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Did the MBS corner the market on trade?

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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:38 pm

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cthia wrote:How small? Where did they live when they first arrived? From where did the specialization come? Where did they grow their food? Etc. Where did they get their fuel for the ships and many parts? They were taking a chance to bank on too small a colony, but okay. Perhaps small risks big rewards.


It could be very small.

As Brigade explained above, they'd need a serious exploration arm. To me, this is actually the most difficult part. They couldn't count on finding a system that was accessible by wormhole and yet far from everything else that it wouldn't be discovered by the regular expansion of the human Settled Galaxy. So finding the Felix Wormhole Junction and Darius at the end of one end must have been a complete lucky strike. That in turn must mean they had a couple of other secondary candidates that were not accessible by way of wormhole, or at least as close. They might also have other wormholes.

But once they had Darius, they didn't need much. Colony ships had been launched for 1800 years. Starting a colony is a very well-known process. And unlike what we've been told in the books, the first thing you do is not land on the planet and dismantle your ship (only anti-technology nuts would do that, q.v. Grayson and Nuncio -- "The Founding Idiots"). Instead, you build orbital industries and cloudscoops. You just need a bit of seed industrial machinery, which fits into the cargo holds of a single freighter. That solves your fuel problem.

Food is not an issue for a mechanised agriculture and Mesa doesn't even need the mechanised part (slaves). If rising from the gravity well weren't so cheap, you'd do it in orbit too and make sure you have a self-sustaining production before you land (in fact, given how many plagues and natural disasters we've heard of in the Honorverse, this should have been the rule). But since it's cheap and habitable life-compatible planets are abundant, you can just land the agricultural machinery and labourers bit by bit as production expands. Or before, if you don't care if your labourers live or die. And labour force is not an issue... it's not like there are independent auditors checking Manpower's books to see where the slaves were shipped to.

The rest is just a matter of time. You build the tools to builds the tools to build the industry. You dedicate the first few generations of industry to making more industry, before you start pumping out your actual products. The MAlign was not in a rush, since the critical path to their work wasn't Darius, it was the genetic enhancements they wanted to achieve.

Or for a parallel: a single, sub-light colony ship arrived in the Manticore system in 1416 PD. Having received technology updates but facing one plague that decimated the population and the Free Brotherhood, by 1545 PD it was building its first light-cruiser. And by 1590 PD it had revolutionised battlecruisers and was building battleships. This is about the same length of time Darius has been settled, without Darius' advantage of a wormhole from the start.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:40 am

cthia
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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:How small? Where did they live when they first arrived? From where did the specialization come? Where did they grow their food? Etc. Where did they get their fuel for the ships and many parts? They were taking a chance to bank on too small a colony, but okay. Perhaps small risks big rewards.


It could be very small.

As Brigade explained above, they'd need a serious exploration arm. To me, this is actually the most difficult part. They couldn't count on finding a system that was accessible by wormhole and yet far from everything else that it wouldn't be discovered by the regular expansion of the human Settled Galaxy. So finding the Felix Wormhole Junction and Darius at the end of one end must have been a complete lucky strike. That in turn must mean they had a couple of other secondary candidates that were not accessible by way of wormhole, or at least as close. They might also have other wormholes.

But once they had Darius, they didn't need much. Colony ships had been launched for 1800 years. Starting a colony is a very well-known process. And unlike what we've been told in the books, the first thing you do is not land on the planet and dismantle your ship (only anti-technology nuts would do that, q.v. Grayson and Nuncio -- "The Founding Idiots"). Instead, you build orbital industries and cloudscoops. You just need a bit of seed industrial machinery, which fits into the cargo holds of a single freighter. That solves your fuel problem.

Food is not an issue for a mechanised agriculture and Mesa doesn't even need the mechanised part (slaves). If rising from the gravity well weren't so cheap, you'd do it in orbit too and make sure you have a self-sustaining production before you land (in fact, given how many plagues and natural disasters we've heard of in the Honorverse, this should have been the rule). But since it's cheap and habitable life-compatible planets are abundant, you can just land the agricultural machinery and labourers bit by bit as production expands. Or before, if you don't care if your labourers live or die. And labour force is not an issue... it's not like there are independent auditors checking Manpower's books to see where the slaves were shipped to.

The rest is just a matter of time. You build the tools to builds the tools to build the industry. You dedicate the first few generations of industry to making more industry, before you start pumping out your actual products. The MAlign was not in a rush, since the critical path to their work wasn't Darius, it was the genetic enhancements they wanted to achieve.

