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TFT Snippet #2

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
TFT Snippet #2
Post by runsforcelery   » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:16 pm

First Space Lord

Posts: 2418
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Here you go, guys:

"You know Domynyk's going to argue in favor of a fullbore onslaught on Church doctrine because we only have fifteen years," he said out loud.

"And I imagine Ahlfryd will support him," Nahrmahn agreed.

"And not just because he wants the Church kicked out on its ass." Merlin chuckled. It was not a sound of unalloyed mirth. "Braiahn was right about Ahlfryd's . . . impatience. Mind you, I still think Sharley was right and we needed to tell him, but he wants to tear down the Temple yesterday, if only so he can start playing openly with Federation tech!"

"I'm sure, but Maikel and Nynian — and, to be fair, you — are right. We can't go straight for an attack on the Church this soon after the Jihad." Nahrmahn's expression darkened. "Too many millions are dead already, and what looks like starting up in North Harchong's likely to be bad enough without cranking an overt religious war back into it. God knows nobody in the north's going to be a candidate for industrialization, so it's not going to affect that side of things much, but the violence is going to be ugly as hell, and I'm pretty sure the divide between Zion and Shang-mi's will already put religion front and center in it for a lot of those people. The Spears may be keeping the lid more or less screwed down so far, but when Waisu — or his ministers, anyway — decided the Mighty Host could never come home, they lit a fuse nobody's going to be able to put out. Sooner or later, the spark's reaching the Lywysite, and an awful lot of people will get killed when it does, if Owl and Nynian and Kynt and I are reading the tea leaves accurately."

The hologram gazed broodingly at something only Nahrmahn could see. Then he shook himself.

"It's going to be bad enough without our injecting religion back into the mess by attacking Church doctrine in the middle of it," he repeated, and chuckled mirthlessly. "Besides, the one thing we absolutely can't afford is to reopen that whole can of worms about demonic influence on Charisian innovation."

"Which only leaves the nefarious, unscrupulous, underhanded 'Nahrmahn Plan.'"

Merlin smiled as Nahrmahn perked back up visibly at his choice of adjectives, but then the little Emeraldian shook his head with a chiding expression.

"That's really not fair," he replied. "Especially since the original idea came from you."

"I think it occurred pretty much simultaneously to several of us," Merlin countered, "but I do like some of the . . . refinements you've incorporated. It's nice to see a little thing like dying hasn't diminished your devious quotient."

"To quote Seijin Merlin, 'One tries,'" Nahrmahn said, and bowed in gracious acknowledgment of the compliment.

Merlin chuckled again. Not that there was anything all that humorous about their options. Given ten years or so to openly deploy the capabilities of Owl's manufacturing capacity here in Nimue's Cave — and for it to clone itself and begin producing Federation-level technology outside the Cave — any belligerent "Archangels" who returned would find themselves promptly transformed into glowing clouds of gas, and their most pessimistic estimate gave them at least fifteen years before the return. The existence of the bombardment system, however, meant they couldn't deploy their own industry without almost certainly triggering that "reset" Nahrmahn feared. So, since they couldn't defeat any return by the archangels, the best they could hope for was to create a situation in which those archangels recognized the technology genie was irretrievably out of the bottle. If a native Safeholdian tech base could be spread broadly enough across the planet to make its eradication by bombardment impossible without killing enormous numbers of Safeholdians, any semi-sane "archangel" would settle for a soft landing that accepted the inevitable. If the returnees weren't at least semi-sane, they might well opt to repeat the Armageddon Reef bombardment on a planetwide basis and damn the casualties, of course, but as Cayleb had put it with typical pithiness "If they're that far gone, we're screwed whatever we do. All we can do is hope they aren't and plan accordingly."

So, assuming the earlier return date, the inner circle had fifeen years to spread Charis-style industrialization as broadly as possible around the planet. From the purely selfish viewpoint of the Charisian Empire's economic power, "giving away" its technological innovations would be a very poor business model. From the viewpoint of trying to keep everyone on the planet alive, however, it would make perfect sense, although that wasn't something they'd be explaining to anyone.

Nothing could be allowed to interfere with that process, and that was the reason, more even than the staggering potential casualties of a renewed Jihad, why any headlong assault on the Church of God Awaiting's fundamental doctrine had to be avoided . . . or at least postponed. Nahrmahn was right about what looked like firing up in Harchong, no matter what else happened, but he was also right about the need to keep any doctrinal conflict out of the equation. They couldn't afford to reawaken the charge that all of these innovations were the handiwork of Shan-wei, spreading her evil among humankind. If 915 came and went without any angelic reappearance, they'd have another seventy to eighty-five years to work on doctrinal revolutions.

And in the long run, that's as important as any piece of hardware, Merlin reflected. "Archangels" who turn up and discover that everyone's laughing at them or giving them the finger instead of bowing down to worship them are a lot less likely to think they can cram the genie back into the bottle, and that has to be a good thing from our perspective. And I do like Nahrmahn's notion about the opening round if we decide a tim'es come when we can go after the inerrancy of the Writ.

"It's going to dump a lot of responsibility on Ehdwyrd's shoulders," he said out loud, "and he's going to have to come up some fancy footwork to convince his board and his fellow investors to let him more or less give away their technology."

"I'm sure he'll be up to the task," Nahrmahn said dryly. "And if he isn't, there's always Cayleb and Sharleyan. Or you could go stand behind him at the next board meeting and loom menacingly."

"I do do a nice 'ominous,' if I say so myself," Merlin conceded. "And Nynian's been helping me work on a proper curled lip."

