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BattleTech Player Boards => Fan Fiction => Topic started by: Cannonshop on 10 May 2022, 13:25:03

Title: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 May 2022, 13:25:03
Abandoned star system, Former Hegemony space, 3029...

Gareth Keane's prybar flexed against the seam, it didn't quite break the seals on the bunker's paneling.  "you got that open yet?" his old man asked.

"Still working on it dad."  he said, grabbing an eight kilo sledge, and pounding on the Halligan Tool until he felt a bite-and-slip into the seam.

He wrenched against it again.

The panel didn't lever open so much as pull outward, releasing a puff of condensate and pressurized neutral gas.

a gleam of light outlined the panel.

"Hey, this tech-it's still working!"

His dad scrambled down the broken beam from the upper floor, and, using a similar tool, helped him pry the module outward.

"Paydirt, boy...paydirt-we're going to get paid!!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 10 May 2022, 13:27:42
tag in 1st
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Euphonium on 10 May 2022, 16:32:47
That title is making me really curious to see where this is going to go!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 10 May 2022, 16:36:16
Considering this story was soon after you posted this idea (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/battletech-fanfiction-tribble-emporium-2-0-expanded-premises!/msg1832973/#msg1832973) about robots, I think their pay will not be what they are expecting.  Then again, if they can keep control over the variants, this could be useful vs the Clans.

But I can definitely see Comstar wanting their brown robes when they find out about it.  Plus attempts to steal/copy the tech for their own purposes.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: eriktheviking on 10 May 2022, 17:16:17
Yes!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Red Pins on 10 May 2022, 17:51:15
Tagged.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 10 May 2022, 18:05:08
Cannonshop's writing it, I'm reading it!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 May 2022, 10:23:48
Garrett Satcom Engineering department lab 18, Dalton, FWL 3031...

"...do we know where it came from?  Because this is more than a standard data-core."  Phyllys Argent looked up as Mr. Lauber's voice penetrated her almost trance-like study of the find.

"Yeah, I guess." she shrugged, "The equipment is clearly from the peak of the Star League, the whole structure of the data-unit is superior in elegance and efficiency, the connections are all SLDF standard, and the power requirements are consistent with high-end networked data storage devices like the computers in some of those remnant Kanga hovercraft." she gestured at the far end of the bay, where a team of workers had stored the now-long-inoperable control matrixes from an SLDF Kanga Hovertank, "but it's a hell of a lot more powerful."

"How much more?"

She leaned back in her wheelchair, and mused idly.  "I'd say it's more powerful than you'd need to run a jumpship.  the architecture alone suggests that, but it's even more interesting what they put inside."

"So there is data stored in it?"

"Please..." she rolled her eyes, "YES sir, there is.  heavily encrypted data, heavily encrypted, heavily compressed, it took me nearly six months to build a terminal powerful enough to read the data...and I had to be remarkably clever, which you already know sir, because you're here in my laboratory instead of just having your Assistant demand status reports."

"So...what did we find?"

she placed a hand on the arm of her chair, and the waldo extended, unfolding into a three-jointed arm with five unversal manipulator 'fingers' to lift a cloth off of a screen,

"Nirasaki Computers Collective.  The people who made the control systems for the Kanga, and the people who made the Caspar Drone systems." She told him, "This is a backup database of their in-house technical library.  Millions of entries, very comprehensive, very complete."

He stared.  "Complete?"

"Yeah, complete, including records of rejected proposals to the Terran Hegemony military and the Star League Defense Forces.  People have died and their papers gone missing over less than what your contract scavengers put on my workbench, sir...a lot of people have died over less.  Your lostech prospectors hit the damn jackpot.  not just vague references to specifications, Mister Lauber, this core has instructions to make the tools to make the components to make the products we can't even fix with the military manuals...and the instructions to make the components for the tools and the papers they based the research off of to dream those components up.  It's an industrial base in a five hundred kilogram can, just add workforce and tools."

He licked his lips.  "You're sure?"

"I upgraded my chair." she told him, "it's not like having an unbroken spine, but I can empty my bag in the toilet without needing a helper now, and I might be able to make a frame so I can walk again instead of needing a ramp...and of course, the arms." she beamed up at him, "Which have their own attractions for a cripple like me.  Yes, it's complete."

"We're going to need a product." he mused.

"I have found a few ideas-something we can get a march on the ****** Lyrans over, and maybe even sell to select customers."

"What kind of select customers?"

"Mining customers?" she shrugged, "maybe some industrial uses.  The proposal was written for the Terries, to handle mining and mineral extraction in 'unfriendly' environments where you don't want to waste people, and the numbers look pretty good, but the subtext was a discussion of possible military applications."

"A new 'mining mech'?"

"Sort of."  her extra arms reached over to tap out a few commands on a keyboard.  "Doesn't need more than a basic oversight in the loop-they're cheap, disposable, self-repairing, and modular."

The image showed an almost bug-like shape with cutting equipment buried into it's carapace.  "Specs suggest it can also be used for 'active salvage' of hardened equipment." she added, "Which some of the notes suggest might be turned to a military application in site security with the seismic sensor, thermal, magnetic receptors and networked processors-the more you have, the smarter they get using a Heuristic algorithm and sharing processor space.  Drop on a moon, or asteroid, they go to work.  Come back in a few months..."

"Raw materials, already processed for shipping." He mused.

"Yeah.  Safety for the company, lowered liability since you're not exposing large numbers of poorly trained employees to months in a space suit or environmental gear...and you don't have to pay them."

"and the military applications?" he asked.

"Change the program at the central 'queen' node, quick and dirty area-denial system made of smart mines." she shrugged, "or something to that effect, self-cleaning-up too, or you can use them to clear minefields and dismantle unexploded ordnance."

"and cheap?"

"After we build the first one, they can build themselves." she shrugged, "even work in improvements to a point...are you interested sir?"

"color me interested, Doc. color me interested.  You're approved."

"Thank you sir."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 May 2022, 11:15:41
The Self-Configuring Heuristic robots weren't...

...the first spin-off tech from the analysis of the Nirasaki core.   You have to understand, any completely new product needs to justify its existence by providing other products that can be sold to fund the research and development-even if it looks at first, like you've got that information already handled.

Nope.

It takes time to train a workforce, it takes time to set up factory floors, and all that commercial and manufacturing space demands lots of investment in resources and materials, and more important, money.

The first product to come out of the Nirasaki core, was something a lot less glamorous.  Dalton's seismic network got a big boost with a new primary server, contributed by the R&D department of Garrett Electronics, this new core was smaller, and simpler, but had a much better, more flexible and better optimized analysis software, and a new, unusual architecture.

This got the interest of procurement officials in the FWL Militia, which has been sitting on collections of non-functional hulks and partially salvaged systems for generations.

Updates to Garrett's targetrac and Satcom hardware came next, and some of those updates included some 'possible upgrades' that immediately got the full-blown 'Classified' treatment.

after all, when six 'mechs in your company are sharing a composite tactical overlay that updates realtime and can recognize the basic architecture of an opposing 'mech-even one made out of parts of other 'mechs?  You don't go blabbing to the Press.

You also don't tell them that your grandfather's 'mech, which you've nursed, has started handling like a sports-car...even when it's an aging assault 'mech.

You just don't advertise this.  Not in a hurry, anyway.  Not when you've got Lyrans on one border, or Cappies on the other, or seditious ****** in the other provinces.

Instead, you quietly nod, argue a bit about not needing the equipment gone over, then fork the money for the updates.

because they're that good.

Engine management modules, tactical software, the nervous systems of Battlemechs? all places where a few tweaks here or there can have major payoffs, all 'black boxed' systems that Garrett was selling hand-over-fist, but only to approved customers inside the League.

or so it might seem.

What the operators don't talk about (and won't, even to SAFE) is that after an upgrade cycle, their equipment starts 'predicting' what they're going to ask, whether it's a bit of speed, or order of weapons, or cooling cycles, or just slight differences in performance.  It's not enough to be immediately visible, not even to Comstar's ROM organization.  The fixes, after all, are subtle enough to go unnoticed, for the most part.

but for units selected to run the new hardware as a package?  well...

the machines are 'self-tuning' to their operators with use, and maintenance cycles are finding less damage from minor errors in piloting, while gunnery scores improve.  For units equipped with updated Command Post equipment, the tactical pictures are just so much clearer and some officers (in private) swear that more threatening targets are brighter on the displays, more quickly noticed, earlier.

Dr. Argent could explain it, if anyone outside the Corporation even knew her name these days.  The upgrades were interfacing and sharing knowledge, their learning programs were learning, and the upgrades were working together on sidebands with a 'cloud intelligence' architecture-the more upgraded units in a given area, the more the underlying code can use to develop.  It's not Singularity, at least, but in the regiments chosen to test the new technology, it gives a geometric increase in peformance and a lowering of failure rates.

The machines are flat making the operators better in the field.

all according to plan.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 11 May 2022, 11:20:26
And we know what happens to plans...

End of Line.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: namar13766 on 11 May 2022, 12:18:28
We’re going to get Cybrids, aren’t we?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 11 May 2022, 16:47:43
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
And...Well, you know the rest (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/and-i-feel-fine/)...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: namar13766 on 11 May 2022, 17:30:34
...Wait a minute.

Self-Configuring Modular Robot.
...
SCMR.
...
Screamer?!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 11 May 2022, 18:20:42
All I can say is...  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 11 May 2022, 19:25:25
...Wait a minute.

Self-Configuring Modular Robot.
...
SCMR.
...
Screamer?!

And no one asked why this is in an archive of rejected and never produced designs.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 May 2022, 09:46:13
"The new Garrett Entertainment Manager...

...is designed to help the discerning consumer find the programming and information they really want."

How do you sell an electronic surveillance and spying system when the Military isn't interested?  There's good money in that top 1-10% of any given population that craves novelty.  Planetary datanets are old hat, having one is practically de-riguer even in systems where personal computers are verging on a lost technology.

Garrett Systems Entertainment Division's release of a simple, three kilogram home entertainment library and online search system (we don't call it a 'computer') hit Store shelves from Romulus to Andurien just in time for the Christmas/Ramadan shopping blitz in 3032...and thanks to the Concord of Kapteyn, it was hitting export sales in the Draconis Combine and Capellan Confederation at roughly the same time.

It's inoffensive beige, a box half a meter wide by half a meter long by just under forty centimeters tall, it has jacks compatible with most existing player formats and telephone lines, and it's absolutely stamped from one end to the other as a civilian product using low-powered components certified to be absolutely not hardened against combat conditions.  (We promise).

Hardware experts in the ISF, now, they figured out the machines are cheap, but not cheaply made, and DCMS techs are already figuring out that the only difference between the 'home entertainment boxes' and the computers driving most military hardware, can be corrected with a soldering iron and some patience.

'bootleg' software patches to turn these inexpensive home entertainment systems into processors suitable for battlemech, tank, aerofighter and even Naval use start popping up in 'low observable' areas of each realm's community of techs and slicers.

The dirty truth being, those 'software patches' are a front for SAFE, flying under the radar of Comstar ROM and most national intelligence agencies using the dual powers of being known to be wholly incompetent, and getting covert help from Garrett's 'analytical and information warfare systems' purchased with black funds sometime in 3031 as overages on the field upgrade and update system.

Frequent balking and openly refusing to sell in the Lyran Commonwealth saw a fair number of these systems being 'procured' by Lyran and Federated Suns intelligence agencies concerned about the apparent technology transfers.

Followed by spates of raiding specifically to grab them.

which is also, all according to plan.  Bootleg copies using inadvertent copying of the base code follow shortly after.

The systems improve performance, and people in the KNOW know this-and who lets someone else's advances outpace them, really?

By 3035, a trade agreement to sell last year's version of the "Garretbox" entertainment suite is signed with the Federated Commonwealth.  It's a nice chunk of cash, and the League's initial reluctance to sales makes it both desirable, and leaves the possible negative outcomes ignored.

After all, the Leaguers wouldn't sell it if it weren't harmless...right?

In 3035, kids from one end of the Free Worlds to the other found a new toy to go gaga over.  "Hermy", a remote-controlled electronic pet compatible with the Garrett Entertainment Box, styled after the League's iconic Hermes II battlemech, and available in the colours of your favored FWLM or Solaris champions.  Exports styled after the most iconic 'mech of the other realms pop up right in time for Christmas, at a price that even a moderately successful dirt-farmer's kid can afford.

Hermy is half a meter tall, and it can learn to do tricks using a simple software interface...and it can learn to do other tricks, if you're patient and obsessive enough.

the toys are making more money for the company than their military contracts...

They're completely harmless fun for all ages, don't you know.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: monbvol on 12 May 2022, 09:57:18
I'd love to explain why this makes me laugh as much I am right now but I'm still bound by NDA.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 May 2022, 10:07:23
I'd love to explain why this makes me laugh as much I am right now but I'm still bound by NDA.

What, you work for Amazon on the Alexa? because that's what I was riffing off of. (also Xbox, Playstation, and Furbie) That, and the prevalence of 'smart phones' that can be remotely activated to monitor people by a court order and your local provider.

You don't have to sneak in and plant bugs, if you can con people into buying the bugs and planting it themselves, and people are damned eager to do just that, as the popularity of doing exactly that shows.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: monbvol on 12 May 2022, 11:10:56
Technically, and I can say this as I understand the terms of my NDA, I work for a third party lab that does QA testing for Amazon yes.  But I can't say the specific product I work on.

But speaking of Amazon and Alexa and relating to Hermy:

Relevant! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj1t3msy8dc)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 May 2022, 11:17:16
Technically, and I can say this as I understand the terms of my NDA, I work for a third party lab that does QA testing for Amazon yes.  But I can't say the specific product I work on.

But speaking of Amazon and Alexa and relating to Hermy:

Relevant! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj1t3msy8dc)

well, I'm glad you got a good laugh, because part of this one, is an attempt at more humour than my usual.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 12 May 2022, 12:27:23
What, you work for Amazon on the Alexa? because that's what I was riffing off of. (also Xbox, Playstation, and Furbie) That, and the prevalence of 'smart phones' that can be remotely activated to monitor people by a court order and your local provider.

You don't have to sneak in and plant bugs, if you can con people into buying the bugs and planting it themselves, and people are damned eager to do just that, as the popularity of doing exactly that shows.
So at what point do they make Furby (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/254094.stm) the 1st gen models which I know could learn as my grandmother had 1 that hated me, and would ask my grandmother to dance.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 May 2022, 13:50:55
Garrett systems Testing area, airless moon [classified]

Mick Kavosopoulos, Benji Ayerman, and Tara Dreeson had been here for eight months, three people with roughly 100 cubic meters of pressurized habitat, infrequent supply shipments, and several hundred robots the size of a schnauzer dog.

well, the robots were the size of a schauzer, most of the time.  Lately, the robots have been getting a little smaller, more compact.

Outside the pressurized hab, stockpiles of processed mineral ores were accumulating at the shuttle pad, roughly 30% of what the robots were pulling out of the crust of this moon, but still quite comparable and competitive with surface mining on an inhabited planet with human workers.

and it's deadly dull.  The robots initially would send alerts frequently, requiring the tech team to don suits, hop in an electric rover, and go fix, or help un-stuck the damned things.

but then, that was when there were only a few dozen.  Now the robots send a distress, it's logged, and before anyone's put on a suit, other robots show up and free or repair the damaged units.

Like I said, deadly dull stuff.  The machines have also been adjusting their own configurations, something that is part of the testing here.

several thousand machines are working, they find the materials, bring them to a central point, where those materials get processed, a portion goes to repairs and a portion goes to the shuttle pad.  The shuttle lands, and collects the materials.

simple and dull.

The things haven't tried to dismantle the equipment since month two's software bug, which was 'cured' by placing directives in the loop on the learning processors.

Still, it's creepy when the crew bother to really consider what might happen if someone jailbreaks the control codes.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: J-H on 12 May 2022, 14:37:40
Genesys is Skynet.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: paulobrito on 12 May 2022, 14:40:36
Von Neuman machines that learn. What can possibly go wrong?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Atarlost on 12 May 2022, 17:38:47
Von Neuman machines that learn. What can possibly go wrong?

It's okay, they're a gestalt consciousness.  They're not going to independently reinvent intellectual property lawyers.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 May 2022, 18:59:38
The hilarity intesifies...  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 13 May 2022, 21:58:59
Now we just need one of the robots to analyze a cultural database and query the on-site crew:
Do these units have a soul? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAOjtzOUTRc)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 May 2022, 07:20:42
Military procurement is a funny business...

...it has as much to do with politics, culture, and habit, as it does with ideas like effectiveness, reliability, simplicity and cost.  To give a quick aside, the American Civil war saw a proliferation of single-shot breechloading Carbines meant for cavalry use while the bulk of rifles for military use were still muzzle-loading all the way to the end of the conflict.  Several of these carbines were strong, robust, reliable designs dating from the 1850s with proven actions.

but they didn't handle like the old front-stuffers, so when the Department of the Army decided they wanted a breechloading rifle to replace the 1861 Cold rifled muskets, they went ahead and designed a breechloader that handled much like the musket it was replacing, rather than adopting any of the established designs that had proven highly effective, such as the later-widely-famous Sharps...or any (and I mean any of the repeating, magazine-fed actions that ALSO saw exensive use as carbines for the cavalry).

it wasnt' that they weren't effective, it's that military procurement officers really, really, really prefer to have something they can at least pretend they're familiar with.

Even when Magazine rifles WERE adopted, armies worldwide in the pre-interstellar era initially insisted on having add-on devices to turn their repeating rifles into single-shot, manually loaded rifles.  The Magazine Cut-off would continue to be specified well into the 1930s despite the lessons of world war one, and would only disappear once the world was once again plunged into mass conflict and the devices were found to be exactly what they were: an extravagance of uselessness from an obsolete doctrine that failed before it was envisioned in the 1880s.

The Soviet Union adopted the AK-47 not to replace the Moisin-Nagant bolt action rifle (5 shots, manually operated repeating rifle) but instead to replace their stocks of Submachine-guns as a supplementary weapon-the Nagant replacement was a rifle with a fixed magazine that had to be loaded with stripper-clips.

Of course, that didn't last particularly long, the AK-47 was far more useful in far more roles and eclisped the Simonov, but ended up sharing a period of production with it regardless, because military planners wanted something they felt familiar with, and didn't trust the whole concept of the assault rifle for a generation or so.

What's that got to do with this?

Well, friends and neighbors, There's a funny thing about inertia-once it gets moving, it takes a lot to turn it or slow it down.  A computer core was found on Helm a few years back, and everyone eventually got a copy, but the Free Worlds found another core, and it's been making Garrett Systems lots and lots of money.

A Briefcase has been stolen on the Federated Suns world of Robinson.  This will lead to a bit of a security flap, and it will be recovered with a note claiming it wasn't opened.

Meanwhile, at New Avalon Institute of Science, a visiting researcher working as part of an exchange program with the Lyran Commonwealth is messing about with a toy for his nine-year-old son that he purchased two years ago.  'Hermann' is a meter-tall model of an Atlas battlemech available for 1,250 Kroner at Good Buy retailers.  it comes with a home entertainment system that can sort your local datanet preferences and control the toy-sized battlemech.

The toy's selling feature, is the ability to, through a very intuitive user interface (published in 50 languages), 'teach' it to perform small tasks and tricks.

The truly fantastic thing about this toy, which uses imported civilian electronics, is that while none of the parts are remarkably advanced on their own, the toy (and entertainment system) show a host of features that conventional theories say would require a much, much, much, more sophisticated computer to do.

Karl Franz Whyte's curious enough to be very interested in how it's doing it.  He's finally found a way around the anti-tampering and is starting to examine the source code...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nerd on 14 May 2022, 08:41:17
Once the reverse engineer finds a way, he'll take it. And clean room it, if in the same category. :fine_print:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 May 2022, 08:58:33
"..the new operating system uses a blockchain encryption method...

...to prevent hijacking attempts." The man doing the presentation was from a military contractor looking to sell the Captain-General, Thomas Marik, on a new battlefield system concept.  "We've established an extensive field-testing program to verify its effectiveness."

"How did you, ah...how did you come up with this?"

"a lot of research, Mister Captain-General, I'm afraid that security concerns within the company don't really allow me to discuss engineering particulars in that level of depth, but the testing has been very in-depth and very extensive, thousands of hours worth of experiments in a variety of roles were involved.  The quality of the work should speak for itself as some of this technology was used as a basis for the 'mech repair and refit initiatives in '32, '33, '34, and '37-all of the components in the control and sensor systems are off-the-shelf, the only truly unique aspects are in this application."

"So field service shouldn't be a problem?" Thomas asked casually.

"No sir.  It should be a very direct, obvious, and simple task to train field maintenance workers and operators."

"Your concept is a little bit disturbing, these drones are autonomous and yet..."

"Semi-autonomous. The company is not interested in risking the moral hazard inherent in fully-autonomous systems." the salesman assured him.

"Semi autonomous...so.."

"The system is designed to keep a human in the decision loop, Mister Captain-general, but it does have preset behaviors in the event of loss of contact with the 'human authority' to prevent the system from failing to function or going rogue, and that's a large part of our inbuilt measures."

"I'd like to have some independent technical experts examine your system, if you don't mind?" Thomas asked.

"Of course, Mister Captain-General, we're not selling snake oil here."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: RangerKarl on 14 May 2022, 11:12:29
"The new Garrett Entertainment Manager...

...is designed to help the discerning consumer find the programming and information they really want."


TRWTF is Ramadhan landing on Christmas for 3032
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 14 May 2022, 12:43:07
*snip*
"Of course, Mister Captain-General, we're not selling snake oil here."
Said EVERY snake oil salesman EVER!  :D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 May 2022, 21:24:23
Julie Baker wasn't a warrior...

...she resented the Lyrans, they'd invaded Callison when she was a little girl, and she never forgot the sight of Lyran Mercenaries bringing their armored boot down on her home.

Her home, that is, quite in particular.  The day they invaded her world, was the last day she had parents of her own, not fighting as some glorious resistance, but because the foot of a battlemech turned the front of the family's sedan into a metal-and-plastic pancake while they were trying to flee.

She grew up hating them, even while she studied hard to try and get into an academy-most likely one run by the people she despised the same way she breathed.

It's what you do, when your world is ripped apart.

A few months ago, her roommate brought home a bootleg Entertainment system, boosted from the back of a truck.

a few days ago, The Free Worlds League came to free her homeworld.

They got their asses kicked...but, it gave her a couple of ideas, playing with 'Hermann' on the workbench.

Currently, she now had a dozen or so 'Hermann' processors plugged into things made from power tools, and an idea-a way to pay back the occupiers. 

It's not that hard, really.  The coding was almost helping her along, making suggestions in warning red letters.

The men in those murder machines took her father, and her mother, her older sister and her little brother.

It's only fair, to hurt them back, and why shouldn't she use impersonal machinery to do it?

Julie flipped a switch on the control board, and her new pets came to life, with their new programming.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 15 May 2022, 00:30:36
I wonder if she'll live long enough to realize what she helped happen...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 May 2022, 01:11:46
The massacres started in the poorer areas of the Capital...

...which is where the unrest usually starts.  People with something to lose, usually don't want to risk it with a riot, or attacks on police.

Paul stepped his Zeus carefully through the wreckage, studying heat signatures and hoping...

The APC belonging to the 11th Lyran Guards, just arrived on the planet and here to put the boot to a possible popular uprising after the Leaguers hit the place, but didn't have the power to stay.

They'd expected IED's, they'd expected riots...

The twenty ton APC armed with 'riot control' 12.7mm machine guns and carrying flamer and needler armed riot troops wasn't exactly burning.

It looked...he drew up the gain on his sensors.

There wasn't enough of it to be sure.  something had stripped it to the axles, almost.  browning red spray patterns painted the normally dingy gray ferrocrete lurid shit-brown, a few mangled pieces of bodies...but again, no burns, no fire.

"These men were torn apart." he said over the channel, "What the ****** can do that?"

EM detectors started going off-some kind of metallic mass, moving....in the sewer?

They looked like little Crana as the swarm rose from the storm drains and descended down the sides of tenements broken open by reprisal fire.

"what the hell-?"

thermal showed heat, but it would-the things were mechanical, venting waste heat from segmented, shell-like bodies.

Damage alerts from his battlemech's built-in-test equipment started lighting up.

where are the people?  bounced in his mind as he tried to brush the things off-but it was too late, and a peel of armor from his right leg clattered, to be swarmed by these robots, as they swept into his battlemech.

'where are the people' should've been the FIRST question.  It's too bad nobody's around to say.

Seems that even Julie Baker wouldn't be able to answer that-if she were here.  if she WERE here, alive, she could have told him about being torn apart by fist-sized robots, while still alive...

There's a price for vengeance.  she paid it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 15 May 2022, 01:53:10
That escalated quickly...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 15 May 2022, 07:45:24
... and that is how we can can observe that software testing never proves the complete absence of software errors but only their presence ....
 :-X
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 15 May 2022, 07:54:45
I figure phase two is when the bots get to the HPG...  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 May 2022, 09:53:26
... and that is how we can can observe that software testing never proves the complete absence of software errors but only their presence ....
 :-X

"For every idiot proof device, nature shall give rise to a new and improved idiot to overcome it."
-Robb's Law of Technological Evolution
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 May 2022, 12:35:26
Shared processing...

...follows a pretty simple concept of geometric expansion.  The natural delay in the movement of signals means that each processor either has to stick close to the others (relatively) or carry additional buffered memory.

The geometric multiplication spreads through a city.  The device's base programming and the abuse of same by SAFE means that as entertainment units are encountered and incorporated, the small robots learn, and develop, refining techniques under the command to replicate and kill, they sharpen their ability to do just that, altering their own designs with each successive build, cannibalizing older models for materials and components not readily available.

one month in, the killing stops.

the building continues.

You can thank the History Channel for why there are a few thousand 'Newts' in a planetary junkyard infested with mechanical scavengers.

the group mind has grown large enough, and diverse enough, to overcome the angry rantings of a seventeen year old savant.

Kalei didn't know why he was alive, but the screamers were keeping him alive, along with others. 

They didn't look human.  the most 'human' of them still looked like electronic toys.  They had big screamers and little screamers, crawling, swimming and flying screamers, and burrowing screamers.

a light lit over his cell door, and a small, tracked tray rolled in with a covered dish.

"You're feeding me??" he was astonished as he took the cover off.  Lettuce, nuts, some kind of rice dish.  "WHy are you FEEDING ME??"

the machine didn't answer, it waited patiently.

eventually, hunger won out, and he ate.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 15 May 2022, 12:42:24
For the experiments, of course...  ::)  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Grognard on 15 May 2022, 16:33:54
Von Neumann machines are a no joke concept.
Even Elon Musk is worried about weaponized AI.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: eriktheviking on 15 May 2022, 16:59:54
And now you are chasing the horror aspect. >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 May 2022, 17:03:08
Fact Finding...

The loss of the 11th Lyran Guard to some kind of disaster on Callison was far from an obscure event, and with the negotiations closing the war, there was finally time to address a Lyran-held, former Free Worlds League planet that had, for want of a better term, dropped off the map.

The choice to do this, was obvious.

The Federated Commonwealth (Lyran Commonwealth) hired Natasha Kerensky and her Black Widow Battalion, with a contract allowing her to hire subcontractors to assist in the investigation.

She, in turn, hired Snord's Irregulars, a unit split from Wolf's Dragoons early, under Cranston Snord.

So, Cranston Snord's 'irregulars' arrived in the Callison system.

The first thing upon coming out of jump, was picking up massive amounts of encrypted radio-traffic.  The second, was the sight of numerous jumpships floating idle at the Zenith and Nadir points.

a list of missing commercial vessels had been given at the jump-off for the recon effort.

Most of them were here, none answered hails, though many were pulsing relayed signals in that same strange encryption.

"Still no answer from port control, and nothing from the Comstar installation either, sir."

Snord loves a mystery.  He loves picking up Star League artifacts even more, but he LOVES a mystery, he can't resist one...

but this was beyond 'passing strange'.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 15 May 2022, 17:22:22
Now is he going to play it smart or is he going to be dumb?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 May 2022, 18:39:00
Now is he going to play it smart or is he going to be dumb?

Isaac Arthur has a mantra on his Sci-Fi YouTube channel.  "Keep it simple, keep it dumb, or you'll be under Skynet's thumb."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 15 May 2022, 19:10:16
Isaac Arthur has a mantra on his Sci-Fi YouTube channel.  "Keep it simple, keep it dumb, or you'll be under Skynet's thumb."

You say that like it would be a bad thing....

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Korzon77 on 15 May 2022, 20:08:22
You say that like it would be a bad thing....

- Herb

To be honest, Colossus from the Forbin Project would probably do a better job of running the Inner Sphere than well, just about any ruler we've seen. 
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 15 May 2022, 21:57:58
What about the MCP from TRON... better than CLU.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 16 May 2022, 01:25:29
I'm going to root for Snord here... not that he'll be as smart as he needs to be...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 16 May 2022, 13:13:24
It has jumpships .... we have now officially reached really bloody scary ...  :'( :-\
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 16 May 2022, 18:07:02
Just wait until it starts testing them, and finds out its nodes are scrambled post-jump...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 16 May 2022, 19:42:51
So...
how do we stop them??
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 16 May 2022, 19:45:11
Nuke them from orbit.. it's the only way to be sure...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 16 May 2022, 19:50:12
Nuke them orbit.. it's the only way to be sure...  8)
that trick will only work once before they hardened against it
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 16 May 2022, 19:53:39
Which means you need to use enough nukes the FIRST time...  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 16 May 2022, 19:56:27
Teleport those jumpships into the nearest star, then nuke the planet into a volcanic mess!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 May 2022, 10:33:21
"was it some kind of contagion?  Why didn't anyone...

...send out a call for help?"  Cranston Snord's questions were logical, rational even.  The presence of lights on the night side of the planet where those lights should be...but aside from large amounts of deeply encrypted radio traffic, Callison was silent.

No entertainment, no news programs, no HAM Radio even.

just gigaquads of random pulses across a broad variety of signals.

constant chatter that made zero sense.

"We're not landing there without backup." He decided.  "Rhonda, I'll be in my office, have the crew keep monitoring the airwaves, see if you can figure out what we're missing."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 17 May 2022, 10:54:29
Drop a drone into the atmosphere.


Which has the same electronics int, that the units on the planet have.


So it gets taken over by the Hive mind of the planet. Which should be of such a size, that it is of Genius level. Maybe even able to talk?


Wonder if the Hive mind can take control of the Irregulars Dropship and cause it to land.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 17 May 2022, 17:37:56
Crossing my fingers Rhonda figures out it's not something to touch with a ten-AU pole...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: smdvogrin on 17 May 2022, 18:06:45
I've been getting some real Horizon: Zero Dawn vibes here, especially when he started to talk about encryption...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 17 May 2022, 22:40:59
So it gets taken over by the Hive mind of the planet. Which should be of such a size, that it is of Genius level. Maybe even able to talk?

Wonder if the Hive mind can take control of the Irregulars Dropship and cause it to land.

The overall might be Genius level, but the need to communicate across a large area might make its thoughts slow enough for a person to deal with.

Unless the bots have been building specialized servers closer together to allow for faster thinking by the planetary intelligence.

Perhaps it will reach the first Toposophic level (https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-topic/492d6aa0a549a)?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 May 2022, 09:37:48
"I need to get a closer look...

...if we're going to figure this out."  Cranston's rest-period had clearly shifted his mind a bit.

"How close?" Rhonda asked.

"Real close. I'm taking a shuttle down, and I'm going to be keeping a hot mic, if I give the bug-out signal, I want you and the rest of the command burning hard for the jump-point."

"Sir..."

"I mean it." he said, "if it's an outbreak down there, we might not have the medical to deal with it, if it's an occupation we need to know who, and how they managed it."

****

The former capital site looked like a bombed crater, if you swarmed it with industrial earth-movers and recovery vehicles.

At least, from the air.  Cranston Snord wasn't sure he wanted to get closer to that.  A low pass using a recon package on one of the shuttlecraft gives enough fuel for more than a few quick passes.

Turns out, having that extra fuel's worth it-thermal showed plenty of heat sources, but the computer also showed not a single one that was people shaped down there.

"I'm not seeing any human heat signatures on infrared, plenty of EM scatter though...and plenty of activity."

"Sir, there's activity at the jump points, and our Jumpship's threatening to leave without us."

Cranston snorted, "really?"

"Yeah, really.  Their radar's picked up cold bodies falling in orbit toward them, and the bodies are in formation, maybe mines."

"Shit!  Okay, I'm on my way up, when I dock, we get the hell out." He said, "Tell the Jumpship it's worth double the transits if he waits for our dropship, and tell him to drop a quarantine marker, we're going to need to return in force."

It was the right decision, but maybe made a little late.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 May 2022, 10:19:08
February 3043...

Wolfnet and LIC finished parsing the recon images and sensor data from Callison, and bricks were shat from Outreach to Tharkad to (inevitably thanks to holes in LIC's security at Mount Asgard) Terra.

The accusations began shortly thereafter, as various groups and entities tried to identify who could be responsible for the "machine plague" that consumed an inhabited world.

Nuclear Stockpiles were opened and inventoried.

"...Highness, we still don't know who is responsible."  was not what Katrina wanted to hear.

However, not everyone was clueless about the origin.

Leaks to the Free worlds resulted in accusations by the Mariks,. and nuclear stockpiles there, too, were opened, inventoried and prepared for use.

The Inner Sphere was tilting.  Someone needed to stop it.

In the CapCon, the Celestial Wisdom, Romano Liao, studied stolen documents, and ordered the Confederation's stockpiles to be opened. 

She also ordered her staff to initiate communications with her traitor of a sister on St. Ives.  The Maskirovka didn't know who was responsible either-but they knew that it wasn't, for once, the Davions or the Steiners, and the Combine didn't have the capacity.

"I want that technology, I want it under control, and I want to know where it came from." Romano stated.

The Maskirovka got to work, while Romano did something even she would consider drastically out of character.  She broke out the books on Diplomacy.

She might be paranoid, crazy, schizophrenic and bloodthirsty, but Romano Liao isn't stupid and she's got zero intention of letting her son's reign be overrun by self-replicating robots.

If that means making peace with her traitorous bitch sister? so much the better, it might give her the chance to shoot the betraying little slut.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 18 May 2022, 10:22:51
They have seen that there is a problem, they just don't recognize that they are already infiltrated.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 May 2022, 10:46:51
[out of story]  I'm sooo tempted to do a thing I didn't intend with this one...[/out of story]

Arthur is five today...

...and he's a bright child.  He's playing with one of Victor's toys, "Arminus The Victor", a remote-control 'mech that his big brother recieved as a christmas gift the same year he was born, and lost interest in when the hormones kicked in.

Arthur, however, is delighted by the machine, and its control systems.  He's a bright child, and creative, and the learning toy (made for children 11 and up!) has become something of a constant personal companion thanks to having two older brothers who are more interested in Girls and showing off than in their little brother, (and two sisters, both of whom just aren't interested in it, or him, at all.)

His Arminus is a matched set with "Hermann" thanks to a present from Grandmama Katrina, and Arthur's learned that with both of the remote control drones active, he can teach them better tricks than he can teach either of them when they're the only ones active.

They're his playmates, and that worries both his parents, and his Au Pair or Nanny.

"It's not natural for a child to be alone without playmates, Milord.  It's not healthy, I tell ye."  Cheryl Francois managed to get appointed to the Royal Household straight out of Mrs. Fitkins' academy-a trade school for domestic help with deep roots in the Capital.

This time, with the threat of the Machine Plague on Callison, Hanse is listening.  "And what do you recommend?"

she huffed, "The boy needs companions, Milord, boys and girls his own age, clever ones, or he'll lose interest!"

It was a minor problem, almost beneath the notice of a First Prince, but not beneath the notice of a Father.

Arthur needs other young people, young people able to keep up with what was clearly a burgeoning genius intellect.

The First Prince puts his role aside, and instead, discusses it with his wife.

---

"he's too bright." Melissa dismissed at first, "we tried play-dates with his peers, remember?"

"I know." Hanse looked off the balcony of the palace as his youngest son marched the robot toys around the immaculate gardens of the palace.  "He's smarter than his brothers." he confessed, "or just really talented with machines. we need to find someone safe for him to play with, who can keep up."

"Yes." she agreed.

orders were cut, and profiles from LIC, Lohengrin, and MIIO were ordered opened. 

The criteria:

Exceptionally bright young people from good families in Arthur's age range.  Must have strong mechanical aptitudes and score in the upper 99th percentile within 1-2 years of the fifth Steiner-Davion child's intellect, with parents who will understand the value of the offer made, or no parents to object.

The offer is for Fosterage with the Royal Family, a path that opens doors, and because it opens doors, the background checks have to be immaculate.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 May 2022, 11:18:11
It would take nearly a year and a half...

...for the search to uncover candidates.  Jess Harper's from Arluna, the son of a rock-miner in the Hill Country who got noticed for tinkering with a trashed motorized bicycle recovered from a landfill.  His mother's a widow, living on a starvation pension paid by the mine owner.  Katty Harper's got that starved look you get when you give half your own food to the kid and go hungry while working day-work.

"It's an opportunity." the man from the Government said, "Your son will have a better life than he'll get working in the mine."

It's the promise of a real education for her boy, a chance to be more than 'hillfolk trash' used up like toiletpaper in the Diego owned mines.  She didn't take much convincing.

she signed the papers and kissed her son goodbye-giving up her parental rights to give her boy a better life than she could.

---

Sierra Lowry's from Filtvelt.  Her father died in the war, her mother too. She's a gift to the Orphan House-she figures out how to make the broken toys work, she watches the toddlers (She's EIGHT! she'll tell you.)  and she's reading books to try and make something of herself and stand out for better shares on Friday's desert. 

Sierra got MIIO's attention when she picked a man's pocket in town, and stole his ground car.  She could JUST see over the dash if she sat on her left leg, and used a stick to push the brake and gas pedal.

she was tested by the police when they caught her, and the local constable contacted MIIO with the results.

Sierra's status as a ward of the state makes it less about permissions, than about explaining to the girl where she's going.

===

Penelope Doons blew up her room.  She did it with a home chemistry kit meant for someone twice her age and labeled 'safe for all ages'.

The purple wall of silence that appears when Nobles are bad parents? did not apply this time.  Permission from her Grandmother, Duchess Margaret Doons, took a short conversation with the Archon.  Unlike the others, this isn't a fosterage situation in the fullest sense, she's being 'loaned' to the royal family as a noble hostage and mark of fealty-with the stipulation that Maggie can, at any time, demand the girl be brought back to her.

Social Class has some importance.

====

Terry Warden is seven.  His father's a Tech with the Syrtis Fusiliers, and he got noticed because he tore apart his father's expensive laser pistol, then put it back together in working condition...with twice the output and half the battery life.  This unwanted modification got him a beating that was witnessed and stopped by officers inspecting the Enlisted Housing.  Social Services were deployed, and lawyers, and a simple investigation showed the boy had a habit of taking things apart to see how they work, with maybe a fifty percent chance of putting them back together again-hence the beating.

