design a complete space-faring Universe from the ground up to prove that sci-fi can be done right. There have been several recent threads remarking on the failing points of current sci-fi and more comments made about poor writing than can be ignored. This is your oppertunity to put your mind where your complaints are.

To start off we'll have to make some limited concessions to the sci-fi genre at large:

To cover the need for interstella transport and communication we will use a space folding widget similar to the Babylon 5 stargate system.

Lynchpins:

-there is no communications in null space. The craft has isolated itself in an artificial bubble of unique spacetime for the duration of the fold.

-Only Capital Ships have enough power and mass to maintain their own fold drives and null-space pocket generators.

-Popping into null-space as a defensive maneuver is risky because you need to designate not only x/y/z coordinates for where you pop back into realspace but also a time coordinate. popping back into realspace with your exit point equal to your entrance point results in a paradox-induced explosion.

-Folding space near stars in a pain in the ass even for Capital ships because Spacetime is "thicker" in stellar space.

-Particularly advanced races may be experimenting with "Stellar folding" where a Capital ship tunes and presets it's fold drive to use a star's centerpoint as a fold-gate. This is a VERY risky maneuver and the exit point is always the center of another stellar mass so knowing where the "out" is is essential!



Now that we have travel and communications outlined let's look at biology:

- Giant-insect species would have to be aquatic or low-gee.... period.

- Sentient species are confined to environments where adversity and stability have conspired to create them.

- Water and free-carbon are prerequisites to life.

-Aquatic species will be quite likely.

- Species that use technology will most likely not use the same RF range for the same things to begin with.

- Species with vastly differing native environments will have vastly differing cultures and environmental needs.

- Common means of communication are reliant on a common medium and similar ancestry. Aquatic species are more likely to use sound or chemical communication than visual communication. Also: Sound through air is very different than sound through water.

Mr. Anderson
Oct 29, 2002, 02:48 PM
Communication shouldn't be limited to chemical and sound - biologically generated rf is feasible - especially in insects. Rats also use their whiskers to send signals to their brains.

Low g for insects is fine - unless they are smaller. Having something a third the size of a human and still intelligent is not out of the equation.

Given the wide range of communication forms - universal translators might not be realistic or if available, very bulky, requiring many means and forms to communicate.

Aquatic species go interstellar? Thats tall order since evolving to the point where fire is possible underwater requires quite a bit of tech - not that it would be necessary for development. They'd just need more time to develop space travel, unless an alien species doesn't have any problems contacting all intelligent races its finds, regardless of tech level - and the aquanoids get to go along for the ride and get a big bump in base technology. Which could have happened millenia before a start date in the 'story'.

If time is part of the equation for folding space to travel then that would allow time travel, correct? That might not be good.

More later.

D

mischief
Oct 29, 2002, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
Communication shouldn't be limited to chemical and sound - biologically generated rf is feasible - especially in insects. Rats also use their whiskers to send signals to their brains.

Low g for insects is fine - unless they are smaller. Having something a third the size of a human and still intelligent is not out of the equation.

Given the wide range of communication forms - universal translators might not be realistic or if available, very bulky, requiring many means and forms to communicate.

Aquatic species go interstellar? Thats tall order since evolving to the point where fire is possible underwater requires quite a bit of tech - not that it would be necessary for development. They'd just need more time to develop space travel, unless an alien species doesn't have any problems contacting all intelligent races its finds, regardless of tech level - and the aquanoids get to go along for the ride and get a big bump in base technology. Which could have happened millenia before a start date in the 'story'.

If time is part of the equation for folding space to travel then that would allow time travel, correct? That might not be good.

More later.

D

I was using those 2 as a common example from fish and aquatic/land animals. The variations on types of communication are nearly endless.

Insects are limited to not larger than a 3 foot flying insect or a 5" long crawling insect at 1G without a fluid medium. They just can't structurally support themselves. I could see "hive minded" rf communicating cockroaches......:eek:

Fire and chemical propulsion needn't be a limiting factor if the primary tech drive is in biology rather than engineering/chemistry.

A "universal translator" will be fuctionally impossible. It'd become a monsterous "Rube Goldberg" kludge of devices, protuberances and software. More likely a single species will specialize engineered "ambassadors" and hire them out.


Time is integral in the very fabric of space. Once you isolate a craft and remove it from that Matrix a return "when" becomes as important as a return "where". This would be the crux of the motivation behind fold "gates"...... less potential for catastrophic ****ups. Also: the key resonant frequency of the Universe is neccessary as well as a kind of "dimensional" marker. Without it you'd be returning to a different reality than the one you left with differing energetic principals! :eek:

Mr. Anderson
Oct 29, 2002, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by mischief
Time is integral in the very fabric of space. Once you isolate a craft and remove it from that Matrix a return "when" becomes as important as a return "where". This would be the crux of the motivation behind fold "gates"...... less potential for catastrophic ****ups. Also: the key resonant frequency of the Universe is neccessary as well as a kind of "dimensional" marker. Without it you'd be returning to a different reality than the one you left with differing energetic principals! :eek:

Even though it might be a little more realistic at some level, its too complicated and provides with too many alternatives. Why bother with exploring your own space when other dimensions or parts of the multiverse allow you to travel to your own planet at different times and instances. If you were going to do a scenario, I'd stick with a single universe, or regional multiverse, not both.

D

mischief
Oct 29, 2002, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet


Even though it might be a little more realistic at some level, its too complicated and provides with too many alternatives. Why bother with exploring your own space when other dimensions or parts of the multiverse allow you to travel to your own planet at different times and instances. If you were going to do a scenario, I'd stick with a single universe, or regional multiverse, not both.

D

It would make sense for the "home" universe to be hardwired into the process.... It would have to keep the pocket of nullspace "native" to what's in it anyway so I suppose that'd cover both the return Universe and the chronological too. It would, however require a VERY good ship's chronometer.

Durandal7
Oct 29, 2002, 05:01 PM
Sorry I'm late guys, count me in.

One thing that traditional sci-fi always seems to screw up is morals of other races. Human morals stem from our hormones and learned reactions from our social structure. Wouldn't it seem that an alien race wou'd have a completley different set of moral "right and wrongs" An insect race may act so bizzare and offensive to us without realizing it that they would spark diplomatic tensions (or even a war)

mischief
Oct 29, 2002, 05:14 PM
Human ethics are based on the combination of Ape troop-behaviour and Sapient abstractions about right-action.

If a species was encountered where the individual physical units are just pieces of any given sentient whole it would be likely that humans would find the race callous and manipulative. The Bugs, by contrast would find Humans wildly inefficient and insubordinate. Not to mention the communicatio gap. Humans would be transparent when encountered in person by a pherimone-sensitive insect....

A race of sentient neudibranchs would be unlikely to stop long enough to communicate with the bugs: they'd be food. They'd avoid Humans altogether.... seeing them as predatory.

Durandal7
Oct 29, 2002, 05:23 PM
One thing I would like to see in this is Humans being the only ape-men. It always seemed silly to me that on things like SW, ST and B5 all life in the universe seemed to have evolved from funny looking apes.

mischief
Oct 29, 2002, 05:35 PM
Though that kinda precludes a live-action TV show coming out of this little project. No big loss..... Broadcast media is dying off as an artform. Games and Movies are where it's at outside of books, where there are no limitations. ;)

Durandal7
Oct 29, 2002, 05:39 PM
Originally posted by mischief
Though that kinda precludes a live-action TV show coming out of this little project. No big loss..... Broadcast media is dying off as an artform. Games and Movies are where it's at outside of books, where there are no limitations. ;)
Well, what were the odds of this leaving the realm of video games ;) Even if it did eventually get to the point where a TV show is feasible by then I would guess SFX will be fairly adavanced and cheap.

A race of sentient nudibranchs, that would be strange :eek:

Mr. Anderson
Oct 29, 2002, 05:48 PM
What about if you put the whole thing in an alien perspective - and had the Humans as the new 'first contact' species. You need a plot, so a significant set of main characters would all be aliens, living and working together, whatever, and one day a Human Probe ship shows up.....

Durandal7
Oct 29, 2002, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
What about if you put the whole thing in an alien perspective - and had the Humans as the new 'first contact' species. You need a plot, so a significant set of main characters would all be aliens, living and working together, whatever, and one day a Human Probe ship shows up.....
That seems like something to address when we have an idea of what to do with the ideas. We should worry about plot/characters when we get a Universe layed out. Good idea though.

mischief
Oct 29, 2002, 06:08 PM
I'd like to develop several races before deciding how they all begin interacting. Whole biosphere histories and cultures to develop before that. Humans alone are likely to have differentiated into "types" by the time we get routinely off planet.

Mr. Anderson
Oct 29, 2002, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by mischief
Humans alone are likely to have differentiated into "types" by the time we get routinely off planet.

Maybe bad humans get found first and cause all sorts of problems when the 'official' representatives of Earh/Humans finally make contact.

