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What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn effort?

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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by ecortez   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:56 am

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phillies wrote:Readers interested in a tale of this sort should look up James Hogan, in which the initial Alpha Centauri colony effort is robots plus human cells. Of perhaps more interest except the author said it did not happen would have been someone very early on looking at the Alphanes -- does anyone else remember that book other than the all-remembering author -- and deciding that the time to go elsewhere was now, not after the aliens are found.


Obviously those weren't the Alphanes from the Empire of Man series. The name is just an easter egg. But would you really flee in terror from a mystery species who may or may not have exterminated an ancient civilization or two (and for all we know they had good reason to do it). Relocating your whole Federation of worlds to another part of the galaxy, a trillion citizens having to start all over again, over a race that may not even exist anymore and may never have been a danger to peaceful neighbors.

Besides, what if you pick your people up and move them even closer to the danger, right into the heart of enemy territory? Unless you know which direction is the wrong one, how do you go about picking the right one? Isn't it a better idea to stay where you are and start building yourself a powerful fleet? Not that it worked out so well for the TF but given what they knew at the time ...
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Dilandu   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:11 am

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ecortez wrote:Obviously those weren't the Alphanes from the Empire of Man series.


...Please, not Ringo... :D
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- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by evilauthor   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:26 am

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ecortez wrote:I think the gist of it is that if they'd managed to get another colony out past the siege lines - human, PICA, VP, or some combination - it would've been on a similar timetable. A few centuries. By now either the Gbaba would've shown up and destroyed Safehold, or they would've been visited by their victorious human brothers and sisters and lifted up. The mere fact that a thousand years have passed and nothing's happened strongly indicates no other humans made it out.


Not necessarily. If each colonization mission was done in secrecy such that no one attempt knew about any other attempt (for security reasons), then there's no reason for a fully successful effort to find something like Safehold because a) they aren't looking for colonies like Safehold, b) Safehold as was actually set up is explicitly designed to be undetectable at long ranges, and c) space is frikkin BIG.

IOW, the same factors that make Safehold hard to find by the Gbaba makes it equally hard to find by any resurgent interstellar human civilization, especially if that civilization started nowhere near Safehold.

That said, I can envision a "cheap plan B" version of Safehold basically involves using the same double blind trick that allowed the Safehold colonization mission to escape the Gbaba can also be used to sneak out single "seed ships", aka, single ships that are little more than a bunch of industrial equipment for starting a new civilization and a library loaded with every digital copy of a human mind that could be made and gotten before The End. Once outside the Gbaba lines, it would go off and find a safe hiding spot, then go to "sleep" for the same period that Safehold was to remain primitive in order to hide from Gbaba patrols before waking up to start a new civilization made up of uploaded ghosts.

The only real down side of Plan B though is that while human culture and history would live on in a fashion, it basically gives up on biological humanity. But that's why it's Plan B and Safehold was Plan A.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Krenn   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:03 pm

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evilauthor wrote:Not necessarily. If each colonization mission was done in secrecy such that no one attempt knew about any other attempt (for security reasons), then there's no reason for a fully successful effort to find something like Safehold because a) they aren't looking for colonies like Safehold, b) Safehold as was actually set up is explicitly designed to be undetectable at long ranges, and c) space is frikkin BIG.

IOW, the same factors that make Safehold hard to find by the Gbaba makes it equally hard to find by any resurgent interstellar human civilization, especially if that civilization started nowhere near Safehold.

That said, I can envision a "cheap plan B" version of Safehold basically involves using the same double blind trick that allowed the Safehold colonization mission to escape the Gbaba can also be used to sneak out single "seed ships", aka, single ships that are little more than a bunch of industrial equipment for starting a new civilization and a library loaded with every digital copy of a human mind that could be made and gotten before The End. Once outside the Gbaba lines, it would go off and find a safe hiding spot, then go to "sleep" for the same period that Safehold was to remain primitive in order to hide from Gbaba patrols before waking up to start a new civilization made up of uploaded ghosts.

The only real down side of Plan B though is that while human culture and history would live on in a fashion, it basically gives up on biological humanity. But that's why it's Plan B and Safehold was Plan A.


Like I said, if you can design a non-biological 'sleeping' facility that doesn't need nuclear power, doesn't need more than a bare trickle of electricity, doesn't have heating or cooling, and is specifically designed to survive, in sleep-mode, at extreme ambient temperatures and/or ambient pressures...

you could theoretically plant such a facility ANYWHERE. Underground on Venus, floating deep in Jupiter's atmosphere, in the methane seas of Titan... anywhere. It just needs to be somewhere where an overbuilt, sleep-mode facility can survive for a few hundred years, with nothing but a countdown timer remaining active. As long as you can keep the Gaba far enough away that they didn't see you plant the facility in the first place, and as long as they're not capable of literally destroying entire stars or planets... there are lots of places to hide that will protect a hardened facility from 'mere' orbital carpet-bombing.

