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Portal Defense in Hell's Gate

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Portal Defense in Hell's Gate
Post by ZVar   » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:49 pm

ZVar
Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:45 pm

ReaverKing wrote:So, it's been a year. And now a pandemic virus has leapt from bats to humans and is sweeping the globe and will potentially result in the deaths of millions by the end of this year alone.

(BTW, I SWEAR that I have never come in contact with a magic monkey paw)

Does anyone want to revise their position on the subject of disease being the most likely thing to break the current stalemate in the Multiverse series?



No. Because of 2 main reasons.
1. All access to the gate is controlled. I.E. No civilians with freedom of movement. It's all military that can quarantine
2. The biggest issue. The reason COVID-19 is so scary is there is no cure. Both sides have a cure of this mythical virus in the form of pure magic, or simpler but still effective psionics.

Both of those combined means any disease, even if it starts to spread, means it's not too hard to kill before too much damage.
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Re: Portal Defense in Hell's Gate
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:06 pm

Jonathan_S
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Posts: 6732
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:01 pm
Location: Virginia, USA

ZVar wrote:
ReaverKing wrote:So, it's been a year. And now a pandemic virus has leapt from bats to humans and is sweeping the globe and will potentially result in the deaths of millions by the end of this year alone.

(BTW, I SWEAR that I have never come in contact with a magic monkey paw)

Does anyone want to revise their position on the subject of disease being the most likely thing to break the current stalemate in the Multiverse series?



No. Because of 2 main reasons.
1. All access to the gate is controlled. I.E. No civilians with freedom of movement. It's all military that can quarantine
2. The biggest issue. The reason COVID-19 is so scary is there is no cure. Both sides have a cure of this mythical virus in the form of pure magic, or simpler but still effective psionics.

Both of those combined means any disease, even if it starts to spread, means it's not too hard to kill before too much damage.

And I'd add that both side have communication methods that can outpace their fastest methods of moving people. And that the front is a far lengthier journey than anybody faced in WWI. That combination given either side a reasonable chance to notice any outbreak starting near the front and get the word ahead of any potentially infected personnel to slam down that quarantine.

Plus you need a minimum population level exposed to a disease to keep it going - which varies depending on how infectious it is and how long someone infected remains infectious. But diseases that kill or cripple don't tend to remain infectious for long in any individual person. If it's a couple months of fairly isolated transit from the front back to heavily populated worlds most deadly diseases will tend to burn out within the small population of soldiers in transit. Everyone's either died or recovered and are no longer infectious before the trip finishes.
(Now there are diseases where you remain infectious for months or years; but not many where it both remains infectious for that long and still debilitates or kills you in a strategically useful period of time)

So either side should have time to impose quarantine before any outbreak can reach from the front back to a major population area; the transit time from the front to their population centers provides passive protection of its own simplifying quarantine and making it less likely to fail, and both have ways to treat even novel diseases unless the sheer number of infected overwhelms their medics.
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Re: Portal Defense in Hell's Gate
Post by ReaverKing   » Sat Oct 03, 2020 8:23 pm

ReaverKing
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Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:28 am

All excent points. And I was completely content to leave the argument alone. You guys convinced me - disease is not a serious risk for two armies with long supply chains and the ability to stamp diseases out like magic.

Here's the thing...

The current American President has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours. Less than 5 months from my last post. And, admittedly, Donald Trump is a rampaging narccsissist who actively downplayed the virus in public, contradicted his governments' own experts, endorsed 'cures' that didn't work, held public rallies that caused surges in infections (Tulsa, Oklahoma) and undermined public health measures like mask-wearing by politicizing them.

And this is in our universe, where we have all kinds of historical examples and scientific research to draw from. As I've noted in previous posts. American miltary leadership knowingly sent sick soldiers to the front and that played a major role in creating the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.

I seriously doubt that Arcanian political leaders who are used to diseases ACTUALLY "disapperaing one day like magic" would have the werewithal to quickly contain and stamp out mass outbreaks of disease. Especially if a great many mages should be sent to the front to reinforce the line in pepraration for an assault on the gate.

As we can see from our own world (and basically every David Weber novel ever) some leaders just can't appreciate the magnitude of risk involved in allowing certain problems that seem small now to fester unchecked.

The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”
-- Al Bartlett


https://modernsurvivalblog.com/pandemic ... -pandemic/
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