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Into the Light Snippet # 20

Aliens? Invading aliens? What will Earth do? Well...we may have a few more resources than we first thought. Come join a friendly discussion about David Weber's newest Tor series - "Out of the Dark."
Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by runsforcelery   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:40 pm

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

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Location: South Carolina

At last! The next snippet! And it's only a week late!


Duck dropped me a line to say that we might want to put up a progress report on exactly what I'm up to project wise (and, just in passing, where the snippet has been), so I have posted exactly that in David's Dimension.

__________________________________________________________

.XXI.
Greensboro, North Carolina
United States


Longbow walked into the conference room and sighed as he looked around, then took a seat at the very back of the room. Several generals already sat around the main table at the front, and he avoided making eye contact with any of them. Having already spoken with some of the staffers, he knew what the meeting was about; he also knew there were things he would probably be asked to do that he wouldn’t — no, that he couldn’t — do. He expected the meeting to be contentious, at least from his perspective, and he would have skipped it . . . if President Howell hadn’t asked him to be there.

A minor clamor announced the arrival of the official party, and everyone stood as the President and General Landers entered and were seated at the table.

“Seats, please, everyone,” President Howell said, and Longbow fell back into his chair. The president waved for the young lieutenant at the podium to begin, and the man pressed a button on his panel.

A tridee hologram illuminated, displaying his presentation, and the lieutenant cleared his throat before beginning.

"Good morning, Mister President. This presentation will cover our recommendations for the creation of the Continental Union Armed Forces. Despite the plural noun 'forces,' what we're actually recommending is a single, unified force structure. Unlike the separate services we had in the past, a single chain of command will administrate all of our military efforts. We simply don't have the time, resources, or even the personnel to waste on internecine arguments. A single decision-maker — the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces — will oversee the operations of this unified force structure, and he or she will ensure the effective and efficient allocation of resources across the entire force.

"Underneath the Chief of Staff, there will be a number of components, each of which will oversee their respective domains. The combat components will be: the Continental Union Ground Force, Continental Union Air Force, and Continental Union Navy.

"The Ground Force, led by the Commanding General of the Ground Force, will be responsible for sustained combat on planetary bodies," the lieutenant said. "Obviously, at the moment that means Earth, but eventually it will extend to other system bodies, such as Mars, or the Moon. Essentially, wherever a piece of ground needs to be defended, it will be Ground Force's responsibility."

He flipped a slide.

"The next component," he continued, "the Air Force, led by the Commanding General of the Air Force, will fly and fix fighters and bombers. Period. Unlike the Air Force of old, it will no longer have to transport people or worry about ground-based combat systems, like the old ICBMs. It just flies combat aircraft, whether those are air-breathing, operating from planets, or exo-atmospheric, operating from bases or ships in space."

He flipped another slide.

"Those exo-atmospheric ships will be operated by the Continental Union Navy, under the commanding general of the Navy, with the missions of controlling space and transporting the other services through space to where they're needed. It hasn't yet been determined whether the command of orbital or deep space defensive installations will fall under the Navy or the Ground Force. There are arguments in favor of either, but the critical point is that the Navy no longer has aircraft or terrestrial ships; it has spaceships."

The lieutenant paused, looking at the president, and Howell nodded in understanding of the distinction.

"You'll notice I said, 'commanding general of the Navy,' Mister President," the lieutenant said then. "In the interests of standardization and harmonization with other nations' militaries, we've done away with the previous naval-based rank names. There will be a single set of ranks, from the highest 'General' to the lowest 'Private.' That also lets us standardize a variety of uniform devices and insignias. The fewer things we have to print, the faster we can get them into operation so we can concentrate our energies on the things that really matter — protecting our new nation and, ultimately, our entire world."

"Makes sense," the president said with another nod.

"Within the Ground Force, there will be two subcomponents," the lieutenant went on. "We considered separating them completely, but decided that they would require commonality of equipment and basic training doctrine, although with rather different emphases. The first, the Defense Force, is exactly what its name implies: the defensive component, oriented towards protecting our own territory, possessions, and populations. The second is the expeditionary force. In fact, that was its original designation, but after a certain amount of internal discussion, we are provisionally suggesting that it be called the Space Marines, instead."

