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Mobile Frame Hangar • View topic - The Background Thus Far

The Background Thus Far

Discussion of the background, history & universe
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Xail Jaderune » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:25 pm

I understand what you're saying Mercutio and Pasukaru.

However Joshua has stated that travel between planets under a starships own power doesn't work... i.e. they're still using chemical propulsion or momentum. Not things like Ion boosters and solar wind sails.

The gates were created in response to the comparibly "present day" mode of space travel. It sounds more like they skipped developing starship drive systems in favor of just jumping to one area from another using wormhole technology. Joshua has also stated that transit without a arrival gate is basically suicide. He said that you could fall short of your coordinates, or overshoot them completely. Then the starship has to make the agonizing crawl to the target destination... which in turn fails supposedly because they haven't developed technology to get them to the desination before starvation, cabin fever, or even old age itself kills the crew.

As for true fusion reactors, I'm saying if they developed them, and installed them on the gates themselves they'd have enough power to ferry anything and everything that's needed.

The relation to mass comes from the energy required to shove that starship into that hole you just ripped open in space. Because you didn't just open a window... you forced a whole tunnel to be created from point A to point B, thus the energy and even the whole process is very inefficent. When you could be working "with space" instead of against it.

Which only reinforces my theory that the SU has forgotten any other way how. The ruidementary technology was created, new opportunites were created, and the SU got caught up in building more and more, and gathering more and more... that instead of fixing the problem at the source, the ruling powers just said "ah we'll just get more colonies and mine more resources... who cares if the gate technology lacks efficency it works just fine for us."

This also ties into modern day conspiracy theories. I full well believe that some scientist has completed the theory and the groundwork to build a fusion reactor... but like anyone else, he's human and everyone has their price. Big oil bought the scientist out, and stops their empire from crumbling, while the scientist gets to have his entire family lineage taken care of because he got so much hush money. Even with Area 51 and many other conspiracies...

My point is that if history and humanity shows us anything... that such events are bound to happen and repeat. Thus there are plenty of secrets i believe are still buried under the rubble on Earth in the year of the Solar Century, or maybe secrets still in the hands of long standing private interests.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Deathzero » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:24 pm

Anyone else smell 40k? The "lost technology" explanation is one that works well in sci-fi settings. In 40k, you've got all this technology that was developed, then forgotten during the 10 millennium of war and strife and the general degeneration of humanity after the Emperor's "death". Now what technology they have is regarded with awe and superstition, they take great care to salvage and repair whatever technology they have.

As to the gate business, lots of sci-fi series use an explanation along these lines: Wormholes can be affected by gravity, having one too close to a planet can either destabilize the transport path, causing the "cargo" to either be shunted off course or lost to the void, or cause some type of planetary cataclysm.

Just my two cents.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Xail Jaderune » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:40 pm

Now now, I'm not favorably comparing or trying to convert the universe of Mobile frame zero to Warhammer 40k.

My point was that the SU made a choice. They are suffering the consequences, as they are in need of expansion to keep their current standard of life. They aren't too far from redemption as all it would take would be some cooperation amongst those private interests and the government. So no.. Humanity hasn't undergone that technological "dark age" that humanity went through in the grim dark universe of warhammer 40k. Plus humanity has existed for much much longer in that universe to allow for "the older the tech, the better it is" philosophy.

The humanity in MFZ is still advancing albeit slowly, but they haven't taken technology and science for granted yet... they haven't fallen into ignorance and taken technology for granted like the humanity in warhammer 40k.

and Yes wormholes are affected by other space anomalies including gravity from other planets, as Joshua did mention the need to route a path around stars and black holes.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby aimforthetop » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:43 pm

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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby spacemonkey » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:39 pm

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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Xail Jaderune » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:44 am

Yes Mr. Spacemonkey sir!

The process you described is exactly the correct logical one under the current travel restrictions. You would send probes, since the cost of energy for gate activation is so high that it requires a vote amongst the Union. However that model only works for the planets within optimal distance of the Gate network. The solar union will eventually expand to fill those limits, and then they'll hit the same brick wall they did with the initial colonies. Thus it wraps back around to the fact that they need to upgrade how they travel in space.

