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Planning for the Gbaba

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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by DMcCunney   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:17 am

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Nathan C. wrote:Bruno Behrends

I really like your idea of the Temple being an observation tower. I had never considered that. As to your comment on the colony fleet fleet I have to concede that you are probably right but that was 1000 years ago. Do we have any idea the rate at which the Gbaba expand? Maybe another sentient species developed we know there have been at least 3.

RFC hasn't provided any clues as to how many he thinks might exist.

We don't know how large the Gbaba polity is, and what other species they may destroyed. We only know they seem to think they should be the only sentient species allowed to exist in what they consider their space. There may well be other species on the other side of the Gbaba space or elsewhere that the Gbaba and humanity simply never encountered. Since they play no part in and have no effect on the Safehold story, whether they even exist is a matter of idle speculation.

But the impression I've gotten is that the Gbaba don't expand. They evolved to sentience and developed interstellar travel, and built an interstellar polity while men were still sheltering in caves. They now occupy an area of space of unknown size, with an unknown number of Gbaba inhabited plants in it, and unknown resources available. But fragmentary evidence indicates they reached a state of development and expansion and said "This is adequate. We will stop here, and keep everything just like it is now forever." (Gee. That sounds familiar... :P)

They have demonstrated that they are willing to travel far beyond their space chasing down and destroying other species the Gbaba consider threats, but beyond leaving automated stations to keep watch after, they don't seem to stick around. The go back to where they came from and resume what they were doing before being interrupted.

They are certainly an extraordinarily static culture. It's mentioned in OAR that the TF encountered Gbaba construction that was thousands of years old, but even new build ships were duplicates of original designs with no significant differences.

Whether they are still sentient is an interesting question. Sentience evolved in humanity as a response to environmental change. Pure reflex became insufficient to insure survival. Being able to consciously consider the environment and craft new responses was an aid to survival.

What if you have attained sufficient sufficient mastery of your environment that conscious consideration is no longer needed to deal with it. Do you remain sentient, or does it atrophy? Might there be a sentient species for whom interstellar travel is reflex?

(Note that reflex actions can be quite complex, and are not limited to simple situations.)

Erls

2. We know this is false. The skimmer goes into space multiple times. I agree that it has a set of defenses to protect itself that are at this point impregnable.

Define "space".

It's pretty plainly stated that Merlin's skimmer excursions are entirely in atmosphere, often hyper-sonic, with appendages crossed that the OBS doesn't notice.

The OBS demonstrated it had point defense, and could swat the probes Merlin sent to take a closer look. It didn't demonstrate it could destroy the recon skimmer if it got close enough. But even it couldn't, the last thing Merlin and the IC want is to "wake it up". (My guess is that point defense was there to stop wandering space junk that might damage OBS stations. I doubt Chihiro and co. thought anything threatening might come from Safehold.)

Even if the OBS can't destroy the skimmer, any engagement is likely to exceed the programmed threshold where it phones home. Point defense swatting probes apparently weren't considered sufficiently important to report. Something like the skimmer would be. And the result of the OBS waking up is likely "Prohibited technology detected. Look for places on Safehold it might have come from and drop rocks on it!" This is the last thing Merlin and the IC want, and they've been careful to tread very carefully around the IC.
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Dennis
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Dilandu   » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:37 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:
It's pretty plainly stated that Merlin's skimmer excursions are entirely in atmosphere, often hyper-sonic, with appendages crossed that the OBS doesn't notice.


Most importantly, Merlin's skimmer did not attempt to close with Rakurai Array, or to scan it with active beams. For the Rakurai Array purpose, it was just a skimmer - for example, an Archangel checking over the situation - and thus of no interest. If he attempted to close with Rakurai without proper ID codes... it would be rather bright flash, and re-upload of previous Nimue version down in the cave.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:02 pm

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DMcCunney wrote:
Erls

2. We know this is false. The skimmer goes into space multiple times. I agree that it has a set of defenses to protect itself that are at this point impregnable.

Define "space".

It's pretty plainly stated that Merlin's skimmer excursions are entirely in atmosphere, often hyper-sonic, with appendages crossed that the OBS doesn't notice.

The OBS demonstrated it had point defense, and could swat the probes Merlin sent to take a closer look. It didn't demonstrate it could destroy the recon skimmer if it got close enough. But even it couldn't, the last thing Merlin and the IC want is to "wake it up". (My guess is that point defense was there to stop wandering space junk that might damage OBS stations. I doubt Chihiro and co. thought anything threatening might come from Safehold.)


______
Dennis

I wouldn't be too sure about Chihiro and co not expecting trouble from Safehold - remeber they were fighting the war against the fallen, and those people has access to advanced technology - he would have wanted to make sure that they couldn't remove his major advantage.
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by DMcCunney   » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:33 pm

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fallsfromtrees wrote:
DMcCunney wrote:It's pretty plainly stated that Merlin's skimmer excursions are entirely in atmosphere, often hyper-sonic, with appendages crossed that the OBS doesn't notice.

