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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:00 pm 
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So guessing a small nuke or someone is refocusing the skyband.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 12:07 am 
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Well, of course it's the microsats. Somebody is planning to give everybody a third-degree suntan.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:01 am 
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Advance towards the sound of Chekov's gun!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:27 am 
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TheOTHERmaninblack wrote:
Advance towards the sound of Chekov's gun!

Well, with this particular Chekov's gun in geosynchronous orbit, the Toughs won't actually hear the sound of the gun.

The sound of various species of sentients frying, on the other hand....

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 7:09 am 
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Well, whether by nuke, antimatter or conversion bomb, or (most likely) the microsat array, Dom Atlantis (or a part of it anyway) has clearly been lit up like the proverbial Christmas tree. Only with more heat.

Somehow I doubt the Toughs will be the target, or be anywhere near said target this time, which means the Neoafa and Breya are probably safe as well. The only questions are who is the target and who's targeting them?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:16 pm 
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Pro'ly either the Plutariment, as the meant-to-be target of all the discontent, or something the plutariment or sympathisers could theoretically hate enough to melt from orbit, like the proletariment, so that it escalates.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Psystorm wrote:
...or something the plutariment or sympathisers could theoretically hate enough to melt from orbit, like the proletariment, so that it escalates.

Good call there. Yeah, this is going to create quite the poo-storm.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:22 pm 
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which raises the question, what is the difference between "proletariament office complex" (which is being torched)
"Plut plaza" (where all of our meetings have been taking place) and "plutorliament annex" (where breya works)

I THINK this means that someone just torched the ELECTED parliamentary offices, NOT the wealthy ones... maybe to FRAME the wealthy 'purchasers' of senate seats?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:23 pm 
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Krennson wrote:
which raises the question, what is the difference between "proletariament office complex" (which is being torched)
"Plut plaza" (where all of our meetings have been taking place) and "plutorliament annex" (where breya works)

I THINK this means that someone just torched the ELECTED parliamentary offices, NOT the wealthy ones... maybe to FRAME the wealthy 'purchasers' of senate seats?


That's how I read it too. Therefore none of the cast we know and love should have exited stage right, although we don't know how close they are to ground zero and we don't know how wide the field of death and destruction from the mirrors would be (somehow I doubt it's incredible tightly bound, and as the mirrors converged on the targeting spot they probably left lines of lesser devastation as the beams from smaller numbers of mirrors converged sufficiently closely as they turned towards the target). The amount of light seen by Murtaugh and Kathryn is not a good sign- I can't really see either of them dying quite yet but who knows? (other than Howard)

If Kathryn's analysis holds and this event was MEANT to follow a successful assassination of Breya, and was meant to look like a retaliation for that event (which we KNOW has nothing to do with Admiral Emm) then this is definitely a 3rd party's work and not a reaction by Emm's faction (or anyone else) to the Neoafan announcement.

Wild theory: A return-to-the-pristine-oceans faction of the Schuul have signed up with the Pa'anuri and the promise of a galaxy without teraports where they will be left alone, and this is their work to cause total war in Petey's backyard and thus divert him away from the war with the Pa'anuri.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:44 pm 
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Arky wrote:
Krennson wrote:
which raises the question, what is the difference between "proletariament office complex" (which is being torched)
"Plut plaza" (where all of our meetings have been taking place) and "plutorliament annex" (where breya works)

I THINK this means that someone just torched the ELECTED parliamentary offices, NOT the wealthy ones... maybe to FRAME the wealthy 'purchasers' of senate seats?


That's how I read it too. Therefore none of the cast we know and love should have exited stage right, although we don't know how close they are to ground zero and we don't know how wide the field of death and destruction from the mirrors would be (somehow I doubt it's incredible tightly bound, and as the mirrors converged on the targeting spot they probably left lines of lesser devastation as the beams from smaller numbers of mirrors converged sufficiently closely as they turned towards the target). The amount of light seen by Murtaugh and Kathryn is not a good sign- I can't really see either of them dying quite yet but who knows? (other than Howard)

If Kathryn's analysis holds and this event was MEANT to follow a successful assassination of Breya, and was meant to look like a retaliation for that event (which we KNOW has nothing to do with Admiral Emm) then this is definitely a 3rd party's work and not a reaction by Emm's faction (or anyone else) to the Neoafan announcement.

