Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue May 02, 2017 6:42 pm

speaker-to-trolls wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 5:28 pm
That all sounds good, although the speculative history here makes me wonder, can the Wisps be said to have a civilisation of their own? Maybe wisps on different stars beam themselves from one star to another using solar flares as launch pads, essentially travelling as lasers, but this is both slow (from the 'ground' anyway, to the traveller it's instantaneous) and dangerous since a laser can't steer and they can end up attenuated or even just crashing into something. Better to travel as a genie in a bottle as long as you can trust someone to carry it.

But do they have nations or cultures in any way we could understand?
Sure, wisps can have different societies - not nations that we'd imagine them to be - and these vary between stars or clusters... unassisted wisp-transmission's probably hard. Either they build up energies, maybe a wisp flight might cause a star to flare and even harm nearby worlds... OR they have enough knowhow to build sunmatter constructs as well (something that the Myrran learned... and that the wisps might've taught the Oolycysts).
If there needs to be a cap on the amount of ichor they can produce, how about saying that cosmozoan ichor production requires that the beasties travel through hyperspace to catalyse the ichor production process (baby cosmozoans start producing it because they latch onto their parents during jumps, so they get the required n-dimensional radiation nutrients). This way they could still be ichor barons, and important for it in western Wildspace, but they couldn't battery farm the creatures to get it, and neither can anyone else, hence their reliance on space whaling.

Also this leads to a feedback loop, the beasties need ichor to jump, so drain too much from them and jumping is harder, so they get less radiation to catalyse their ichor glands, so they produce ichor more slowly. So the Padryceps could slowly build up big reserves of ichor which they're hesitant to actually sell because it takes a while to restock, but their way is more sustainable and safe than Karlacking.
Hmmm... the Padryceps' undead cosmozoans might have different metabolisms from the living ones?

And I guess there's the Oolycyst opposition to sundrinking creatures! The limits on the cosmozoans could be part of whatever arms treaties they've got?
Precisely! A forest is a fine thing, but it has to die eventually, the important thing is that it produces something that survives, that continues to enrich the world around it with.

Though there could be others who disagree with that idea, or think they should be going for a new paradigm to ensure the continuance of their form of life (and the really dissatisfied ones who join the Cystemic heretics or are lured by the bright lights of the USS or the snappy uniforms of Byzonism)
Indeed. The Padryceps have this pseudo-nihilistic impermanence thing that helped people bear with loss, but during the reconstruction, other non-fatalistic views might've risen. Karlack cultist Cystemics! And secularists opposing the Wisp Listeners' Burnt Deacons. SUNDOWNERS, DUSKERS or whatever.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu May 04, 2017 3:42 pm

Siege wrote:
Thu May 24, 2012 9:35 am
Here's an idea: the datadjinni. They are tiny wisps of digital thought, originating within an X-ray burster binary. From a distance an eagle-eyed observer could see within the stellar corona the ephemeral shapes of their data-palaces, acutely complex and ever-changing fata morgana built of pure electromagnetic force. The datadjinni are masters of the EM spectrum, and have manipulated their home star into acting like a titanic hyperspace array, beaming copies of themselves at distant other stars as a means of colonization. More recently they have taken up residence within the Datasphere, the ubiquitous network of computerized information that permeates the Sovereignty. The datadjinni are as close to pure information as it's possible to get, and so feel perfectly at home within the endlessly receding lclusters and constellations of data. By their very nature they are fickle, ever-changing and thus unpredictable: only the very oldest and mightiest of the djinni have anything approaching a long-term memory. The djinni flock to interesting events within the Datasphere and can commonly be found swarming around CompInts like fireflies around a campfire; for organic creatures they are difficult to interact with, having little to no concept and even less understanding of the physical world. Nonetheless as intuitive masters of the digital they can be very powerful, and woe whoever spurns them, because in an age where your very identity is in large part digital, it is very unwise to cross the djinni.
This primordial post implies that starwisps by themselves do possess some capacity to beam themselves through hyperspace, although as Shroom pointed out, it may still be more reliable (and preferable to the wisps) to travel from star to star by artificial vessels. And also as implied, I think wisps are acculturated very differently depending on whatever electromagnetic patterns the sapients who happened to settle near their star put out. The wisps who become chatbot-buddies with sophistic Myrrani sunsmiths are going to absorb very different information, and develop very different "personalities", from wisps who hang around Solarian CIs, or fanatical Qylarthi cultists, or amoral Wild Space Emirs who feed them the souls of heretics and pilgrims. And even without such influences, I think the sheer distance and isolation between stars they live on would make wisps...pretty parochial as a whole. Whether this means they have different societies from star to star depends on whether they even have enough population density to form societies.

I also like the idea that cosmozoans need exposure of hyperspace to catalyze their tissues/essences into proto-ichor, hence creating a need for space whales to make long interstellar migrations that occasionally takes them (and all the parasites, symbiotes and Karlackoid predators that cosmo-ecologically rely on them) through civilized territories. Harpooning said space whales may imply just drilling into them to extract bodily fluids, something existing parasites already do and the whales have evolutionary provisions for. As for cosmozoans drinking wisps for sustenance - well wisps are basically a type of cosmozoan anyway.

