Poll

What happens next?

"Alright Men, let's head north and take out that Sea-Skimmer!"
4 (33.3%)
"Fall back to the primary battle line, this ain't our day to die!"
0 (0%)
"Lance corporal, we are going to stay right here, build a nice campfire, and wait out this goddamn war."
3 (25%)
"There's only one option at this point men, while that big red x is distracted, we're slipping down the river-valley and capturing that uranium. They'll thank us later!"
5 (41.7%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Big Sky  (Read 2470 times)

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Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Big Sky
« on: August 04, 2021, 11:21:42 PM »
Hello Everyone, I'm Theodidactus.  .  .  I was on here a lot a long time ago, and wandered away for a while.   In the intervening years I've had many adventures but I've decided to return to Aurora to run one more campaign, of sorts, in the manner of my old fiction.   Like my older stuff, this will be a setting where you will contribute via community voting.   Updates may be infrequent, but they will happen.   

THE PREMISE

A catastrophe has destroyed Earth, and in fact an entire solar system, 12 billion souls wiped out in an instant.   Only a handful of humans remain aboard
less than a dozen space-capable ships: 7 commercial vessels, and 4 survey ships.   These craft managed to escape the supernova event that ended humanity through the use of two Schlator generators: enormous spheres of exotic matter that enable faster-than-light travel through a poorly understood quantum-tunneling phenomenon.   

The "Schlator effect" enables instantaneous transportation to distant quantum coordinates.  .  .  but the destination is unknown and unknowable: potentially a galaxy away.  .  .  or beyond the observable universe entirely. 

After the jump engines cool and sensor resolution restores, humanity finds itself somewhere very far from home indeed.   Unfamiliar stars shine in all directions.    Humanity must begin anew with 4 mines, 2 factories, 20 infrastructure, 11 starships, and approximately 200,000 frozen colonists.   The goal is simple: locate the closest thing to a habitable world (code name: big sky) and begin rebuilding.   

The Ships

One Schlator class jump ship:

Code: [Select]
JS Schlator  (Schlater class Jump Ship)      75,036 tons       440 Crew       1,622.2 BP       TCS 1,501    TH 720    EM 0
479 km/s    JR 6-25(C)      Armour 1-158       Shields 0-0       HTK 115      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 13    Max Repair 523.7 MSP
Cargo 5,000   
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months   
Fuel Harvester: 1 modules producing 40,000 litres per annum
Orbital Miner: 3 modules producing 30 tons per mineral per annum

Schlator Generator (Large)     Max Ship Size 94000 tons    Distance 25k km     Squadron Size 6

Otomo Engines Limited Nuclear Thermal Coil (9)    Power 720.0    Fuel Use 10.06%    Signature 80.00    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 2,250,000 Litres    Range 53.6 billion km (1294 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 37 hours

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a i for auto-assignment purposes

One Montana Class Command Ship
Code: [Select]
CC Montana  (Montana class Command Ship)      14,879 tons       398 Crew       1,587 BP       TCS 298    TH 360    EM 0
1209 km/s    JR 4-50      Armour 1-53       Shields 0-0       HTK 67      Sensors 0/0/0/2      DCR 8      PPV 0
Maint Life 2.07 Years     MSP 1,033    AFR 221%    IFR 3.1%    1YR 323    5YR 4,847    Max Repair 471.1 MSP
Passengers 250   
Captain    Control Rating 3   BRG   SCI   FLG   
Intended Deployment Time: 35 months    Morale Check Required   

Macroscale Schlator Generator     Max Ship Size 15000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 4

Montana Expedition Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP80.00 (3)    Power 360.0    Fuel Use 73.48%    Signature 120.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 3,000,000 Litres    Range 49.4 billion km (472 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 50 hours

Geological Survey Sensors (2)   2 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a Survey Ship for auto-assignment purposes