As for plot, I'm just throwing out ideas - it shouldn't matter.

D

mischief
Nov 19, 2002, 04:47 PM
Humans as a species are born into one of several races designed specifically for the environment they are to spend the majority of their lives in. The archaic races as defined by minimal difrerentiation of phenotypes have been supplanted by broadly varying custom morphs built from the nucleotides up for the environment their parents live and work in. Thusly humanity has once again divided into Castes specialized for specific duties and environments.

It is possible to interbreed between Castes and the original Morph of Homo Sapiens still exists...... Specialized safeguards ensure that every generation of cross breeding defaults the offspring closer to the original ape-based format.

This is a society that runs smoothly only because the interaction of Castes is essential to the survival of Humanity as a whole. Archaic Xenophobia has been nearly eliminated by the extremes of deversity in society. Only the most isolated Caste cells develop such retrogressive and extreme beliefs.

It is possible, though expensive to clone bodies and even to switch Castes..... though such things are rare and their are very serious theological debates on the subject that have lead to extremely strict controls binding each Caste and family to very specific courses of action in enacting this last resort.


In Space the Travellers' Caste is one of the most exotic morphs..... no longer capable of life deep in a gravity well without technology as a crutch, these spindly, liquid breathing humans have adapted almost completely to the deadliest environment imagineable by adapting both themselves and their ships to reach a compromise befitting both.

Their ships and they themselves are a complete, interactive organism encompassing technology and biotechnology in a symbiotic relationship that binds crew and ship in a nearly inescapable bond. A non-Traveller entering a Traveller ship's crew areas without special accomodations would either drown in the breathing fluid of the crew chambers or potentially go mad or suffer severe metabolic dammage from the teeming symbiotic organisms, pheremones and nanites permeating the fluid. Likewise a Traveller stranded without survival gear in a dry environment would suffer a similarly horrid fate. All Travellers are fitted early in life with cybernetic implants that tie them into the entire Caste's comm network and in dire emergency can upload their neurological content into a buffer in their home-ship's brain and burn out their own nervous system rather than suffer torture or stranding death.

Mr. Anderson
Nov 20, 2002, 02:59 PM
If Castes are made for a specific environment or planet - how many different types would you find on one planet? In some cases there would only be one major type, I would think. So I'm not sure that Caste is the right word here because individuals aren't living in a caste society where one person is 'better' from birth.

If there were methane breathers they would be a separate species, not a caste. And there is nothing really wrong with that. I don't see it as 'The Mote in God's Eye' type society where different types of beings that share a common ancestor have been genetically manufactured for a specific task. The division of labor on the methane planet would the same as for humans today. Unless you're planning on having different sub casts and types inside a separately modified species.

D

mischief
Nov 20, 2002, 04:45 PM
I used "Caste" in the same sense that B5 used the word to refer to familial societal divisions accompanied with specific deliniations of body specialization. I was only really thinking of a handful of Castes in total: perhaps 5. On a given planet the # and type of Castes will depend on where in the colonization curve it fits. Being that the differentiation process is expensive and time consuming, adding new Castes for new environs is less practical than Terraforming or Hostile Environment Habitat building. Early on only Traveller, Shaper and a few Tinker Caste members will be present with support Core services. As the colony advances there will be more Player and Core and less of other Castes.

Traveller Caste is all deep-space specialists. Although all Castes have their own space vessels, only the Travellers are really at home in space.

Shaper Caste is all about terraforming and custom biotech.

Player Caste is all entertainment. Any kind of entertainment you can imagine, they do..... Most have theatrical FX "built in" similar to Frank Herbert's "Face Dancers" but without the religious rhetoric.

Core Caste is 99% of humanity. These are the average relatively unmodified homosapiens.

Tinker Caste is to technology what Shaper is to Biotech.

These Castes are whole sections of society in which individuals in non-Core castes are physically specialized for what their Caste does best. Because any one Caste has millions of potential duties there is no need for psychological and neurological "standardization". Such things are, in fact quite illegal. There are Nations within each Caste representing sub specializations. smaller groups within Nations (Tribe level and smaller) have unique monikers for each Caste.

Traveller Caste for example uses the names of Cetateons to name their Nations and Tribes. The major Traveller Nations are:

Blue Nation. The deep-space Travellers who explore new regions and harvest celestial materials in the farthest parts of Humanity's range. These make 1st contact most often.

Grey Nation. These are the bread and butter of Traveller commerce. They travel vast space-routes and collect materials from celestial debris and nebulae in vast ships.

Porpoise and Dolphin Nations. These provide "harbor services". Moving cargo and passengers to and from ships, client planets or space platforms as well as providing "tug" services to large vessels when docking or in need of assistance.

Orca Nation is the Navy and Police of the Traveller Caste. They are matchless in space combat among their fellow Humans and are often hired as escorts and patrolls.

Spermatisi Nation. The great thick skinned black hulks of these Travellers provide transport through "rough" space. They are cargo haulers and asteroid miners that travel armed into territory to hostile or otherwise physically dangerous for the Greys.

Mr. Anderson
Nov 20, 2002, 04:56 PM
One thing you are leaving out, but may have considered. All this modification of homo sapiens might not be necessary for the space part - robots and such are much more easily made and lower the risk factor for loss of life. Its more of a philosophical issue for this universe than anything else, but why put humans and different castes in jepardy when mechanical and tech to do the job just as easily.

Its one thing that I see happening in scifi in general - either there is too much robotics or not enough. Look at the current NASA adjenda - manned space flight is just for show mostly why all the probes and such do the real science and exploration. Its cheaper, safer and gets us out there faster.

This will only continue to more the case in the future.

D

kiwi_the_iwik
Nov 20, 2002, 05:24 PM
And isn't it just me - or are you folks all annoyed that in Sci-Fi movies, everyone just happens to speak English with a perfect North American accent?

I like the idea of other forms of communication - bubble blowing, for example, or even snot excretion; where viscosity and colour dictate mood. Let's see the Enterprise's universal translater decipher that one...

:cool:

mischief
Nov 21, 2002, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
One thing you are leaving out, but may have considered. All this modification of homo sapiens might not be necessary for the space part - robots and such are much more easily made and lower the risk factor for loss of life. Its more of a philosophical issue for this universe than anything else, but why put humans and different castes in jepardy when mechanical and tech to do the job just as easily.

Its one thing that I see happening in scifi in general - either there is too much robotics or not enough. Look at the current NASA adjenda - manned space flight is just for show mostly why all the probes and such do the real science and exploration. Its cheaper, safer and gets us out there faster.

This will only continue to more the case in the future.

D

I had actually thought about that a bit.... This is well beyond the timid steps we are taking into space now, this is a true spacefaring culture. Probes are launched into "new" systems constantly to detect new resources, planets, cultures and phenomena. The fail rate of such probes is likely less than the current probes as well but launching a probe through a nullspace jump is quite expensive by itself so it's limited to what are considered to be good potential targets. The process of Gate Building in lagrange points would more than likely be done by telepresence, particularly in systems that are so newly claimed that Colony ships have yet to arrive with the bulk of personell needed to really get such a venture started.

There's certainly a place for such things but I was concentrating on cultural development over technological.

I feel that such specialization of Castes is fitting for a species that exists in ten or twenty star systems spread out within our "local" Galactic space. Even with Jump-engines such ventures, not just space faring but colonization and terraforming would require some Castes to be VERY long lived and dedicate significant portions of even those extended lifespans to the tasks at hand. At that point it begins to make sense for there to be specific body morphs for specific conditions and tasks.

Mr. Anderson
Nov 21, 2002, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by mischief
I feel that such specialization of Castes is fitting for a species that exists in ten or twenty star systems spread out within our "local" Galactic space. Even with Jump-engines such ventures, not just space faring but colonization and terraforming would require some Castes to be VERY long lived and dedicate significant portions of even those extended lifespans to the tasks at hand. At that point it begins to make sense for there to be specific body morphs for specific conditions and tasks.

I'm not really arguing that point, its just that realistically, if I can use that here, there would be significant development of machines and machine intelligence, that they would take the more difficult/dangerous jobs. And without the Bladerunner issues. I think keeping the robots more along the lines of StarWars where they mimic humans but don't try to be us.

As for colonization of other worlds, that's where is see more of the genetic work being done. Waiting around for a planet to be terraformed would be a waste, its much better to alter the humans to live on a planet first and make the changes as you can. So different stages of humans would be needed. Alterations for different atmospheres, atmosheric pressures, underwater/different depths (could be used on Earth as well for undersea colonies).

So a Martian would be a genetically engineered individual who would be able to survive on the surface of Mars with out a space suit. Provided by the time of this universe, enough water and oxygen had been introduced (via bombardment of comets and Oort cloud elements) to get things up to speed.