If this is the case, there would be an actual trophic flow of energy from hyperspace into our universe, and cosmozoans are a vital part of this chain that terminates in...sapient civilization? Or what is that feeding?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu May 04, 2017 7:44 pm

Invictus wrote:
Thu May 04, 2017 3:42 pm
Siege wrote:
Thu May 24, 2012 9:35 am
Here's an idea: the datadjinni. They are tiny wisps of digital thought, originating within an X-ray burster binary. From a distance an eagle-eyed observer could see within the stellar corona the ephemeral shapes of their data-palaces, acutely complex and ever-changing fata morgana built of pure electromagnetic force. The datadjinni are masters of the EM spectrum, and have manipulated their home star into acting like a titanic hyperspace array, beaming copies of themselves at distant other stars as a means of colonization. More recently they have taken up residence within the Datasphere, the ubiquitous network of computerized information that permeates the Sovereignty. The datadjinni are as close to pure information as it's possible to get, and so feel perfectly at home within the endlessly receding lclusters and constellations of data. By their very nature they are fickle, ever-changing and thus unpredictable: only the very oldest and mightiest of the djinni have anything approaching a long-term memory. The djinni flock to interesting events within the Datasphere and can commonly be found swarming around CompInts like fireflies around a campfire; for organic creatures they are difficult to interact with, having little to no concept and even less understanding of the physical world. Nonetheless as intuitive masters of the digital they can be very powerful, and woe whoever spurns them, because in an age where your very identity is in large part digital, it is very unwise to cross the djinni.
This primordial post implies that starwisps by themselves do possess some capacity to beam themselves through hyperspace, although as Shroom pointed out, it may still be more reliable (and preferable to the wisps) to travel from star to star by artificial vessels. And also as implied, I think wisps are acculturated very differently depending on whatever electromagnetic patterns the sapients who happened to settle near their star put out. The wisps who become chatbot-buddies with sophistic Myrrani sunsmiths are going to absorb very different information, and develop very different "personalities", from wisps who hang around Solarian CIs, or fanatical Qylarthi cultists, or amoral Wild Space Emirs who feed them the souls of heretics and pilgrims. And even without such influences, I think the sheer distance and isolation between stars they live on would make wisps...pretty parochial as a whole. Whether this means they have different societies from star to star depends on whether they even have enough population density to form societies.
This touches on how Qylathi/Oolycyst Wisp Listeners might think that the Myrrani are committing BLASPHEMY with how they treat their wisps (I presume Myrran either tame the wisps into glorified pets and/or use their essences as vessels for Myrran sun-trances or whatever). Trucial Star Emirs who find "djinns in bottles" out of lost Oolycyst SUN ARKS might also spawn a faith that the Listeners might not agree with... but since the resulting faith is partly the making of said djinn, the Oolycysts can't say much.

Oh, I am thinking that one of the reasons for the Karlack blight that befell the Oolycyst Crimson Age was in part due to how they seeded a lot of suns with wisps. That attracted hungry Karlacks.
I also like the idea that cosmozoans need exposure of hyperspace to catalyze their tissues/essences into proto-ichor, hence creating a need for space whales to make long interstellar migrations that occasionally takes them (and all the parasites, symbiotes and Karlackoid predators that cosmo-ecologically rely on them) through civilized territories. Harpooning said space whales may imply just drilling into them to extract bodily fluids, something existing parasites already do and the whales have evolutionary provisions for. As for cosmozoans drinking wisps for sustenance - well wisps are basically a type of cosmozoan anyway.
It's best to harpoon cosmozoans when they are in space! And I guess the interstellar migrations are because the cosmozoans instinctively know that staying in one sun will dry it up. I think it's not JUST the sun-matter itself that they consume, but other drifting ethereal etheric things that get caught in stars' gravfields - so wisps, Q-balls, hyperwhatevers...

I guess there are balances. Too many rayes will also mess up a star, they'll turn the entire coronas into raye-constructs and transmit themselves to other stars and in the process destabilize their host-star... but if the cosmozoans eat too much of the rayes, they'll also inadvertently eat too much of the starstuff!
speaker-to-trolls wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 5:28 pm
If there needs to be a cap on the amount of ichor they can produce, how about saying that cosmozoan ichor production requires that the beasties travel through hyperspace to catalyse the ichor production process (baby cosmozoans start producing it because they latch onto their parents during jumps, so they get the required n-dimensional radiation nutrients). This way they could still be ichor barons, and important for it in western Wildspace, but they couldn't battery farm the creatures to get it, and neither can anyone else, hence their reliance on space whaling.

