Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

[Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by Louis R   » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:30 am

Louis R
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1143
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:25 pm

I'm afraid that I can't quite see why any of the phenomena you cite would be regarded as contradicting the Writ. The spin of the earth doesn't preclude the Sun orbiting the earth, it just changes the time it takes. Gravitation, or even orbital mechanics, is even less relevant: that just shows how things happen inside the innermost sphere of heaven. Which everybody already knows is different from outside.

Even stellar parallax can be accounted for, although I suspect that the 'explanation' would be a tad strained. Or perhaps not, since you are already have to deal with things like proper motion and precession in any system you expect to survive for thousands of years. BTW, it can be demonstrated even without telescopes if you know to look for it, although precise measurement is difficult without photography. On earth, at least. Safehold may not have any near stellar neighbours that show clear motion against the visible background.

Krenn wrote:
Robert_A_Woodward wrote:
(I have decided to expand on my previous reply)

In my earlier reply, I noted that detecting stellar parallax was the only crack I could see. Unlike the other "working" books of the writ (i.e., how to do stuff and what stuff is), the Book of Hastings includes deliberately false information. But there is a serious problem to solve before anybody on Safehold could detect stellar parallax. As of 900 YoG, I am certain that there are people on Charis who could build instruments adequate for the task (as long as they are checking near stars). But there is no theologically legitimate reason for anybody to do this.

There are a few other things they could test... law of gravity can be tested using a torsion spring, a balance rig, and some giant, ~16-ton lead spheres.

The Coriolis effect can be measured with a good sniper-rifle or highly accurate light artillery piece.

suborbital rockets could make some interesting points about orbital mechanics.

Telescopes good enough to detect any nearby gas giants, especially ones with moons, would be helpful. detecting certain types of eccentric-orbit comets might be helpful.

If you can measure apparent local gravity to three significant figures, you actually detect the difference created by spin when standing at the equator versus standing near the poles.

anything involving the old germ/bacteria/flys/maggots isolation/sterilization experiments might be useful.

Too tired to think straight. I'll look at this thread again tommorow.
Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by bkwormlisa   » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:35 am


Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:43 pm

What about using the "curses" to help disprove the Writ? Such as the dietary laws. Based on OAR, I would guess that it lists specific things to eat (bean sprouts and lemon juice were mentioned to prevent scurvy). Could they come up with something like vitamins that would prevent scurvy but were never mentioned in the Writ? That would at least indicate that the Writ was missing information. The modern Arabic numerals and new mathematics already indicate that there are things it doesn't say, but additional evidence would help, particularly for those that don't work with the new numbers.

Another one is the Curse of the Burning Jaw from working with white phosphorus. Could they come up with safety gear that would make white phosphorus safe to use despite the "curse"? I'm not sure about this one; we do use it today in some industrial applications and of course in the military without phossy jaw, so presumably there is appropriate safety gear, but Wikipedia suggests that phossy jaw could take years to form. If so, it's unlikely this would be helpful.

Still, the Writ has hundreds of "curses" that are inflicted on people for disobeying it in various ways. Surely some of them other than scurvy could be effectively dealt with using non-Proscribed methods not in the Writ.
Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by Meshakhad   » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:26 pm

Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 6:19 pm

Krenn wrote:Thinking about this... these are all the quotes I could find about Nahrmahn's second-phase plan....

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 eighty-five years to work on doctrinal revolutions.

I wonder what would happen if they deviated from the choreography? The question passed through Karstayrs’ mind. The ceremony for the investiture of a Grand Vicar’s never changed since the day Chihiro himself instituted it. How completely are the Temple’s computers locked into observing it? Would that spotlight even be able to find the new Grand Vicar if he wasn’t exactly where the ceremony laid down by Chihiro puts him? It was an intriguing thought. And if it were to happen, how would Safeholdians react? If the very things which made this so effective at maintaining their faith and their awareness of the sanctity of Mother Church and the Grand Vicar were suddenly out of sequence— if that circle of light followed someone else, instead of the Council of Vicars’ chosen successor to Langhorne— how would that set with Safehold?

Too bad we won’t have the chance to find out, he reflected. Talk about the Nahrmahn Plan! If I thought Owl could hack the Temple, break into the system and reprogram all this … pageantry and turn it around on them.… He put the temptation behind him and focused on the ceremony unfolding all around him.

“You’re right,” Nahrmahn agreed. “And, speaking of archangels that haven’t turned up yet, Owl and I would like to show you what we’ve been working on with Paityr and Nynian to kick off the final phase of the ‘Nahrmahn Plan.’” His avatar’s smile was remarkably broad … and evil. “Somehow, I think the real Schueler’s going to be spinning in his grave.”

“So I suppose it’s time to initiate the second stage of the nefarious Nahrmahn Plan?” he said out loud.
“You suppose correctly,” Cayleb said, and he and Sharleyan both looked at Nahrmahn. “You and Owl are cleared for Operation Androcles.”
“Oh goody!” Nahrmahn replied with a huge smile, and punched Owl on the shoulder. “I told you they’d let us!”
“And I did not dispute your prediction,” the AI pointed out. “I simply fail to share your indecent pleasure and anticipation.”