The hard part is what you do ONCE YOU WAKE UP. Options range anywhere from slowly and secretly building an entire underground Venus cave civilization using Virtual People, to planting MORE sleeper facilities on extra-solar comets, and waiting another million years before activating THOSE, half a galaxy away...
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by ecortez   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:04 pm

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If you stored recorded personalities, possibly with a few PICAs ready to activate later, a genetic database with associated technologies (like artificial wombs) would allow you to resurrect biological humanity. If you had to get out through the Gbaba lines late in the conflict, the debris approach would probably be better than powered spacecraft. With only a timer that would use hardly any current still active, disguise your archive as a piece of smashed spacecraft or a small asteroid. Let it proceed on a natural ballistic trajectory until it hits the edge of the system (which could take centuries). Then it wakes up and immediately jumps to hyperspace, making several random stops and direction changes.

They mentioned that Operation Ark used up the last of the Federation's operational interstellar ships. But regardless, if you managed to pull off a decoy trick like that, the last thing you'd want to do is keep repeating it until they figured it out.

For the Gbaba, that was hardly their first rodeo. They've seen almost every trick to try and break past them and escape. Only by coming up with something new and audacious to outwit them (lack of imagination is their major disadvantage) were humans able to save a few million of their number and keep the species alive. One assumes that as we were compressed further and further into the inner solar system, all space activities would've come under their surveillance. So the last minute is not the time to be doing anything you don't want closely observed. It's really too late at that point.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Dilandu   » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:59 pm

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The main question was, actually, the avaliability of starships to pull any kind of such trick. I really doubt that by the time of Operation Ark there were many non-combat interstellar starship remains, and probably none private ones at all. There were basically no need to maintain any kind of interstellar cargo hauling carpacity after the last major Federation colony outside Sol system was destroyed in 2406 (and, considering the blockade, all cargo transportation outside Sol system was probably stopped in late 2380s).

So, there probably were no cargo starships left in service by 2411, and all remaining starship-building industry was working only for a military. Operation Ark ships, I must remind, weren't the usual cargo haulers - they were purpose-build stealthy transports, specifically designed to be as undetectable as possible.

I think, it is possible that other government agencies might have their own projects, running parallel Operation Ark (like PICA-equipped ships), and probably they could secure at least some interstellar-capable ships for that.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Krenn   » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:31 pm

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Dilandu wrote:The main question was, actually, the avaliability of starships to pull any kind of such trick. I really doubt that by the time of Operation Ark there were many non-combat interstellar starship remains, and probably none private ones at all. There were basically no need to maintain any kind of interstellar cargo hauling carpacity after the last major Federation colony outside Sol system was destroyed in 2406 (and, considering the blockade, all cargo transportation outside Sol system was probably stopped in late 2380s).

So, there probably were no cargo starships left in service by 2411, and all remaining starship-building industry was working only for a military. Operation Ark ships, I must remind, weren't the usual cargo haulers - they were purpose-build stealthy transports, specifically designed to be as undetectable as possible.

I think, it is possible that other government agencies might have their own projects, running parallel Operation Ark (like PICA-equipped ships), and probably they could secure at least some interstellar-capable ships for that.


I'm mostly talking about hiding out IN EARTH'S SOLAR SYSTEM. You don't need interstellar craft for that. as long as their stealth tech is good enough, and the Gaba are still outside of Pluto Orbit, the minimum requirements for a last-hope hideout attempt are pretty small... you could probably do it with an assault shuttle, or even a few dozen shipping containers.

Minimum requirements would probably be...
1 extreme-enviroment PICA.

10 highly experienced engineers, stored purely as active VR personalities.

1 small, bootstrap-capable fabrication device.

1 small, regen/artifical womb/genetic editing device.

1 Complete library, including manufacturing instructions for PICAS, Fabbers, NEATS, nanotech, and medical drugs/devices.

500 virtual colonists, stored as inactive data files.

1 Liquid-Nitrogen medical freezer, storing 50,000 pre-fertilized human eggs, possibly with nanotech preservatives.

1 long-life, low-power battery system, with no neutriono emmisions, and heavy electric shielding.

1 completely fail-safe, extreme enviroment-safe, cold-start boot-up system, with a 1000-year countdown clock.

