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 Post subject: jan 23 2018 - evolved
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:24 am 
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So the Ot-Skadak are still around - weren't they the group that got hacked to be a back door/trojan horse?
Yeah, they sure do some things 'better' than Kevin and Elf do!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:40 am 
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jmaechtlen wrote:
So the Ot-Skadak are still around - weren't they the group that got hacked to be a back door/trojan horse?
Yeah, they sure do some things 'better' than Kevin and Elf do!


Kevyn is spelled with a "Y"... I can kind of see the Bug's point, though. We're just adapted enough to scrub off the first layer of our immune systems, but not wise enough to realize that it's the very reason we keep getting sick.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:30 pm 
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0z79 wrote:
jmaechtlen wrote:
So the Ot-Skadak are still around - weren't they the group that got hacked to be a back door/trojan horse?
Yeah, they sure do some things 'better' than Kevin and Elf do!


Kevyn is spelled with a "Y"... I can kind of see the Bug's point, though. We're just adapted enough to scrub off the first layer of our immune systems, but not wise enough to realize that it's the very reason we keep getting sick.


First it was never actually confirmed that that happened. The Toughs killed them all preemptively and no mention was made of it from the Allstar agents point of view. Second there is no reason to think that the drones on the fragsuits would be any less susceptible to hacking. It's not like they've been tested against people who would be able to do that yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:09 am 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
0z79 wrote:
jmaechtlen wrote:
So the Ot-Skadak are still around - weren't they the group that got hacked to be a back door/trojan horse?
Yeah, they sure do some things 'better' than Kevin and Elf do!


Kevyn is spelled with a "Y"... I can kind of see the Bug's point, though. We're just adapted enough to scrub off the first layer of our immune systems, but not wise enough to realize that it's the very reason we keep getting sick.


First it was never actually confirmed that that happened. The Toughs killed them all preemptively and no mention was made of it from the Allstar agents point of view. Second there is no reason to think that the drones on the fragsuits would be any less susceptible to hacking. It's not like they've been tested against people who would be able to do that yet.

The frag-suits are isolated systems. They are inherently less susceptible to hacking, in that a hacker can't use them as a backdoor to the rest of your system.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:47 am 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
0z79 wrote:
jmaechtlen wrote:
So the Ot-Skadak are still around - weren't they the group that got hacked to be a back door/trojan horse?
Yeah, they sure do some things 'better' than Kevin and Elf do!


Kevyn is spelled with a "Y"... I can kind of see the Bug's point, though. We're just adapted enough to scrub off the first layer of our immune systems, but not wise enough to realize that it's the very reason we keep getting sick.


First it was never actually confirmed that that happened. The Toughs killed them all preemptively and no mention was made of it from the Allstar agents point of view.
https://www.schlockmercenary.com/strip/6279/1/schlock20170820b.jpg?v=1500948590961
SOMEONE hacked them. Unless Ennesby is lying. And the only forces that reasonably could have hacked them is the Allstar agents or Petey, and it's probably not Petey.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:42 am 
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Reaver225 wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:

First it was never actually confirmed that that happened. The Toughs killed them all preemptively and no mention was made of it from the Allstar agents point of view.
https://www.schlockmercenary.com/strip/6279/1/schlock20170820b.jpg?v=1500948590961
SOMEONE hacked them. Unless Ennesby is lying. And the only forces that reasonably could have hacked them is the Allstar agents or Petey, and it's probably not Petey.


I mean yeah Ennesby said that. But we didn't see any actual evidence of it in the comic. I suppose the Toughs could have been so on the ball that they completely preempted it, but I'm still skeptical. It's not that I think Ennesby lied so much as that I think he was misled into putting together a picture based on false assumptions.

Personally I still stand by my supposition that the Ot'Skadat were not actually hacked. At least not in the sense that Ennesby meant. The Allstar agents did not want a galaxy spanning war. They wanted a distraction. I suspect what actually happened was that they managed to pass a quick glitch through to Phil to get it to utter that "Kill me now" line. This was enough to get the Toughs to do what the agents wanted. And while technically a hack probably wouldn't have given the agents control of the Ot'skadat for more than a few seconds.

Consider that if the warriors had actually been hacked, then jamming the comms to the hive mind should not really have affected them since they would already be running different commands.

Either way my second point still stands. If someone can hack the distributed hive mind which has evolved to do this sort of thing, then they can certainly hack a bunch of drones.