Also this leads to a feedback loop, the beasties need ichor to jump, so drain too much from them and jumping is harder, so they get less radiation to catalyse their ichor glands, so they produce ichor more slowly. So the Padryceps could slowly build up big reserves of ichor which they're hesitant to actually sell because it takes a while to restock, but their way is more sustainable and safe than Karlacking.
OK so Vic concurs with this.

So while generally cosmozoans and Karlacks tend to get digestive aid in hyperspace (I guess entering a realm with utterly different laws of physics helps this process! I imagine cosmozoan digestive organs are partially hyperspace-pockets too, kind of like the guts of Solarian vessels and the general hyperfieldtech of most interstellar civs...), unlike the ichor-dollar-reliant economies of the Fracture and the Cascade, the Qylaths haven't reached that degree of economic prominence because of Bragulan verdigrite nucleonic exports, Solarian cool-tech exports (they keep the Apexai-like goodies to themselves but perhaps highly optimized tech AND Datasphere-guidance/computative-assistance means their ichorless tech is up to par) and such competes with ichortech... nonetheless the Qylathic ichor exports are a big deal in Wild Space.

BUT the Padryceps' zombie-cosmozoans can't produce as much because they are zombies. BUT x2... I imagine the Padryceps' walkerized cosmozoans can actually HERD uninfected cosmozoans. BUT x3 Oolycyst Wisp Listener restrictions and limits on sun-sucking means the Padryceps can't turn entire sectors into sun-farms. Sun cultists will go Greenpeace and attack ichor-harvesting operations!

So ironically the Oolycysts are one of THE more ichor-hostile polities but they aren't doing this in the name of cosmozoan conservation. I imagine they hunt cosmozoans, harvest some of the ichor for their own use, but then also ritualistically dump the rest of the ichor into wisp-inhabited suns as SACRIFICE and TRIBUTE!

To compete with ichor-tech, these STRAIGHT EDGE ichorless Wisp Listeners probably have... solar sails for sublight and hypersolar sails for FTL. There can be a few stars that the wisps turned into supernovae and they channel the flares into focused beams that bleed through into hyperspace, causing FTL ripples that Oolycyst vessels can harness... of course, the trajectories aren't as flexible, these might be like literal "space railroads."

The supernovae can be similar to how the djinn can turn suns into hyperarrays, but it might be more sustainable and safer for the wisps if it's done with Oolycyst assistance, with corporeal/non-ephemeral apparatus dotting the altered stars. A macroscale version of the Wisp Listeners' SUN ARKS.
If this is the case, there would be an actual trophic flow of energy from hyperspace into our universe, and cosmozoans are a vital part of this chain that terminates in...sapient civilization? Or what is that feeding?
I think when ichor is used, it is re-sent back into the hyperverse or whatever. Like how burning fossil fuels sends carbon into the atmosphere and while it fucks our planet up, it WILL gradually be absorbed by plants that WILL in turn become fossils...
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu May 11, 2017 5:26 pm

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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Mon May 22, 2017 9:16 pm

Re: Smartwolves and smart-roaches

I think Solaris and the USS' core have smart-everything, nano-symbionized flora and fauna. Very prevalent at least.

So the ecology is partly synthetic, and the synthetic has grown out of control so it's become functionally organic/natural and self-balancing.

I think pest control can involve not only biochemical, nano, radiological, electromagnetic warfare, but also specific exterminator CIs concentrating bandwidth to crack the "natural" encryption of uncontrolled pseudo-synth pest species and command them to die... at least the susceptible ones, since there WILL be mutants who won't be receptive to the exterminator-transmissions (whether it be EM-signals, acoustic, phermonal, chemical, etc.).

AND like rich Solarians probably have hyper-resilient animals that have bio-augs AND neuro-cyber-crypto hardening... and if these somehow escape or are jacked by the "street ecology" and breed with said street ecology, or gets their genes and such assimilated or passed around... then congratulations, near-military-grade pet hardware/wetware's now disseminated across the various nasty gribblies of Solaris. Some sewer alligator might now sprout the brainwares of some Space Beverly Hills Chihuahua :o

TLDR: pest control on Solaris is part chemical warfare part cyberpunk-level electronic warfare. Hippie hackers use "NATURAL" firewalls and firewall breakers that they extract/download/unzip from the hardiest of these organisms.

Also, congratulations, pest control on Solaris is now far more interesting than the average Baen book or whatever forehead-ridged Space Viet Cong alienoids in bog standard milscifi. :lol:
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue May 23, 2017 9:15 pm

TLDR: Daft Punk gangs


No-Facers/De-Facers

A Solarian-Cevaucian social class, part counterculture, part pariahs, part street gangs, part surrogates. Conceived as a counterculture of conspiracy theorists (or reasonable objectors, depending on your take) rejecting omnipresent surveillance, the De-Faced and No-Faced choose to conceal their true forms and identities, originally with sensor-blocking mirrormasks or reflective chrome helmets, data-scrambling bodysuits and either utterly zero or highly limited and extremely encrypted Datasphere networking. More recently the common gear replicates the wild neon and holos of the urban sprawl and remains barely networked of at all.

