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eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>

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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Philip Stanley   » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:37 am

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Provoking the OBS into an attack may not be all bad! Consider the advantages of kinetic bombardment in major excavation projects. If you wanted a canal dug between Howell bay and the Cauldron, all you would have to do is set up something that provokes a kinetic bombardment on the narrow strip between the two. Voila - a good sized ditch between the two!
Any comments?

Philip Stanley
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Randomiser   » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:14 am

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Random thoughts

How exactly does "the Dawn Star departed in glory", from the POV of early Safeholdians, who sure weren't tracking it on radar, mean that it didn't fly into the sun?

"Merlin is in huge trouble if the Hamilcar comes back." Well, maybe. Hamilcar wasn't a warship and if Merlin is building something that can take down the OBS anyway, the Hamilcar is toast.

Alternatively, maybe assault shuttles can be used both ways and I don't see the remaining command crew being much good against PICAs with all the restraints off armed with TF weapons, especially since none of them were military types. Merlin wouldn't have used advanced nerve agents on Safehold, but to take the Hamilcar intact? By definition, there are no non-combatants aboard the Hamilcar.

Admittedly, "The Hamilcar is gone" is one of RFC's famous "stirring the pot by saying something that's nowhere near as definitive as it first looks" posts, but I don't really expect to see it back. Even if I'm wrong however, (has been known, Major Phandys ;) ) having it back might well be more of a bonus than a problem from Merlin's POV.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by CRC   » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:08 am

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Randomiser wrote:Random thoughts

"Merlin is in huge trouble if the Hamilcar comes back." Well, maybe. Hamilcar wasn't a warship and if Merlin is building something that can take down the OBS anyway, the Hamilcar is toast.

Admittedly, "The Hamilcar is gone" is one of RFC's famous "stirring the pot by saying something that's nowhere near as definitive as it first looks" posts, but I don't really expect to see it back. Even if I'm wrong however, (has been known, Major Phandys ;) ) having it back might well be more of a bonus than a problem from Merlin's POV.


The production capacity and capabilities of the Hamilcar was the primary reason the Fallen lost the war. Their hoarded production, similar to OWL's cave if I read the books correctly, eventually was dwarfed by the resources the Hamilcar had.

Taking out the OBS is not an issue. There are myriad of ways to take it out. (Its the temple aspect that is stopping Merlin.) But most of those simple ways would be useless against any ship with moderate defensive capability, which the Hamilcar has to have, and it can move.

RFC always has a habit of one upping the challenge to the protagonists in a way that is not expected. Clyntahn's rakuri pre-emptive strike, Mesa's strike against Manticore, Thunderbolt, etc. (Everytime Honor got a bigger command - she was faced with an even more impossible situation to win.)

With a relative peace between COGA and Charis, and with Charis having a huge technological/manufacturing edge that they will most likely maintain - the next phase (books) has to have a real challenge to Merlin and since electricity won't be around for a while, Fed tech via the Hamilcar vs WWI steam tech sounds about as hopeless as you can get - but still a bit winnable with the right tactics and strategy - but also in keeping with RFC patterns in the past, not without horrendously personal and gut wrenching losses.

I just don't see Chohiro giving up the Hamilcar after the pocket nuke attack. Dictators not under pressure from a superior force rarely give up anything that could guarantee them power.

But then again, there is pockets of tech and knowledge popping up everywhere. Who's not to say that under the temple is riddled with "servitors" ready to go upon activation - or another cave or three or a dozen scattered around the world.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Louis R   » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:20 pm

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It probably wasn't a matter of 'giving up' Hamilcar: Chihiro was as mortal as the rest of us, and knew it, so he wouldn't have had any problem making sure it was gone once _he_ was done with it. For any number of reasons, starting with a fear that there might be somebody on the command crew who was just waiting to undo his life's work if they had the capability. [hmmm... i wonder how many 'angels' 'departed' with the Dawn Star?]

Given that, it's plausible that he'd have done it as soon as he could after the end of the War and construction of the Temple. He doesn't seem to have been around all than much longer himeself - less than the lifetime of the oldest Sisters of St Khody, certainly - so might have made sure that the situation was exactly as he wanted it as soon as possible.


CRC wrote:< snip >
I just don't see Chohiro giving up the Hamilcar after the pocket nuke attack. Dictators not under pressure from a superior force rarely give up anything that could guarantee them power.

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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Keith_w   » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:06 pm

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Louis R wrote:It probably wasn't a matter of 'giving up' Hamilcar: Chihiro was as mortal as the rest of us, and knew it, so he wouldn't have had any problem making sure it was gone once _he_ was done with it. For any number of reasons, starting with a fear that there might be somebody on the command crew who was just waiting to undo his life's work if they had the capability. [hmmm... i wonder how many 'angels' 'departed' with the Dawn Star?]

