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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