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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:54 am 
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Hmm, where else have we seen AIs ordered to follow to contradictory commands...as I recall, it didn't end well.

Here, it seems that Lota is going to just drop the "protect Para" command and let some grunt do it instead; this may not work out well for Para, but it sure beats the afore-hinted-at alternative.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:07 am 
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I think protect Para IS LOTA's plan, and following her orders is what is falling to the wayside. Perhaps LOTA sees something she doesn't?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:14 am 
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I think LOTA knows about the fire around the fullerenes and knows how to deal with the whole problem- which would be to gravy the building in question out of the habitat through the hole Tagon just made.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:51 am 
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or make the hole big enough that the overpressure doesn't pop the station like a firecracker ;->


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 pm 
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What overpressure? If the antimatter goes off, overpressure isn't really your prime concern.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:34 pm 
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Hm. A hole into space. Fire in space doesn't burn.

...

Oohhh dear.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:35 pm 
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Para has a working fullerene armor suit, and as such is not dependent on atmospheric oxygen for survival. There's some risk that the rioters might shoot Para with something capable of penetrating that armor suit, but the risk is small enough that it can be safely delegated to a grunt. The primary threat to Para's survival is the antimatter. The simplest way to stop the antimatter is to hit the whole stationwaist with some kind of fire-suppression, and the simplest kind of fire-suppression is removing the oxygen. So, Lota is going to remove all atmospheric oxygen from the greater stationwaist area (and, as a sort of package deal, the rest of the Credomar habitat) by the most expeditious means available.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:52 am 
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strange_person wrote:
Para has a working fullerene armor suit, and as such is not dependent on atmospheric oxygen for survival. There's some risk that the rioters might shoot Para with something capable of penetrating that armor suit, but the risk is small enough that it can be safely delegated to a grunt. The primary threat to Para's survival is the antimatter. The simplest way to stop the antimatter is to hit the whole stationwaist with some kind of fire-suppression, and the simplest kind of fire-suppression is removing the oxygen. So, Lota is going to remove all atmospheric oxygen from the greater stationwaist area (and, as a sort of package deal, the rest of the Credomar habitat) by the most expeditious means available.


If they designed the rest of the station with the same level of design it seems they have with the habitat, much to many's dismay, the bulk of the population will be on the inside of the buildings which means that they're just going to get sealed inside the building they're in if LOTA succeeds in making a big enough hole to matter.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:25 pm 
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Svartalf wrote:
If they designed the rest of the station with the same level of design it seems they have with the habitat, much to many's dismay, the bulk of the population will be on the inside of the buildings which means that they're just going to get sealed inside the building they're in if LOTA succeeds in making a big enough hole to matter.


At least, this is what we hope will happen - because otherwise, the Toughs are about to kill a lot of people through asphyxiation and/or being vacuum-sucked out into cold, airless space.

On the plus side, there probably won't be many people left willing to shoot at the Toughs.
On the down side, there probably won't be many people left.

And I suspect that the UNS is going to have a few issues with the Toughs punching holes in space stations and letting all the air out - mass murder of civilians is something else entirely, and I don't think even "they had kludged-together antimatter explosives and one of them was moronic enough to set things on fire with a thermobaric explosive" will be enough to excuse it...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:04 pm 
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Pencil-Crayon_Phoenix wrote:
And I suspect that the UNS is going to have a few issues with the Toughs punching holes in space stations and letting all the air out - mass murder of civilians is something else entirely, and I don't think even "they had kludged-together antimatter explosives and one of them was moronic enough to set things on fire with a thermobaric explosive" will be enough to excuse it...


For one thing, no-one's going to believe them, even with the surveillance footage.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Pencil-Crayon_Phoenix wrote:
Svartalf wrote:
If they designed the rest of the station with the same level of design it seems they have with the habitat, much to many's dismay, the bulk of the population will be on the inside of the buildings which means that they're just going to get sealed inside the building they're in if LOTA succeeds in making a big enough hole to matter.


At least, this is what we hope will happen - because otherwise, the Toughs are about to kill a lot of people through asphyxiation and/or being vacuum-sucked out into cold, airless space.

On the plus side, there probably won't be many people left willing to shoot at the Toughs.
On the down side, there probably won't be many people left.

And I suspect that the UNS is going to have a few issues with the Toughs punching holes in space stations and letting all the air out - mass murder of civilians is something else entirely, and I don't think even "they had kludged-together antimatter explosives and one of them was moronic enough to set things on fire with a thermobaric explosive" will be enough to excuse it...


Honestly, if they were dumb enough (and this is a possibility) to design their space station so that one hole would evacuate all the atmosphere, with no redundancy in place as a safeguard, then they deserve death and should be held up as an example of how not to build a space station.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:55 pm 
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Novulae wrote:
Honestly, if they were dumb enough ... to design their space station ... with no redundancy in place as a safeguard, then they deserve death and should be held up as an example of how not to build a space station.

With very slight alterations, this describes the biggest flaw with the classic SF story "The Cold Equations" when considered as an actual "real world" situation and not an Anviliciously-delivered Broken Aesop.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:25 am 
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strange_person wrote:
So, Lota is going to remove all atmospheric oxygen from the greater stationwaist area


But if I'm following things correctly, Tagon blew a dock off the END of Credomar. The hole is nowhere near the stationwaist. Also, it looks like the hole is somewhat near the center of the axis of rotation, so Credomar will lose some atmosphere, but it should still be breathable at "ground" level. (Think Ringworld: tall enough walls, and you don't need a roof.)