Given that, it's plausible that he'd have done it as soon as he could after the end of the War and construction of the Temple. He doesn't seem to have been around all than much longer himeself - less than the lifetime of the oldest Sisters of St Khody, certainly - so might have made sure that the situation was exactly as he wanted it as soon as possible.


CRC wrote:< snip >
I just don't see Chohiro giving up the Hamilcar after the pocket nuke attack. Dictators not under pressure from a superior force rarely give up anything that could guarantee them power.



The question of angels returning to the Dawn Star/Hamilcar is one that I have wondered about for some time. If I were an archangel/angel, I wondered, would I just re-board the ship, after years of toil constructing Safehold and sail off into the sun <set> or on a long voyage, in a stasis that I might not wake up from? I don't think so. I might. however, decide to enjoy the fruits of my labours by providing the first of the vicarate, getting married, and living the good life in the rebuilt temple until I finally passed on to my richly deserved reward.
--
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Loren Pechtel   » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:59 pm

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evilauthor wrote:
Loren Pechtel wrote:The Fasset drive will slow your clocks quite a bit but not enough to pull off something like this. I had forgotten about it, it's by far the closest any of his books come to c.


IIRC, the Fasset drive CAN get you that close to c, but no one bothers under normal operations because you still have to turn around and decellerate. And accelerations are high enough that turn around will come along FAR sooner than hitting that close to c.


Good point, I was thinking of the speed they used, there was no discussion of the maximum real-space speed.

Also, the Fasset drive creates a black hole that makes the perfect shield against c fractional dust impacts... as long as you're accelerating. As soon as you start decelerating, you've turned around and put that black hole BEHIND YOU, meaning that you have vulnerable unshielded hull facing potential c fractional debris impacts.


But this no doubt sets a maximum speed.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by thanatos   » Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:05 pm

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I think that if Hamilcar is still around, it's probably floating in the asteroid belt of the Kau-Zhi system. That would be ironic given that that was the original plan of the mission planners. But I seriously doubt Chihiro & Co. are in it for a ride at relativistic speeds. What would be the point of whatever is hidden under the Temple, the Key and the "prophecy" handed down to the Wylsynn Family if the "Archangels" intended to return that way?
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:28 am

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McGuiness wrote:Merlin has a plan -- if there's enough time before the archangels return in whatever form they reappear.

Merlin said "unless we can manage that [removing the OBS] and get the industrial plant in Nimue’s Cave up and running and replicating itself—with at least a decade or so to spare—we’re still screwed. If we could pull that off, and if we had that decade to work with, we wouldn’t really care if the ‘Archangels’ decided to put in an actual physical reappearance of some sort.” He smiled coldly. “Give me four or five years of open Federation-level tech to work with, and I will guarantee that anything the ‘Archangels’ bring with them gets blown to hell and gone. And I can think of very few things that would give me more personal satisfaction!

Of course that's the best case scenario, which leads to his back up plan of infecting the entire planet with the innovation bug...

“But if we can’t do that, we have to play for the possibility—the probability, I hope!—that whatever turns up calling itself an ‘Archangel’ isn’t quite as lunatic as Langhorne was when he pulled the trigger on the Alexandria Enclave. I have to think they wouldn’t be coming back at all if they didn’t want to make sure the human race survives. And killing the human race themselves wouldn’t strike me as the best way to do that, which is why we want the ‘genie out of the bottle.’ Spreading the violation of the Proscriptions—of their purpose, the thing they were supposed to achieve, at least—as broadly as possible, even if their word was still technically observed was always part of our gradualist strategy. But Paityr’s warning’s lent that strategy a lot more urgency, because if we can spread the new technology broadly enough that it would require a planet-wide application of ‘rakurai’ to eradicate all the threats to Langhorne’s grand plan, then anyone but a raving lunatic would realize that plan’s failed. We’re in no position to predict how he might react, but I think it’s likely any non-lunatic would see no option but to engineer as soft a landing to the Proscriptions’ collapse as possible.
“That’s why the economic implications of Ehdwyrd’s railroads and of steam-powered maritime trade are far more dangerous to the Church in the long term than any warship or artillery piece. But let’s be honest—it’s always possible for someone to cut off his economic nose to spite his face on religious grounds. God knows it was done often enough back on Old Earth! The ultimate consequences would be disastrous, and any realm that chose to do that would be a complete political and economic nonfactor within a generation. But that doesn’t mean they won’t do it, and I can easily imagine a reactionary ‘counter reformation’ throwing up all sorts of obstacles to stretch the process out even farther. Quite possibly for longer than we have before that return visit we’re worrying about.


And to encourage all the nations of Safehold to continue to innovate...