Three Bozeman class survey cruisers
Code: [Select]
Bozeman class Survey Cruiser      10,417 tons       191 Crew       1,403.5 BP       TCS 208    TH 360    EM 0
1728 km/s      Armour 1-42       Shields 0-0       HTK 43      Sensors 55/25/3/5      DCR 6      PPV 0
Maint Life 5.31 Years     MSP 1,005    AFR 145%    IFR 2.0%    1YR 60    5YR 895    Max Repair 100 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 2   BRG   SCI   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Montana Expedition Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP80.00 (3)    Power 360.0    Fuel Use 73.48%    Signature 120.00    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 4,000,000 Litres    Range 94.1 billion km (630 days at full power)

Dalvi Electronics EM Sensor EM5-25 (1)     Sensitivity 25     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  39.5m km
Dalvi Electronics Thermal Observatory (1)     Sensitivity 55     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  58.6m km
Geological Survey Sensors (5)   5 Survey Points Per Hour
Gravitational Survey Sensors (3)   3 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a Survey Ship for auto-assignment purposes

Five Brandigo class freighters
Code: [Select]
Brandigo class Freighter      69,029 tons       168 Crew       667.9 BP       TCS 1,381    TH 720    EM 0
521 km/s      Armour 1-149       Shields 0-0       HTK 74      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 6    Max Repair 50 MSP
Cargo 50,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 1   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months   
Fuel Harvester: 1 modules producing 40,000 litres per annum

Otomo Engines Limited Nuclear Thermal Coil (9)    Power 720.0    Fuel Use 10.06%    Signature 80.00    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 1,750,000 Litres    Range 45.3 billion km (1006 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 29 hours

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a i for auto-assignment purposes

and 1 chilton-class colony ship

Code: [Select]
Chilton class Colony Ship      69,671 tons       358 Crew       2,694.8 BP       TCS 1,393    TH 720    EM 0
516 km/s      Armour 1-150       Shields 0-0       HTK 104      Sensors 0/0/0/0      DCR 1      PPV 0
MSP 24    Max Repair 100 MSP
Cryogenic Berths 200,000    Cargo Shuttle Multiplier 1   
Lieutenant Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months   
Fuel Harvester: 1 modules producing 40,000 litres per annum

Otomo Engines Limited Nuclear Thermal Coil (9)    Power 720.0    Fuel Use 10.06%    Signature 80.00    Explosion 5%
Fuel Capacity 1,750,000 Litres    Range 44.9 billion km (1006 days at full power)
Refuelling Capability: 60,000 litres per hour     Complete Refuel 29 hours

This design is classed as a Commercial Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a Colony Ship for auto-assignment purposes



The cast at the outset
* Captain Dolores Palamino (Unappreciative, callous)
* Commander Irwin Callbrier (Hunter, Cheerful, Adventurous)
* Commander Deanna Dier (Aggressive, Warm)
* Commander Jude Woodman (Science Fiction buff, born leader, calm)
* Commander Chao Xian You (Cowardly, unreliable, academic)
* commander soren soderberg (unattractive, disciplined, averse to risk)
* lt.   commander edvin soderberg (Contrarian, indifferent, unkempt)
* lt.   commander anasuya allu (calm, apolitical, personable)
* lt.   commander natala gorgone (pessimistic, capricious, nervous)
* lt.   commander phillipine carey (unkempt, methodical, egomaniac)
* lt.   commander shimedzu narumi (honest, adverse to risk, methodical)
* lt.   commander kumari lalbhai (punctual, subjective, war games enthusiast)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 11:24:03 PM by The0didactus »
 
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Offline Zap0

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2021, 12:51:15 AM »
Ohh, I'm a fan of tiny-scale games.

You're playing with maintenance off, I assume? Survey ships are classed as military in C# now. If not, those survey ships are going to be on a clock to find a new home for what's left of humanity!
 
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Offline idefelipe

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2021, 02:28:53 AM »
Amazing idea!!

Will keep a close eye on this. Nice work.
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2021, 10:52:42 PM »
=============================
STORY ONE: IN THEORY
=============================

December 17th, 2133, 19 hours after Transit:

Commander Chao cleared flecks of vomit from the edges of her lips and examined her face in the lavatory mirror.   Distinctive swelling around her eyes, characteristic redness at the corners.   It would be clear to everyone that she had been crying.  .  .  an understandable reaction given the circumstances, but not one her crew could stand to see. 