What was once an obscure clique has become quite a prevalent craze as many sectors of society get in on it. Average citizens donning the guise of anonymity to commit cathartic acts of ultraviolence alone or in groups, creating flash gangs. Or grocers out stealth-shopping for obscure wares. Even the wealthy or just agoraphobic using surrogates, either No-Faced shell units or actual citizens earning from bodysharing or meat-leasing.

De-Facers are activists who go out of the way to anonymize others, either by converging them to the No-Faced lifestyle or through more direct means that put a literal twist to the term identity theft. De-Facing can be done for ideological statements, poetic punishments, purely wanton identity-vandalism or for organized criminal purposes as ID black markets, person-piraters, ID-splicing bazaars have a perpetual high demand for personhoods.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Wed May 24, 2017 5:24 pm

I love this one, opens up the door to a lot of weird potential issues of what identity is in a society like the uss. Like, to what extent is a person's 'core' personality separable from their cloud presence in a society like that? Maybe people will act radically differently once they are de-faced due to a lot of input that informs their views and decisions coming from the datasphere.

I don't know.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Fri May 26, 2017 11:36 am

Back in them days of yesteryears Ford Prefect's Logical World had these hypertech vampires (I forgot their name) who as I recall used their technology to almost completely hide themselves from all detection so they could jump their prey. That would be a bit what De-Facers are like. They wear nullsuits that completely cut emissions, hide behind scatterscreens that make them invisible, and essentially move through society like ghosts. In fact their assault could even be 'vampiric' in the sense that they drain the identity of their victims.

Continuing the allegory, perhaps the most adept De-Facers can move through crowds and glamour (G14M0R) them by hacking their their cloud-IDs, pulling aspects of appearances and mimicking them so as to appear different than what they are, identifying dispositions and psyche-conditions and manipulating them in real-time - either to ingratiate themselves or to make their victims do things they wouldn't normally do by getting inside their victims' thought-loops and subverting their personalities.

Like freaking Dracula.

Likewise then perhaps there are ways to draw De-Facers into the light, and once exposed - their vaunted screens annihilated and infovacs breached - they pretty much implode. Somehow.

Wait! Maybe it isn't so much that they hide their true form or identity but they reject even having one! Like, the identities of full blown No-Facers shimmer in a kind of quantum limbo where they superimpose multitudes of different personality aspects (some native, some modeled, some stolen, many contradictory), and they permanently oscillate between various states of these. So... If you breach their defenses that state of being vanishes (because they are literally observed! THE QUANTUMS! THEY CHECK OUT!), their wave function collapses and their fancy minds just crumple in a bunch of random patterns that are complete gibberish. Their minds melt away and what's left is nothing but a gibbering wreck of contradictory thoughts, patterns and beliefs.

(Their state of being could even be a kind of high-tech disease, an experiment by the original No-Facers that spiraled out of control and now runs rampant in the Solarian / Cevaukian underbellies like so many other pseudo-pathogens and cyber ailments.)
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri May 26, 2017 5:56 pm

Being the haphazardly recombinated remnants of what used to be a much larger system of interdependent parahuman clades under the Earthreign, even the most exalted Houses of the Grandeur of Auriga may have...genetic flaws. Sometimes there are certain environmental or chemical triggers, like a specific scent or even a visual image, that cause detrimental effects to their very engineered physiques. It might even kill them.

Similarly, there are ways for gene-nobles to do immense damage to themselves just by using their talents. They might represent "turbocharging" techniques, squeezing more performance out of their bodies and minds than they can safely withstand, or be simple self-sabotage like hitting the wrong buttons in their hypno-cartesian consoles.

The origins of these genetic flaws can vary. Some are undoubtedly kill-triggers and planned obsolescence features built into their ancestors by the original Earthreign engineers, rendered faulty by mutation and entropy and accidentally rediscovered. Some may just be the side-effects of trying to squeeze particular performances out of the human form, especially for those Houses with specialized psionic talents. In any case, a lot of less-than-expert genetic re-engineering during early Aurigan history only exacerbated these flaws. These days they're well-documented by the Houses themselves (since it's a matter of life and death for them) and human genetic science has probably recovered to the point where they can be fixed. But that's not the point of Auriga.

The purpose behind the Houses, the aristocracy and the Grandeur itself was to create a self-sustaining system in which transhuman bloodlines can survive the psycho-traumatic pressures of the Fracture. That it was (and is still) inherently elitist and conservative was a selling point that gave it its stability. The preservation of genomes, warts and all, has led to the cultural attitude where such flaws are embraced and made part of the the whole aristocratic honor culture.

