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What if Earth didn’t fall?

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:50 pm

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Daryl wrote:An unlikely scenario, but more likely than this, is that there was another secret earlier seeding mission that didn't suffer the technological ban on its planet, and is now already taking the fight to the Ghaba

One of the things that always irked me about the premise behind Safehold is that the colonization fleet had the resources to settle TWO planets but orders to use the second half only if the first colony failed. Given that they thought they were the last remnant of humanity, why would they not use both baskets they'd brought to carry their eggs in?

Admittedly, Langhorne and Bedard were probably nuts enough that they wouldn't have allowed the second colony to depart, but this lunacy was part of their original mission orders!
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by Brigade XO   » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:37 pm

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In the backstory provided for Safehold, the Federation discovered an alien race, the Alphanes. However, the home planet and some colonies of the Alphanes were empty of life and the original theory was that the Alphanes destroyed themselves- for reasons unknown- because there was nothing found in any former Alphane system to indicate any other race or culture.

The Alphanes are ONE of the sentient species which humans discovered in the Honrvers and was initialy (I could be wrong about this) mentioned in the David Drake story Grand Tour from the More than Honor Anthology. Per the story, a remnant (sort of de-evloved) of the Alphane species was discovered living on a world which had been much later colonized by humans. The story includes how this is determened because prior to the "Tour" it was belived the Alphanes were extinct on all the planets where eveidence of them had been found.

So, from one perspective, Safehold represents an alternate time-line for Humanity's expantion into space. In one line it becomes the Honorverse, in the other Safehold.

Also in "Through Fiery Trials", the backstory section, it is mentioned that while the Federation initialy was successful in destroying a number (possibly a large number) of Gabs ships and retaking ravaged colony worlds, it turned out that what they encountered and had been beating back were only relativly light forces of what you could consider boarder scouts. The Federation was just beginning to build up a more massive force when actual main battle fleets started to arrive and smashed the Federation back to the Terran system- retaking and clearing human occupation everywhere elce.

While individual Gaba ships may have not been quite up to the power of major Federation Fleet units, there were a lot of them.......lots and lots and lots of them. So they just swamped anything the Federation had.
Think Russian Armored Divisions with Infantry, Artillery and Air support against Germand late in WW II. You can kill a lot of tanks and infantry but if there are more comping than you can kill, you are going to lose, particularly when your industrial base and population population pool keeps shrinking.
The Gaba just kept pouring more and more ships into the battles and accepted any level of casualties to get the job done...that being expunging the humans.
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by bkwormlisa   » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:40 pm

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Galactic Sapper wrote:
Daryl wrote:An unlikely scenario, but more likely than this, is that there was another secret earlier seeding mission that didn't suffer the technological ban on its planet, and is now already taking the fight to the Ghaba

One of the things that always irked me about the premise behind Safehold is that the colonization fleet had the resources to settle TWO planets but orders to use the second half only if the first colony failed. Given that they thought they were the last remnant of humanity, why would they not use both baskets they'd brought to carry their eggs in?

Admittedly, Langhorne and Bedard were probably nuts enough that they wouldn't have allowed the second colony to depart, but this lunacy was part of their original mission orders!

I have thought this for a long time. Yes, we know it didn't happen (wouldn't have because of Langhorne), but it should have been planned for! Fly for most of the ten years, then split and send the second in a random direction for another ten years (as was planned if they were discovered), before Safehold was even discovered, to make sure it was two totally independent colonies that knew nothing about the other.

Or perhaps wait until Safehold was started so the second one could find the first if they had to in a few hundred years... But probably safer to not know.
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by AineSabine   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:00 pm

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I just re-read the beginning of OAR and it said that prior ARK missions didn't survive. But it is possible that another version of Langhorne had them go dark immediately and turned towards deep space and kept going for longer then planned. Since they went dark they wouldn't have transmitted whether they succeeded or not. So earth wouldn't have known.

Also there is the other slim possibility, that a liner or convoy of freighters and small liners traveling between worlds who were cut off from making it back to a safe system may have also gone dark and fled for deep space.

This is something we may never know.

Aine
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:52 pm

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AineSabine wrote:I just re-read the beginning of OAR and it said that prior ARK missions didn't survive. But it is possible that another version of Langhorne had them go dark immediately and turned towards deep space and kept going for longer then planned. Since they went dark they wouldn't have transmitted whether they succeeded or not. So earth wouldn't have known.

Also there is the other slim possibility, that a liner or convoy of freighters and small liners traveling between worlds who were cut off from making it back to a safe system may have also gone dark and fled for deep space.

This is something we may never know.

Aine

I believe that there has been a specific statement by RFC that there are no other Earth Colonies (other ARK fleets). That would pretty much close off this route.
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The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by Louis R   » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:47 pm

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I don't think there's anything in what Himself has said that would specifically exclude the 'lost convoy' scenario - but i also don't see it happening, or resulting in a viable colony if it did.