If they already know how to create a temporary wormhole in the same plane of space, They really aren't that far from FTL drive, or hyperspace jumpgates, yet a bit farther away from warp drive.

Instead of wasting energy trying to rip holes in the same space, they should instead open windows to other spaces that are close to ours. Hence hyperspace. Then it just comes down to a matter of ships being big enough to open their own jumpgates, and smaller craft using the pre-constructed gates. With FTL drive, the whole ship is just shunted into another dimension briefly before appearing back in normal space at the target destination. The difference being that in Hyperspace jumpgates, you still have to travel through Hyperspace from beacon to beacon to then arrive at the exit gate. While FTL drive is much more instantaneous and faster, but the maximum distance you can cross in that instance is shortened.

The best description and depiction of FTL drive in science fiction is from Battlestar Galactica. If you've watched the new series then you have a pretty good working knowledge of FTL if you payed attention to detail.

That should clear things up a bit.

My point for pushing this idea is to open the door for possibilities. That fan-fiction can contain a private interest with access to technology not currently available in the Solar Union. Not because it doesn't exist or they don't know about it... but because the Government likes the current model of how things work, and they don't want to put forth the effort to fund and research that technology. Because think about it... if ships could get around however they wanted, the Solar union would have a lot harder time staying unified. Jupiter and mars colonies would no longer need to convene in council with earth. So the current model keeps everyone honest and unified, because without it nobody would be able to amass the resources for travel.

Plus I think Wang Tech already has a bazillion off the books projects in the realm of forbidden technology. But that's just the conspiracy theorist in me...
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby spacemonkey » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:20 am

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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby randolph » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:43 am


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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Xail Jaderune » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:22 am

:lol:

Looks like i got a response!

(great job with staying in character Randolph)
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:36 pm

A quick popping-in of my head to say:

Celiel probably could have been profitable for a century or something, if it weren't so darned already filled with people.

Gursk had a valuable commodity that turned out to be largely replicable, and where it wasn't, it was ripe for speculation. Oops.

But these colonies are described (OK, created) to provite opportunities for conflict. Many more colonies are profitable for a million reasons. The question, of course, is who they're profitable for. I recently did a little setup where the colony was insanely profitable and the locals formed Free Colony cells because they gambled that they had the resources to keep the TTA from calling their debts back in.

Xail, I love the idea of lost technologies. But also, did I say in the current text that the Ijad are using plasma weapons? They're supposed to be using pulsed lasers. In the fiction, the plasma is a temporary side-effect of the laser strike, if that's what you mean. Plasma happens all the time when there's a burst of super-heat. It's what lightning is.

On the other hand, there's the "fusion edge" weapon (just because builders seem to be unable to keep away from their lightsaber blades), which, I dunno, man. It's a lightsaber.

There are deliberate points where the setting's pulpy. If we couldn't travel the stars, the setting would feel cramped to me. If I said that we couldn't have fusion edges, I'd be abolishing something that obviously players want and I don't have a strong opinion about (though I definitely tend toward the big combat knife or stun baton, myself.)

Like all pieces of the setting, though, these are here as creative constraints! If you want to make fanfic about developing an FTL ship that doesn't require a transit gate, I encourage you! It seems like developing such a thing would be a bit like developing solar energy generation in today's socioeconomic climate: it looks expensive now because we already have a thing that looks cheap. But no matter how much we recognize that this day will come to an end, we keep doing what we're doing because the infrastructure is there.

Xail, I also want to thank you for recognizing one of the principles of this setting (and one of the problems with empires in general): the area of a circle grows faster than its circumference. In Rome, that meant that every soldier who went off to war on the promise of returning to a farm got more expensive to reward. The Solar Union has the same problem: it can only expand so fast, but no matter how fast it spreads, its needs expand exponentially while its resources increase linearly. In Rome, that led to muntinies against the then-young Empire. By SC 0245, it means that underperforming colonies are being abandoned. Who knows what will happen to the militaries that rely on support from the SU but live among the colonies.