Now, admittedly, those quotes COULD be read as implying that the Lost Testament of Schueler may have been Nahrmahn's work. However, if we're assuming that Nahrmahn's plan is something ELSE, I can think of a few possibilities...

Plan A: Just Like the Lost Testament of Schueler, only different.

Do whatever it takes to 'discover' 'lost' evidence of what the original archangels were thinking, how they acted, what their goals were, how 'human' they could be... without TECHNICALLY proposing that the Archangels were, in fact, human. Merely provide evidence indirectly suggesting that each Archangel may have been subject to certain slight human foibles.

The Argument here would be something like : We have been told that Shan-Wei and other (Arch)Angels Fell, because she was not a perfect Arch-Angel, took too much pride in her own goals versus God's Vision, etc....

What if that means that ALL Angels and Arch-Angels are hypothetically subject to certain limited human foibles, such as pride, laziness, misdirection, bad puns... and Shan-Wei just happens to have been the only one who let her minor flaws get so out of hand as to provoke a civil war?

If, say, a miniature shrine-bunker, extremely similar to a smaller, hidden version of the Temple in Zion, were to be discovered somewhere in the middle of nowhere...

And If, say, that shrine-bunker contained highly plausible, historically accurate, 'lost' video records from around the time of the War of the Fallen, showing things like Archangels in boring committee meetings, Archangel's picking their noses or telling really bad puns, Archangels discussing the pros and cons of certain enclave placements, or discussing how MANY tips and tricks for designing good sailing vessels they want to leave with the Adams and Eves...

Those records, while not DIRECTLY contradicting anything the Archangels had ever said or done, and which might even be presented as "miraculous gifts repeating the Archangel's messages..."

Would also have the various interesting side-effect of subtly humanizing the Arch-Angels, and getting people to quietly start questioning why the Arch-Angels chose to leave exactly the messages they did, and not to leave other, different messages.

The problem with this plan is that it's actually awfully close to what just happened with the Lost Testament of Schueler, and it seems really odd that there would be TWO such plans, from two different factions, being trigger at the same time, using much the same methods.

Also, any footage would have to be faked. At best, if they happened to have any actual footage of the Ark command staff doing human things, they could edit it to make the "archangels" appear angelic (otherwise they probably wouldn't be recognized). The idea is charming, but probably wouldn't work.

I do think astronomy offers a serious chink in the Writ. A particularly clever way would be to get Desnair to take the lead. Here's my plan:

1. Find a suitable Desnairan priest - someone established, but also open-minded - and bring him into the fold.

2. Have him propose a study of the stars, to better understand Creation and glorify the Archangels.

3. Desnair begins to sponsor astronomy.

4. Desnairian astronomers, all of whom are priests in good standing (but are being subtly guided by the agent), discover that the stars do NOT correspond with the Writ.
Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by SDZald   » Wed Feb 27, 2019 3:09 pm


Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:44 pm

No matter how they do it, the Gbaba are still out there ...

No matter how immoral and a perversion the CoGA is, it has been very good at keeping tech advance in check.

In a world rife with factions, political and economic chaos, as well as civil wars, what happens if it becomes obvious to the vast majority of people that the COGA has been one giant lie?

It took Earth a little over a hundred years to go from steam power to space flight.

What exactly will get the Gbaba's attention and how do you control the growth of tech when the very origination for keeping it in check has been smashed?

How many people are even going to believe you about the Gbaba after so recently learning of the biggest lie in humane history?

Those are the questions I am most interested in seeing how they play out.
Re: [Spoiler] What else Operation Androcles could be
Post by peke   » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:22 pm

Lieutenant (Senior Grade)

Posts: 93
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:24 pm

Why try to erode the Writ and the Proscriptions as they are? Why not claim that they are actually correct and part of God's Plan for Safehold... but that a very large part of that Plan has been wrongly withheld from His Children?

Something like this:

"For it was never God's Plan that His children would forever stay children, but that they would flourish and prosper, and grow in power and wisdom, so that one day they would be as the Archangels themselves.

But Chihiro, he found pleasure in the worship and adoration of God's children, and could not embrace the thought that some day, they would be as him."

Instead of stating that the Writ is wrong, you say that it's in fact incomplete. The proscriptions are not wrong, but they were never supposed to be permanent - easily couched in terms of "would you allow a toddler to play with guns?" - and would be lifted later, once humanity had grown and matured.

Why did no-one put Chihiro in his place? Why, because right after the Armageddon Reef display, he dropped poisoned words in Kau-Yung's ear, and in his grief, Kau-Yung lashed out at those he believed to be the instigators, Langhorne and Co, leaving Chihiro as the seniormost Archangel in charge.

An incomplete Writ would be easier to accept than a wrong one, and if it works, it would allow the IC to push forward on the technological front without regards for the proscriptions. Indeed, pushing past the boundaries of the proscriptions would become a holy mandate.

Opinions, anyone?
There is no problem so complex that it cannot be solved through the judicious application of high-power explosives.

Return to Safehold