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Spoilers, the "Other Guys"

Aliens? Invading aliens? What will Earth do? Well...we may have a few more resources than we first thought. Come join a friendly discussion about David Weber's newest Tor series - "Out of the Dark."
Re: Spoilers, the "Other Guys"
Post by Robert_A_Woodward   » Thu Sep 02, 2021 1:34 am

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Holypope0618 wrote:I'm thinking that the 5th race could be humans and Earth was a lost colony or stranded ships crew that happened as a result of the removal from the hegemony.


This is basically impossible. First, we belong on this planet, all macroscopic life is related to us (though plants are rather distant). Second, there is no sign of a relatively recent previous high-tech civilization on this planet (the pollution we will leave behind in ocean sediments and Antarctica ice fields will be unmistakable).
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Re: Spoilers, the "Other Guys"
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:03 pm

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Holypope0618 wrote:I'm thinking that the 5th race could be humans and Earth was a lost colony or stranded ships crew that happened as a result of the removal from the hegemony.


Not impossible, but "earth is a lost colony" is too-used trope. I don't think that's likely.

How do the nanites and vampires fit into your theory?
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Re: Spoilers, the "Other Guys"
Post by ecortez   » Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:53 pm

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Holypope0618 wrote:I'm thinking that the 5th race could be humans and Earth was a lost colony or stranded ships crew that happened as a result of the removal from the hegemony.


I have a feeling, even if they've edited the 5th race out of their histories and databases, the leaders of the GH know about their lost founding member. They would've recognized humans in the scouting reports and reacted with far greater alarm. Oh no - some of them survived!!!

That's on top of the fact that we know every form of life on Earth (including us) shares a respectable chunk of their DNA in common. Plus we have a fossil record of our own evolution through intermediate forms. It takes a really contrived plotline to contend we originated elsewhere. Maybe God created fossil evidence to test believers, that sort of logic.

The nanitizing cave device may have been put there on purpose for us to discover, or it may be left over from a colony the 5th race had on Earth and then abandoned. Which is why the nanos weren't originally keyed to human physiology. Nanotech can be self-repairing and so theoretically have an infinite shelf life. No way of knowing how long ago it was placed where Vlad found it.
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Re: Spoilers, the "Other Guys"
Post by Kino   » Sat Jan 08, 2022 7:32 pm

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So... I have a wild theory.

Things that have been pointed out about Hegemony tech are that it has a crazy long design lifetime, and a lot of limits built in to it to prevent it being used in unapproved ways. Together with the natural lack of curiosity that most of the Hegemony races seem to exhibit, I think it looks like they've been set up in technological stasis, similar to what Langhorne pulled on Safehold. The ridiculous time-to-failure means that you never build up a cottage industry of people who know how to keep your old busted aircar running because you don't get very many old busted ones. And you don't get people working on improving the tech because it's designed not to be user-serviceable (it does what it says on the tin, no more, no less) and anyway, it works well enough that the Hegemony races say it ain't broke and don't see a reason to try to improve it.

If we accept a tech stasis, who did it? The mysterious Fifth Race are obvious culprits. But what does it achieve? The obvious thing it does is keep Hegemony ship speeds, and hence communication and expansion speeds, down. That means that the Shongairi get to Earth when they do, not a few years earlier when we'd probably not have been able to push them hard enough to kick Vlad out of his non-interference mode.

So, what if one of the things mucking round with the artificial gravity lets you do, apart from make super-speedy hyperdrives, is time travel. Say the rules of it are the "stable time loop" variety, so we have to let the Shongairi invasion happen so that we get the tech to time travel. But it has to happen when it does, which means that the Hegemony can't get here too early. So we go back and help found the Hegemony. We "helpfully" provide them with better hyperdrives and gravity generators and what-not than they have at the time, but carrying this sneaky sting in the tail. Then we do something to scare the rest of the races (possibly just be omnivorous and aggressive) and "lose to their superior numbers" in a war of extermination which then gets quietly written out of history. That writing-out-of-history also conveniently means that no living Hegemony people recognise us when they see Agincourt. So what we did was set up the Shongairi to turn up and hit us, but at a time when we could - just - take it.