The lieutenant looked less than delighted by that, for some reason, Dave Dvorak reflected, managing — with difficulty — to hide his glee behind an attentive, focused expression. Damn. He'd always known Rob was stubborn, but still . . . .

"The Space Marines," the lieutenant continued, with only the slightest grimace, "are the subcomponent that takes things from our enemies, whether those are bases on their planets or ships in space. They will form an aggressive, expeditionary assault force that operates its own combat assault shuttles. If we want to hold onto an enemy's territory afterward, that will be a job for the Defense Force, which will operate bases that control territory. While the Defense Force can also capture territory, its primary mission isn't forced entry; that falls to the Marines. Both the Defense Force and the Marines operate under the orders of the Commanding General of the Ground Force — again, to ensure commonality of training and equipment — but each will have its own commanding general, reporting to the Commanding General of the Ground Force.

"The glue that holds all this together is the first of two new support services: Supply. The Commanding General of Supply is responsible for the effective utilization of resources in our printers and the distribution of products and personnel throughout the other services. Supply also operates the shuttles that carry those things — exclusive of the Expeditionary Force's assault shuttles — which removes the logistics missions of both the Air Force and the Navy by combining them into one."

"What about the wet-navy?" the President asked. "You said the Navy controls the ships in space. Who controls the terrestrial ships?"

"No one," General Landers replied. "Quite simply, they aren't needed. As the Puppies demonstrated, they're a concept that's out of date. When the Shongairi arrived, they destroyed every warship operating at sea. Every single one. Submarines lasted longer, but eventually they had to surface, and then they were targeted by KEWs. The subs that attempted to launch nuclear missiles were the first to be destroyed, right after the missiles they'd launched. If you hold the planet's orbitals, you can control their seaborne forces. There's no need to go down to their oceans to do battle with them."

The lieutenant giving the presentation held up a hand, and the general acknowledged him.

"We foresee that there will still be a need for a small, planet-based Coast Guard that does customs enforcement and antipiracy, but we're envisioning that as primarily a law enforcement function. Anytime they need a big stick, they can call it down from the forces in orbit; they won't have to provide it themselves."

The president nodded, and the lieutenant continued.

"The other new support service, Training, will be responsible for the indoctrination of new personnel. There won't be a need for huge training bases as in the past; with the Puppies' neural educators, it will be more a matter of finding and selecting the appropriate training modules, and then applying them during the indoctrination process.

“In order to make this work, ensuring a recruit’s ability to be neutrally educated will be a large part of the recruitment process. In the past, some personnel were excluded from military service due to physical limitations like being color blind; part of the new physical will be to ensure recruits are able to use the neural educators. Those recruits who aren’t able to be neutrally educated will be excluded from military service.”

The president turned to General Landers. “Is it wise to exclude people who want to serve, simply because they aren’t able to use neural educators?”

“We may, in the future, relax that requirement somewhat,” the general replied, “since there are some tasks that don’t require a high level of technical knowledge; however, we feel it’s important to implement that restriction at least for the time being. It’s a simple matter of expediency — there aren’t many preinvasion military people left, and we need new personnel who are quickly trainable, and who can be quickly retrained to fill new positions that come up unexpectedly. One of our biggest needs right now is pilots, and using a traditional training approach is infeasible — we don’t have the time, personnel, or resources required. We need them now, without having to spend two years instructing them on trainer aircraft we’d have to divert resources to build, using flight instructors who currently don’t exist. Using the educators, we can also give our recruits training in secondary skills they may need to better fulfill their primary mission areas.”

“That makes sense,” the president replied. He nodded to the lieutenant. “Please continue.”

“That leaves the final service,” the lieutenant said, “the Special Forces.”

Longbow sighed. This was the topic he’d been dreading.

The lieutenant continued, “This service will have the missions of doing the things the other forces can’t, and assisting in the assault of enemy positions, ships, and planets. While there will be normal personnel operating within this component, Major Torino and his . . . forces will be a second branch within it.”