As you'd expect, it would be a vendetta-causing offense for a House to exploit the known vulnerabilities of another House, but for a House scion to invoke their own flaws would be an honorable action under certain circumstances, like space seppuku except it probably involves something like sniffing the prepared blossoms of a post-flower that only grows in the House's secret arboretums, triggering massive fatal nasal hemorrhaging. Every House and sub-branch thereof may have their unique banes that they would be allowed to keep secret (if they can), and bringing it up in public would be a calculated insult. Having it imposed by the Imperial authority would basically be a particularly shameful way of being told you screwed up.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue May 30, 2017 7:11 pm

Siege wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 11:36 am
Back in them days of yesteryears Ford Prefect's Logical World had these hypertech vampires (I forgot their name) who as I recall used their technology to almost completely hide themselves from all detection so they could jump their prey. That would be a bit what De-Facers are like. They wear nullsuits that completely cut emissions, hide behind scatterscreens that make them invisible, and essentially move through society like ghosts. In fact their assault could even be 'vampiric' in the sense that they drain the identity of their victims.

...

(Their state of being could even be a kind of high-tech disease, an experiment by the original No-Facers that spiraled out of control and now runs rampant in the Solarian / Cevaukian underbellies like so many other pseudo-pathogens and cyber ailments.)
I like this. It sounds like something out of Moffat's run of Doctor Who, except before he inevitably ruins it. Add some creepy crying kids, faceless masks, telephone calls and clever catchphrase and we're all set! These Facelesses will get dissolved when, IDK, Sidney Hank or Baylor or someone in a fez or fedora does something COOOL and timey-wimeys the plot to a close! :lol:

In all seriousness, I really do like this. The quantum vampires you mention being the ultimate mutation that began with the prevalent alternative lifestyle choice of the No-Facers... I guess in Solaris, alternative lifestyles can often end up spawning mutated hyper-weaponized quantum-memetic predatory pathogens or something. Undoubtedly CEID and other factions, like CHAOS FARLEY, probably helped encourage these developments. In Solaris and Cevauk, alt-lifestyle cliques, alt-fashions, etc. are all probably surveiled and manipulated by the intelligence community and military-industrial complex to spawn potentially useful things.

I bet these faceless/nameless things' unique quantum states make them somehow immune to Apexai and hybrid psionics... and espers/psykers in general. Because of their weird state in thoughtspace/Aguero-Jabuzov information-dimensions. Perhaps this is an equivalent to whatever the Myrran harnessed as well (their blankness infused to their very GENES by the original Queen With No Soul!).
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:35 pm

Cevauk and Solaris are places where things like No-Facers, which in most of Wild Space would be a terrifying world-ending calamity, are only annoying pests hiding in parts of the walls of the world-cities that CI overlords don't care to look. They're one of many reasons why the Sovereignty core, for all its accelerationist post-singularity glory, is essentially inaccessible and lethal to baseline humans. To go to Solaris without a myriad of transhuman precautions built into your very body and mind is to inevitably be swallowed up and irretrievably lost by what to native inhabitants are simply advertisements and cockroaches. And that's before we deal with the dangers of the actual alternative lifestyles, gene switchers and mind collectives and whatnot that are perfectly acceptable there.

It's another manifestation of just how 'outre' the Sovereignty is.

Then, of course, there's agencies like CEID or the Foundation who take curiosa like No-Facers and throw them in a proverbial cage with a Traumfänger, just to see what happens. Not out of any kind of malice - it's just lab creatures, after all. Of course if the result were to escape to some Wild Space world - well, then one would out of a sense of civic responsibility be forced to call in a FORCE operator for a bughunt, no?

I mean, baseline humans barely qualify as sentient but the natives do deserve some support.

Regarding espers and No-Facers... If they could be read, I bet they would feel really weird. Maybe somewhat like trying to read a vast crowd, or in case of ancient ones an entire planet worth of identities, except exceedingly hard to pin down in any location. Very easy to get overwhelmed by, at least for beginners. And since there's no real 'core' identity to latch onto, pretty much impossible to influence or get anything worthwhile off of, beyond maybe glimpses of immediate intent. They're a really odd curve in Aguero space, the equivalent of one of those optical illusions that the eye has a hard time seeing whether they're inside or outside. Perhaps not the weirdest thing or most dangerous thing out there to an esper, but something very slippery and intangible.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:44 pm

For non-purists in the Samtic Nexus, the Samtic-pioneered xeno-compability systems - like the NEUROPLASMA symbio-connective/symbio-integrative medium - that allow multiple sentient beings to "bolt in" and serve as post-organs for a compound/plural whole... can be utilized by a lot of the non-Samtics. Daur can do it, though I guess since the Daur itself is much larger than the other beings combining, this means that the others will resemble barnacles integrated into the Daur.

But for Kheler that want to fuse with other partners... we get something like this:

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Basically, with Samtic tech, the Samtic mollusc-creatures and most other sufficiently adapted Nexus-members can wrap themselves around each other like... if the Torah had Venom symbiotes.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:42 pm

Neuroplasma is a smart fluid made of active bio-nano components - drop a bunch of post-organs into it and it will automatically map and form a functional nervous system for the collective post-organism. Its original basis *might* have been a protozoan infection of the original proto-Samtic colonies back when they were just collections of barely sapient shellfish that happened to enhance chemical signal transmission in exchange for nutrients, but in any case it has nothing in common with what the Samtics have refined the technology into by now. Neuroplasma is astoundingly versatile - bathe a hunk of complimentary smart plastic in it and the two will build a complete prosthetic arm. It can serve as replacement for all kinds of body fluids. Shoot it at people and it will try to hack their nervous systems, and I think it's frequently used this way in intra-Nexus police actions.

