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Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by OrlandoNative   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:32 pm

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mhicks wrote:I doubt they would use a hyper com link that could be detected by the Gbaba, especially if it is trying to link back up with the OBS or Temple computer. Unless there is some part of physics I missed when dozing off in class about radio waves and electrical signals.


That seems unlikely. As is noted about Crestwell's World in OAR; hypercoms were apparently either large or required a significant tech base to build. And the idea behind Operation Ark was to *hide*. After what had happened to it's predecessor, it seems unlikely that a hypercom; or the parts to assemble one, would have been included in the Operation Ark inventory. If for no other reason than to keep from tempting anyone from using it.
"Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again."
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by OrlandoNative   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:46 pm

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Louis R wrote:That's the "Kanga/Shirmaksu" scenario thanatos refers to.

As indicated, Himself tends not to repeat on that level. However, he did lift the 'religious suppression of technolgy' from Safehold for Heirs of Empire when it didn't appear that Safehold would ever see the light of day, so it's possible that Apocalypse Troll was written using another major element from this series for its background.


Mmmm... considering Heirs of Empire was written in 1996; and the FIRST Safehold book in 2007; I doubt the idea for Pardal's religious structure came from Safehold.

While I *do* enjoy most of David's books; there has been a fair amount of repetition of various themes between his various "virtual realities".

Eg: Pardal vs Safehold
Achuultani vs Arachnids vs Gabha
The Federation vs Earth (Excaliber Alternative)
"Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again."
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by OrlandoNative   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:57 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Also, that 100 year time frame would let the IC begin building a dispersed production system to get a leg up on when The Reveal happens. I doubt there would be a great number of established dispersed locations in 15 years. There should be a good number of dispersed colonies where such technological hideaways can be established. Even of those colonies are nothing more than places to deposit knowledge just in case the Sleepers succeed in destroying Charis.

They should build on the far side of the moon. After all, they have stealthed shuttles in Nimue's cave. It shouldn't be all that hard for the fabrication unit to make some prefab modules for a simple moonbase, then transfer whatever is necessary to expand that (preferably under the lunar surface) into a major facility. Unless Langhorne and company emplaced sensors on the moon (and even if they did, they'd likely be scanning the planet, not space), being on the far side should shield most if not all emissions from the OBS sensors or any under the Temple.

While what has happened on Safehold to date is a deviation from Langhorne's original plan, it's not yet a dangerous one, from outside appearances. All the tech Charis has introduced is still well within the limits imposed by the Proscriptions. So any "visitor" looking over the planet and it's society as it is today, might well not see anything significantly (and obviously) dangerous - especially considering 1000 years have passed. Given the obvious level of technology, there'd be no reason to scan the far side of the moon; so any base there would likely be safely hidden. Even if the "visitors" came from deep space, the continued existence of the OBS - which would normally be one of the first targets of any advanced tech on the planet - would no doubt make them complacent.
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by phillies   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:05 pm

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Joat42 wrote:
Undercover Fat Kid wrote:I have noticed an inconsistency between the published works and the snippet, though. The snippet implies that the majority of public opinion, which was encouraged by the government, was that the murdered pocket empire fell victim to some internal strife and essentially suicided. The opening sequence of OAR has Captain Fofāo reflecting that he was where he was because of the widespread belief that there existed a malevolent alien empire, which also explained the existence of a genuine, and growing, federation navy. If memory serves, the people who held the position that they died in a suicidal spasm were a distinct minority as of the fall of Crestwell’s world.

It was 9 years between the discovery of the destroyed 3 star alien empire and the attack on Crestwell. Sugawara who suggested that it was an action of an alien menace was belittled until he was appointed Navy Minister.

I guess that during those 9 years they went from disbelief to suppression to mobilization. So from what I know it doesn't seem to be any inconsistences, since otherwise there wouldn't be any reason for a SDF to be placed in Crestwell especially since they had also setup Spyglass (a ring of surveillance of satellites around Crestwell) and Watchman (standby high speed courier to Earth) to deliver information.