Or for a parallel: a single, sub-light colony ship arrived in the Manticore system in 1416 PD. Having received technology updates but facing one plague that decimated the population and the Free Brotherhood, by 1545 PD it was building its first light-cruiser. And by 1590 PD it had revolutionised battlecruisers and was building battleships. This is about the same length of time Darius has been settled, without Darius' advantage of a wormhole from the start.

It sounds so easy on paper, but in practice it really isn't. Perhaps I'm not being fair, and I'm certain I'm more than a bit influenced by Kim Stanley Robinson's portrayal of colonizing Mars. But the Mars expedition didn't have benefit of modern HV tools, genetics, experience, or medicine, being the first of its kind. The availability of medicine is an area of contention as well. I suppose Darius manufactured generic versions of everything out of necessity. They were probably more like witches' brews for a while. Wait, the MAlign's medicines are still like witches' brews. LOL

An aside: I have ALWAYS hated toll-booths, and omg does Manticore have one serious cash-cow of a Checkpoint Charlie. But, at least travel expenses are tax deductible, even if Beth doesn't validate all parking tickets. LOL

I suppose travel expenses are still tax deductible, but it seems like the cost of one excursion through the MWJ and you'll be able to trump your way out of paying taxes for life.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Theemile   » Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:39 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:How small? Where did they live when they first arrived? From where did the specialization come? Where did they grow their food? Etc. Where did they get their fuel for the ships and many parts? They were taking a chance to bank on too small a colony, but okay. Perhaps small risks big rewards.


It could be very small.

As Brigade explained above, they'd need a serious exploration arm. To me, this is actually the most difficult part. They couldn't count on finding a system that was accessible by wormhole and yet far from everything else that it wouldn't be discovered by the regular expansion of the human Settled Galaxy. So finding the Felix Wormhole Junction and Darius at the end of one end must have been a complete lucky strike. That in turn must mean they had a couple of other secondary candidates that were not accessible by way of wormhole, or at least as close. They might also have other wormholes.

But once they had Darius, they didn't need much. Colony ships had been launched for 1800 years. Starting a colony is a very well-known process. And unlike what we've been told in the books, the first thing you do is not land on the planet and dismantle your ship (only anti-technology nuts would do that, q.v. Grayson and Nuncio -- "The Founding Idiots"). Instead, you build orbital industries and cloudscoops. You just need a bit of seed industrial machinery, which fits into the cargo holds of a single freighter. That solves your fuel problem.

Food is not an issue for a mechanised agriculture and Mesa doesn't even need the mechanised part (slaves). If rising from the gravity well weren't so cheap, you'd do it in orbit too and make sure you have a self-sustaining production before you land (in fact, given how many plagues and natural disasters we've heard of in the Honorverse, this should have been the rule). But since it's cheap and habitable life-compatible planets are abundant, you can just land the agricultural machinery and labourers bit by bit as production expands. Or before, if you don't care if your labourers live or die. And labour force is not an issue... it's not like there are independent auditors checking Manpower's books to see where the slaves were shipped to.

The rest is just a matter of time. You build the tools to builds the tools to build the industry. You dedicate the first few generations of industry to making more industry, before you start pumping out your actual products. The MAlign was not in a rush, since the critical path to their work wasn't Darius, it was the genetic enhancements they wanted to achieve.

Or for a parallel: a single, sub-light colony ship arrived in the Manticore system in 1416 PD. Having received technology updates but facing one plague that decimated the population and the Free Brotherhood, by 1545 PD it was building its first light-cruiser. And by 1590 PD it had revolutionised battlecruisers and was building battleships. This is about the same length of time Darius has been settled, without Darius' advantage of a wormhole from the start.


And you are forgetting 1 major point - Darius wasn't a 1 shot to get everything done colonization project like Manticore or Grayson was. Given the time frame, it was easy to use multiple freighters to bring in exactly what was needed for each part of the colonization when it was needed. A Freighter trip was measured in months each way at the most, and cargo could be trans-shipped to dedicated freighters (like the Jeyssek fleet) to hide it's final destination.

So yes, you could build industry there, but you didn't need to do it using one small industrial module crammed into your long haul colonization ship. You could design and deliver a specialty built industrial module and ore extraction system on multiple freighters and go from 0-60 overnight, instead of building your way there slowly using the basic lvl1 modules and upgrading them as you go.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:42 pm

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cthia wrote:It sounds so easy on paper, but in practice it really isn't. Perhaps I'm not being fair, and I'm certain I'm more than a bit influenced by Kim Stanley Robinson's portrayal of colonizing Mars. But the Mars expedition didn't have benefit of modern HV tools, genetics, experience, or medicine, being the first of its kind.


