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Merlin and Nynian’s “children”

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by runsforcelery   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:47 am

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Weird Harold wrote:
Randomiser wrote:That was only out of resources to hand at the time, when they had a war to run. They have had several years of 'peace' since then and Cayleb can buy anything available, or even set up 'exploratory' mines, that don't work out producing anything useful, in Safehold terms.


I got the impression that the missing resource was something like Iridium; plentiful in asteroids and comets, but extremely rare on the planet's surface. IOW, something that will have to wait for the elimination of the Proscriptions and advent of spaceflight to restock.



You got correctly.


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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by thanatos   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:19 pm

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Any children need not be artificial at all. Assuming Nynian is still of childbearing age, it would be possible to have her artificially inseminated. Moreover, scientists today are experimenting with the creation of embryos from the DNA of two female and two male donors. If the medical unit in the cave has this capability, it is theoretically possible for it to use Nimue's DNA (which I would assume is on record in the PICA for security purposes) to create an embryo made of her and Nynian's DNA. They'd be limited to daughters of course (a major disappointment for Nynian I'm sure) but it would be possible.
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by clancy688   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:20 pm

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Got nothing to do with Safehold, but there's just a tidbit out of another SciFi universe which is relevant to this.


In M. D. Cooper's Aeon14 universe, it's possible for humans and AIs to procreate and spawn children, both AI and human.

If they want their child to be an AI, the human part of the coupling is taken into an "Expanse" (essentially a VR inside the AI's mind) where pleasant memories are used to create the new AI's neural net.

If they want their child to be human, the process is similar, but in this instance the AI's memories and neural net are kinda translated into DNA.



This makes for some interesting families. At one point, a character goes into a relationship with both another human and a female AI, and the three of them raise a dozen AI children in an Expanse. At another point, the controlling AI of a ship has a human child with its chief engineer. So the child is basically growing up inside its Mom. :D
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by OrlandoNative   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:35 pm

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Potato wrote:It is not as if the VR simulation can create another intelligence. It must be loaded with an extant recorded personality, or linked to an artificial intelligence core. It does not simply create new life any more than a pile of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen would.

There is also the matter of the cave's fabrication plant not being able to create another PICA, as all of the requisite rare materials were consumed to make Nimue.


I've always wondered about just *what* "rare materials" those might be. Especially now, when they basically have the run of the entire planet of Safehold other than possibly North Harchong.

They use nanites; so in theory they should be able to take basic atomic elements and fabricate any synthetics they might need.

Even back in the beginning of the series; given the area of the planet they had access to; it made little sense that they couldn't "replenish" any raw material they needed; short of perhaps neutronium; and as far as the books go that isn't something the Federation ever used.
"Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again."
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by OrlandoNative   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:46 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:
I got the impression that the missing resource was something like Iridium; plentiful in asteroids and comets, but extremely rare on the planet's surface. IOW, something that will have to wait for the elimination of the Proscriptions and advent of spaceflight to restock.



You got correctly.


Even though Iridium is a "rare earth" metal (so known due to limited deposits); it's not *unknown* on earth. And I sort of doubt the entire amount present here is due exclusively to the "dinosaur killer" of 65 million years ago - though a fair amount *did* come from that source.

If Shan-wei could locate the deposits of gold and silver buried in Silverlode Island; I would think the same advanced Federation sensors could locate whatever "rare earth" deposits exist as well.

Even if not; allegedly Safehold has a moon; and based on what we've seen of the gear left to Merlin so far; it shouldn't be beyond reach of one of the craft left to him. It would be likely that there would be deposits there left from millions of years of stray meteor and asteroid impacts.
"Yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again."
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by Annachie   » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:52 pm

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More likely to be something like Flerovium-298 acting as a catalyst for something really weird.

Something they can't even make in the cave without risk of detection.

As for the moon, Merlin hasn't sent anything out of orbit yet. Just barely low orbital.
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by Louis R   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 12:39 am

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Iridium is a platinum-group metal, not a rare earth - the rare earths are _far_ more abundant. And a siderophile, which is why almost the entire stock is sequestered below the crust on earth.