In principle there could also have been archeological studies. The Gabab killed everyone, but records or artifacts might have been overlooked, e.g., the odd-orbit wrecked hulk of a starship that is very certainly not on the same design scheme as the locals' ships.
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by OrlandoNative   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:13 pm

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Dilandu wrote:Er, no. If they are caught in are when they weren't allowed to be in peacetime, they would be considered as spies. And spies do NOT enjoy the protection of their uniforms.

Mmmm... as I recall; one of the *definitions* of a spy is that they aren't in uniform. Or at least not in one of *their* armed forces uniforms, anyway.

Uniformed personnel, no matter where they might be apprehended; aren't considered "spies"; they are considered prisoners of war in wartime. Not sure exactly what they'd be called in peacetime. Probably either tresspasser's or "lost". LOL.
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by OrlandoNative   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:23 pm

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phillies wrote:In principle there could also have been archeological studies. The Gabab killed everyone, but records or artifacts might have been overlooked, e.g., the odd-orbit wrecked hulk of a starship that is very certainly not on the same design scheme as the locals' ships.

While there is more information here on the destroyed alien civilization (I don't believe OAR mentioned it to be multi star system); I don't think there was any *obvious* clue left to imply they'd been destroyed by outsiders. Otherwise the original conclusion wouldn't have been that they destroyed *themselves*. Certainly if such "solid" evidence *did* exist, the Federation would have undergone a crash priority armaments buildup - and that wasn't the case until *after* Crestwell's World was destroyed.

No, prior to that; it would appear that the Federation only did some modest military buildup, just in case. They probably figured that since they were almost 5 times the size of the destroyed alien civilization, and more technologically advanced, that they were strong enough to resist whatever overcame the others.

Unfortunately they were wrong.
"Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again."
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by Kael Posavatz   » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:58 pm

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OrlandoNative wrote:They should build on the far side of the moon. After all, they have stealthed shuttles in Nimue's cave. It shouldn't be all that hard for the fabrication unit to make some prefab modules for a simple moonbase, then transfer whatever is necessary to expand that (preferably under the lunar surface) into a major facility. Unless Langhorne and company emplaced sensors on the moon (and even if they did, they'd likely be scanning the planet, not space), being on the far side should shield most if not all emissions from the OBS sensors or any under the Temple.

While what has happened on Safehold to date is a deviation from Langhorne's original plan, it's not yet a dangerous one, from outside appearances. All the tech Charis has introduced is still well within the limits imposed by the Proscriptions. So any "visitor" looking over the planet and it's society as it is today, might well not see anything significantly (and obviously) dangerous - especially considering 1000 years have passed. Given the obvious level of technology, there'd be no reason to scan the far side of the moon; so any base there would likely be safely hidden. Even if the "visitors" came from deep space, the continued existence of the OBS - which would normally be one of the first targets of any advanced tech on the planet - would no doubt make them complacent.


Except that we still aren't sure what will flip the OBS to "Safehold-shattering Ka-boom" (to paraphrase my favorite martian). Nimue was unreasonably lucky (as pointed out) that it didn't go blam when she first poked a SNARC at it. Breaking out an assault shuttle, or maybe just flipping a SNARC out of low-Safehold orbit, might well set it off. Not something to be risking unless there is an absolute need to risk it.

And yes, 'the Plan' (or at least the bastardized version of it that existed after Langhorne's mortal coil was shuffled off and the survivors began throwing, um, controls on it left-right-center) is very much off. Steam is very much a violation of the Proscriptions (even if Paityr Wylsyn is able to 'letter of the law while violating the spirit' around them).

More insidiously is the dissemination of Arabic numerals and higher order math. At first it'll look like it supports the Writ because Langhorne said 'X does Y' and the math supports it. But sooner or later someone will take a serious look at orbital mechanics and realize the Ptolemaic universe Langhorne insisted on using doesn't hold up.

That's the big one, I think.