Exactly: Mars is likely to be the first planet we try to colonise and the second body ever after leaving the Earth (the Moon the first). And unlike the Moon, which is just over a light-second away and thus can receive real-time communications, or where we can send a rescue ship in a few days' time, Mars is much more complicated.

The first interstellar colony (Beowulf) mustn't have been easy either. It's all the Mars problems, plus the fact that you can't get there in one generation. Dark Page also relates how a colony can go wrong when it's not even the first. In all those early cases, the voyage was one-way: it HAD to work, no matter the cost. Which is why don't make landfall until you've got a sustaining orbital industry and food production in the first place.

But by Darius time, there were several thousand colonies set up. The League alone had 2000 systems and that was only in a 200 light-year radius. Manticore is over 500, which means a volume 16x bigger (but one supposes the density goes sharply down with the distance from Earth).

This is a well-known procedure. And for the last 500 years, colonies have been set up with the aid of hyperspace, so like Theemile says, getting a second, third, and Nth freighters with everything you forgot -- like the shipment of toothbrushes -- is doable, if not easy or cheap.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:31 pm

cthia
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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
cthia wrote:It sounds so easy on paper, but in practice it really isn't. Perhaps I'm not being fair, and I'm certain I'm more than a bit influenced by Kim Stanley Robinson's portrayal of colonizing Mars. But the Mars expedition didn't have benefit of modern HV tools, genetics, experience, or medicine, being the first of its kind.


Exactly: Mars is likely to be the first planet we try to colonise and the second body ever after leaving the Earth (the Moon the first). And unlike the Moon, which is just over a light-second away and thus can receive real-time communications, or where we can send a rescue ship in a few days' time, Mars is much more complicated.

The first interstellar colony (Beowulf) mustn't have been easy either. It's all the Mars problems, plus the fact that you can't get there in one generation. Dark Page also relates how a colony can go wrong when it's not even the first. In all those early cases, the voyage was one-way: it HAD to work, no matter the cost. Which is why don't make landfall until you've got a sustaining orbital industry and food production in the first place.

But by Darius time, there were several thousand colonies set up. The League alone had 2000 systems and that was only in a 200 light-year radius. Manticore is over 500, which means a volume 16x bigger (but one supposes the density goes sharply down with the distance from Earth).

This is a well-known procedure. And for the last 500 years, colonies have been set up with the aid of hyperspace, so like Theemile says, getting a second, third, and Nth freighters with everything you forgot -- like the shipment of toothbrushes -- is doable, if not easy or cheap.

Oh, I wasn't questioning access to the 2nd-Nth freighter. I was questioning access - with the possibility of blowing your cover - not increasing dramatically with each successive freighter. It was just risky. As a matter of fact, we're still not sure those trips aren't what will do them in. One manifest not shredded, one cutout not cutout and yadda, is all that it takes.

As a matter of fact, I said they'd have to keep returning to the scene of the crime, Mesa. It is impossible to know everything you'll need, especially since you will remain in space before landing. It's the old adage of returning to the scene of the crime one time too many. It must have been impossible to be disciplined enough not to keep using Mesa as a crutch and a safety net when it is so close.

Loose lips sink ships.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:10 pm

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cthia wrote:Oh, I wasn't questioning access to the 2nd-Nth freighter. I was questioning access - with the possibility of blowing your cover - not increasing dramatically with each successive freighter. It was just risky. As a matter of fact, we're still not sure those trips aren't what will do them in. One manifest not shredded, one cutout not cutout and yadda, is all that it takes.

As a matter of fact, I said they'd have to keep returning to the scene of the crime, Mesa. It is impossible to know everything you'll need, especially since you will remain in space before landing. It's the old adage of returning to the scene of the crime one time too many. It must have been impossible to be disciplined enough not to keep using Mesa as a crutch and a safety net when it is so close.

Loose lips sink ships.


You're completely right, that's a trail that can be eventually followed. And have you noticed how RFC spent three books telling us about Parmley Station? He is known for misdirecting us (*cough* McQueen *cough*) but he's been building up this station in the middle of nowhere that barely contributed to anything, except making Cachat and Zilwicki be late for their return after Green Pines. Something tells me there's an intersection between Parmley Station and Zach McBride.

Which brings me to this other point: the freighters and colony ships to set up Darius were far from the only ships going there. There was a lot of traffic over the past century. And that traffic was exponentially higher during Houdini. How many people got evacuated? 100k? 200k? That's a lot of ships.