“Enter the King Haarahlds.”

Cayleb explained "no ruler who’s smarter than a rock is going to be able to miss its point. Without equivalent technology, no realm can survive against anyone who adopts it, and no one out there—from Mahrys of Desnair, to Rahnyld of Dohlar, to Emperor Waisu’s bureaucrats—hell, to that idiot Zhames in Delferahk!—is going to decide to trust that none of his enemies will build it. For that matter, they’ll know damned well we’re going to—that we already have—and even Greyghor, here in Siddarmark, is going to have to worry about the possibility that some perfectly legitimate dispute will someday arise between the Republic and us.
“So that’s what the King Haarahlds are, Nynian,” the Emperor of Charis said levelly, meeting her eyes across the study. “They’ll do the job at Gorath—that’s for damn sure—but just like you said, so would the Cities. They’re not Earl Sharpfield’s doorknockers; they’re Merlin’s, and the ‘door’ he has in mind is a hell of a lot more important than Gorath.”


They aren't just the most powerful ships on the planet, they're a symbol of what man can achieve through industry and innovation. Any country that wants to compete with Charis on the seas is going to have to figure out how to build one, and that means developing the manufacturing capability of the Delthak works. Millions of Safeholdians innovating away, creating new devices and technologies, with railroads connecting cities and hauling freight across entire continents in days rather than months. Once Safehold has widespread steam technology, there's no going back unless a returning Archangel decides to Rakurai the human race out of existence, and even Langhorne wouldn't be that fanatical!

But I'd prefer for OWL to have time to replicate his manufacturing plant many times over, so Safehold can meet whatever is coming with TF technology... :twisted:
Reading this it occurs to me that Merlin is wrong - assuming enough TF tech survived in the Hamilcar, or under the Temple, or in some other pro-Archangle bunker/vault the returning Archangel could hit a big reset button without bombarding the whole world and killing off the human race.

I don't think RFC will go that route because it's not likely to be a great story. But Safehold was set up in the first place by using TF tech to reprogram everyone's memories into Adams and Eves (except for the command staff). In theory returning archangels could round up everybody (if at least everybody they don't kill off) and do fresh memory replacements removing any knowledge of the industrial revolution, gunpowder, the Jihad, the corruption of the Church, or any secret societies left from Shan-Wei's war. Basically reboot the planet on Longhorns original plan.

Tedious to do, and boring to read, but a way to theoretically dodge the choice Merlin is trying to engineer between returning mankind to the path of technical progress or wiping them out...
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by isaac_newton   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:37 am

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Jonathan_S wrote: SNIP :twisted:Reading this it occurs to me that Merlin is wrong - assuming enough TF tech survived in the Hamilcar, or under the Temple, or in some other pro-Archangle bunker/vault the returning Archangel could hit a big reset button without bombarding the whole world and killing off the human race.

I don't think RFC will go that route because it's not likely to be a great story. But Safehold was set up in the first place by using TF tech to reprogram everyone's memories into Adams and Eves (except for the command staff). In theory returning archangels could round up everybody (if at least everybody they don't kill off) and do fresh memory replacements removing any knowledge of the industrial revolution, gunpowder, the Jihad, the corruption of the Church, or any secret societies left from Shan-Wei's war. Basically reboot the planet on Longhorns original plan.

Tedious to do, and boring to read, but a way to theoretically dodge the choice Merlin is trying to engineer between returning mankind to the path of technical progress or wiping them out...


Hmmm - dont think that would be a runner [apart from being a poor story :-)]. Dont forget that the re-programming was done in the fleet over years while the journey was on-going and the terraforming proceeding. Problems:
1) population much much larger now that at Creation. Population not nicely enclosed in cryo-tubes
2) physical resources much less - most of the fleet is defunct, no-more
3) skill resources much less - Bedard and [I guess many of her henchman] went up in the pocket nuke explosian. We know the remaining Angels had some skill in this line, but were not top notch
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by evilauthor   » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:21 pm

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isaac_newton wrote:Hmmm - dont think that would be a runner [apart from being a poor story :-)]. Dont forget that the re-programming was done in the fleet over years while the journey was on-going and the terraforming proceeding. Problems:
1) population much much larger now that at Creation. Population not nicely enclosed in cryo-tubes
2) physical resources much less - most of the fleet is defunct, no-more
3) skill resources much less - Bedard and [I guess many of her henchman] went up in the pocket nuke explosian. We know the remaining Angels had some skill in this line, but were not top notch


4) Said reprogramming requires the subject have a neural interface installed in their head (I forget what they were called), something the Federation installed in all their citizens in childhood but that NO ONE alive on Safehold has now, not even any of the Inner Circle. It's actually implied to not be possible to install in adult humans, at least not with stock Fed Tech.
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