Here, the primary sources are major impact structures - like the Sudbury Basin - and certain types of deep-sourced igneous intrusions [which, come to think of it, are really a single source, since the metals in structures like Sudbury are post-impact intrusions, not the remnants of the impactor], or metamorphic structures derived from them. It is not at all beyond the realm of possibility that Safehold doesn't currently happen to have any of them in places that wouldn't require the open use of at least 20th-century technology to exploit. By the same token, it's pretty safe bet that it does have easily exploited deposits of some other materials that are difficult to come by here.

OrlandoNative wrote:
Even though Iridium is a "rare earth" metal (so known due to limited deposits); it's not *unknown* on earth. And I sort of doubt the entire amount present here is due exclusively to the "dinosaur killer" of 65 million years ago - though a fair amount *did* come from that source.

If Shan-wei could locate the deposits of gold and silver buried in Silverlode Island; I would think the same advanced Federation sensors could locate whatever "rare earth" deposits exist as well.

Even if not; allegedly Safehold has a moon; and based on what we've seen of the gear left to Merlin so far; it shouldn't be beyond reach of one of the craft left to him. It would be likely that there would be deposits there left from millions of years of stray meteor and asteroid impacts.
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:11 am

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OrlandoNative wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:
quote="Weird Harold"]
I got the impression that the missing resource was something like Iridium; .../quote]


You got correctly.[/quote]

Even though Iridium is a "rare earth" metal (so known due to limited deposits); it's not *unknown* on earth. ...[/quote]


Note the qualifier! I did not suggest, and am not suggesting, that the missing resource is Iridium, just that acquiring the missing resource requires deep space travel that is well beyond the Proscriptions and required in an amount that is beyond Merlin's limited space-faring capability until the Proscriptions can be overturned.

The missing resource is both unobtainium and handwavium, NOT anything known on the Periodic Table as known in the real world. It will remain unobtainium until RFC needs more TF tech that requires it.
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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by Joat42   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:24 pm

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OrlandoNative wrote:
Weird Harold wrote:I got the impression that the missing resource was something like Iridium; plentiful in asteroids and comets, but extremely rare on the planet's surface. IOW, something that will have to wait for the elimination of the Proscriptions and advent of spaceflight to restock.

runsforcelery wrote:You got correctly.

Even though Iridium is a "rare earth" metal (so known due to limited deposits); it's not *unknown* on earth. And I sort of doubt the entire amount present here is due exclusively to the "dinosaur killer" of 65 million years ago - though a fair amount *did* come from that source.

If Shan-wei could locate the deposits of gold and silver buried in Silverlode Island; I would think the same advanced Federation sensors could locate whatever "rare earth" deposits exist as well.

Even if not; allegedly Safehold has a moon; and based on what we've seen of the gear left to Merlin so far; it shouldn't be beyond reach of one of the craft left to him. It would be likely that there would be deposits there left from millions of years of stray meteor and asteroid impacts.

The amount of iridium on earth is about 2 ppm in the crust, but but earth probable contains a lot more iridium than that however it's unobtainable since it's posited that most of the iridium is only available in the molten core due to it's high density.

The figure of 2 ppm doesn't necessarily hold true for Safehold, it may be lower or it may be higher. In either case it's problematic to produce usable iridium in quantities that's meaningful. Also, it may not be the only difficult to obtain element needed to build a PICA.

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Re: Merlin and Nynian’s “children”
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:42 pm

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Joat42 wrote:The figure of 2 ppm doesn't necessarily hold true for Safehold, it may be lower or it may be higher. In either case it's problematic to produce usable iridium in quantities that's meaningful. Also, it may not be the only difficult to obtain element needed to build a PICA.


It is entirely possible that Iridium is NOT required to build another PICA. It was merely the best known element that is more common in space than it is on Earth. The necessary resource is quite like NOT on the Periodic Table as we know it.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

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