D

mischief
Nov 25, 2002, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet


As for colonization of other worlds, that's where is see more of the genetic work being done. Waiting around for a planet to be terraformed would be a waste, its much better to alter the humans to live on a planet first and make the changes as you can. So different stages of humans would be needed. Alterations for different atmospheres, atmosheric pressures, underwater/different depths (could be used on Earth as well for undersea colonies).

So a Martian would be a genetically engineered individual who would be able to survive on the surface of Mars with out a space suit. Provided by the time of this universe, enough water and oxygen had been introduced (via bombardment of comets and Oort cloud elements) to get things up to speed.

D

Okay, I see the point but I think that philosophical and cultural issues would shift the R&D budget toward longer lifespans for the colony teams and tremendous bioengineering investments in terraforming. If done efficiently the process could yield a passably earthlike environment in 1/3 lifespan for the heavilly engineered Castes or about 300 years. I figure that Core Caste citizens would increase in lifespan to about 150-300 years and only really get "old" as their upkeep-tech fails in the last 5-10 years of that spread. Once humanity gets "customized" you can bet that longevity and reduced need for geriatrics would be quite rapidly made mainstream.

The most essential organisms to Terraforming are, ironically the easiest to mess with: Bacteria, algae, plants and protozoa. The need for bombardment, input of massive amounts of gas and a few other "gross" tweaks here and there are best done in the first year or so anyway just so it all stays relatively maleable up until it stabilizes.

Using this Solar system as a model both Mars and Venus would best be terraformed at the same time so that the resources which are in exess on one can be used advantageously on the other. With Jump/Fold tech available and no populations on either world to worry about both planets could be changed drastically and fairly rapidly using large, remote-guidance vehicles and carefully placed temporary Jumpgates. This technique would also cut down on the number of space hazards by harvesting millions of cubic miles of debris. Highly radioactive wastes could be entombed in huge iron-rich asteroids to provide a nice hotspot when flung at tremendous velocities into the subsurface of Mars. Huge solar reflectors and MASERs could be utilized to fine tune the sculpting and pulvarization. Jovian moons could be moved whole to provide tidal forces and secondary terraformd "worldlets".

Mr. Anderson
Nov 25, 2002, 12:54 PM
By just starting far enough in the future, you could just set it up that Venus and Mars would be terranformed. Adding some nukes to the martian core could heat it up enough to get the magma moving again providing a magnetic field (protecting the atmosphere and surface from nasty solar radiation).

The jovian moons are an interesting idea - but moving them into venutian or martian orbit would require forces, well, at astronomical scale - that going to be possible any time soon?

I agree with the longetivity though. If you're going to make mods to the form, its just one more thing to 'fix'.

D

mischief
Nov 25, 2002, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
By just starting far enough in the future, you could just set it up that Venus and Mars would be terranformed. Adding some nukes to the martian core could heat it up enough to get the magma moving again providing a magnetic field (protecting the atmosphere and surface from nasty solar radiation).

The jovian moons are an interesting idea - but moving them into venutian or martian orbit would require forces, well, at astronomical scale - that going to be possible any time soon?

I agree with the longetivity though. If you're going to make mods to the form, its just one more thing to 'fix'.

D

Precisely. I operate under the assumption that once the core technologies are available advancement and the taming of the solar system would be quite rapid so Terraforming Venus and Mars would be both showpiece experiments subject to uniquely high budgets and a testing ground for all the the ideas that would be refined later into a holistic technique.

Moving the Jovian moons by placing tremendous, one-time-use foldgates powered by 5 or 6 Capital Ships in the orbital path of a Jovian moon corrisponding to a carefully placed identical gate angled and placed for a stable orbit would reduce the power required by several order of magnitude: you'd just be using the stable orbital velocity of the moon to pass it through into an orbit around another planet at the same velocity. These one-time-gates would likely be the key to the most fundamental terraforming techniques surrounding gross-adjustments.

Yes, big-assed energy "weapons" of various sorts would be quite usefull in "softening" the martian mantle, as would the Jovian moons' tidal influence. If all the added mass came in simultanious to mantle-warming, had a fixed, oblique vector congruent to the orbital plane and direction of the added moon it is concievable that a stable, enertia generated soft mantle could be formed. The collective added mass involved would be sickeningly large but done with "goalpost" jumpgates and Capital Ships could be done suprisingly rapidly.

As to the time factor: Technologically this could be done in the next fifty years if we got off our collective ass to do it. Culturally however the process would be stalled out another one hundred to three hundred years to get to the described level of intricacy and qualify as a fully interstellar species.

Mr. Anderson
Nov 25, 2002, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by mischief

Yes, big-assed energy "weapons" of various sorts would be quite usefull in "softening" the martian mantle, as would the Jovian moons' tidal influence. If all the added mass came in simultanious to mantle-warming, had a fixed, oblique vector congruent to the orbital plane and direction of the added moon it is concievable that a stable, enertia generated soft mantle could be formed. The collective added mass involved would be sickeningly large but done with "goalpost" jumpgates and Capital Ships could be done suprisingly rapidly.

You wouldn't need to soften the martian mantle - just bombard it with comets - you get the water and greenhouse gasses you need and light off nukes in the core to get the magnetics field going - no need for weaponry. Think of the all the energy released by the 1906 comet hit in Siberia - now jump that up an order of magnitude....


D

mischief
Nov 26, 2002, 11:48 AM
I thought I should mention a weakpoint in my earlier brainstorming:

Sub-Caste groups should be referred to as "Tribes" rather than "Nations". I anticipate that the conventional usage of the term Nation will continue to be true for a very long time. I think a destinction between the existing, entrenched political group lingo currently in use and overlapping language to describe the more esoteric and less political "neo-races" of Caste heirarchies makes more sense. In this manner one could have within any given Caste group, representatives of several traditional Nations and Races (A Laotian Canadian of the Orca Tribe of Traveller Caste for example.), This would cover the obvious need to blend new alegiances with old and provide some continuity of identity.


Now: As to the other Castes.....


Tinker Caste. The Tinkers are what Geeks and technologists daydream of becomming. Each Tinker has continuous access to an array of sensory and communications gear that exist as "plug-in" components to their distinctively geeky attire, which in turn provides inductive data I/O to the nervous system via an Anime style skinsuit worn beneath other clothing. Tinkers are most often accompanied by an entorage of semi-intelligent AI droids that range in size from personal grooming nanites all the way up to starships and orbital strike platforms.

The Tinkers are given a lot of latitude in terms of their excentricities and get special attention from the Shapers' Psy-Ops Mental Health professionals because few things are as dangerous on a large scale as a pissed off Tinker.

Tinkers are often the first to glimpse and probe new star systems.... or so they claim, though the Blue Tribe of Traveller Caste are usually the first to see them in person. Blue and Spermatisi Travellers often have small villages of Tinkers living onboard both to keep the ship's systems happy as well as build custom Probes and new JumpGates when neccessary.

Tinkers are too shy and reclusive in general to have the formalized and destinct Tribes present in the Travellers. The informal Tribes are: Codies, UIDs (User Interface Designers), "Aggies" (Hardware designers)- Neuro-Aggies [ Circuit and processor design], Mani-Aggies [ Manifestory, they design robotics and other HW components], mini-Agies [Nano-science HW design], etc.

There is also a subgroup of the Tinkers that has members of all the tribes, they are like a Caste high-counsel of sorts: Novus Ordo Seclorum (obscured or partially hidden). These are neo-Geeks following the ancient traditions of Pallas Athenean Priests. This is the Espionage, Security and Freedom of Data sect within the Tinkers. In this loose and highly individualistic society, only the NOS is commonly seen as a common authority.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 1, 2002, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by mischief

Tinker Caste. The Tinkers are what Geeks and technologists daydream of becomming. Each Tinker has continuous access to an array of sensory and communications gear that exist as "plug-in" components to their distinctively geeky attire, which in turn provides inductive data I/O to the nervous system via an Anime style skinsuit worn beneath other clothing. Tinkers are most often accompanied by an entorage of semi-intelligent AI droids that range in size from personal grooming nanites all the way up to starships and orbital strike platforms.

Ah, so would the suit and 'bots make the Tinker - so anyone can choose to be part of the Caste, or are they specially designed for interaction with tech. If they only relied on the tech to be part of the Caste it would allow specially designed Castes/Tribes for different worlds (water, methane breathing, high G, low G etc.) to have Tinkers as part of their society, which would be needed anyway. Or the Tinker Caste could rely on their 'tech' to deal with any physical issues/limitations due to environment they encountered.

This could be used to make things more interesting if there needed to be an exception for one reason or another.

D

Durandal7
Dec 1, 2002, 08:36 PM
It seems to me that the Tinker caste would be somewhat nomadic, travelling from world to world to offer their services to other castes/tribes.

mischief
Dec 2, 2002, 12:04 PM
That the Caste distributions and interactions would be somewhat like the stereotypical mideival groups: Jewish money lenders, French Mercenaries, etc.