The Ijad might have a way to deal with it, by not caring how far they spread. They're not sending goods back home because they never had the Malthusian crisis that Earth had (or, rather, they averted it in antiquity). The still-hypothetical Federation might work on a more Ijad-like model, but once one colony's government manages to sell to its constituents the idea that expanding and sending the plunder home is a good idea, they'll perpetuate the same problem.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Xail Jaderune » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:34 pm

Thanks for clearing that up Joshua, Pulsed lazers make much much more sense. Yes i know plasma can be created as a side effect of that kind of weapons fire... I must have missed the part where it was said that pulse lasers were being fired.

But don't worry, I already am cooking up a story to post that will touch on those subjects. It's just a matter of what I'm allowed to do. Do i have to do a series of stories just to get it built? or can i have it already exist in secret? or do i just pull a deus ex Machina and make the whole thing come from a paralell dimension and the crew and the ship is now stranded in this dimension. There's many ways I could write it in, it's just a matter of yay or nay.

And yes, Empires Collapse. Rome taught us alot in that respect. and even in another familliar sci-fi setting, the Human Imperium of Warhammer 40k. Not many people know that the era the game is currently playing in is actually on the downturn for humanity... the humans are going to lose, and the golden throne will fail soon. Also the Mechwarrior universe with the Inner sphere and the outlying territories, not to mention the clans vieing for power.

But you probably already know all that.

Anyhow, Thanks for the clarification, now I know whats going on.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Foxfire » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:31 pm

So, about transit gates....

Using a gate has an energy cost, and there would be a source of energy handy at the gate(IE solar/fusion/etc.). So really, the cost is in how frequently you can fire up the gate. If it costs X MJ to send 1 kg 20 lightyears away, then a Y MW fusion generator will take X/Y seconds to recharge the energy banks back up after the transit. That means that the transit cost is really measured in time. The guys managing the system will be looking at it in terms of time. IE "Once we send the 10 ton shipment of peaches back to Sol, we won't be able to transport anything else for the next 20 hours." Since time is money, shipping cost is really paying for how long the gate will take to recharge after the shipment. Since if there is a line, there is probably a cost you can pay to jump ahead of the line(IE like priority mail).

Another thought.
Accuracy drops with distance.
Transport cost increases with distance.

What would be the hypothetical cost/accuracy of an in system teleport? I am thinking this could be a nasty little advantage of controlling the transit gate. If they had reliable intel on an enemy location, could you teleport a kill squad to the surface of a planet?
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:40 pm

I'm sure they could!

It also takes time to be precise, remember. It doesn't take more energy to send someone farther, though; the limit on distance is precision. It takes more energy to send something bigger. And the time to make the calculations are non-negotiable.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Foxfire » Thu Aug 30, 2012 4:21 pm

Brute force and ignorance can solve any problem. The application of brute force and ignorance may create other new problems, but those problem can also be solved with brute force and ignorance. -An old roomate
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Nah, there's a reason I'm leaving all actual numbers out of the equation: it's handwavingly impossible.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Foxfire » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:53 am

Brute force and ignorance can solve any problem. The application of brute force and ignorance may create other new problems, but those problem can also be solved with brute force and ignorance. -An old roomate
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:52 pm

Well, the idea is that the sending and receiving gates are reaching toward each other in hyperspace. So, yeah, if the receiver stops listening (which requires shutting down the entire transit gate for an unknown, but non-trivial amount of time), you can't transit in easily.

Also, yes, both volume and mass affect the cost of the transit.

Ships don't move toward the transit. They get into formation in the center of the gate and stand still relative to the gate, then pop out at the other end in a rough approximation of their initial relative positions and attitude. Not quite, of course; they need to be far enough away from each other to not knock into each other. Note that everyone inside just changed attitude. I think there's a lot of ensignbarf after each first transit out of the first port or two.
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Re: The Background Thus Far

Postby Doldrum » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:20 pm

Who ever controls the Peach controls the Universe.
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