In this private place, she afforded herself the luxury of a few more quiet sobs.   This feeling came in waves, predictable moments when her training gave way to sheer terror and despair.   This would be the seventh time since the transit from Sol, and it surely would not be the last. 

Earth was already dead to her, that much was certain.   The world would whirl on for a few more months before the cataclysm burned up every celestial body in the system was a spinning cinder.   The gamma wash would scour away everything and everyone she had ever known.   Her thoughts turned to her brother, her father, her husband.  .  .  still alive in theory, but god-knows-where.   Professor Schlator had stated that her eponymous quantum tunneling system would take the fleet somewhere completely unknown, very likely outside the edge of the observable universe, so far away that the blast of light from her dying homeworld would never reach her, not if she waited the whole bredth of cosmic history.  .  . 

.  .  .  and of course her head was back in the toilet.   Dry heaves now.   Precious little to expel now.   Biological processes running down.   Ain't it always the way?

Her mind turned to what little remained: 11 ships, only a handful designed for more than a few years in orbit.   A few thousand trained astronauts, most of which had never seen the real rigors of space.   Recycling and hydroponic systems that worked, in theory.  .  .  200,000 flash-frozen colonists in little tubes aboard the Chilton, drifting somewhere nearby, on life support systems that would keep their frail bodies in something like life for decades.  .  .  again in theory.   Supplies to keep the explorer fleet running for 7 years.  .  .  in theory.   

The mission was clear enough, no need to wait for instructions from Captain Palamino: the explorer fleet would have to find a gas giant with enough Sorium to sustain the last remnants of earth.  .  .  then, the real work would begin: A new home.   Plant the seeds.   Regrow.   

It was possible, in theory.  .  .  but their departure had been hasty: handfuls of flora and fauna, thrown together by scientists the eight months before the fleet departed for the edge of the solar system; halfhearted attempts by amateurs to catalog human history, art, culture, in a scrapbook-enyclopedia as disorganized as it was incomplete.   

Commander Chao had to admit there was not much hope, but it fell on her to address the 200-odd crew under her command, and lie to the best of her ability.   She dabbed the last few tears away from her eyes, tried her best to clear her mind of thoughts of earth, and walked out to face her crew.  .  . 

*Thirteen Months Later*

"God Damn it, kill the music!" Commander Chao screamed over the plangent strains of the Electric Light Orchestra, blaring over jerry-rigged speakers in the ship's mess.   "I said kill the music, that's a direct order!" She barked, shooting daggers at one of the Swedes who had rigged up the system in his spare time.   He flicked a switch on the wall, and the system died with a disturbing "pop!"

Commander Chao addressed her crew for the twenthieth time since Transit.   In the intervening year, morale had steadily improved, but discipline had broken down somewhat.   It was a fair tradeoff.   Most of the crew of the *Missoula* regarded the mission as a party that was bound to end sometime.  .  .  but not quite yet.   Perhaps this was the right attitude.   

The survey fleet had crossed this new frontier over and back, over the last thirteen months, hunting for a suitable home for humanity.   None were ideal, a few were possible, at least in theory.   The search would continue as long as humanity's will to survive remained unbroken.   Commander Chao estimated humanity's will to survive would remain unbroken as long as the beer held out.   That was item one on today's address. 

"Okay folks, Item One.  " Commander Chao said, eyeing the 200 survivors under her command.   "Pulse engine C's ejector cap blew out earlier this morning.   The boys in grey think it'll be an easy fix as long as we can cannibalize enough T-wire from the ship's non-mission-critical subcomponents.   Unfortunately, I've ordered them to tear out the nonessential refigeration units on deck 12.  .  .  so it's going to be warm beer from now on, I'm afraid.  "

Audible groans broke out.   The Swedes groaned loudest of all.   Commander Chao threw out her hands to quell a potential mutiny.   "As you know.  .  .  HEY! As you know.  .  .  we're regrouping with the fleet near the Gas Giant December.   It's possible.  .  .  and I stress POSSIBLE.  .  .  that I can requisition some T-wire from the *Van Rijn*.  " Commander Chao examined a scrawled, torn-up scrap of paper which contained other agenda items.   ".  .  .  logistics informs me we're chewing through alcohol at the expected rate.   Got a year left boys.   I take it the impromptu brewing project continues to evade the science team?"