Not to say that there would be intercultural ickies the way there historically were but in the sense that they were pretty much omnipresent. If you take any given community, be it a starship or a singlr village of Colonials you'll find every Caste represented one way or another.

Yes: The Tinkers do have specific body-mods that make them what they are but they're less obvious and more invasive/numerous.

A Tinker typically has numerous sensory add-ons, static-resistant skin chemistry mods, nanites for multitudes of extremely geeky tasks, body-computers, retinal GUI, personal AI, etc, etc...... I just dodn't want to get into listing it all... check out the defunct RPG by R. Talsorian Games: Cyberpunk 2020 to get a feel for the type of mods. Oddly enough there's likely to be a subgroup of Tinkers that've undergone bodysculpting to battle the myth that all Geeks are visual trolls.... There is to be some inside-Caste cultural backlash to this..... ;)

Mr. Anderson
Dec 2, 2002, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by mischief

Not to say that there would be intercultural ickies the way there historically were but in the sense that they were pretty much omnipresent.

What about half-breeds or mutts, that share traits from different Castes? Could be some interesting combinations that could make for a good character/hero.

D

mischief
Dec 2, 2002, 12:46 PM
It's also likely that there would be some limitations of compatability in modifications. Like for example: the fully integrated environment of a Traveller crew-section may not tolerate all the varieties of nanites used by Tinkers.

Similarly there comes a point where only so much can be added, so only about half the full-Caste mods from each carry over. this is why I wanted to build in a retrogressive crossbreed lynchpin: so that a halfbreed has about a third of the biological and nanite mods of each of it's parents and is somewhat closer to a Core human. It leaves more room for customization later.

Not all Castes are genetic. Traveller would be, as there are extensive biological mods. Player would be less so and Tinker would be pretty much entirely "after market". Shaper Caste is somewhere in between. Even Core humans would have some "simple" changes like decreased fertility and extended lifespan.

I was considering setting up the essential technology as a bend of nanites and genetic shaping such that if there were a catastrophy the mods would run down to nothing after a few generations, leaving you with "basic" homo sapiens again. In this manner there is some room for error and the system doesn't over-specialize too much. Perhaps a maintenance dose of "blank" nanites in the food/water and setting the genetic mods to shut down if not re-stimulated to remain on when there next is mitosis. The system would have to be rediculously elegant.

mischief
Dec 4, 2002, 07:18 PM
Shapers make short-term terraforming possible. Theirs is the talent of creating custom, high metabolic rate organisms to work millions of years worth of climactic and evolutionary change in a few hundred or a few thousand years.

Shapers are artists of the flesh. From the simplest bacterium to the largest biological spacecraft design, it is all done in the cloning tanks of the Shaper Caste's orbital labs. Shapers begin work soon after the Tinkers and Travellers have finished bombardment and physical adjustment of a planet.

They create an entirely unique biosphere from the literal bedrock up.

The heat generated from the first and most aggressive microorganisms would easilly kill any more delicate "higher" life form such as those added later. Each successive wave of sub-chordate flora and fauna grows increasingly intricate, delicate and close in environmental tolerance to homo sapiens' preferred norms. Just as in the earliest days of Earth's own biosphere, entire epochs of species live and die only to alter the chemical format of the planet's surface.... Slowly but surely binding away toxins and stabilizing the COHN cycle until higher order plants and animals can survive to reproduce without further repercussions to planetary ballance.

Not all Shapers exist to alter worlds or create spacecraft. Most of the Caste spends it's time on perfecting and maintaining the total evolution and adaptations of both Humanity and the Starships that bind the colonies together. There are hundreds of specialities rangeing from adaptive/mutative Virologists to flesh-sculpting elective Surgeons. Being a member of this Caste carries a heavy lifelong commitment to the continued success and prosperity of all of Humanity. There are significant resources dedicated to the screening and mental stability of all Shapers.

There is a rumor that the Shapers have a selective viral technique that is designed to act as a failsafe among Tinkers..... Fortunately no Tinker has gone mad... on record... There is a similar rumor that Tinkers have Nanites that do the same to Shapers.... Potentially both Castes are infected with personally-tailored, molecular assasins... just waiting for activation from on-high.

Truthfully this is possible and even present as a little known contingiency plan but has not been implemented full-scale. Several Caste members of both groups have died mysteriously after their intentions were proven warped. The technique is used at the request of each relevant Caste's counsel after a full meeting of Caste-elects in closed chambers. Only one's own Caste-elect can order the covert destruction of an Enemy of Humankind.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 4, 2002, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by mischief

They create an entirely unique biosphere from the literal bedrock up.

Sounds good, I like the idea that maybe something went wrong on one planet and it had to be abandoned, could be a good setting. Maybe the Tinkers got involved and 'adjusted' some things during the initial seeding of the planet just so they could create a place that would be avoided by everyone, a place that only they new how to tame and live in....

Just a thought.

D

tpjunkie
Dec 4, 2002, 08:16 PM
Mars has a mass about one tenth of the Earth. This is one of the leading causes of the high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. O2 becomes ionized at high altitudes, and combines with carbon monoxide to form CO2, and the atomic oxygen is lost to space. Over time, this has reduced the levels of O2 in the martian atmosphere to 200 times less per volume (which is another factor to consider, that reaching earth-like atmposheric pressures on mars would be almost impossible, thus a breathable atmosphere would have to have a much higher concentration of oxygen.) Simply dumping more atmospere onto mars would do nothing to stop this process; over time the oxygen levels on the planet would drop, and CO2 levels would rise again.

Just another look at the "simplicity" of terraforming mars.

mischief
Dec 5, 2002, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by tpjunkie
Mars has a mass about one tenth of the Earth. This is one of the leading causes of the high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. O2 becomes ionized at high altitudes, and combines with carbon monoxide to form CO2, and the atomic oxygen is lost to space. Over time, this has reduced the levels of O2 in the martian atmosphere to 200 times less per volume (which is another factor to consider, that reaching earth-like atmposheric pressures on mars would be almost impossible, thus a breathable atmosphere would have to have a much higher concentration of oxygen.) Simply dumping more atmospere onto mars would do nothing to stop this process; over time the oxygen levels on the planet would drop, and CO2 levels would rise again.

Just another look at the "simplicity" of terraforming mars.

That is the accepted theory.... However, recent evidence of large quantities of frozen water either on or just below the surface tend to make that theory less sound.

There is the additional problem of no observational evidence of such a process... just a lot of speculation.

Have there , for example been any tests of rarefied-gas in the high atmosphere of mars done via flyby? Has there been a transverse gaseous survey of the orbital and near orbital regions to test minute trace-gas flow? Not to my knowledge. So far as I know the theory is as old as Viking and has simply been left intact for lack of further study.

There is actually more weight in cumulative historical (from oral traditions, the Talmud, etc.) accounts that Mars once underwent a great catastrophic collision that stripped it of it's surface, atmosphere and a significant portion of it's mass.

In either event: The martian "Insuffucient mass" theory doesn't hold water when other smaller celestial bodies are taken into account. Several jovian moons have quite significant surface water and thick atmospheres. This leads me to believe that martian mass has very little to do with it's apparent lack of significant atmospheric gas. Additionally: mass will need to be removed from Venus to bring it's Gravitation down. a tunnelling "fold bomb" could address both planet's shortcomings simultaniously.

BTW: I will NOT be writing any crap about supposed "artifacts" on Mars. It's a ruined world that, no matter which even slightly credible theory you go by, is overwhelmingly unlikely to have any recognizeable traces of an advanced culture present on the surface or in the subsurface.


RE: Tinker homeworld: One word D...... Luna.

tpjunkie
Dec 6, 2002, 01:22 PM
not to be a stick in the mud, the jovian moons that have thick atmospheres do not have thick atmospheres containing significant amounts of O2. And as for observable evidence, the theory was put forward by to explain the measured rate of H2 loss to space, on Earth. It just happened to also make sense for mars, and oxygen.

mischief
Dec 7, 2002, 12:13 PM
Chemistry can tell you that free O2 is rare simply from it's instability. Oxygen likes nothing more than being bound to something else, preferably by a nice, tight ionic bond. Paleochemists have always assumed that free, unbound O2 was quite rare until photosynthetic organisms started producing it as a major byproduct.

H2 also is one of those monotypical molecules that would much rather be a compound.

Stating that the two most compound-friendly elements not being present in a non-biologically active atmosphere does not dissipation evidence make.

Plus: where are you getting this? The earth study of H2 dissipation? got a link?

There are some obvious questions here too..... If this planet is losing hydrogen at a measurable rate and it is presumed that this has been a continuous process my question would be: How the hell did so much H2 not present as H2O get there at all considering that Hydrogen would much rather be a part of a compound?

