Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

On Rereading 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: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:10 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

It seems possible that Sharonans take Voice communications
so much for granted that they would not have noticed any
refusal by Arcanans to allow them a courier! :D

HTM

PeterZ wrote:
[snip - htm}
If Jasak's team would have simply surrounded the Chalgyn team and waited to begin speaking, his refusal for allowing a person to carry a message to Sharonan higher authority would have come up. Sending someone would not have been necessary, but Jasak would not have known it. In any case the Fort would have sent soldiers and those soldiers would have confronted Jasak's force. They would have wondered why Arcana had a plan that stipulated capturing whoever the could in a first contact scenario?
{snip}
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:21 pm

Howard T. Map-addict
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1392
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:47 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA

So far, Jonathan, Peter, Don, Howard, and Stephen have all
posted to this discussion. I note that we are all pretty much
making the same argument, and only quibbling over some small
details and their possible consequences.

Now I seem to recall that Arcana's Plan called for "controlling
the contact" *only* in the event of shooting, or any violence.
If there had been no violence in the first contact,
then the Plan called for peaceful discussions, with both groups
sending messages back home.
In Other Words, what ought to happen.

If I Recall Correctly.

It was the shootings at the very beginning that sent the
Arcanans into Plan B.

HTM

Jonathan_S wrote:
{snip} I was primarily addressing the (still fantastically optimistic) thinking that presumably led Arcana into thinking that they would capture and detain in a first contact situation without long term poisoning the diplomatic well.

And I can still see where they could think that peacefully holding people for, say, 48 hours while they gather language and general knowledge and send out a diplomatic contact team could get smoothed over as long as contact was established before it became known they'd captured and detained anybody. (They may still be misjudging human nature, but I can see where they could believable make that mistake. The crazy part is expecting to do this peacefully and secretly, even if the other people aren't aggressively hostile to begin with)
{snip}
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:37 pm

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5705
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:11 pm
Location: Colorado

n7axw wrote:
PeterZ wrote:
The shoe was on the other foot, Don. Both groups were exposed to the other at the same time. There was evidence that the Sharonan was wounded in the initial confrontation. There is every indication that the Chalgyn team would have returned to the Fort as soon as they discovered their scout dead after encountering a representative from another civilization.


Yeah, true. But the impulse to run was born out of a sense of powerlessness that sent them scurrying for the nearest military protection. The real difference was that Sharona's team was civilian and Arcana's military. So there was no real parallel between the two responses. Would actual Ternathian Army forces have taken off upon the discovery of a dead comrade? I think that instead of running they would have went looking for whoever killed their comrade....which is exactly what Jasek's unit did..

Don

-


That's the point. The Imperial Ternaithian Army or any other Army unit was not exploring the multiverse because the Sharonans did not view exploration as requiring a military mindset. They sent civilians who did not automatically seek military advantage in any unexpected confrontation. Yes, they would have been at a disadvantage in a confrontation, but their response would NOT have been automatically aggressive.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:40 pm

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5705
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:11 pm
Location: Colorado

I have to revisit that. I had thought that controlling the information getting out for the other side was part of the initial plan. I could more than likely be mistaken.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:So far, Jonathan, Peter, Don, Howard, and Stephen have all
posted to this discussion. I note that we are all pretty much
making the same argument, and only quibbling over some small
details and their possible consequences.

Now I seem to recall that Arcana's Plan called for "controlling
the contact" *only* in the event of shooting, or any violence.
If there had been no violence in the first contact,
then the Plan called for peaceful discussions, with both groups
sending messages back home.
In Other Words, what ought to happen.

If I Recall Correctly.

It was the shootings at the very beginning that sent the
Arcanans into Plan B.

HTM

Jonathan_S wrote:
{snip} I was primarily addressing the (still fantastically optimistic) thinking that presumably led Arcana into thinking that they would capture and detain in a first contact situation without long term poisoning the diplomatic well.

