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Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
GeoModder wrote:
Do Umiak ships/fleets routinely perform 'shallower' hyperjumps (jumping farther out of the primary) to have time to recover?

Not usually, but it depends on the situation. Most jumps are just system transits, and the farther out from the primary you arrive, the longer you have to travel through real space before you get to the next jump point. That's not an efficient way to travel, especially for the Umiak who must usually cross a significant distance to fight in enemy territory.

In a system assault jump, arriving farther out could give the Umiak more time to recover from the effects of jump sickness, but it could also give Loroi reinforcements more time to assemble. And if the Loroi had a notion of putting ships out near the jump zone to hit the arrivals early, they could just move these ships farther out if the Umiak took to routine short-jumping. The Umiak tend to vary the depths of their assault jumps so that the Loroi can't do this.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Did you ever consider having each Earthly nation, or at least the biggest ones, have their own space fleets? It would have been cool to see how differently the US, the UK, and China would have built their ships. :D

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Carl Miller wrote:
Did you ever consider having each Earthly nation, or at least the biggest ones, have their own space fleets? It would have been cool to see how differently the US, the UK, and China would have built their ships. :D


They would all have the same ships because designing ships of different looks for the same jobs for each nation would take him way to much time and effort to be worth it.


Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:37 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Carl Miller wrote:
Did you ever consider having each Earthly nation, or at least the biggest ones, have their own space fleets? It would have been cool to see how differently the US, the UK, and China would have built their ships. :D


A way to do this would be in the form of a joint banner (TCA). I long wounded why, in Star Trek, the Enterprise always had such a human dominated crew. Then I saw this next generation episode where the Enterprise met up with a Vulcan dominated ship to drop of some refugees. Two ships, both starfleet but with different cultures onboard. While both ships had similar apperance one could bet there different priorities going on onboard.

Now assume that humans where to technologically catch up with the loroi and have a joint effort to create a new line of ship those ships would superficially be similar but have still have differences. In real live nations tend to want to have their own version of common military equipment due to different needs and doctrines.


Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:48 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Carl Miller wrote:
Did you ever consider having each Earthly nation, or at least the biggest ones, have their own space fleets? It would have been cool to see how differently the US, the UK, and China would have built their ships.

Prior to the formation of the Colonial Fleet in 2115, the various superstates did have their own military vessels. There weren't any space wars, so these fleets were usually small. The one time that the fleets grew in size was during the buildup during the dispute over Aldea colonization between Yinghuo and the Earth-backed Aldean colonists, but this era was comparatively short (less than 20 years), and essentially ended when the Colonial Fleet was established.

But no, I haven't spent any effort to work out what they might have looked like.

Sweforce wrote:
A way to do this would be in the form of a joint banner (TCA). I long wounded why, in Star Trek, the Enterprise always had such a human dominated crew. Then I saw this next generation episode where the Enterprise met up with a Vulcan dominated ship to drop of some refugees. Two ships, both starfleet but with different cultures onboard. While both ships had similar apperance one could bet there different priorities going on onboard.

This was mentioned more than once; in the original series, the Intrepid (the first ship to get eaten by the Space Amoeba) also had an all-Vulcan crew.

But I think this was an afterthought. Early in the first season of the original series, Kirk would identify his ship to new aliens as the "United Earth Ship Enterprise", and the Federation wasn't even mentioned until near the end of the first season.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
I'm finding myself a bit curious about the capabilities of the terran long range transport's capabilities for a quest I'm currently designing that takes place in Negative Hyperspace. The insider states that the crew is 25 and it's slated mostly for cargo to distant outposts, so I'm assuming that they work more or less like oil tankers currently do in terms of the on board crew. Would they also be able to convey passengers in addition to freight with the right setup? Possibly with cryosleep?

Another angle I'm looking at is how pre-contact terran technology would differ from post-contact terran technology. The Orgus vessel was no doubt studied and I recall some conversation previously where it was mentioned that they didn't have anything too remarkable, but I find myself curious for how someone who was out of the loop for a few years might note what changed and what didn't.