Mr. Anderson
Dec 7, 2002, 12:48 PM
The loss of atmosphere on Mars happened over millions if not billions of years, so if the planet is seeded with enough to make a dense enough atmostphere to start with there isn't any reason to beleive that it would only need a booster shot every 100-500 years, if that.

The Moon as the Tinker home world sounds good, but I was thinking something more along the lines of secret base or such like.

D

mischief
Dec 24, 2002, 06:50 PM
The life form that has fascinated me from the first moment I studied their anatomy is the Echinoderm. Starfish, sea-cucumbers and sea hares make up the bulk of their numbers on Earth.

Echinoderms are unique in controlling their tissue with exceptional precision and diversity. Any part of themselves with the exception of the core section can be crystallized to near total rigidity or liquefied and regenerated later.

This would make for a very interesting xeno-species and a very challenging millitary foe. :D ;) Their only limitation is their need for a submerged environment to slink off to to regenerate and feed.

mischief
Dec 27, 2002, 06:32 PM
The need for a homeworld for the echinoderms leads me to Reef World. The Star we'll need should be a white-blue variant of massive (not supermassive) size ..... perhaps 6 solar masses. I'll need someone to find a nearby star matching the profile I'm about to illustrate.

Reef World is of three Earth-masses with no significant terrestrial surface... it exists as a vast ocean of coral atols and volcanic shoals, rifts and calderas. As it's mass is large, so too is it's gravitation. With a relatively thick but clear atmosphere and deep, clear oceans Marine life has flourished and spawned an intricate and diverse biosphere that reaches it's pinnacle in the ten-meter across starfish-like Echinoderms.

It is assumed that Reef World has existed with relative stability for a very long time to yield a spacefaring species.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 27, 2002, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by mischief
The need for a homeworld for the echinoderms leads me to Reef World. The Star we'll need should be a white-blue variant of massive (not supermassive) size ..... perhaps 6 solar masses. I'll need someone to find a nearby star matching the profile I'm about to illustrate.

Reef World is of three Earth-masses with no significant terrestrial surface... it exists as a vast ocean of coral atols and volcanic shoals, rifts and calderas. As it's mass is large, so too is it's gravitation. With a relatively thick but clear atmosphere and deep, clear oceans Marine life has flourished and spawned an intricate and diverse biosphere that reaches it's pinnacle in the ten-meter across starfish-like Echinoderms.

It is assumed that Reef World has existed with relative stability for a very long time to yield a spacefaring species.

very curious - I think also a check with NASA or some other research facility, Smithsonian as well, on planetary geology would be a good place to start on seeing how viable this would truly be. I'm not sure, but higher gravities/larger massed planets, but they would have some significant differences - one of which would be getting off the planet. I'll look at some physic books and see if I can find it, but knowing the escape velocity for different planetary gravities would be interesting. Earth has the highest gravity for any terrestrial planet in our solar system, how much higher are you talking about? Over 2 earth gravities and I'm thinking the Echinoderms would need anti-grav to get off the planet and not be able to do the chemical rocket stage. But they would be able to do balloons to the higher reaches of the atmosphere.

D

mischief
Dec 27, 2002, 08:42 PM
Yeah, I figured that with the combination of a fully aquatic environment and high gravity they would have to be much further along on the technology curve before getting off planet. other side effects on technological development would include the integration of bioscience with other genres due to the relative ease-of-use in biotech when your whole biosphere is submerged.

Mr. Anderson
Dec 27, 2002, 10:09 PM
I went playing around with StarryNight Pro and came up with a couple possible stars, but what sort of distance do you want? And some are binary, actually, a lot are, its amazing the number of binary star systems.

Biotech sounds good - image making a superconductor underwater, well, almost anything would have to use biotech to 'grow' the spaceships. Could be damn cool - and how would they communicate, there are several options. But with all of them first contact would be tough.

D

mischief
Dec 28, 2002, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
I went playing around with StarryNight Pro and came up with a couple possible stars, but what sort of distance do you want? And some are binary, actually, a lot are, its amazing the number of binary star systems.

Biotech sounds good - image making a superconductor underwater, well, almost anything would have to use biotech to 'grow' the spaceships. Could be damn cool - and how would they communicate, there are several options. But with all of them first contact would be tough.

D

Distance-wise it would have to be a bit farther out than Earth is from Sol.... say about the same distance from the system center as Jupiter to get out of the Gamma kill-zone. Binary would work great. I was considering a regular elyptical orbit with the diurnal axis at 90 degrees to the orbital plane such that one pole is "leading" relative to solar orbit rather than the Neptunian model with one pole permanently facing system center or the standard "pole up" orientation.

I was looking for a surface temp of about 110 degrees F with a marine ambient temp of 78 degrees F. I was also looking to get UV at photosynthetic levels deeper than ten meters.

I figure that much communication is likely to be a combination of sound, skin pattern changes and chemical cues depending on range, context and level of conscious control. echinoderms here on earth are very simple creatures with minimal sensory organs other than "olfactory" but it would make sense that an anologous ET to humans would have more diverse and advanced senses. It's also likely that there would be a number of long distance " devices" implanted to do sound communication akin to Whale or Dolphin comm and sonar. Most short range "native" communication is most likely to be skin pattern, posture and chemical.

First Contact is likely to scare the willies out of the Human Crew. Echinoderms are less picky about losing body parts and such as they can regenerate significant portions of their bodies including organs and a limited amount of their brains. This being the case the idea of " Go thump that monkey over the head and bring it back." would be a likely strategy to get to know what new thing they've run across. Having an Echinoderm limpet itself to the hull of a Traveller ship, rip open the hull with a beak, inject it's stomach into the ship and engulf a crewmember would most likely colour first impressions on the Human side rather in the negative.

mischief
Jan 4, 2003, 11:19 AM
The damn thing is twelve meters long including an EVA suit and tenticles. The arm spread is ten meters and there are two biotech add-ons on the top of the cranium: a sonar and auditory comm system, and a gelatinous EVA shell.

I'll borrow a scanner and post the pic after I clean it up a bit.

I did a base-8 anatomy rather than the base-7 or base-5 in earth echinoderms mainly for simplicity's sake. Being a base-8 critter with a "RAID 1+0" 8-way brain would make for some interesting belief systems and mathematical basics. From other anatomical influences on sociology I figure there'd be a true "binary" belief system: Is/Is not. The standard human Dualist model isn't really a 2 state system at all... it's a gradiated range focussed on the proximity in value to the two extremes. A true binary philosophy makes no judgements. This will get convoluted of course as biological imperatives act on the core beliefs but less than in Humans due to the differing modes of reproduction.

More later. ;)

runningman
Jan 8, 2003, 01:23 PM
I've read this thread with great interest and am fascinated by the evolving humans similar to orson scott card and piers anthony my question is with such a diverse society and the great distance between colonies/civilization what is the ruling system? To have such an organized society it would have to be a complex ruling system especially if you're dealing outside of the hive mind.

mischief
Jan 8, 2003, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by runningman
I've read this thread with great interest and am fascinated by the evolving humans similar to orson scott card and piers anthony my question is with such a diverse society and the great distance between colonies/civilization what is the ruling system? To have such an organized society it would have to be a complex ruling system especially if you're dealing outside of the hive mind.

I was assuming that the ruling system would do what it has always done: form level upon level of hierarchies that accumulate by presidence and culture.

So the powerstructure would be the same Local through National with an extended UN structure moderating political squabbles en masse.

I figure that existing Nations wil invest in Colonies individually but over time the patchwork will be so over extended that nationality will mean less and less.

With a form of Universal ID and nation-by nation contracts with the Castes (which exist semi-apolitically) the system would have fair bit of entropy to resist power-grabs.

runningman
Jan 9, 2003, 08:50 AM
I just see difficulty when your dealing with multiple casts over light year distances operating independently. Chaos for a common goal would ensue. That is part of the problem with star trek the vast distances they go and the multiple cultures being dealt with for some reason see the common goal together which is difficult to imagine. Though I wonder if you had a working structure within the cast system similar to the way unions work today. So you would have multiple unions managing their particular casts society though who would rule them all(probably not Frodo:) ).

mischief
Jan 9, 2003, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by runningman
I just see difficulty when your dealing with multiple casts over light year distances operating independently. Chaos for a common goal would ensue. That is part of the problem with star trek the vast distances they go and the multiple cultures being dealt with for some reason see the common goal together which is difficult to imagine. Though I wonder if you had a working structure within the cast system similar to the way unions work today. So you would have multiple unions managing their particular casts society though who would rule them all(probably not Frodo:) ).

I was thinking of Castes as International Guilds or Unions. Similar to contemporary Unions but with aspects of the old-style guilds with sponsoring and apprenticeships.

In terms of keeping the culture on track.... most of the common direction even now comes not from governmental structure but from modes of communication. As long as the stationary jump gates provide packet-relays for Data the whole of Humanity could be made aware of sociopolitical developments verty quickly.