“No,” Longbow said, shaking his head. He didn't raise his voice, particularly, but somehow it sounded very, very loud. He didn't much like what he knew was coming, but he simply couldn’t force himself to accept that tasking, no matter how much he tried, and he had tried. But despite his dedication to the US Air Force and to his country, despite the fact that he knew he ought to accept it, he couldn't. Not anymore. Just being inside a formal command structure raised his hackles, and that bothered him, because he didn't understand why. In the end, though, "why" mattered a lot less than "what."

“We’ve been through this,” he added as all heads turned in his direction. “The vampires won't be part of this. Vlad left us here to assist the President, not to be subsumed into the military.”

“While the Jones girls aren't military, per se,” the general said, turning to stare pointedly at Longbow, “you and Captain Ushakov quite specifically are military members, Major. For that matter, so is Petty Officer Sherman. Are you saying your oath is no longer valid, and that you'll no longer follow the orders of the officers appointed over you?”

While some part of Longbow’s psyche wanted to follow those orders, that part seemed a distant memory — something ephemeral — while the rest of him wanted — no, the rest of him needed — to protect and do the bidding of the president.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he said after a moment of introspection, “but what I'm saying is that my loyalties are directly to the President, not to the military chain of command, and I need to follow his direction.”

The president looked at Longbow, his brows knitting.

“While that’s nice,” he said after a moment, “and it certainly makes me feel secure, the military needs your services more than I do.” He held up a hand to forestall Longbow when he started to speak. “I’m not saying I won’t need them in the future, but for now, you're one of the few surviving military officers on this planet. I need you to help rebuild and realign the military.”

The president waved toward the presentation, then continued, “There will be people who are . . . reluctant to make the changes the lieutenant just briefed, and you'll carry a lot of weight with folks like that. I imagine any vampire would be . . . a fairly convincing spokesman, but you're also the guy who made ace in a single afternoon shooting down Puppies in air-to-air combat. You think that won't weigh on a few minds if you sign off on all this?"

Longbow frowned. He always felt ambivalent when someone brought up what the resurgent news services had dubbed "the Battle of Virginia." Especially when they gave him all the credit it for it, as if none of his other three pilots had even been there! Damn it, they were the ones who'd died, and —

"I need you to rejoin the military and help General Landers implement these changes," the president continued. "You’ve proven your worth time and again, and I know that if I need you, I only have to call.” He held up one of the new phones. “With this, I can reach you at a moment’s notice, and with the new Shongair landers we’re building, you can be anywhere on the planet in a matter of hours to take care of whatever needs to be handled. Until that time, though, my orders are for you to assist the general in implementing the new service.”

Longbow suddenly felt as if a weight had been lifted from his heart — as if the restraints keeping him from doing what he thought right had been suddenly removed.

“Okay,” he agreed. “In that case, I guess I'm able to participate in the new Special Forces. I'll warn you, though — I may have been on the ground during most of the war, but my experience is primarily in flying fighter aircraft, not conducting special forces missions.”

“That won’t be a problem,” the general said, tapping his forehead. “We have some of the finest neural educators around that can get you up to speed in a number of areas, very quickly. You'll also have a staff of experts who can give you advice going forward and help you adjust to your new duties.”

“Staff?” Longbow asked, sensing a trap.

“Of course,” General Landers replied. “Didn’t anyone tell you? I'm recommending you for promotion and then to fill the position of Commanding General of the Special Forces. It will only be a brigadier general’s position, at first, but there will be an opportunity to expand the position once we begin to fill out the ranks.”

“Commanding General?” Longbow asked. His shoulders slumped at the number of meetings and presentations implicit in that tasking and the hundreds — no, the thousands — of hours of paperwork entailed. All he could hope for was that something, somewhere — anywhere! — would get out of hand so he could get out of the office for some fieldwork. Although he didn’t particularly feel any great urge to kill people, despite what the vampire legends said, after that much paperwork, he might be willing to make an exception. “I’m just a fighter pilot, sir . . . ”

“Oh, don’t worry, General,” Landers replied, “It won’t be as bad as all that.”

“It won’t?”

“No,” Landers said with an evil grin. “It will probably be worse.”

“Ugh.”

“Still . . . ” The general’s smile warmed slightly as he took pity on the younger officer. “There will be opportunities to try out the new space fighters we’ll be implementing . . . ”

“Fighters?” Longbow's head popped up and his eyes brightened. “I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on one of those.”