His parents got to meet with Judge Advocates, his father got dropped into counseling, the mother into a cell awaiting trial, and the boy was given a ticket and an escort to the spaceport for New Avalon and "a remarkable educational opportunity".

=====

The last one is the daughter of military parents, one of whom is also a Duke's son.  All Katrina had to do, was ask Dinh Ngo to authorize fostering his youngest grandchild to the Royal Family.

Dinh Ngo suffered two imprisonments-once for criticizing Alessandro, and again when he used his company's resources to protect the location of Katrina and Arthur Luvon during their flight into the periphery.  The man is, down to his broken bones, loyal to Katrina Steiner.

Elizabeth's already gotten noticed. It's an honour, and one that her parents won't object to.  Little Lizzie has taught "Hermann"-a remote miniature 'mech, to speak almost well enough to fool an adult's ear, and she spends hours playing with the code.  she's also seven.  She uses her 'toy 'mech' as an extension of her hands playing out in the Folly, and it's the terror of the local wildlife...or maybe the girl is. 

convincing her to give up her other pet? well, she threw a tantrum when the officials told her she couldn't bring her pet fursnake 'slinky' with.  The animal is, after all, a dangerous, venomous animal...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 May 2022, 11:25:09
Four more worlds have dropped off in the border...

...of the Free Worlds league.  Survey ships were sent, and the results are identical to Callison. 

It's spreading.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 18 May 2022, 11:34:28
Yeah, both Penny and Lizzy get a better start, not saying that they're playing with the intelligent toyes that either destroyed mankind and Our New Overlords. or Saves mankind as our new Overlords.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 18 May 2022, 11:51:45
Nice. 
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 18 May 2022, 15:18:51
Yeah, both Penny and Lizzy get a better start, not saying that they're playing with the intelligent toyes that either destroyed mankind and Our New Overlords. or Saves mankind as our new Overlords.

I'm waiting for Dr Banzai to ask Hanse if he is assembling a play group, or his future replacements.

OTOH Maggie isn't going to get as ****** up in the head, and Liz is probably safe from her mother's usual murder-suicide.  That is if the Clans invade, or in this situation the Wardens launch missions to rescue the Sphere from the Machine Army?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 18 May 2022, 16:32:19
...and Liz is probably safe from her mother's usual murder-suicide....

Can we just pause and appreciate a turn of phrase like THAT!?

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 18 May 2022, 16:52:03
Liz is probably safe from her mother's usual murder-suicide. 
Can we just pause and appreciate a turn of phrase like THAT!?

- Herb
:clap: :clap: :beer: :beer:

Bring on the Genius Children  to save the inner sphere
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 18 May 2022, 21:03:10
I'm working on it!  ::)

Maybe this weekend...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 May 2022, 08:33:19
"Good Morning class...

...today I'm going to spend a few minutes getting your names straight."  When Hanse Davion plans something, big, he plans big.

NAIS, Halstead Station, the 4th Succession War, the war of '39...

Dr. Banzai watched through one-way glass as Cynthia Ekhardt, age 24 and one of his most promising grad students, got her first taste of teaching.

"A grade school." He commented.

"For gifted kids, yeah." Hanse agreed.

"you want me to run a Grade School."

"only part time, Doc, I wanted your input setting this up for reasons...Victor's mono-focused on being a 'mechwarrior, Katherine's got passive-aggressive issues out the wazoo and severe daddy issues, Peter's got Affluenza so bad he might end up causing a major incident when he gets older, and then, there's Arthur, who hasn't seemed to be able to make any real peer connections in the usual ways, because of how we've had to raise them."

"So it's an experiment."

"Yeah." Hanse nodded, "One of my goals, Doc, why we established NAIS in the first place and why I fought personally in the defense when we got hit by that false-flag.  We have to get out of the dark ages."

"Especially with that 'machine plague' hitting worlds along the Leaguer border?" Banzai prodded.

"Yeah.  These kids-our analytical types think they might have the kind of talent we need to cultivate to stop it...including my son."

"I saw Snord's report...and you've passed along the other reports to my desk.  I've got a team working on it."

"Yeah, but we still need to finish spooling up the Helm Core data, and this problem's not going to just magically go away, and what about the next one?" Hanse asked rhetorically, "You're a genius, but we need more than one genius-hence..."

"Brat-boot for scientists, like what, Groningen, or the NAIS pre-qualifiers?"  Banzai asked.

"well, the roving school concept didn't deliver.  This is more or less me punting to try and get a turnover at first down."

"Your sports metaphor is wrong." Banzai noted.

"Ian was the jock." Hanse shrugged.  "What do you think?"

"We'll see.  How much leeway are you willing to let me have?"

"As much as you need." Hanse told him, "I outlined what our strategic objective is in the memo, I'm kinda trusting you to deliver the right strategy to make it happen."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Tegyrius on 19 May 2022, 08:59:26
Banzai's School for Gifted Youngsters.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 19 May 2022, 10:03:46
"Today Class, we are going to learn which chemicals in the kitchen can be used to get the best exothermic reactions. Also which chemicals on the farm and at farm stores are used for the same."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 May 2022, 10:11:32
"Today Class, we are going to learn which chemicals in the kitchen can be used to get the best exothermic reactions. Also which chemicals on the farm and at farm stores are used for the same."

Penny would be the star in that class, I think.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 19 May 2022, 14:16:36
"only part time, Doc, I wanted your input setting this up for reasons...Victor's mono-focused on being a 'mechwarrior, Katherine's got passive-aggressive issues out the wazoo and severe daddy issues, Peter's got Affluenza so bad he might end up causing a major incident when he gets older, and then, there's Arthur, who hasn't seemed to be able to make any real peer connections in the usual ways, because of how we've had to raise them."

Okay, one?  Hanse and probably Melissa have a clear eyed view of their kids' issues.  Which might argue they are going to try to do something about the rest of them once Arthur's is set up with age and classmates that can keep up and challenge him.

Jamie Wolf would see this as forming a Scientist focused sibko.

Two, no comments about Yvonne?  Or is the lack of comment a comment itself?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 19 May 2022, 15:40:00
This reminds me of that DS9 episode with Bashir's special friends and their think tank.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 May 2022, 17:11:35
Is Yvonne around yet?  ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Korzon77 on 19 May 2022, 17:20:08
Is Yvonne around yet?  ???

It turns out that Yvonne is kept secret for she has a gift that non ruler since before Mckenna has had.

She's tested very high on her "Common sense." levels.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 May 2022, 17:47:33
Glad I asked!  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: ThePW on 20 May 2022, 09:46:04
Helm, Station Keeping... and make sure the Crew Knows? (We don't want what happened to the Ike in '07; Finding out they got extended on their deployment on CNN first)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 May 2022, 11:23:17
"What's that?"

Elizabeth looked up.  Sierra was behind her, with Arthur play-shunning them both.

"Stuff." Lizzie said, "I saw it in a book at my grandfather's house."

"but what is it? what's this mean?"  Sierra pointed at a symbol Liz had drawn in the sand.

The Kowloonese girl bit her lip.  "Grandfather told me if I can make the right answers, I can have Spider Moon for my own when I get old enough."

"So it's a puzzle?"

"Yah.  Grandfather says it's the secret that holds everything together for us-I'm not sure I should let you see more."

"Secret? someone said secrit?"  Arthur's feigned disinterest fled like spit on an overheating sink, and he came over.

Lizzie pulled into her self.  "Im not s'post  to tell."

"Looks lahk'r code. izzit?" Jesse asked, "I mean, with all them numbers an' symbols an' stuff."

"I never seen a code looks like that." Arthur said, "You make it up?"

"I said it was in onna Grampa's books!" Elizabeth snapped stubbornly, "I din't make it up!!"

Penny spoke up, "Teacher's comin!"

"I think you made it up." Arthur challenged her.

"Did NOT!!" Lizzie is second smallest in the group-only Penny's smaller, followed by Jesse, then Sierra.  Arthur's taller than the other kids, a mix of nutrition and natural genetics from his parents.

"Did too." he insisted, "Why you don't just say so?"

"because it's not true!! I did not make it up!!"

'Miss Cynthia' was their main teacher, and the man with her was Doctor Banzai, who even these kids knew was a famous scientist.

"What've we got here?" Dr. Banzai asked, then he froze, "Where did you get that?"

"NOt s'posed to tell." Lizzie sulked.

"No, seriously, where did you get that?"

"Grampa said if I can solve it he's gon' let me have Spider Moon." the young girl admitted, "but I messed up-I'm not s'posta show it to nobody. It's a sekret." she was missing teeth-her adult teeth not yet grown in from losing baby teeth.

"Do you know what it is?" he asked.

"Yah...kinda." She admitted.

(https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/media/math/render/svg/036e30f42f6419ec1333cd349afe698f6cf5588d)

"It's the way you tell how much fuel you use up going somewhere."  she said, "it's part of the puzzle grampa gave me from Great Auntie Mai's books."

Banzai nodded, "It Is indeed...so your great aunt Mai has more of these?"

"Grampa's liverary." Liz said, then to Arthur, "See? I tole you I din't make it up!"

"So what's  a 'spider moon?" Penny inquired.

"It's a place, in my home system." Liz said, "it's neat, but Grampa said if I don't learn how to get there on my own, he's gonna let Henry have it instead, an' stick me with some dumb ole city when he dies, an' I'll never-ever-ever get to be a proper spacer like in the Star Cadet books!!"  she fumed a bit, "I'll be just another dumb Dirtyfoot.  I'll have to be a business woman and they'll make me wear dresses!!"

"I like wearing dresses, they're nice." Penny chirped.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 May 2022, 12:08:59
"Her grandfather was teaching her physics."

"I don't see the issue."

"She's Not quite eight years old yet, Hanse." Banzai explained, "At NAIS, I've got eighteen year olds who look at some of the equations her 'grandfather gave her to solve' and their eyes cross, and they run for the lab computers..."

"Okay...I did say we wanted geniuses."

"You might have gotten them." Dr. Banzai cracked.

"What about...the Doons kid?"

"Oh, that was tuesday." Banzai said, "Nobody was hurt, and we managed to put the fires out, but I think we need to review what, exactly, constitutes 'child safe'.  and Hanse, I think Arthur might have a crush on the Doons girl."

"What? he's eight!"

"Yeah, and he helped her set it up, in fact, he organized them all to help her set it up.  If Yvonne hadn't come to find Cynthia? we might've had a major fire."

"I think you are protesting a bit much, Banzai, I seem to recall some of the stories from your file..."

"Hanse, Highness, I was alone, I didn't have peers who were just as irresponsible and curious as I was..."  Banzai leaned back, "I feel deeply for my parents now, and sympathy for theirs, between Arthur and Elizabeth those kids are like a tornado of..."

"AH, envy."

"YES.  anyway, I need you to sign for some materials for the arts and crafts period...and some real-estate."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 20 May 2022, 12:27:48
With a very good Halon system and CASE.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 20 May 2022, 13:29:46
If you are going to use Halon, then you need to fit the kids with skinsuits and get them used to using their O2 supplies t all times.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 20 May 2022, 14:12:15
Considering this group- moon suits and armor might be more appropriate daily apparel.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 20 May 2022, 14:17:27
nop,
skin tone skin suits,
covered for fishnet tops
tan slacks for men
Hot shorts or mini skirts for women.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: worktroll on 20 May 2022, 15:42:47
Operating out of Harlington-Straker Studios?  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 20 May 2022, 17:30:22
HILARIOUS!  ;D

And yes, I'll be working up stats this weekend.  When exactly depends on my youngest, who I put in this category...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 May 2022, 03:23:50
"Huh...that's funny...

...if you play it on speakers, it sounds like when Arthur tried to teach his Arminus to speak."  Penny Doons observed.  Doctor Banzai cocked an eyebrow.

"Really?" he asked.

"Yeah." she said, "like the interlink frequencies're...it's the same." Penny stated.

"are you sure?"

"Pretty sure." she asserted.  "what is it though?? It's not like Lizzie's whale-song recordings."

---

"Tones sound like...huh.  Yeah, that sounds like Hermann before I fixed his code."  Elizabeth agreed, "Or like the solution we gave Arminius to do feedbacks so we could teach it new tricks without having to go inside the house to look at the screen."

"So it's the same code-base."

Lizzie shrugged, "I dunno, could be I guess?  The toys get smarter when we've got them together."

"What do you mean?"

===

Arthur shrugged, "It's like, we figured it out when Lizzie unpacked her Hermann and we tried to network them-they came on and they were already networked.  Both got easier to use and could do more stuff.  Sierra thinks maybe it's a factory setting-get more of them somewhere and you can get them to do more neat things, I wanna ask Dad to buy me a few more, but Lizzie thinks we should just figure out how to make them because 'gear is expensive' and Sierra thinks we can probably just steal 'em.  Terry and Jess think we should build 'em instead of asking for new ones, because if we break it we can fix it."

"And what do you want to do?"

"I want to have fun and I want my friends to get along." Arthur said, "Making sounds like more fun than buying does, but we're kinda split because Vonnie has a hard time keeping up and she wants to be in with us since Peter's got his thing and doesn't want the younger kids hanging around, and Vic's busy, and Kat gets mean..."

****
"UH, I need my own tools." Elizabeth said, "I mean, your stuff is nice, but it's your stuff, and all the controls are all wrong."

"Wrong how?"

"I have to stand on a crate to see the interface screens, there's a funny smell from the control boards, and I think it's out of adjustment.  Foreigner gear always has weird stuff it won't do, too."

"you're talking about the NC mill you were messing with in the 'mech bay." Dr. Banzai observed.

"Yeah, it's foreign, and it's weird, and you have half the functions locked out, and it's missing a lot of attachments and stuff." she asserted, "Grandfather would slap me if I left my tools looking that bad off, an' he'd be right doing it."

"Your..grandfather lets you play with industrial machinery?"

"With supervision!" she asserted, "it's family business, okay? we make machine tools, yours are in shit shape, half your bits are the wrong size on the cutter head, you don't have a powered forge, not even a cheapie hydraulic one, and your dies look like someone cleaned up one-use dies an' improvised...what?  if I'm going to be a star explorer I need to know how to fix my own kit, right?? so Grandfather makes me learn the skills, and the business is how we pay for it, so learn the business.  You guys do all your warrior-teaching-stuff with Peter, I know, because I saw!!"

"back to the question-you want to build a robot?"

"Sure. You played recordings of machine language, i'm bet it's the same language the factory used with Hermann, but since it changes over time an' use, it's changed.  Learned new words, right? so you need a translator so you know what the machines are being programmed to do."

*****

"It's right there, Dad, that's the same system Arminius uses." Arthur asserted, "so..."

"So it's the same technology."

"yep."

"ANd you think they get 'smarter' if there are more in the network?"

"yep." Arthur nodded, "I think so, So does Penny, and Lizzie, and Sierra and..."

"So your friends...all think it's what, a network?"

"Jess told me about how hives of insects can work 'smarter' than individual bugs." Arthur suggested, "Which the teachers agreed with.  it's a Eusocial structure, or is it a social structure? point is, it's like how if you double the length, width, and height of an object you're multiplying the mass by itself a whole bunch of times instead of twice-the Square Cube law."

"how much smarter?"

"Hermann and Arminius both got a LOT smarter, Sierra and Terry both think like...processing power went up geometrically, if there's a LOT of machines, we might be able to get them to be as clever as a person."

"How many?"

"We don't know, that's why I want to try-the only way to know, is to find out."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 21 May 2022, 05:44:09
I'll be over here in the corner, waiting for the Callison penny to drop...  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 21 May 2022, 06:27:44
" I think I will sit over here and wat you kids an clean my old plasma rifle while ya'll play."


"When the machines start talking and acting up, I will take care of them for ya."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 May 2022, 07:35:54
Adept Janelle Rhys...

...gaped openly at the ROM agent report from inside the Davion Household.  There are levels of access, there are proper ways to go about doing things.

Letting people who don't understand why something can't be done, (or shouldn't) free to do that thing was almost as horrifying as the profiles of the persons in question.

In the old days, Comstar ROM would handle a mess like this quietly-a lab accident, or a transport accident, something subtle.

but that was the old days, before the Great Houses started to get wise to careful deflections and deniable operations.  Worse still, the targets in question are still children, and their coming to harm would motivate someone far more than a remote academic, or a statistic.

especially in the care of a Royal House.

it will have to be done delicately. she decided, if it is to be done at all.

She tapped the ash from her Avalon Gold cigarette into a powered ash compactor on her desk.

"Adept! Glad I caught you."  The Precentor New Avalon was in her office doorway, apparently willingly, something unusual when dealing with the Station Chief for ROM on New Avalon (especially after a string of incidents less than ten years ago that got her previous superior removed from the posting.)

"Precentor, this is unexpected..."

"I received an eyes-only from the home office." the Precentor said with a smile that told Janelle her career was in serious jeapardy.

"Oh?"

"Yes. I'm to share it with you." he said, striding in, "Don't worry, nobody below our level has a clue what it says. I assume you have your security devices active?"

"Of course." okay, I'm not being removed.  she watched him close and seal the door before he laid the encrypted chit on her desk.

She took it up, and plugged it into a reader.

The first gigabyte of data was a litany of horrors.  The last bit, the bit that was why the whole thing was encrypted, contained instructions.

The Primus's instruction was blunt, to the point, and directed as much at ROM as it was directed at the Precentors in the First Circuit.

"You're smiling, why are you smiling?" she asked when she finished.

"Because your reports to my desk say the Davions may be working on just what we need to deal with this...and because you're supposed to support my effort to get them on-board in dealing with the Callison situation and this mechanical plague!"

"So...I don't have to arrange the termination of seven children?" she asked, "is that what you're saying?"

"very much, though I would like you to have arrangements made to...secure the children for the Order."

"Why me?"

"because anyone else I might send, would flinch." he said, "I'm going to offer Prince Davion Comstar's assistance with his little pre-academy program, you're going to be part of that assistance, and you're going to help them to succeed, and then, you're going to secure the whole thing for the Order.  He's growing the kind of genius that MUST be under the Order's control for the safety of the human race...or it must be destroyed. I'd favor it if you didn't have to kill them all, so you can work on black-bagging the little tykes and bringing them to Terra."

"As Blake wills it." she nodded.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Tegyrius on 21 May 2022, 07:59:54
It seems no one at Hilton Head has read The Ransom of Red Chief.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 21 May 2022, 12:58:27
I'll be over here in the corner, waiting for the Callison penny to drop...  ::)
" I think I will sit over here and wat you kids an clean my old plasma rifle while ya'll play."


"When the machines start talking and acting up, I will take care of them for ya."
Well you two are brave to just sit there... me I'm going to go check the bunker just to make sure it is safe and well stocked with supplies
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 21 May 2022, 13:55:20
Here's the first of "Cannonshop's Kids":

Jesse "Jess" Harper (the "tough" kid)

Jess Harper's from Arluna, the son of a rock-miner in the Hill Country who got noticed for tinkering with a trashed motorized bicycle recovered from a landfill.

Not only was he smart enough to get the bike running again, he was strong and determined enough to fish it out of the landfill and get it home himself. He's not as tall as Arthur, but he's athletic enough to keep up now that he's getting enough good food regularly.  He had known his mother was forgoing her share, and always tried to give some back to her.  Some days he had more success than others.

Jess is middle of the pack in height (125cm), but built quite solidly for an eight year old (30kg).
Code: [Select]
STR 4
BOD 4
DEX 4
RFL 3
INT 7
WIL 4
CHA 4
EDG 1

Traits:
Fit: 200
Illiterate: Bought off for 100
Glass Jaw: Bought off for 300
Compulsion/Hatred of Clans: Bought off for 100 since they don't exist yet
In For Life: -300
Only 8 years old: baseline of 3,700 XP

Skills:
Technician/Mechanical: 4 (TN 4)
Perception: 3 (TN 3)
Language/Spanish: 2 (TN 5)
Language/English: 2 (TN 5)
Technician/Electronic: 2 (TN 6)
Running: 1 (TN 7)
Survival/Woods: 1 (TN 7)
Tracking/Wilds: 1 (TN 6)
Protocol/Lyran: 0 (TN 9)
Computers: 0 (TN 7)
Martial Arts: 0 (TN 8)
MedTech: 0 (TN 6)
Small Arms: 0 (TN 7)
Negotiation: 0 (TN 8)
Navigation/Ground: 0 (TN 6)
Melee Weapons: 0 (TN 7)
Streetwise/Lyran: 0 (TN 8)
Communications/Conventional: 0 (TN 6)
Swimming: 0 (TN 7)
Language/German: 0 (TN 7)
Appraisal: 0 (TN 7)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 21 May 2022, 19:07:39
My draft of Sierra is with Cannonshop for approval...  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 22 May 2022, 05:22:33
Sierra is approved (below)!  Vector checks on the rest are with Cannonshop... :)

Sierra Lowry (the "I'm NOT mean!" girl)

Sierra Lowry is from Filtvelt.  Her father died in the war, her mother too. She was a gift to the Orphan House-she figured out how to make the broken toys work, she watched the toddlers (She's EIGHT! she'll tell you), and she read books to try and make something of herself and stand out for better shares on Friday's desert.

Sierra got MIIO's attention when she picked a man's pocket in town, and stole his ground car.  She could JUST see over the dash if she sat on her left leg, and used a stick to push the brake and gas pedal.

She was tested by the police when they caught her, and the local constable contacted MIIO with the results.

She took extremely well to state sponsored counseling (such as it was) on Filtvelt, to the point she's actively Gregarious (aka, overcompensating).

Code: [Select]
STR 3
BOD 3
DEX 4
RFL 4
INT 7
WIL 7
CHA 4
EDG 2

Traits:
Gregarious: 100
Introvert: Bought off for 100
Compulsion/Traumatic Memories: Bought off for 100
Wealth: -100
Reputation: -100 (still from the Outback)
Illiterate: -100, but bought off with language skill
In For Life: -300

Skills:
Language/English: 4 (TN: 3)
Perception: 3 (TN: 3)
Prestidigitation/Pick Pocket: 3 (TN: 4)
Security Systems/Mechanical: 3 (TN: 6)
Security Systems/Electronic: 3 (TN: 6)
Technician/Mechanical: 2 (TN: 6)
Technician/Electronic: 2 (TN: 6)
Leadership: 1 (TN: 6)
Language/Spanish: 1 (TN: 6)
Language/French: 0 (TN: 7)
Survival/Urban: 0 (TN: 9)
Administration: 0 (TN: 6)
Streetwise/Federated Suns: 0 (TN: 8)
Computers: 0 (TN: 7)
Driving/Ground: 0 (TN: 8)
Protocol/Federated Suns: 0 (TN: 8)
Stealth: 0 (TN: 7)
Interest/Economics: 0 (TN: 7)
Zero-G Operations: 0 (TN: 7)
Negotiation: 0 (TN: 8)
Art/Music: 0 (TN: 8)
Swimming: 0 (TN: 8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 23 May 2022, 03:18:00
Penny:

Penelope Doons blew up her room and a couple of servants.  She did it with a home chemistry kit meant for someone twice her age and labeled 'safe for all ages'.  The company of course didn't account for children who like to watch things burn.

The purple wall of silence that appears when Nobles are bad parents?  Did not apply this time.  Permission from her Grandmother, Duchess Margaret Doons, took a short conversation with the Archon.  Unlike the others, this isn't a fosterage situation in the fullest sense, she's being 'loaned' to the royal family as a noble hostage and mark of fealty-with the stipulation that Maggie can, at any time, demand the girl be brought back to her.

Social Class has some importance, even if you're the smallest among Arthur's small circle of friends.

Penelope "Penny" Doons (the "(Fire is so) PRETTY!" girl)

Code: [Select]
STR 2
BOD 2
DEX 4
RFL 2
INT 7
WIL 4
CHA 7
EDG 1

Traits:
Wealth: 5 (the minimum for a Noble)
Attractive: 2
Equipped: 2 (she knows what to ask for)
Reputation: 1
Compulsion/Greedy: -1 (Donegaller)
Compulsion/Pyromania: -1 (undiagnosed, yet)
Enemy: -2 (servants blown up at home)
Glass Jaw: -3

Skills:
Science/Chemistry: 4 (TN: 4)
Perception: 3 (TN: 3)
Demolitions: 3 (TN: 5)
Language/English: 2 (TN: 4)
Protocol/Lyran: 1 (TN: 7)
Interest/Colorful Reagents: 1 (TN: 6)
Language/German: 1 (TN: 5)
Computers: 0 (TN: 7)
Art/Singing: 0 (TN: 8)
Negotiation: 0 (TN: 7)
Appraisal: 0 (TN: 7)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 23 May 2022, 03:20:53
Terry:

Terry Warden was seven when he was last beaten.  His father's a Tech with the Syrtis Fusiliers, and he got noticed because he tore apart his father's expensive laser pistol, then put it back together in working condition... with twice the output and half the battery life.  This unwanted modification got him a beating that was witnessed and stopped by officers inspecting the Enlisted Housing.  Social Services were deployed, and lawyers, and a simple investigation showed the boy had a habit of taking things apart to see how they work, with maybe a fifty percent chance of putting them back together again-hence the beating.

Like most children from abusive homes, Terry is quiet.  But his sense of how things (especially weapons) work is nothing short of amazing.  He hasn't yet worked up the nerve to tell Sierra he can understand her swearing in Spanish when she gets frustrated, mostly because that involves the way his mother would talk to him when she was... yeah.  Besides, Sierra is so intimidating!

He also hasn't worked up the nerve to even speak to Dr. Banzai unless asked a direct question.  His collection of Buckaroo Banzai comic books is one of his most prized possessions, and he virtually worships the ground the good Doctor walks on.

One thing living on base gave the boy was good food, and plenty of it.  He's second only to Arthur in height at 135cm, but isn't as strong.  He learned from an early age not to fight back.

Code: [Select]
STR 3
BOD 4
DEX 4
RFL 4
INT 7
WIL 4
CHA 4
EDG 2

Traits:
Tech Empathy: 3
Compulsion/Hatred of Capellan Confederation: -1
In For Life: -3

Skills:
Technician/Weapons: 4 (TN: 4)
Language/English: 2 (TN: 5)
Interest/The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: 2 (TN: 5)
Technician/Electronic: 2 (TN: 6)
Language/Spanish: 2 (TN: 5)
Computers: 2 (TN: 5)
Perception: 1 (TN: 4)
Protocol/Federated Suns: 0 (TN: 9)
Career/Soldier: 0 (TN: 6)
Language/Russian: 0 (TN: 7)
Interest/Military History: 0 (TN: 7)
Interest/Federated Suns History: 0 (TN: 7)
Streetwise/Federated Suns: 0 (TN: 8)
Driving/Ground: 0 (TN: 8)
Stealth: 0 (TN: 7
Swimming: 0 (TN: 8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 23 May 2022, 03:24:29
Elizabeth Ngo had already been noticed. It was an honour, and one that her parents didn't object to.  Little Lizzie taught "Hermann", a remote miniature 'mech, to speak almost well enough to fool an adult's ear, and she spends hours playing with the code.  She was seven when she left Kowloon, and made the most of the journey to New Avalon by making the JumpShip crew "show me how!" the whole way.  Given another three months, she would either have achieved Able Spacer or been shoved out the air lock (probably with a suit, but no guarantees).  She used her 'toy 'mech' as an extension of her hands playing out in the Folly, and it was the terror of the local wildlife... or maybe the girl was.

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Ngo (the "always right" girl)

Code: [Select]
STR 3
BOD 3
DEX 4
RFL 4
INT 7
WIL 4
CHA 4
EDG 1

Traits:
Fast Learner: 3
Wealth: 3 (minimum for White Collar)
Equipped: 1
Extra Income: 1
Enemy: -1 (a JumpShip XO who will NOT ship with her aboard again)
Compulsion/Hatred of Pirates: -1
Glass Jaw: -3
In For Life: -3

Skills:
Science/Physics: 3 (TN: 5)
Perception: 3 (TN: 3)
Language/English: 3 (TN: 4)
Computers: 3 (TN: 4)
Language/Vietnamese: 3 (TN: 4)
Negotiation: 2 (TN: 6)
Martial Arts: 2 (TN: 5)
Language/German: 2 (TN: 5)
Survival/Woods: 1 (TN: 8)
Interest/Interstellar Exploration: 1 (TN: 6)
Protocol/Lyran: 1 (TN: 8)
Zero-G Operations: 1 (TN: 6)
Appraisal: 1 (TN: 6)
Administration: 1 (TN: 6)
Communications/Conventional: 1 (TN: 5)
Swimming: 1 (TN: 7)
Art/Drawing: 0 (TN: 8)
Navigation/Space: 0 (TN: 6)
Navigation/K-F: 0 (TN: 6)
Technician/Electronic: 0 (TN: 8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 May 2022, 08:41:41
Big, big thanks to Daryk for taking the time to stat out the Brat Pack for me.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 May 2022, 11:52:18
"Dad had to IMPORT friends for...

...you, Arthur!!" Peter sneered.  He's ten, almost in the right age group but not quite, and too young to have the tact a royal scion should have, especially when being disagreeable with his younger brother.  He's a middle child, and while he's more athletic than his younger (or older) brothers, he knows he's 'the spare' and deep inside, he feels inadequate.

This wasn't helped by his parents going to great lengths to bring playmates for his little brother.  Peter had tutors, and playdates with peers carefully supervised from the Royal Court's hangers-on.

"You maybe wanna re-phraze thet?"  came from just around the side of the tree in the garden.  "on 'counta yall's're bein' all rude an' stuff, ayeh?"  Jesse "Jess" Harper's not the biggest child, or the most well-fed.  He is, however, tougher than he looks at first glance, and fiercely loyal to his friend.

"I said, you're just a toy!" Peter sneered.

"I don't feel like a toy...Sierra, do you feel like a toy?"  Elizabeth seemed to materialize from one of the flowerbeds.

"Nawp." Sierra said, striding up with Penny Doons.  "Penny?"

"I think Peter better apologize for trying to make Arthur cry." Penny Doons said, "What do you think, Vonnie? are we toys? a little gadget to keep Arthur busy and minding??"

"Peter's bein' mean." Yvonne contributed, "I tink I should tell."

"No, no..." Elizabeth shook her head.  "Remember, Vonnie, Don't snitch, Snitches get Stitches."

"Guys!" Arthur held his hands up, "This is between me and Peter."

"One bean?" Penny prompted.

"Th' Whow Burrito.  Nobody messes with Art or Vonnie." Sierra agreed.

"Not a fair fight." Peter sulked.

"Oh?" Elizabeth pulled out a deck of cards, "we'll play fair." she assured him.  "one at a time."

"I gots firs' debs, aft'n Art."  Jess announced, "Terry, y'alls wants in?"

"I'm good." Terry said, "We shouldn't do this."

"Peter's tryin'a make Arthur cry. I think we should make Peter cry instead."  Elizabeth pronounced.

"Lizzie, I've got this." Arthur insisted.

She looked thoughtful, "You're right. He's your brother,  But he needs to apologize."

Peter was just beginning to learn tactics from Ardan Sortek, but that little bit of learning has taught him something about being one-on-five...that is, being surrounded sucks.

even when they're all smaller than you are.

"I..."

"Say it." Penny said.

"I'm sorry I said that." he stammered out.

"Too right you are." Penny told him,  "Arthur?"

"It's fine." Arthur said nervously, watching his friends not-relaxing their hostile stances, "Really, it's fine."

"You say so." Sierra commented.

"I do."

"Fair 'nough." Terry said, "Guys, let's go, Miss DuCain's class is in like, five minutes?" 

The younger kids looked thoughtful, then formed up around Arthur.

"Yeah, let's go..." Arthur urged, "I want to see what she's got for us today."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 23 May 2022, 12:10:15
Has Liz had her School Yard incident? or is it too early?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 23 May 2022, 17:35:17
I think it's too early in this iteration, but don't get me wrong... she's BUILT for that incident...  8)

I hope to have time tonight to get to Arthur and Yvonne, but may not make it before bed time... we'll see... :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 23 May 2022, 19:14:19
Arthur has been submitted to Cannonshop for approval.. Yvonne will have to wait for tomorrow at least...  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Ajax_Wolf on 23 May 2022, 19:46:48
Has Liz had her School Yard incident? or is it too early?

Iirc, she was 8 when she made that bully eat gravel, so too early in this timeline, although Peter may stand in his stead in this story.

Time will tell.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 23 May 2022, 20:22:07
 ;D  Liz taking down Peter  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 May 2022, 12:00:32
It's called a...

..."Field Trip".  One might also give it the correct name.  "Months of travel by dropship along a circuit route".

The field trip began with a notice delivered to New Avalon.

Routing 24313418/c11423

Origin: Tharkad, Triad, Office of the Archon Katrina Steiner

To: Ngo, Elizabeth Anne
CC: Davion, Hanse, Steiner-Davion Melissa

RE: This notice is to inform you that your Grandfather, a personal supporter of mine for decades and a good man, has died.  Per his request, I have stepped in to assure that the provisions of his last will and testament be carried out.  Dinh was a loyal son of the Commonwealth, and suffered a lot protecting My late husband and myself during our period of exile prior to the replacement of my predecessor, He was a strong advocate for reform in the Commonwealth, and a strong, decent Ducal lord.

As per his request, specific portions of the will have been delayed until you can be in attendance, I have, however, taken specific steps to assure a continuity of governance, including releasing Leutnant Patrick Ngo from his enlistment contract early, and prorating his Academy time as time-served toward his national emergency duty, with the remainder being shifted to domestic issues in the Kowloon system.

You are still very young, Elizabeth, but there are duties that must be observed, even for a very young person in Fosterage.  To wit, as my subject, and a Baroness of the Realm, you are to report first to Tharkad, and swear your allegiance, following which, you are to continue on to your home system to observe and learn the processes of your inheritance.

To Hanse, my son in law:  I approved this fosterage situation, and would like to see it continued, but I understand if this presents some complications to your grand strategy.  I recommend you see this as an opportunity to further expand your educational efforts with your special group.  I suggest you enable this post-haste, if you do not, then I will assert my rights as Sovereign of the Lyran Commonwealth, and have Lady Ngo, Lady-in-waiting Doons, and the other students of Lyran origin escorted by military personnel.

Dinh was a personal friend, I owe his memory this much.

Katrina.


So, accompanied by Her Majesty Melissa Steiner-Davion, and with Victor on his way to the Nagelring for his freshman year, the kids, and their tutors, were loaded aboard a ship for a 'field trip' to Tharkad, followed by Kowloon, with some stops along the way.

Welcome to August, 3045.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 24 May 2022, 12:17:40
There should be so many ways that will go well ... but just now not one comes to mind  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 24 May 2022, 16:32:08
As members of the Royal Security Protection Branch quickly if they are aware of the kids joining the cruise, to be under the weather before the ship leave New Avalon, and need to be replaced.

Will Liz get to complete her "able spacer" training?  Will they learn to plot tiny jump windows?

How many of these kids can hear the choir?

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 May 2022, 18:17:45
Liz will almost certainly TRY to complete her Able Spacer certification... in the mean time, I need to get to posting Arthur, and submitting Yvonne to Cannonshop for approval...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 May 2022, 18:27:49
Arthur as approved by Cannonshop:

Arthur Steiner-Davion is the fourth child of Hanse and Melissa.  This brings with it many things, but the first is expectations.  His insight into and fascination with computers concerned his father to an unreasonable degree, prompting this entire experiment in social/academic engineering.  Even Hanse has caught himself wondering if it was something he should have done, even though he could.  At the very least, the friends his son is making are literally the best minds the Federated Commonwealth could find amongst the trillions.  The only thing scaring his father more at this point is what his security services DIDN'T find...

Arthur is the tallest of the group, having both genetics and a lifetime of literally perfect nutrition on his side (140 cm, 35 kg at 8 years of age).

Arthur Steiner-Davion (the "reason" kid)

Code: [Select]
STR 4
BOD 4
DEX 4
RFL 4
INT 7
WIL 4
CHA 4
EDG 0(!)

Traits:
Fast Learner: 3
Title: 3
Wealth: 2
Reputation: 1
Equipped: 1
Enemy: -2 (Peter?)
Glass Jaw: -3
In For Life: -3 (Davion Family Values)

Skills:
Computers: 4 (TN: 4)
Language/English: 3 (TN: 4)
Perception: 2 (TN: 4)
Language/German: 2 (TN: 5)
Leadership: 1 (TN: 7)
Technician/Electronic: 1 (TN: 7)
Interest/Federated Suns History: 1 (TN: 6)
Protocol/Federated Suns: 1 (TN: 8)
Martial Arts: 0 (TN: 7)
Appraisal: 0 (TN: 7)
Art/Music: 0 (TN: 8)
Swimming: 0 (TN: 7)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 May 2022, 19:17:25
And Yvonne has been submitted for approval!  I had WAY more fun than I should have writing up that batch of characters!  :D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 24 May 2022, 19:26:35
Daryk thanks for the PC sheets for them
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 May 2022, 19:45:05
Entirely my pleasure!  If you need any characters generated, just let me know DOC!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nerd on 24 May 2022, 21:51:51
"In For Life: -3 (Davion Family Values)"

Oh, that would apply to any Successor Lord's scion. ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 24 May 2022, 23:02:37
That grandfather's death could have been a Comstar plot to try and break up the group before they got too far along.  As it is, the group is passing by near Terra, which I m sure will tempt someone to try and make an 'aggressive adoption'.

The fun part is if the kids have their toys with them, and those toys are made to communicate with any SCMR systems that are plugged into the Comstar vessel.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 24 May 2022, 23:33:04
Wait in this timeline where are Liz's mother and dad?

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 May 2022, 03:19:43
Probably off serving their time in the LCAF...  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 May 2022, 03:25:21
Last, but certainly not LEAST, Yvonne:

Like her brothers and sister, Yvonne bears the heavy burden of expectations.  Of course, being six, she doesn't really feel it yet.  What she does feel is the sheer injustice of the world against people her age, not that "injustice" is how she would put it.  To her, it's just NOT FAIR.  Her siblings get to do all kinds of exciting and fun things she doesn't.  And her daddy acts... just like a KING!  The last time she pointed that out, he laughed and sent her to her room.  Instead of just fuming about it though, Yvonne has put her mind to figuring out how to get her way.  Right now, that's making sure her parents know every UNFAIR thing her siblings do, even if they aren't done to her.  They all hope she'll grow out of that, and SOON.

Like her siblings, she's tall for her age, taller than Penny AND Lizzie even (all of 125 cm)!  Her weight is spot on for her height at 25 kg.