My understanding of what he did say is that by the time of Operation Ark, the Federation no longer had the resources [presumably, the mobile combat force big enough that it could conceal the colony group] to do this more than once. There's also the fact that the Gbaba aren't necessarily stupid, and may well have realised that if humans were repeatedly trying something that _wasn't_working_, and consuming huge resources that severely weakened their last stronghold to do it, maybe the humans thought it _was_ working - and they should take a much closer look at what's going on. Since the Feds knew the Gbaba a lot better than we do they'd probably have been able to evaluate the likelihood of that happening, but they would also be aware that if Breakaway failed even once that would blow the whole show. Who [other than Himself, of course] knows what resources the Gbaba would have put into sweeping for escapees once they knew they'd been diddled?

Chances are that the decision would have been made _not_ to try a repeat even if they'd had the capability, at least until they'd held out enough longer that it wouldn't have obviously been a repeat. Which I don't believe they did.

fallsfromtrees wrote:
AineSabine wrote:I just re-read the beginning of OAR and it said that prior ARK missions didn't survive. But it is possible that another version of Langhorne had them go dark immediately and turned towards deep space and kept going for longer then planned. Since they went dark they wouldn't have transmitted whether they succeeded or not. So earth wouldn't have known.

Also there is the other slim possibility, that a liner or convoy of freighters and small liners traveling between worlds who were cut off from making it back to a safe system may have also gone dark and fled for deep space.

This is something we may never know.

Aine

I believe that there has been a specific statement by RFC that there are no other Earth Colonies (other ARK fleets). That would pretty much close off this route.
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by ssl4000g   » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:59 pm

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I've always taken it for granted that Earth was gone, Ark was the opportunity and Safehold was the result. That was how the story was told.

We can speculate till our hearts content, or the next book throws a wrench into it, because the story is still in progress. That to me is the cool part. Getting to the point where it has an ending. Not knocking the speculating but for me, I'm interested in where RFC is taking us. Next up, The Testimony of Schueler!

W
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by wingfield   » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:43 am

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fallsfromtrees wrote:I believe that there has been a specific statement by RFC that there are no other Earth Colonies (other ARK fleets). That would pretty much close off this route.

You are correct. This was stated by RFC on September 20, 2014:

Essentially, the Federation strategists who came up with Operation Ark put everything the Federation could spare from its defenses into a single roll of the dice that was the very best roll — had, in their estimation, the best chance of breaking out and breaking free — available to them in the time window they had. You may disagree with their analysis; you may disagree with my analysis. There were however reasons for their decisions other than abject stupidity or a desire to lose the war. Had there been time, the fleet that was sent to Safehold would have been followed by a second attempt, and a third attempt — as long as the Federation lasted — to create “hidden” colonies, with each expedition dispatched in a totally different direction from any other expeditions. The problem is that there wasn’t time, and there wasn’t a sufficient covering force to get more than one colony fleet out and away in the window available to them.
The clock ran out on the human race. It was that simple, exactly as Admiral Pei remarked to his chief of staff just before his final battle.

Nothing more. No other colony, no subsequent attempt. No time left before the end.

In the post quoted above, RFC also dismissed the idea of a second Safehold, particularly as there might have been another Shan-wei type trying to do something particularly inconvenient to Langhorne & co, such as trying to adhere to the original mission plan!
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Re: What if Earth didn’t fall?
Post by MrZero   » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:17 am

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I know that the idea of Earth being defeated, in the beginning of a interstellar space age, doesn't sit well. We ALL lost? All of us, even with all that cool stuff? Not even conquered by Martians or defeated and enslaved by Ming the Merciless- no, it's TKO, total wipe out. Everything blasted by a crazy amount of ships and even more incoming when the last fighters die at their posts. That's just how that fictional world is set up, and really has no more suspension of disbelief then dragons or elves, ray guns or teleporters. We don't know what state the Gbaba left the place in afterwords either. We do know that Weber loves Kinetic-Energy Weapons (Drop Rocks), so that should be taken into account.
Now as for "didn't" fall, that would mean the innumerable Gbaba were defeated somehow (Word of Weber is they weren't), which leaves non-military solutions. Since it's unlikely that we'd hack them and set Earth up as a Gbaba refueling spot, we're left with some variation of "everyone hides until the endless armada goes away." That would mean a Rebuilding era. Known variations of that idea to look into would include Space Battleship Yamato, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō, and of course, "The Liberation of Earth" by Will Tenn. The Earth being turned into a war zone implies some sort of scale, that both sides have near-equal footing, and that the attackers will stop when reason, logic, and military strategy says they should. That is not the scenario this time. We don't know of any surviving humans in the Sol system. We don't know of any surviving _fora or fauna_ in the Sol system.
Best "didn't Fall" options would be people who escaped the war and waited in interstellar space, or hid in some underground vault (on Neptune) start rebuilding using a their-modern knowledge base. Possible, barely likely, and oh, wait, that's what Merlin was trying to do with Safehold. :lol: So I think no: while Earth's total, inhumane, defeat isn't an idea we like that's just how it is in Safehold. Merlin's going to ride to the rescue someday. I'm sure he'll bring cloning pods and soft-serve ice cream to the rubble fields of Earth. Assuming Weber ever takes his foot off the breaks and lets the hero team accomplish anything. Sure, they've taken over the world but haven't even scratched the paint on the orbital cannon aimed _down._
If Earth didn't fall, they're in for a heck of a Gilligan's Island revival.
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