Yet another angle I'm considering, what was the general attitude regarding contact with aliens in the TCA prior to the Orgus arrival? Was it regarded as an inevitable eventuality that everyone had to attend at least one prep class on during training or was it regarded as a Battlestar Galactica esque "Fat chance" kind of deal? What was in their handbook and general protocol for such a case?

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Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Razor One wrote:
I'm finding myself a bit curious about the capabilities of the terran long range transport's capabilities for a quest I'm currently designing that takes place in Negative Hyperspace. The insider states that the crew is 25 and it's slated mostly for cargo to distant outposts, so I'm assuming that they work more or less like oil tankers currently do in terms of the on board crew. Would they also be able to convey passengers in addition to freight with the right setup? Possibly with cryosleep?

About half of the cargo capacity of the L'Amour is heated and pressured, and so it could be converted to for passenger use. How many passengers would depend on what kind of accommodations were provided for them.

Razor One wrote:
Another angle I'm looking at is how pre-contact terran technology would differ from post-contact terran technology. The Orgus vessel was no doubt studied and I recall some conversation previously where it was mentioned that they didn't have anything too remarkable, but I find myself curious for how someone who was out of the loop for a few years might note what changed and what didn't.

It has only been a year and a half since contact with the Orgus; it seems unlikely that any significant changes to technology would have been put into common production in that short time. Much bigger changes are coming with contact with the major combatants, but that's still in progress.

Razor One wrote:
Yet another angle I'm considering, what was the general attitude regarding contact with aliens in the TCA prior to the Orgus arrival? Was it regarded as an inevitable eventuality that everyone had to attend at least one prep class on during training or was it regarded as a Battlestar Galactica esque "Fat chance" kind of deal? What was in their handbook and general protocol for such a case?

Views widely differed; some thought it inevitable, and others thought it extremely unlikely. It was a contentious issue, in part because some of the justification for expanding the Colonial Fleet was as a preparation for alien contact.

However, everyone agreed on the necessity of having protocols in case of such contact. The primary concern in such a case was (assuming that the aliens didn't seem hostile) to get an alien representative into Sol system as soon as possible, so that they could communicate directly with decision-makers.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Question: what was the original, pre-contact motive for building the heavy cruisers? If the TCA's only purpose was policing quarrelsome colonies, it seems a bit much. Like civilian police armed with tanks. The insider says something about bigger and more powerful civilian ships, but how powerful? And how many of these? They wouldn't be dedicated military vessels, can't imagine they'd be armed or armored much.


Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

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Any interesting space drive is a weapon of mass destruction. It only matters how long you want to wait for maximum damage. Interesting is equal to "whatever keeps the readers from getting bored."
- Jon's Law, part 1 and 2

When you've got space ships that can reach relativistic velocities in the course of their primary function, getting from point a to point b in a profitable period of time, they don't exactly need to be dedicated military vessels. :P


Sun Jul 19, 2015 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr.Tucker wrote:
Question: what was the original, pre-contact motive for building the heavy cruisers? If the TCA's only purpose was policing quarrelsome colonies, it seems a bit much. Like civilian police armed with tanks. The insider says something about bigger and more powerful civilian ships, but how powerful? And how many of these? They wouldn't be dedicated military vessels, can't imagine they'd be armed or armored much.

They're not armed, but they could be, as any engine that can power a jump drive can also power an offensive laser, and pretty much any craft can carry missiles. Some civilian tankers and cargo vessels are well over 300m in length, though most of these are slow. The civilian equivalent of a L'Amour-class transport, at 275m, 5G and with significant endurance, could make some trouble if it were armed. But the real concern for the early fleet was the "Crusher" vessels; these are 200-265m 6G civilian fast transports used for high-value cargo and for independent exploration & colonization efforts, operated by Yinghuo, the Arques Conference (a private shipping conglomerate with close ties to the Aldean government), and various Earth nations. These are unarmed but deliberately overpowered, legal within the treaty guidelines, but which are essentially unarmed light cruisers.