The OBS demonstrated it had point defense, and could swat the probes Merlin sent to take a closer look. It didn't demonstrate it could destroy the recon skimmer if it got close enough. But even it couldn't, the last thing Merlin and the IC want is to "wake it up". (My guess is that point defense was there to stop wandering space junk that might damage OBS stations. I doubt Chihiro and co. thought anything threatening might come from Safehold.)
I wouldn't be too sure about Chihiro and co not expecting trouble from Safehold - remeber they were fighting the war against the fallen, and those people has access to advanced technology - he would have wanted to make sure that they couldn't remove his major advantage.
The OBS was created and deployed to destroy Shan Wei and the Alexandria archive. The War Against the Fallen did not break out until two years after Armageddon Reef. When the OBS was created, Chihiro would not have been concerned about threats from Safehold. Upgrading OBS defenses after the fact may have been possible, but seems unlikely. The Fallen and access to advanced manufacturing gear, diverted from Hamilcar or perhaps Zion, but fragmentary TextEv indicates it wasn't as good as what Merlin has in Nimue's Cave. When Owl tells Merlin he has no weapons that can take out the OBS, there's an implication of "And I can't build them".

The Fallen were trying to take out Chihiro. The OBS could not be used against them because they couldn't be localized. What would it be dropping rocks on? The War Against the Fallen was a surface affair. If the Fallen had won, they would have had other ways to deal with the OBS, like getting to master control and telling it to shut down.
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Dennis
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Louis R   » Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:02 pm

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According to Himself, this is _not_ the system that destroyed Alexandria. It's a complete rebuild done once there was no longer any reason to conceal it until it was deployed, and therefore far more capable on both sides. It's not unlikely that it was done at the beginning of the War Against the Fallen, probably for the express purpose of ensuring that Chihiro could show that the sauce prepared for the goose was still available to be served up on any ganders who might be tempted to follow in her footsteps.

And while we have no idea what rocks might have been dropped on - although C3 and manufacturing centres would be logical, as and when they were ID'd - Nynian stated categorically that the destruction of the original Shrine of St Khody was the _last_ Rakurai strike of the War. Which rather suggests that there had been others. Given what we think we know about Chihiro, I would be very unsurprised to learn that at least one of them had been unnecessary in military terms, but was an excellent occasion for an object lesson.

DMcCunney wrote:The OBS was created and deployed to destroy Shan Wei and the Alexandria archive. The War Against the Fallen did not break out until two years after Armageddon Reef. When the OBS was created, Chihiro would not have been concerned about threats from Safehold. Upgrading OBS defenses after the fact may have been possible, but seems unlikely. The Fallen and access to advanced manufacturing gear, diverted from Hamilcar or perhaps Zion, but fragmentary TextEv indicates it wasn't as good as what Merlin has in Nimue's Cave. When Owl tells Merlin he has no weapons that can take out the OBS, there's an implication of "And I can't build them".

The Fallen were trying to take out Chihiro. The OBS could not be used against them because they couldn't be localized. What would it be dropping rocks on? The War Against the Fallen was a surface affair. If the Fallen had won, they would have had other ways to deal with the OBS, like getting to master control and telling it to shut down.
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Dennis
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by DMcCunney   » Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:48 am

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Louis R wrote:According to Himself, this is _not_ the system that destroyed Alexandria. It's a complete rebuild done once there was no longer any reason to conceal it until it was deployed, and therefore far more capable on both sides. It's not unlikely that it was done at the beginning of the War Against the Fallen, probably for the express purpose of ensuring that Chihiro could show that the sauce prepared for the goose was still available to be served up on any ganders who might be tempted to follow in her footsteps.
Can you point me to where Himself said that? I don't doubt your statement, but I'd like to see what he said.

And while it might have been done at the beginning of the War Against the Fallen, using it still required localizing targets. That would not have been easy. The Fallen knew it existed (though not necessarily about the rebuild), so their installations would be very carefully stealthed. (I think we would know if thi8ngs that couldn't be anything but Rakurai strikes had been carried out during the War. Chihiro would have shouted it from the housetops.
And while we have no idea what rocks might have been dropped on - although C3 and manufacturing centres would be logical, as and when they were ID'd - Nynian stated categorically that the destruction of the original Shrine of St Khody was the _last_ Rakurai strike of the War. Which rather suggests that there had been others. Given what we think we know about Chihiro, I would be very unsurprised to learn that at least one of them had been unnecessary in military terms, but was an excellent occasion for an object lesson.
Agreed on logical targets to hit, but first you have to find them. A Rakurai strike is a sledgehammer, and requires a significant target. (And there was likely a concern that Fallen might be hanging out in disguise in populated areas like towns. Chihiro would want to minimize collateral damage.)