"Sorry yes, we're doing our best.  " Lieutenant Commander Allu said with a halfhearted salute.   

"Navigation estimates we're about 13 hours away from our rendezvous with the fleet.  " Commander Chao said, proceeding to the next item on her list.   "I'd ask everyone to be on their best behavior, as we have very little knowledge of how everyone else has handled the last year in isolation.   If any of you lot have retained religion, I'd ask you to say a few prayers for the other ships on the exploration team.   Say a few words to god or fate or whatever and hope they've had better luck finding a new home than we have.  .  .  "

*fifteen hours later*

"Well, it's not *terrible*" Captain Palamino said as she examined the collected survey reports.   The command crews of each member of the exploration fleet were crammed into an office that overlooked the flag bridge below.   The year apart had taken a heavy toll on her subordinates: uniforms had frayed, faces had aged, but, the Captain figured, at least no senior officer had died.   

"Commander Chao has found the best site so far.  " She says.   "Though Burnell One has obvious issues.   At this point, we'll settle for solid ground, oxygen, and liquid water.   I note nobody else sited all three.  "

"Burnell One has obvious issues that preclude a long-term colony.  " Commander Woodman said "We've got six dozen corundium drill-bits from earth, and *maybe* three engineers in the whole fleet that can frankenstein up a few more from spare parts.   Burnell one has a nickle-iron crust, mining opportunities are minimal, if we're going to manufacture enough infrastructure to keep two hundred thousand humans alive and healthy, we're going to need to dig up a whole lot of duranium in a very short period of time.    my estimates clearly show.  .  .  "

"It's my call.  " Captain Palamino said.   "and at present I'm inclined to touch down on Burnell One, we've got three or four years before half the fleet starts falling out of the sky, and we've got no guarantee the colonists on ice will keep for much longer.   If they start to.  .  .  I guess for lack of a better word, "turn", this whole mission is over.  "

"At least delay landfall until we can survey Bode-B Three.  " Commander Woodman said.   "It's one more year.   If the planet has the mineral structure I expect, we can.  .  .  "

"Bode Three is a toxic wasteland.  " Captain Palamino replied.   "Sulfur dioxide gas and periodic storms of silica-sludge, we'd spend the next fifty years in caves even if we could keep up with the infrastructure requirements.  "

"I don't think I need to remind you that biostatsis process that keeps those colonists alive requires facilities and medical expertise we simply don't have anymore.  " Commander Woodman replied.   "You defrost those people, they will not be going to space again.   You can't give the order to make landfall yet.   You must let us *look* at Bode.  .  .  "

"It's my call.  " Captain Palamino said again. 

"In theory.  .  .  " Commander Chao muttered.  .  . 
« Last Edit: August 05, 2021, 10:57:56 PM by The0didactus »
 
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Offline Black

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2021, 01:21:31 AM »
That is a tough choice. What are the deposits on Burnell Two and Three? Could Three be a better option than One? Are there any gas giants in primary component of Bode system? If there are none, then Bode is not a choice at all in my opinion. Unless position of jump points and Lagrange points is very good. We would have to transport fuel from Burnell, of course we do not know if there are deposits of Sorium on Burnell Four. I think that we need to wait, at least until we know if there are deposits on Burnell Four.

OOC: Are there any in universe limitations outside the Aurora rules, that we should keep in mind when decisions are to be evaluated?
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2021, 08:42:25 PM »
OOC: Burnell Two and Three are definitely worse options than one.  Bode is a double system, and Bode A has several unexplored gas giants.  Relevant information will be provided upon request because I've forgotten considerable game mechanics


I've hinted at details that differ, I believe, from the standard aurora universe, but they're entirely cosmetic.  The Schlator drive transports over extreme distance with each jump.  Each system on the starmap could be in a different galaxy, or even farther apart.  Once "unfrozen", humanity will lack the technology to resuspend colonists. . . likely for many decades.
 