There are some limits as to its bio-compatibility: different kinds of neuroplasma would be required to interface with say, Vorri with their extra vascular systems and Hadepodes with their sulfuric acid blood, never mind Cryst with their solid-state brains and organs. But it's a safe assumption that the Samtics have a working neuroplasma for any species they have been in contact with for long enough, which definitely includes humans.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 2:45 am

I bet Nexus facilities and areas have atmospheres laced with the stuff and when needed, it just thickens into mist or rain or just turns into... really thick liquid-like air while beings traversing the area, with their own mini contragravitics, just floats around as though underwater...

Like some scenes from Ponyo!
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:35 pm

Siege wrote:
Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:35 pm
Cevauk and Solaris are places where things like No-Facers, which in most of Wild Space would be a terrifying world-ending calamity, are only annoying pests hiding in parts of the walls of the world-cities that CI overlords don't care to look. They're one of many reasons why the Sovereignty core, for all its accelerationist post-singularity glory, is essentially inaccessible and lethal to baseline humans. To go to Solaris without a myriad of transhuman precautions built into your very body and mind is to inevitably be swallowed up and irretrievably lost by what to native inhabitants are simply advertisements and cockroaches. And that's before we deal with the dangers of the actual alternative lifestyles, gene switchers and mind collectives and whatnot that are perfectly acceptable there.

It's another manifestation of just how 'outre' the Sovereignty is.
The Sovereignty (or at least, the more altruistic, outward-looking parts of it that occasionally arise) taking responsibility for its own messes spreading into Wild Space is the sort of thing that leads to John Baylor, Cyberroach Exterminator.

Another option is the Blacksuit/Power Rangers model: provide snazzy hardware to some locals to take care of it, maybe with periodic supervision from an actual Solarian citizen who might as well be a disembodied floating head in a tank for how much he relates to his team.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Siege » Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:00 am

Solaris taking care of excesses spilling out from its core could take any number of forms. From a fairly practical disbursement of strategic technology to planets that are deemed more or less ready for it by the Sovereignty equivalent of 'Contact'... Right down to almost Vorlon-esque interventions where some practically medieval Wild Space world (or race) beset by an incomprehensible hypertech calamity is visited by the equivalent of Space Jesus in a FORCE suit to deliver them from whatever accidentally crept out of the singularity.

Which could lead to all kinds of interesting legends and cargo cults in Wild Space. An entire planet whose legends revolve around the mythical Arthurian figure in a long black coat that is their Once and Future King who will return in their darkest hour... Simply because a low-level CI function in the Sovereignty once contracted the Duke of Death for a simple job that didn't rate the full attention of the Sovereignty.

I suppose the kind of contact also depends on how far removed from the Sovereignty core you are. In fact planets about to be touched by the singularity shockfront might be forcibly uplifted by necessity, simply because they wouldn't survive first contact with the Datasphere without some kind of preparation. It's not *just* fancy 3d instant insterstellar internet after all, it's communion with the Sovereignty's noosphere. Without some level of preparation for just what that means whole planets would get irrevocably fucked up.

For those quaint backwater worlds however it would be the equivalent of some stone age tribe that thinks it's doing rather well with its pottery and bronze working, and then Space Jesus descends from the sky in a freaking spaceship to tell them all about autolasers.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:12 am

I guess while the phenomenon's accepted fact for Solarians, perhaps there can still be dispute as to whether the process should be restrained and regulated to some degrees, left alone, or accelerated for interventionist and philanthropic goals (and to create anti-Bragulan bulwarks of enlightenment).

I think, if the K-Zone and the Fracture aren't that far, if FTL travel isn't prohibitively slow/expensive between said regions, this WILL be a real discussion amongst Solarians in key positions. Sure, the Fracture has its own memes that'll resist "Solarianization" quite well... but still, I'm sure the Solarians don't want the Fracture to get pseudo-Solarianized either too fast or too unchecked. Sure, the McNamaras and FLASH STALINS can go "big deal, whatever they come up with, we can take it and fry it if need be" but nonetheless aside from having to focus the USSF and CEID's attention on the BRAGULAN MENACE, the USS may also think its prudent that Auriga or NEUROM or whatever don't get pseudo-Solarian stuff and start stomping their neighbors. It doesn't have to directly affect Solaris, they can still temper these things out of concern of other unexpected effects.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by speaker-to-trolls » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:57 pm

There must be a worry about Solarian pests, freaks, geeks and failures hybridising with existing dangerous things. Imagine if some experimental Solarian Artistes got into their distributed computation centres to uplift or enlighten the Phyrrons, and imagine if it went wrong and you just ended up with a rampaging horde of hypertech killborgs led by a guy called something like the Grand Rapist of Sanginar. Or if some wandering Wrannath fused with some obsolete Cevaukian ship and went blundering around Wild Space psychically assimilating every planet it bumped into like a demented fusion of Brainiac and the Second Genesis.