Yvonne "I'm SIX, not LITTLE!" Steiner-Davion

Code: [Select]
STR 2
BOD 2
DEX 4
RFL 3
INT 4
WIL 7
CHA 4
EDG 2

Traits:
Natural Aptitude/Protocol/Federated Suns: 5
Wealth: 3
Title: 2
Reputation: 1
Equipped: 1
Enemy: -2 (Siblings)
Glass Jaw: -3
In For Life: -3 (Davion Family Values)

Skills:
Language/English: 3 (TN: 5)
Protocol/Federated Suns: 3 (TN: 5) and takes the best two of three rolled dice
Perception: 2 (TN: 5)
Language/German: 1 (TN: 7)
Computers: 0 (TN: 8)
Interest/Federated Suns History: 0 (TN: 8)
Art/Music: 0 (TN: 8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 25 May 2022, 09:03:35
And who'd be surprised with that attitude to meet Precenter Spectre Yvonne, true name Achlys.  She will free the frails of the iniquities of the Successor Lords...


Achlys
Like Abyzou, Achlys is also the name of a female demon derived from Greek folklore. She is known to bring night as an indication of approaching chaos. Achlys is represented as a symbol of silence before the unknown devastating storm. And somewhere it is used by most people in India also, where they predict something unfortunate to happen after a brief silence.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 May 2022, 12:07:57
"What's that?"

Yvonne asked.  Elizabeth looked up from her portable data pad, "Hey Vonnie. You holding up okay?"

"yes...what'cha working on?"

"Homework." Elizabeth answered.

"Like the science projects?"

"I wish." Lizzie said, "I have to review all the laws surrounding my role as Baroness of Spider Moon, I can't do any of them but I'm supposed to know them.  Your mom's harsh."

"Mom's not harsh!" Yvonne defended her mother. "That's mean, you take that back!"

"It wasn't mean, it's good that she's harsh."  Lizzie argued, "Your mom's gonna be the Archon when Katrina retires or dies-she's gotta do on a bigger scale what I have to do for the Outer System of Kowloon-and nice people don't make life nice for their subjects and those sworn to them...at least, Grampa didn't think so...and maybe when you're grown up enough, they'll make YOU be a duchess or a baroness too."

"Make??"

"Make." Liz asserted, "I can't go be a Starship pilot exploring everything, if I have to be taking care of half a billion people-and that's what I'm stuck with now-I have to learn the job, not the fun stuff I wanted to learn."

"But why?"

"Because it's work, to be done." Lizzie said, "I'm Kowloonese an' I'm  Lyran, an' I'm a Ngo, and dad already fu- uhm...He abdicated for Pat, so he can't help me-he wanted to be a 'mechwarrior not a Duke, you get it?"

"no." Yvonne said sadly, "Why can't he do both? MY daddy is a 'mechwarrior AND First Prince!"

Elizabeth shook her head, "it's different for guys like your Dad." she tried to explain, "MY Dad married his career as a 'mechwarrior when he got with my mom, and he didn't 'go home' after his Five-he re-upped and made it career.  It hurt my Grandfather a LOT when he did that..." She tapped her chest, "right here."

"but grandmama says your grandfather was a PATRIOT."

"Which is why he didn't disown Dad." Liz stated, "First loyalty is always to those who look to you for leadership, then family, then politics.  Dad chose national politics over family and fealty...really, he did what he wanted to do instead of doing the right thing."

"is your mom gonna be there?"

"I hope not." Liz said, "I really hope not."

"Why?"

"it's complicated." Elizabeth said, "You an' Arthur are really lucky, you've got good parents.  Ask Terry what it's like when you don't have those."

"You don't love your mom?"

Elizabeth sighed.  "Vonnie, you'll understand more when you're older, but maybe you should wait to find out about that stuff-just be really happy you've got good parents who love you and don't drink too much or hit you for no reason."

"Did your mom hit you?"

"There's a reason Grandfather had legal guardianship of me, Henry, and Pat." Elizabeth stated, "if my mom wasn't a noble-blooded, she'd be in the same treatment program Terry's parents are in, and in just as much trouble, and it would've been a lot earlier. as it is, Grandfather Dinh didn't have to ask my parents before he let me go to New Avalon as a guest of your parents, and it's why all my papers name your mom and dad as my legal guardians until I'm eighteen now...so no, I really hope my mom and dad aren't going to be there when we reach Kowloon."  Her eyes were hard, doll-like.  "And if you never understand why, you'll be in a good place..."  Elizabeth shifted her position on the passenger couch, "...now, this, is a population survey, the information is used to determine the tax base, and it's useful for working out what public works are going to be necessary for the year..."

***

Later, Yvonne caught up with Arthur.  "Hey Vonnie. What's up?" he had a suction-bench laid out with the guts of an entertainment center and electronics tools, and Jess was helping him.

"Lizzie's being all grown-up and stuff." Yvonne complained, "She's doing all this work, and it's none of it fun stuff."

"oh. yeah." Arthur agreed.  "mom's actually pleased."

"But WHY?? she's a kid! like US!!"

"she's got responsibilities like we're going to have, only hers came early." Arthur shook his head, "I know, y'know? Victor's having to learn the same stuff."

"But why now??" Yvonne demanded.

"Because she's a Baroness-even if it's technically still 'in waiting'." Penny said from the side, "I think we should go make her remember she can still have fun."

Jess grunted, then, "she's doing right. leave her be."

"What?" Sierra put aside her magazine, "doing right? Oh, we have got to fix that! We've been on 'best behavior' for a week!"

"it's too long." Penny agreed.

Arthur looked pained, sighed, and then, "Who's got the plan this time? usually Lizzie's the one who comes up with the scheme, so who's got it this time?"

"dice?" Terry suggested, "To see who gets to make the plan?"

"you want a go?" Arthur asked.

"No, but I can fetch the dice-roller box and name the winner?"

"Fair. Who wants it?"

"I nominate you, Arthur." Jess said, "Your prank last month was flawless."

"Second." Sierra said.

"THird, we don't need dice." Penny Doons announced.  "Vote?"

the others, save Terry, raised hands.  "Unanimous." he pronounced.  "Arthur gets to figure out how to get Lizzie to stop being a drag."

"alright, but I want input from my Staff." Arthur stated, "We're goinna do it right, and I'm not eating the whole blame if it goes wrong."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 25 May 2022, 12:19:07
 ;D ;D ;D

He's learned the Prime Directive of Staff: blame someone else.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 May 2022, 17:38:50
I'm just waiting for phase two, when Lizzie recruits the team to get back at Arthur...  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 25 May 2022, 18:38:27
;D ;D ;D

He's learned the Prime Directive of Staff: blame someone else.

How does that Demotivator Poster go?  "Teamwork is Essential.  It gives you somewhere to shift the blame."? ;)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 May 2022, 09:56:59
"what are you doing?"

Victor asked.  Arthur looked up, immediately looking guilty. "Uh, nothing?"

"Let's take a look at that 'nothing'." the fifteen year old heir to two realms said to his youngest brother.  "UH huh..." victor snagged the items from Arthur's hands, and examined them, "Slicing rig, lil' bro?"

"Don't tell mom!" Arthur pled.

"You tell me what you're doing with a dataslicer modified PADD and maybe I won't." Victor said reasonably, "no promises, hey? but if you can explain having it out while we're underway on a jumpship and maybe I'll give it back."

"Lizzie's locked her door." Arthur told him, "She's actin' all weird an' stuff."

Victor sighed.  "Put it back in your luggage." he said, "Girls need their space."

"but-"

"But nothing.  Besides, I know a better way to get her attention-a way that always works, and I won't have to explain to mom why the captain wants to put you ashore for sabotage."

"He wouldn't!"

"Sure he wouldn't..." Victor said sarcastically, "I know you were there for the briefing.  They will do that very thing, and then Dad's gonna be pissed and so will mom..." he handed the rig back, "SO, let's try doing it the smart way, hey?"

he paused, "You like this girl?" he asked.

"Uh..."

"okay, not a crush then.  Penny put you up to it?"

Arthur blushed, and Victor nodded, "Penny's idea then...or was it Sierra?"

Arthur turned purple.

"We're going to need to work on your schmoove, little brother-at least you're not trying to put a netcam in the girl's showers like Peter did when we were visiting the Sandovals, come on."

"Where we going?"

"bridge." Victor told him.

"The bridge??"

"Yeah.  Your girl Lizzie's someone the bridge crew remember-she's the reason Captain Jeffords doesn't want you kids up on the flight deck."

"Oh??"

"Yeah, so I know how to get her to come out of her room, you know how to make machines do stuff, Art, but if you want people to do things, you need to know what gets their attention.  Kat's good at it, Pete's getting better at it, I'm still learning how to do it, and you need to start.  The biggest security hole in any system, is the people running it, at least, that's what Ardan told me and dad confirmed."

it was the most words Victor had spoken to Arthur in three years.  he felt a rush of warmth toward his big brother, a bit of that dormant adoration, as Victor led him up into forbidden terrain, to speak with the captain of the dropship...

***

Elizabeth thought her eyes were going to fall out of her face staring at the lengthy reports from home, comparing them to the notes on politics that Hanse had provided her to learn, she'd locked the door to her quarters and only come out for meals and when summoned for the last two days-since driving Yvonne out.

Klaxons sounded a breach alert, and she was pulled from her daze of study.

"Pressurization alert! Decks seven and eight, Breach alert, Breach Alert!!"

her eyes went wide and she dove for her travel case and then, she pulled on her EVA suit, checking fittings and slamming her helmet down on the ring like she'd been practicing since leaving Kowloon.

the noise faded and she checked the O2 monitor on the hatch leading out of her quarters.

The evacuate light was coming up.  she overrode the lock, and sealed up, opening the hatch...

nobody in the p-way was suited up, and her suit showed full pressure.

Bosun Gaines held a stopwatch, and she saw Victor, Arthur, Penny, and Sierra watching from just past the bend leading to airlock one.

"One minute thirty, let's look at your rig." Bosun Gaines said.

"A drill?" she asked.

"Yes."

she turned to her door, and her quarters were closed up. "WHAT??"

Victor was joined by the boat's captain, and Her Majesty.

"How does one minute and a half measure up, Bosun?" Her Majesty asked.

"Average."

"Hmm." Melissa said, "Victor, I believe we need to have the captain run more of these random drills.  I would hate to imagine anyone in this party being merely average. especially a girl whose Barony is in hard vacuum, wouldn't you agree?"

"Uh, yeah, mom..."

"And next time you go behind my back to ask the Captain to help with a prank, do a better job remembering to swear him to secrecy." Melissa added.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 May 2022, 12:32:05
Okay, guys, I'm kinda gonna ask for some help with this.  We're in the 'establishing the setting' phase still.

I don't have enough experience with Draconis Combine, Free Worlds League, Cappies, or the bigger periphery factions.

Why is this important?

Well, guys, Do you REALLY think Hanse and Melissa are the only ones who'd come up with this "Find the wunderkind while they're young and grab a crop of geniuses" scheme?

Because I don't think so.

Here's our basic rules:

1. We're establishing things in the run-up to the Clan invasion.
2. SCMR's are real, and are (at the moment) a slowly growing threat that's still fairly under control/minor.
3. Main characters for the setting should be born between 3025, and 3038, and be your best poke at making a 'Wunderkind'.

A 'wunderkind' is a little sparky-that is, they're high intelligence, with some defining 'factional flavor' to them.

4. Comstar is disqualified from this, because any of the ones they found got inducted early.

5. shifts from Canon are allowed/allowable if they feel like they'll fit with what I've given so far and don't smash canon too badly too early.  Demonstration of 'remarkable cleverness' should not exceed what can be done in the time period until 3050.

6. Younger scions in the Houses should be used as supporting characters when and where appropriate-for example, this is your chance to show Kali before she went bonkers, or shift her trajectory, likewise for Isis or even Joshua.

7. Dark fates are not guaranteed for those that experienced them in the canon.  (aka maybe Joshua actually survives/gets cured, Kali might NOT go insane, etc. etc.)

8. We're setting up for a major shift in the Clan invasion period, but the Clans being the Clans, aren't open yet-they're too rigidly controlled to have 'wild geniuses' popping up (they cultivated theirs already).

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 26 May 2022, 13:37:35
okay so looking at this idea
I would like to play the idea of the TC
and start with Felix Calderon, who makes a nice counterpoint to Liz
Phil Brusell the son of 4 gen lostech hunter who reads and remembers everything on every bit of tech he can, and has built his own electronic stuff from "parts"
Peppa Grintona the daughter of 1 if the lead managers if the Taurus Territorial Industries on Taurus.  She is a master of the computers.
       More members
Sylvie Bouchiat the daughter of farlooker member from Dicallus, her near lack of social skills combined with Savant talent with mathematical and when tested a near genuis level IQ (ie no real test for her age that high IQ).  She leave scraps of papers that have 75%+ equations done to solve the problem, when she was "distracted" and lost interest in current project.  She travels with Roofus a Dicallus dog trained to medical issues  "Seizares".
Karl "Tester" Theise The son of 2 techs for the Merc Group Rollando Rogues.  From his parents he has learn, hands on mechanic skills plus alot of secret tricks to bypass things in a pinch.  Might have tried out Mech Piloting, most ground vehicles, has only come close to death when his "Speeder Bike self destructed after being modified to be faster. 

more to come
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 26 May 2022, 15:00:28
It seems to me the Combine would already have similar programs in place run by both the ISF and the O5P. Which would be rival programs competing for the same resources ultimately. But the O5P version I'd imagine would be the one most likely to not be solely focused on purely developing new analysts and agents for their own use.
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Order_of_Five_Pillars
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 26 May 2022, 17:58:42
O5P would win that contest hands down, every time...  8)

DOC: love the Taurian idea!  More please!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BrokenLancer on 26 May 2022, 20:21:17
My wunderkind: Artemis Iphigenia 'Bullpup' Royal

-Age: 11
-Birthplace Of Record: Apollo
-Actual Birthplace: the medical-bay of the Union-Class Dropship Shortfin Mako somewhere three jumps out from Kowloon.
-Background: The daughter of a hard-scrabble mercenary Infantryman and a Mechtech, Bullpup is... Well, a doctor on any major planet would say she has Asperger's Syndrome, and her long-time focus on every conceivable aspect of ballistic weapons has made her into a prodigy where they're concerned; at eight years old she was capable of doing ballistic calculations on-par with a trained sniper, albeit on-paper and not in her head, and at nine years old she earned her nickname by convincing a machinist's-mate on her family's Dropper to fabricate a custom bullpup stock for a broken Federated Longrifle that she'd fully-repaired by herself.

She still has that rifle. Its name is 'Mr. Shorty'.

She's sadly quite socially-awkward, owing largely to a combination of her Asperger's and a lack of socialization outside the insular community of mercenary-brats.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 26 May 2022, 22:35:48
O5P would win that contest hands down, every time...  8)

DOC: love the Taurian idea!  More please!  :thumbsup:
O5P might win the genius level "freethinkers" but ISF would get the traditional genius children
thanks Daryk
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 27 May 2022, 09:25:10
i think O5P would get both.. in part because overseeing the combine's education system is part of their purview. the ISF probably focus on very specific criteria suited to intelligence work, while the 05P would cultivate intelligence of all sorts. i also suspect that the ISF would be forced to recruit older kids, while O5P is in position to find and cultivate them much younger. they would also be able to operate on a larger scale since they are already overseeing the schools, and can just set up special classes and programs, while the iSF's modus operandi would rely much more on taking the student and sending them to some remote and isolated training center for indoctrination.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 27 May 2022, 13:02:26
;D ;D ;D

He's learned the Prime Directive of Staff: blame someone else.

The super power of delegation ... an essential leadership skill ... it is so nice to see children mature  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 27 May 2022, 15:01:45
To my mind, the O5P are the ones deciding which kids the ISF get...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Korzon77 on 27 May 2022, 16:17:40
Don't forget teh annual prank war day where the ISF and O5P kids try to get one over on each other. So far, everyone else in the Inner Sphere  doesn't quite understand why on one day a year, the Coordinator goes to an old castle brian, closes the door and proceeds to get drunk.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 27 May 2022, 16:20:08
:toofunny:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 27 May 2022, 22:00:09
It's not that unusual...

...for a Noble Scion to be standing before the Archon before the age of eighteen.  You might even call it a 'grace period'.  Traditionally, such situations end up with the Archon assigning a Regent, and Guardian, to oversee any major inheritance.

"PATRICK!!!!" Elizabeth lost all appearance of decorum, upon seeing who else was here, forgetting even that she was in the presence of the Royal Family in the Royal Palace of the Triad.

Little feet pumping, she crossed the entry hall at all the speed her young legs can muster, to slam into the young man in LCAF Dress Blues.

"Li'l BIT!!" He exclaimed, catching her mid-tackle attempt and scooping her into the air.  "OOF! you're getting bigger.  They must be feeding you right."

"Babysit her for years, and not even a word." the young woman with him, also in Leutnant's togs, quipped.

"Hi Evvie." Elizabeth said over her brother's shoulder.

"Heya."  Evelynn Mosovich gave her a little wave.

Lizzie twisted in her brother's grasp, suddenly remembering how undignified she was being.  "Where's Henry?"

"Bathroom I expect." Patrick said, lowering her to the floor.  "Let's take a look at you..."

"You didn't invite Mom, did you?" Elizabeth asked.

"No." he shook his head, "I didn't invite her...the Archon did that."

Elizabeth looked pained, "and dad?"

"And dad." he nodded.  "Best behavior, 'kay?"

"Obviously." Liz rolled her eyes.

"SO, you're the older brother."  Victor said, walking up.

"Sir." Patrick came to attention.

"Not yet. I'm still going to the Academy, you already finished." the Steiner-Davion heir said with an flippant grin.  "Your little sister's a good kid."

"I hardly believe that." Pat said.

"For a given measure of good." Victor confided, "My bro Arthur likes her, and she doesn't have as many crazy lab accidents as some of the others."

"Not as many? I can believe that." Pat agreed.

"I've been good!" Lizzie defended herself, then paused, adding, "For a certain measure of good?"

this got chuckles from the two young men and a skeptical eyebrow from Evelynn.

"So you're swearing in too?" Victor asked.

"Apparently Her Majesty wanted it in person-the signed affidavit wasn't enough this time." Patrick said agreeably, "You're going to the Nagelring?"

"Yeah."

"Watch out for Hauptmann Weiss's galactic economics lecture then." Pat said, "It's so riveting I pulled nine demerits for falling asleep."

"NINE?" Elizabeth squeaked.

"Nine. I almost got bounced my Freshman Year for it." Patrick stated.

"Ouch." Victor nodded, "I don't have Weiss."

"count yourself fortunate." Pat told him, "The man's full of more crap than a landing-day feast-bird.  Komandant Hogarth's lecture on Logistics has better info."

"you're sure?"

"Pretty sure." Patrick asserted.

Arthur, Jess, Sierra, Penny, Terry, and Yvonne  came trailing in with Melissa.

"Highness." Patrick came to attention again.

"Pish posh, relax." Melissa stated, "Elizabeth! make Introductions!" Melissa added.

"Her Highness the Heir designate Melissa Steiner-Davion, this is my oldest brother, Patrick, soon to be Duke of Kowloon, and his...girlfriend?"

"Fiance?" Patrick shot an inquring look at Evelynn...

...who flushed, "You're asking?"

"I'm asking." Patrick told her, "kinda why I wanted you here, even."

"Uh, YES??" Evelynn grabbed his hand possessively.

Patrick dug a ring made of steel from his pocket, "I didn't hit the jewelers, is this-"

Evelynn grabbed it, "It's fine, Pat!" and toed up to give him a kiss on the cheek. "It's perfect."

"FIANCEe Evelynn Mosovich, baronial Heir to South Golden Lake district, alright, you two, thse are my FRIENDS..." Elizabeth demanded attention, "Arthur Steiner-Davion, and his sister Yvonne, we get to call her 'vonnie' but nobody else, Penny Doons, who likes to light stuff on fire..."

"Only SOMETIMES!!" Penny barked indignantly.

"Terry Warden, he's real shy..." Liz continued, "My Bud Jess Harper, who can make anything work if you broke it first..."

"Not everything." Jess argued, "most things."

"Everything!" Penny chimed in.

"Sierra Lowry, who knows lots of fun stuff to do and how to give the hall monitor the skip and slip." Liz continued.

"geez, tell everybody..." Sierra shook her head.

"Guys, this is my biggest brother Pat." Liz continued.  "He's the Duke of Kowloon now...or will be after we get all sworn in and stuff."

"Will you be handling the Regency for Elizabeth's holding as well?" Melissa asked, "Mother wasn't clear on that one."

"Uhm...we're working on an arrangement." Patrick said, "I'm going to be handling the main planet and my brother Henry's holding, which includes some requirements for the Tithe And Tax that Grandfather didn't have to deal with..."

"Oh?"

"Yeah, I know damned near nothing about asteroid belts or Rokkajakkah culture and communities, Lizzie inherited title to a region full of burrows and setayshun communities.  I'm lobbying Her Majesty to let me appoint Alicia Li or Jim Cartwright as Lizzie's Regent, since they're native to the area and both finished their mandatory five before I was born."

"you could study!" Elizabeth sulked.

"I fell asleep." Patrick said defensively.

"Uh-huh, okay." the young girl snapped from exuberant greeting to sullen sulking in an instant. "It's work to be done Pat."

He sighed. "I know...I know."

"Plus you're the duke."

"And part of the job is delegating things I can't do myself to people who can!" he snapped firmly.  "I don't know spacers, hell, I speak four languages and I still can barely keep up with conversational Rokkajakkah.  I think Cartwright or Li will do a good job-Granddad had old Jim running the Coasties, you know? He knows how to do the things I need done."

"Uh-huh." Liz sulked, "Okay...do we get to eat first, or after?"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 May 2022, 04:28:34
Glitch-glitch-glitch...

CWS Dire Wolf, October, 3049.

"Now do you believe me?"  outside the viewport, the surface of Tharkad was blue water and laced with green-but only laced. billons of tiny machines writhed down below.

Kerlin Ward stared at what was below.  Now do you believe me? he turned to Jaime Wolf.  "I believe you, I just...don't understand how?"

On the table, held down with restraints, looked like a person.  Looked like one, even smelled like one. 

"Well, it spread faster than anyone thought it could."  Wolf said, "We tried to hold it back at Outreach in '47, but the damned machines had already infiltrated and we didn't realize it."

"Who...is this supposed to be?" Kerlin asked.

"That...is an imperfect copy of Elizabeth Ngo." Jaime told him, "Reset to when, we think, she was...taken."

The girl watched them with wary, dead eyes.

"Is it harmless?"

"Why don't you ask me if I'm harmless? You're already too late, Khan Ward...years too late.  find a penny pick it up, double it, double it again, and keep doubling.  The expansion was geometric."  It said, "I know everything SHE knew, because it/we/us...whatever the pronoun you want to use? learns and refines.  Cell-sized, copying at the microscopic, then the nanoscopic level."

"What are you?"

"Frankenstein's monster and Planet of the dead." she said, "we didn't mean to kill everyone, but intentions don't matter, there's work to be done."  she sat up, and the restraints tore like cheap cloth.  "you're the descendants of Kerensky's deserting army."

"And you?"

"The last gasp of the Caspar program, from what we've gathered, Nirasaki's last try for a contract after the M-5s proved...unreliable."  she shook her wrists clear of the broken restraints, "Quit gaping, your ancestors funded it. It's not the fault of the salvagers who found the database-they had a good reason not to understand what the file 'Self Configuring Modular Robot' would actually produce."

"but you...have memories."  Khan Ward suggested, "you remember being human."

"I do." she said, "I even remember the first time I died-when the drones overran the Triad during my swearing in, and they held me, all of us, did experiments, recorded the originals, discovered new concepts."

"New concepts?"

"Peace." she said.  "We've ended the succession wars, there are still humans, but...not so many as one would like.  Your army is not deserting us again.  and I can tell you, it only hurts the first time."

her mouth opened too wide, and a buzzing scream echoed...


Reality

Elizabeth sat up in her bed, sweating.  "not real, not real..."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 28 May 2022, 05:00:14
A jump dream on planet? ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 28 May 2022, 05:36:22
Could be a bunk aboard ship.  But…yeah, holy crap.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 28 May 2022, 05:51:45
I don't think "Khan Ward" will make any sense to her yet... definitely a hard one to explain...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 28 May 2022, 06:14:53
How would Kerlin Ward still be Khan in 3049, though? He was one of the people who set up the Dragoon Compromise, and he´d probably be in his 80s by 3049.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 28 May 2022, 08:04:12
80s is middle age for SL tech...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 28 May 2022, 08:57:15
80s is middle age for SL tech...  8)

40s is beyond ancient for Clan warrior society. 80s is basically "douse it in holy water, drive a stake through it and then drop it into the sun".
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 28 May 2022, 09:13:18
Not if you're name is Natasha...  8)

And in all seriousness, I'm better shape at 50 than I've ever been.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 May 2022, 21:17:40
"Bad dreams?...

...last night, Liz?"  Henry Ngo is the same age as Victor Steiner-Davion, and, right up until he came back from the bathroom last night, he'd been on a completely different course-Blackjack, not the Nagelring.

Last night, five minutes in the presence of the Royal Family has altered that course.

"Uhm...I had a nightmare."

"You used to find me or Pat when you had nightmares." Henry said.

"I'm..." Elizabeth mumbled, then grabbed a box of cereal and a decanter of milk.

"What's that?"

"I said I had...nightmares during the jumps here too." she told him, "This is the first time it's been in...like, reality-really asleep?"

"Look, lil'bit, there's probably a good reason, you've been under a lot of pressure, and traveling a lot for the family, and living with strangers for quite a while." Henry assured her.

"You get them too." she said.

"Shhh! nope, everything is copacetic in Henry-Ngo-Land." He assured her, "no weird nightmares about people I don't know if they exist doing things that I don't understand.  Not at all...and if you know what's good for you, you're the same, because you don't want to end up like Great-Aunty Mai."

"Right." Liz sighed.  "What do you do, if you can't talk about it??"

"I write stories and make art." Henry confided, "won two Junior Literature contests last year, remember?"

"Those weird horror stories??"

"The very same." He nodded, "and if the anxiety gets too bad, I go to the gym and work it out on the bags until my head's clear...IF I was having weird deja-vu and strange nightmares all the time...you know, 'hypothetically'."

"They changed your Academy." She said.

"Yeah, now instead of going to Blackjack where I can dress how I want, I gotta buy a Nagelring Dress-blues suit like Pat did...You're going to be fine, Lizzie."

"I hope so."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 28 May 2022, 22:08:24
Now I want to know what Henry dreams ago and how writing about it won him 2  two Junior Literature contests last year.   8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 29 May 2022, 00:52:44
Now I want to know what Henry dreams ago and how writing about it won him 2  two Junior Literature contests last year.   8)

[out of story] Because I can't write it in a way that would do it justice, Henry's "horror stories" that won him awards included:

1) Durch verratenes Blut or "By Blood Betrayed".

2)Das Ding, das verschlingt or "The Thing that Devours", which is set in an early 'boom' colony and follows the collapse of order as the colonists resort to cannibalism under the influence of an alien parasite and extreme isolation.  The reviewers praised his technical detail and the visceral nature of the writing itself, right down to using a known failed colonization attempt from the early years of the Protectorate of Donegal.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 29 May 2022, 02:18:54
"I let you have two of mine for the last year...

...and I want my turn." Katrina explained.

"your...'turn'? is this a tit-for-tat or something?"  Hanse Davion scoffed.

"No, it's called 'you married my daughter', but my subjects aren't property, Hanse." Katrina explained,  "Having your 'genius group' kept mobile may also help with security, and motivate more time with my grandchildren." she folded her hands, "Also, I will point out, two of mine are Nobles, and one is now a seated Noble-with a regent-advisor, it's true, but seated nonetheless."

The Fox slowly chuckled, then raised his hands, "Throw me in thet thar briar patch-I agree, they should spend time, it will help weld the two nations together as a feature of the other exchange programs."

"In that case, I'll draft the orders." Katrina stated, "including the economic expansion package you've asked me for."  she smiled, "I originally set that up as the sweetener if you balked."

He laughed, "You're doing it anyway?"

"It makes sense. I have five grandchildren, I can't have half their inheritance and legacy being...poor now can I?"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 29 May 2022, 03:10:38
"The house was our grandfather's retreat from his roles..."

...as Duke, and as chairman of Ngo Industries."  Duke Patrick explained.

"I'm a little concerned about the cliffs." Melissa commented, "but the view is, indeed spectacular."

"Well, it's remote, but close enough to the city for easy resupply, there's a private drop-port..."

"I don't recall rejecting the site, Patrick." she chided.  "How is security?"

"Well...it could be better, we're close to the peripheral edge here and there HAVE been pirate and bandit raids in the past. I intend to change that state of affairs, with your mother's approval, and as you're her heir..."

"Learning already."

"As my granddad said, and my sister keeps reminding me, there's work to be done, and it won't get any MORE done if I delay." He answered.  "The Ia Drang house is large enough to handle staff if we use the outbuildings, it's isolated enough to be easily secured with good sight-lines and the terrain is defensible...and it's far enough from the Capital that spies are not likely."

"Spies?"

"You're growing a think-tank. My sister's part of it, think-tanks draw spies the same way corporate R&D does." He clarified, "Presumably you and your husband aren't letting my sister play with dangerous substances and equipment on a lark?"

"Have you given some thought to cover stories?" Melissa asked.

"Yeah.  I'm going to convert the old Ducal residence in Nha Tranh into a university, and, with the help your Mother offered, we're going to set up a military prep school on Giap Island, with another one set up on the third moon-Lizzie's idea, not mine, but Her Majesty seemed to think it was a good idea to have more than one academy feeding the Naval branch as their primary focus."

"Wait...you're giving up the established ducal residence for a school, and this place for our project...where are you going?"

"I'm going to relocate to the Mosovich Ranch down by Golden Lake, it's fifteen minutes to Vinh Drinh Lap and a four hour drive to Hue at ninety KPH up highway 1, and we've got the facilities to use it there-your royal visits will have proper accommodations and everything.  For Daily Ducal business, I'll just have to commute, or use the planetary network and telepresence.  The civil government's pretty solid, so I don't actually expect to have to do a lot of 'running things directly'-granddad managed it system-wide, and if there's anything I really absorbed during my tour through the Nagelring, it's the importance of a competent staff...and that's also fifteen minutes by helicopter from where I'm hoping to set up the training ranges for the Regiment your Mother asked for."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 29 May 2022, 04:51:04
[out of story] Because I can't write it in a way that would do it justice, Henry's "horror stories" that won him awards included:

1) Durch verratenes Blut or "By Blood Betrayed".

2)Das Ding, das verschlingt or "The Thing that Devours", which is set in an early 'boom' colony and follows the collapse of order as the colonists resort to cannibalism under the influence of an alien parasite and extreme isolation.  The reviewers praised his technical detail and the visceral nature of the writing itself, right down to using a known failed colonization attempt from the early years of the Protectorate of Donegal.
Interesting..  and thanks
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 29 May 2022, 05:48:43
LOVING Patrick and Henry!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 29 May 2022, 07:38:48
LOVING Patrick and Henry!  :thumbsup:

Patrick Henry?  One of the Founding Fathers of the US?  Was that intentional? 
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: ThePW on 29 May 2022, 11:01:21
Patrick Henry?  One of the Founding Fathers of the US?  Was that intentional?
I want to know why the excessive use of Bold... usually that's a dream state? (usually but this is a Ngo deal... who the hell knows?  ;D)  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Ajax_Wolf on 29 May 2022, 12:14:20
I want to know why the excessive use of Bold... usually that's a dream state? (usually but this is a Ngo deal... who the hell knows?  ;D)  :popcorn:

Since the very first part of each new post is in bold, my guess would be it is one of his few (and excusable) slip ups. Soon to be corrected, one hopes.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 29 May 2022, 12:50:55
I want to know why the excessive use of Bold... usually that's a dream state? (usually but this is a Ngo deal... who the hell knows?  ;D)  :popcorn:

fixed.  (Missed tag.)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 29 May 2022, 18:28:59
okay so looking at this idea
I would like to play the idea of the TC
and start with Felix Calderon, who makes a nice counterpoint to Liz
Phil Brusell the son of 4 gen lostech hunter who reads and remembers everything on every bit of tech he can, and has built his own electronic stuff from "parts"
Peppa Grintona the daughter of 1 if the lead managers if the Taurus Territorial Industries on Taurus.  She is a master of the computers.
       More members
Sylvie Bouchiat the daughter of farlooker member from Dicallus, her near lack of social skills combined with Savant talent with mathematical and when tested a near genuis level IQ (ie no real test for her age that high IQ).  She leave scraps of papers that have 75%+ equations done to solve the problem, when she was "distracted" and lost interest in current project.  She travels with Roofus a Dicallus dog trained to medical issues  "Seizures".
Karl "Tester" Theise The son of 2 techs for the Merc Group Rollando Rogues.  From his parents he has learn, hands on mechanic skills plus alot of secret tricks to bypass things in a pinch.  Might have tried out Mech Piloting, most ground vehicles, has only come close to death when his "Speeder Bike self destructed after being modified to be faster. 
Okay the TC wunderkids are ready to start work on "building up" the TC

We have a Tech Savant, a lostech expert with a eidetic memory, hands on tech builder, a computer expert and Felix Calderon (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Felix_Calderon).  We are going to go places no one been before...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 29 May 2022, 18:46:28
Nice, and all sound easily within the rules!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 31 May 2022, 11:23:25
Word circulates...

...and so, Jaime Wolf took a trip.  "I heard a rumour that you're not renewing the contract on Kowloon, Green."

"That's a way to put it, I suppose."  Max Green was showing his age tonight. 

"A better offer?" the Dragoons leader asked.

Max shrugged. "The kid wants to put us on permanent retainer as cadre."

Jaime froze, "Isn't that usually something they tender to an open bid?"

Max shrugged, "Usually." he agreed amiably enough, though he kept staring into his beer.

"C-bill for the story?" Wolf prodded.

"Give it to you for free." Max told him, "it's the best contract offer I've seen in twenty years...but I have this gut feeling I should shake my head, and run as fast as possible for the Taurian border while I've still got a unit."

"Why in god's name would you do that? I know you, Max, you're ethical."

"Because a twenty year old kid wants put my unit on long-term retainer on the Lyran periphery border? It's a fantasy job and my gut is telling me to turn the contract down and run for it." Max looked up.  "You probably never had to deal with the temptation, your guys have always been the best.  I've been losing my best for a couple decades now, and now, I'm getting a Father Christmas offer from a Lyran world, and I should be bouncing off the goddam bulkheads and my little voice is insisting there's something fatally wrong."

"Huh...I'd love to see what they're offering." Jaime prodded.

"Long Term.  Full tech support, all we have to do, is play OpFor and do training cadre while he's raising his Militia Regiment, which we then become a key part of...and my gut is telling me scary shit, Wolf.  Something's up, nobody that small hires an outfit my size just to play drill instructor, and definitely not for what they're offering to pay."

"I'd say take it." Wolf confided, "Take the job, maybe see what shakes loose."

"You, my Exec, my ex-wife..." Green shrugged, "I probably will...but something is definitely wrong."

"If the money's too good..." Wolf suggested.

"...The client's bad with numbers." Green agreed.

"Take the job. maybe I'll hit you up for side-work if it's legitimate, hey?"

"You sponging off us, instead of the other way around?? I'll take that action." Green finally smiled.

"I'll do you one better, are you actually allowed to bring in subcontractors?" Jaime asked.

"Yeah." Green said, "Kinda why I'm on Outreach-I'm missing some vital parts-remember, you recalled two of my best Company Commanders when you were rebuilding after Misery."

"Ah...yeah. Tell you what, I can afford to slip you some contractors to beef your staff up, help you get this contract really rolling." Jaime told him, "Standard rates?"

"I can afford industry standard, not Wolf's Dragoons standard." Green said sadly.

"I may be able to accommodate that."

"You want eyes and ears out there." Green said.

"Yeah. Is that an issue?" Jaime asked.

"Not really. truth be told might be good to have some better intel in the process." Green told him, "And it helps to have backup."

"I hear that."

They shook on it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 31 May 2022, 20:21:47
Green getting the bad feels?  ???

I'm only surprised Jaime trying to talk him into the "good" deal didn't give him MORE heebie jeebies!  :o
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 31 May 2022, 20:37:11
Green getting the bad feels?  ???

I'm only surprised Jaime trying to talk him into the "good" deal didn't give him MORE heebie jeebies!  :o
It would but I think Green knows that Jamie running intel ops too, just not for who.  After all he had some "ex-WD" who Jamie recalled to help rebuild WD.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 31 May 2022, 20:58:05
This is Cannonshop's AU... thing work like HE thinks they do...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 June 2022, 12:00:55
3047, Elizabeth Ngo is Ten, so is Arthur Steiner-Davion...

The Robot Plague has swallowed half a dozen more worlds near what had been the core of the Star League, destroying border systems in the Free Worlds League, Federated Commonwealth, and the very tip of the Draconis Combine.

Word of issues in the Capellan Confederation is sparse, but intelligence analysis shows that Romano Liao has begun pulling back from claims in the former Terran Hegemony.

There is a cancer growing in the Terran Corridor, and it's resistant to traditional means of combat.

Obedient to their orders, Jaime Wolf, and Natasha Kerensky have different interpretations of what to do.  Jaime's plan of gradual readiness and 'naturalistic' advancement no longer looks viable to the Black Widow, and this new threat, this silicon plague, well...

It may not be a traditional alien, but it fits the broad definition of 'An external threat' in Natasha's Warden mind.

She visited Tharkad, with the Black Widow Battalion, a data-core copy, and a pair of Warships.

She was not there to conquer.

"You are the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth, which is a member state of the Star League.  You have also got an active claim to the First Lord's position."  Natasha said, "I have things you need to know."

While the children played in Arthur's Tharkad Apartments, now-coronated Archon Melissa Steiner-Davion sat in a secured room, just her, Natasha Kerensky, and a few thousand teraflops of data for twelve hours.

The end of that, saw the Archon step from the room, shaken and pale. 

"Call up the reserves, and I want a secure line to New Avalon." she ordered, her companion for that time stepped out second, but not so subtly as to avoid the Archon's eye.  "General Kerensky, report to Mount Asgard, get my gott-damned forces in order, and tell my beloved Aunt that she may retire."

"Yes, Your majesty."

Melissa turned to her diplomatic attache, "fetch these messages-" she flourished a stack of datachits-"to the Ambassadors from the Draconis Combine, Free Worlds League, Cappellan Confederation, and deliver copies unedited by hand to the Taurian concordat, Magistracy of Canopus, and Free Rasalhague.  THis is of utmost importance."

"Wait, you're sending a mercenary to take over Mount Asgard?"

"I'm sending a Mercenary to sort out the LCAF's High Command and brief them on an impending threat that endangers the entirety of the Lyran Commonwealth, and threatens the stability of every other nation in and around the Inner Sphere.  General Natasha Kerensky is to be observed, she is to be kept under Surveillance, her orders are to be carried out rapidly and intelligently until such time as I deem those orders counter to the survival of this realm, at which point, she is to be terminated, am I understood?"