But internal threats were only half of the justification for the Fleet heavy cruisers. In those days of expansion, there was great concern about the possibility of alien contact. Shortly after its formation and the successful resolution of the Aldean crisis, the TCA was able to sell its member nations on the concept of the cruiser fleet as a hedge against the unknown. As time wore on and expansion slowed, and the expected contact did not occur, support of the cruiser program waned, and it was eventually curtailed.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Hmm... Now I know that the backstory for everything is far more developed than presented in the insider (which was already insanely detailed :) ). Any reason these were called Crushers? Was the company name? Were they deliberatly overpowered to be able to accommodate weaponry or just to be fast (not sure if that really matters though...)? Are they armored like military vessels to protect against the rigors of space (I believe you once told me that TCA ships were armored against radiation and kinetic impacts. Same kind of armor?). Did the TCA have ANY indication of present or past alien activity in this region of space (ruins, sporadic radio bursts, etc) or was it all just academic in nature?


Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:00 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Mr.Tucker wrote:
Any reason these were called Crushers? Was the company name? Were they deliberatly overpowered to be able to accommodate weaponry or just to be fast (not sure if that really matters though...)? Are they armored like military vessels to protect against the rigors of space (I believe you once told me that TCA ships were armored against radiation and kinetic impacts. Same kind of armor?).

"Crusher" is just a descriptive term borrowed from Haruka Takachiho's Crusher Joe novels; the name itself doesn't have any special significance within the Outsider setting. Takachiho's Crushers were well-funded, high-priced trouble consultant teams, taking assignments ranging from transportation to rescue to terraforming and everything in between.

Any vessel designed to be fast must by definition be overpowered and structurally rugged enough to endure high acceleration, and so will have many of the qualities you need for a warship. All spacecraft must have at least some protection against radiation. Almost any well-designed fast transport is going to be a good candidate for conversion to an armed vessel. They don't have heavy armor, but neither do most military vessels in the same size class, as such armor comes at the expense of acceleration.

That said, some of the fast transport vessels were deliberately designed for the possibility of such a conversion, and some were themselves converted from warships. During the Aldea crisis, both sides were in the process of building dedicated military vessels to supplement their makeshift armed transports. When the treaty was signed and destroyer-to-light-cruiser-class vessels became illegal, some of these vessels were turned over to the TCA, some were scrapped, and some were converted to fast transports.

Mr.Tucker wrote:
Did the TCA have ANY indication of present or past alien activity in this region of space (ruins, sporadic radio bursts, etc) or was it all just academic in nature?

There was no hard evidence of alien civilization, but with the discovery of primitive native life on numerous alien worlds, it seemed to be merely a matter of time. But, it's human nature to go from crisis to complacency when an expected threat doesn't manifest itself in a timely manner.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
From the Insider page on tech levels:

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9 | Starfaring: (2100-2150): jump drive, interstellar travel, inertial dampers, artificial gravity, antigrav, longevity, shipstones


What, exactly, are shipstones? Doing a search on the forum doesn't show posts with this question or an explanation about it, so here it is.
And has humanity mastered antigravity in the 2160 setting? As far as I could see no human tech requires it.
They mastered artificial gravity. Is antigravity in the comic's setting much different from artifical gravity? Meaning does it work on different theoretical principles and/or equipment?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

As near as I can tell, a shipstone was something that Robert Heinlein thought up for his novel Friday, which is basically a power cell with an unreasonably massive energy storage capacity.


Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:24 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Yes, a shipstone is a high-capacity energy storage cell. The name is specific to Heinlein's universe, but I used it because it's brief.

GeoModder wrote:
And has humanity mastered antigravity in the 2160 setting? As far as I could see no human tech requires it.
They mastered artificial gravity. Is antigravity in the comic's setting much different from artifical gravity? Meaning does it work on different theoretical principles and/or equipment?