Wild theory: A return-to-the-pristine-oceans faction of the Schuul have signed up with the Pa'anuri and the promise of a galaxy without teraports where they will be left alone, and this is their work to cause total war in Petey's backyard and thus divert him away from the war with the Pa'anuri.


it's days like this that make me want to write the definitive book on planning a successful coup. in some types of coups, it probably makes sense to fire an isolated test shot 24 hours in advance, by assassinating a senior official and seeing what happens afterwards.

but what kind of idiot uses a plan where the followup action is BOTH unable to be cancelled or modified, AND operates on a 24 hour delay, without verification that the planned sequence of events actually occured?

in most coups, you have two attack modes. option one, instant military force from a cold start, with no backup plan, and realize that the gamble on death or glory will be determined in the first 24 hours, maybe even the first 8 hours

Option 2, plausible deniability. make certain that every individual step that leads up to the coup is either minor, legal, and has an innocent explanation behind it... or else if it's illegal, it can't possibly be traced back to you, your allies, or your constituents, and won't be used against them if they pretend to stay neutral. This method takes months, but the end goal is that you can flip a switch on your allies public loyalties, and will instantly control everything important in one brief moment of illegality, with little or no force being used. option 2 is much harder and less likely to work... but the nice part is that you don't have to gamble. if something happens so that your plan won't work, you just cancel the project, and no-one can prove anything.

NEVER COMBINE THE TWO METHODS. THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:17 am 
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Krennson wrote:
Arky wrote:
Krennson wrote:
which raises the question, what is the difference between "proletariament office complex" (which is being torched)
"Plut plaza" (where all of our meetings have been taking place) and "plutorliament annex" (where breya works)

I THINK this means that someone just torched the ELECTED parliamentary offices, NOT the wealthy ones... maybe to FRAME the wealthy 'purchasers' of senate seats?


That's how I read it too. Therefore none of the cast we know and love should have exited stage right, although we don't know how close they are to ground zero and we don't know how wide the field of death and destruction from the mirrors would be (somehow I doubt it's incredible tightly bound, and as the mirrors converged on the targeting spot they probably left lines of lesser devastation as the beams from smaller numbers of mirrors converged sufficiently closely as they turned towards the target). The amount of light seen by Murtaugh and Kathryn is not a good sign- I can't really see either of them dying quite yet but who knows? (other than Howard)

If Kathryn's analysis holds and this event was MEANT to follow a successful assassination of Breya, and was meant to look like a retaliation for that event (which we KNOW has nothing to do with Admiral Emm) then this is definitely a 3rd party's work and not a reaction by Emm's faction (or anyone else) to the Neoafan announcement.

Wild theory: A return-to-the-pristine-oceans faction of the Schuul have signed up with the Pa'anuri and the promise of a galaxy without teraports where they will be left alone, and this is their work to cause total war in Petey's backyard and thus divert him away from the war with the Pa'anuri.


it's days like this that make me want to write the definitive book on planning a successful coup. in some types of coups, it probably makes sense to fire an isolated test shot 24 hours in advance, by assassinating a senior official and seeing what happens afterwards.

but what kind of idiot uses a plan where the followup action is BOTH unable to be cancelled or modified, AND operates on a 24 hour delay, without verification that the planned sequence of events actually occured?

in most coups, you have two attack modes. option one, instant military force from a cold start, with no backup plan, and realize that the gamble on death or glory will be determined in the first 24 hours, maybe even the first 8 hours

Option 2, plausible deniability. make certain that every individual step that leads up to the coup is either minor, legal, and has an innocent explanation behind it... or else if it's illegal, it can't possibly be traced back to you, your allies, or your constituents, and won't be used against them if they pretend to stay neutral. This method takes months, but the end goal is that you can flip a switch on your allies public loyalties, and will instantly control everything important in one brief moment of illegality, with little or no force being used. option 2 is much harder and less likely to work... but the nice part is that you don't have to gamble. if something happens so that your plan won't work, you just cancel the project, and no-one can prove anything.