The Nations, UNH (United Nations of Humanity) and individual Colonies contract with Castes either on a local chapter, Provincial Association, National Comittee or International level to do various things. Intersystem politics would, of course evolve as they always do.... with the Castes doing the work to keep it all together. I figure that there is a lot of potential plot in the Castes having to ride the line of pitting their own solidarity against political and intra-Caste loyalist issues.

The biggest transgressions would of course be actions that move to isolate a location. Such actions would bring down an instant response. The most logical and expedient method of enforcement is to have a standing bounty on anyone who attacks, tampers with or siezes inter-stellar and interplanetary commerce equipment. By definition all of this hardware belongs to the UNH and is maintained by the Castes with UNH tax money taken from space-commerce. UNH taxes come from Companies that engage in space-based commerce and from National dues paid proportionately to their interplanetary GNP.

runningman
Jan 9, 2003, 05:03 PM
Interesting similar to a Dune system of government. Even better than a bounty would be similar to dune where their would be an elite force unit comprised of the different casts recruited for a strike unit for transgressors.
I was also thinking of the propulsion for the underwater beings and having them lag behind land bound creatures. However their are multiple other modes of propulsion outside of a heat based system. If you consider the physics of your system an underwater system that developed propulsion methods outside of jet propulsion would be further ahead in warping fields than another species.

mischief
Jan 9, 2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by runningman
Interesting similar to a Dune system of government. Even better than a bounty would be similar to dune where their would be an elite force unit comprised of the different casts recruited for a strike unit for transgressors.
I was also thinking of the propulsion for the underwater beings and having them lag behind land bound creatures. However their are multiple other modes of propulsion outside of a heat based system. If you consider the physics of your system an underwater system that developed propulsion methods outside of jet propulsion would be further ahead in warping fields than another species.

Somewhere between Dune and the pre-Palpatine Republic of George Lucas. I figure the Bounty would work well being that the Populated Human Space would be crawling with Orca Patrolls.:D ;)

An Elite Force Unit as you describe would be more likely to be an independant Merc organization. Licenses To Kill and weapons licenses are fully regulated and require Psych profiling, registry and training.

I was actually thinking that the combination of high gravity and aquatic environment would force the Echinoderms to stay planet-bound until VERY advanced.

mischief
Jan 25, 2003, 08:47 PM
Okay... to get from here to off planet there are a number of global changes that need to take place. This is a list of likely or neccesary geopolitical and economic shifts to get us from the present to the dawn of the interstellar age.

The "Holy Land" will be lost to warfare and become an uninhabitable wasteland. This is both unavoidable and neccesary to world stability.

Religeous Zealots will be the last real threat to world peace as the will represent the last of the third world's feudal fifedoms.

An international Political party will emerge based on freedom of information. The Data Party will be pivotal in deconstructing entreanched world power bases.

North Korea will Nuke one of it's neighbors and get wiped off the map by an international tagteam.

Saddam Hussein will become the Arabian Castro.

China will lose half it's population to bloodbourne pathogens as a result of massive public health SNAFU's.

Japan will be the first nation to have government-funded reproductive cloning as a desperate attempt to halt the collapse of it's social structures and society.

Australia will expand their experiments into teleportation of inanimate objects, laying the groundwork for Jump Tech.

Singapore & Taiwan will become the dominant economic forces in Asia.

Russia, Canada, EU will form an economic stimulus bloc.

Singapore, Japan, Taiwan will partner with above consortium to contract with newly stable African and south Asian countries to build infrastructure well beyond that of the USA.


More to come.;) much more.:cool:

mischief
Apr 3, 2003, 08:49 PM
The star is blue and hot against the Blue Ship Guild Steersman 's skin. Laramie can feel it's intense rads even from beyond the outer ring of planetary debris. She turns slowly in the pilot's vestibule, her mind at one with the emmense craft. She has begun her watch only minutes ago, taking over for old Carl the Jump Specialist after the jump from the Mars' Outer Lagrange jump point. She turns her attention to the planetary scans dancing in incandescent balefire in the CrewFluid above the console's surfaces. The scan of a large, rocky world catches her eye.

" Duncan. Wake up."

The Ship's AI, named for a literary character nearly two centuries old flicks into Laramie's head like a schizoid hollucination.

" Yes Watch Commander?"

" Summary of report for world in fifth orbital path please."

The displays dance and unite into a world so familiar in it's colour and cloud patterns that Laramie stops breathing and the hairs on her neck stand on end.

" The world is approximately six Earth-Masses and is completely covered in a deep Terra-like ocean. "

Laramie Stops the AI with an abrupt swat at the console, her hands shake with adrenal response, the fluid around her hazes with sweat as she keys the comm to the Ship's Ranking Elder.

" David? You must come and see this..... We've found the impossible and I'll go nuts if someone doesn't see it with me and it disappears or I wake up or...."

She trails off and unkeys the mic. Her hands grope for the optics controls and pan the view across blinding white clouds and unmistakable lapis ocean. A thin veil of electric blue atmosphere betraying the likelihood of a breathable and liveable climate.

Mr. Anderson
Apr 3, 2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by mischief
Laramie can feel it's intense rads even from beyond the outer ring of planetary debris.

Its Alive! Its Alive! Its Aliveeeee!!!!!!

Cool, so Laramie, eh - named after the cigarettes on the Simpsons...And who's Duncan named after?

6 Earth masses, but what do you think the Gs will be? It could be less than 2 Gs if it doesn't have very big iron core, although anything more would make it very tough to deal with for humans.

D

mischief
Apr 4, 2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
Its Alive! Its Alive! Its Aliveeeee!!!!!!

Cool, so Laramie, eh - named after the cigarettes on the Simpsons...And who's Duncan named after?

6 Earth masses, but what do you think the Gs will be? It could be less than 2 Gs if it doesn't have very big iron core, although anything more would make it very tough to deal with for humans.

D

Neither. It was the first name that came into my head, she just was Laramie. I had a complete scene in my head of this late-teens precocious girl named Laramie who was unusually empathic to the Ship's systems.

She is Laramie Connor, third generation Traveller of the Mars sect of Blue Caste's largest mining ship: TMS Guild Steersman. The Steersman is legally the property of the Martian Blues but is commonly referred to as "Old Carl's ship" or "The Steersman".

Duncan is named for Duncan Idaho of course.;) :D

I'm setting it up to be a high-G world which pretty much confines life to the oceans. This will lead to the discussion I'll be writing in later.

mischief
Apr 4, 2003, 02:30 PM
David Leighe, Carl Connor, Laramie Connor and Jade Singh sit round a large circular conference table in the Steersman's ready room. A ball of pristine oceanic blue glows softly over the tabletop. There are a few dots of green that trace rings around the world's inner orbital plane. The projection tightens in on one tracing an equatorial geosychronous path and tables of Data appear above the image.

Laramie's decision to send out probes has proven a good one, she suppresses a smile while reading the results of the detailed survey.

" The World's oceanic and atmospheric composition are within Earth normal but average surface temperatures are six to ten degrees higher Centigrade than Earth. The Oceans are teeming with macrobiotic life in amazingly diverse forms and complex interrelations that could take years to study properly. It seems that though there are a few islets here and there the bulk of the Planet's ecosphere is purely aquatic. The few terrestrial creature yet observed are small and solidly built arthropods."

David's raised eyebrow stops her dissertation for comment.

" Is there any indication of civilizations of any kind Lara?" The question is not so much serious as required and Lara knows it.

" There is no preliminary evidence of industry, architecture, roads, commerce or forms of artifice commonly believed to point in the direction of an intelligent species." A carefully formulated response spoken by First Survey crew members since the dawn of man's ascent into space. Dilligently researched and carefully worded. It has never been spoken otherwise for there has been no need.

With nods of aquiescence around her she continues her report.

" The surface gravity is too high for colonization of the few islands, nor are these few large enough to justify the expense... The radiation in the UV and higher ranges is also too high for floating colonies to be considered. Ironically this seem the perfect world for our Caste to have a home."

A deep frown from Old Carl brings an awkward silence and the Centennial mariner's cracked voice carries years of weight.

" We cannot even speak of such things Lara. This world holds potentials that would tear Humanity appart in ways only the eldest can remember. I earned my trans-at wings in the Mars colony wars. We monkeys have a tremendous capacity for violence over spoils. The only action we can take now is to do a complete survey, isolate the Data from Comm access and forget we found any such planet. There are other resources to exploit in the system and we should confine our time here to mining those resources and take the long route back to cover our trail."

The room is silent for a number of minutes as the other three crewers absorb the enormity of the secret they must now keep. Finally David breaks the silence.

" Carl is of course correct. As painful as it is we must ignore this world, which looks so much like Home to us. We mus also however learn all we can before we go. If someone else stumbles on this system we must be prepared to claim it for our Caste and Colony."