No, the strike on St. Kohdy's Shrine was not militarily needed. But it was an identified target suitable for a Rakurai strike, far enough away from anything else to avoid collateral damage or even being noticed by the rest of Safehold, and since we already have a strong notion that Chihiro considered Kohdy a threat and had him killed, a loose end to tidy would be the Sisterhood created to care for his tomb and memory. It's the kind of thing he'd do. I assumed it was an OBS strike, but my impression was that Chihiro was gone before it occurred, when a remaining still living lesser Angel loyal to him carried out a final order given well before whose execution had to be delayed until the last of the living Adams and Eves were dead.
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Dennis
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Re: Planning for the Gbaba
Post by Louis R   » Mon Oct 19, 2020 1:32 am

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hmmm... you seem to be thinking of the OBS as like the A-bomb in 1947-51: so rare and costly that the US brought a bunch of Tallboys and Grand Slams into inventory so that they wouldn't need to waste a nuc on anything those could crack. which, BTW, was just about any point target you could line them up on.

It isn't. While probably not truly cost-free, it's the next best thing to it - once up and running, the resources needed to rearm the system after use would not only be rather minor, for Federation tech that is, but almost certainly sitting idle anyway. So what's to stop Chihiro using it on anything that even looks like a useful target? And why do you insist on confining 'useful target' to high-tech systems that directly impact the rebels ability to wage war? You are ignoring the fact that one intent from the time the idea was first hatched was always to terrorize those who weren't targets into going to extreme lengths to ensure that they didn't become targets. So the more witnesses to its use, the better. Come to think of it, what gives you the idea that Chihiro or anyone loyal to him would give a rat's patootie about collateral damage? Or even notice it - anybody resident in a settlement that is 'harbouring demons' is clearly guilty by association and therefore a useful target. A valuable incentive to everyone to look sideways at anything even vaguely suspicious, and I'm sure it helped keep the Seijins noses to the grindstone when it came to hunting down the enemy within.

As for where Himself said that, hmmm... it doesn't appear explicitly in the FAQ I thought it was in, so I'm not sure. However, if you look at the second December 2013 entry in the Safehold FAQ, you will see a discussion of the "original" OBS. And if there's an original, the current system pretty much has to be a replacement, n'est-ce pas? Or even a replacement replacement. BTW, that post seems to indicate pretty clearly that Langhorne was fully involved in the plan to eliminate Shan-Wei and Alexandria. At most, Chihiro decided the timing of the strike on his own initiative, assuming that Himself hasn't had a Better Idea (TM) in the last 7 years.

DMcCunney wrote:
Louis R wrote:According to Himself, this is _not_ the system that destroyed Alexandria. It's a complete rebuild done once there was no longer any reason to conceal it until it was deployed, and therefore far more capable on both sides. It's not unlikely that it was done at the beginning of the War Against the Fallen, probably for the express purpose of ensuring that Chihiro could show that the sauce prepared for the goose was still available to be served up on any ganders who might be tempted to follow in her footsteps.
Can you point me to where Himself said that? I don't doubt your statement, but I'd like to see what he said.

And while it might have been done at the beginning of the War Against the Fallen, using it still required localizing targets. That would not have been easy. The Fallen knew it existed (though not necessarily about the rebuild), so their installations would be very carefully stealthed. (I think we would know if thi8ngs that couldn't be anything but Rakurai strikes had been carried out during the War. Chihiro would have shouted it from the housetops.
And while we have no idea what rocks might have been dropped on - although C3 and manufacturing centres would be logical, as and when they were ID'd - Nynian stated categorically that the destruction of the original Shrine of St Khody was the _last_ Rakurai strike of the War. Which rather suggests that there had been others. Given what we think we know about Chihiro, I would be very unsurprised to learn that at least one of them had been unnecessary in military terms, but was an excellent occasion for an object lesson.
Agreed on logical targets to hit, but first you have to find them. A Rakurai strike is a sledgehammer, and requires a significant target. (And there was likely a concern that Fallen might be hanging out in disguise in populated areas like towns. Chihiro would want to minimize collateral damage.)

No, the strike on St. Kohdy's Shrine was not militarily needed. But it was an identified target suitable for a Rakurai strike, far enough away from anything else to avoid collateral damage or even being noticed by the rest of Safehold, and since we already have a strong notion that Chihiro considered Kohdy a threat and had him killed, a loose end to tidy would be the Sisterhood created to care for his tomb and memory. It's the kind of thing he'd do. I assumed it was an OBS strike, but my impression was that Chihiro was gone before it occurred, when a remaining still living lesser Angel loyal to him carried out a final order given well before whose execution had to be delayed until the last of the living Adams and Eves were dead.
______
Dennis
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