NEVER COMBINE THE TWO METHODS. THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.


Option 2 has the benefit that you can continue to push forward regardless of setbacks, making it more flexible and more likely to work given enough time.

As for not being compatible, you can always fall-back on extreme violence.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:55 am 
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Krennson wrote:
which raises the question, what is the difference between "proletariament office complex" (which is being torched)
"Plut plaza" (where all of our meetings have been taking place) and "plutorliament annex" (where breya works)

I THINK this means that someone just torched the ELECTED parliamentary offices, NOT the wealthy ones... maybe to FRAME the wealthy 'purchasers' of senate seats?


Since these are not the same buildings and Breya and the Toughs had invited as many of the Proletariament as possible. That means that they managed to prevent the complete assassination of the Proletariat by UV exposure.

This would add to the Toughs contribution to "foiling someone's diabolical plot'.

On that note, Kowalski's sleeper cell (that is on its way to Dom Atlantis) is going to find it hard to outdo this Chekhov's gun.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:00 am 
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Krennson wrote:
it's days like this that make me want to write the definitive book on planning a successful coup.


The Book in question has already been written.

Very much recommended reading for anyone interested in ...extreme political maneuvering.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:49 am 
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Arky wrote:
If Kathryn's analysis holds and this event was MEANT to follow a successful assassination of Breya


A minor technical detail. It would seem more likely the assassination attempt was directed at the Speaker of the Proletariament, a somewhat more important target I should imagine then a chief lobbyist that "I know a lot of things" Mako doesn't even recognize. Breya, who happened to be on her way to meet with him, would have been as much collateral damage as Schlock was.

One thing to remember: unlike Hollyrot, just because Howard's characters blunder into something, doesn't mean the world revolves around them personally. They just have a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or, you most of the time.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:09 pm 
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ChowGuy wrote:
A minor technical detail. It would seem more likely the assassination attempt was directed at the Speaker of the Proletariament, a somewhat more important target I should imagine then a chief lobbyist that "I know a lot of things" Mako doesn't even recognize. Breya, who happened to be on her way to meet with him, would have been as much collateral damage as Schlock was.


Minor enough that she didn't recognize her on SIGHT, perhaps, but Mako was certainly aware of the importance of the position. Such a person dying might be more analogous to someone assassinating a cabinet minister; they're not someone people would usually recognize on the street unless they were really knowledgeable about politics, but it would still be a big deal.

Also, even if the political fallout of Breya's death wouldn't have been so newsworthy, her job description is getting the different houses of government to actually talk to one another. Killing her would have the practical benefit of closing a major avenue of de-escalation once the different parts of the UNS government were at each other's throats. If you want to start a war, offing anyone who could act as a diplomat isn't a bad way to start.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:15 pm 
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ChowGuy wrote:
Arky wrote:
If Kathryn's analysis holds and this event was MEANT to follow a successful assassination of Breya


A minor technical detail. It would seem more likely the assassination attempt was directed at the Speaker of the Proletariament, a somewhat more important target I should imagine then a chief lobbyist that "I know a lot of things" Mako doesn't even recognize. Breya, who happened to be on her way to meet with him, would have been as much collateral damage as Schlock was.

One thing to remember: unlike Hollyrot, just because Howard's characters blunder into something, doesn't mean the world revolves around them personally. They just have a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or, you most of the time.

Breya is in charge of official communications between the different legislative bodies of the UNS. That would make her best positioned to perform damage control, and prevent a civil war. If I was trying to incite a civil war, I would put the Prime Tangent as a vital target as well as the Speaker of the Proletariament. The assassination attempt was probably meant to start a war and take out an obstacle to it in the same move.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:59 pm 
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The Speaker AND Breya, then.