Something to keep Zilwicki, Cachat, Harahap, Indiana and a Ghost hunter (Teague or Al-Fanudahi I would guess) occupied throughout the next CS book.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Oct 06, 2020 9:33 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Which brings me to this other point: the freighters and colony ships to set up Darius were far from the only ships going there. There was a lot of traffic over the past century. And that traffic was exponentially higher during Houdini. How many people got evacuated? 100k? 200k? That's a lot of ships.

Something to keep Zilwicki, Cachat, Harahap, Indiana and a Ghost hunter (Teague or Al-Fanudahi I would guess) occupied throughout the next CS book.

Though it seems the Darius leg was lots of trips from only a few ships. Most ships evacuating people from Mesa were sent to arbitrary rendezvous locations to transfer their passengers to another ship that actually knew the final destination (Darius) and how to get there.

As long as the MAlign was good about not reusing meeting points then tracing where the evacuation ships went will only lead investigators to a series the random tranship points; where even staking them out won't find you the ships that know where Darius is. (Though if the MAlign was sloppy and didn't randomly distributed thpse points well tracing many of them might give a general direction towards Darius and/or Felix).

You'd need to figure out a current ship that has such a rendezvous, tail it undetected, and then tail the ship it met (also undetected). That's no impossible; but it's going to be far harder than digging through manifests and records of past flights.
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:47 am

cthia
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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Which brings me to this other point: the freighters and colony ships to set up Darius were far from the only ships going there. There was a lot of traffic over the past century. And that traffic was exponentially higher during Houdini. How many people got evacuated? 100k? 200k? That's a lot of ships.

Something to keep Zilwicki, Cachat, Harahap, Indiana and a Ghost hunter (Teague or Al-Fanudahi I would guess) occupied throughout the next CS book.

Though it seems the Darius leg was lots of trips from only a few ships. Most ships evacuating people from Mesa were sent to arbitrary rendezvous locations to transfer their passengers to another ship that actually knew the final destination (Darius) and how to get there.

As long as the MAlign was good about not reusing meeting points then tracing where the evacuation ships went will only lead investigators to a series the random tranship points; where even staking them out won't find you the ships that know where Darius is. (Though if the MAlign was sloppy and didn't randomly distributed thpse points well tracing many of them might give a general direction towards Darius and/or Felix).

You'd need to figure out a current ship that has such a rendezvous, tail it undetected, and then tail the ship it met (also undetected). That's no impossible; but it's going to be far harder than digging through manifests and records of past flights.

There is another possibility of sloppiness that I mentioned in my thread. The possibility of a cutout not being cutout, and the non shredded paperwork which might allow cross referencing the people used, so as to finger one common denominator. One person of interest. There had to be people outside of the Alignment who were used in such a large recurring operation, like those on Mesa who can be counted on to come thru. And to come thru consistently had to be someone who knew the ropes, instead of always someone knew. Would the same people be used every time? If not, would each old group be considered a loose end and thus be turned into a cutout by having their throats actually cut out? It is difficult to fuel and nourish friendships over time and then murder them. It is also difficult to fuel and nourish a friendship and not communicate with them or become invested in the emotion. It is something which affected Harahap, and Simoes' trainer - who was actually inside the Onion? They became affected by the human element and the deceit in the end. Simple human nature.

Since a lot of those trips happened very early into the life of the MA, I doubt they had benefit of the suicide protocols which seals shut any loose lips. So, someone having a few drinks with an acquaintance he's fond of - for instance a benign but common bonding conversation about some hot babe working as a stevedore - and voila, a recipe for disaster. A loose end. Prolong ensures the loose ends are still alive.

Cutouts are only effective if they are actually cut out. When you become fond of someone and you are not as professional as you should be, you simply tell them they have to keep their mouth shut "about this." They give you a human promise on their mother's grave who isn't even dead, and that's that. A loose end with the lips to sink ships.

If this MA operative was sloppy too far upstream, as a result of sloppiness, compassion, familiarity, guilt and yadda, mixed with the inebriating effects of alcohol over a dangerous common denominator with breasts, well, loose lips sink ships. And there's nothing to get one's lips moving like alcohol and a large cup size. A DD will get way too many beans spilled. A DDD wearing high heels and a tight dress can expose (pun intended) the entire operation. I would imagine these realities is what eventually led to the creation of the suicide protocol. Eventually.

And, if people were being consistently cut out, someone may have missed them and decided to do a little snooping on their own, found out what they needed to know and was smart enough to shut it! A large enough credit denomination will loosen their lips.

.
Last edited by cthia on Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by cthia   » Wed Oct 07, 2020 8:37 am

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Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Did the MBS corner the market on trade?
Post by tlb   » Wed Oct 07, 2020 9:01 am

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Are you sure that is not a hint about the Renaissance Factor worlds, which he had not yet introduced in 2005?
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