The general nodded. “Yes, we'll need space fighters . . . eventually. We really don’t need fighters — or bombers, by the way — at the moment, though; we need transports, and as many of them as we can print.”

“Oh,” Longbow said, sighing as his gaze fell to the floor.

“That said,” General Landers noted, his smile widening, “we will have to print out a few of the models to see what works best for us, and we’re going to need some test pilots to run them through their paces. Since test pilots are in short supply right now — especially ones who're nearly indestructible — there just might be some additional work for an enterprising former fighter pilot in the days ahead . . . .”

Longbow squared his shoulders and sat up straight. “Okay, sir, I’m in.”

“Now that that’s settled,” President Howell said, “who are the Jones girls you mentioned?”

“They're one of the . . . intervention teams,” Longbow said, reluctant to discuss them in front of the group. “They were brought over by Vlad in the final days of the war. They were . . . dancers, shall we say, in Las Vegas before the war. When the KEWs started falling, they tried to work their way east, but got picked up by a Puppy patrol and incarcerated. They were used for some experimentation by the Puppies and were slated for extermination, but Vlad got there first. And since Vlad is big on redemption, he brought them over.”

“They’re good at their jobs?” President Howell asked.

“Yes, sir,” Longbow said. “They worked together, before, and they're very much a team, even if one of them needs watching . . . ”







.XXII.
Manzanillo, Colima
Mexico


Iván López Cervantes, head of the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, looked up from the movie playing on his computer as a voice began yelling loudly in the outer office. Happily, the video was between the interesting parts, and the dialogue wasn’t what he was watching it for, anyway. The yelling ceased suddenly, with the sound of an open-handed slap, and Cervantes went back to the movie, sure the matter had been handled appropriately.

The picture quality was getting to be quite good, Cervantes saw, since they had hired the new producer from Los Angeles. He didn’t know where his men had found the producer, nor how the sniveling bribón had survived the upheavals in California after the aliens’ arrival, but the man knew how to direct a film. Some of the camera angles he used were nothing short of stunning.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that the movie had some of the prettiest actresses Cervantes had ever seen, and this one was more flexible than he would have thought humanly possible. He shrugged; it never ceased to amaze him how far some people would go to get their next hit of crack. Regardless, he was sure the woman’s family would pay great sums of money to make sure the movie never surfaced, and that the movie would make even more once it was released anyway after the payment had been received. People like that idiot Ercilla could say what they wanted about how useless money was after what los Cachorros had done to the world, but there were certain immutable truths which had never failed Iván López Cervantes, and one was that there would always be something to be used for money. In fact, from all reports, the norteamericanos were putting their country back together again. That would be nice. They would certainly see to it that their money regained its value . . . and they had always been the cartels' best customers.

On the other hand, Ercilla had a point about the way market conditions had changed. The pool of crackheads and junkies north of the border had been pruned back badly, and there was practically no demand for cocaine, heroin, or even meth these days. But that was all right, too. First, because norteamericanos were norteamericanos, which meant demand for the cartels' traditional products would recover with time. And also because another of those immutable truths was that product of some sort would always flow north and money would always flow south, and that was the way it should be. One simply had to find the proper product at the proper time.

Diversification. It was the wave of the future and how he intended to not only grow the CJNG's business in Mexico, but throughout the entire southwest of the North American continent. Los Cachorros had been stupid enough to actually take out the leadership of some of the other cartels to improve Cervantes’ 'loyal ally' position here in Mexico. Now that they'd departed to the stars once more, though, leaving a total vacuum in their wake, the possibilities for a man who controlled his own well-trained army were limitless.

Before he could get back into the movie, a rap sounded on the door.

“Come in!” he called in English, recognizing the knock.

“Sorry to interrupt, sir,” James Lohrman said, coming into the room, “but there’s been a sighting.” The former British SAS member stood an inch over six feet, with dark hair and a physique women loved and normal men didn’t have the time, energy, or discipline to acquire. Cervantes had always regarded his decision to hire the special forces operator away from the Sinaloas as one of his better decisions. And he'd been even more convinced of that since the other cartel leaders had begun to go missing. As someone who'd specialized in anti-hijacking and counter-terrorism operations as a member of the SAS’ special projects team, Lohrman knew how strike forces thought when trying to apprehend—or kill—their targets, which made him the perfect choice to figure out how to counter any such effort targeting Cervantes.