Of course LOTA and a crate of Bomex are probably going to complicate whatever Tagon has in mind immensely! Blowing the whole end off the habitat wouldn't be good.

The catastrophic loss of all/most of the atmosphere would only happen with a large enough hole in the outer diameter/floor of the habitat.

And that assumes no gravitics or other damage control to "plug" the hole, and we've seen very effective demonstrations of Credomar gravitic control already.

I'm betting we've got "minor" damage to the habitat (on the Tough's scale of things at least). But with TAG now inside the habitat, everything has changed. TAG can deal with/suppress Credomar's tactic used on the tanks. And I'm betting he rescues Brad with gravy. TAG's presence also brings new options for dealing with the fire and antimatter.


But what's happened to Legs and 'Chelle? Their "shared fate" is sounding none to healthy last we saw either one of them.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:20 am 
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StClair wrote:
With very slight alterations, this describes the biggest flaw with the classic SF story "The Cold Equations" when considered as an actual "real world" situation and not an Anviliciously-delivered Broken Aesop.


Next time you feel like poking holes in Tom Godwin's 'The Cold Equations', sit down and read a stack of SF published between 1950 and 1953. A recurring theme from that era was that the dashing hero is presented with an impossible situation which he could not possibly escape from but at the last minute comes up with a brilliant solution which saves everyone, including the dog, and also provides them all with hot coffee and cigars.

THEN read 'The Cold Equations', in which our dashing hero is presented with an impossible situation from which he cannot possibly escape. Period. Godwin wasn't trying to bludgeon you over the head with how clever he was at screwing his characters, he was just turning an over-used story idea on its head. According to John Campbell, legendary editor of 'Astounding' magazine, he rejected the story several times because Godwin kept sticking to the familiar pattern and having his hero find a way to save everyone. It wasn't until Campbell insisted on the final ending that Godwin finally agreed to write it.

So, yeah, if you look at the story you can find "real world" issues with it. And if you could ask Tom Godwin to show you one of the original endings I'm sure that at least one of those issues would have led to the happy ending that many readers seem to have wanted. But the untwisted ending, in which everything ends exactly the way it was laid out in the beginning, isn't there to give the story some kind of heavy-handed moral, but rather to shock the readers by _not_ ending with the expected twist.

When readers picked up the August 1954 issue of 'Astounding', they knew exactly what to expect because every story ended the same way. What made 'The Cold Equations' significant wasn't some heavy-handed moral about how important it was to read 'No Admittance' signs, but rather that it refused to pull a Deus out of its Machina to provide the expected happy ending. It was the same kind of shock that modern fantasy readers, raised on book after book in which no central character ever dies without coming back to life at least once, felt half way through 'A Game of Thrones' when they suddenly realized that a beloved, central character had been led into an impossible situation from which he could not possibly escape, and didn't.

And _that_ was the point of 'The Cold Equations'. You can argue technical details, pre-flight checklists, security checkpoints and the air speed velocity of an unladen Emergency Dispatch Ship all you like, and even offer your own rewrite of the story which adds twenty pages of explanation for all of those issues, but you'd be missing the point. Instead of being about the mortality of girls in space ships, the story pointed out the immortality of characters in science fiction stories. Because that was something which needed to change.

And now, I'm going to put down the baseball bat and stop screaming at you for daring to suggest that there might be anything wrong with something that I liked.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:50 am 
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DancesWithBikers wrote:
But if I'm following things correctly, Tagon blew a dock off the END of Credomar. The hole is nowhere near the stationwaist. Also, it looks like the hole is somewhat near the center of the axis of rotation, so Credomar will lose some atmosphere, but it should still be breathable at "ground" level. (Think Ringworld: tall enough walls, and you don't need a roof.)


But in this case the "walls" are not tall enough. The diameter of the station isn't very big in terms of atmospheric depth.
On the other hand, one would expect the station to be constructed as a stack of individual airtight sections like a stack of tuna cans.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:43 am 
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Sockmonkey wrote:
DancesWithBikers wrote:
But if I'm following things correctly, Tagon blew a dock off the END of Credomar. The hole is nowhere near the stationwaist. Also, it looks like the hole is somewhat near the center of the axis of rotation, so Credomar will lose some atmosphere, but it should still be breathable at "ground" level. (Think Ringworld: tall enough walls, and you don't need a roof.)


But in this case the "walls" are not tall enough. The diameter of the station isn't very big in terms of atmospheric depth.
On the other hand, one would expect the station to be constructed as a stack of individual airtight sections like a stack of tuna cans.

Well, apparently it's not. On the flight in, Schlock's team only had to deal with active defenses (no bulkheads), and Brad fully expected to continue straight on to Northport.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:41 pm 
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I don't think Credomar is intended to be a space onion, no matter how cool those are (much more awesome than space parfait, but then again, nobody doesn't like parfait...). Anyway, we didn't see any near-axial nursing home towers.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:37 am 
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I'd imagine that the designers of the station would design it such that it could take a fairly heavy pounding on the exterior without major damage up to the limits of what they would expect "naturally". If it comes that somebody wants to bust a hole in your space station, they are pretty much going to do it unless you deploy active means to stop that.

I mean its like a building, you design it to take some margin over the maximum wind loading, but you don't design it to survive a nuke. If you want to do that, its a not a habitat any more its a bunker.

I would have imagined that the station would have some kind of "emergency force field" that it could deploy over any signifigant holes. Not to mention I'd wager TAG could do the same, or worst case just gravy the air in.


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