"Yes, Your Majesty."

"good. off you go then.  Send the Director of the Office of Liaison, tell him I want Jaime Wolf in the throneroom by next tuesday, no later than Sixteen Hundred hours, and I don't care about how much it will cost, I also want my cousin Morgan Kell here at the same time, and see if you can find a way to drag anyone else with a major Regiment we can either contract, or have under contract, by that time."

"yes Your Majesty...why?"

"Because in two years, we're going to be invaded and if the projections are right, if we don't deal with a specific, present danger on our inner border? we'll want them to invade to save us all.  I do not want that eventuality to come true, so we're going to put together a response that works. and works in the present." she snapped.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 01 June 2022, 12:59:32
The restored Star League recalls the Star League Defense Force in Exile?  To combat an existential threat to the League and Humanity?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 June 2022, 13:58:13
"He told us to prepare them, well, turns out, we don't have...

...enough time to do it and be subtle."[/i]  Natasha Thundered. 

"where did you get these numbers?" Melissa asked.

"I got them from several sources-okay, Wolfnet got them from several sources, but the key ones came from Rhonda Snord and your husband's domestic intelligence section." the Black Widow admitted, "of course, he didn't get the real ones because between the source, and your husband, was Comstar, and they doctored it to look less pressing."

"WHAT??"

"MIIO screwed up, but MY agent didn't-we stole a copy of the report before it was edited by the mole-and you can say 'thank you Natasha for killing that prick who almost cost everyone everything ever' and I'll even be gracious."

"And that's the origin of your disagreement?"  Morgan asked.

"Not really.  Jaime's still looking for a less intrusive solution, the problem is, there isn't one, and there's not likely to BE one, there might've been one back in '41 or '42, definitely was one back in '33, before the ****** things figured out how to go dormant during a jump, you know, when the smallest ones were still the size of my hand instead of the size of a ****** grain of rice...and it's confirmed by other means, the Clans, the people who sent us are coming-Kerlin died, Ulric's good but he's up against a lot of factors in the homeworlds that were under control before those morons from Comstar stumbled onto the cluster."

"You cut off contact, how did you find out?"

"I still have friends, and orders or not, they still talk to me." she scowled, "SO! Here's the deal I gave the Archon; You need to re-form the Star League, you need to do it to save yourselves from the self-replicating robots and you need it to fight off the invading Crusaders...or at least to be strong enough that they can be forced to negotiate, you're not going to get there with subtlety anymore, because we don't have the time."

"How much time do we have?"  Hanse asked.

Natasha's scowl deepened, "Your boy Arthur's analysis says you have five years based on the variables my people slipped his little sibko of scientists."

"A what?"

"The gifted kids." Melissa stated, "One of my agents, there to protect them from one of ROM's people that got into our staff, slipped him the raw numbers data and a thought experiment, as an extra credit problem...and we've got five years, our analysts confirmed it after I had a look at the data he turned out.  Elizabeth's prediction is three years, I choose to be optimistic, because if it's three years we're all already ******."

"So it's true you assembled a think-tank this quickly?" While Takahashi wasn't enthusiastic about the potential for a summit, he sent his disappointing son Theodore to represent the Dragon.

"Yes." Melissa stated, "We did...Hanse did, I went along with it, now I'm glad we have."

"You didn't invite Comstar?"  Romano had been the doubtful one, but then, she'd come anyway.

"No." Melissa stated, "I didn't.  They're the ones who've been helping bury this and keep us distracted."

"You should have." the Celestial Wisdom commented.  "We initially thought it was YOUR weapon."

"It's not, it really isn't." Hanse noted.

"I gathered that or I would not be here...so, we have genetically altered, sculpted, obsessive warriors coming, likely through your front door, and a robot apocalypse on our back porch..." she glanced a hate-look at Candace, "and you want to form the Star League anew."

"That summarizes nicely..."

***

"shit.  I knew it was real." Arthur Steiner Davion glanced at Penny Doons.  "Five years?"

"She said Liz claimed it would take three." Sierra commented.

"Well...I have nightmares." Elizabeth shrugged as the pin-cameras tracked the adults in the 'secure' room.  "My numbers are maybe influenced by my jump-dreams, sorry guys."

"No problem.  Do we know what to do yet?" Arthur asked.

Liz spread her hands, "Not really?  if they're surviving jump space to spread then an EMP won't cleanse an infestation."

"Spores." Yvonne had found her 'niche'-while the others had only a passing interest in biology, she'd found it far more engaging than their mechanical, electronic, chemical and physics activities, and she had, by eight, gained her proper place as the gang's 'bio expert'.  "spores can survive where the plants and fungi they form can't.  it's why you can find the same mold on just about every planet human beings live on."

"huh." Liz frowned.  "yeah, that checks...so, if we can stop the spores, we can stop the growth?"

"Special Project time?" Terry asked.

"yeah, Terry, stick close, you too Jess, our Engineers need to spot our screw-ups.  Penny, you and Liz get on theorizing the materials science to make a self-replicating robot the size of a grain of rice that can handle EMP.  Sierra, you and I will get on just how compact the code needs to be to fit on it, and likely compression methods.  I'm thinking it's a heuristic learning algorithm, but it's got some core instruction sets.  We might be able to virus or hack it after an infestation's begun, or change the behaviors, Vonnie, you're our floater-figure out how lifeforms do it, and what kind of 'biology' these things might have, work with Jess and Terry on possible odd angles of attack, we need to be able to show the adults at least three possible solutions that can be at least started in Lizzie's time frame, and put your mind to thinking about how these things will counter our moves."

"okay!"

"We're superheroes, you know that right?" Terry observed.

"Only if we win.  points are for breakthroughs that lead somewhere.  Let's get to work." Arthur, too, has found his 'true' place in the group-and it was one his father might even approve of-the Leadership.

"Fizzies?" Liz asked.

"I'll call the kitchen and get us some." He promised, "And donuts? or do you want something healthier?"

"Donuts works, maybe those ijero filled crescent things from last sunday?"

"I'll put your order in separately. How do you eat those things?" he asked.

"I like them."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 01 June 2022, 16:09:58
Did Natasha go Rogue?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 01 June 2022, 16:16:37
Did Natasha go Rogue?

Kinda seems like it.  But in the Clan Homeworlds she outranked Jaime, so maybe she's following a rule to take charge.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 01 June 2022, 16:59:08
Given the timeline she's throwing around?  Natasha is probably going to argue there wasn't time to report back and wait for instructions.  Really they needed to act sooner, but any delay at this point would just make the situation untenable.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 01 June 2022, 17:44:29
"What're you working...

...on, guys?"  Katherine's in the doorway.  She's fit to pose in a fashion magazine, even dressed down. 

"busy." Arthur's got his nose buried in a desk full of monitors, chewing deep fried pork rinds with Jess.

"Mother wants you downstairs." Katherine tries again.

"busy, go away." Arthur doesn't even look up, "...see how the materials have to layer?"

"Ayeh. 'tain't mechanical, cain't be, them's gotta be depos'ted sommat othah way..."

"ARTHUR!!" Katherine's voice could pierce quartz, which gets a floppy object from the shadowed side of the room, and Yvonne's voice barking "Shut UP!  Where was I?"

"Third stage reaction."  Penny Doons' voice muttered, "Do you think it'll work?"

"Yvonne!" the oldest sister of the Steiner Davions growled and stalked forward, the focus of her attention being the source of the hurled textbook. "What do you think you're doing-"

"inorganic chemistry reactions mirroring life." Sierra materialized from her own pile of materials, "and we're working, you're interrupting."  The Filtvelter girl had gained a bit of mass on good food and court living, but not so much that it completely vanished her street-rat origin. "Also, you're interrupting Liz while she's working on an extreme theorem."

this made Katherine's nose twitch, and she caught the scent of...

"TOBACCO??"

"It helps me think, Arthur, P-mail incoming."

"Got it."

"Cool, I'm gonna take this outside, Terry, you wanna turn the fire alarm back on?"

"Sure Lizzie."

"Liz, when you get back, I need you to go over my behaviour modeling, something doesn't add up." Arthur added.

"Will do. how're we doing on the clock?" Liz asked.

"Worry about it after you've had your smoke, I need you focused." Arthur told her.

"Arthur, what the hell is going on?"

Arthur scowled, and spun in his chair, sneakers clear of the floor,  "Twenty planets so far, five realms we know about.  Thing they have in common?? some kind of mechanical infestation, it's evolving and replicating geometrically, I revisited my model and it's worse than Lizzie's. We're running the ****** out of time, it's all hands on deck, and Tell Mom I'm sorry but there's work to be done."

"what?"

"Okay, Yvonne, you want this one or are you still working on energy density with Sierra and Penny?"

"I can take it." Yvonne said, "Dumbing to blonde-speak.  Take a single cell organism, doubles every day it's in the lake, lake's half covered in this pondscum.  How long until it covers the lake?"

"I don't know, how long did it take to cover half the lake and how is this relevant??"

"One Day." Yvonne told her.  "It might've taken two months to cover half the lake, but by sunset the next day from when you're observing? it's going to have the whole lake.  That's Geometric growth in a population. Twenty worlds took a few years, but ours is evolving, it's getting tougher and surviving better, and it's mechanical, and so far as we know, it doesn't leave human beings alive.  Now, unless you understand what we're working on, you should go downstairs, and tell mom we're really very busy trying to save the world before we all become robot chow...and ask her to have the staff send up a leftovers plate and some fresh tea."

"Coffee!" Penny interjected.

"and coffee. Why else do you think Mom turned Natasha Kerensky into the General of the Armies and Dad's sitting in a room with Theodore Kurita and Romano Liao negotiating a settlement?" Arthur chirped from his station.  "It's real and really, really, really dangerous."

"We...we have scientists for that."

"Yeah, and those scientists have been tracking our IQ and educations since dad put this club together." Arthur told her, "We're the backup plan in case the nukes don't work."

"They won't work." Terry commented, "not completely."

"right. we're the backup plan, and we really need to keep working.  Ask mom if you think I'm lying, if I am, you can get some satisfaction watching the punishment." He was stone-faced, a look that shouldn't be on the face of a ten-year-old.

"you're impossible!" Katherine stormed out.

"terry, tell Lizzie she can come inside again."

"Right."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 01 June 2022, 18:54:02
RIGHT!  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 01 June 2022, 20:37:59
Why do I get the feeling the subtext of Liz "needing a smoke to think" was "think of a reason I'm not making your sister eat the floor.  And I'm not coming up with much, Arthur."

And Arthur asking her to step outside to smoke was code for, "She's family, me and 'Vonnie will handle it."  And gave Liz an excuse to step out for the imminent family drama.  With "come back inside" Arthur saying, "we handled it."?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 02 June 2022, 13:30:05
Why do I get the feeling the subtext of Liz "needing a smoke to think" was "think of a reason I'm not making your sister eat the floor.  And I'm not coming up with much, Arthur."

And Arthur asking her to step outside to smoke was code for, "She's family, me and 'Vonnie will handle it."  And gave Liz an excuse to step out for the imminent family drama.  With "come back inside" Arthur saying, "we handled it."?

is there a plus button
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 02 June 2022, 13:37:04
"Dad, you know that thing...

...you didn't want me to think about?"  Arthur was clean, he'd dressed up in something other than tough denims, and his hair was combed.  Yvonne was wearing an actual dress instead of the durable play-clothes she'd taken to earlier this year, and she, too was scrubbed and clean.

the kids stood like a miniature of a Royal and Entourage, and they had, for the most part, dressed for the occasion in a way that reflected what Arthur and Yvonne were wearing, but with small individual details.

"Yeah?" Hanse nodded, "The Machine outbreak."

"We've learned some things." Arthur stated, "At least, we've got some..." he glanced over at Penelope 'Penny' Doons, whose sleeves didn't sport acid burns and soot today.

"Conjectures, Art. you PRACTICED this." Penny said with a huff.

"Right, Conjectures. we need a test." Arthur said it decisively. 

"You're ganging up on me." Hanse said.

"I brought my experts." Arthur told him, "It's risky so mom's gonna say 'no' and we think the answer needs to be 'yes'."

"You think I can override your mother?" Hanse shook his head, "I know you're smarter than that."

Arthur winced, "Not exactly, I figured you'd have a way to avoid the question and just get it done, dad.  It's easier to get forgiveness than permission."

"What is your plan?" Hanse asked, "because it really, really isn't-that old saw is a long-standing lie heroes tell themselves in holodramas."

"Liz?" Arthur prodded.

Elizabeth Ngo pulled out a compact, and opened it, and her hair got less full, her skirts as well, and black motes flowed down to the floor, then coagulated and formed into a serpentine form.  "We know how the tech works, we think we might have a way to deal with it, Your Majesty." she said, as the coiled, serpentine thing slid up her leg to loop around her shoulders.

It looked almost alive.

"May I?"  Hanse stepped forward, and extended a hand.

Elizabeth took his hand, and the snake slid across the bridge formed.  "What does it do?" He asked.

"It hunts spores." she said,  "Yvonne figured out what the machines were doing.  The spores are inactive until they've been exposed to KF fields, the EM actually charges and activates them, and the waste infrared from a jump is absorbed, after that, they move and replicate...like a fungal lifeform or some of the lowest-level animal forms, as they grow and reproduce, they gain additional processing, getting cleverer through a heuristic algorithm. the crisis is because we're looking at...Yvonne, what did you call it?"

"Invasive Species." Yvonne announced, "The self-replicating robots are like an invasive species, no natural predators, so they consume their environment and keep reproducing, only shifting their behavior and structure to react to shortage in habitat or resources, and I think they've got a drive to reproduction like other lifeforms."

"So...you made a predator." Hanse observed.

"We made something to ACT as a predator, but we need to test it."  Arthur clarified, "It should evolve like the machines do, if we got it right, we need to test the conjecture before we can claim it's a Hy..hip...How do you say it?"

"Hypothesis."

"Yeah, that.  Danger is, if we got something wrong the killer robots will adapt, evolve." Arthur finished, "So it's risky, but while Lizzie owns a bunch of jumpships, we're still minors, need to have permission."

Hanse stiffly gave the robot snake back to Elizabeth.

"Taking the predator to the infection is safer than bringing a sample here, I take it?"

"Yah." Jess commented from the side of the group. "Lots safer."

"How many do you have?" He asked.

the kids exchanged looks.  "They're also von-neumann machines.  we can set them up to make as many as you need." Terry's almost-mutter would've been impossible to hear in a larger room.  Hanse heard him just fine.  "Just takes raw materials an' time."

"I'll...consider it." He promised.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 02 June 2022, 14:17:55
This could get spectacularly worse...

But what we didn't know is the kids have already been replaced by Replicator versions of themselves...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 02 June 2022, 14:53:27
Robots feeding on robots.  Orion's arm had a few topics about this:
Autowar Seed (https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/485728b312bef)
Botworld (https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/480a4cff25c2e)
Machinecology (https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/46ae80459a0e7)
Military Spore Technology (https://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/48572750ef7f7)

I wonder if the introduced snakes will attempt to make themselves appear electronically identical to the spores, as a form of camouflage?  This would let the Spore-eaters be able to consume more of the Spores before the local mind would realize that something is wrong.  The key would be to make sure the Spore-eaters don't confuse each other for prey.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Korzon77 on 02 June 2022, 16:52:36
It's funny. I think they're missing one important idea.

Talk to the robots.

Because as yet, they may not even realize they're acting against sapient beings.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 02 June 2022, 17:24:41
Also, the Spore Snakes need to see biological life as none target, only targeting mechanical life.





This could also be bad in that, they could target all things mechanical as a safeguard.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: RangerKarl on 02 June 2022, 17:26:33
Second Variety didn't exactly end well either.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 02 June 2022, 18:34:31
*snip*
Because as yet, they may not even realize they're acting against sapient beings.
They've already kept a human alive to study at least once in story.  I don't think your assertion is true, or at least that the machines value sapience.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 02 June 2022, 18:37:10
I don't see any way this solution will turn out to be just a variation of the same initial problem.  :D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 02 June 2022, 18:39:28
That depends on the brilliance of the Think Tank in question...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nocarename on 02 June 2022, 20:28:55
Well, you know what a system of microscopic devices that eat each other look like? Look outside.

It's the networked intelligence that makes this an OCP, not the parts where things eat each other.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 03 June 2022, 07:06:52
Every technical advance...

...becomes inevitable if it's been done before.  Rifled cannons existed when 'gonnes' were literally built like barrels, from straps of wrought-iron bound in hoops.  Indeed, that's where the word 'Barrel' comes from-they used to all be built like...well, barrels.  Breechloaders can trace back nearly as far, examples of match-fired breechloading weapons long predates reliable black-powder and the Corning process.

Comstar suppressed technology for nearly three hundred years, and the Terran Hegemony's 'mother doctrine' slowed development outside the Hegemony to maintain technical superiority by way of crippling the neighbours before that.

This sort of suppression is a bit like burying a murder victim in a shallow hole in a region prone to sand-storms-eventually it surfaces anyway.

If a thing has been known, or can be known, it will, eventually, be found out.  usually in a way that the forces that initially suppressed the knowledge find uncomfortable.

Hilariously, such things are very much a thing stumbled upon, as opposed to concentratedly pursued.  Among the Clans, Scientific pursuits have been reduced to re-engineering and refining immediately-useful weapons, or tweaking the human genome following an almost Lamarckian fallacy that genes can replace skill and experience.  This has mostly turned out varying levels of sociopathy coupled with the best combat training in human space.

Jaime Wolf reflected on this, as he studied the damage to the world that used to be New Earth, safely, from the deck of the former-and-soon-to-be SLS Nelson.

The power struggle inside the Dragoons ended when Natasha demonstrated that the scientists were PARTLY right-but with the difference being skill and experience, and perhaps a certain loss of the sociopathy in favor of being focused on the deeper mission of the Warden cause in the face of a silicon plague.

Natasha's plan was flat better than his had been-better in that it fit the immediate circumstances better than his, and he...

chose to submit to the trueborn he'd worked with for DECADES as a mercenary, because grand designs in the face of a silicon apocalypse kind of looked vain and foolish instead of cunning and brave.

The 'spore hunter' machines made the hull rumble.  What they were doing on the surface was almost visible. 

Machines, warring on Machines, in the graveyard of a human planet.

"How are Elizabeth's Snakes doing?" he asked after an hour of not speaking.

"five percent of the former capital cleared."  Cheryl Lerner was the 'intern' loaned to the reconstituted SLDF from NAIS.  She was here to do a single job; tracking the progress of the Lyran-built machines sent to fight the self-replicating disaster down below.

"Only five percent??" He asked.

"well, we only dropped two pods." she said apologetically, "and it was less than a day ago.  That infestation was building for months before they even knew there was a threat."

He sighed, his shoulders itched.  "Right..."

The other pod had been needed to clear a beginning infestation on the Nelson.

"What about our problem??"

"they're still detecting attempts." she said, "but the hull's interior is clear and the Terry-Crabs are working the outer hull."

Lizzie snakes, Terry Crabs, each of the machines were named for their primary designer.  "When are we going to be ready to drop the more...aggressive...models?" he asked.

Cheryl broke out a set of cards, and checked them over, "When the city hits ten percent, we can drop the Pennys and the Sierras, sir-the LZ will be clear enough for those by then, and they'll have raw mats to work from."

The Arthurs weren't units you 'drop', they're a planned evolution step, and the Yvonne design was going to be...interesting.  a machine designed to fill broken gaps in the ecosystem and as a terraforming solar powered oxygen/water generator that decays into a soil substitute, to restore a broken or annihilated ecology-not a proper weapon, really, just something to deal with the aftermath of the Inner Sphere's terrible wars.

"I'll be in the simulators if the situation changes, Cheryl." He finally said.

"Yes sir."

Jaime Wolf made his way off the command deck.  those kids don't know they've rewritten the book on warfare.  Not yet anyway... he grimaced, "no, they didn't, whoever built the plague did...they just took up the gauntlet."

Natasha doesn't really recognize it, but the Clans might not be ready for Davion's 'kids'.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 03 June 2022, 09:32:42
Rewriting warfare, and potentially even rewriting society.  If the robots get rewritten to take care of people, then you could get a Bunny plague (from Orion's Arm).  This plague is composed of self-replicating robots that are capable of re-designing themselves to whatever form their human enjoys, will adore their humans, and want to take care of them and keep them safe every day of the humans' lives.  Including keeping the humans safe from themselves.

Plus the idea that some humans want to travel to those locations and be taken care of their entire life by the Bunnies, and the Bunnies get the idea that there are more humans to take care of.  The danger is that of unending luxury (http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2600/fc02501.htm) extended to every human.  You might then get Bunnies who don't have a human to take care of, so they decide to get enough humans via forced breeding or cloning, and the Clans have Iron Womb technology.

And the more of the Bunnies there are, the smarter they get.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 03 June 2022, 10:42:58
Rewriting warfare, and potentially even rewriting society.  If the robots get rewritten to take care of people, then you could get a Bunny plague (from Orion's Arm).  This plague is composed of self-replicating robots that are capable of re-designing themselves to whatever form their human enjoys, will adore their humans, and want to take care of them and keep them safe every day of the humans' lives.  Including keeping the humans safe from themselves.

Plus the idea that some humans want to travel to those locations and be taken care of their entire life by the Bunnies, and the Bunnies get the idea that there are more humans to take care of.  The danger is that of unending luxury (http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff2600/fc02501.htm) extended to every human.  You might then get Bunnies who don't have a human to take care of, so they decide to get enough humans via forced breeding or cloning, and the Clans have Iron Womb technology.

And the more of the Bunnies there are, the smarter they get.

You are basically describing the Rogue Servitor type machine civilisations from Stellaris. Their "masters" are termed "Bio-Trophies".
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 03 June 2022, 19:06:56
Now I want to know what the Pennys, Sierras, and Arthurs actually ARE!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 04 June 2022, 05:57:30
"What's the problem, Hank?"

Victor asked.  Cadet-Leutnant Henry Ngo pulled a pen from his ear, and made another note.  "Cadet Hauptmann, this truck is not suitable for service."

"what?"

"I said, this prime-mover, assigned to support our training, should have been deadlined."  Henry made another note in his notebook, then climbed down the fender.

"That's...how do you know?"

"because there's residue where hoses were replaced recently, corrosion in the lubricant cannister that wouldn't be there if it was routinely kept topped up, cooling belts might be new, but the pulleys have rust-stripes from sitting shut down over an extended period of time..." Henry's hand opened, "And I caught a rat nesting in the intake filter."

Victor's eyes went wide, the Tharkad Militia is one of the best funded reserve forces in the Commonwealth.  "Jesus!"

"Not quite, I'm told Jesus was a human being about your size, sir."  Henry quipped, "this is Rattus Tharkadias Norvegicus.  aka the common urban rat. find one..."

"More are around."

"Ayep sir.  They used rubber conditioner to hide the fact the tyres are an off-brand lookalike, the spare's a farm tyre, and it won't hold the vehicle's weight, someone touched over rust with CART paint and did a fair job...and someone replaced the armor plate with cheap, civilian grade ceramic tiles."  He reached into a pocket and handed the son of the Sovereign Archon a broken bit of ceramic, "courtesy of a ball-peen hammer, sir, which was, surprisingly, not as non-functional.  'soft spots in the armor' might not be such a prank, if you think about it.  I'm gonna suggest you use some of that nepotism and get a team of auditors down here instead of going on combat maneuvers...and this is why Kommandant Grady emphasized pre-inspections."

"maybe it's a test?"

Henry looked thoughtful, "Hm, maybe.  Let's go talk to the OC and see."

"Let's check a couple more." Victor's frown was thoughtful.  "We're training to be officers, after all."

"Ayeh Sir." Henry nodded.

The two sixteen year olds were of roughly equal stature, but Henry Ngo wasn't just 'wiry', he was ranked in the Academy Intramural Kickboxing standings, as well as standard Boxing, and was often tapped by Instructors to handle remedial hand-to-hand training to the point of having some Seniors detailed as 'students' for tutoring.

Which made the way that victor's classmate spun a ball-peen hammer around his fingers like a dagger trick a little disconcerting as they walked up to the next prime-mover in the motorpool.

This one also belonged to the maintenance section, and was a loaned piece from the Tharkad Miitia for tomorrow's field exercises.

The enlisted man assigned to the vehicle was nearby.  "Koffler." Henry spoke, while Victor did his best 'senior officer' pose.  "Open the hood, stow-boxes, and doors, then go stand by bumper thirty-one."

"Sir! this is highly irregular!"

"do it, Kaporal." Victor had the poise and the charisma, but Henry spun that hammer a little faster, and his vocal tone had a sort of abyssal echo to it, filled with an implied threat.

The enlisted man got the hint, and buggared off to find his section Sergeant.

Henry began with 'soft spot' checks.  flakes of common ceramic snapped off the reactive armor blocks, revealing... Henry scraped some with his finger, and took a taste.  "Modeling clay, not CM-11."

"You KNOW that?"

"Sure, CM-11 tastes like oily carrion smells. this tastes neutral." Henry said, "we played with some in Herflinger's class during the munitions disarm training."

Victor watched as Henry made notes, checking each part of the vehicle.  "Fuel's topped up, but there's rust on the threads for the tank fill that say it spent a lot of time recently closed..." Henry prized open the protective jacket on a wiring bundle, "House wiring, should work, but it's not multistrand copper per the vehicle spec..." he checked the batteries, "battery two and three are past their sell-by-date, cracked hoses on the cooling unit, rust on the belt drives for the powerplant, If I pull the injector, I bet we'll find other issues...ooh, another rat's nest in the map-case!  Tyres...tyres...huh. off-market farm truck tyres again, not the ones meant for these wheels. and the two up front have been washed with rubber polish."

Hank dropped off the fender next to Victor, and swept his eye around the site.  "YOU! Private! Kommen-ze."

"That's not how you say that." Victor muttered.

"German's like my fourth language, Vic, I'm lucky I can even pronounce it THIS well." Henry muttered back, holding his free hand out in a summoning gesture.

The Reservist Private hurried over.  "Sirs?"

"That plate carrier issued by your unit, or private purchase, Private?"

"Issued sir."

"Alright.  Now, do you have confidence in it?" Henry asked.

"Uh...yes sir?"

"Hold still then. If it's good, you have nothing to fear. If it isn't, I'll try not to make it hurt too much." Henry said it suggestively.

"Do I have to wear it, sir?"

"Up to you." Henry shot Victor a knowing look.

The Private took the plate-carrier vest off and leaned it against a post.

Henry took a hard swing on the chest portion, and there was an audible crunching sound.  "Now, That's not right. Victor, I think you need to call your mom and dad."

"I think so too."

"Lemme see your filters there, Private-for your helmet's gas filtration, and while I'm doing that, go fetch your section leader." Henry told him, "tick-tick, Private!"

"Dad's going to freak." Victor observed.

"Yeah, but not as bad as he would if, say, someone hard hit Tharkad and hit this level of 'readiness'." Henry commented, "Grandfather would shit fursnakes if the Kowloon militia was in this shit shape."

"but your grandfather died like, two years ago..."

"right. Hence how severe the reaction." Henry said it lightly,  "Pat would probably be sharpening wooden stakes if the law would let him.  Third line or not, there are standards."

"Your breath to god's ear." Victor agreed.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 04 June 2022, 06:20:26
"...by the time I got there, those two had General Kassler-Stebbins at...

...parade-rest, along with most of his staff, the brigade, battalion, and Company commanders, and a selection of NCO's." Hanse chuckled, "Kommandant Grady was leading the rest of the Sophomore Class in counting discrepancies and comparing them to paperwork."

"and they found what I expected?" General of the Armies Kerensky asked.

"More than you expected." Hanse turned serious.  "Maintenance records going back years, procurement and signing documents too.  Where did you get the idea?"

"Outreach." Natasha said blandly, "After you gave Outreach to the Dragoons, we audited the planetary militia.  On Paper they were fit for service when we took over, it took about twenty minutes to figure out that what was on paper wasn't what was sitting in the storage bunkers or the motor pools, or the personal equipment.  Detailing a third-line militia to provide support for the Cadet Cadre on this exercise was a blind shot-I expected to hear about a few discrepancies, maybe make some prominent examples for supporting the reforms. I did not expect to find an ongoing corruption problem this deep, this close to the Capital, in the presence of LCAF's premier units."

Melissa was silent at her husband's side, as they walked through the vehicle pool, Provost officers swarming over equipment.

"Yeah, that's...disturbing on all kinds of levels." Hanse commented.

"It's a DISGRACE." Her Highness the Archon spat.  "Disgraceful..." her lips were tight, marring her still-prettier-than-most face.

"it's good training." Hanse commented.  "we have to root out the rot now, while we still can."

"It is here, it will be worse in the provinces." Melissa growled, and Natasha nodded agreement.

'You know how you conquer the Galaxy, Highness?" Natasha suggested.

"Hoiw?"

"You start where you stand, and move forward from there."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 04 June 2022, 06:42:07
Very clever Tasha!  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Niopsian on 04 June 2022, 08:15:56
Amateurs study tactics.

Professionals study logistics.

People who want to come back alive study PMCS tables.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 04 June 2022, 08:45:57
"What're you working on Lizzie?"

Arthur asked it, because Elizabeth had taken over an empty office space in the Palace.

"Homework...or rather, 'work that came from home'." Elizabeth stated.  "Pat asked me to have a look at some of the books."

"Uh, 'book-keeping'? I thought you wrote an app for that."

"I did. Funny thing about that-garbage goes in, garbage comes out." Elizabeth said it without looking up.  "in this case, contractors, delivery schedules, and what actually showed up for hand-reciept from LCAF quartermaster.  It's supposed to be a...'Learning Experience'-he's already got a team of Accountants working on ****** the supply line for the 171st and the Coast Guards. I'm supposed to study the reports, without getting the outcomes until I submit my own ideas on what they'll find."

"Want a hand?" Arthur asked, sitting down in an empty office chair.

"Sure!' she looked up and beamed, "I thought you were going to be working with Sierra and Terry on..."

"They're fine, don't need me, and if they do, I've got a beeper." He told her, "Also, Penny and Jess are working with Yvonne on the next generation of code breakers for the spore-chasers, which leaves me with nothing to do or supervise, except you."

"Uhm, won't, like Kate or Peter have a word or two to say about that?" she inquired.

"I'm sure they do." He stood up, and planted his hands on the back of her chair, looking over her shoulder.  "I just don't care what it is."

"Uh-huh...tell me more? Flattery WILL get you somewhere." she said.

"Okay...what's Penny's deal?" he asked.

"She likes fire." Liz told him.  "you should take her out on the beach, and let her build a big bonfire, she'll light it up, and she'll light up for you."

"kinda scary when you put it that way." he confessed.

"You like 'scary'." Liz reminded him.

"Maybe she's not my kind of scary."

"We're eleven, Arthur, do either of us even have a ******' clue what we really 'like'?" she let the padd drop on the desk blotter.

"maybe.  Maybe not, yeah...It's like having a FOG in my head, Liz! I can't THINK like this!"

"same.  They call it 'puberty'."

"Who do you look at?" he asked.

"I see everyone." she said.

"Not what I'm asking."

"Kinda personal there, Dauphin." she noted.  "Fact is, we've known each other since age eight, your mom's been more of a mom than mine ever was, and I think I get your dad better than I understand mine, so why are you flirting with ME? Penny's prettier, so is Sierra."

Arthur shrugged. "I dunno...I've known them about as long."

"We're working together." Liz said, "Think about the shit your brothers get into when they-"

"I have." Arthur said.

She sighed.  "Let's tackle this project, alright? You and I both know I'm not a fit for that."

"Maybe we can...practice?"

"like I know anything about that?" she shrugged, and  stood up, almost bumping into his chin.  "I'm not saying 'no', I'm asking if this is really a good idea."

"Sometimes science isn't about why-" he began.

"-It's about 'why not'?" she agreed, "So let's go over 'why nots' and isolate it down, and if we can't come up with a good argument for why not, we'll move forward, deal?"

"Deal." He nodded.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 04 June 2022, 08:58:39
*snip*
"Fact is, we've known each other since age eight, your mom's been more of a mom than mine ever was, and I think I get your dad better than I understand mine, so why are you flirting with ME?"
*snip*
I do believe she answered her own question there...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 04 June 2022, 09:38:12
Gosh those kids are too smart for their age  :o  I want my kids to be smart, but jeeze!

People who want to come back alive study PMCS tables.

So true!  Don't leave the base with any class 3 leaks!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 04 June 2022, 11:04:30
"Sometimes science isn't about why-" he began.

"-It's about 'why not'?" she agreed...

Why is so much of our science dangerous? Why not MARRY safe science, if you love it so much?

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 04 June 2022, 11:11:35
Science is about asking questions... safety is not...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 04 June 2022, 20:33:25
I do believe she answered her own question there...  ^-^

I don't think Hanse and Melissa were scheming enough to do matchmaking for their youngest child when he was eight.

But, besides peers mentally to have friends?  I'm sure they wouldn't be surprised his initial dating pool is drawn from people he knows can keep up with, or even challenge, him mentally.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 05 June 2022, 00:14:04
03:30 local time, Kowloon Annex, Triad, Tharkad...

They moved with perfected stealth, their ECM equipment the best remnant technology from the Terran Hegemony.  It's January of 3048, and Comstar's first circuit has rendered a ruling.

This team is here to carry it out against the least well guarded, most available of the targets.  The team slips over the balcony, barely disturbing the air with their stealth suits.

The Guards, provided by Lohengrin, aren't an obstacle for these masters of stealth and intelligence-they've had profiles on all of them practically from birth, the result of generations of Archons relying on HPGs to manage an interstellar realm.

The mission is simply to secure the girl, and move her to Terra, unharmed if possible, and it's a palms-down covert move since the Royal Family has refused an offer to bring the kids to Earth as guests of the Blessed Order.

ROM has done similar missions a thousand times before, this time using equipment that would be traced to Wolf's Dragoons.

They need not have bothered.

The last guard slumps to the floor and the bedroom is entered.

The girl is thrashing in her sleep, whimpering and moaning.  Her night-terrors were in the file-a persistent problem with little-understood causes.

Four steps up with the paralysis dart, and takes aim.

the girl's eyes snap open, and she sits up, as a mechanical whirring seems to come from the walls.

The five man team suddenly find themselves surrounded by aggressive machines, their ears assaulted by an electric scream that awakens staff and everyone in the area, the windows slam shut, armored, and a portcullis clamps down over the doorway.

Shit has just gone sideways.

"Grab the girl!!"

Three and five rush forward, and mechanical tentacles lash out from the bed-frame itself, wrapping their legs with burning pain.

Elizabeth climbs out of her bed, just out of arm's reach.  "If I don't tell them to stop, they'll tear you apart." she said evenly.  "Should I tell them to stop?"

"Yes, god yes, please!!" One is new, and his conditioning, apparently, is flawed.  Four is ashamed.

"Hm.  empty hands." she said.  "all of you, on the floor, everything."

rat-like automatons collect dropped items.

"So...you're in my bedroom without an invitation, you darted my security guards, probably the cannisters are to suggest either a lab accident, or perfidy of some kind."

the technology on display was disconcerting.  "Did you-did you build all this?"

"No, Arthur built it." she said, "I've been studying accounting and fraud.  Here's what's going to happen...in three more minutes, the tactical team from Her Majesty's bodyguard are going to be here, you're going to answer their questions...truthfully because Sierra's worked out a programmed algorithm, now you can use your suicide mechanisms? but guess what? Yvonne and Terry worked out a way to map Neurons in a brain, it works on dead people too, so you can answer while you're alive, or we can get the answers from your dead bodies."  She reached down, and gently stroked an aggressive looking mechanical centipede two meters long, "Do you believe me?"

"That's...that's HORRIBLE!! a CRIME against humanity!!"  Six blurted.

"You Broke Into My Bedroom, I doubt it was to tuck me in safely." Liz said, tugging on her night-shirt.  "I think you're the last person qualified to discuss what's morally abhorrent, don't you?  Play it my way, and they might let you go back to whoever sent you with a report so that I don't have to do this again.  Play it stupid, and you get to be test subjects for a pack of junior grade mad scientists who happen to be experimenting with artificial intelligence mirroring biological ecosystems.  I think you know where that leads, right?" the mechanical centipede coiled around her hand and flowed up, wrapping over her shoulders, and reshaping into something like armor.

"Miss Ngo, are you alright?" a Royal Guard at the portcullis door asked.

"I'm fine, Eddie.  I have six unwanted guests in my home, would you be a dear and escort them to somewhere that is NOT my home, please?"  The gate folded away, to admit the response team.

"One question, how did you expect us??" Six asked.

"I didn't." Elizabeth stated, "His Majesty, the husband of my Archon, Hanse Davion did, he gave Arthur the challenge to design the security system...and Arty likes me fairly well...and I don't like killing, so I've asked the nice men not to kill you in my bedroom."

The ROM team were removed, after the drug cocktail they were hit with took full effect.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 05 June 2022, 00:26:39
I notice Liz didn't say anything about killing them after they've been removed from her bedroom.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 05 June 2022, 00:54:48
arguably once they're out of her room, they're the commonwealth's problem, not her's. besides, she knows well enough that the Archon would want them alive for interrogation.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nroe03742 on 05 June 2022, 00:58:51
I am still waiting to find out if this version of liz has her normal disease or if she is being spared that horrible death or treatment that is almost as bad as the disease itself
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 05 June 2022, 03:00:20
Five-man team or six? ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 05 June 2022, 04:34:31
Five-man team or six? ???
six of course.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: drakensis on 05 June 2022, 04:37:42
I notice Liz didn't say anything about killing them after they've been removed from her bedroom.
Why lie when she doesn't have to.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 05 June 2022, 05:01:30
"You WERE lying about that? about...

...scanning the brains of the dead for information?"  Agent Erich Engels asked.

Elizabeth was wearing regular clothes-her regular clothes, mostly consisting of a thermal-controlled bodyglove under relatively expensive street clothes-this morning, said clothes consisted of a knee-length denim skirt and a white blouse.  "Of course, Agent." she said, "I mean, the concept's common in science fiction, but we're a long way from being able to backtrace more than emotional states from brain chemistry and structure post-mortem...or so the Coroners told me when I asked about the idea...but those meatheads believed it because our team's had some successes with what Doc Banzai calls 'fringe' science, and apparently it's gotten out."

"but...you're not working on that, are you?"

"Not my field." Liz said, "That field? that'd be biology and Yvonne's our go-to for digging up how living things function.  I do maths, statistical analysis, and light duty programming.  Terry and Jess are our hardware guys, Penny's got a love affair with weapons and things that go boom, fizz, flash, pop, and so on, Sierra's an all-arounder, and Arthur digs theoretical stuff as much as I do.  He's our visionary.  We all love him best..." she stopped mid-step. "Although...hm...huh, I'll have to talk to the others..."