“A sighting?” Cervantes asked.

“Yes, sir,” Lohrman replied, emphasizing the last word the way the British military did. “One of the Shongair shuttles just set down about a mile away.”

“A Shongair shuttle? I thought los Cachorros left?” Cervantes asked. “Have they returned?”

“No, sir. We believe that someone—perhaps the United States, which seems to have acquired several of them—is using them to deploy their forces. We had word that one was sighted just prior to the takedown of the Tijuana Cartel. A Shongair shuttle was seen in the vicinity of their headquarters . . . and then nothing was heard from them again. A nearby farmer says he heard what sounded like a major battle, and when he finally went to check later, everyone in the compound had been slaughtered.”

“And you're not going to allow that to happen here.”

“No, sir, I am not.” Cervantes appreciated the certainty in the British man’s voice, although with some skepticism—how do you know for sure, until you see the nature of the enemy?

“That's what you hired me for,” Lohrman added. “If you'd like to bring up the closed circuit TV on your computer, we can follow along.” He crossed the room to look over Cervantes’ shoulder and caught a flash of the movie before Cervantes could switch the monitor to the security camera system. “Nubile little minx,” he added.

“Focus,” Cervantes growled.

“Yes, sir,” Lohrman replied. He cleared his throat. “If you would bring up Camera One, sir.”

Cervantes switched the monitor to the indicated camera and was given a view of the road leading to the hacienda. Since he’d hired Lohrman, the road had been bulldozed and repaved to make the last half kilometer of blacktop a straight line into the compound, with the foliage cleared off ten feet on either side. The sun had just set, but the monitoring system's low-light capabilities were top of the line, and the sky wasn’t yet fully dark; he could easily see the military style truck about a quarter of a kilometer from the hacienda’s gates.

“Are you expecting visitors?” Lohrman asked.

“No,” Cervantes replied, the first bits of doubt worming their way up his spine. “I don't have anyone coming tonight.”

“Permission to engage?”

“Yes!” Cervantes exclaimed. “Do it!”

“Take it out,” Lohrman said into his microphone.

The men at the watchtowers had obviously been prepared for the order—less than two seconds later, two missiles blasted through the camera’s field of view, their rocket motors momentarily blinding the camera. Before the image could clear, the missiles hit the truck, detonating in a bloom that completely whited-out the screen.

“What was that?” Cervantes asked.

“LAHAT,” Lohrman said. “Israeli laser homing antitank missiles. My lads and I brought a few along when you engaged our services. One of the few tank rounds you don’t need a tank gun to operate. You can shoot them out of a 105-millimeter recoilless rifle, which is what my men just did. They’re supposed to have a ninety-five percent probability of kill.”

“Not a hundred percent?”

“That’s why we used two,” Lohrman said with a smile. “Just to be sure.”

After a few moments, the fire engulfing the truck began to die down, and the camera returned to semi-normalcy, although the center remained a solid mass of white.

Which made it easy to see the three figures walking toward the hacienda as they silhouetted themselves against the fire behind them.

“Your missiles killed the truck, but it doesn’t appear they were completely effective against its passengers,” Cervantes noted.

“They must have jumped out right before the missiles hit,” Lohrman said. “That’s the only way they could have survived that.” He shook his head. “Still, they don’t look injured . . . ” He leaned over Cervantes’ shoulder to get a closer look at the monitor. “They almost look like women.”

“They must have been hiding in the bushes," Cervantes scoffed. "There’s no way anyone survived that explosion.” He shrugged. “Still, we have enough junkies at the hacienda for tonight’s activities; we don’t need any more. Kill them, just in case.”

“You’re the boss,” Lohrman said, with zero remorse. Cervantes smiled at the reply; he didn’t like being second guessed. Lohrman muttered into his microphone, and Cervantes could hear the big .50 caliber machine guns in the watch towers firing, even through the main building's thick walls.

The women kept walking — sauntering, really, Cervantes thought — despite the tracers zipping past them on the monitor.