Offline Black

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2021, 03:10:34 AM »
I believe that we need to wait for survey reports from Bode, we have one shot at this and sure, we are losing some time by not developing colony right now, but if there are better deposits on Bode, we can quickly catch up.

OOC comment: I would like to highlight that there is no Mercassium on Burnell, that means no research facilities and no Neutronium, so no shipyards. Burnell is not a good option, sure Bode can be even worse, but I believe we have to wait for survey report.
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2021, 09:36:40 PM »
=============================
STORY TWO: THE STELE
=============================

Academy Notation 13-27-804114
Notator: E

The so-called "Soderberg Stele" is not a stele at all, in fact, it's highly unlikely the authors meant it as a public commemoration of anything, as there is every indication the Soderberg line was, for the first 150 years of the colony's existence following foundation, a complete nonentity.     Instead, the stele appears to have been an entirely private attempt at commemorating important events within the Beargrass colony in orbit around Big Sky, a gas giant in what the colonists designated the "Bode" system.     Laser-etched into a duranium support beam in the Soderberg family quarters by at least seven distinct hands, the stele is remarkable both in its candid nature, and in the fact that it is the most complete record from the first century of the colony's existence, a period in which nearly all other records are lost.     Comparing the original logs of the founder ships with later records, it is clear the original author of the Stele was "Lieutenant Commander"  Edvin Soderberg, commander of the founder-ship Brandigo, one of the ten ships to found a colony on the celestial body identified in precolonial records as "Bode IV-A", later known as Beargrass.   Soderberg's progency continued to update the stele for nearly a century.     Soren Soderberg, another "lieutenant commander" of the survey cruiser Boseman, is listed as left behind in the Burnell system.   


1/9/2137: Quarters assigned, will be here a while, they're talking centuries.     Might as well leave a mark.   
1/11/2137: turbines installed, more power, light!
3/5/2137: Lucky strike mine founded among the asteroids.     Shifts at least one year.     miss her already
3/27/2137: Hydroponics complete
6/5/2137: reactor works!
7/17/2137: so many deaths
8/1/2137: miss her more
11/07/2137: first birth, new hope, they said it was impossible.     Humans work here, it seems
12/2/2137: montana decommissioned, cannibalied for shelter
5/18/2138: palamino promises an election.     
9/15/2138: happy new year
9/20/2138: she's coming home!

[ what follows is a crude illustration of a cardiod etched with "soderberg & chao"


2/12/2139: we have stability.     
6/12/2139: Crowson governor
5/12/2140: accident in space, miner won't be coming back for years
11/12/2142: resigned.     
8/4/2143: Emmert has cryonics working.     New colonies are possible.     Crowson declines.     
9/21/2164: Saw dad had been working on this.     Interesting.     Will keep record assuming anything significant happens around here
11/7/2164: population exceeds 500,000.     
4/4/2165: Miners return with the damp, whole pods infected, doing our best
6/31/2165: Dogson located a copy of "Key Largo" among wreckage of Brandigo.     Whole colony talking about it, first new entertainment in a decade.   
11/7/2165: Second Chance mine founded.     Miners coming in 2 year shifts now.     Very hard.     Must be done.   
4/5/2166: equatorial trade post completed, southern hemisphere of beargrass is ours
12/24/2178: returned home.     12 years and not much to show for it.     
4/1/2180: population steady.     hands not
5/11/2184: mom is gone, my turn now.   
6/24/2186: Emmertite governor, everyone is worried
7/30/2189: getting married
3/21/2191: Sequence mine completed.     Bryant will be rich.   