Merlin has commented on a number of times that one of the reasons the Writ is so effective is because it works. It holds up under what 'test conditions' exist, and when those conditions fail they fail exactly how the Writ says they fail (I recall one character thinking about sailors unable to keep the dietary laws and suffering scurvy, for example).

But Ptolemy... With enough observational data and the right mathematical tools, Ptolemy goes 'nope!' and then you have a situation where the math everywhere else supports CoGA is also telling you that something is Not Quite Right.
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:17 am

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OrlandoNative wrote:
Louis R wrote:That's the "Kanga/Shirmaksu" scenario thanatos refers to.

As indicated, Himself tends not to repeat on that level. However, he did lift the 'religious suppression of technolgy' from Safehold for Heirs of Empire when it didn't appear that Safehold would ever see the light of day, so it's possible that Apocalypse Troll was written using another major element from this series for its background.


Mmmm... considering Heirs of Empire was written in 1996; and the FIRST Safehold book in 2007; I doubt the idea for Pardal's religious structure came from Safehold.

A proposal for a book series could exist for years before the books are written. As it is Louis R is referring to an explicit post from David Weber (he offered 10 possible book series to Jim Baen, Baen chose Honor Harrington - 2 of the other proposed series, including Safehold, have since been started).
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by Julia Minor   » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:38 am

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OrlandoNative wrote:As is noted about Crestwell's World in OAR; hypercoms were apparently either large or required a significant tech base to build. And the idea behind Operation Ark was to *hide*. After what had happened to it's predecessor, it seems unlikely that a hypercom; or the parts to assemble one, would have been included in the Operation Ark inventory. If for no other reason than to keep from tempting anyone from using it.


Do the books ever specify how the terraforming crew told the rest of Operation Ark "hey, we're ready for you"? Personally, I think a courier ship would be the most stealthy method, but a shielded hypercom could have been used -- especially if they didn't want the terraforming team to have the exact coordinates of the hidden transports in case of Gbaba interrogation.

Now, once the colonists arrived, there would be no reason to keep a hypercom around, since there wasn't anyone else left to have a hypercom conversation with. Whether under the original Operation Ark plans or Langhorne's version, a hypothetical hypercom would have been one of the first things turned into recycled materials.
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Re: Through Fiery Trials, Snippet #1
Post by Tararoys   » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:12 pm

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OrlandoNative wrote:

More insidiously is the dissemination of Arabic numerals and higher order math. At first it'll look like it supports the Writ because Langhorne said 'X does Y' and the math supports it. But sooner or later someone will take a serious look at orbital mechanics and realize the Ptolemaic universe Langhorne insisted on using doesn't hold up.

That's the big one, I think.

Merlin has commented on a number of times that one of the reasons the Writ is so effective is because it works. It holds up under what 'test conditions' exist, and when those conditions fail they fail exactly how the Writ says they fail (I recall one character thinking about sailors unable to keep the dietary laws and suffering scurvy, for example).

But Ptolemy... With enough observational data and the right mathematical tools, Ptolemy goes 'nope!' and then you have a situation where the math everywhere else supports CoGA is also telling you that something is Not Quite Right.


I always thought the arabic numerals were a big mistake on Merlin's part. The only way you could have exactly the same arabic numerals as you did on Old Earth would be for someone with a memory of old earth to tell the safeholdians. There is no way archangelic visitors with knowledge of earth's history are going to believe that Rajer Mahklyn (sp) came up with them all on his own. That's a flair-lit tip off for 'Fallen Influence Here!' And a very little investigation would show the oh-so-coincidental arrival of Sejin Merlin to Charis at exactly the same time the numerals were 'invented.' Even local safeholdians are suspicious of the coincidence- somewhere in the books there's someone wondering if all the 'fathers of innovation' are really responsible for their own inventions.

The new sale plans, the trunnions, and the gunpowder could be local inventions, but not *exactly the same numeral system Old Earth used to have.*

So I wonder if that is going to be a plot point at some point.
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