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What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn effort?

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What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn effort?
Post by Charybdis   » Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:45 pm

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I'm re-(to the ^nth time)reading "Midst Toil and Tribulation" (MTaT) and am at the section where Merlin/Nimue awakens Nahrmahn in the VR 'environment'. In the discussion, Merlin speaks of how the Terran Federation (TF) made extensive use of such 'virtual persons' (VPs) in many fields. I also have RFC's comments on VPs (Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:57 am Topic:"Cultural values & conservatism in the late Terran Federation) with the caveat that the use of PICAs, AIs, VPs and other high tech was; "... insufficient to stave off ultimate defeat." :!:

Now, my snippet-starved mind(?) kind of goes hmmm. What if, and with what results, would have happened IF the TF had, with the full acceptance of the involved, setup another anti-Gbaba strategy using these abiotic intelligences? Assumptions are that THEIR seed ships are extremely small (needing no life support), sent out singularly with multiple VPs and AIs in a shut-down mode, disguised as normal space debris, slow ballistic courses taking centuries to get to a point for FTL travel to a random destination. The goal of this effort is to destroy the Gbaba instead of saving the Human Race. :twisted:

Think Fred Saberhagen's 'Berserkers', only specifically aimed at the Gbaba. Think Cordwainer Smith's short story "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal" and the evolved cats to attack the klopts! Think of the 'machine civilization' that returned V'ger in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"! :shock:

Idle minds, waiting for the reveal! Oh the himensity!
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Keith_w   » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:59 pm

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A very interesting thought. Indeed, they could even have shipped out colony ships crewed entirely by VRs and independant PICAs with human, and animal ova and sperm banks which would travel for centuries before locating a habitable world to colonize. The VRs and PICAs could completely terraform a planet before raising the children. The PICAs and VRs could even be copies of the sperm and ova donors. And they would stick to the plan, no megalomaniac Administrators and Psychologists to mess the plan up. On the other hand it would be a very boring story.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by therealorang   » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:03 pm

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Keith_w wrote:On the other hand it would be a very boring story.



Arkwright - suffers from the usual grand story where connection to the characters suffers, but pretty good.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Hildum   » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:27 pm

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Keith_w wrote:A very interesting thought. Indeed, they could even have shipped out colony ships crewed entirely by VRs and independant PICAs with human, and animal ova and sperm banks which would travel for centuries before locating a habitable world to colonize. The VRs and PICAs could completely terraform a planet before raising the children. The PICAs and VRs could even be copies of the sperm and ova donors. And they would stick to the plan, no megalomaniac Administrators and Psychologists to mess the plan up. On the other hand it would be a very boring story.



I don't know. It would certainly make for an interesting "third" part to the Gaba arc. That is, the encounter in another thousand years or two between the descendants of Safehold and the newly "awakened" human colony that has just made itself ready to encounter the Gaba again.

Of course, this assumes that the Safehold plan works out. Who knows, we could be reading the archeological reports by the VR group looking at the remains of Safehold which did not successfully defeat the Gaba. Or even the post engagement review by the Gaba themselves…. :lol:
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by evilauthor   » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:34 pm

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I've thought of the idea as well. However, by authorial fiat, no such expedition was ever launched.

In our-of-universe reason is that any other Terran colony that was MORE successful than Safehold would effectively render Safehold's story moot. A thousand years of bloodshed, Langhorne's Plan, the War of the Fallen, Merlin's current war, etc etc all rendered worthless because some other colony they didn't know about took care of the Gbaba for them. Why did this thousand year conflict get fought if not for fear of the Gbaba?

The IN-universe reason is that multiple colonies if successful would ultimately result in multiple competing star nations and all the potential for war and bloodshed that implies as each one asserts themselves as the TRUE inheritor of the Federation. In the face of the Gbaba threat, that disunity could doom humanity. One colony means one unified humanity.

Secondly, multiple colony expeditions mean greater chances of the Gbaba discovering one. If one hidden colony is found, it's going to spur the Gbaba to start looking for OTHER hidden colonies which increases their odds of being found before they're ready. The entire premise behind Safehold's security is that the Gbaba don't know to look for it; they think humanity is dead and finding another colony will compromise that.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Keith_w   » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:57 am

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evilauthor wrote:I've thought of the idea as well. However, by authorial fiat, no such expedition was ever launched.

In our-of-universe reason is that any other Terran colony that was MORE successful than Safehold would effectively render Safehold's story moot. A thousand years of bloodshed, Langhorne's Plan, the War of the Fallen, Merlin's current war, etc etc all rendered worthless because some other colony they didn't know about took care of the Gbaba for them. Why did this thousand year conflict get fought if not for fear of the Gbaba?

The IN-universe reason is that multiple colonies if successful would ultimately result in multiple competing star nations and all the potential for war and bloodshed that implies as each one asserts themselves as the TRUE inheritor of the Federation. In the face of the Gbaba threat, that disunity could doom humanity. One colony means one unified humanity.

Secondly, multiple colony expeditions mean greater chances of the Gbaba discovering one. If one hidden colony is found, it's going to spur the Gbaba to start looking for OTHER hidden colonies which increases their odds of being found before they're ready. The entire premise behind Safehold's security is that the Gbaba don't know to look for it; they think humanity is dead and finding another colony will compromise that.


But the other colony could easily have defeated the Gbaba - after all, there was only a 50 year gap in the TF's capabilities that prevented the TF from defeating the Gbaba and during a centuries long voyage VR personalities could easily have solved the problems of technology and tactics and tested them to defeat their foe since a moment in VR is a hundred moments (or more) in RL.

But that does not mean that defeating the COGA was not a worthwhile effort in and of itself. Defeating a planet wide dictatorship which represses human growth is always going to be a good thing.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Potato   » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:16 am

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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Charybdis   » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:45 am

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Potato wrote:Read RFC's post here:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6244&start=20

Thank you for this post - I do not believe that I had read this thread before and it definitely fills in gaps in my personal knowledge. :D

I believe that the following quote from RFC answers my initial posting. I think that I should take some pride in that I paralleled his thinking about the best 'other' option! 8-)

The suggestion that they might have effectively sent out a fleet of PICAs (or of von Neumann ships capable of building a tech base that could then build the PICAs) with recorded human personalities is probably the most workable of the options suggested. Even that, however, would have required multiple breakouts from the Sol System, which was problematical at best.
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:51 pm

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Potato wrote:Read RFC's post here:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6244&start=20


viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6244&start=24 works better.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: What if Safehold wasn't the Federations only forlorn eff
Post by Dilandu   » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:50 am

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Basically this idea was suggested (by me :) ) - that the Von Neimann-type probes, crewed by PICA's could be cheaper and more effective solution. Considering the personality copying/stroing technology, even the total evacuation of human race - in terms of stored personalities and DNA sequence - onboard such ship could be realistic.

RFC basically stated, that they haven't got enough time. If Federation have more time, they would launch another colonization efforts - maybe even "mankind evacuation scenario", described above. But they have time to launch only the Safehold fleet from Solar System. So, they basically decided to stuck with old-fashioned, but less technically risky solution.

P.S. It is possible, that other Federation colonies made attempts to launch their own colonization fleets, before they have been destroyed. Also it is possible that there were some individual efforts (custom-build high-stealth ships with PICA crews, designed to wait in depowered mode until Gbaba's gone, and then crawl away).
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