Within hours a number of autonomous laboratories are dispatched to float in that deep blue ocean, cataloguing and sampling as they go.

As the emmense bulk of the Steersman shimmers into it's first Fold homeward
an autonomous lab scrapes a mat of hexagonal hydroid-like creatures from a reeftop setting in motion the greatest conflict in Human history.

NavyIntel007
Apr 4, 2003, 03:06 PM
What ticks me off is you have all these space battles with the fighters moving as if they are on earth. THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

If you leave your engines on you go faster without stopping until you hit something. Apparently directors don't take physics.

mischief
Apr 4, 2003, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
What ticks me off is you have all these space battles with the fighters moving as if they are on earth. THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.

If you leave your engines on you go faster without stopping until you hit something. Apparently directors don't take physics.

Trust me.... this is NOT an issue here. The only liberties I have taken with physics are neccessary deux ex machina to get interplanetary.... namely the Fold Drives.

RugoseCone
Apr 4, 2003, 04:51 PM
Have any of you read anything by Vernor Vinge? He's got some really interesting ideas about alien cultures/societies/castes and technology. I would HIGHLY suggest "A Deepness in the Sky" and "A Fire Upon the Deep" and read in that order. "Fire" was released first, but I do feel the characters that exist in both novels are much more intriguing if the works are not read chronologically.

I found both of these books to be the most creative and by far the best Sci-Fi I have ever come across. I realize I'm comparing Apples to oranges here, but these stories annihilate anything Gene Rodenberry and George Lucas ever developed.

Several of the topics and solutions you have discussed in this forum remind me of Vinge's writing.

Mr. Anderson
Apr 4, 2003, 11:02 PM
Higher Gs, more UV? Interesting. Given that its at least somewhat tolerable from the post, we're not talking 6 Gs, right? Mass in this case doesn't necessarilly equate 1 to 1 gravitational relationship. But the diameter of the planet and the core composition would have an impact on the magnetic field, which would create the magnetosphere, blocking the radiation from the planets star.

If the magnetic fields were weaker (given a less iron rich core) then the harmful radiation from the star would have a larger ablative effect on the surface and atmosphere.

Any thoughts on this?

D

mischief
Apr 5, 2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by dukestreet
Higher Gs, more UV? Interesting. Given that its at least somewhat tolerable from the post, we're not talking 6 Gs, right? Mass in this case doesn't necessarilly equate 1 to 1 gravitational relationship. But the diameter of the planet and the core composition would have an impact on the magnetic field, which would create the magnetosphere, blocking the radiation from the planets star.

If the magnetic fields were weaker (given a less iron rich core) then the harmful radiation from the star would have a larger ablative effect on the surface and atmosphere.

Any thoughts on this?

D

Well.... actually I was thinking simply in terms of the G's being just high enough to make terrestrial colonies impractical... not impossible but economically unfeasable.

Rad-wise I was looking for more UV than terrestrial mammals could take such that photosynthetic wavelengths penetrate low-turbidity ocean water to more than 30 feet. Currently on Earth photosynthetic UV only penetrates 10 feet with some specialized corals using the longer wavelengths down to 30 feet. Essentially you could technically walk around on the little islands (no more than 10 Acres each and tidally exposed) but you'd get tired really damn fast and get a sunburn/blinded almost immediately.

mischief
Jul 30, 2003, 07:21 PM
Greetings all. It's been quite some time since I aimed my brain at Humanity's Future; as a result there's quite a lot to add. First off let's take a better look at human society.

From the first Interplanetary Congress. The Declaration of Human Solidarity. Afterward commonly referred to as the Galactic Credo.

" At no time in Human History has such a gathering been brought forth to author so great a purpose. By way of necessity we here will echo the late American Thomas Jefferson.

Now in the course of human events, it becomes imperative for all peoples to dissolve their ancient political bands; which have both connected and separated them. We shall set forth here our objective, to forge one Nation from thousands and distill from that Nation the essential Guilds and Peoples that shall, from this time forward be to the Nation of Humanity what those Ancient Nations once were to the totality of Earth?s Peoples.

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

? That all Humans are created Equal in the eyes of Law, Humanity and Diety.

? That all such beings are endowed, by their very living existence with certain unalienable Rights. These Rights are expressed in their essential character thusly:
- The Right to live, possessed there-in also the right to choose the manner and dignity of one?s own Death.
- The Right to live Free, Free to associate, Free to move about Human-possessed territory, Free to procreate and Free to prosper.
- The Right to Pursue Happiness.
- The Right to Identity. All such being have the right to know, express and claim the content of their Name, Ancestry and Cultural Heritage."


This document, in it's simple and powerful character would be the core about which Humankind would reform it's ties, political structures, legal memes and social norms.

Other documents would follow, each adding the flavour of a Guild, Tribe, People or Planetary Nation to the growing documents Interplanetary Society.

The Seven Star-Systems of Human Space and their Planets are briefly outlined below. As you can see, several of the Guilds have specialized either the majority of a System or part of a World. There also exist Worlds and Systems adapted to particular facets of Humanity.

? Sol. All Gates Lead to Sol. This is still the Heart of Civilization.

- Earth
- Venus
- Mars
- Io
- Europa
- Titan


? Academia.

- University
- Archive (artificial satellite of University)
- Classicus
- Artifice (Home to Caste Tinker)
- Codec (Satellite of Artifice)
- Eden (Home of Caste Shaper)
- Anima (Satellite of Eden)

? Proscenium. (An entire starsystem of the imagination.)

- Epic ( A world of Telepresent Odessy and Adventure. Areas exist for each acknowledged Epic Work. Patrons pay to be Odyssius, Frodo, etc.)
- Thespos ( Each nation-like area here represents a playwright, each neighborhood or, in some cases each City-state represents an individual Play.)
- Litera ( Each continent represents a literary Genre, subdivisions as above.)

?Zeal. (This is the System given to those seeking to seperate themselves who would otherwise cause trouble. The worlds of Zeal are subject to nearly- constant Jyhad among groups.)

- Zion. (After the freak disruction of the Sainai [sp?] by way of a REALLY BIG ROCK the nations claiming the "holy land" as their own were given areas of this arrid planet most like the areas their tribes had always known. Technology has been artificially stunted to pre-firearms levels.The cradle of technology on Zion is the area known as " New Jamaica". It's strangeness is expressed in it's peaceful posture towards other groups. NJ is, of course the only place on Zion the Travellers will maintain a Spaceport.)

- Arya. ( A planet maintained under a quiet but deadly quarantine. Here the nations are the various subgroups of Racial Supremecists. )


? Sanctus. ( An entire Star System dedicated to Art, Music and Faith)

- Muse.
- Sanctum.

? Crucible. ( Most of this system is asteroids and Nebulous Gas rings given over to the Traveller's Gray Tribe for Mining. There is only one planet.)

- Strife. ( Strife is the World sacrificed to be the official Galactic Battleground. The only enhabitants are a prolific sect of Monks/Nuns known popularly as "The Martyrs of Peace" who maintain that no War can be approriately horrific without civilian casualties. As a result, they maintain a constant feed of news-like coverage on several networks that play across Human Space.)


?Heritage. ( In an effort to preserve the stages of culture leading to Galactic Civilization, a Starsystem was established with worlds that would embody that which came before.)

- Aborigine.( All Tribal Peoples left at the time of the Galactic Senate's first meeting were recorded and catalogued to aid in establishing this world. The former tribal Nations from all continents were either voluntarilly relocated or reconstructed here. The European tribes of Gael and Mediteranean tribes of Antiquity were reconstructed also.)

- Rex. ( The times of Feudalism and Empire are recreated here.)

mischief
Jul 31, 2003, 06:48 PM
We are speaking of one of those tenuously civilized periods in human History. The seven Starsystems of Human Space are settled, but only Earth and Mars are teeming to capacity. There is peace because, simply: there is room for it.

More later.
;)

mischief
Aug 13, 2003, 10:29 PM
Because I have had an extended period of inspiration, I'll be shifting the posts here to more update-oriented material.

So I can continue to have the wonderful feedback from all of you sci-fi fans I'd appreciate it if those of you who would like to continue actively participating e-mail me so I can set up a mailing list.

I have the core of the neudibranch physics model worked out based entirely on wave theory. It's proven quite an interesting challenge but will occupy too much space here.

E-mail me at: mischief6xr@mac.com or via the button below to get on the list.

I'll distribute in PDF and/or .doc (MS Word).

-M:cool:

mischief
Sep 28, 2003, 11:27 PM
I have some minor issues to modify or correct in the original texts. Rather than confuse things with going back and editing my posts I'll deal with them here.

First off: The word "Caste" has proven too politically inflamitory. I will be using variable terms by group as most often occurs in actual society. These terms will reflect the current attitudes of similar groups in today's society.

The following are Guilds:

Traveller, Player, Shaper.

Unions:

Tinker.


I am adding some groups too to add further texture.