A stable time loop also makes sense of Vlad. One supersoldier is an awful risk. What if he'd been in a big city when the Shongairi bombarded it? Could his nanotech really stand up to an orbital strike to the face? But if we're also The Other Guys then we have foreknowledge that he won't be under a kinetic strike, and also that he'll (eventually) use his powers responsibly.

So anyway, that's my wild speculation. We aren't now the Fifth Race or the Other Guys, but we were/will be/whatever.

There is one more little thing which occurred to me as I was writing this which is definitely in nutty secret handshake territory. I take it others noticed Janet Frasier of Stargate SG1 making a cameo appearance in the Honorverse as Honor's doctor when she and Hamish have their little accident? So Weber watched the series. And the Asgard in SG1 refer to humans as the Fifth Race...
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Re: Spoilers, the "Other Guys"
Post by Guillaume   » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:32 pm

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Kino wrote:So... I have a wild theory.
I think it looks like they've been set up in technological stasis, similar to what Langhorne pulled on Safehold.


I don't think so... well not in the safehold sense.

( and since I'm halfway through them once more right now not like what the Alldenata did on the Posleen and the Federation in another writer universe )

I think that tech statis is more in the line you explain below :

Kino wrote: The ridiculous time-to-failure means that you never build up a cottage industry of people who know how to keep your old busted aircar running because you don't get very many old busted ones. And you don't get people working on improving the tech because it's designed not to be user-serviceable (it does what it says on the tin, no more, no less) and anyway, it works well enough that the Hegemony races say it ain't broke and don't see a reason to try to improve it.


Even today, if we built things to lasts for decades without maintenance ( most of the products we buy could have a 50+ lifespan without any maintenance if we really wanted to )we would kill the industry that goes with it... That's why we have that puny thing called planned obsolescense. ( because an industry can't live out of products that gets replaced/repaired every two generation or so )


Kino wrote:There is one more little thing which occurred to me as I was writing this which is definitely in nutty secret handshake territory. I take it others noticed Janet Frasier of Stargate SG1 making a cameo appearance in the Honorverse as Honor's doctor when she and Hamish have their little accident? So Weber watched the series. And the Asgard in SG1 refer to humans as the Fifth Race...


While it's far fetched to have Humans as the Fifth Race, it wouldn't be that surprising. The main issue is that would mean that Sol III ( Earth ) Humans are not really native to the planet... But it's not something new for RFC (Dahak and by extension Safehold, as the Humans are not native to Safehold )
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Re: Spoilers, the "Other Guys"
Post by Joat42   » Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:28 pm

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Bluesqueak wrote:What I do find interesting is that RFC's original book places the survey mission just before the human acceleration of technological progress. It's also very heavily emphasised, over and over in both books. We are much too advanced. We shouldn't be progressing this fast. There is no way we should be this far ahead; plus, we took one look at Hegemony tech and made advances that no other race has even started to make.

The Hegemony has thousands upon thousands of years of studies of other races - is it a coincidence that their survey mission and The Other Guys arrive just before our technological advancement starts off on an abnormally steep learning curve?

This might not be a Malign type 'genetic uplift', btw - it could be 'the Other Guys' deciding that this race is never going to be allowed to survive - unless they get a helping hand.

Consider that much of the "technological progress" we are talking about during this period had more or less already happened in China 1000-1500 years ago but it didn't spread outside their borders for various reasons.

In regards to the 5th race and what happened to Vlad (via the Other Guys), nowhere in the books is it really indicated that the two are connected in any way but the information we get from the books is structured in such a way to make us jump to the conclusion that the two are connected which is kind of one of the things rfc likes to do to fool us.

My thoughts on the whole thing is that the 5th race was akin to Humans which scared the rest of the Hegemony-races so they eradicated them. The Other Guys is another race that doesn't like the Hegemony and have been keeping tabs on them and when the Hegemony scouted Earth they saw a chance to use humans to topple the Hegemony, although I'm a bit hesitant to that idea because the whole thing with Vlad stumbling into the right cave is a bit random. Of course, the whole event is told from Vlad's perspective and who knows if it really happened that way or if it actually was an alien abduction-trope thingy with implanted memories.

I guess we'll find out how much rfc set us up when the next book drops.

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Jack of all trades and destructive tinkerer.


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