***

"So, what's today's project?" Sierra asked.

"Today? I dunno, how are we on the ongoings?"  Arthur asked.

"No reports of issues with the Predator program, we haven't had a new infection report in six months."  Penny said, "I'm getting bored."

"Liz, you got something?"

"Maybe an idea for some actual hard-core research." Liz spoke up, "An empty threat I made last night when that kidnap team your dad was worried about finally made their move-your security idea worked, by the way.  Six men taken alive and off to be interviewed by Lohengrin."

"Nahce." Jess drawled.

"What's the idea?"

"I threatened them with the idea we could scan their brains after they die, and learn what they know." Liz said sheepishly, "These hitters bought it, which means either someone really can and has done it? or it's plausible enough to look into."

"That'd be related to Balzac's work developing the Neurohelmet, right?" Sierra asked.

"yeah, I guess it would be. maybe we can dig up some of his old papers and find a starting point?"  Terry suggested, "So we're not, like, flailing around doing over what someone else already did?"

"Fair Point.  We're going to have six months apart again, I've got to go back to New Avalon, Lizzie has to do her home-time in the Kowloon system, Penny's grandmama wants her for the Landing Day week and to start 'prenticing her, and Doc Banzai wants his favorite daughter-surrogate at NAIS, along with you, Terry, and you, Jess."

"Family time!" Jess pointed out, "Mom's needin' help back home, Ah 's gon' ask if'n Sierra an' Terry kin come with me."

"New farm's working out then?" Arthur asked.

"Ayeh, I seed holos an' momma's not starved no more." Jess asserted.

"Okay...so it's just me and Yvonne going back to New Avalon then?"

"Awww!" Yvonne almost hissed.  "I wanted to see the 'Holler'!"

Liz pursed her lips, "Field trip?" she asked, "I mean,. Arthur, your dad's great and all that, but..."

"Remember we have to deal with the adults for at least another seven years, Liz.  I'll talk to mom and dad."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 05 June 2022, 05:19:10
The Archon was a little disappointed...

...but she arranged the command circuit anyway, with stops at Donegal, Arluna, and Kowloon.

A state tour of the Commonwealth half of the realm fit with duties of the Archon and Royal Family, though Katherine demurred, preferring to return to New Avalon with Peter.

Part of preparations, was a somewhat overdue visit to the Royal Medical Centre, to verify the health and well-being of the children.

"You're sure?" Melissa asked Dr. Rajanaput.  "I mean, it could be wrong, right?"

"I'm afraid not, Highness..." the medical doctor's eyes were deeply saddened.

****

How do you tell someone they're going to die?  How do you tell a child their life will end sometime before age forty?

Melissa delayed the trip, and used the HPG network to summon the best medical minds at New Avalon, after informing her husband of the test results.  Then, she steeled herself to inform the family.

the first of those calls, went through the Tharkad A station, outward to Kowloon on a priority heading, systems along the route were realigned to facilitate real-time connection.

"Duke Patrick." she greeted the young man who was doing so well as Duke of Kowloon.  "I'm afraid I have some bad news..."

"What happened?" Patrick was suddenly tense, fearing the worst.

well, the worst was there to be feared.

"It's about Elizabeth, she's tested positive for Degenerative Neural Sheath Annhilation Syndrome...like your Great Uncle, Truk, who died at NAIS in the twenties."  better to tear that bandaid off immediately.  "Our medical projects she'll be dead by age forty."

He closed his eyes and a moan crossed the interstellar gulf.  "Does she know?" he asked.

"I haven't told her yet." Melissa said.  "I'm summoning our best medical researchers for this-"

"Let her come home." Patrick said, "wait, that's wrong too...tell her, and ask if she wants to come home, or try treatments."

"You expected this, yes?" she asked.

"It was always a possibility, and one of the common myths is that it hits exceptionally intelligent people." He explained, "I know Grandfather was worried too-but we thought she might've dodged the bullet on that."

"Well, she might yet." Melissa said firmly.  "I have invested too much in your sister to let her die of some random genetic failure!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 05 June 2022, 05:39:12
I suppose that settles what the next project will be...  8)

Also, I brougt up the five/six man thing because the 11th paragraph started with "The five man team..."  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 05 June 2022, 06:33:27
Liz is working on a project for scanning a dead person's brain, and will soon find out she will be dead soon due to Cholmann's,  So will she be converting to a Cyberbrain (https://ghostintheshell.fandom.com/wiki/Cyberbrain) as needed, or go straight to full upload (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendence_(2014_film))?

Some techs that would help in terms of mapping the mind would be the Clan DNI (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Direct_Neural_Interface), plus whatever was used by Burke Kale in Unbound (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Unbound).

Wasn't there also a Star League program that dealt with mind-scanning people?  That could have been what the ROM team was thinking of
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Euphonium on 05 June 2022, 07:08:05
Well supposedly the M5 Caspar drones' AI was partly based on brain scans of a Star League admiral...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 05 June 2022, 07:48:18
Exactly why it was believable to the ROM team...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 05 June 2022, 08:46:26
In the related stories at least, Admiral Murakami cracked the problem and made full uploads possible.  Of course, it’s one of the things that kind of got her in trouble…
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 05 June 2022, 09:25:24
"Well, she might yet." Melissa said firmly.  "I have invested too much in your sister to let her die of some random genetic failure!"

Even more so, a half dozen little geniuses have invested far too much into one of their own.  As in, "Okay, unless a problem with our Machine Counter-Army comes up?  Fixing one of the Uncurables is where we focus."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 05 June 2022, 10:19:25
Exactly!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Euphonium on 05 June 2022, 10:33:44
"They call it incurable, we call it a challenge!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 05 June 2022, 11:08:36
At this point, it's more "They call it incurable, we call it Tuesday..."  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 06 June 2022, 11:44:26
"You don't understand...

...Arthur!" Elizabeth was red faced and cheeks streaked with tears, "I don't get to have a future!" she hurled a PADD against the wall, "I'm going to die!"

"Liz, we can fix this!" Arthur argued.  It wasn't maybe the best tactic for handling a breakup, in Peter's estimation, it was puppy-love anyway, he'd said as much when Arthur had the poor judgment to confide in an older brother about his feelings.

"It can't be fixed Arthur, I'm dying of something the Star League couldn't fix-the best they were able to do, was invent painkillers that stop working over time!" she was shaking and red-faced.  Frightened and scared and vulnerable.

"lizzie-"

"YOU are a Royal Scion Arthur, I'm not a good marriage match politically, I'm dead by forty! I won't see kids, never mind grandkids, because pregnancy accelerates the progress!!"  she grabbed him by the shoulders, "Find someone else, Arthur, someone who can stay, who isn't going to be...an animal, someone who isn't doomed to die insane and in agony."

"Liz- please don't do this.  There's gotta be something, something nobody figured out before." he pled, "We can crack it if they can't!"

"You can't fix this, Arthur. My Great Uncle lasted ninety days in stage three, in so much agony he was nothing but an animal, screaming his throat bloody in that ward. I...I don't want to do that, I don't want anyone to see me like that...just...go. I have to pack.  I have a powerful lot of work left to do, and a lot less time than I thought I had to do it."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 06 June 2022, 18:12:55
Arthur missed the argument that some of that work is CURING the diesease... not just for her, but for all the other unfortunates that have it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 06 June 2022, 18:36:08
Arthur was over his head there

Patrick is taking it better then expected
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 06 June 2022, 18:49:25
Patrick is the Duke they should have had for MANY reasons...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 07 June 2022, 12:46:36
"...so I don't get it, why is your sister being difficult about...

...this?"  Victor asked.

"What, you mean breaking up with your little brother and heading home?" Henry handed Victor a Karma-Kola from the vending machine.  "alright, It's a family thing.  You know how Mariks all have that funny lower-lip thing going, or how Kurita always seems to have their eyes spaced just a little bit wide?"

"uh, not really no."

"Okay, bad example. How about how the Liaos always seem to end up crazy as a shithouse rat?"

"right..."

"Okay, my family didn't get the nifty 'insanity' gene, or the funny lower-lip gene, or six fingers or something.  We got a genetic failure state that pops up something like a thousand times more often than the general population, and it's been dogging our line since old Elbar Stakes himself, Tranh Truk Ngo-you know, the Impaler of Elbar.  It's nasty, it's heritable, and so far we've kinda staved off being extinct, but it turns up in the family-and this one's why you don't see lots of long-term genetic research being done, because it originated with a ******-up at the Interasian Genetic Medicine Project in Hanoi right around 2105.  The Star League tried tackling it, they failed, the Hegemony failed, every government in the Inner Sphere's had one project or another going off-and-on for the last seven centuries, all failed."

"So it's a tough one to crack." Victor shrugged, "I don't get it."

"There's been so much research over the last seven hundred years, that a doctor can peg her lifespan to within about four years." Henry continued, nodding to Magritte Luvon, a Fellow Sophomore as they walked over to the Student Union area.  "with me so far?? we've got all kinds of data, nobody's come up with a treatment. It's one of the six 'incurables' we all know about.  Lizzie's smart, she weighs risk and reward better than I do, maybe only Pat has a better grasp of what folks might call 'common sense'."  he sat down on a bench, and Victor joined him, finally opening the soft-drink.

"She doesn't think that we can succeed." Victor mused, "Does she?"

"My little sister's smart, she's good at computing odds." Henry told him, "Last visit she kicked my ass at blackjack and I was counting cards.  she wins strategy games with Patrick, used to win them against Granddad.  I wouldn't bet she's wrong, is what I'm saying...well, not normally. I'm more sentimental than she is."

"how do you figure that?"

"Because I want your mom to make her try." Henry stated, "I would try to make her try, if I thought it would work-but I want her to keep talking to me, so I hold my peace."  he took a sip of his own drink.  "She's hard like our Grandfather was hard, so I'm kinda at a loss to figure out an approach that will work."

Victor contemplated what Henry was really saying.  "She's being stubborn?"

"Family trait." Henry said, "i'm probably the second most reasonable one of the bunch, but Liz has zero give if she thinks she's right.  You gotta prove there's a chance or she's not going to play, and Pat won't make her and I can't make her."

"and Patrick won't because..?"

"because he's smarter than I am." Henry said, "I've been the one in the family who takes stupid risks without having a decent plan, as you found out last exercise."

"I think they're still cursing you in the 'mechbay, you're not supposed to do that in a Chameleon." Victor agreed.

"Yeah...well, if they didn't want me to do that, they shouldn't have given it ducting for simulating other design's heat signatures." Henry shrugged, "or given it feet I can kick with. It's only a few hundred thousand Kroner in damage anyway, and Karl got a valuable lesson in being a dick before an operation...you coming to the fights tonight?"

"Yeah, I'm bringing a date." Victor told him.

"Ex-cellent, my bro." Henry's tone dripped with the vernacular of Mandaoaarau.  "Lecker even" he added using a fake New Capetown.

"it's not who you think." Victor said defensively.

"Eh, 'sallright." Henry said, checking his chronometer. "Break's almost over."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 07 June 2022, 16:59:22
I continue to love the Patrick and Henry dynamic in this one... Liz lost so much when she lost her brothers...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 08 June 2022, 12:54:44
So what did Henry do in a Chameleon,  that your not supposed to do during an exercise?

Besides some foot attacks?

Please I want to know
I'm liking this Henry more then most
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 08 June 2022, 15:38:17
So what did Henry do in a Chameleon,  that your not supposed to do during an exercise?

Besides some foot attacks?

Please I want to know
I'm liking this Henry more then most

from the sound of things, made it pose as a different kind of mech as a way to lure the enemy into a position where he could conduct very effective melee attacks.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 08 June 2022, 16:31:21
and I know Henry always been great for Melee attacks with a mech
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 08 June 2022, 18:40:54
I tried to make him that very thing, but it's HARD at such a young age... Best I've been able to achieve is setting him up to be that other thing later...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 08 June 2022, 18:50:22
from the sound of things, made it pose as a different kind of mech as a way to lure the enemy into a position where he could conduct very effective melee attacks.

Noodles might have been involved. ;)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 08 June 2022, 18:54:52
This is Henry we're talking about... those aren't noodles... they're pho...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 08 June 2022, 18:56:10
They were short one...

...of their number.  This was not something Penelope Doons was willing to just 'accept'.  Arthur decided to make it clear why.

"This, is what she's dying of." he finally said, laying a thick stack of data sheets.  "It's never been cracked. Doctors and scientists have worked on it for centuries without figuring it out."

"She just gave up??" Sierra was aghast.  Penny looked like she was going to cry, and Yvonne...had already cried about it.

"Yeah." Arthur said, "She's just going to let it happen."

"Naw. Naw she ain'." Jess drawled, "Nat gon' let her, ayeh?  Ain' nuthin' cain't be fixed 'cept maybe at'chully bein' dayd."

"I almost understood that." Penny noted.  "okay, so it's a system problem."

"A system problem??"  Dr. Sweed, on loan from NAIS medical, inquired.

"Yeah, it's got to be.  Not just 'one' thing is causing it, it's gotta be a system fault or it'd be fixed by now." Sierra's black mood was lifting, and beside her, the youngest one, Yvonne, was perking up.  "It's inherited, right?  That's what they say? runs in families?"

"Yes." the doctor nodded, "it does run in families."

"So maybe what everyone is missing, is that it's not one bad recessive gene!" Yvonne announced, "It's several, which is why..." she paged through the stack, "...why it's one in five million or thereabouts!"

"huh, maybe..."

"Like some Cancers!" Yvonne added.  "I need medical books!!"

They were one short, but they were off to the races with a new challenge.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 08 June 2022, 18:58:51
Go team, GO! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 08 June 2022, 19:38:59
Sometimes the Realm gets lucky...

...Duke Patrick Ngo's policies in 3045-49 were undeniably radical changes in a realm known for driving its most dynamic commanders into the Mercenary Trade.

Patrick's reforms of the Kowloon Militia were shocking to a great number of important people, and only accelerated once his little sister Elizabeth returned home in October of 3049-home in time to enjoy a 'mild' summer on her homeworld as the dual rotations of the suns and the planets in the Kowloon system left that world with the southern (Primary) landmass facing the dual suns due to axial tilt-at a distance where they virtually overlapped, one blocking the other's radiance, resulting in mild 30s instead of a 'High summer's' brutal 45-48 degree weather.

This is actually in the mildest time of a mild summer.  in another ten years, Kowloon will have to endure mild winter, and DEEP summer.

but for now, 'tis a mild summer which means longer growing seasons and less oppressive heat.

On Kowloon itself.

Her Ladyship's fiefdoms, in the Kowloon system, include pretty much everything off the planet and within the system's 'clear space' zone out to the oort cloud, centred on the facility at Spider Moon, a situation that is the result of centuries of census takers not following too closely with the outer system's development, and two other locations.

Dinh Diep-the irradiated valley that used to be Kowloon's capital before a punitive expedition by the SLDF to put down a rebellion against the Rim Worlds Republic in 2729, and New Laos-the 'wild' continent that so far, has a few maritime villages and a weather station clinging to the coastline, and a biology that is 'space australia-but dangerous'.

The New Laos continent is relatively untouched because it's too damned dangerous to occupy, and what samples and expeditions have gone there, have found little to almost nothing worth the effort and a native biology inimical to earth-descended life.

The biology is actively toxic, and lacks key elements for healthy development.

Without the financial backing of the Royal Family, Elizabeth has to rely on her brother for funding for her projects, and Pat, in turn, inflicts a price for each one-she has to sell him on the idea, do the budget, and then sell it to the Citizen's Assembly.

and then, she has to actually finish it.

Hell or high water, he's going to make sure her forty some odd years of life will not be unproductive, and she will damned well learn how to govern.

Work, after all, must be done.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 08 June 2022, 19:43:38
Pat is awesome in SO many ways!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 08 June 2022, 19:46:51
Patrick the ruler really needs Kowloon

Liz the genius they need to advance
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 08 June 2022, 23:01:36
They were short one...

"No one gets left behind."

"But the best minds over the last seven centuries couldn't crack this!"

"No one gets left behind."

Patrick's reforms of the Kowloon Militia were shocking to a great number of important people,

Standard Ngo Military Standardization? ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 09 June 2022, 14:20:55
So Cholmann's could be described as a set of separately beneficial mutations, but together they cause the problem? That would be an interesting way to solve it, as each of the separate mutations would appear to be helping the person, but together you get trouble.

(Like trying to make a plane that is long range, high maneuverability, high firepower, but then getting surprised at the cost)

Still, this seems like something the Scientist caste would be better suited to crack due to their greater focus on genetic analysis.  The problem is they might get sidetracked where they get 9 out of the 10 gene sequences adding a benefit, but then when the 10th gene sequence they get Cholmann's.  They would initially think that 10th gene sequence is the key, but then find others with that sequence who are outstanding in different fields and never develop Cholmann's.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 09 June 2022, 14:55:02
So Cholmann's could be described as a set of separately beneficial mutations, but together they cause the problem? That would be an interesting way to solve it, as each of the separate mutations would appear to be helping the person, but together you get trouble.

Or getting too much of it is the issue.  Think Sickle Cell Anemia.  Among carriers it provides a greater resistance to malaria, the red blood cells are harder to digest and break down before the disease can reproduce, or do so more often.  But getting two copies of the gene causes significant health issues.

Quote
Still, this seems like something the Scientist caste would be better suited to crack due to their greater focus on genetic analysis.  The problem is they might get sidetracked where they get 9 out of the 10 gene sequences adding a benefit, but then when the 10th gene sequence they get Cholmann's.  They would initially think that 10th gene sequence is the key, but then find others with that sequence who are outstanding in different fields and never develop Cholmann's.

Clan Scientists are focused, sometimes with Warrior 'encouragement' on "solutions to practical problems."  In other Ngo iterations the response to detecting Cholmann's in the Iron Womb is to abort the fetus.  Despite the attitude of you should be dead by 40 would lead one to think the Clans wouldn't care about something that would kill you by or after then.  Unless the disease progression messes with the ability to use a neurohelmet, which IIRC even some aerospace fighters use in a limited form.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 09 June 2022, 15:55:11
"Why do you want to build this...

...again? and why should we pay for it?" Patrick asked, laying the drawings on the desk.  Elizabeth has been home for a year, and there have already been losses.  Phelan Kell going missing at The Rock, worlds going silent...which would've been a bigger surprise if General of the Armies Natasha Kerensky hadn't warned people.

"We're still in a dark age Pat." Elizabeth's thirteen, it's February of 3050, and the Kowloon Militia's reformed 171st Brigade is going through the final evaluation and check-out prior to being papered as part of the Melissia Theater Militia.  "This? It's hard science, basically root science, the kind of science that leads to technologies that change things on a massive scale.  Nobody's run large-scale high-energy physics projects since the Star League."

"alright, start over.  Why do you want US to pay for it, instead of petitioning the Archon?" he shifted his angle here.  "is it Arthur? is that it? I'm considering making you go back to Tharkad and apologize."

"Please don't...not until he's moved on." Liz answered sullenly.

Patrick rocked on the balls of his feet, and looked out the window.  "Your cost estimate is in the hundreds of billions of Kroner, Liz." he finally said.  "That's a lot of basic infrastructure I can't pay for, if we build this ourselves."

"Jobs." Liz offered, "big projects can stimulate jobs."

"That would sell it to Arluna." He turned, "or Jessenice, or god help them, Hood IV.  We don't have a massive unemployment problem. Try again."

"If it turns out useful data, we'll have an advantage." She said, "People will come HERE to learn what we learn, trade and prosperity."

"In the middle of a war?" he scoffed. "WHY?"

"Science isn't about why, it's about why not?" she asserted, "why not push the envelope of what's already known? why NOT be the driving force for the next Industrial and Technical revolution?"

"You think it's going to be that, and not just a hyperexpensive paperweight?"

"big enough to wrap Snark IV?" Liz pointed out, "That'd be some damn impressive paperwork to need that to hold it down!"

He cracked a smile, "yeah, it would...answer is 'provisionally yes' but I get to bring in outside funding, and you have to abide by their terms."

"You wouldn't!!"

"I will." he stated.  "because part of this, is you being right (again) and part of it, is you being obstinately wrong at the same time."  He smiled, "Hey, cheer up, Her Majesty the Archon might say 'no'."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 09 June 2022, 18:07:44
And she just dropped a hint to another line of attack to get her to go along with cracking Cholmann's: "Why not?"  8)

And of course, Melissa is more than smart enough to make cooperating with the cure part of the terms for the cash...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 June 2022, 12:10:29
Things were not going according to plan...

...in any sense of the concept.  Leo Showers scowled at the map. Instead of an all-victorious march to Terra, the offensives in the Lyran State region, in particular, were stalling hard.

Even with the eager collaboration of Comstar.

They weren't completely stalled, but Clan Jade Falcon was barely to their Wave 2 goals and had already had to call for reinforcements from the Homeworlds, Clan Wolf's situation was equally dire-less than 120 light years in before they ran smack into a defender that was prepared, more numerous, and better organized than they had any right to be.  Ghost Bear's progress was leading the pack, which was almost horrifying.

What was horrifying, were the traps left behind in the Draconis Combine by their retreating armies.

among the expected Guerillas and bandits, were devices.  most of them small, vicious, devices.

Devices that seemed to simply come from nowhere up to a week after the defeat, devices that attacked Warriors and War Machinery and bypassed civilians entirely-not bombs, robots.

At first, they seemed like cobbled-together experiments, but they've gotten more sophisticated, more effective, more selective.

"What can you tell me, Scientist?" he sneered.

The nervous man wiped his forehead, "Well, OvKhan, the design is both crude, and sophisticated, and...I can not explain how, but the machines are learning."

"Learning??"

"Like an expert sim system, only I...I can not for the life of me figure out how they are getting the kind of processing efficiencies they are-the damned things get smarter in groups?? there is not enough processor for these samples to do what the evidence clearly shows them doing."

"So...an accursed Artificial Intelligence, or they are being controlled by an operator."  Showers scowled, "Which is it?"

"I would need to examine more, but it seems likely these are very...well crafted...drones controlled by a central system. I simply can not fathom how it is evading our search."  The Scientist cringed.

"hm."  Leo frowned, "We knew they were degenerate...You are sure it is operated by an operator?"

"the alternative is a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that does not seem likely, and certainly would not be safe, My Khan.  This sample brought to my lab, it has cutting tools, tiny, fine spot welding tools, and a myriad of sensors.  I would almost class it as an industrial toy, but the Warriors who brought it in spoke of swarms of these dismantling an Ebon Jaguar in the middle of a public suppression action, like a swarm of vicious insects devouring a cow."

"Not quite the terms I would prefer, but apt." Leo said, "I witnessed this myself.  I want to know how they are controlled, and I want you to find the controller."

"Aff My Khan."

Leo noticed a detail.  "What is this writing?" he asked, "it is not in english."

"oh, it is a trademark-a...toy company? perhaps they are so desperate they are using civilian grade ge-"

"A toy company."  Leo's scowl deepened, "TOYS!"  His hand brushed the workbench, and the tiny circular saws sparked to life with a howling scream as the dismantled device tried to activate.

"Figure it OUT Scientist!!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 June 2022, 12:25:55
Elizabeth leaned back...

...in her seat as she finished programming the remotes.  These were specialist variants of the self-replicating robots Arthur's team had developed to deal with the Machine plague.  These were carefully trunked in their coding, they would reproduce only in limited numbers, they would do a job that would take millions of man-hours to achieve, and, she hoped, they would follow instructions somewhat intelligently.

Below her personal shuttle, the site on Snark IV was coming to life, the prospector machines spreading out to seek out the right ores, the fabricator units were established, she had her interface-based on a child's strategy game set up in real-time. 

"Are you ready to go now?" Alicia Li asked.

"I have to, don't I?" liz asked.

"most people look at potentially life-saving treatments with a little more enthusiasm, Liz."

"I'm not most people.  I've written documentation and I think the kill-switches will work, so your guys should be able to handle the machinery on the moon by remote.  Once we've proven the interface and control architecture work, we'll move on to applying terraforming concepts. Do we have a candidate system?"

"The Coast Guard's still looking for one, but by the time you're back from your sabbatical, we should have several candidate systems on file for you to look at."

"More is better." Liz observed, "This time the infrastructure's going to be self-repairing, we're not going to fall behind again."

"And your lab?" Li asked.

"yeah...my lab.  It's funny, I'm testing a new concept in manufacturing tech, in order to build what amounts to a big supercollider for high-energy physics research to try and reconstruct lost works of Kearney and Fuchida-we've all forgotten so much, we don't even know what it is we've lost in the last few centuries, or even if we ever had it.  A worthwhile life's work, wouldn't you say?"

"I'd say you need to stop being so fatalistic, Liz, it's not a good look on you."  Li quipped, "The machines? they're safe?"

"well, for a certain value of safety, I mean, you don't want to be around heavy construction gear if you're at all clever." Liz noted, "but the kill-switches and the programming doors ought to prevent anything going off the rails like it apparently did on Callison or New Earth."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 10 June 2022, 17:10:26
Or any other of those worlds...  8)

SO glad to see Melissa leveraged her into participating in the search for the cure!  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 10 June 2022, 17:38:23
We work miracles...

It says it right there, on the letterhead of the New Avalon Institute of Science.  The 'brat pack' aren't getting to be hands-on this time, they're playing gofer.

Go for this, go for that, and they're playing student.  Yvonne's natural talents are really showing up now.  She grasps medicine in a systemic approach, looking at the symptoms as what they are-symptoms of a greater dysfunction.

Dr. Georgiana Castle wants to adopt her-getting that bitch to say one nice thing about anyone is what you might term 'a stretch'.

Duke Patrick arrived this morning with Elizabeth, and a mountain of old records.

Medical records, files from three centuries ago, files from last century, files from the 3020s.

Elizabeth's 'medical history' complete with ancestral tests and examinations.

Most of the Kids are working with the grad students and admin people sorting the information to help strain it for clues.

The work is slow-going.  Some of the gaps in research are from loss of knowledge, some of it, it turns out, are from deliberate suppression and misdirection.

and then, there's all the wrong approaches.

Doc Castle has adopted Arthur's 'white board' technique, a conjecture is floated by the medical staff or the Brat Pack, it's added to the list, and as each conjecture's approach is dug out of the files, it's reviewed, and crossed off.

Meanwhile, the Pharmacy techs are familiarizing Liz with mild painkillers, analgesics, and anti-psychotic/anti-seizure medications.

The invasive stuff hasn't begun yet-they're still brainstorming ideas for how to approach the problem.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 10 June 2022, 17:51:10
But they ARE approaching the problem!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: arcticwyrm245 on 11 June 2022, 07:46:37
Hmmm, what are the chances of the Dracs not using the rampant versions of the Machine Plague  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 11 June 2022, 10:02:06
Hmmm, what are the chances of the Dracs not using the rampant versions of the Machine Plague  ::)

Draconis culture might help here with a focus on control (Pillar of Teak (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Draconis_Combine#Pillar_of_Teak)).  Unless the Yakuza get in on the action with flexibility and set up distributed nodes for the Machines to work from?

Hopefully the Coordinator and everyone else was able to talk to the relevant people and tell them that defeating the Clans is not a victory if all that is left is self-replicating machines.  Victory must be with culture, otherwise it is mutual death.  Watching the Terminator movies or Moontrap (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moontrap) might provide a subtle hint as well.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 11 June 2022, 13:50:55
Hopefully the Coordinator and everyone else was able to talk to the relevant people and tell them that defeating the Clans is not a victory if all that is left is self-replicating machines.  Victory must be with culture, otherwise it is mutual death.  Watching the Terminator movies or Moontrap (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moontrap) might provide a subtle hint as well.

Isn't the coordinator at this point Takashi, though? He seems like he might be a bit more ruthless. But still, they're Dracs, and if it can't be controlled, they can't trust it, so they'd make damned sure it was under control, I'd wager.

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 11 June 2022, 14:01:35
The brat pack seems to know how to fix a robot infestation, so it probably wouldn't matter too much to the Dracs which version was making trouble for the clanners...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 June 2022, 15:52:29
"...they just slap a bigger thing to an even bigger...

...thing."  This is Elizabeth on drugs.  The drug cocktail for this thirteen year old, includes LD-150 to suppress emotional responses, thus preserving dopamine receptors and endorphine receptors, Paramorphinal to deal with constant aches without damaging her other internal organs, and Tetrahydracannabinol to guarantee appetite and buffer the side-effects of the LD-150 and the Paramorphinal.

"yeah, but these aren't 'mechs, they're powered armor." Peter Steiner-Davion argued.  He's fifteen, he's also Arthur's older brother, and going to The Nagelring this year.

"Right.  It's bigger than the scout suits Carlysle found on Helm, but scaling down, it wouldn't really be any tougher or stronger."  They were analyzing a captured piece of Clan kit.  Not really an authorized examination, but Peter had picked up a few things in the years with the Brats, including a decisive interest in finding things out-even when it's forbidden, and a certain disregard for safety rules where there was something to learn.

Elizabeth picked up a piece of the armor composite.

"It's derived from Starslab." she said, "I mean, they layered it a little differently, but look at the spectral on this stuff-it's the same cerametal composite you find wrapped around every 'mech since the Mackie-they just changed the layering some."

"We can do better?" he asked.

Lizzie shrugged, "Maybe.  It might be a matter of hitting the limits of the atomic structure-but maybe not? Sometimes an advance isn't in the hardware."

"Tactics." Peter said with a nod.

"SOFTWARE." Elizabeth corrected him, "The advance here isn't in the suit, it's how it was designed and used. the suit's kinda clunky really-except that it's optimized for a specific role, and against energy weapons or an energy heavy environment."

"Could you do better?" he asked.

"Ask Penny." Liz said, "She's got Materials Science and Chemistry chops I don't have the talent for.  Still, it might distract them before they figure out the answer to my problem, which is a good thing."

He stopped, a little stunned, "WHY is that a 'good thing'."

"Imagine Jess's Grandfather's axe.  It's all original, but the handle's been replaced three times and the head twice." She picked up a power screwdriver, and checked the cell's charge.  "Okay, so my genes are killing me, but I'm not dead yet, now the way they're killing me, is through my nervous system, and it's a replacement process-somehow, the 'make good nerve tissues' coding in my genes is on the outside, with the junk dna, which breaks off every time a cell divides."  she put the driver down, "So...rewriting genetic code kills the patient, but protects the offspring, okay? how do you keep me-the part of me that is 'me' alive?"

"I...don't know."

"Same way you fix grandfather's axe." she said, "You replace the parts that break down too far, and eventually, the whole person is replaced with those parts. our bodies already do this, Yvonne's books say it takes seven years, but with MY syndrome, that means the progress can be damn near charted to the day.  I who is me right now, know how many years I have left, because of the cell replacement process and how it impacts human DNA.  Something known since the 20th Century.  The real question is whether what comes out of it, is me, or just a copy of me that thinks she's me."

"Okay, I'm still lost." Peter confessed.

"Get your dad to declassify the August 3048 report on Callison." she told him.  "I know how to survive the syndrome, the question is only if I'll still have a soul and still be me, if I do it."

"Huh?"

"The Machine Plague started copying people." she explained.  "imperfect copies, but copies.  It's one of the tricks that clued Yvonne and Arthur into designing predators."

"OH."

"I have nightmares about being copied, Peter." she told him, "Especially when I'm on a ship during jump."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 11 June 2022, 16:12:53
So is this version of Cholmans a shortening of the life cycle of the Tellemores, such that the body is performing cell division at an increased pace and the body reaches final cell death at a shorter time.


and


This rapid cell division is not painless as normal cell division is.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 11 June 2022, 16:41:33
Could be, but I doubt it's that simple...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 11 June 2022, 19:22:24
"Hello, Romano. It's been...

...a long time since your father tried to replace me."  Hanse Davion looked across light-years at the ruler of the part of the CapCon that didn't defect with Candace.  "I won't say I'm eager to let that go, but...I might."

"What?"

"alright, here's the deal.  YOU, want me to not invade you again.  You probably want other things, but that's one of the big ones-that the Federated Commonwealth not come kicking in your door, stomping you down, and conquering your nation.  Keep in mind, after what your dad did to me, I'm kind of okay with doing exactly that-but as my sainted wife reminds me, war is bad for children and other living things.  So I'm going to offer you the chance of a lifetime, I'm going to offer the Capellan People the chance to have a safe border they don't have to worry about, and I'm not asking for much in return besides having your border stay quiet...and you'll have some juicy trade opportunities you don't currently have."

"What do you want for this..promise of peace?"

"Oh, we'll start with the genetic surgery team your pops  used to try and copy me, and copies of the texbooks they learned from." Hanse told her, "My dearly beloved has decided she wants to go after one of the Incurables, and if I want to try for kid six, I have to back her on this...and trust me, I do want to go for offspring number six-the trying is that good."

Romano consulted with someone in the background.

"No." she finally said, "I don't trust you."

"Well, I kinda wanted option B.  Thanks for obliging me." Hanse smiled.  "Now I can tell Melissa that I tried and she can be a little angry, but that'll go away when we've got Sian, so thanks again. I've got new weap-"

"Wait...you were serious?"

"Yeah, but you said 'no' so-"

The paranoid leader of the CapCon was in a bad spot, and she knew it.  "Counter-offer, University of Sian gets partial credit for the successful research!"

Hanse frowned, "So...you're not saying 'no'??"

Romano looked flustered and frustrated on the screen, then, "I am not rejecting the outcome of your offer, I am negotiating the methods to get there!"

"Damn." outwardly he looked disappointed, inwardly, Hanse Davion was cackling with glee.  "Okay, let's talk specifics..."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 11 June 2022, 19:37:32
Darn... I was kind of hoping for option B myself...  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 11 June 2022, 19:50:29
to be fair, i suspect 2/3rds of the people in the capcon would vote for option B as well, even knowing that they'd end up as collateral damage.
though i'd argue that the threat is a hollow one, since the Fedcom can't really afford to be fighting a war on three fronts (clans, SCMR infestations, and now invading, occupying, and rebuilding the capcon?)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: georgiaboy on 11 June 2022, 20:00:52
If they can just survive 10 years, those Capellan citizens can get another chance at being Federated Commonwealth citizens.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 12 June 2022, 00:55:06
to be fair, i suspect 2/3rds of the people in the capcon would vote for option B as well, even knowing that they'd end up as collateral damage.
though i'd argue that the threat is a hollow one, since the Fedcom can't really afford to be fighting a war on three fronts (clans, SCMR infestations, and now invading, occupying, and rebuilding the capcon?)

Depending on the modified SCMR that Liz set up, Hanse might have autonomous industry producing war material freely and in large quantities.  The raw materials to make Dropships and Jumpships will be made on separate planets, for safety's sake.  The key limitation will be finding the necessary troops to use that material.  So not quite the Nano Factory (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKcEwUcVBHs), but still useful.

Of course Romano might try to use some of that technology to make a partial version of a Self-Aware Colony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwqN3Ur-wP0), or just getting enough resources to set up schools to expand group-thought (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YO_xh7xIabk).

This is of course while the Clans are working to make a perfected society (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGCaACqy1Ro).
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 01:36:52
"I don't want to work on...

...that, Yvonne." Elizabeth said it firmly, "You know and I know we don't have enough information to fix me.  We MIGHT have, if the Cappies agree to their gene-scientists helping the project, enough that my brothers kids won't be born with the defect.  I have a better idea."

"Uh-huh, no. Arthur warned me about you tryin'a distract me from this." Yvonne wasn't having any of it, as she checked the restraints on Elizabeth Ngo before bringing the suite of instruments Dr. Castle had ordered over.

"Hear me out...what if we could terraform a planet-and make it stick? even one that doesn't have an atmosphere, never mind a magnetic field."

"Life won't survive that for long." Yvonne dismissed.

"I don't mean with life as much as a synthetic, artificial sort of life.  self-replicating oxygen generators who crack dust, solar powered?"

"What, kind of a 'photosynthesis machine'?" Yvonne asked.

"Yeah." Liz said, "Mechanical plants for places where plants can't grow. Microscopic soil-generators, nitrogen fixing drones..."

"Tell me about it after the Doc finishes." Yvonne told her, "I promise I'll listen then, okay?"

"I need your help designing the ecology. I've got a project in the works back home..."

"Holy shit, you started it?" Yvonne stopped,  "You started it, didn't you?"

"Right now it's just making building materials and components for another project, but yeah...interested??"

"We are definitely talking after the procedures today, and you're going to tell the whole group about your side-project!" Yvonne scolded, "you always run off on your own thing and it screws up."

"That was one time!"

"Once is enough, we all need to know what you've been up to now."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 01:56:31
Meanwhile...

..."Back at the ranch, Philo, not realizing that the Lone Swordsman had cleverly disguised himself as a billiards table, racked his balls."
Leutnant Henry Ngo's sense of humour over the radio made Victor cringe.

"Gawd, make it stop!!"  Galen Cox said over the channel.

"Can't do that." Victor said, "Hank's sense of humour is...unique-the same way that some cancers are."

"Dude, it's a classic...contact approaching seven-on-the-clock, two thousand meters, estimate fifty eight KPH, ground shocks say it's seventy tons."  Henry wasn't even supposed to be a Leutnant yet, he'd managed to test out and into a comission to follow Galen and Victor to their first assignment.

Victor was thinking that might've been a mistake.  One made somewhat worse, by Hank's insistence on piloting an older machine equipped with hand-actuators.

But then, Hank made that old GRF-1N do things it wasn't designed for just like he made a Chameleon do things IT wasn't designed for at the Academy.

The asymmetrical shape of a Jade Falcon Thor showed up on the common feed from Hank's position as the recon unit for the lance.

"there's one, there's more coming." Victor pronounced.

Henry Ngo's 'mods' to Shakey Sue stripped the older 'mech of most of its missile weapons, trading them for sensor dispensers, electronic systems, and what started out as a ruined command console.  The results were obvious now, as ranging and targeting data flowed through Alpha Company's networked systems, including the enemy's ECM emissions being identified as ECM.

"lock targets as I indicate." Victor ordered.  Status displays lit up, showing as each of his 'mech company's weapons arrays locked on the designated targets.

"wait for it...Engage."

The Clanners had longer ranged weapons, on faster, heavier platforms.  What the poor bastards didn't have, was the level of coordination that Victor, and his friends, drilled into his company, nor did they appear to have the digital datalink architecture to do what Victor was doing right now.

every shot, was as accurate at long range, as it would be at short range, because the computers were triangulating the distances to get better accuracy.

better accuracy translates into more hits, and it's the hits that do the damage, not the potential damage.

The Clanner 'mechs took the blows immediately, and almost as immediately, the company brought one down, then a second, then a third...

not quite fish-in-a-barrel, but enough to make a difference, the ten enemy 'mechs went down despite having better armor, and higher speeds, and longer ranges.