Motortiki wrote:
The frag-suits are isolated systems. They are inherently less susceptible to hacking, in that a hacker can't use them as a backdoor to the rest of your system.


Except that the case for the Ot'skadat was that supposedly the warriors were hacked first, and then they were used as a backdoor into the engineers on the ship. In this case the drones would be the backdoor into the fragsuits themselves. Since the pieces do still have to communicate with each other.

I suppose it's true that anyone who hacked the fragsuits would not have access to the rest of your stuff. But by that point they'd have the heaviest units you had deployed anyway. Unless you brought tanks, but it seems a little pointless to use tanks and fragsuits at the same time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:03 am 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
I mean yeah Ennesby said that. But we didn't see any actual evidence of it in the comic. I suppose the Toughs could have been so on the ball that they completely preempted it, but I'm still skeptical.

Either way my second point still stands. If someone can hack the distributed hive mind which has evolved to do this sort of thing, then they can certainly hack a bunch of drones.

No it doesn't? Hacking one frag suit means you have hacked one frag suit. Hacking one of the hive-mind nodes gives access to the entire hive network, both on the ship and back at home. The frag suits are inherently less of a security risk.

Here, I believe the sparky eyes in this strip are supposed to represent the warriors being hacked. Not very convincing, I know, but the eyes definitely represent something happening.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:15 am 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
Either way my second point still stands. If someone can hack the distributed hive mind which has evolved to do this sort of thing, then they can certainly hack a bunch of drones.

Evolved to do what sort of thing? Be a distributed hive mind? Because , ring-ring, clue phone mate, that doesn't mean they've evolved to be resistant to hacking. Like... Electronic Warfare may be an entirely knew concept to them.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:20 am 
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evileeyore wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
Either way my second point still stands. If someone can hack the distributed hive mind which has evolved to do this sort of thing, then they can certainly hack a bunch of drones.

Evolved to do what sort of thing? Be a distributed hive mind? Because , ring-ring, clue phone mate, that doesn't mean they've evolved to be resistant to hacking. Like... Electronic Warfare may be an entirely knew concept to them.


Indeed, there was literally nothing on the station that could do so for millions of years.

In fact, defenses could well have hindered the smooth interfacing of all of the various drones.

You generally don't evolve/design defenses to threats that don't exist.

The Internet didn't start out with security features like SSL and 128bit encryption, all that stuff has had to be bolted on afterwards, because it was originally a closed system. There was no way into it because only colleges and military bases and other governmental agencies had physical access and computers that could do anything with them, and THOSE were all separate networks with no or very limited method(s) to actually connect between them.


It wasn't until the networks started getting connected to one another that everyone realized 'hey, maybe we should have security besides just a login and password, now that physical access isn't also a requirement.'


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:23 am 
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If there were multiple hive minds of the same species then hacking and hack-defences would be likely to evolve. Of course, we don't know if there were multiple hive minds of the same species. In fact, we don't know much about the Ot-Skadak at all. Does the RPG have any more information on them?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Motortiki wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
I mean yeah Ennesby said that. But we didn't see any actual evidence of it in the comic. I suppose the Toughs could have been so on the ball that they completely preempted it, but I'm still skeptical.

Either way my second point still stands. If someone can hack the distributed hive mind which has evolved to do this sort of thing, then they can certainly hack a bunch of drones.

No it doesn't? Hacking one frag suit means you have hacked one frag suit. Hacking one of the hive-mind nodes gives access to the entire hive network, both on the ship and back at home. The frag suits are inherently less of a security risk.

Here, I believe the sparky eyes in this strip are supposed to represent the warriors being hacked. Not very convincing, I know, but the eyes definitely represent something happening.


Okay fair enough. Though I figure if you can hack the drones on one frag suit you can do it on every frag suit.

As for the sparky eyes, I thought that was representing their jamming. Since it appeared when the comments talked about the hive mind being jammed.

Kendrakirai wrote:
evileeyore wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
Either way my second point still stands. If someone can hack the distributed hive mind which has evolved to do this sort of thing, then they can certainly hack a bunch of drones.

Evolved to do what sort of thing? Be a distributed hive mind? Because , ring-ring, clue phone mate, that doesn't mean they've evolved to be resistant to hacking. Like... Electronic Warfare may be an entirely knew concept to them.