"Has she really?" Nahrmahn looked the far taller seijin up and down. "I admire her willingness to tackle challenges. Especially when she's working with such . . . unprepossessing material."

Year of God 901

Tellesberg Palace,
City of Tellesberg,
Kingdom of Old Charis,
Empire of Charis.

"God, I hope this works out," Sharleyan Ahrmahk murmured fervently, standing beside her husband and gazing out a palace window into the steady, warm rain of Tellesberg.

"Sweetheart, we can still change our minds," Cayleb Ahrmahk replied. He wrapped one arm around her, hugging her tightly, and she leaned her head against his shoulder. "If you aren't on board with this, just say so."

"I can't. I can't!" Uncharacteristic uncertainty hazed Sharleyan's tone, but she shook her head firmly. "You're right about how much more effective he could be knowing the truth. I mean, Lord knows he's been pretty damned 'effective' already, but if he could access the SNARCs directly, tie his com into the net so we could discuss things in real time . . ." She shook her head again. "It's just that I've already lost Uncle Byrtrym and he and Ruhsail were always so close."

"I know, but Ruhsail's also a lot more flexible than he was," Cayleb pointed out. "And there was never any doubt about his commitment during the Jihad."

"As far as reforming the Church, yes. And he's been wholehearted in supporting the Church of Charis, too. But this is going an awfully long step beyond that!"

"Sharley, stop." Cayleb kissed her forehead. "We can always do this another time. Or not do it at all. We can just go ahead and have the family dinner we asked him to stop over for, then put him back aboard ship and send him on home to Cherayth. Or Maikelberg, anyway. And then we can think about it some more and brief him when we transfer the court back to Chisholm in June, if we decide we need to go ahead after all."

She looked up at him for a moment, but then she drew a deep breath and shook her head once more time.

"No. I've dithered about this for over two years already. If we don't bite the bullet and go ahead and do it, I'll go on dithering for the next twenty!"

"Only if you're sure," he said. "I've been pushing for this, and I know I have. But I want you to be sure you're on board with it because it's the right thing to do, not just because you know how in favor of it I am."

"Have I ever hesitated to disagree with you when I thought something was a bad idea?" she challenged with a familiar glint. He chuckled at the very thought and shook his head. "Well, I'm not hesitating because I think this is a bad idea. I'm hesitating because even good ideas can go wrong and because I love him so much. That's the real reason."

He put his other arm around her, capturing her in the circle of his embrace, and they leaned their foreheads together while the rain pattered steadily outside the window.

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by Dilandu   » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:47 pm


Posts: 2247
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

Two snippet in a day... Lucky day, clearly! ;) Thank you!

...So. It's just 15 years now - or they just decided to act under assumption that they have just 15 years?

P.S. Hm, and what if Schueller meant TERRAN years?

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

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by Joat42   » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:52 pm

Vice Admiral

Posts: 1609
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:01 am
Location: Sweden

Dilandu wrote:Two snippet in a day... Lucky day, clearly! ;) Thank you!

...So. It's just 15 years now - or they just decided to act under assumption that they have just 15 years?

P.S. Hm, and what if Schueller meant TERRAN years?

He could have but the message was intended for "Safeholdians" so I doubt it.
Last edited by Joat42 on Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.

Anyone who have simple solutions for complex problems is a fool.
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by ksandgren   » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:34 pm

Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 342
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:54 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California

Snippet! Thanks rfc! A glorious day.
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by Undercover Fat Kid   » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:45 pm

Undercover Fat Kid

Posts: 198
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:20 pm

Om nom nom nom nom delicioso!
Death is as a feather,
Duty is as a mountain
This life is a dream
From which we all
Must wake
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by mhicks   » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:49 pm

Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:53 am
Location: WA

OK, I am going to say it before anyone else does. What if Ruhsail is is in league with another one of Shan-wei's arrows in her Quiver. Maybe he has the book of Shuler refered to so long ago in past forum posts. :o

PS, Thank you RFC for another Snippet :D
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by tialro   » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:24 pm


Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:19 pm

Why manufacture Federation Tech on Safehold, when you have an entire star system that may not be covered by the OBS? Why not have remotes mine the materials from asteroid belts and build fully automated manufactures on a moon on another plant in the system?
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by LadyWhirlwind   » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:14 am

Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:21 pm

tialro wrote:Why manufacture Federation Tech on Safehold, when you have an entire star system that may not be covered by the OBS? Why not have remotes mine the materials from asteroid belts and build fully automated manufactures on a moon on another plant in the system?

Because those remotes need to get past the OBS?
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by Dauntless   » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:37 am


Posts: 979
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:54 am
Location: United Kingdom

that is one of the big questions facing us.

while the OBS doesn't seem to attacking fed tech in the form of skimmers or air lorries it is an uknown as to whether the OBS would let something past.

so do you risk one of your few irreplaceable shuttles, and give the COGA of their more radical elements a propaganda coup when the OBS fires again. something that is believed by the masses not to have ever happened since the war against the fallen.

or do you take time to work a plan to disable said system?

option B seem s the better choice. of course how you go about said plan is another topic we could spend years talking about. I'm fairly sure we've been trying to work out how RFC will do it since book 1!
Re: TFT Snippet #2
Post by Dilandu   » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:19 pm


Posts: 2247
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

Frankly, but if Rakurai array was programmed by me, I would put special attention to anything that might resemble artificial space activity. So in that case, Rakurai Array immediately contacted its... let's say "superiors", whoever they could be.

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

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)

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