And I can still see where they could think that peacefully holding people for, say, 48 hours while they gather language and general knowledge and send out a diplomatic contact team could get smoothed over as long as contact was established before it became known they'd captured and detained anybody. (They may still be misjudging human nature, but I can see where they could believable make that mistake. The crazy part is expecting to do this peacefully and secretly, even if the other people aren't aggressively hostile to begin with)
{snip}
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by CanoeSage   » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:11 pm

CanoeSage
Ensign

Posts: 17
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:07 pm

PeterZ wrote:I have to revisit that. I had thought that controlling the information getting out for the other side was part of the initial plan. I could more than likely be mistaken.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:So far, Jonathan, Peter, Don, Howard, and Stephen have all
posted to this discussion. I note that we are all pretty much
making the same argument, and only quibbling over some small
details and their possible consequences.

Now I seem to recall that Arcana's Plan called for "controlling
the contact" *only* in the event of shooting, or any violence.
If there had been no violence in the first contact,
then the Plan called for peaceful discussions, with both groups
sending messages back home.
In Other Words, what ought to happen.

If I Recall Correctly.

It was the shootings at the very beginning that sent the
Arcanans into Plan B.

HTM



Chapter 6 "[The Union] Accords had governed the use of portals and new universes for two hundred years. And they also laid out the rules and contingency plans for contact with another human civilization in the clearest possible terms. Every soldier in the Union's military forces was put through training on how to conduct such a first contact, which aimed above all else to be peaceful." Gadrial's thoughts

Six pages later after investigating the Sharonan camp and some discussion...

"Your tactical concerns are noted, Fifty Garlath. [However] It's imperative that we stop these people before they reach the portal. I don't want a damned battle, Garlath. I want answers. And I want to control the situation. Until we get those answers, until we get to the bottom of what happened out here, we don't know anything. But if these people are as confused as we are, and if they get back to their superiors and tell them we started it, it's going to change for a disaster to a godsdamned catastrophe. [...] So the only option I see is to find them, stop them, and try to make some sort of controlled contact with them , just like the first contact protocols require. And, failing that, we at least need to take them into custody and return them to base where [higher/diplomatic authority can take over]."

Chapter 33 Jasak talking to Jathmar and Shaylar

"Yes, you turned out to be civilians, but how was I supposed to know that then? I knew nothing about you—except that you'd already killed one of my people—and every member of the Arcanan military forces has standing orders where contact with another human civilization is concerned. We're to make it a peaceful contact if we possibly can. But, if there's already been blood shed, especially by what appears to be an organized military force, then those same standing orders required me to control the contact."
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:15 am

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5100
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

PeterZ wrote:
That's the point. The Imperial Ternaithian Army or any other Army unit was not exploring the multiverse because the Sharonans did not view exploration as requiring a military mindset. They sent civilians who did not automatically seek military advantage in any unexpected confrontation. Yes, they would have been at a disadvantage in a confrontation, but their response would NOT have been automatically aggressive.


And, Peter, the reason that Sharonians did not see a military mindset as necessary was that beyond perhaps vaguely acknowledging the possibility of first contact, no one responsible for planning took the possibility seriously. Portal authority was for managing claim jumping and bandits, not first contact with another multiverse civilization. Therefore there was no protocol for dealing with the situation in place, no serious provision for dealing with the situation gone wrong, no backup plan at all. When things fell into the crapper, it was Sharona that got caught out.

Not withstanding mul Gurthak's use of the situation for his own ends, Arcana's measures were only prudent. Had not Fifty Garlath screwed the pooch by disobeying the order that would have prevented the Fallen Timbers disaster, Arcana's protocols probably would have worked.

A military mindset is not a bad thing nor is it automatically aggressive. What it does have to do with is discipline and the chain of command and how to react in any given situation. But it is certainly not perfect and when it breaks down it can produce bad results which happened at Fallen Timbers. But this could happen to any army. All armies have incompetents and rubes in their officer corp.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:19 am

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5705
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:11 pm
Location: Colorado

Thanks, canoesage. The Arcanan position is still more than a little jingoistic. Once blood is shed the Arcanan soldier MUST take physical control of the encounter so that those encountered do not send back a distorted report. Unless Arcana is in control, the newly envountered sentidnts might send back distorted information.