[several dates are obscured by a crude illustration of a human reproductive organ drawn by a later vandal]

10/25/2208: appointed to head new hydroponics project.     
12/11/2208: eureka, morels
3/6/2209: unrest in Emmertite quarter.     
6/24/2209: Van Rijn reports unusually productive vein, significant progress.     Less than a century here?
11/30/2214: It falls to me.     Petersky decommissioned.     New governor.     Amity.     Ambitious
7/7/2216: construction begins on shipyard, academy, my children will see it
5/11/2219: Amity dead.     Damp.   
12/1/2226: And now it falls to me.   
4/8/2227: Population exceeds a million, on track to support a million more.     
5/29/2230: Petersky radio silent for 9 weeks now, presumed lost.     4 transport ships remain functional.     3 needed to support the colony.     What will become of us.   
7/1/2230: Zebrev convinced we will perservere
1/5/2231: Petersky returns! Crew mostly alive.     Month of celebrations.   
4/8/2236: and now it falls to me I guess
9/1/2238: hired to construct shipyard.     hands ache.     honest work though
11/4/2240: shipyard assemblage complete.     someday soon will write of its completion.     Exciting.     We return to the stars
1/15/2242.    .    .   


« Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 04:57:12 PM by The0didactus »
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2021, 09:17:38 PM »
Finally popping into this one. Let me just note that people like you are the reason Steve gave us a 30 day increment button...  :P

It sounds like settling in Bode turned out to be the right choice, though we don't yet know what the mineral readout was. Population growth seems rather slow for Aurora, I assume the racial growth rate has been nerfed for this campaign?

Aside:

6/5/2137: reactor works!
7/17/2137: so many deaths

while I can't be sure that this was the intention, the juxtaposition of these two events was a rather black-humorous moment to me - implying of course that the reactor worked...a little too well.

Curious to see what is next and how reader participation will work!
 

Offline El Pip

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2021, 01:44:25 AM »
It sounds like settling in Bode turned out to be the right choice, though we don't yet know what the mineral readout was. Population growth seems rather slow for Aurora, I assume the racial growth rate has been nerfed for this campaign?
Or the population is infrastructure limited so lots of 'off screen' deaths from people with nowhere to live.


6/5/2137: reactor works!
7/17/2137: so many deaths

while I can't be sure that this was the intention, the juxtaposition of these two events was a rather black-humorous moment to me - implying of course that the reactor worked...a little too well.
Begun the Reactor Wars have. The population fighting over having a plug socket that finally works so that they might power their beer fridges (I assume they are still a vital part of the culture of this civilisation).
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2021, 06:38:28 AM »
population was largely limited by infrastructure production.  The colony had 2 factories, 2 automated mines, and 20 infrastructure at the outset.  I'm building it up from there.  The moon has most essential minerals except neutronium, which I'm mining from nearby asteroids.  At present we're about 30 years from a shipyard complex and an academy.
 
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Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2021, 06:37:23 PM »
eighty seven years later


=============================
STORY THREE: SODERBERG
=============================

Code: [Select]
Horizon class Survey Ship      5,518 tons       112 Crew       534.1 BP       TCS 110    TH 120    EM 0
1087 km/s    JR 3-50      Armour 1-27       Shields 0-0       HTK 25      Sensors 11/5/1/1      DCR 4      PPV 0
Maint Life 3.94 Years     MSP 242    AFR 61%    IFR 0.8%    1YR 25    5YR 372    Max Repair 100 MSP
Commander    Control Rating 1   BRG   
Intended Deployment Time: 36 months    Morale Check Required   

Micro-Schlator Drive     Max Ship Size 6000 tons    Distance 50k km     Squadron Size 3

Montana Expedition Nuclear Pulse Engine  EP80.00 (1)    Power 120    Fuel Use 73.48%    Signature 120    Explosion 10%
Fuel Capacity 2,000,000 Litres    Range 88.8 billion km (945 days at full power)

Thermal Sensor TH1.0-11.0 (1)     Sensitivity 11     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  26.2m km
EM Sensor EM1.0-5.0 (1)     Sensitivity 5     Detect Sig Strength 1000:  17.7m km
Geological Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour
Gravitational Survey Sensors (1)   1 Survey Points Per Hour

This design is classed as a Military Vessel for maintenance purposes
This design is classed as a Survey Ship for auto-assignment purposes

On a normal day in the gulf between worlds, the Equinox depended on every one of her hundred crew members.       This was not a normal day.       Something extraordinary had happened, ultimately to be attributed to one crew member: Larissa Miles, sensor technician second class, caught an anomalous line of heat signatures out of the corner of her eye while overflying the orbital path of an unremarkable world in the Burnell system on a return trip to Bode.       Hypotheses were proposed and immediately discounted: thermal shimmer off of the ship's pulse-wake? Certainly not, it was visible on all three of the ship's thermal telescopes, with clear parallax effects.       A volcanic eruption on the surface of the planet in question? Impossible, the stony world known to surveyors as Gunsight was tectonically active, but the signature was far to spread-out.      .      .      and frankly far too cold.       Smugglers? Pirates? Communities outside the Directorship had been theorized, but they would not be out this far.       