Indeed, there was literally nothing on the station that could do so for millions of years.

In fact, defenses could well have hindered the smooth interfacing of all of the various drones.

You generally don't evolve/design defenses to threats that don't exist.

The Internet didn't start out with security features like SSL and 128bit encryption, all that stuff has had to be bolted on afterwards, because it was originally a closed system. There was no way into it because only colleges and military bases and other governmental agencies had physical access and computers that could do anything with them, and THOSE were all separate networks with no or very limited method(s) to actually connect between them.


It wasn't until the networks started getting connected to one another that everyone realized 'hey, maybe we should have security besides just a login and password, now that physical access isn't also a requirement.'


Omegatron wrote:
If there were multiple hive minds of the same species then hacking and hack-defences would be likely to evolve. Of course, we don't know if there were multiple hive minds of the same species. In fact, we don't know much about the Ot-Skadak at all. Does the RPG have any more information on them?


Sorry I should have been more clear. I was under the impression that there were multiple hive minds and that they would naturally evolve to hack each other and defend against said hacks. I was positive that this was stated somewhere, but I can't find a specific reference in the comic. What I can find is that when Tagon visited the hive to tell it about the loss of its drones he specifically visited hive Akkrokuts. When the doctor was talking with the meld minister she said that she had a connection with the hive mind Utchi-Skafatka. Which seems to imply individual hives.

The RPG book goes into more detail in that there are about two thousand individual Ot-Skadak hives on Eina-Afa and each of them counts as an individual citizen.

I take this to mean that there is no easy networking between hives, because if so there would not be a separation between hives. And the very fact that warrior drones are a thing means that the hives fought with each other at one point. And I doubt they would have neglected electronic warfare any more than we would neglect communication protocols. Which is to say some might, but those wouldn't be very successful when fighting other Ot-Skadat.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:51 pm 
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You know what? Fair enough! Though those Warrior forms could just be for hunting the local no sentient fauna, or defending against same. We simply don't know enough about the Can. At least not us RPGless scrubs. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:14 pm 
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Kendrakirai wrote:
You know what? Fair enough! Though those Warrior forms could just be for hunting the local no sentient fauna, or defending against same. We simply don't know enough about the Can. At least not us RPGless scrubs. :)


Believe me the RPG does not go into much additional detail. It would be nice if the Ot-Skadat history and culture was detailed, but it's mostly supposition. There are only a few paragraphs here and there that talk about them.

Also one other point I thought of is that hacking a device takes more than just being able to intercept the signals of something. You also have to know how the signals are being interpreted on the hardware you are trying to hack. That's hard enough with custom built drones like in the fragsuits. But in organisms evolved in a completely separate biosphere with no relation to galactic technology it would be nearly impossible. There architecture is going to have all kinds of quirks. And it's not like the Ot-Skadat are going to have any incentive to share their architecture with most galactics. It's one reason I'm skeptical that the Allstar agents managed to do it on the fly with no prior information about the Ot-Skadat.

Anyway I will admit that this is all supposition. It could be that the Ot-Skadat have evolved a hive network that's ridiculously easy to hack and the Toughs really are better off using standard drones. It just seems odd that the Toughs would continue allowing the Ot-Skadat to work for them if they were such an obvious security hole.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Assuming that they were not hacked means believing that Phil actually thought saying "Please kill me" in the middle of a combat operation where hacking was specifically mentioned as a threat, was funny.

Don't buy it, any more than the officer did.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:45 pm 
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JohnSmith wrote:
Assuming that they were not hacked means believing that Phil actually thought saying "Please kill me" in the middle of a combat operation where hacking was specifically mentioned as a threat, was funny.

Don't buy it, any more than the officer did.


Well I should clarify that by not hacked I mean "less hacked." Passing a message to the vocal output buffer is a lot easier than getting full control.

Also Ennesby has declared he got hacked out loud and didn't get killed for it. So eh.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:48 pm 
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Kendrakirai wrote:
You know what? Fair enough! Though those Warrior forms could just be for hunting the local no sentient fauna, or defending against same. We simply don't know enough about the Can. At least not us RPGless scrubs. :)


My interpretation was that the Ot-Skadak had very malleable forms, and a soldier form was cooked up for the purpose of front-line use in a modern battle.
Bear in mind, the soldiers, as presented, probably don't have a lot to do on a world where the only technology is under the control of a comatose AI.
I was envisioning both the soldiers, and 'Phil', the engineer, as deliberately engineered for the ship. I don't think either form existed until shortly after they were projected to be needed, which would have been some time after the Ot-Skadak made contact with a space-faring population with a thing for tool use.