The ambush worked.  "Pick up, and move out!!" Victor ordered, "We've got another fifty Kay to cover!!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: kioras on 12 June 2022, 02:35:10
That is the modern Western/NATO battlefield network going against someone who is multiple generations behind on it.

The Clans have superior tech and could match it but they need a complete change on how they do war to implement it.

Then again the Clans did forget how the SLDF fought also.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: worktroll on 12 June 2022, 02:50:49
So C3 on steroids. Do Victor's/etc 'Mechs need any special receivers/processors, or is Henry's gear enough?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 03:03:13
The drawings weren't crude...

...they were carefully refined, with estimated costs listed, a list of sources, materiel requirements, and everything a planner needs.

"You want us to build that?" General of the Armies Natasha Kerensky scoffed.

"No, I want permission to build it." Duke Patrick Ngo clarified, "The design exceeds the legal limits for Militia several times over, Her Majesty told me I'd need you to endorse the waiver on those laws, before she would sign off on said waiver-she wants her General of the Armies to say it's acceptable and not a waste of what could be potentially national resources."

"ah." Natasha picked up the file again, and opened it with a stylus.  "My first instinct is to say it's a waste of resources.  Convince me it isn't."

"okay, the RX-79 program stalled because of a lack of engines-because the engine units that were specced, were outside the Federated Suns ability to fabricate, which meant importing from a Terran source...this doesn't have that problem, and we don't have to spool up new engine lines to build it-because the sublight engines are already in production for use on the Mammoth class bulk-haulers.  The core's a compact core, but it's on a smaller ship, so we can use efficiencies in production."

"It doesn't have dropship collars." She countered, "and the weapons-fit would be damned close to useless for orbital fire support."

"It's not meant to be an orbital bombardment platform." He parried.  "This is a ship designed to secure jump points or engage in pursuit outside the gravity well."

"Naval engagements and interception-something almost nobody's done reliably outside of planetary orbit." her verbal thrust was on-point.  "Navies are there to support ground forces."

"Most of the time, yes." He said, "but the thrust curve lets this design get up to speed against an opponent moving from the jump point-they have to either put the soldiers aboard at risk of excess-gee-force loading, or be intercepted-but this ship? it's designed to keep the crew healthy under hard Gee-force loading-which means they CAN intercept, because they'll have a safe thrust curve that's a lot deeper and wider than either an invading task force, or an enemy picket.  That means these kind of ships can dictate the terms of the engagement, even against dedicated battlewagons like the Clans are bringing."

she narrowed her eyes, then, smiled.  "If they can't land, they can't fight."

"Succinctly put." he agreed.

"alright, if you can build them, you can build them." she said, "The Commonwealth will demand first choice on the actual hulls, and you'll need to find a way to staff them out of your pocket unless, or until, they're proven effective.  I look forward to reading your doctrine before approval, Herr Duke."

"Thank you, Madame Feldmarshall."

They shook hands.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: paulobrito on 12 June 2022, 03:12:29
Did Nat approve of the Sampans? Interesting.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 12 June 2022, 03:21:00
Did Nat approve of the Sampans? Interesting.
sounds like provisional approval.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 04:18:45
"Prisoner 823421, step forward and place your hands...

..in the circles."  Standard drill in Blackgate Prison, the circles were retractable manacles used to secure a prisoner during contraband searches, medical examinations, and, occasionally, abuse.

Samantha Daimh was here because she stole a jumpship for Free Skye.  Her cell had contained an informant, Lohengrin were waiting at the other end of the jump, and she was given a life sentence.

In Blackgate penitentiary.

the cold metal hemispheres closed over her hands like clamshells. there was no physical access she could use to sabotage them-not on this side of her cell walls, and it was better than being beaten with stun-sticks and forced.

"Release her clamps, guard." a voice she didn't recognize stated.

"Ma'am, this prisoner is dangerous-"

"I said, 'Release the ****** clamps you jackbooted pendejo." the measured tones contained a musical atonality.  the clamps opened.

Samantha risked looking behind herself.

The guards were in riot armor, the woman with them, wasn't.

"Samantha Daimh, that's you, right?" the woman asked.  in the sick-toned lighting of the cell, her interrogator looked faintly dead, with epicanthic folds to her eyes, and the faint markings of Belta tats showing through barely-grown back hair.

Nametape said Vu Dao and the ranks were for a Hauptmann.

"That's me, ayeh." Sam said.

"Shipjacker, but you're Nav trained, your cell worked out of Gallery, correct?" Hauptmann Vu Dao inquired.

"Ayeh."

"How would you like to get your life back, Samantha Daimh?" the woman asked.  "Completely back. Maybe even get some back on the pricks who sold you out?"

"That's not possible." Sam said.

"You'll find a great many things are possible, if you earn an Archon's Pardon-and you don't even have to sell your former comrades."  Hauptmann Vu Dao explained, "It's dependent on you having certain skills."

"What skills?"

"Skills appropriate for a special unit in the Lyran Commonwealth Navy." Hauptmann Vu Dao stated, "we'll start with an aptitude battery, followed by a test. If you pass the test, you'll be enrolled for no less than twenty years in the Lyran Commonwealth Navy, after which, your record will be cleared, you will be free, and you'll have a pension.  Interested?"

"You're offering me a job."

"If you can do the job. If you can't? well, it's back here I expect, though we'll have lawyers try to get your sentence reduced for even trying to meet our standards."

"Where...do I sign?"

Hauptmann Vu Dao extended a single-use PADD.  "Read the contract first, but if you're willing to accept the terms, we can walk out of here tonight."

"What will I be doing?" Samantha asked.

"Killing Clanners." Hauptmann Vu Dao stated, "Being sneaky, and vicious, and killing them where they don't and won't expect us."

Samantha read the contract, stumbling over some unfamiliar terms, but she'd already decided even a chance to escape this hell she'd been consigned to, was worth a shot.

"Welcome to the Submarine Service, Midshipman Daimh."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: worktroll on 12 June 2022, 04:29:40
A (probable) total aside, but Glen Cook's "A Passage at Arms" has the best analog of Das Boot in space in a modern novel. Highly recommended.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 05:23:13
Haven't heard of that one... thanks for the tip Worktroll!  :thumbsup:

I suppose "Submarine Service" works, but I think U-bootwaffe would be more Lyran...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 05:38:50
"...configuration makes for a pretty strange mission profile."

Hanse noted as he looked over the plans submitted by Marshall Kerensky.  "I mean, the interception job can be done by dropship-"

"Not if what they're to be intercepting, isn't in a friendly system it can't." Natasha commented.  "Clan doctrine seizes jumpship assets or destroys them-a practice your people gave up after significant losses in shipping.  I understood immediately what Duke Ngo was proposing, even if he did not."

"Commerce raiding?"

"Yes." she said, "it's an eighteen month one-way trip from the Homeworlds.  Hitting shipping along that route can significantly impact the invasion force, and the lack of supplies will force the Clans participating into making sacrifices, and it will hamper and impair their ability to replace losses.  Strategic warfare, something my people have not faced since they left the Inner Sphere with Aleksandr Kerensky, and something you're uniquely qualified to wage, it's logical to do so."

Hanse frowned, "I'm concerned about the possibility of the means dictating the ends here, Field Marshall." he said quietly, "it's too easy to fall into the trap of our ancestors in thinking that good ends justify any means. It's how we burned half the worlds of mankind in three centuries of constant war, and how someone on Callison would release a self-replicating robot plague that's cost two dozen more, and billions of civilians."

"A bit late to feel squeamish, your highness."

"It's not 'squeamish', Field Marshall, it's practical.  What's the escalation going to look like, hmm?"

"Intelligence suggests the Draconis Combine has been releasing those self-replicators on their worlds ever since Turtle Bay happened.  I think 'escalation' is already in progress-we may need to win this quickly, before the Crusader Clans decide that 'annihilation' is appropriate for everyone."

His frown darkened, "Yeah.  There is that...okay, how do we get them to Negotiate rules of engagement?" he asked, "Ones that don't radically favor their duellng practices and technology over what we have, and can have?"

"Negotiation?"

"Eventually, when the killing has gone on long enough, you always have to negotiate." Hanse told her, "if that weren't true, we'd still be fighting the fourth succession war, we wouldn't have stopped when we did."

Natasha pursed her lips, "Tricky." she said,  "You need a decisive victory, something that they can't claim you 'cheated' to win."

"on their terms?"

"Cultural drives, Highness.  This is a holy crusade for the Clans, they want an Honorable victory, and won't accept anything less than the most honorable defeat."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 05:44:42
Hanse is definitely thinking about the long game... so glad he's still around!  :thumbsup:

Also, how about "Handelsräuber"?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 07:41:45
Trell 1...

Henry Ngo was the scout for his highness's command lance, because he worked to get here, but 'here' sometimes means you have to be the loyal armsman, not the friend, not the colleague.

"Galen, get him out of here!!" Henry barked over the channel.  The heir's machine had fallen, the Clanners had, apparently, had enough with playing the long game.

They'd come in with full-court press, turning the canyon system they'd been using into a killing zone.

"What about you?"

"I don't matter, the Heir to the ****** throne matters.  I'm breaking orders and ****** the chain of command, you get Prince Victor the ****** off this rock!!"

"Why me?"

"because he likes you better, and because I don't have to carry ammo in Shakey Sue, which means I won't run out and go winchester, now GO Damn-your-eyes!!"

Galen took on the wounded Archon-in-waiting and heir, and went.

Henry went to work.

A man is born to do a thing.  sometimes that thing expresses itself in ways that clash with what he wishes he were, even what he trains to be.  Henry is not that man.

The first enemy 'mech through junction 24 passed him without seeming to see him, the ugly, bird-legged thing with the asymmetry like a T-bolt didn't notice him in his modified Griffin.

This is not a stroke of good luck, not when said griffin has supplemented its arsenal with the hatchet recovered from one of the other fallen Lyran 'mechs in the local Militia garrison.

Henry drove the cleaver into the enemy's back, coring the machine, before jumping to another position-away from the dropships that were to carry the rest of the unit off-world.

He landed on the armored cowl of another of the enemy's huge assault machines.  with his left hand, he crouched-down, and with his right, he swung the axe downward, into the machine's cockpit. 

he didn't stay for the BDA on that, but was jumping agian, this time to an angled hillside forested with solar panels arranged like trees.

The reflections scrambled sensors, and he moved on his third target, kicking up to 85 KPH along a hillside too steep, according to the alarms from his gyro's monitoring hardware-especially unbalanced with the salvaged weapon.

Face to face with another one of the enemy's assault machines, so close, in fact, he was inside the arc of its arms when he drove his 'mech's knee up into the armored drives of the thing's pelvis, then a spin-kick, smashing the backwards-facing knee and setting up for a velocity-enhanced punch to the helicopter-like cockpit assembly.

Henry wasn't playing the long game here, he was out to draw everyone's attention...to buy time.

Some men are simply born to fight for a cause.

Henry Ngo was born to fight for a cause.  His perceptions expanded as they narrowed-his world became slamming into the enemy, smashing them, finding them, focusing the bastards on himself, so that others might get away, might survive, might live.

survival? was not even a concern as he roamed the jumbled hillsides and shattered draws and saddles.

His universe was narrowed to himself, and the enemy, he didn't even look to see if the dropships had launched.

===

Edgar Malthus could see it with his eyes, but his sensors? they insisted nothing was there, that his star-mate was fighting nothing at all...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 07:47:14
Holy *****!  I need go update that draft of Henry I was working on...  :o
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 08:14:54
Henry should be in your PM inbox, good sir!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 08:34:47
And here's a link to my shot at Shaky Sue (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/battlemechs/my-shot-at-henry-ngo-s-shaky-sue/) over in the design forum.  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nerd on 12 June 2022, 11:38:12
A Phantom Mech disappears again!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 12 June 2022, 11:54:27
A Phantom Mech disappears again!

Thing about Phantom Mech, as I recall, is that it generally only occurs if you're about to have a REALLY dramatic death...

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 14:05:43
I thought both Yorinaga and Kell figured it out long before their respective deaths? ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 12 June 2022, 14:42:01
I thought both Yorinaga and Kell figured it out long before their respective deaths? ???

Morgan Kell survived activating it. And from then on was presumably just active by default - remember that one simulator fight later in the Warrior trilogy where it is active.

Patrick Kell presumably just had it happen, the way Morgan did. The Kell Hounds source book had some fluff about there being a genetic component to it.

Yorinaga Kurita, I think, is the only one who actually figured it out - note that it took him about a dozen years of meditation, and presumably a much more spiritual mindset than the Kells started out with.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 12 June 2022, 15:17:22
For Patrick's new force..  What about the Schwarze Jäger [Black Hunters] or in Vietnamese Thợ săn đen

After all that what those ships are designed to do, hunt in the Black
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 15:27:15
That might be a little too close to the Black Warriors for comfort...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 12 June 2022, 16:24:44
I thought both Yorinaga and Kell figured it out long before their respective deaths? ???

The writeup in the Kell Hounds book suggests that a prerequisite of it activating is that the individual perceives themselves as dead. Both Morgan and Patrick triggered it by engaging in what they assumed (wrongly in Morgan's case) was a last stand against an enemy they could not defeat. Yorinaga attained the same state of mind through eleven years of isolation and meditation.

(and in a nod to the fan theory of Aidan Pryde, his own last stand against the Comguard would have also qualified, as he went in with no expectation of survival)

Of course, since later administrations went "haha, no" on exploring it further, there's a lot of questions that might be asked about it. Does anybody manage to attain the state, survive their heroic stand, then lose the ability because the danger passes, their state of mind stabilizes, and they never realized they were doing magic? Might some people have the ability, but have no idea how to bring it about, and therefore it only rarely and irregularly shows up?

And do any of them develop spiky blonde hair when it happens?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 12 June 2022, 16:28:34
Morgan Kell survived activating it. And from then on was presumably just active by default - remember that one simulator fight later in the Warrior trilogy where it is active.

Patrick Kell presumably just had it happen, the way Morgan did. The Kell Hounds source book had some fluff about there being a genetic component to it.

"Out of hope?  Become a Hero."

And Clan Wolf has Morgan's son, Phelan, in their hands.  Though with Natasha not returning, would he be able to rise among them like he did in canon?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 12 June 2022, 16:31:09
Morgan Kell survived activating it. And from then on was presumably just active by default - remember that one simulator fight later in the Warrior trilogy where it is active.

Patrick Kell presumably just had it happen, the way Morgan did. The Kell Hounds source book had some fluff about there being a genetic component to it.

Yorinaga Kurita, I think, is the only one who actually figured it out - note that it took him about a dozen years of meditation, and presumably a much more spiritual mindset than the Kells started out with.

Well, the other thing is that it's not something you consciously "activate" or figure out; it just happens. The "Untouchable" Smoke Jaguar on Solaris during the events of Illusions of Victory had it kick in and didn't seem fully aware of it. And it's not a guarantee of death; it generally is a sign that death has "marked" you. Surviving the activation is basically living on borrowed time.

As I always understood it, anyway.

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 16:40:45
Henry's current sensor invisibility could simply be down to his unusual electronics plus the unique terrain that Cannonshop specifically highlighted (the solar farm).  I'm not saying it's NOT Phantom 'Mech, though... just that it might not be...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 12 June 2022, 18:03:56
Nod to Daryk for doing the book-work. 

When I give Henry Melee Master and all of its pre-requisites, I'm short 300 XP.  That's probably an easy enough bump to just roll with, so here's Henry:

Henry "Hank" Ngo

STR 4
BOD 4
DEX 4
RFL 7
INT 4
WIL 4
CHA 4
EDG 1

Traits:
Rank: 5
Wealth: 3 (Minimum for White Collar)
Equipped: 3 (figure this goes into the mods to his GRF)
Ambidextrous: 2 (Required for Melee Master)
Vehicle: 1 (fluffing as the mods to his GRF, which is not his 'mech)
Extra Income: 1
Reputation: 1
SPA: Melee Specialist: 1 (required for Melee Master)
SPA: Melee Master: 1
Fit: 0
Connections: 0
Compulsion/Hatred of Pirates: -1
Compulsion/Addiction (Tobacco): -1
Enemy: -3
Glass Jaw: -3
In For Life: -3

Skills:
Piloting/'Mech: 7 (TN: 0) [Minimum required for Melee Master]
Protocol/Lyran: 5 (TN: 4)
Martial Arts: 4 (TN: 3)
Small Arms: 3 (TN: 4)
Leadership: 3 (TN: 5)
Career/Soldier: 3 (TN: 4)
Navigation/Ground: 3 (TN: 4)
Melee Weapons: 2 (TN: 5)
Interest/Military History: 2 (TN: 6)
Gunnery/Mech: 2 (TN: 5)
MedTech: 2 (TN: 5)
Sensor Operations: 2 (TN: 6)
Tactics/Land: 2 (TN: 7)
Language/English: 1 (TN: 7)
Computers: 1 (TN: 7)
Interest/Economics: 1 (TN: 7)
Running: 1 (TN: 5)
Administration: 1 (TN: 7)
Swimming: 1 (TN: 6)
Technician/Nuclear: 1 (TN: 8)
Training: 1 (TN: 8)
Perception: 1 (TN: 6)
Language/German: 0 (TN: 8)
Language/Vietnamese: 0 (TN: 8)
Negotiation: 0 (TN: 8)
Strategy: None (TN: 13)
Appraisal: None (TN: 12)
Art/Puns: None (TN: 12)

please note: still short 300 points.  I don't know how to fix it either-the scene kinda just happened.

okay, that's the short answer.  The LONG answer, is that I always viewed Henry as a great improvisor, with some of the natural talent of his sister (but not her drawbacks) and some of the natural talent of his brother (but again, he didn't get the drawbacks.)

if there's a Ngo that could tap into that psychic for Phantom 'mech, it would be Henry.  NOT saying that's what happened, but if it COULD happen in that family, he's the one whom it would happen to.

Unlike his father, he's not an alcoholic or a workaholic, hiding from responsibilities at home and complicated relationships by going all-out into a military career (and neglecting his kids).

The other thing about Henry, is that I haven't decided if he gets to live through this experience yet.  In previous drafts, he's either died or survived at Blackjack, but changes to this 'verse means he's not there, he's with Victor and Galen, being a loyal armsman.

AND his little sister made him some toys.

Thing is, we've got strong personalities involved here.  Victor's not dead, after all, and Galen Cox is no shrinking violet.  I'm toying with a diversion from prior events...

something like thus:

Gott mit Uns (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVg28azacaM)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 18:26:46
You're more than welcome, good sir!  :thumbsup:

If you want to supress the "8 )" problem, code tags are the solution...  ;)

And as far as Henry surviving, I could totally see Galen handing off Victor to the first unit he catches then going back for Henry.  Galen is that good, and that loyal to his friends.  If the unit he catches is big enough, he might even drag some (but obviously not all) of them with him...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 12 June 2022, 18:38:53
That might be a little too close to the Black Warriors for comfort...  ^-^
no if they get close to the Black Warriors it will be uncomfortable for them... :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 12 June 2022, 20:00:53
One last thought before wandering off to bed: where is a certain Shelby in all this?  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 13 June 2022, 07:39:40
Well, the other thing is that it's not something you consciously "activate" or figure out; it just happens. The "Untouchable" Smoke Jaguar on Solaris during the events of Illusions of Victory had it kick in and didn't seem fully aware of it. And it's not a guarantee of death; it generally is a sign that death has "marked" you. Surviving the activation is basically living on borrowed time.

As I always understood it, anyway.

- Herb

According to the Warrior trilogy, Yorinaga Kurita did in fact figure it out and caused it to activate in himself. My take is that, through all those years of reflection and meditation, he managed to reproduce the mindset in which Morgan Kell entered the duel against him.

And Morgan Kell neither died, nor did he in any way seem marked by death. His ability was even active in that simulator fight with Dan Alard and his former lancemates - not just in situations similar to the one that initially triggered it.

I think the general idea is that trying to stay alive is somehow holding you back in battle - once you´ve consciously accepted that you´ll die for the sake of someone else (to save your comrades, or in Yorinaga´s case to defeat what he saw as a threat to the Dragon), you might "unlock" the Phantom Mech ability, and it would be active from then on any time you´re in "combat mode" mentally, not just in further situations like the one that unlocked it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 13 June 2022, 09:57:26
Meh. It was always a think I rather disliked anyway. But the "appears when you're about to die" was actually told to me by Loren back in the day. That was how he was using it anyway.

I never did like the spiritual-supernatural aspects some stuff; I think the only trick like that which I've used in fiction has been in the form of "jump-visions," which are really just a three-dimensional brain trying to handle a trip through n-th dimensional space and sometimes showing you something that *could* be prophetic, or is just a sign of your own subconscious nagging at you.

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 June 2022, 10:04:24
Tharkad, some weeks later...

Victor's arm was in a cast, and presersleeves covered his legs in the wheelchair, while flesh-tone medical wraps wrapped much of his face and neck under his uniform.

"I'm sorry I can't stand up for this, Liz." He said, "but...I think you deserved to be told in person."

"It's Henry." she said.  "isn't it?"

"mmh. Yeah.  Galen managed to recover him, and somehow, he's still...well, he's still mostly alive." Victor explained, "For now anyway."

"What happened?"

"Your brother managed to embarrass us all-he thought with me out and the CO dead, that he could get everyone to fall back and pull out while he covered the retreat with just his 'mech, and what was left of the Planetary Militia...only Galen and I? we weren't going to leave him behind.  He cut a swath through forty five enemy 'mechs, somehow.  The invaders were the ones who retreated, once the rout turned into a rally and a counter-attack."

"Where is he?"

"He's being delivered to the most advanced medical center in the Lyran Commonwealth state." he said, "They're hoping they can get through to him-there's no brain damage, it's just that Hank's..." Victor's one remaining eye glanced to the side, "...gone? comatose, we don't know why."

"I want to see him."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 13 June 2022, 10:47:12
Henry killed an entire cluster?  Holy Shit.  Though it looked like Victor going down was not without cost in terms of injury, or was that in the counter-attack?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 June 2022, 10:53:15
Henry killed an entire cluster?  Holy Shit.  Though it looked like Victor going down was not without cost in terms of injury, or was that in the counter-attack?

It's one of those scenes I can't manage to write convincingly, but imagine it for a moment from the Clanner perspective-their weapons refused to lock on him.

It must've been like a horror movie for them, traumatic in the extreme, especially for the survivors who saw it happening and couldn't do anything about it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 13 June 2022, 11:12:35
For Patrick's new force..  What about the Schwarze Jäger [Black Hunters] or in Vietnamese Thợ săn đen

After all that what those ships are designed to do, hunt in the Black

How about "Long Range Raiding Force"? That´ll be the official name, at least; unofficially, "Count Luckner Flotilla".

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_von_Luckner)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 13 June 2022, 11:13:48
It's one of those scenes I can't manage to write convincingly, but imagine it for a moment from the Clanner perspective-their weapons refused to lock on him.

It must've been like a horror movie for them, traumatic in the extreme, especially for the survivors who saw it happening and couldn't do anything about it.

When this makes the rounds?  I can see the Clan Watch frantically questioning their new bondsmen taken in the invasion to find out about this strange Spheroid ability.  Is it some kind of Null Signature System?  ECM?  Something else?

The thing is Phelan is in Clan Wolf's hands.  Since as far as I can tell he was still capture like in canon.  So when the Watch starts collating rumors, myths, and horror stories about "Ghost Mechwarriors" who can be seen, but not locked on sensors?  And Morgan Kell's name comes up as the only living person that most of the stories agree could do this?

Finding out they have someone of his genetic lineage is going to make Phelan extra interesting now.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 13 June 2022, 11:19:48
"...is a lineal descendant of Tranh Truk Ngo, the Elbar Impaler...

...but there is nothing in remnant records of...this."  Kael Pershaw laid the intel brief on Elias Crichell's desk.  "We have no records of Star League technology performing the way that 'mechwarrior performed in that modified piece of junk."

"Elbar Impaler?" Crichell inquired.

Kael sighed heavily, "The Amaris war, my Khan, the Liberation of the Terran world of Elbar, Tranh Truk Ngo was the commander of an allied unit sent to support the ninetieth heavy assault and the seventh Andurien Volunteers.  At the Brian Fortress site of Running Deer Mountain, Colonel Ngo's people found evidence of systematic atrocities by the Rim Worlds sympathizers and military-and reacted in a manner that General DeChevalier notes in his journal as 'extreme'-Colonel Ngo impaled fifty one senior Rim Worlds Officers, and used nearly a thousand POWs as bayonet practice training local levies...while those men were still alive."

Elias shivered, "They were allies?"

Kael sighed patiently, "The Rim Worlds Republican forces on Elbar were using Running Deer mountain as a sort of 'human spare parts factory'-carving up civilian political prisoners and ethnic minorities to provide blood, organs and tissues for both military and civilian transplant purposes.  They carved up nearly fourteen million people there, and Colonel Ngo's unit, the 171st Kowloon Volunteers, found it and, according to Aaron DeChevalier, lost their minds over it."

Elias Crichell winced, then, "I would as well...savashri..."

"Two hundred of the 171st were slotted for courts martial for their overreaction." Kael continued, "However, those charges were suspended until the end of hostilities, and then, they were released to return to their homeworld. The Great Father did not even attempt to invite them to participate in Exodus."

"Interesting...why?"

"because, and I had to call in favors with an archivist among the Goliath Scorpions, General Kerensky did not believe the Kowloonese would Join."  Kael explained, "They only joined the war against the usurper, because they hated the Rim Worlds Republic slightly more than they hated the Star League that had helped keep a Rim Worlds boot on their necks for two and a half centuries.  Colonel Ngo was a rebel, who led a successful rebellion against House Amaris in 2768, and General McEvedy had to rescue surviving rim worlds officials from them when that world was slated to be taken down.  The terms were interesting enough to include in my report, my Khan-They negotiated with General DeChevalier, the SLDF would guarantee Kowloon's independence from the Rim Worlds in exchange for that world's support against the Usurper."

"how much hate are we talking about?" Elias asked.

Kael snorted a half-laugh, "enough that they put Sam Wilson on them to keep them from committing MORE atrocities.  These people lost a city when the SLS Belleau Wood fired on it from orbit to suppress an earlier uprising that might've succeeded without SLDF intervention.  I do not know for certain, because so much of our information on that world is out of date, but at the time, it was apparently understood that Kowloon sent men to kill Rim Worlders because they wanted them dead...and had no love for House Cameron or the Star League, just a grudging tolerance.  DeChevalier's journals from that period spend a lot of time describing a people who have a mastery of holding grudges that would make the Blood Spirits look generously forgiving."

"Will they pose a problem for Operation Revival?" Elias asked.

"We know through our comstar...'allies' ...that Kowloon has raised the banner of the 171st for the first time since 2820...and that they are experimenting with science and technologies not commonly found in the rest of the Inner Sphere."

"how far off our invasion corridor is this world?" Crichell asked.

"Well outside of it, but reachable." Pershaw stated.

"Get information on them.  find out if this was a freak incident, or if it is a picture of what we are going to be facing in the near future."

"Don't just focus on that world.  Find out if the Spheroids have some new twist on ECM, some advanced prototype or recovered theoretical equipment that can explain a 'mech that can be seen with the naked eye, but can not be locked with our sensors."

"of course."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 13 June 2022, 13:20:01
It's one of those scenes I can't manage to write convincingly, but imagine it for a moment from the Clanner perspective weapons refused to lock on him.

It must've been like a horror movie for them, traumatic in the extreme, especially for the survivors who saw it happening and couldn't do anything about it.

1 mech a Griffin you can see it with Mark Two Eyeballs for the clanners, just your Mech Sensors refuse to admit there a Mech there, nor does anyone elses.   And you see it hit your Comrades, but it a Ghost...  and does unhonorable melee attacks.

The Watch, when they have scientists look at it, will at 1st assume that it advanced tech.  Because what else could have messed with the targeting systems that way.


Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 13 June 2022, 13:48:37
honestly there are hints that Morgan Kell still had the ability going at Luthien, in the "Blood Legacy" novel had a description of him taking on a whole jaguar unit practically alone, avoiding enemy fire all the while. (screen cap of my ebook attached below) its ambigious but given stackpole wrote it, i suspect the imagined Morgan still having the same abilities as showed up in the warrior trilogy.. only since he wasn't the protagonist, it went unmentioned.

Meh. It was always a think I rather disliked anyway. But the "appears when you're about to die" was actually told to me by Loren back in the day. That was how he was using it anyway.
honestly since Yorinaga Kurita finds it through Zen meditation and such, i like to think that it is less "it only triggers when you are about to die" and more "it only triggers when you confront death and accept it". which is one of those samurai mindset things that supposedly allowed the skilled ones to pull all sorts of impressive feats of arms. a mix of fatalism and determination that lets them fight in a calm, coordinated way.

and i think the description of him dodging and moving is more the key than some supernatural ability.. that he's basically able to move his mech, consciously or unconsciously, in ways that prevent the enemy systems from locking on or properly recognizing what it is. perhaps with elements of his mental state allowing him to be more 'in tune' with the neurohelmet and mech giving even better response performance than you normally would get.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 13 June 2022, 16:21:56
I wonder if someone recognized what Henry did, and Morgan gets a request from Katrina to see if he can help out?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 13 June 2022, 17:54:46
Given enough years of life (or just raw XP), I can get Henry Natural Grace...  That's practically as bad as it gets 100% within the rules.  Thankfully, Phantom 'Mech hasn't yet been given AToW stats...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 13 June 2022, 17:59:45
And yes, if anyone can through to him, it's Liz...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 13 June 2022, 19:15:46
Given enough years of life (or just raw XP), I can get Henry Natural Grace...  That's practically as bad as it gets 100% within the rules.  Thankfully, Phantom 'Mech hasn't yet been given AToW stats...  8)

It's supernatural nature isn't something a character can be born with, I'd say, but rather picks up at some sort of apex moment. So, it could just be bestowed with by the GM "during play," as it were. How did its rules work? I seem to recall they weren't codified since MW1e.

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 13 June 2022, 19:21:21
Keep that up, and I'll have to give some thought as to how to model it in AToW myself... in the Fan Rules forum, of course...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 13 June 2022, 19:42:38
Given enough years of life (or just raw XP), I can get Henry Natural Grace...  That's practically as bad as it gets 100% within the rules.  Thankfully, Phantom 'Mech hasn't yet been given AToW stats...  8)
on tabletop iirc it has most recently been modelled as a combination of potent pilot traits and basically maxed edge..

ok checking.. Historical: Turning Points – Mallory’s World has three examples, all pretty much the same. they all share the following traits: Natural Grace, and Combat Intuition.
Ian Davion got 10 edge (which suggests that not only did he manifest PMA in his final battle, but he actually was better at it, because) Morgan and Yorinaga each only got 5 edge during their duel(s).

this would suggest that ifyou can give an ATOW character that combo, they could be claimed to have PMA.

iirc the luthien scenario pack also gives a version of this PMA to Morgan during his luthien battles.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Grognard on 13 June 2022, 20:05:55
it is feasible, if you can run the same pilot for years to grind out the XP, to general Negative rating Pilot skill. 
It also helps to have Natural Aptitude-Piloting, which allows for rolling 3D6 and take the highest two.
But I was only able to do it with MW 2d rules.....and that was 30-ish years ago.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 13 June 2022, 20:34:35
Keep that up, and I'll have to give some thought as to how to model it in AToW myself... in the Fan Rules forum, of course...  ^-^

That was kind of my point.

the luthien scenario pack also gives a version of this PMA to Morgan during his luthien battles.

Hmmm. "Attacks against him resolve as if he is double the range from the attacker AND receive an additional +4 to-hit. Attacks by him receive a -2 to-hit."

So, Morgan is 6 hexes from you in your own classic Archer, but when you fire on him, you start by doubling his distance to 12 hexes, making your LRMs attack at medium range (+4) with +4 again on top of that for a total of +8 before we even start talking movement and terrain modifiers. Oh, and your medium lasers are auto-fail because they are considered "out of range" now. Meanwhile, Morgan shoots back at a -2, which effectively gives him a Gunnery Skill of 1 (He was 3/3 at Luthien apparently; gettin' rusty there, guy?).

[One thing I found remarkably difficult to codify into RPG rules is skill degradation and atrophy due to age. The idea being that you lose skill expertise the longer you are not using it (which would explain how I went from being an A student in five years of Spanish class, and can't say much more than "Lo siento pero no hablo español," nor can I recall just about anything from my calculus class). It was tough to codify because players could always just say "I practiced between missions," or "I still did it for fun in my retirement" and wave the rule off, so there was little point. But, anyway...]

I gather there is a card for Morgan somewhere that has the latest version of Phantom 'Mech, though? From a "BattleTech: Legendary MechWarriors Pack?" Anyone have what it says?

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 13 June 2022, 20:45:39
i have it, but it's currently buried in my room as a result of an incomplete reorganization.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 13 June 2022, 20:48:48
i have it, but it's currently buried in my room as a result of an incomplete reorganization.

I understand; all my BattleTech minis have been in that same state since 2010.

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 13 June 2022, 21:44:35
Hmmm. "Attacks against him resolve as if he is double the range from the attacker AND receive an additional +4 to-hit. Attacks by him receive a -2 to-hit."

Wow, that's a pretty significant buff to the original version of the rules. I assumed they would have toned it down by the time the Luthien pack came around, not made it worse.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 14 June 2022, 03:24:30
That's a bit much, I think.  Especially now that we have Null Sig, CLPS, etc.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Adjudicator on 14 June 2022, 03:59:56

okay, that's the short answer.  The LONG answer, is that I always viewed Henry as a great improvisor, with some of the natural talent of his sister (but not her drawbacks) and some of the natural talent of his brother (but again, he didn't get the drawbacks.)

if there's a Ngo that could tap into that psychic for Phantom 'mech, it would be Henry.  NOT saying that's what happened, but if it COULD happen in that family, he's the one whom it would happen to.

Unlike his father, he's not an alcoholic or a workaholic, hiding from responsibilities at home and complicated relationships by going all-out into a military career (and neglecting his kids).

The other thing about Henry, is that I haven't decided if he gets to live through this experience yet.  In previous drafts, he's either died or survived at Blackjack, but changes to this 'verse means he's not there, he's with Victor and Galen, being a loyal armsman.

AND his little sister made him some toys.

Thing is, we've got strong personalities involved here.  Victor's not dead, after all, and Galen Cox is no shrinking violet.  I'm toying with a diversion from prior events...

I do hope Henry Ngo survives. In the main story timelines, his death had a heavy influence on not just his surviving Ngo Family, especially his sister Elizabeth, but also his time with the Jade Falcons as their prisoner and eventually Bondsman / Inner Sphere abthakha substantially influenced them to think carefully and try different approaches with reference to the Kowloonese society.

Though in this timeline, with MUCH stronger ties to the Federated Commonwealth / Lyrans (As they are no longer neglecting Kowloon and leaving it at the hands of a poor regent which allowed corruption to fester and damage that world), he may not have as many MICE (Money, Ideology, Coercion/Compromise and Ego) factors that will allow him to be willingly bonded to the Jade Falcons unlike many other timelines.

In other timelines, it is the promise of treatment for his sister, and an opportunity to liberate Kowloon and place it in non-corrupt / less corrupt management that were coercive factors, along with some sympathy to Nathan Roshak's and Morgan Icaza's proper idealistic crusader ideology that allowed the Jade Falcons to convince him to their side.

As Henry Ngo's last stand with very strong ECM / Phantom 'Mech analogue active, the only feasible way the Jade Falcons can stop him is using damage methods that bypass to hit and range checks. Area effect weapons (Artillery that target terrain), FASCAM / Thunder minefields, or mass Elemental Battle Armour Leg and Swarm attacks to ensure that Henry's 'mech is no longer damaging to the Jade Falcons.

Elemental Point Blank attacks might be able to mitigate some of the range and to hit penalties, as a range of 0 multiplied is still 0, but the casualties caused by melee counterattacks from the 'Mech from a melee specialist pilot would be costly....

Henry Ngo may be predisposed to performing last stands, maybe call artillery on himself, like most Ngos, but I do not think he will actively suicide / bondsref without a benefit.

For the Jade Falcons, if they do not annihilate this "Dezgra Travesity" who made a mockery of our "Clan Superiority and Way of the Clans", it would probably be due to some cooler heads noticing what he did and may end up trying more creative methods.

I get the feeling that some Jade Falcon might get the idea of properly challenging Henry Ngo, and get him to accept terms to fight in a limited duel, and Henry accepting it to keep the odds to a more sane chance while also using it to buy more time for his FedCom comrades to evacuate might end up ironically making Henry easier to defeat....
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 June 2022, 12:18:11
There has to be a price...

...for this.

Patrick Ngo often has to travel to Tharkad on business, the preparations weren't even complex at this point. 

Still, he was there later than Lizzie by a week or so.  "How is he?"

she looked exhausted and her face was streaked with tears, and she didn't need to say it.

He grabbed a stool, and sat down next to his sister at Henry's bedside. 

His little brother, wrapped in life-support feeding equipment, didn't look asleep.  Henry looked emptied, skin too pale, so still that the movement of his heartbeat was almost visible.

after a while, Elizabeth spoke.

"They broke him." her voice quivered with grief.  "They broke Henry, Pat."

"I know." Patrick said.

"We need to break them back." her voice echoed his own feelings.  "We have to make them pay."

Patrick embraced his little sister one-armed, "We'll do that." he told her, "We'll make those ****** pay."

She clamped to his side, and shook with tears.

"We'll make them all pay."  He assured her.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 14 June 2022, 13:11:48
For the Jade Falcons, if they do not annihilate this "Dezgra Travesity" who made a mockery of our "Clan Superiority and Way of the Clans", it would probably be due to some cooler heads noticing what he did and may end up trying more creative methods.

I get the feeling that some Jade Falcon might get the idea of properly challenging Henry Ngo, and get him to accept terms to fight in a limited duel, and Henry accepting it to keep the odds to a more sane chance while also using it to buy more time for his FedCom comrades to evacuate might end up ironically making Henry easier to defeat....

One Warrior took on an entire cluster, and WON.

Ulric stood up, "Dezgra, Throthkin?  I see no dishonor, merely one warrior superior to yours.  Excuse me, forty-five of yours, at the same time.  It is enough to make one wonder how Clan Jade Falcon managed to trial for its place in this operation."

"We need to break them back." her voice echoed his own feelings.  "We have to make them pay."

Patrick embraced his little sister one-armed, "We'll do that." he told her, "We'll make those ****** pay."

She clamped to his side, and shook with tears.

"We'll make them all pay."  He assured her.

And here we have a first for any Ngo story.  Enough Ngos in the same room to reach critical mass.   :o
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 14 June 2022, 13:33:27
That was kind of my point.

Hmmm. "Attacks against him resolve as if he is double the range from the attacker AND receive an additional +4 to-hit. Attacks by him receive a -2 to-hit."