“Who trained your men?” he demanded. “Darth Vader? Even Imperial storm troopers should be able to hit three women just walking toward them!”


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:33 pm

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I guess somebody is about to met the Jones girls. :lol:
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by Lunan   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:59 pm

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defiantly interested in when we (the audience) learns more about the deus ex machina that is the "vampires" of the series. defining the limits and abilities of them will make the series more interesting i think

DrakBibliophile wrote:I guess somebody is about to met the Jones girls. :lol:
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:30 pm

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Can't really argue with that.

But until the book is available, I'll take what the MWW gives me. ;)

Lunan wrote:defiantly interested in when we (the audience) learns more about the deus ex machina that is the "vampires" of the series. defining the limits and abilities of them will make the series more interesting i think

DrakBibliophile wrote:I guess somebody is about to met the Jones girls. :lol:
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Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
*
Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by isaac_newton   » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:30 am

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runsforcelery wrote:At last! The next snippet! And it's only a week late!

SNIP

“Who trained your men?” he demanded. “Darth Vader? Even Imperial storm troopers should be able to hit three women just walking toward them!”



Hahah - made my afternoon
:lol:
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:02 am

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Sounds to me like Longbow has a compulsion mechanism in place. Curious to see if that is a product of the designed transformation process built into the machine that turned Vlad or a product of serendipity as some sort of dominance mechanism formed towards the vampire that turned him.

If the former, it argues for advanced, perhaps Galactic, technology trying to create and control useful jannisaries or general servants.

If the latter, then the machine was part of experiments intended to improve galactic citizens in some material way.

In either case the reason not to destroy a failed experiment or to take away a working prototype is quite opaque.
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by Mithandril   » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:04 pm

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The Compulsion piece has been seen before in the " Vampires ".
When they were about to draw the blood from Peter.

My other items of note is the chance for AI. The Hegemony has so many controls on their computers to keep an emergent AI limited. So maybe it is not so good an idea that us humans are removing the limiters.

Oh the wait for the new book is killing me.

Mithandril
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:06 pm

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Agreed. However, traditional vampiric compulsion/obligation to creators are all part of vampire myth. Translating that into THIS science fiction story will be interesting, very interesting.

We know a machine created Vlad and Vlad created other vampires. We don't know if ALL the characteristics of the vampires are serendipitous or designed. Which way RFC goes with this will be interesting.
Mithandril wrote:The Compulsion piece has been seen before in the " Vampires ".
When they were about to draw the blood from Peter.

My other items of note is the chance for AI. The Hegemony has so many controls on their computers to keep an emergent AI limited. So maybe it is not so good an idea that us humans are removing the limiters.

Oh the wait for the new book is killing me.

Mithandril
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by Bluesqueak   » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:40 am

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PeterZ wrote:Sounds to me like Longbow has a compulsion mechanism in place. Curious to see if that is a product of the designed transformation process built into the machine that turned Vlad or a product of serendipity as some sort of dominance mechanism formed towards the vampire that turned him.

If the former, it argues for advanced, perhaps Galactic, technology trying to create and control useful jannisaries or general servants.

If the latter, then the machine was part of experiments intended to improve galactic citizens in some material way.

In either case the reason not to destroy a failed experiment or to take away a working prototype is quite opaque.


I continue to think Vlad was intended to just die. :twisted: Though I wonder if they tried to create human super soldiers and found that the nano wotsits killed them all?

I would point out that we've just had a massive industrial accident which points both to a future problem with all this lovely new artificial intelligence stuff and points back to 'Accidents happen even in the Hegemony'.

Anyway, the interesting thought occurred to me - is this how the Terran Empire develops? Because they discover that their super-soldier vampires are hardwired to follow one particular leader, not a chain of command?

Torino is Air Force, and so has had the President as Commander-in-Chief hardwired into him through decades of training. But is that 'obey the President' programming directed towards the office? Or the man?

[President Howell, indeed. RFC, is there no end to these Welsh jokes?]
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Re: Into the Light Snippet # 20
Post by phillies   » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:00 pm

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It would be interesting to see one of tehse cirme lords with a bit ore of an IQ, enough to realize everything has changed, but if you have most of the guns you do not have to be a local crime lord; you can become El Presidente del Norte or the like, and do intelligent things.
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