Carrying that idea further, the morphological variations could have been effected via something like royal jelly. Probably a whole suite of jellies for effecting different morphological changes in otherwise baseline bugs.
Although, I understand these bugs are all cyborgs. Even with a vast suite of jellies to effect different biological changes prior to pupation, I suspect there isn't a combination that lets one develop a hypernode relay.

Edit to say. This is the same civilization that has shown it can hack non-networked sapients on the fly, download them into itself, and hijack their meat bodies to use as disposable wetwork agents. Them hacking a hive of Ot-Skadak would be simple by comparison.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Sean wrote:
Kendrakirai wrote:
You know what? Fair enough! Though those Warrior forms could just be for hunting the local no sentient fauna, or defending against same. We simply don't know enough about the Can. At least not us RPGless scrubs. :)


My interpretation was that the Ot-Skadak had very malleable forms, and a soldier form was cooked up for the purpose of front-line use in a modern battle.
Bear in mind, the soldiers, as presented, probably don't have a lot to do on a world where the only technology is under the control of a comatose AI.
I was envisioning both the soldiers, and 'Phil', the engineer, as deliberately engineered for the ship. I don't think either form existed until shortly after they were projected to be needed, which would have been some time after the Ot-Skadak made contact with a space-faring population with a thing for tool use.

Carrying that idea further, the morphological variations could have been effected via something like royal jelly. Probably a whole suite of jellies for effecting different morphological changes in otherwise baseline bugs.
Although, I understand these bugs are all cyborgs. Even with a vast suite of jellies to effect different biological changes prior to pupation, I suspect there isn't a combination that lets one develop a hypernode relay.

Edit to say. This is the same civilization that has shown it can hack non-networked sapients on the fly, download them into itself, and hijack their meat bodies to use as disposable wetwork agents. Them hacking a hive of Ot-Skadak would be simple by comparison.


Well yeah the fact that we are talking about the Allstar here does make the feasibility of anyone else hacking either the Ot-Skadat or Frag drones questionable.

As to uses for warrior drones remember that Eina Afa has a massive population of predators. Even without full scale modern warfare the Ot-Skadat have some incentives to make pretty good warriors. It isn't clear what technology exactly they had before being introduced to the galactics except that they didn't have hypernode technology or any kind of FTL. They probably had radio just naturally and everything between that and galactic standard is up in the air.

Though they were probably closer to galactic standard than not given the fact that they were able to engineer hypernodes into their drones in a fairly short amount of time.

As to various forms they probably have multiple variants. The RPG book says they have large Philosopher drones, presumably what spoke to Tagon, and large warriors, which I don't believe we have seen. Then medium warriors and workers which would be what went with the Toughs. And then finally small scouts and comm drones. Which are the things flying all over the place.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:32 pm 
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The hive-minds seems really open to self-modification - note the whisper fans that seem to be replacing wings on most of the fliers. I had read the warrior drones being something built for modern combat duty, too.

As for Ennesby not getting shot when he announced he'd been hacked - he nearly did. He's also been a friend for decades, and wasn't a link to the Tough's home base for a godlike enemy to exploit.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Arcanestomper wrote:
Sean wrote:
My interpretation was that the Ot-Skadak had very malleable forms, and a soldier form was cooked up for the purpose of front-line use in a modern battle.
Bear in mind, the soldiers, as presented, probably don't have a lot to do on a world where the only technology is under the control of a comatose AI.
I was envisioning both the soldiers, and 'Phil', the engineer, as deliberately engineered for the ship. I don't think either form existed until shortly after they were projected to be needed, which would have been some time after the Ot-Skadak made contact with a space-faring population with a thing for tool use.

Carrying that idea further, the morphological variations could have been effected via something like royal jelly. Probably a whole suite of jellies for effecting different morphological changes in otherwise baseline bugs.
Although, I understand these bugs are all cyborgs. Even with a vast suite of jellies to effect different biological changes prior to pupation, I suspect there isn't a combination that lets one develop a hypernode relay.

Edit to say. This is the same civilization that has shown it can hack non-networked sapients on the fly, download them into itself, and hijack their meat bodies to use as disposable wetwork agents. Them hacking a hive of Ot-Skadak would be simple by comparison.