- The Elysium of Spirit. This is the association that represents all religious doctrines. THe Elysium contributes many smaller inter-dogmatic councils to the governing and academic bodies of humanity including one called "Conscience" that contributes to Galactic Senatorial debates on any and all subjects.

- The Academia Omnicius. This is the association of professional scholars.

Ever more to follow. ;)

mischief
Dec 22, 2003, 09:51 PM
Adding some subgroups likely to be encountered as "colour" in places like spaceports, Liners, etc.

Shaper subgroups:

Fur Talkers. These are the animal handlers and behaviourists who take care of Shaper creations and the various Fauna traded around Human Space. Fur Talkers can interact with ANY animal as well as diagnose psychological or health issues and have the skillsets to keep any animal healthy. There are no better Animal behaviourists, vets or hunters.

Verdans. Verdans are the plant equivalent of Fur Talkers. Less exciting but incredible keepers of Pharmacopea, diagnosticians of poison and taxonomists of plants.

Tinker Subgroups:

Oracles. These walking data terminals. If you want to know, find or communicate: talk to an Oracle. They're in constant connection to the Net and live in a fugue of data overlaid on their lives. Oracles travel and live in a haze of data. They're cared for by retainers who negotiate price and control the flow of supplicants.

Mystics. Mytics are the fixit version of Oracles. They have the same basic air about them and the same retinue. Mystics differ in that their focus is on calibration, repair, upgrade and integration of the myriad devices that keep Spacebound Humanity rolling.

I'll be writing the first piece from the perspective of the Echinoderms soon. Stay tuned!;)

mischief
Mar 7, 2004, 10:31 PM
In the matter of Xenological surveys we would like to point out that there is no course of action described to allow for intelligent species operating by purely biological means. Our esteemed colleagues on Artifice have projected an incredibly small probability of encountering such a species. But as naturalists, bioscientists and behaviorists we must stress the inherent danger in the omission.

- Dennis Coleman, PhD.
Representing the Society of Biosciences to the Galactic Senate at the drafting of the Xenological Intelligence Survey Directives.


It is a rare and disturbing happenstance that both scientific Societies, the Orders of Faith and the Keepers at Heritage all agree that Mans first encounter with an intelligent Xenospecies can produce no other result that a devastating war.

- Archives of Human History
Chronicles of Humanity Among The Stars



The Legend of the coming of Lies:

In all the History of Sea there never was an event recorded that would change our way of life so profoundly as the attack of the False Living Dead on Dancing Moonlight Reef. About you are the remains of Seas greatest and oldest colony of The People. Hear now the chronicle of the Wounding of Moonlight Reef, the Birth of Lies and the Quest to seek the Gods.

Dancing Moonlight Reef is a special place to us. In all Sea there is no place with such a convergence of currents, species, depths and nutrients. It was the place our Ancestors first learned the arts of Change and laid down the first clutch of History. It was a place where the clear waters and broad expanse of open lagoon made stargazing possible for the First Ancestors. It was from here that the wars of antiquity were fought against the Chondrichthyes. It was the place where the Tribes of the People made peace and began the Litany In Living Stone. All this would take new meaning at the coming of the False Living Dead.

On the Night of Three Full Moons, at the end of the spawn a clutch of Litany was laid that would never record history. From the sky came streaks of fire. They behaved as no others had. The Litany and Histories record many instances of ferrous boulders falling from the stars, burning in The Above and crashing into the sky. These were no ferrite boulders. These moved with purpose in The Above, twisting and decelerating in ways that confounded observers across all of Sea. There was nothing in recorded or observed existence that behaved in such a manner. This was the coming of Lies.

These things that came to Sea slowed down as they neared the surface of the sky and fell into it with a grace we attributed only to the flying Arthropods of The Above. The Sky sizzled and boiled at their presence as it had from the ferrite boulders but the expected percussive noise of their sudden cooling never came. From these things, these Lies came noises The People had never heard before except from living things.

They came in many places but the one we call The Mother of Lies came to Dancing Moonlight Reef. From the East it came, a fiery streak slowing to reveal a smooth black carapace of a material we could not identify. It slowed and opened like a beetle of The Above, then dropped into the Lagoon. The spawning People flew from it as their ancestors had from the Chondrichthyes hundreds of generations before. It settled into the waters of the sky over the sacred lagoon and began making a complex vocabulary of noises across a wider spectrum of frequency and emission than we had ever heard from one creature, even one of The People.

It went about with a strange humming and great turbulence with no visible means of propulsion. Its purpose became clear almost immediately: Predation. It descended through the waters and sucked various creatures of the lagoon into itself. As it moved toward the Spawning sites at the periphery of the lagoon wall the bravest and most outraged of The People attacked it with all the means at their disposal. Great waves of sound were pulsed at its thinnest points in an effort to stun it or liquefy its innards. Clouds of digestive mucous were spun about its limbs in order to render it crippled. It continued with only the slightest of pauses to check its course and, to our horror proceeded scraping the Clutch of Litany that would record the coming year from the Reefs surface.

Several Ones grappled with it, trying to open it like a resistant bivalve. A One was eaten by it whole and discovered its horrible secret from within its dead intestines. This one is now known in The Litany as Finder Of Lies and would survive the encounter to found The Priesthood of The False.

Finder Of Lies pulsed his bizarre discovery to those outside:
This is not a creature! It has no organs, no brain, no digestive or circulatory fluids. It is a One with out life, indeed an item that has never lived that is made within and without of materials which do not exist!

The Ones who were grappling the thing relayed his weak message to those who had held back, too confused to act:
This is not a real creature! The Stars have sent us a thing which cannot live and yet eats! A creature which eats but has no metabolism and was born of nothing in Nature!

At this the People descended on The Mother Of Lies, this thing which was all that could not exist, to kill it and rescue their countryman. Mother Of Lies had no sensible reaction, indeed it did not try to save itself but continued to attempt its mindless predation until it was rent open. Thusly was its deepest evil revealed: Elemental Copper and other toxic free-metals throughout its insides. Two of The Ones which had rent it open lost limbs that would never grow back to its foul interior. The puzzling container in which Finder Of Lies was imprisoned was retrieved by his mate of that year: Copper Burned Her Face who would die of metal poisoning soon after.

The Mother Of Lies was imprisoned by fifty Ones who sacrificed themselves to spin a carbuncle around it and themselves at the bottom of the lagoon. Free metal oxides still leech from its hateful carcass and whole new species had to be Changed to facilitate making new currents and metabolize the toxins. Without such action retrieval any continuity of The Litany would be impossible and the history of our people would have perished.

Other Lies had come to Sea and the sky was thrumming with calls for aid from various Reefs and colonies. Dancing Moonlight Reef quickly sent long range pulsed messages as to the nature, vulnerabilities and dangers of the things. All but one of these Lies would be entombed and hauled out to volcanic trenches in the deepest places to be destroyed by the planet Sea herself. The single escapee which had landed first on the tops of an Atoll left exposed by tectonic shift wreaked its odd havoc on the uninhabited reef below then clambered back into The Above and completed its defiance of Reality by growing luminous, rising through The Above and disappearing in a blinding blue-white Flash at the outer edge of vision.

All these things were discussed at the largest conclave of People in history in the waters around Dancing Moonlight, which would be renamed Tomb of Falsehood.

The very idea of a thing that was entirely non-organic and non- geological but artificial in every respect was beyond belief. Moons would wax and wane on the discussion before Finder Of Lies voiced his history-changing conclusion:

These things were made by beings from the Beyond, where only the Stars have been before. It is said in various Litanies that some ferrite boulders bear the markings of life within them. It has always been speculated that some One or Ones in The Beyond Changed a less evolved species to create the First Ancestors. These are the Old Gods from the most ancient traditions that stand with their faces to us as the Stars and Moons.

It is possible from the irrefutable existence of these Lies that some Ones in The Beyond created them, for no process in nature could have. This One proposes that we strive to reach and traverse The Beyond in order to discover the creators of these things, be they Gods or Creatures unknown.

mischief
Mar 11, 2004, 01:31 PM
For those of you who have been following this: Thank you very much for the support and encouragement. I can see from the lack of responses and increase in views that I'm on the right track and can write the hell out of this thing. To that end I'm looking to self-publish in paperback via Cafepress.com.

My mother's webstore will be hosting the material. I can reccomend her artwork too! I'll post again when my stuff's up. There'll be several collections of shortstories rangeing from William-Gibson style stuff to the above sci-fi to some isolated Fantasy epic.

Store URL is: www.cafeshops.com/47lightmoves

My work will be up under "Mischief's Alternate Realities" soon.

mischief
Jul 12, 2004, 12:32 PM
I have a couple of new pieces coming to this thread soon. I'll let you know when things are available bound. Life has been... er.. psychotic recently.

I'm going to start Waaaaaay back at the beginning and cover the 300 years of "How we got here"