1 small fusion reactor, turned completely off, with fuel types which are immune to long-term storage decay. such as water.

1 small, extreme-enviroment, universal mining system, calibrated for the target enviroment.

1 extreme-enviroment airlock.

1 extreme-enviroment hull, calibrated to store everything safely in the target enviroment.

1 short-term stealth system, rating for a few days of operation before shutdown.

That's pretty much IT. You could put all that in something the size of an assault shuttle, or maybe 4 shipping containers strapped together.

Then you just... drop it onto the surface of Venus, with a parachute. And leave it lying down there. Or strap a balloon to it, then drop it down into Jupiter's atmosphere. Or send it to bottom of the methane seas of Titan. The stealth system only needs to survive for long enough that no-one sees your landing.

And then it just sits there. for a thousand years. A colony-in-a-box, waiting on a timer. Figuring out how to survive at the bottom of a hostile gravity well, at extreme temperatures and pressures, with no engines, and only one airlock, one PICA, and one universal mining device is left as an exercise for the user.

You'll figure out a way to rebuild civilization down there eventually. Probably. Be careful when you wake up: the Gaba might still have a patrol boat orbiting overhead, and the only human-habitable planet in the system is probably still a nuclear-bombarded wasteland.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Dilandu   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:47 am

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Krenn wrote:You'll figure out a way to rebuild civilization down there eventually. Probably. Be careful when you wake up: the Gaba might still have a patrol boat orbiting overhead, and the only human-habitable planet in the system is probably still a nuclear-bombarded wasteland.


Without the ability to left for other solar system, any such effort would basically be just a delaying of the destruction. Gbaba may be not the brightest specie around, but even the would probably put some sort of sensor array in sterilized system, just to be sure. And, considering that Gbaba tech is even more robust that Federation (they operate millenia-age warships, after all, with no clear problems!) such sensor array would eventually notice that something is not right here.
------------------------------

- Who would won in battle between strawman Liberal-Democrat and strawman Conservative-Republican?
- Scarecrow from Oz; he was strawman before it became political.

P.S. - And he have Russian twin, to watch his back)
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Krenn   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:21 pm

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Dilandu wrote:
Krenn wrote:You'll figure out a way to rebuild civilization down there eventually. Probably. Be careful when you wake up: the Gaba might still have a patrol boat orbiting overhead, and the only human-habitable planet in the system is probably still a nuclear-bombarded wasteland.


Without the ability to left for other solar system, any such effort would basically be just a delaying of the destruction. Gbaba may be not the brightest specie around, but even the would probably put some sort of sensor array in sterilized system, just to be sure. And, considering that Gbaba tech is even more robust that Federation (they operate millenia-age warships, after all, with no clear problems!) such sensor array would eventually notice that something is not right here.


Yep. That's a very valid concern. on the other hand, from the time that Humanity first found an ruined planet that the Gbaba had performed genocide on, to the time the Gbaba war fleet first showed up in human space, was about 10 years.

That gives a very rough window. Basic plan would be to wake up after a thousand years. your first major assignment is to build something small, stealthy, and hypothetically capable of interstellar travel, even if it was limited to sub-light speeds.

If you got that built in the first year after waking up, without being detected, you could then spend the next 5 years or so building infrastructure, more probes, and the first few elements of an eventual hostile-enviroment civilization. while emitting as little noise as possible, and being constantly paranoid for any sign that Gbaba sattelites had detected you.


At about the 6 year point, you would probably need to send out your entire wave of VR colony probes, even if the Gbaba hadn't neccessarilly found you yet.

If you're very lucky... your probes will be stealthy enough that any Gbaba sattelites STILL won't notice them, and you repeat the cycle... 5 years of building secret local infrastructure, and another wave of probes.

eventually... maybe the Gbaba will see the probes and kill
them, but not figure out where your extreme-enviroment base is. and then you devote stop sending out probes, and devote yourself to building an entire secret underground/undersea planetary civilization.

Maybe they'll find your base and figure out a way to kill it, but the probes will get away clean, and will still have a fighting chance when they eventually land somewhere.

Maybe the Gbaba will find and kill both, and all you can think of is that you tried your best, and made them work for it.

And maybe the horse will sing, and the Gbaba won't still have a picket in place after a thousand years, and you can actually have hope of both building a long-term civilization, and maintaining a sustained secret colonization effort.
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What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn effort?
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:35 pm

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Was there any textev about how long before the Gbaba had destroyed the initial world found. There was apparently no Gbaba sensor system around it, so that gives you a time frame for how long that they look for this tactic.
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