Well yeah the fact that we are talking about the Allstar here does make the feasibility of anyone else hacking either the Ot-Skadat or Frag drones questionable.

As to uses for warrior drones remember that Eina Afa has a massive population of predators. Even without full scale modern warfare the Ot-Skadat have some incentives to make pretty good warriors. It isn't clear what technology exactly they had before being introduced to the galactics except that they didn't have hypernode technology or any kind of FTL. They probably had radio just naturally and everything between that and galactic standard is up in the air.

Though they were probably closer to galactic standard than not given the fact that they were able to engineer hypernodes into their drones in a fairly short amount of time.

As to various forms they probably have multiple variants. The RPG book says they have large Philosopher drones, presumably what spoke to Tagon, and large warriors, which I don't believe we have seen. Then medium warriors and workers which would be what went with the Toughs. And then finally small scouts and comm drones. Which are the things flying all over the place.


Granted, but I doubt there would be anything in the Eina-Afa gone to seed that would even challenge the warriors we did see, unless it was an unusually stout hurricane propelled tree. For the warriors we did see, to be effective as a bulwark against modern weapons, it needs to have been developed, redeveloped, or modified to take those modern weapons into account. It could be simply that modern diamondoid armor plate was grafted to an existing caste of soldier bug at the same time it was given a hypernode.
I just figure the soldier bug was developed to face a reality that has plasma weapons. Possibly from scratch, or at least from pupa.
That is, that the hive-mind Ot Skadak normally invents by developing new caste forms to face new challenges. Sort of a self-made...individual.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Sean wrote:
Arcanestomper wrote:
Sean wrote:
My interpretation was that the Ot-Skadak had very malleable forms, and a soldier form was cooked up for the purpose of front-line use in a modern battle.
Bear in mind, the soldiers, as presented, probably don't have a lot to do on a world where the only technology is under the control of a comatose AI.
I was envisioning both the soldiers, and 'Phil', the engineer, as deliberately engineered for the ship. I don't think either form existed until shortly after they were projected to be needed, which would have been some time after the Ot-Skadak made contact with a space-faring population with a thing for tool use.

Carrying that idea further, the morphological variations could have been effected via something like royal jelly. Probably a whole suite of jellies for effecting different morphological changes in otherwise baseline bugs.
Although, I understand these bugs are all cyborgs. Even with a vast suite of jellies to effect different biological changes prior to pupation, I suspect there isn't a combination that lets one develop a hypernode relay.

Edit to say. This is the same civilization that has shown it can hack non-networked sapients on the fly, download them into itself, and hijack their meat bodies to use as disposable wetwork agents. Them hacking a hive of Ot-Skadak would be simple by comparison.


Well yeah the fact that we are talking about the Allstar here does make the feasibility of anyone else hacking either the Ot-Skadat or Frag drones questionable.

As to uses for warrior drones remember that Eina Afa has a massive population of predators. Even without full scale modern warfare the Ot-Skadat have some incentives to make pretty good warriors. It isn't clear what technology exactly they had before being introduced to the galactics except that they didn't have hypernode technology or any kind of FTL. They probably had radio just naturally and everything between that and galactic standard is up in the air.

Though they were probably closer to galactic standard than not given the fact that they were able to engineer hypernodes into their drones in a fairly short amount of time.

As to various forms they probably have multiple variants. The RPG book says they have large Philosopher drones, presumably what spoke to Tagon, and large warriors, which I don't believe we have seen. Then medium warriors and workers which would be what went with the Toughs. And then finally small scouts and comm drones. Which are the things flying all over the place.


Granted, but I doubt there would be anything in the Eina-Afa gone to seed that would even challenge the warriors we did see, unless it was an unusually stout hurricane propelled tree. For the warriors we did see, to be effective as a bulwark against modern weapons, it needs to have been developed, redeveloped, or modified to take those modern weapons into account. It could be simply that modern diamondoid armor plate was grafted to an existing caste of soldier bug at the same time it was given a hypernode.
I just figure the soldier bug was developed to face a reality that has plasma weapons. Possibly from scratch, or at least from pupa.
That is, that the hive-mind Ot Skadak normally invents by developing new caste forms to face new challenges. Sort of a self-made...individual.


Yeah, I feel that's likely given that it offered to make a biological frag suit that could be worn.


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