So again this might be an argument for deliberately uplifting planets.. So they can resist the things that have been accidentally uplifted. The fact that none of the cyber-u/dystopias actually have a government as such mean they have to spend a lot of time cleaning up after each other and other bits of themselves.

And that's why aliens will take up Byzonism. You might be standing in the mud and be surrounded by barbed wire, but with Byzon you know where you stand, and that you are in fact standing, and you don't have to worry about what standing means in a post-gravitic, post-post-sensational-orientationalist, post-physicalist paradigm.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:17 pm

Siege wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:00 am
I suppose the kind of contact also depends on how far removed from the Sovereignty core you are. In fact planets about to be touched by the singularity shockfront might be forcibly uplifted by necessity, simply because they wouldn't survive first contact with the Datasphere without some kind of preparation. It's not *just* fancy 3d instant insterstellar internet after all, it's communion with the Sovereignty's noosphere. Without some level of preparation for just what that means whole planets would get irrevocably fucked up.
If planets and populations get absorbed into the USS at different rates and for different reasons, would it also imply that it matters what particular faction of the Sovereignty led the assimilation? After all, no expansionist tendril/colonial office can represent the USS in its entirety, and even given the absurdly high degree of freedom of information within the Sovereignty, distinct cultures and interest groups exist and are going to seek to perpetuate their memes upon new arrivals.

A planet that gets eased into Solarian culture via the partisans of the great Robert Space McNamara is probably going to see fiscal prudence and strangely backwards media presentations as particularly important parts of Solarian culture, and adjust their preset Datasphere filters differently than say, a planet inducted via Zigonian hippies, and to say nothing of megacorp sponsors who are going to do their best to make a new planet a new market base. It may even be possible, as with the filibuster colonies of antebellum USA, to attempt to create particularly exploitative situations where new Sovereignty members are unduly beholden to particular existing power groups, but that's what CEID and the big CIs are there to smack down.

There may also be astropolitical pressures at work, of course. A nice, eligible world that Solaris won't take first is going to get snatched up by Cevauk or Babylos.
Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:12 am
I guess while the phenomenon's accepted fact for Solarians, perhaps there can still be dispute as to whether the process should be restrained and regulated to some degrees, left alone, or accelerated for interventionist and philanthropic goals (and to create anti-Bragulan bulwarks of enlightenment).

I think, if the K-Zone and the Fracture aren't that far, if FTL travel isn't prohibitively slow/expensive between said regions, this WILL be a real discussion amongst Solarians in key positions. Sure, the Fracture has its own memes that'll resist "Solarianization" quite well... but still, I'm sure the Solarians don't want the Fracture to get pseudo-Solarianized either too fast or too unchecked. Sure, the McNamaras and FLASH STALINS can go "big deal, whatever they come up with, we can take it and fry it if need be" but nonetheless aside from having to focus the USSF and CEID's attention on the BRAGULAN MENACE, the USS may also think its prudent that Auriga or NEUROM or whatever don't get pseudo-Solarian stuff and start stomping their neighbors. It doesn't have to directly affect Solaris, they can still temper these things out of concern of other unexpected effects.
There's been some theorizing on my end on whether there should be a travel barrier between the K-Zone and the Fracture, either due to something like hyperspace shoals or just the fact that the two regions are actually a lot further apart than the current map portrays. The original human colonists fleeing the Reignfall had a hell of a time getting there, and the K-Zone's isolated feel doesn't seem justified if the ancient heart of human meta-civilization was always just an FTL waltz away.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:45 pm

I'm very fine with enlarging the Cascade and filling it with a few more factions, non-human ones especially, that'll make it less convenient and easy for the Fracture to connect with the K-Zone and vice versa.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:37 pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:45 pm
I'm very fine with enlarging the Cascade and filling it with a few more factions, non-human ones especially, that'll make it less convenient and easy for the Fracture to connect with the K-Zone and vice versa.
As in, even beyond the Vaosine, the Ygrd and the Heteroplex?
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:14 pm

Maybe they're enough? Maybe another but older one?

The Pyrrhon also count!