As for the coup planning, I'm sure whoever is behind it could technically have shut down Mirrorgeddon but while also that while the coup runner would have liked to have anger and chaos already flying around before this move they're also not going to stop the coup merely because it is not being facilitated as well as they would have liked. They probably figure it's just going to require a little more out and our force and a bit less willingness on the part of the general public. These are people or beings willing to overthrow a government and turn orbital mirrors into weapons of mass destruction against civilians, they clearly have the ruthlessness to go for Plan Jackboot To The Face if Plan Trick The People Into Supporting The First Stage Of The Coup doesn't work.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:03 pm 
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Arky wrote:
The Speaker AND Breya, then.

As for the coup planning, I'm sure whoever is behind it could technically have shut down Mirrorgeddon but while also that while the coup runner would have liked to have anger and chaos already flying around before this move they're also not going to stop the coup merely because it is not being facilitated as well as they would have liked. They probably figure it's just going to require a little more out and our force and a bit less willingness on the part of the general public. These are people or beings willing to overthrow a government and turn orbital mirrors into weapons of mass destruction against civilians, they clearly have the ruthlessness to go for Plan Jackboot To The Face if Plan Trick The People Into Supporting The First Stage Of The Coup doesn't work.

That and we have evidence that someone outside of the UNS is meddling.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:29 pm 
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Krennson wrote:
it's days like this that make me want to write the definitive book on planning a successful coup. in some types of coups, it probably makes sense to fire an isolated test shot 24 hours in advance, by assassinating a senior official and seeing what happens afterwards.

but what kind of idiot uses a plan where the followup action is BOTH unable to be cancelled or modified, AND operates on a 24 hour delay, without verification that the planned sequence of events actually occured?

in most coups, you have two attack modes. option one, instant military force from a cold start, with no backup plan, and realize that the gamble on death or glory will be determined in the first 24 hours, maybe even the first 8 hours

Option 2, plausible deniability. make certain that every individual step that leads up to the coup is either minor, legal, and has an innocent explanation behind it... or else if it's illegal, it can't possibly be traced back to you, your allies, or your constituents, and won't be used against them if they pretend to stay neutral. This method takes months, but the end goal is that you can flip a switch on your allies public loyalties, and will instantly control everything important in one brief moment of illegality, with little or no force being used. option 2 is much harder and less likely to work... but the nice part is that you don't have to gamble. if something happens so that your plan won't work, you just cancel the project, and no-one can prove anything.

NEVER COMBINE THE TWO METHODS. THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.


The sort of tactical mistake that might be made by a species of pacifists who're unwillingly forcing themselves into learning war?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:03 am 
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SciStarborne wrote:
Krennson wrote:
NEVER COMBINE THE TWO METHODS. THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.


The sort of tactical mistake that might be made by a species of pacifists who're unwillingly forcing themselves into learning war?


They're the obvious suspects, and I can think of some pieces of supporting evidence, but would it be in character for them to have even spotted that the mirrors were a weapon?

Remember the problem at Mel1 with the manager not understanding that to the right person ANYTHING is a weapon.

Maxim 24 is NOT obvious to everyone, the police officer thought it was evidence that Schlock was dangerous that his first thought about the mirrors was their potential as a weapon.

I'm just not sure the mirrors' potential would have been spotted by them.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:04 am 
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On the other gripping appendage, as a species of pacifists they may not have as many preconceptions on what is and is not a weapon. And as they assume humans are all violent, all the time, they may have been attempting to see things as they imagine humans do, and assuming everything is a weapon until proven otherwise. The fact that it's a large expensive human-built project that could be done in other, less expensive, more reliable ways may have predisposed them to see it as a weapon, as there is no way humans would have built something like that without a hidden weapon function.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:40 am 
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Maxim 24. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:29 am 
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Doug Lampert wrote:
SciStarborne wrote:
Krennson wrote:
NEVER COMBINE THE TWO METHODS. THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.


The sort of tactical mistake that might be made by a species of pacifists who're unwillingly forcing themselves into learning war?


They're the obvious suspects, and I can think of some pieces of supporting evidence, but would it be in character for them to have even spotted that the mirrors were a weapon?


Would the Schuul* have spotted the weaponizing potential of the mirrors? Probably not.

But their human allies/co-conspirators (unwitting or not)? Most certainly, and remember the Schuul could not pull a lot of this off without human assistance.