But subsequent investigation lead to one incontrovertible conclusion: Larissa Miles had discovered a settlement on Gunsight, a tectonically active world that survey ships from the Directorate had passed three times previously without even stopping.       Elias Aberg, commander of the Equinox, had hailed the settlement from thirty million kilometers away.       Days of unsuccessful broadcasts on all communication frequencies were finally met with a response.       Through the inevitable awkwardness of two-minute time delays, a conversation ensued went something like this:

Equinox: CQ CQ CQ This is Beargrass Directorate Survey-ship Equinox calling.       CQ CQ CQ.      .      .     

Colony: We.      .      .      read?

Equinox: This is Beargrass Directorate Survey-ship Equinox on a return trip to the Bode system, under orders from Director Ana Soderberg, who are we speaking to?

Colony: We are Soderberg

Equinox: To clarify, yes, we are on a return trip to Bode under orders of Director Soderberg.       English may not be your primary language, perhaps a translation is in order, we are asking who you are?

Colony: We are Soderberg

Equinox: Unclear what you are.      .      .      look, the Directorship has forbidden independent prospecting and settlement outside the Bode system, how did you get out here?

Colony: Directorship? Here? We have always been here.       We are Soderberg.     

Equinox: Soderberg is on Beargrass, a system away.       She is also one person.       You are very likely a wildcat mining operation, though how you support yourselves out here in the void is beyond me.      .      .      that's what we're trying to clarify here?

Colony: Wildcat? Beargrass? We are Soderberg.     

A curious communication followed, initially assumed to be static.       Days later, some brilliant programmer realized is was a raster-formatted image, broadcast in a format that had not been used since the initial tunnel from earth two centuries ago.       

It showed four figures, clearly human, quite identical, quintuplets perhaps.       When the image was presented to Commander Aberg he did have to admit that the humans looked quite a bit like Director Soderberg: The same sharp, stonelike face.       The same volt-blue eyes.       The same sour squint, like the whole universe owed them money.      .      .     

Aberg matched the gaze of the figures in the image.       Of course, he had no idea at the time how fateful this encounter would be.      .      .      centuries hung the balance, but Aberg simply shook his head in ignorance.     

"What the hell?" He grunted.     

***
56 days later
***

"What, who is Soderberg?" Director Ana Soderberg said, tossing her briefing materials aside.       Her office, by a century-long tradition, was stationed in the highest spire on Central city, overlooking the steady lights of Beargrass colony.       

"In a sense I think they all are.      " Her attache replied.       "Some kind of operant conditioning.     Communiques are still coming in from the Equinox at a steady clip.      .      .      but they wanted you to have initial intelligence the moment they tunneled into the system.       There's.      .      .      an understandable family element that might assist in first contact.      "

"Well if I'm reading this right, you're talking about my great-great-great grand-uncle?" Soderberg said.       Her family history was better-understood than most of the inhabitants of Beargrass colony: roughly a century ago years ago, her grandfather had put down the last of the Emmertite revolutions, and outlawed their practices.       Since then, the colony had been run by members of her extended family.      .      .      .      partially out of tradition, partially because no one wanted the same fate as the last of the Emmertites.       There were bleached piles of skulls out there on the equatorial wastes that her grandfather had built with his bare hands.      .      .      but these were in theory far more civilized times.      .      .     

"Great-great-great-great, One more great, if I have the colonial records in order.      " Her attache replied.       "When the Montana Expedition tunneled into the Bode system on their trajectory away from earth, they left one ship back in Burnell, the Bosemann, under the command of Soren Soderberg.       Soren's brother Edvin was a lieutenant commander in charge of the Brandigo, which is still in operation.      .      .      those things were built to last.      .      .      and he was your great-great-great-great grandfather.      .      .      near as we can tell.      "

"The guy who started carving the stele in the old family quarters?"