The driving belief is that only Arcana can recognize undistorted truth in a chaotic situation. The liberty and well being of non-Arcanan citizens is secondary to Arcana maintaining control. Shaylar and Jathmar were taken into custody by honorable Jasak before war was declared and before Sharona attacked the swamp portal. His force started the firefight and he STILL took Shaylar and Jathmar prisoner and as sources of information.

The need to control is a cultural failing in Arcana.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:37 am

PeterZ
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5705
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:11 pm
Location: Colorado

Don we went over this already. Its not the aggressiveness of the military mindset that's the problem here. It is that the military is at its core the guardians of a nation and its interest. When in a conflict, military units are duty bound to safeguard that nation and its interest.

Civilians are not the guardians of a nation. Their principal goal in a conflict like this one is NOT to guard their nation but to survive. That's enough of a first contact Protocol. Survive and get a message to the authorities. So what if the first impression is confused. Its a first contact, they are supposed to be confused. Diplomats are paid to sort things out. Escalating a fatal first contact with yet more force that likely will lead to more death in order to control the consequences of that fatal first contact is indicative of a lack of good faith.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by Max   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:47 am

Max
Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:53 pm

Oh my, so much mis-information...

The first intercontinental contact to the Americas was trans-Pacific. The earliest American settlers were more closely related to the inhabitants of Asia than Europe. We're talking about tens of millennia here, not mere centuries. But that is not really on-topic...

The Sharonan's had had prior 'first contact' situations. I believe it was Pogo that said it: "we have met the enemy and it was us..." IIRC there had been more than one incident where one side could be described as either pirates or bandits in the Sharonan region encounters. The structure of their survey team reflected their expectations. Sharonan reaction was consistent with their experience and quite proper if you think about it.

The Sharonan survey team was reacting with propriety. Specifically: get the hell out of there and contact the proper authorities. And they did get a Voice message out.

The Arcanians on the other hand had not had any recent 'first contact' experiences. The military dominance on the frontier assured that. Their exploration strategy was basically the Spanish Conquistador's model. There was practically no chance for peaceful contact with their procedures, no mater how much lip service was wrapped around their "peaceful" intent. The hidden agendas only made it worse...
Last edited by Max on Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Top
Re: On Rereading HELL'S GATE
Post by n7axw   » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:00 am

n7axw
Fleet Admiral

Posts: 5100
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Viborg, SD

PeterZ wrote:Don we went over this already. Its not the aggressiveness of the military mindset that's the problem here. It is that the military is at its core the guardians of a nation and its interest. When in a conflict, military units are duty bound to safeguard that nation and its interest.

Civilians are not the guardians of a nation. Their principal goal in a conflict like this one is NOT to guard their nation but to survive. That's enough of a first contact Protocol. Survive and get a message to the authorities. So what if the first impression is confused. Its a first contact, they are supposed to be confused. Diplomats are paid to sort things out. Escalating a fatal first contact with yet more force that likely will lead to more death in order to control the consequences of that fatal first contact is indicative of a lack of good faith.


Ah, what a job of "surviving" that survey crew managed. I think we're going to continue to disagree on this one, PeterZ. From my perspective, had there been a way of stablizing the situation until the real diplomats could arrive,the result could have been much better.

Force present and available doesn't necessarily mean that there has to be a battle. All it really has to mean is that you prevent the other guy from walking away with the jewels until there can be some agreement on who gets the jewels or some way of dividing them up.

I am having a hard time coming coming up with examples of honest to goodness good faith negotiating that actually succeeded when there wasn't at least some parity of force involved. I can come up with multitudes of examples of situations when there wasn't parity, what negotiations really were was the dominant party telling the weaker side how it was going to be. In order to see that all you have to do is watch the news.

Sharona had no provisions in play for looking after its interests and the bottom line turned out to be an expensive war and a destablization of its politics at home. Not a good result.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
Top

Return to Multiverse