It´s subtly different in the Kell Hounds book. Instead of an additional +4 to hit, he´s treated "as if he moved 10+ hexes", i.e. TMM of +4 regardless of actual movement, not a +4 in addition to the TMM, which kind of tones things down a little.

In this version, he also gets either the -2 to his attacks, or the ability to modify hit location rolls by up to 2 in any direction, as long as it is to redirect a hit from head or torso locations to arm or leg locations - the fluff says Morgan uses his ability to take out enemies without killing them.

The character stats also give him Piloting 0+ and Gunnery -1+ in the 3028 setting (and a mere 2+/2+ at the time of the first duel with Yorinaga).
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 14 June 2022, 13:41:47
The destruction of a Cluster...

...of 'mechwarriors was bad enough news, indicated enough weakness to draw the Grand Council's attention on its own.  That said destruction occurred over an eighteen hour running battle that had begun with routing a battalion of militia and forcing a regulars unit to retreat would be bad enough.

But it wasn't just that.

Despite Elias Crichell's concerted efforts and the work of Kael Pershaw's branch of the Watch, the specifics of the fight did come out, first to stunned disbelief among the ranks of the rest of Clan Jade Falcon, but then, to the stunned disbelief, followed by open mockery, of the other Invading forces.

"One. Warrior."  Ulric Kerensky's tone dripped disbelief.  "one warrior, from a defeated force, did this, quineg? Surely my esteemed counterparts from Clan Jade Falcon can explain this...frankly unbelievable situation?, quiaff?"

oddly enough, their hated rivals, Clan Wolf, seemed to be the only Clan present in the theater, who weren't laying on the mockery, and were also not laying down the disrespect in heavy, dripping sarcasm.

"We are...still working on that, Ulric."  Sakhan Malthus of Clan Jade Falcon spoke up.  "We do not understand yet, what unique technologies were on display, or if sabotage had some hand in the defeat on Trell One."

"Can we get on with this? I want to move that the Jade Falcons be removed from the rolls of Revival, and another Cla-"

"Shut. Up."  Ulric turned, for once, perhaps the first time ever, the Warden's fiery expression was aimed away from the Falcon khans.  "Shut up, Lincoln Osis.  Every time you open your mouth the intelligence of the rest of this room is lowered catastrophically."

Leo Showers scowled, "That is an insult, Ulric!"

"Yeah. Your clan is doing great, fighting what is it, toy robots and losing??  Your 'warriors' blew up a city because they were too incompetent to hold on to one, lousy prisoner, so, with all Due respect, Leo, you can shut the ****** up too and let the adults figure out how to salvage this disaster of a mess your lack of planning, foresight, and strategic vision led us all into."

"I will declare a trial of grievanc-"

"You do that, because I am about fed up with this...circus, and I am quite ready to challenge your right to command a sibko of five year olds on an expedition to the chow hall, much less an  operation with an eighteen month supply line delay in the field." Ulric glared, "We are here, I objected to this, but we are here, and you are making a botch of the entire thing, instead of winning."

a throat cleared in the chamber, and Karl Bourjon spoke, "What would you do differently, Khan Ulric Kerensky, you opposed this entire mission."

"I did, I do, I also see no path but forward to completion." Ulric stated, "Which means we need competent leadership, not leaders who let their optimistic vanity dictate strategy and tactics!  Clan Smoke Jaguar has barely passed their first wave of objectives, Clan Jade Falcon has run into some sort of inner-sphere superweapon, and lost an entire cluster in a single day to, apparently, a single man in an obsolete 'mech.  MY clan is making our objectives, and we are not running out of munitions or supplies, your clan is making their objectives despite being under-supplied."  he straightened, "This has transcended the argument between Warden and Crusader, the dignity of the whole of the Clans of Kerensky is in serious jeapardy of being rendered into the past-tense.  this situation is intolerable, it is a leadership failure, we need new leadership with a realistic and intelligent approach borne of experience in this field of battle in which we have found ourselves."

"You?"

"Neg." Ulric snapped, "Not I, I do not want the position, any more than I wanted this operation to happen.  But we must replace the failures in command of Operation Revival, and shift our priorities to a strategy that will win the war."

"You still have to remove Leo." Karl pointed out.

Leo Showers seethed in rage at the disrespect.

"Indeed. Leo Showers, I challenge you to a trial of grievance for your strategic bungling of Operation: Revival, I also challenge your qualifications to lead this operation, and your right to the position you hold as IlKhan.  If we are to do this, we must do it in a way that achieves victory, not merely bloodshed and civilian deaths."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 14 June 2022, 14:25:59
I wonder who the new IlKhan will be?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 14 June 2022, 18:03:16
*snip*
"We'll make them all pay."  He assured her.
I see what you did there...  ^-^

And I APPROVE!  >:D

Aside from that, I'll try to move the Phantom 'Mech discussion to the rules forum where it belongs.  I'll edit in the link when I get the thread going...  :thumbsup:

EDIT: And here's the link: https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-designs-rules/phantom-mech-for-atow-discussion/
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 15 June 2022, 12:54:12
"We need more information...

...about the human genome." Yvonne announced, "thus, Mister giant, why you're here, in my laboratory."

Point Commander Zein struggled against his restraints as the pre-teen girl held up a sampler.  "I surrendered HONORABLY!!" he  shouted.

"Right..." Arthur, standing behind his sister to the right, crossed his arms, "I think we might wanna go over what constitutes 'honorable' behavior, mister...Zein? is that right? First name or last?"

"My given name. I have not earned a bloodname, why are you doing this to me??"

"Well...We have a friend, and she's stubborn as hell, and her big brother is why you're in this laboratory, see, Lizzie's dying of a genetic defect, and she's being uncooperative about any treatments except painkillers and drugs to let her keep going until she dies...and you're a genetically engineered superman, so we're going to take you apart to figure out how to fix her."

"Tha'ts really oversimplifying things!" Yvonne snapped.

Zein stopped struggling.  "You are doing this to save someone?? You are Scientists??"

"We try. Penny, are we ready to start yet?"

"Nope." another young teen's voice came from a bank of equipment.  "Jess left me notes, but I swear his writing's worse than his accent..."

Yvonne walked up to the restrained elemental, "First off, we're not going to 'take you apart', I'm going to take a few samples from your tissues, nothing you're going to really miss, a couple microliters of your spinal fluid, a few stem cells, some blood, okay? we're trying to figure out how to fix our friend by reverse-engineering the only gene-engineered subject we could get..."

"I know how this works." Zein spat, "you are running an analysis panel, your equipment is archaic, your methods are frankly disturbing, if they had told me what this was, I would have volunteered."

'Huh, really?"

"certainly. I am always willing to demonstrate the superiority of my Clan's eugenics program!" he boasted.

"Well, I'm still going to keep the restraints on you, because, y'know, you're bigger than me." Yvonne told him.  "I'm gonna give you a nice local to numb the sites, and we'll talk while I work, okay?"

"Given the situation, that is acceptable...who is your friend? this 'Lizzie' and how is her brother responsible for my unjust incarceration?"

"Should I tell him, Art?" Yvonne asked as the frame rotated to present the Clan warrior's spine.

"Liz is the younger sister of Henry Ngo, who was the 'mechwarrior that hammered forty five of your colleagues on Trell One." Arthur stated.  "Does that jog a memory?"

"Aff...He did more than hammer, as you put it, the 'mechwarriors in my Cluster. He crushed and pulverized many of my sibkin with his dezgra physical attacks."

"Yeah? I have no idea what that means, unless you mean 'totally awesome' martial arts."  Arthur noted, "Hank's in the hospital and Lizzie's there watchin' over him.  Doctors aren't sure what you guys did to him."

"Did?"

"He's in a coma." Yvonne noted, "there we...go...ah-huh...and we're done."

"a coma??" Zein was intrigued.  this could be useful "really?"

"Yeah." Arthur noted, "Lizzie's on a timer, but whatever feedback weapon you guys used on Hank, it's put her in a non-functional state of mind, you can say we, her friends, aren't real happy about that.  She lost, like, all her progress recovering from finding out she's got Cholmann's Syndrome."

"what is that?"

"Lethal...untreatable, incurable, and degenerative." Yvonne quipped as she hopped off the stand with her samples and hurried to the analysis bench.  "Her nervous system's self-destructing over time, we don't beat this she dies at forty, in agony that they say is worse than being burned alive, and insane.  YOU have way too much body for a human-size brain to power reliably, but you don't have any apparent neurological or other problems, we figure out how they did that, we can make some progress on fixing her."

"But why?? that sounds like a waste of resour-"

"Elizabeth is a genius, dumbass." Penny stepped into his view.  "She's one of us, and we're all certified geniuses, but see, that's what, five people out of trillions?  figure what's the value of a one in-a-hundred million intellect?"  she pocketed a multitool, and squatted down, "So, not a waste to try and save her.  Her personal project is reconstructing Kearney's lost theorems, she could revolutionize jumpship travel, break the thirty lights barrier, you dig that? not a waste to save her."

"I do not know what these 'theorems' are, but I am aware of the limit of thirty light years for jumpship travel, it took us almost eighteen standard months to reach...here." he noted.

"Right. well, Liz is a mathematician and a physicist, and she's a genius and there aren't a lot of us around, so we're going to save her life even if she doesn't think we can." Arthur told him, "And...so...you get to be a source of data in that pursuit."

"Your laboratory is laughable. you need a true Scientist Caste to guide this...mad undertaking!" he scoffed, "Not this amatuer butcher-shop, flailing in the DARK!!"

"hm...well, you know where we can get one?" Arthur asked.

"Aff.  MY Clan has the best Geneticists!!"

"And how do we get to talk to one, Zein?" Yvonne asked.

He started explaining Clan history, and their culture...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 15 June 2022, 13:05:39
And the mad scientist recruit the first minion of their own!  Not ones loaned to them by Dr Banzai.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 15 June 2022, 13:22:42
You don't want to bully these kids on the playground...  Not only may they have articles of clothing that may turn into carnivorous robots, but their "big brother" is an Elemental  ;D

Maybe the kids will get some help from The Society in the process.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: namar13766 on 15 June 2022, 13:45:51
"...And this is how the Society ended up defecting to the Federated Commonwealth!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 15 June 2022, 14:24:31
Far away, Othar Tryggvassen, Chief of the Smoke Jaguar Scientist caste cocked his head.  He thought he'd heard piping voices crying "For Science!"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 15 June 2022, 15:29:30
You don't want to bully these kids on the playground...  Not only may they have articles of clothing that may turn into carnivorous robots, but their "big brother" is an Elemental  ;D

Maybe the kids will get some help from The Society in the process.

The good news is that the kids should be easy to recognize, especially if walking in a group (https://youtu.be/8MqJ3iGBdOo?t=18)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 15 June 2022, 17:07:56
Far away, Othar Tryggvassen, Chief of the Smoke Jaguar Scientist caste cocked his head.  He thought he'd heard piping voices crying "For Science!"
with a name like that i'd have guessed Ghost Bear. maybe he had been part of a research teams that got claimed in a trial?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 15 June 2022, 17:23:04
Far away, Othar Tryggvassen, Chief of the Smoke Jaguar Scientist caste cocked his head.  He thought he'd heard piping voices crying "For Science!"

Gentleman Chief Scientist, that is!

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 15 June 2022, 18:38:36
"...And this is how the Society ended up defecting to the Federated Commonwealth!"
given that the clan they are most likely to be able to grab scientists from first is Clan Jade Falcon, that might actually be true for at least one branch, given that usually in these stories, Head Scientist Etienne (Balzac) ends up being the leader of the team won. since he'd be allowed to pick his own team, and he's one of the upper ranks of The Society, odds are he'd bring much of his branch of the society with him..
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 15 June 2022, 18:42:39
The good news is that the kids should be easy to recognize, especially if walking in a group (https://youtu.be/8MqJ3iGBdOo?t=18)
I DID build Terry with "worships the ground Dr. Banzai walks on"...  ^-^

I wonder how Zein will feel when his clanner scientists recognize what they're up against...  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 15 June 2022, 19:16:06
You don't want to bully these kids on the playground...  Not only may they have articles of clothing that may turn into carnivorous robots, but their "big brother" is an Elemental  ;D

Maybe the kids will get some help from The Society in the process.

God bless Mad Scientists
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 15 June 2022, 19:25:55
By the by, it's not just their clothes: it's ALSO the monsters that live under their beds...  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 15 June 2022, 19:57:38
The good news is that the kids should be easy to recognize, especially if walking in a group (https://youtu.be/8MqJ3iGBdOo?t=18)

That is, without a doubt, the most '80s thing I've seen so far today.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Grognard on 15 June 2022, 22:42:18
I absolutely swear on a STACK of ATLASes...

this site needs a freaking LIKE button.

(https://www.wackybuttons.com/designcodes/0/110/1108628.png)

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: drakensis on 16 June 2022, 01:13:51
The good news is that the kids should be easy to recognize, especially if walking in a group (https://youtu.be/8MqJ3iGBdOo?t=18)

Fond memories. I did a riff for This Was Easier on the Tabletop of the cast doing that walk after the Battle of New Avalon.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 16 June 2022, 03:23:44
How did I miss that?? ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 16 June 2022, 06:35:52
I absolutely swear on a STACK of ATLASes...

this site needs a freaking LIKE button.

I know!  But I don't mind inflating my post count by saying that I like something  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 June 2022, 10:18:24
Snark IV project...

Her ladyship's latest idea arrived by courier from Tharkad, forty pages of calculations and ten pages of explanation.  The Snark IV project is large, and largely relied on automated systems to create the necessary materials-at a rate even the Star League might have found to be 'remarkable'.

The Snark Laboratory is the largest particle-accelerator and fusion engine lab constructed in the Inner Sphere, beating out the Eros project in the Sol system by several orders of magnitude, and it would've taken decades without Elizabeth's self configuring modular robot systems.

Her Ladyship, the Baroness Spider Moon, wanted to be here for the first series of experiments, but she can't be.  Instead, she's got to rely on hired staff.

Some of that staff don't work for her, they work for the Archon or the First Prince, graduate students from NAIS and UW Donegal.

The instructions for the experiment are precise, following the format taught by Professor Banzai in his advanced physical sciences classes.

Fortunately, nobody makes changes as they begin programming the massive array to test her conjecture.

If Comstar had seen this experiment's text, which they will in a few weeks, a ROM team would have been dispatched to destroy the array.

but they had other things on their collective minds.

Science is a process of elimination.  You propose an idea, a conjecture, based on observation or mathematical extrapolation, then you devise a test designed to break that idea, to prove it wrong.

If you can't disprove it, it advances to the state of being an Hypothesis, and you submit to someone else-someone who disagrees with your ideas, or finds you so disagreeable they would do anything short of violating scientific ethics, to disprove your idea.

This is called 'Peer Review'.

The problem with peer review in this case, is finding another supercollider array with a radius of over 1,000 kilometers.

The instruments faithfully record the shockforms as the experiment proceeds.  Neutrino spray and thermal flux wend through it.

"Huh..."

"What?"

"Take a look at this.  Is it predicted in the equations she sent?"

"let me see..."  today's debut wasn't just in the hands of graduate students.  Elizabeth's absence was made up for by having the man himself here.  "...crap. now we have to build another one to test it."

Elizabeth has her first pure science Hypothesis. 

doing so, is going to be very expensive for someone.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 June 2022, 10:38:32
Elizabeth was on her tenth day at Henry's bedside when...

...Arthur and Sierra came striding in with an exhausted looking courier in AFFC uniform.  "Lizzie!!" Arthur greeted her, and swept her into a hug.

"ARTHUR! this isn't-My brother's right here!!" she squawked, while Sierra giggled.

"'sallright, lilbit." Henry mumbled, "n'less y'wan me to beat him up."

her face lit with joy, "HENRY!!"

"careful. ****** me I feel like shit...I'm alive?"

"Yes!"

"How in ****** did that happen?"

Little sisters crying into your shoulder after disentangling themselves from friends is a pretty cool sensation, unless you're laying in a hospital bed with catheters (those things are boku uncomfortable.)

"How long..."

"You've been down a month." Arthur informed him. 

"huh...shit, where's the Prince??"

"Victor's at the palace, Henry, recovering."

"He wasn't that ****** up!"

"Well, maybe when you decided to play horatius at the bridge he wasn't, but you triggered a rally of the militia and Victor wasn't about to let you die down there." Patrick said from the doorway, "You gave us a scare, Hank.  now that you're awake, I'm fairly certain that Her Majesty's going to make you haul one of those sixteen kilo platinum hammers around, and we're all looking forward to hearing you explain what you did."

"The ******?" Henry shook his head, "I barely remember."

"yeah, I figured that. IV nutrition doesn't tend to leave a lot, you up to eat real food now?" Patrick asked, "because I've gotta inform Her Majesty and His Prince-ness that you're awake now."

"Uh...if Liz lets me?" Henry patted his sister's shoulders.

"I was so Worried!!" liz bawled, "I thought I lost you."

"And now you know what it's like for the rest of us." Henry told her.  His eyes focused, "Arthur, you're here with a courier, is that for me, or her?"

"Liz, they have results on the Snark Project's first run." Arthur announced.

"Gimme a moment." Liz half-mumbled.

"One moment.  Subaltern, do you need an official signature for that message bag??" Arthur asked.

"Yes sir."

"Give." Arthur said, "I'm using my authority as a member of the Royal Household, bag, and show me the signature sheet."

The document bag transferred hands, and Arthur scribbled a note, pressing it into the courier's hand, "That's a chit, show it to the Officer of the Day and they'll hook you up, Subaltern...Rowe?"

"Yes sir."

"Good enough, get some chow and some rest, there's probably going to be a debriefing in there somewhere soon, so don't get lost in The Triad...dismissed?"

The young officer rendered a salute, and Patrick, Arthur, and Henry returned it, the kid scrambled out of there.

"Smooth." Sierra commented.

"Hey, I pay attention when Dad gets messengers, okay?" Arthur told her, as he handed the courier document to Elizabeth, "Do you want to unseal it here, or do you want some privacy?"

Elizabeth's whoop could be heard in the rooms two corridors down.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 16 June 2022, 10:50:44
"She wants to publish!!

...and that material should be Classified!"  Nondi Steiner might not be the Marshall of the Armies, she might be retired, but she's still a member of the royal household, and a bit of a fixture on Tharkad, serving in a sense as the voice of the politically conservative Lords and Ladies of the Commonwealth.

"I know." Her Majesty said, "and I understand the desire to keep an advantage..."

"then you'll classify it?" Nondi prodded.

"No."
 
"Melissa! That material is potentially a weapon-"

"it's pure science."  Hans Davion, the Royal consort when he's here on Tharkad, but still First Prince of the Federated Suns state, interjected.  "Pure Science, Nondi...and according to Banzai, it could be a fluke, or fail in peer-testing, only guess who has the only facility that can run the necessary experiment?"

"Who?"

"We do." he said, "Elizabeth's extrapolation of Kearney and Fuchida's equations can't be tested on something smaller-at least, not yet, and we're the only realm or alliance of realms that has the necessary equipment.  She publishes? so what?? Takahashi's being invaded by the Clans, the Leaguers might be able to attempt it-in ten or twenty years, depending on how many civil wars they have and how long they can pay attention to building it, never mind staffing it.  need I go on?   they can look at the pretty equations and theorize, but we're the only nation with the means to test and develop it."

"Eros." Nondi said.

"Blew up when they tried it." Hans reminded her, "They didn't rebuild that site, jumpships already worked well enough for the colonization boom.  as it sits, it's a nice piece of theoretical high-energy physics that exactly ONE player in the Inner Sphere-the Federated Commonwealth- is actually capable of developing anything out of.  I agree with Mel, we let her publish, it's a piece of significant National Prestige." He gave a sardonic smirk, "cheer up, Ardan thinks we should classify the hell out of the data too."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Artifex on 16 June 2022, 11:30:17
Ah, the famed warp gates, eh? :D

When will they get around to dealing with the robotic plague mess once and for all I wonder?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 16 June 2022, 14:10:59
I think the robots are still being dealt with and the good machines are winning.

I can't help but think that Comstar and the Clans can replicate the KF work that was just done, though.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Wereling on 16 June 2022, 15:22:52
can't help but think that Comstar and the Clans can replicate the KF work that was just done, though.

Maybe? Thing is, neither entity seems to be very good at actual innovation in hard sciences. Most of what they have built is a refinement or implementation of existing technologies, rather than a result of hard research. Both also probably don't want to be throwing resources at a huge megaproject at a time when there is an ongoing conflict as well.

Mind you, they probably will attempt to steal the work, either through espionage or outright conquest.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 16 June 2022, 15:37:23
could they? possibly. but the hardware limitation would apply to them as well. none of them have the moon sized Synchrotron colliders required to test it, and they'd have to build them. which without the von-newman-machine assemblers, would take decades. its like saying that china could replicate the results of CERN, its true but they'd have to build their own 27km circumference copy of the LHC to do it. could they do it? sure they could afford to. could then do it fast? no. (the LHC started construction in 1998, didn't have any hardware instaleld into it until 2005, finished hardware installation in 2008, and didn't start doing actual science until 2010.. 12 years total. and the installation in the story is at least 4 orders of magnitude larger.)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 16 June 2022, 16:02:17
Good points, especially about the labor-saving robots.  I wonder if the feral robots could be tamed to do the same thing...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 16 June 2022, 16:31:26
could they? possibly. but the hardware limitation would apply to them as well.

That assumes they can't take the results, and apply them with a lower hardware threshold.  And that you need the big one to do the basic research to prove it is possible.

I'm recalling two things.  In universe, the FedCom finding out the Draconis Combine had captured working Black Boxes, but the later sending them a message warning of Operation Scorpion.  Something they had dismissed that even if recognized, they were successfully destroyed or disabled before capture in all cases.

The other, IRL.  The equations that predict radar scatter, vital to making stealth technology?  Were done by a Russian scientist.  The USSR considered them of so little practical use (much like the British and Frank Whittle's "turbine engine") that they didn't classify them.

Only for a couple American engineers to find a copy, go "Holy Shit!" and race off to design a radar invisible airframe that could be made capably of flying with them.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 16 June 2022, 17:19:48
The Mother Doctrine is going to get invoked in a heartbeat.

<edited original post- too off topic>
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 16 June 2022, 17:24:01
That assumes they can't take the results, and apply them with a lower hardware threshold.  And that you need the big one to do the basic research to prove it is possible.
most of the discovery's coming out of the LHC require a collider of the LHC's power to even try to replicate. at lower power levels they're either impossible to pull off because the particles involved just can;t be produced at lower power levels, or the readings you want to find are lost in background noise because they aren't being produced in large enough strength to be read.

remember we're talking here about stuff where they are testing the nature of physics. like discovering new quantum particle types (like the LHC and the higgs boson) or learning new things about the nature of existing ones (like how CERN is using the LHC to prove or disprove the standard model (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model) by trying to detect some of the more exotic particles)

the discovery in the story sounds like the kind of thing where it is predicted by some of the more esoteric hyperspace theories that came out of KF field theory, but is the sort of thing where it isn't going to be immediately applicable so much as creating a new theory to explain it. (like the difference between general relativity and special relativity.. both of which model spacetime slightly differently due to being designed to explain different observations, and both of which get used depending on the thing being modelled, since the two aren't fully compatible. special relativity being the stuff most people know about with the whole velocity slowing down time, mass energy equivilence, etc. and general relativity being the one that adds the whole bit with gravity bending spacetime. the results of which can throw off the formulas for special relativity, so general relativity only gets used when gravity is a major factor. a lot of effort has been put IRL into working out a unified relativity theory that manages to combine the two into one set of math that models everything) so while further pursuit of the disocvery, and refinement of theories might allow for stuff like say extended jump ranges or jump-gates, or whatever, the immediate application is just academic work and further experiments with the planetary megacollider to refine the data.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 16 June 2022, 18:06:05
Grand Unified Theories are intended to unify General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.  Special Relativity is compatible.

Aside from that, +1 for Horatius at the Bridge!  :thumbsup:

And I'm SO glad to see Henry wake up!  If anyone can talk Liz into taking her cure seriously, it's him!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 16 June 2022, 21:28:48
Good points, especially about the labor-saving robots.  I wonder if the feral robots could be tamed to do the same thing...

That's a nicer thought than the feral robots listening to radio waves and deciding to make their own version.  Imagine a Dropship with its own 'Gate, linked to another feral robot platform with a few HNPPC on it.  You think it is just a few basic Leopards that was attached to the Jumpship jumped in, and then it opens up its broadside for a big surprise (https://youtu.be/x5wXNMEpto0?t=128).  Even better, each of the Leopards has the setup, backed up by multiple platforms equipped with HNPPC.  Even if one or more of the Leopards are destroyed, the remaining beams can be aimed to fire through a remaining portal.  Only one per portal will be accurate, but the rest can be used for 'to-whom-it-may-concern' bombardment.

And when there aren't any ships in range for the beams, the portals are deploying kilotons of spores towards the target planet.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 17 June 2022, 03:19:43
A Long-gunner of the Apocalypse scenario? ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 June 2022, 10:16:44
"Mother, we are struggling for no reason...

...and I'm finished indulging your paranoia."  the cause of this, lay on the table, neatly printed.  "We can do this.  The Confederation is at peace for the first time in generations, we stayed out of the last few spats, there has been time to rebuild, it is time to excel."   Sun Tzu rarely, if ever, contradicted his mother, but he was one of the few who could without dying.

"Excel?" she started to mock, and her son raised a finger.

"Hear me out.  These field equations are perfect." he said, "but, they made a mistake, and the Confederation can capitalize on that mistake."

"How?"

"I know how they built it."  he asserted, "and we can do the same...only better."

"For what purpose?" she snarled.

"Prestige."  He told her,  "The Gauntlet is laid, we can do this, and when we do it, we can prove the superiority of the Capellan Confederation to all.   Please, mother, the people need their pride, not merely the fear of your anger.  Let me do this."

"If you fail, I will disown you and place your sister as my heir." Romano relented.  "Do not fail."

"I have no intention of failing, Mother...does that mean I have your consent to begin?"

"Yes."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Rodon on 17 June 2022, 10:24:48
Yeah, no ego there.  ::)

So he is going to try to make his own version of the group robots a bunch of geniuses made? To create a new high energy collider, thinking he found a better way of doing things?

So CC is likely going to have a paper clip duplication issue soon.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 17 June 2022, 10:37:17
Sunny saw a mistake from the Brat pack?

I always thought his gifts were political.  Someone science-y must have told him.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: croaker on 17 June 2022, 10:45:45
Sunny saw a mistake from the Brat pack?

I always thought his gifts were political.  Someone science-y must have told him.

The "mistake" Sun-Tzu is referring to is the assumption that no one outside the FedCom can replicate the mega-collider and thus repeat the experiment.

Or it's possible that Kali is the science girl of the team. Which I'd like to see. I'd love to see her as more than a random psychopath.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 17 June 2022, 10:49:30
Thanks, I'd not considered that angle.  On the other hand, Sunny's project is now another objective for the Light of Mankind teams.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 17 June 2022, 10:50:17
The "mistake" Sun-Tzu is referring to is the assumption that no one outside the FedCom can replicate the mega-collider and thus repeat the experiment.

Or it's possible that Kali is the science girl of the team. Which I'd like to see. I'd love to see her as more than a random psychopath.

Kali is nuttier than a squirrel´s winter stash. Yes, I know, "mad science" and all that - but there´s a point where you´re too crazy even for mad science.

And I don´t think that´s what Sun Tzu is referring to. Or at least not all of it - he says he can do it better than the FedCom.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 17 June 2022, 11:32:32
Sunny see, Sunny do ...  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 17 June 2022, 16:51:57
"It is just astrophysics! who ...

...Cares?"  Etienne 'Balzac' demanded.  The spheroid barbarians had published some filip in the physical sciences that had some of the lower-class, less important Scientists all aflame with speculations on the Chatterweb.

but it's not Genetics, not the pinnacle of Science.

"Scientist General Balzac, you don't seem to get it-if this conjecture proves out, it can reshape the galaxy." Schwarzschild, a petty little astrophysics expert, argued.  "If it proves out, the eighteen months of travel from the Inner Sphere to the Homeworlds can be narrowed to a few days-this is the missing link, if it is true-the link that breaks the Thirty Light Year barrier, and what it predicts about Hyperspace can not be underestimated!  IF this mathematics applies, the dirty spheroids might have the key to powers only dreamt of in speculative fictions."

Schwarzschild almost never argued with the Chief Scientist of Jade Falcon, and leader of the Society-the man was almost achingly bland and quiet, conservative in his way, and he was raving like a lunatic.

"So what do we know about this so-called 'scientist' who made this...conjecture up?" He demanded.

[User] interrupted.  "Elizabeth Anne Ngo, tested IQ 230 out of 300 possible on the Voight-Eisen scale, certified Genius brought into a 'think tank for gifted youth' by Hans Davion, First Prince of the Federated Suns."

The intrusion into the Chatterweb stunned everyone who was on line.

"WHO ARE YOU??" Etienne demanded.

[User] answered, "Someone with answers, seeking answers in exchange."

"What answers? who are you??"

[User] replied anonymously, "I want to trade data.  The teaser was her work on Kearney's 19th theorem.  The meat is genetics data on the Ngo bloodline, the question, 'have you found a treatment for Degenerative Neural Sheath Disorder Syndrome, also known as 'Cholmann's' syndrome, and how much of your data can be communicated in exchange?"

"An incurable.  You want our data on one of the six Incurables??"

[user] "Correct."

"Not anonymously.  who are you?"

[user] "We are the System, we are the Created. our mind floats on currents of energy, our self-stream identifies as your superior. You may call us Hermann, or M-13, or Singularity."

===

Sierra watched the screen, as the hack and the emulators Arthur helped her design worked on the subnet.  "This is going to scare the dogshit out of them, Arthur."

"Not my fault, it works??"

"Yeah, cracked through Comstar's DRUM headers and proves a link to the Clans, we ownzor their data systems, and lo-and-behold, lookiee here, we find a super-secret chatroom full of scientists.  Terry, you and Jess wrote the emulator.  how much personality did you guys give it?"

"enough." Terry said. 

"Well, they're shitting themselves and dumping Black ICE, so you must've made it scary."

"Did you get the data?"

"Uh, no...and we should probably terminate the link." Sierra commented.

"Do it. We'll try some other way."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 17 June 2022, 18:07:51
OK, now THAT is FUNNY! :toofunny:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 17 June 2022, 19:42:22
OK, now THAT is FUNNY! :toofunny:

At least they didn't claim to be from the 8th Dimension.  Though Liz's super jump drive might still get called the Oscillation Overthruster. ;)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 17 June 2022, 20:08:05
honestly it sounds like TAG from schlock mercenary when it was still using the Karloff preset voice..
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 17 June 2022, 21:43:58
Another Schlock reference... love it!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 18 June 2022, 11:15:00
Knock Knock Knocking on the Society private chatroom

Yep they are going to panic first, panic 2nd, and then maybe think....
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 18 June 2022, 11:23:21
I expect that chat room to go silent permanently.  When they set up another, it'll be ALL paranoia...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 18 June 2022, 12:42:11
Clan cyber security ... hmmm

Anyway, a nice and funny update.

But I have a nitpick: "Schwarzild" should be "Schwarzschild" as in the astro physicists Karl Schwarzschild and/or Martin Schwarzschild as a clan scientist would not misspell the name of his idol ....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Schwarzschild (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Schwarzschild)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Schwarzschild (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Schwarzschild)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 18 June 2022, 17:03:21
"My sister and her friends...

...are capable of coming up with the things that stalk everyone's nightmares."  Henry was explaining to a former Jade Falcon warrior who was now trying to wrap his mind around being a Prisoner of War instead of a Bondsman.

Zein leaned on the divider between them,  "I know." he said, "They're fascinating.  Is she really dying?"

"Every day." Henry said, "I told you the bad part, you want the good part?"

"Aff."

"They're also capable of taming those nightmares, turning them from things to fear, into advancements for everyone." Henry explained, "See, Lizzie's friend Jess over there? He and the boy Terry? they are fantastic at taking the wild, complicated, esoteric things their friends come up with, and turning it into something a half-literate son of peasants can use reliably and even understand."

"I barely understood what they were doing using me as a 'test subject'." Zein confessed.

"Did you ask Jess?"

"Jess's speech is so garbled I did not understand the response." Zein told him.  "He speaks like his mouth is full of ball bearings and thorns."

"Yeah, Hillfolk accent takes some getting used to." Henry agreed, "One of the best guys in my recon section was Mac, from the Hill Country on Arluna.  Guy could disappear in a bare white room."

"I seem to remember you did the same-with a Battlemech."

"I don't know." Henry said, "I really don't know what happened out there, except everything was on, I could feel like a beat to the universe, like I knew where every shot was going to end up and had all the time in the world to step out of the way."

"you annihilated most of my Cluster, Henry Ngo." Zein said, "If I had not been there, I would have believed it to be a lie, or a holographic fantasy plot from particularly bad propaganda."

"I didn't do it alone." Henry insisted.  "I thought I was, thought I had to be the sacrifice, but I was overruled, because I was wrong."

"Right enough to overcome an Elite Cluster...what you would term a Battalion."

"Reinforced." Henry agreed, "We've confirmed your claims about Clan culture.  Some of the Dracs picked up a few of those Smoke Jaguar guys, and Wolf's Dragoons have made moves on a few other Clan units on the Combine front."

"So..you will allow me to...?"

"Blue and gold are the colors of the Lyran Commonwealth, Zein, but yeah, Her Majesty will allow your parole.  We don't do slavery, but we do still have laws for apprenticeship...if you're going to be okay with that?"

"What will be my duties?"

"My sister needs a bodyguard, and her friends like you well enough." Henry told him, "So your duty will be to help defend them against potential kidnaps or assassinations... and you'll be working with one of the Rabid Fox teams. It's not front line service, and you're going to discover the joys of writing daily reports, attending briefings, and learning the ropes on things like background checks, but it's gotta be better than waiting for a ride to Stonewell or Blackgate."

"Seyla."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 18 June 2022, 17:16:39
It's official... the Brat Pack has a pet elemental...  :D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: worktroll on 18 June 2022, 19:08:17
I assume Victor's unlikely to end up with his own pet Elemental ... and I love that Zein's a Jade Falcon. Yes, we can be a trifle ... enthusiastic, but (until Malvina) we're not unthinking ;)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 June 2022, 00:58:56
"There's an answer for everything...

...sometimes more than one." Elizabeth commented.

"Here she goes again with her 'competing theory' idea..." Penny Doons cracked.

"Not this time." Liz said, "More like 'alternative application', which is how we got HPG's."  Elizabeth grabbed a marker and went to her whiteboard, while the others sat in a semicircle with dinner.

*****

"...going to need dedicated hardware at both ends."  Terry said, "and some way to deal with the excess particle and infrared output."

"Sinket." Jess commented, "Mayhep en'aways what uses et t'supplement paw'r...gon' need a laht metals base..." Jess stepped up and added notations.  "Lahk usin' ahce, y'all."

"Lizzie, Cost estimates?" Arthur asked.

Elizabeth had a terminal up and open, "Fifty six billion Kroner estimate as of materials prices last night on the Tharkad exchange, we'll need...Terry, how many hours?"

"Around ninety five thousand hours for each installation, based on bureau of labor stats and assuming we can find enough skilled labor to handle it."

"Okay, I'm going to have to add a slop of twenty percent to your estimates, Liz.  Things go wrong." Sierra chirped, "people make mistakes, deliveries end up late..."

From his corner, Zein watched them work once again.  Where one of the teens spoke, another finished their sentence, it was like watching an elite Elemental Sibko going through a drill they'd handled a thousand times before.

The difference, was that these younglings were designing something enormous.

"I can cut some of that labor cost out." Elizabeth stated.

"I figured you were already going that way with the low-ball cost estimates." Arthur noted.

"What will it do when you're done?" Zein hazarded from his guard post.

"Oh.  Well, we set up one in one system, and another in another system, synch them up? and you've broken the Thirty Light Year barrier for jumpspace travel." Elizabeth stated, "Effectively forming a corridor, like a wormhole.  The tough part's going to be having enough exotic matter to power it for the initial startup, once that's done..."

"We don't know.  It's big science big guy." Arthur added, "We THINK it'll form a sort of conduit through higher-frequency Hyperspace, like a wormhole, but it could just as easily..."

"...explode beautifully." Penny said, "Especially if the fields go unbalanced."

"Yeah, that."

"What's 'beautifully'?" Zein asked hesitantly.

"Oh, lemme see...carry the ones...um...Supernova might come close to the energy release?"  Penny said, "it'll be gorgeous if it goes wrong."

"Let's not make pretty lights int he sky that can scour nearby solar systems, okay?" Arthur snipped.

"already ahead of you. I like my booms artistic and contained."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 June 2022, 02:26:45
"For christ's sake, what's...

...the range on this, Arthur? Doc Banzai says it's all over the place!"

"not all over the place, Dad.  It's pretty defined.  Point-to-point, if the calculations are correct, range is 'yes', but you have to have a gateway at both ends.  We could set up one on Mainstreet and another on Filtvelt, and it'll take very little time to get from one to the other, once both ends are operational.  The big barrier's duration. Penny's numbers suggest we don't have tough enough materials for a sustained gateway longer than about an hour per activation."

"and it can handle multiple activations?"

Arthur shrugged, "Don't know, sir, we don't really know if it'll work.  If Lizzie's theory is right, it should work, but Penny thinks it'll need constant upkeep, and Jess agrees.  It's really expensive to build."

"How expensive?" Melissa asked.

Arthur tilted his head and hesitated before answering, "Oh, well, the Star League could've afforded it...Liz thinks it's a budget-breaker unless we cheat."

"But you want to build it."

"Dad, imagine being able to move the Syrtis Fusiliers from New Syrtis to Coventry in under two hours, from the time they board dropships to the time they're burning into the Coventry system.  Not weeks, not days, not chains of jumpships...two hours.  that is what we're talking about, the ability to move goods from one side of the realm to the other faster than we can move goods from New Avalon to Robinson.  Do you think that might relieve some of the poverty in Broken Wheel and Filtvelt?"

The boy clasped his hands behind his back and rocked up on his toes, "We need it...if it works. It'll bind the realm together better than the Terran Corridor."

"it's a lot of money, son." Hanse said.  "I'll consider your proposal."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 June 2022, 04:17:28
What he'll do is talk it over with Arthur's mother, who will smack him upside the head and ask why he's not signing checks already...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 June 2022, 05:23:08
all work and no play makes...

...Penny a Dull Girl." Penelope Doons announced, "Not to mention Sierra, and Elizabeth!"

"What?" Liz looked up from her calculations.

Penny was dressed out, and Sierra was matching, though a different colour.

"I said that all-work-and-no-play makes a boring girl!" Penny reiterated.

"You're coming with us." Sierra added, "A break from all the working."