"Yes.      "

"So they left the Bosemann behind on the theory that Bode might have unfavorable mining conditions.      .      .      and what, they never came back?"

"The Schlator drive on the Montana broke down two years into the Bode survey and the records subsequently got lost in the shuffle, we've only been able to reconstruct the initial manifests in the last seven years.      .      .      "

"and the Bosemann?"

"Well, near as we can tell, they waited five or six years before touching down on Gunsight, and retooled the ship into a settlement.       Then there was a long, slow realization that 200 crew simply could not make a sustainable colony.      .      .      hell, we had a hard enough time fighting genetic drift effects with 200,000.      .      .      so.      .      .      um.      .      .      it looks like a few brilliant souls found a solution in cloning, but given the telomeric halo-effects involved, the only viable candidate after a generation or two turned out to be.      .      .      "

"Soren Soderberg.       Yes.       Every member of the colony on Gunsight is a clone of Soren Soderberg.       They've been living in a collection of longhouses built out of shattered ship-hulls for the last two centuries"

"And how many of them are we dealing with?"

"Seven hundred thousand, give or take.      .      .      seven hundred thousand Soren Soderbergs


Ana Soderberg's response was swift and decisive.      .      .      no Soderberg did things by half measure.       Her decision would shape the last remnants of humanity for centuries to come.      .      .     

I will spacemaster the burgeoning colony in accordance with the prevailing option:

1: Exterminate: numerous immediate advances in space and ground weaponry
2: Conquer: several advances in ground weaponry and a new colony with a research lab and a population of 700,000
3: Take them in: numerous immediate advances in genetics and several research labs added to existing colonies
4: distrust: several advances in sensor technology and an independent colony arises on Gunsight

This decision will also set the tone for what kind of empire I play in this campaign
« Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 09:06:07 PM by The0didactus »
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2021, 07:05:28 PM »
As is tradition for interactive AARs, the choice I would pick is not on the list, this being the perhaps "half measure" approach of establishing relations and getting a better sense of this new colony before committing to a decisive action. If these Soderbergs haven't got ships, they pose no danger to Beargrass, and I'm guessing they also lack any kind of industry so there's no danger of any ships being launched anytime soon either. So worst case, they are hostile but no threat, and frankly they do not seem hostile. If they are by all assessments friendly, helpful, and not too mentally unstable we can start thinking about a slow, safe process of integration - making sure that humanity is not overwhelmed by clones of a single man all at once.

Option by option:
  • Exterminate? Absolutely not. Leaving aside any qualms of morality, in a world where reaching a million population takes a century 700k is a valuable workforce if nothing else.
  • Conquer? Maybe. This is a quick way to gain access to 700k pop and a research facility to boot, albeit one that would probably only work at half capacity for many decades.
  • Take them in? Absolutely not. Leaving aside any claims to moral high ground, the implications of dropping 700,000 clones of one man into an established society are frightening to say the least. If nothing else these immediately become a massive power bloc by sheer size of population, assuming that as clones they will tend to identify with one another more readily than other humans.
  • Distrust? Maybe. This is the closest to how I would prefer to initially approach things, but establishing a colony next to these Soderbergs is a risky move that has a lot of backfire potential.

While it is still moving too quickly for me, it does have the advantage of being relatively cautious and striking a balanced tone which should be essential for the future explorations of humanity. Thus, Distrust is the best option and has my vote accordingly.
 
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Offline Black

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2021, 01:04:58 AM »
I agree with the esteemed colleague. Caution is advisable but we should try to establish diplomatic contact and possibly trade relationship with long term goal of reintegration. We need to find out more about them as after so many years in such difficult conditions. There could be differences between us that could prove dangerous, but the thought of extermination as some proposed is something I could not accept.
 

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2021, 04:05:48 AM »
Distrust does seem the best option. If nothing else I instantly became suspicious that the only set of genetic material that was viable was that of the commander, particularly if they managed a couple of generations of other candidates before the problems 'somehow' appeared.