Hurm, whatever the count is, their existence and their tensions with the Fracture - along with sheer distance - should serve as the basis for the limits on Fracture-KZone connections... more on these than on exotic space phenomena which seems hokey. But yeah, sure, some Apexai pylons could've been corrupted and could've turned nova or singularity.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:13 am

"This is actually original star wars art, it was used later in a " nature documentary " book written by a character from the expanded universe, it's called a " dagobah tree spider " not a true arachnid it is actually the larva form of all the spindly root trees that cover dagobah , when it hatched it wanders around eating n laying more eggs till it reaches adulthood n slows down until it plants itself n assumes it's adult form." - some FB comment

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This makes me think. The elder form of the Padrycep forests, particularly those of the ROTWORLDS and the THRONE OF DECAY of the Emperor... they are not only self-aware in some messed up gestalt consciousness that borrows also from the "dead bandwidth" of all the corpses and remains incorporated into the mass... but! BUT, the oldest most civilized ones probably have their tree-like growths modified into these vast miles-wide collective sensory organ. That can act as a passive pseudo-psychic space telescope antenna and receiver. Though whatever psionics they manifest, due to the necrological and metabolic limits, are probably lesser than that of the Wrannaths' dreaming... but either way, the large Padrycep forests CONTEMPLATE THE COSMOS.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Invictus » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:01 pm

There is a whole clade of Kerberi who are just clocks. They're not even particularly sapient or anything, but just really good at keeping and telling time. They might in fact be the most accurate clocks in the universe, imbued with enough of the essence of their creators to disregard stuff like relativity or entropy. These Kerberi may have served as the fundamental, metronomic basis upon which wildly individual Telestrons managed to communicate with each other.

These days, maybe everyone use them for timekeeping. Whole civilizations arise adhering to their standard. There'd be whole religions (with spectacularly silly hats) venerating them as manifestations of universal order or something.
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Re: Sovereigns of the Stars Supreme, revisited

Post by Shroom Man 777 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:56 pm

Vic and I were discussing how Mandragorans, the proto-replicant infantry clades mass manufactured by the Earthreign through Mandragora pods (that landed on frontline worlds, processed raw matter and churned out infantry), reproduce in the modern times. Presumably the ancient Mandragora pods are like archeotech that's near lost, the ones that exist are looked at with a strange mix of reverence as they are the Mandras' progenitors but nonetheless they represent their slavery, their synthetic natures, AND any attempt to recreate Mandrapods will actually threaten the current hierarchy of the Princeps. Since... how will their "we are the latest, greatest breed of warriors honed through centuries of warfare and victory!" fare against fresh Mandrapod-made Mandras that have un-degraded Earthreign-era war-templates? No one wants to find out!

AND ancient Mandrapods were probably like WMD-level devices anyway, a bunch of them could covert a megapolis' useful matter into an army of supersoldiers. So there were probably Neuromonger-controlled failsafes. So, with the Reignfall and the mass psychic slaughter of the Neuromongers, the remaining Mandrapods were rendered inoperable.

Nonetheless, the Mandragorans were designed to be able to reproduce even without Mandrapods. Like, Mandras had to wage war and replenish their numbers at the front lines and even behind enemy lines, in areas that Mandrapods could not access.

So Vic and I think that Mandras had multiple ways of reproducing. For redundancy's sake. The most basic one is that a Mandra gestates a larval warrior. Each Mandra can carry a not-geneseed that can grow into a new warrior, the not-geneseed absorbs epigenetic data from the host/parent body. The problem is, the process ends with a juvenile/near-adolescent Mandra crawling out of the parent. Almost chestburster-style. This won't kill a Mandra adult, but this means that for several months he'll be bloated and incapable of combat. That's not an ideal state to be in.

So they devised alternatives. Yes, there are incubator pods where Mandras can inject their seed-matters into mediums, swimming pool-sized petri dishes, and their genes can cross-pollinate and months later juveniles will crawl out of these SPAWNING POOLS and commence their training, punching each other and spearing wolves in the wilderness and such.

But there's also ANOTHER messed up method. Mandras that don't want to be inconvenienced by "pregnancy" but also are in austere conditions where communal incubator devices aren't accessible... can resort to INJECTING their geneseeds into other beings. In the oldest of ways, this would be inflicted upon prisoners of war who've proven themselves to be worthy foes. Like, an enemy warrior - some Sternheimer or Aurigan? - shows prowess in the field and takes down some Mandras? Well, too bad, that means the Mandras' friends are gonna gang up on said warrior, beat 'em unconscious, take 'em home and use 'em as a host!

In Mandra civilizations, tributary states can submit CHOSEN WORTHY CARRIERS in exchange for concessions and benefits. Like a space noble can offer those with genes the Mandras consider worthy.

In really austere conditions, Mandras can do this to vats of nutrients or even animals. Chimeric results may occur though.

And also, Mandras who are grievously injured after performing great heroic feats can also volunteer to become hosts to the next generation. They can gestate while reliving their feats in Virtual Reality or performing non-combat roles or living off the rest of their days in feasts and other indulgences. YES. Mandra heroes become these MORBIDLY OBESE SLUGMEN OVIPOSITORS as reward.

I think, for these processes, Mandras have an implantation-organ. Like their abdominal muscle-plates (half abs, half body armor) can open up to reveal the MAMMAL POD that carries the geneseeds and can bear the fetal Mandra, but it also has a umbilical cord tipped with a stinger. It is what deposits the geneseeds. Multiple Mandras can do this on one vessel and their warrior genes can intermix.
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