I expect that jump drive, artificial gravity and antigravity are all related technologies.

In most hard science fiction settings, artificial gravity is a higher-tech item, but in the early going I had made the decision that for this comic the Rule of Cool was the primary concern, and I didn't feel like redesigning the scout into something that looked more like the Leonov from 2010. But also, the ability to force a transition from normal space to hyperspace, especially without destroying the ship or crew, does imply some mastery over the fundamentals of spacetime and gravity.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
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with the discovery of primitive native life on numerous alien worlds


Oooooh, tell us more Arioch! Are there primitive sentient societies around in Human controlled space?


Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:26 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
As I recall from reading and prior Q&A's, no. Primitive native life refers to stuff like bacteria and early multicellular life such as algae, lichens and such.

If there were primitive civilization within Terran space, the cruiser project would likely never have been cancelled on the basis there are aliens out there, and we just lucked out to be the most advanced locally.

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Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:40 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Grayhome wrote:
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with the discovery of primitive native life on numerous alien worlds


Oooooh, tell us more Arioch! Are there primitive sentient societies around in Human controlled space?


Think more along the lines of pondscum in the oceans of Europa. Though it would be intriguing to know more about how the systems of human space shape up. There are few colonies but quite a lot of stars.


Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:20 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Yeah. Primitive as in microorganisms, on Proxima and Aldea.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Grayhome wrote:
Quote:
with the discovery of primitive native life on numerous alien worlds


Oooooh, tell us more Arioch! Are there primitive sentient societies around in Human controlled space?


My guess there is. On earth, I guess some areas are still somewhat underdeveloped, sometimes deliberately. Most likely the Amish are still around for instance. This could be something for visiting aliens to study. Expect xenoantropologists to arrive shortly.


Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:19 pm
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Sweforce wrote:
My guess there is. On earth, I guess some areas are still somewhat underdeveloped, sometimes deliberately. Most likely the Amish are still around for instance. This could be something for visiting aliens to study. Expect xenoantropologists to arrive shortly.

Hmmm... but are they truly sentient? :D

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
yes they are sentient and sane...they have some strange ideas of what a good life is though...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg <---- 'nuff said.


Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:54 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Pretty sure they are.
The question is are we (non-Amish) besides sentient also intelligent?
They way we handle our resources and our living space, it is questionable, and can be argued that the Amish are smarter than us.

(In "The Old Man's War", Amish-like (Mennonites) colonists play an important role ("the last colony").... 't was an interesting read....)

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Thu Jul 30, 2015 1:58 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
Sweforce wrote:
My guess there is. On earth, I guess some areas are still somewhat underdeveloped, sometimes deliberately. Most likely the Amish are still around for instance. This could be something for visiting aliens to study. Expect xenoantropologists to arrive shortly.


I can only imagine how it will be like when Alex encounters the Loroi equivalent to the Amish.

Beryl: Captain Jardin, we should leave...
Before she could finish what she was saying, they had come in sigh. About 40 loroi were walking down the street of the town. With same skin color, blue with a tint of purple, and blue hair, with variation in hue. All of them wearing a different kind of cloth, with many designs and colors. Some have their head shaved, others had long hair. They would either carry a concealed dagger or a bow around the torso. They must be a tribe. And by the stares they are giving to us, they must never have seen an alien before.
They stopped in the middle of the street and begun what looked like a telepathic conversation. Beryl was at my side and appeared apprehensive. If her troubled expression had not be clear enough, the sound of Reed's hand tightening around the handle of her pistol did pass the message.
One of them approached us and stared at Beryl. All these eyes upon me made me a little uncomfortable.
Beryl: Captain Jardin, Semago wishes to know why a tribe would let a male be a warrior and why you are pink.

P.S: Sorry for the bad english.


Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:56 am
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Terran question-and-answer thread
hi hi

There are groups of Amish people who live not far from me in the middle of nowhere. In my experience, they are for the most part, perfectly decent and respectable people. I can think of a number of social structures I would rank below theirs, anyways.


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