*Not that I'm totally convinced the Schuul ARE involved at all. There are signs of their possible involvement, but the UNS would not need alien involvement behind the scenes to get into a civil war, humans have been really good at doing that all by themselves for millenia before they even got to space. It's been known since before Petey resurfaced after his apparent death that the UNS is rife with factions, and this storyline established just how factionalized the UNS government really is. Under those conditions, all it would take is a group of ambitious and impatient humans (or even one human or uplift with enough influence) to push the factions into pulling guns on each other.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:39 pm 
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macnut wrote:
Would the Schuul* have spotted the weaponizing potential of the mirrors? Probably not.

But their human allies/co-conspirators (unwitting or not)? Most certainly, and remember the Schuul could not pull a lot of this off without human assistance.



*Not that I'm totally convinced the Schuul ARE involved at all. There are signs of their possible involvement, but the UNS would not need alien involvement behind the scenes to get into a civil war, humans have been really good at doing that all by themselves for millenia before they even got to space. It's been known since before Petey resurfaced after his apparent death that the UNS is rife with factions, and this storyline established just how factionalized the UNS government really is. Under those conditions, all it would take is a group of ambitious and impatient humans (or even one human or uplift with enough influence) to push the factions into pulling guns on each other.

Tagon gave a thorough lecture on the omnipresence of potential weaponry to his employer in the course of re-negotiating the 'mallcop command' contract. His naive, panicky employer who was later revealed to be a Schuul spy, hanging around in Earth orbit and trying to figure out how difficult it is to provoke humans to violence.

The conclusion which that spy's handler apparently came to, based on the Toughs' compassionate reflexes and unbreakable discipline, was that such provocation would be exceedingly difficult. If successful provocation was a necessary part of some larger plan, or even if they just really wanted to find out what the actual threshold value was, wouldn't the logical response be to attempt something absurdly excessive?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Hmmm.

It wasn't dark before the attack, was it? This suggests something more sinister than simply the mirror attack has ceased. And the ring does not have enough coverage to deflect light away from Earth and create an artificial eclipse.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Arky wrote:
Hmmm.

...the ring does not have enough coverage to deflect light away from Earth and create an artificial eclipse.


Hence the comment that "somebody turned off the sky". I don't believe in the least that the UNS beauracracy could move fast enough to teraport an artificial eclipse(i.e. all the battleplates/ships etc...) into place; but that's the only thing I can think of that would turn off an equatorial 'Archimedes death ray' so effectively and leave the area in darkness.

I suppose it is possible based on the time of day for the ring to have a localised turn off the sky effect... but the odds of it being over dom atlantis at the right time might be a bit long.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:09 pm 
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Couldn't the arcology have a sufficiently powerful annie-plant to manage a shield? And, as the weapon is light in the visible spectrum, the shield would perforce have to block that range. Therefore, someone turned the sky off.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:33 pm 
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Arky wrote:
Hmmm.

It wasn't dark before the attack, was it? This suggests something more sinister than simply the mirror attack has ceased. And the ring does not have enough coverage to deflect light away from Earth and create an artificial eclipse.

OTOH the Dec 6th strip shows it being nighttime over the Atlantic and the Dec 8th strip seems to show the landscape (seascape) outside the city as being darkened as if it was nighttime. One possibility that occurs to me is that the ring was being used for lighting the city rather than conventional streetlights, such things have been proposed and even experimented with in RL with a degree of success.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:34 am 
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When Schlock was asking about the ring being used as a weapon, one of the counterpoints made was that the cities had annie plants. So yeah, I think someone finally figured out they were being attacked and turned the shields on.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:20 am 
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Oooh! I hadn't considered that. I just assumed that it was dark because the ring had been turned off and was no longer projecting sunlight into the night sky.

Shields make more sense. We already know they're strong enough to block out light, so that'd explain the blackout far, far better.

If that's the case, then the question is "why the heck didn't the shields get turned on sooner?" Presumably there's an AI managing that system that would be able to react almost as quickly as the attack began. Either that sort of automated defense doesn't exist there (or was, for whatever reason, slow to respond), or the system has been suborned.

Actually... if the Plutes have control of the shield systems, they might get accused of "letting the shots in".


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