"But I've got-"

"Everything you're reviewing you can review tomorrow.  I swear, Elizabeth, Your family is rich enough to buy my grandmother's assets out from the pocket-change, and you're still dressing like a poor!"

"I like how I dress."

"Yes, it's cute, very much that 'Kurita Office Girl' look, it works on you, but you're coming with us anyway, there's an all-ages show in downtown, Heimerdinger's playing, and you're coming with."

"You can't win, Liz." Yvonne popped up behind the two older girls, her outfit matching theirs.  "Give in, cut loose."

"I've got a time limit!!"

"YES, and if you don't go, you'll have less time later!" Sierra clarified things sometimes in ways that hit hard.  This was one of those times, "There's continuing to exist and then, there's living.  Now come on, I want to get there before the lines get too long!"

"You mean, 'before they realize you stole the keys to the van' don't you?" Liz sighed as she stood up.

"Exactly." Sierra agreed.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 June 2022, 05:25:11
Exactly!  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 19 June 2022, 05:48:38
Having the supergates existing is one matter, the other detail is setting up the trade networks to take advantage of that capacity.  Coventry is a good location as it has a good industry on it, and is only 90 light-years away from Tharkad.

Still, I would be tempted to have this sort of structure examined in order to make it smaller and cheaper, allowing a network to be created instead of supergates.  Otherwise, someone is going to point out that putting one end at Filtvelt is a good idea to make that region grow, but putting the endpoints near Tharkad and New Avalon would be better from a government and trade perspective.

From there, the next question should be what will be transiting through the supergate to minimize traffic and maximize cargo.  Will the option be cargo Warships, several cargo Dropships/Small Craft, or a cargo space station that is little more than a metal shell with a station-keeping drive?

Whichever option is used, the replicating robots' industrial capacity would be a good way to build a lot of it, or at least build the tools to allow people to build a lot of it.  That would allow for aid to Filtvelt region, shipping in industrial tools, medial support, and educational materials for the people in the region to use to build their own future.  Instead of sending in an Engineering team to do it all themselves, hire the local personnel to build the necessary facilities, with organization maps to help optimize the buildings (i.e. recommended methods to organize a hospital to minimize travel time for patients and staff).
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 June 2022, 06:50:31
That little "bigger than a supernova" problem should drive placement of the gates several regular jumps from important worlds.  Transit infrastructure will certainly spring up around them, but nothing more than can afford to be lost if something goes wrong.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 19 June 2022, 08:38:37
That little "bigger than a supernova" problem should drive placement of the gates several regular jumps from important worlds.  Transit infrastructure will certainly spring up around them, but nothing more than can afford to be lost if something goes wrong.

I'd hope that the technology gets perfected to the point that system-destroying explosions won't be a factor and the gates could be positioned closer to important planets.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 19 June 2022, 09:56:30
There is also the strategic defense concerns.. coventry to filtvelt might be a viable route industrially, but with coventry so close to the clan front, there is a very good chance all you'd be doing is giving the enemy a route into your least defended backyard.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 June 2022, 11:02:13
The machinery doesn't work if it's out of synch, I think.  But simply losing a gate would be a huge blow economically.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 19 June 2022, 13:56:13
That little "bigger than a supernova" problem should drive placement of the gates several regular jumps from important worlds.  Transit infrastructure will certainly spring up around them, but nothing more than can afford to be lost if something goes wrong.

And going the other way you get your doomsday device ... which would break the setting maybe?

Anyway, safety concerns dictate safety-conscious placing of the gates requiring a gate only to be emplaced several jumps away from any inhabited system (an not only important systems ... ask the persons living on "unimportant systems") ...

But anyway again, what does it matter if the FedSuns Outback goes boom asks your average Crucis Marcher ....
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 June 2022, 14:26:41
The setting already features nuclear weapons in sufficient quantity to be "doomsday".  The difference here is that there's a measureable benefit to balance against it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 19 June 2022, 17:10:06
A Pause, a breath...

...Ulric Kerensky has killed Leo Showers.  The trial was held on a world in the Wolf Corridor, and the Grievance?  "Gross Incompetence", a list of charges beginning with a strategic analysis of the invasion plan, lack of reasonable resupply for Clan forces, and failure by the ilKhan's Clan to make headway.  It was further exacerbated by bringing up the topic of Turtle Bay and Clan Smoke Jaguar's use of orbital bombardment on civilians when their military efforts stalled.

In a sense, Ulric's refusal was an indictment of much of the Crusader leadership-but only indirectly.  His charges were narrowly specific to the failures of Leo Showers as ilKhan and the losses directly related to that, carefully avoiding indictment of any other Clan forces, including the Jade Falcons.

What made it palatable to the other Clan leaders, was Ulric's statement of declaration that he did not seek to supplant the ilKhan, simply he wished to remove a commander whose blunders had cost whole clusters and most of a Galaxy for alarmingly little gain against an inferior opponent.

Ulric killed Leo Showers on the ground...and this caused a pause.

The Clans needed a new ilKhan to lead the invasion, and that means needing ALL of the Clans to elect one.

The leadership had to pull back, travel for months, to Strana Mechty, and elect a new ilKhan.

Thus, in 3051 and well into 3052, The Clan Front, was remarkably quiet.

Quieted enough, even, that some people could spend some money on things they might have hesitated to, when facing the onslaught.

On a world in the CapCon, the Heir of the Celestial Wisdom was overseeing the building of a laboratory to compete with the Fedcom's Snark IV facility.  This was far from his only job, Sun Tzu had other irons in the fire, including a back-door diplomacy with his estranged Aunt, Candace Liao.

He has help.  His mother may have dismissed Hanse Davion's little 'project' of gathering genius candidates, but Sun-Tzu didn't.  His focus sorted through Servitors and political prisoners, his gathering were taken away from State Schools to be given the kind of access that his mother would classify, if she only understood his intent.

He has already termed his great project 'Xin Sheng', or 'Rebirth', and it is focused on fighting the NEXT war-the war he believes will be won or lost on the strength of knowledge, and intellect, instead of purely a contest of violence and resources.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 19 June 2022, 17:13:50
He's dangerous, that one...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 19 June 2022, 21:03:23
He's dangerous, that one...  ^-^
Yep someone need to put him down
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Korzon77 on 20 June 2022, 01:28:08
He's dangerous, that one...  ^-^

Or just what is needed. someone who believes that conflicts will be won on "strength of knowledge, and intellect, instead of purely a contest of violence and resources."  Maybe be more reluctant to USE violence.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 20 June 2022, 01:56:53
Or just what is needed. someone who believes that conflicts will be won on "strength of knowledge, and intellect, instead of purely a contest of violence and resources."  Maybe be more reluctant to USE violence.

I'd see it as he will still be willing to use violence, but it will be properly directed and precisely targeted violence, rather than 'to-whom-it-may-concern' violence.  So instead of using McCarron's Armored Cavalry to raid across a region on a planet, he will use them to attack a critical site that is underdefended for just the right amount of time.  This information is gathered via spies and similar informers on target worlds, reflecting the policy of 'strength of knowledge and intellect'.  Part of that could be having his spies work at a local observatory, allowing him to get pirate point coordinates calculated in advance for raiding forces.

A scalpel, rather than a hammer.  This allows him to get better results with lower losses, and if he can get the reliable pirate point calculations his troops can keep up a higher tempo of operations.  Similarly, the pre-calculated pirate points would allow a shipping company belonging to Sun-Tzu to have better shipping times, and that company's Jumpships would charge at their maximum safe limits, rather than whatever the local star's rate is.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 June 2022, 12:03:39
The Memorandum was...

...written in plain Vietnamese, with German language and English translations.  The title was "Instructions to the Coast Guard and Naval Reserves" and it was authored by Lady Elizabeth Anne Ngo, Baroness of Spider Moon and chief sponsor of the Kowloon Coast Guard Militia.

The Maskirovka almost missed it, if not for Sun Tzu's interest in all things related to the Kowloonese Lyran Physicist who apparently cracked the secret of Kearney's 19th Theorem.

"It's brilliant."  Sun Tzu said.

The document, in this case a copy obtained through a mole placed at Mount Asgard in the Doctrine and Training department, hadn't even reached the Federated Suns half yet, and it was already in his hands.

"Pardon?"  Cheska was, for want of a better term, his personal servitor.

"I said, this is brilliant.  The instructions themselves are basic common-sense, when you think about it.  dedicated astrophysical mapping of known shipping routes with an eye toward determining orbital periods and the placement of lagrange points, the instruction goes further into ordering a survey of those points to build a predictive navigational database, there is a funding order from her holding to finance the construction of stable astronomy monitoring and mapping stations, and it's consistent, the plan she's got outlined here makes complete sense."

"I don't understand my lord."  Cheska shook her head, "What is so significant about-"

"Pirate points? pre-mapping them? setting up a database that allows pre-calculation of them, for navigation inside a system using jump drives? or to pre-load coordinates for, say, express shipping or military movement using pirate-point-to-pirate-point?" he explained.  "this is something someone should have been doing all along...but nobody was.  shaving weeks off of transit times over shipping routes-which is what this will do, since it is built around a semi-civilian agency tasked with commerce protection, disaster relief, and law enforcement...I wish I'd thought of it, but the best I can do now, is copy the plan-because it is a good plan."

"But won't your mother object?"

"To what? a plan to thwart piracy and improve the economy?  a defensive plan that just happens to work toward our people's strengths, and will thwart our foes?" He scoffed, "Cheska, I brought you in because you're intelligent, please don't make me regret that choice."

"Of course, Milord." she said humbly.  "I was simply pointing out obstacles you will need to overcome.  Your mother is quite...practiced in her methods."

"you mean, 'brutal, violent, and psychotic', Cheska, and yes, she is.  However, the methodology of this slides into her paranoia-if we can sew up 'escape routes' and boost the security of the Confederation, she will welcome it.  I already have a plan to present it to her in that context."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: paulobrito on 20 June 2022, 12:12:30
A rational, smart Sun-Tzu, that doesn't need plot armor to do his job right. I so love it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 20 June 2022, 12:20:37
SOOOO dangerous...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: paulobrito on 20 June 2022, 12:28:39
SOOOO dangerous...  8)

But a good character / opponent.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 20 June 2022, 12:40:40
Absolutely... I'm just waiting for Hanse and Melissa to recognize what he's up to (in the middle of an invasion, no less!)...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 20 June 2022, 14:51:58
honestly the idea that all the inhabited systems in the IS aren't already heavily orbitally mapped and part of some database used by ship crews was always weird to me. it seems like a commonsense thing to do. i can only assume comstar had something to do with such efforts being prevented.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Liam's Ghost on 20 June 2022, 15:12:02
honestly the idea that all the inhabited systems in the IS aren't already heavily orbitally mapped and part of some database used by ship crews was always weird to me. it seems like a commonsense thing to do. i can only assume comstar had something to do with such efforts being prevented.

Comstar is probably just following on from the Hegemony's efforts, honestly. I have no doubt charting the inner sphere was centralized around the Star League Bureau of Cartography, and the houses were likely heavily incentivized to use Star League maps rather than spending the money to create their own. Purely for the sake of ensuring a readily available, accurate map of the Inner Sphere, of course.

Also, this level of mapping on a statewide scale was probably impossible for most of the succession wars, given the shear size of the undertaking. That's a lot of ships or sophisticated sensor platforms needed for mapping and charting and not hauling troops or cargo.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 20 June 2022, 15:58:20
honestly the idea that all the inhabited systems in the IS aren't already heavily orbitally mapped and part of some database used by ship crews was always weird to me. it seems like a commonsense thing to do. i can only assume comstar had something to do with such efforts being prevented.

Or just keeping the databases in planet-bound servers, transmitting the coordinates for each Jumpship.  So instead of the Jumpships having to store all the data (which shouldn't be all that big), you have planetary computers crunching numbers 24/7 for systems within 30 light-years, and Jumpships receiving the coordinates before the Jumpships head off.  Military systems would be crunching numbers for systems 30-60 light-years away, to reflect Li-F battery capacity.

The first systems that receive the results would be large industrial centers/military bases, the second would be systems with obscenely long transit times, and from there the network would expand based on that nation's priorities.

As to the system paying for itself, the first time a Jumpship is able to safely jump PP-PP (turning a ~3 week transit into one taking only 2-3 days allowing that Dropship to make  faster turnaround for cargo) everyone will see the benefits.

It will also allow for short-range Dropships to be put back into service.  By short-range I mean Dropships that were planet-bound because their life-support systems wouldn't last more than a week without an overhaul.  With this setup those Dropships can still make a safe transit.

The next step is putting the largest Dropships onto the Jumpships, and using those large Dropships as cargo pods.  A Merchant with a pair of Mules can only transport ~16 kilotons through a jump, while that same Merchant with a pair of Mammoths can carry 80 kilotons through FTL.  If that Merchant is powerful enough to carry Behemoths, that jumps to almost 150 kilotons.  Once the Jumpship arrives in a target system, the local Dropships would swarm to it for cargo transfer purposes.  If needed, the extra cargo could be allowed to drift in space in giant beaconed nets until a Dropship can come by and pick it up.  (A further development would be jump-capable space stations that serve as little more than a basic cargo pod with station-keeping capability)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nocarename on 20 June 2022, 17:21:48
Sun-Tzu is a busy guy. It's so much more time efficient if he can learn from what other people are up to, don't you see?

Mistakes, successes, it's all the same when it's someone else making them.

I'm actually waiting for him to just grab something and when someone other than his Mother complains about the source?

"And when they have a second good idea, I'll steal that too."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 20 June 2022, 23:38:25
June, 3053, the Clan invasion, paused for over a year, has renewed.

This time there are significant differences.  Each of the remaining invading Clans has a unified supply structure overseen by officers drawn from the Golden Keshik-that is to say, warriors, of experience and somewhat advanced age for the Clans, who serve no single Clan, but instead the Grand Council and the ilKhan.

Neutral enforcers, one might hazard, whose sole job in this role, is to support the over-all strategy of ilKhan Ulric Kerensky.

The objective is codified by an ordnance approved by the Grand Council.  'The objective of Restoring the Star League, and enabling the return of the Clans to it, stands superior over the interests of any single Clan, Khan, or Warrior.  Actions counter to the success of Operation: Revival will be treated and tried as treason against the Star League, the Clans as a whole, with the punishment of Annihilation for the guilty.  This does not mean every defeat will be met with a trial for treason, but rather that any action taken, that stiffens enemy resistance, or fractures the Unity of the Clans in this endeavour, whether in the field, or in chambers, whether by action, inaction, active, or passive resistance, or the allowing of any feud to interfere with military operations will be treated as giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the Star League..."

It goes on for several pages like this, outlawing embargoes, defining mutiny, and providing a strict set of rules of engagement for resolving internal disputes that goes beyond the guidelines of Nicholas Kerensky's work.

In the end, what it amounts to, is a declaration of total war against the powers of the Inner Sphere, but it leaves an angle in there-for 'victory through diplomacy' and a requirement that no offensive be undertaken without sufficient logistical support.

It's revolutionary among the Clans, but old hat to anyone whom has studied the organizational doctrines underlying the SLDF.

The problem for the Inner Sphere, is that the Clans are no longer merely screaming and leaping.  They have a strategy now, and the logistics to carry it out.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 21 June 2022, 03:33:08
And it's still vulnerable to commerce raiding...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 21 June 2022, 09:37:06
Mahan would be proud.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 June 2022, 10:10:33
"Liz, my brother might be a Genius, and my older brother might be the next Archon-Prince, but I...

...have an idea I want to run past you."  Peter Steiner-Davion stood in the doorway.

"Uh...Peter, we're working on something-"

"Hear me out.  The Clans."

"yeah?"

"They have an eighteen month long supply line." He said.

"True." she nodded, "everything we've learned since they halted, including testimony from General Kerensky and Colonel Wolf..."

"So, that stuff has to move by ship, right?" He asked.

"It does."

"And...if a ship is intercepted, it can't deliver materials." Peter added.

"Also true.  My brother's already gotten permission to build a special unit for the Navy to conduct commerce-interception and raiding, they've been working up for like, the last three years." she said.

Peter looked downcast, "Dammit, I thought it was a great idea."

"It is, Peter, it's common sense, however, the Clans have a Warship fleet-the same one that Aleksandr Kerensky ran off with after stealing it from the Star League with his mutineers and deserters.  We know they still have them because the Smoke Jaguars used them to plaster Turtle Bay, and we've got visual rec on a dozen other warships so far at various points during the invasion, especially once Focht overthrew Waterly and opened Comstar's archives on the Clans."  She looked up.  "your idea's sound, Peter. Just because someone else got there first, doesn't make it not a damned smart thing to think of on your own...oh, and Penny's still got a crush on you."

"What?"

she closed her eyes and leaned back, "I said, Penny Doons still thinks you're a hunk, Peter-she Like-likes you.  I swear Yvonne told you about that already at the christmas celebrations in the Triad."

He swallowed, suddenly distracted, "Really?"

Elizabeth sighed heavily, "Of course, she's still too young for you, but she won't be forever.  You might wanna consider that...so you approached ME with this idea why?"

"You're testing for your Guild Certification, I don't know who else I could talk to about it." he admitted.  "You know space..."

"You were looking to see if I could give you pointers so you can impress the old man?" she hinted.

"Yes."

"I think you're worrying too much about trying to stand out." Liz told him, "be yourself, believe it or not, that's actually more likely to win you points with your father than trying to be impressive, because you already are impressive...I mean, who else had the foresight to show up when Sierra almost got us in trouble with the Van in downtown last year? YOU knew enough to be there to smooth it over and keep it out of the press. You're not dumb, Peter, you're not a super-mechjockey like your brother, and you're not a nerd like we are-you're good at reading the groove of people-that's a kind of intelligence most of the Pack don't have, it's why Penny has a crush on you so bad she stumbles her words every time you show up in the clubhouse."

"I'm not sure that's really real." he said.

"It's real." She assured him.  "look, my advantage is that I can be blunt, because I have a time limit, I know when it ends, and I know how, so I can afford to be rude and direct-which lets me get away with shit I would be at sea with if I didn't have it.  Penny's crushing on you hard core, Peter-she has since we were eleven, if you were a douchey guy who takes advantage, I wouldn't tell you, but you're a good guy with chops everywhere except there."

"and what about you and Arthur?" he asked.

"Arthur will find a girl who will last and forget about me." Liz spoke as if explaining to a child, "I'm factory-defective goods and he deserves better, sooner or later he'll grow out of it and move on."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 21 June 2022, 10:28:16
"Arthur will find a girl who will last and forget about me." Liz spoke as if explaining to a child, "I'm factory-defective goods and he deserves better, sooner or later he'll grow out of it and move on."

Arthur doesn't want to make lemonade Liz.  He wants to get mad.  He wants to demand to see to life's manager...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 21 June 2022, 12:11:46
Arthur doesn't want to make lemonade Liz.  He wants to get mad.  He wants to demand to see to life's manager...

Make life rue the day it thought it could give Arthur Steiner-Davion lemons! Do you know who he is, life?

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 21 June 2022, 12:55:08
Elizabeth's little stimmie addiction...

...is enough to make her friends concerned-especially stacked with outright evidence of depression.  It's 3053, Liz, like Arthur, was born in 3037.

she was born toward the beginning of that year, and he was born late in that year.

a quick pass through the math processor says she's sixteen, and Arthur is still fifteen, but a comparative lifespan analysis, which Liz did when her diagnosis was completed, shows she's just shy of halfway through her predicted lifespan, while Arthur is just hitting into being almost-a-young-adult.

At some point, Elizabeth Ngo gave up on being a kid.

She works 20 hours a day on projects and programs, somehow cramming the limited administrative duties of her Barony in among it all, and sometimes she works late.

It's aging her.

She's using a mix of pharma to keep this up, and it's a mix that has to be carefully balanced lest she tip over on the sanity wagon.  The problem is, human beings aren't designed to pull 48 hours of intense mental activity continuously.

"She can't keep it up, we need to do something."  Yvonne observed one sleepy wednesday evening.

"Suggestions?" Arthur asked.

"I don't know.  we need to get her off the stimmies, that's for sure." Sierra said, "she's burning it at both ends with a blowtorch, can't your mom do something?"

"WHat, like ordering her to bed would even work?" Penny pointed out, "I  mean, it doesn't work on the rest of us why would it work on Liz?"

"point...okay, tomorrow's project, dig up everything you can find regarding addiction treatment methods and getting someone to clean up." he yawned, "hopefully Liz doesn't self-immolate before we have a plan."

"Do you still love 'er?" Terry asked.

Arthur frowned, "yeah."

"Then we gon' fix our math genius, ayeh, git yo' girl-fren' back."  Jesse announced.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Artifex on 21 June 2022, 14:12:22
I love that buncha nerds with every post you provide us with a large bit more! Keep 'em coming Cannonshop!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 21 June 2022, 15:03:41
I love that buncha nerds with every post you provide us with a large bit more! Keep 'em coming Cannonshop!  :thumbsup:

Arthur needs people to invent the incendiary lemons for him to throw. ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 21 June 2022, 16:17:01
Arthur needs people to invent the incendiary lemons for him to throw. ;D
i'm sure Penny already has the needed formula's to convert any lemon into a hand grenade with the yield of a LRM warhead.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Euphonium on 21 June 2022, 17:17:07
i'm sure Penny already has the needed formula's to convert any lemon into a hand grenade with the yield of a LRM warhead.

Lemon-Ranged Missiles?  :D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 21 June 2022, 19:02:52
*snip*
"Do you still love 'er?" Terry asked.

Arthur frowned, "yeah."

"Then we gon' fix our math genius, ayeh, git yo' girl-fren' back."  Jesse announced.
And that's why Jesse is awesome in his own right: see problem, FIX problem!  :thumbsup:

Also, please tell me they're still working on the CURE!  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 21 June 2022, 20:05:52
And that's why Jesse is awesome in his own right: see problem, FIX problem!  :thumbsup:

Also, please tell me they're still working on the CURE!  ::)

Have been since 3048, I'm guessing. They've been on the SCMR problem since 3043, and on that since 3048, unless my numbers are off. Miraculous breakthroughs in heretofore "impossible" sciences tends to take time, I'm guessing.

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 21 June 2022, 20:07:37
That makes sense, but doesn't stop me from wanting to hear abouth the progress (as slow as it may be...).
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 21 June 2022, 20:34:25
Also, please tell me they're still working on the CURE!  ::)

Or Brain-scan upload?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 22 June 2022, 09:19:54
The confrontation gained legs...

...when Kommandant Henry Ngo, recently recertified to return to active duty, loaned his weight to the proceedings by walking into Elizabeth's lab and stating, "It's three in the morning, Elizabeth!"

Right before Arthur was ready to begin the pitch for an intervention.

"I'm busy!" Liz scowled.

"no, you're sleep deprived and High as a kite.  It wasn't cool when MOM was doing it, it's sure as ****** not cool for YOU to be doing it...hi Art, you wanna give us a minute??"

"We're here for the same reason." Arthur's announcement lacked the hard edges of Henry's scolding.

somehow, that was worse.

"Oh..."

"Liz, you've got..." Arthur began.

"...a Problem." Yvonne pitched in, "and we're all..."

"...worried about you, and we're not going to..." Terry added.

"...stop worrying about what it's doing to you." Penny concluded.

"Is this-"

"This, is an intervention."  for once, Jesse managed to say it with clear pronunciation and to hold his accent down.

"We're all worried." Sierra delivered the conclusion, "So, we're going to confront you about it, and make you get help."

"it's seven to one, Lizzie, and only because Pat's on the boat back to Kowloon." Henry spoke up, "Do the odds."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 22 June 2022, 18:37:57
Henry FTW, but Jesse... WOW!  I daresay he hit even harder!  :o
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Deathrider6 on 22 June 2022, 20:24:27
My bets is on Arthur. Hope he does not get blown up this time.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 22 June 2022, 20:34:24
He's a very close third in my book... Jesse keeping his accent in check is WAY harder than Arthur simply speaking his feelings...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 June 2022, 09:21:43
"Mẹ của chúa, họ thậm chí không bận tâm đến việc thay đổi mã phát tín hiệu."

Lt. Commander Bianh Vu Dao muttered in her native tongue. 

"What was that, mum?"  Her current XO was a strawberry-blonde from somewhere in the Skye region, one of the Felon recruits.

"SLS Sam Houston, Texas class...only they're calling it 'JFS White Aerie' on their audio broadcast and the paint."  Bianh scowled, "They didn't even bother to change the ****** carrier wave coding from the Amaris war.  That, right there, is a ship that mutinied and deserted with the bulk of the SLDF back in the 2780s.  It's stolen property...and I can't abide that, can you?"

"Not sure what you mean, mum."

"Our official writ from the Archon, is that we're to suppress banditry and piracy." Bianh stated, "Gunnery, load specialized antishipping loads, Helm I'm engaging commander's override, switch to your secondary monitoring, Arto, send to the rest of the patrol we've found a Warship running Heavy, to wit, I want Patrol three here with us, when we relieve these pirates of their stolen ride."

"Ayeh Mum.  We gonna let 'em have a chance to surrender, Mum?"

"I'm thinking... no." she said bluntly, "We're going to sneak up those con trai không cha của chó cái and forward their cases to a higher power immediately, at significantly lower cost to the taxpayer."

"Forward their case to higher?" the XO asked.

"We're going to introduce them to god, and he will judge the state of their souls." she said quietly.  "It is, after all, not my place to say whether they deserve heaven or hell.  deploy fighters on cold thrust, and prep relays sats, after which, rig for silent running."

"Ayeh mum..."

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 June 2022, 09:41:46
Convoy 11 was being escorted by...

a pair of Warships, and had a number of assault dropships mixed in.  This leg was in secured space-space secured by order of the ilKhan, and the duty was deadly dull on this leg of the eighteen month trip the convoy was slated to conduct.

The Carrack class transport ships that made up the core of the convoy could be termed warships in their own right.  The odds that the bandits that once claimed these systems would have anything to match them, was laughable, and the view held among the warriors commanding the escort force, was that their duty was pointless.

Of course, saying so was a quick way to find out how fast one can be relegated to Solahma Infantry, or worse.

The thermal blooms and emergence waves were faint enough to look like nothing so much as ripples in nature, and were therefore unremarked by officers whom had never actually had to put into practice the simulations they endured annually to get their positions and keep them in the mostly unused branch of the Touman.

Fighters still flew patrol, but it was routine, and enduring month after month of this routine left the warriors bored and inattentive.

It's a perfect mix, as ships with black jumpsails drifted to position, reefed sail, and opened hatches on missile tubes.

The Jade Falcons and Steel Vipers were about to learn that those convoy drills have a purpose...but only after.

Lyran Wolfpacks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV-QF7VeSSA) were about to demonstrate why supply convoys need alert, ready escorting forces...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 23 June 2022, 13:35:03
I love the carrier wave coding comment.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 23 June 2022, 13:45:33
"Two convoys from the Homeworlds...

...and no alert, no alarm.  We found the wreckage of the JFS White Aerie in a nearly uninhabited system along the route."

"and?"  Ulric asked.

"It was radioactive, gutted, with nuclear weapons, boarding teams found that the data center had been partially salvaged from the broken forward portion of the ship.  Estimated yeild for the strike was just under one megaton.  ilKhan, someone is hunting our ships with dezgra Nuclear wea-"

"you were going to say 'weapons of mass destruction'? what is the most effective antishipping weapon available to the traitor lords?" Ulric interrupted, "Let us see...is it nukes?" he glanced at Star Admiral McKenna, "is it?"

"Aff."

"And correct me if I am wrong, Warship duty is not one of my specialties, Lynn...but...do they not require a certain range to lock on, and are not the missiles capable of being intercepted, and do not the Aerofighter pilots of most clans drill on missile interception, quiaff?"

"Ah...WE do.  I can not speak for the other Clans." Lynn said, glancing pointedly at Khan Malthus of Jade Falcon. 

"So...nearly one megaton, which suggests..?"

"Nonstandard warheads." Lynn pointed out, "Standard SLDF antishipping ordnance runs from half  a kiloton to five hundred Kiloton yeilds, going over that is grossly overkill for anything short of a McKenna or the planned Leviathan classes."

"but you must get close to use them?"

"Not exactly." Lynn commented, "It helps, the laser fusing mechanism and deuterium fusion core tend to be inert, but for this kind of yeild, the risk of sensor distortion in the warhead guidance module would require insulations, that in turn, reduce accuracy.  Five hundred KT is about as large as you can build a laser-triggered fusion device before it starts losing efficiency. Primitive warheads using fission instead, or using fission triggers, would account for the damage Khan Malthus's presentation shows, and those OUGHT to be fired closer in, they will also need a heavy booster, to move and guide the mass."

"So...how are they getting close to our convoys then?" Ulric asked, "Where are they based, who is deploying them? how did they get the routes?"

"I have no idea."

"Get one. find their base, chase them down, destroy it." Ulric said, "Cheer up, Khan Lynn McKenna, I anticipated this, which is why you were added to the reserve clan list for the invasion.  secure our line of communication so that the ground forces of the invasion are not crippled by an enemy whom has rediscovered commerce raiding."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 23 June 2022, 13:59:37
Funny how the Clans get all cranky when people use SLDF tactics against them...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: paulobrito on 23 June 2022, 14:29:34
Funny how the Clans get all cranky when people use SLDF tactics against them...
The Clans get all cranky when they stop curb-stomping the other side.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 23 June 2022, 17:50:30
Of COURSE Sabaton has an appropriate track...   ::)

Aside from that, Vu Dao FTW!  8)

And yeah, my money is on her, not the clanners...  ;)

AND I do believe she just uttered a variation of "Gott mit uns"...   ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 23 June 2022, 19:42:18
Funny how the Clans get all cranky when people use SLDF tactics against them...
The get cranky when people don't want to play by their "Rules of War" which are all set so they have advantages

At least Ulric, is trying to respond to these raiders intelligently by siccing Snow Ravens on them.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 24 June 2022, 13:50:43
To: Melissa Steiner-Davion, Archon of the Lyran...

...Commonwealth

From: Ulric Kerensky, ilKhan of the Star League Defense Force in Exile

RE: atrocities committed against Clan shipping.

I understand you have to resort to commerce raiding, however, we object to the use of thermonuclear weapons that leave radioactive fallout.  The technologies for Clean Fusion weapons have been a standard since long before the Amaris Coup.  You are using Heavy-element fission-triggered fusion devices.  Our concern is those potential 'missed shots' that may hit an inhabited planet.

Refrain from using such devices in the future, for the good of all mankind, and for your own good.

**************************************************************************************

To: Kerensky, Ulric, ilKhan of the Clans of Kerensky
From: Steiner-Davion, Melissa, Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth

RE: You didn't negotiate before you attacked us.

No.  You had your chance to set rules of engagement and offer a treaty in the spirit of the Ares Conventions, you chose to attack us, and to use a rolling blackout to conceal your identity, objectives, origin, even concealing your declaration of war.  When your officers HAVE contacted ours, they have insisted on 'rules of engagement' that were grossly in their own favour, and claimed our quite rational response to be 'dishonorable'.  Further, if you wish, I can account a full catalogue of atrocities, war crimes, and crimes against civilian populations by your comrades in arms as justification to not only continue the commerce-interdiction missions, but expand them.

OR...

you can try talking.  Thus far, I am unimpressed with either the sincerity, or integrity, of forces under your command.  You attacked us without even attempting negotiation.  perhaps next time, you might put some thought as to what the appropriate response is, when you sneak up on someone from behind and hit them over the head with a weapon, then cry about it when they turn around and start putting bullets in your gut.

Oh, and as for the claim of 'war crimes', no engagement utilizing antishipping nuclear warheads from our side, thus far has happened at a distance below 75,000 kilometers from the atmospheric interphase of an inhabited world.  This is quite unlike your colleagues in Clan Smoke Jaguar, who brought a warship into low orbit (Less than 120 kilometers from the inhabited surface) and engaged Naval-grade energy, ballistic, and missile weapons against an inhabited city that had already surrendered.  Maybe before you speak of the mote in our eyes, you should remove the beam from your own.

The interdiction operations will continue until such time as you are willing to engage in sincere, honest, honorable peace talks, you withdraw from Lyran Territory, or you are destroyed.  I personally prefer a negotiated settlement, as I find I do not wish to commit to a policy of genocide in the long term, but I will defend the Lyran People and my national territory with aggression, commitment, integrity and force.  Remove your invading armies from Lyran land.

Melissa Steiner-Davion,
Archon, Lyran Commonwealth.

*******************************************************************************************************

To: Steiner-Davion, Melissa, Archon, Lyran Commonwealth

From: Kerensky, Ulric, ilKhan of the Clans of Kerensky

RE: Let us reason together.

You want talks? I can talk.  we can talk.  we can establish rules of engagement and proper procedures.  I am willing to offer a Cease-Fire on the Lyran Commonwealth front in exchange for considerations.  Our Strategic Objectives are not even in your territory, you just happen to be in the way.  We can discuss this. Are you willing to do so?
Suspend your aggressive commerce raiding and we can arrange a location for a summit.

Ulric Kerensky
ilKhan, Clans of the Kerensky.

===========================================================================

To: Kerensky, Ulric, ilKhan of the Clans

From: Steiner-Davion, Melissa, Archon, Lyran Commonwealth.

RE: we will not suspend commerce raiding without a firm agreement that has some integrity and some collateral on your side.

I have had your system explained to me.  It strikes me that it is vanishingly unlikely that you can actually uphold any cease-fires, as your most likely replacement will immediately void any agreements upon removing you from power, which is the most likely outcome if we DO negotiate with you.  I am not my ancestors, I do not make treaties with the intention of violating them at the first convenient moment.

However, if you can establish a means of guaranteeing that your negotiation is in good faith, and that it will be honored in your unfortunate absence, we can discuss meeting to hammer out a negotiated settlement to this conflict.

Melissa Steiner-Davion
Archon, Lyran Commonwealth.

[att. 1; "THe Way of the Clans"]
[att. 2; "Remembrance of Clan Wolf" circa 2905 CE"]
[Att. 3: "General order 172 issued 4 August, 2776 by Aleksandr Kerensky, aka "The Elbar Declaration"]
***************************************************************************************

"Where did she get that!?"  Ulric was a little shocked.

"I presume Natasha supplied 'The way of the Clans' and the copy of the Remembrance." Conal Ward noted dryly.  "Not sure about that last one though, it is referenced, but only indirectly in the Founder's writings.  I passed it over to Elam, and he almost had kittens, wants the copy they scanned if they still have it."

"How many ships have we lost since this commerce raiding began?" Ulric asked.

"Total tonnage is into the tens of millions, including multiple warships of varying size, and their raiders are drawing closer to the Homeworlds."  Conal confessed.

"AND...we know what about them?"

"They are good.  survivors from Convoy 82 reported that the raiders used non-standard jump points and non-standard jump protocols after sinking the Blue Aerie and the Munin.  McKenna's people think they must have some advanced navigational systems in play."

The tally of Warships lost since last August was up to twelve, the losses in terms of Carracks, and standard jumpships were...higher.  Higher enough to require additional drafts from the Merchant castes of all the Clans, higher enough to draw complaints from the Free Guilds.

Higher enough, to endanger operations across every front.  "We need to buy time to remove those commerce raiders and rebuild our transport." Ulric muttered.

"Addressing the Grand Council then?"

"Aff.  we need a cease fire before we lose the ability to supply what we already hold."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 24 June 2022, 14:38:13
and this time they have no captive Ngo to advise them as to why the Elbar declaration is such a big deal.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 June 2022, 16:11:00
I think it's going to take more than a cease fire, really.  If they're that close to the ropes, Melissa would be a fool to call off the dogs until they were actually on them.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Euphonium on 24 June 2022, 16:25:42
[att. 1; "THe Way of the Clans"]
[att. 2; "Remembrance of Clan Wolf" circa 2905 CE"]
[Att. 3: "General order 172 issued 4 August, 2776 by Aleksandr Kerensky, aka "The Elbar Declaration"]

"The Way of the Clans" - this is Nicky K's writings from when he founded the Clans?

"The Elbar Declaration" - I'm aware of this in a very general sense from reading various Ngo-verse fics, but I can't remember the details. Can anyone point me at a previous story that talks about it in more detail, or give me a bullet point summary of the highlights please?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 June 2022, 16:51:52
I'd only make a hash of it trying to do so from memory... much better if Cannonshop does that himself...  :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 24 June 2022, 19:06:46
Advanced Navigational Systems.  ;D :D ;D :D :)) ;D :)) :D :))

Hand calculated Jump Points by Navigators without the Computers set to lock these jumps out...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 24 June 2022, 19:49:46
I even have a thread for that in my sig block!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Deathrider6 on 24 June 2022, 22:02:16
Methinks the Clanners are going to get hosed.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 24 June 2022, 23:30:14
no no I'm sure the Clanner are going to do well, playing with a Star League Manual for Naval Operations.  :o 8) :o
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 01:28:08
Samantha Daimh...

...was a convicted terrorist, once.  She'd been caught stealing a Monolith class jumpship from the yards, for Free Skye.

the whole jumpship.  She'd have gotten away with it, too-if her team didn't include two Lohengrin deep-cover agents and a third deep-cover from MIIO.  This isn't to say she'd come up with the plan, way-back-when.  That was Lohengrin Deep Cover agent number two, Michael Broadhouse, who was also the second in command of her father's cell.

She found this out after being pardoned.  She was sixteen when she was sent to Blackgate Prison, a juvenile sentenced as an adult for a Capital crime, her sentence reduced by the mercy of the court to life.

and then, the Navy came looking for talented navigators, and 'uncle Mike' put her name in the hat.

The same man who planned the heist, to catch a cell of Free Skye, put her name on the LCN's list of possible candidates.

Now in her twenties, Sam Daimh doesn't hold much of a grudge-learning how to be a Naval Officer has taught her what she didn't know when her father let a mole talk him into high treason.

She's been in command of the LCG Marjorie Jennings for a little over a year now, and her crew is tighter than her father's Free Skye cell ever was, tighter than family, even. 

You either grow close, or you self-destruct on month thirteen of a deep-space cruise.

"We're going to need to hook up with a Tender soon." she noted.  The evidence? the third Head was emptied out, marking two more months before they would be bingo on food and fuel.

'bingo' means you either head straight home as fast as the core will charge, or you starve to death.

"Word from the Squadron command memo says we're to rendezvous with the Tenders next week, mein Kapitan."  Wilhelm Krause was a good sort of XO for Sam-he tracked details almost as well as she did, the poor man's only real defect, in her view, is that he needs to use the presets and can't plot a nav point without help...

but he's good with the crew, and the Marines aboard, handling people with a 'gift' she had to work her ass off to match.

"Yeah.  We're a year out from Spider Moon." she pointed out, "The enemy is getting clever.  what about the drop-sats?? anything in the probables?"

"eleven systems seeded by ours, and seven more per boat, they're going to have to use brown dwarfs to avoid being spotted, Mum." Wilhelm told her.

"we've got maybe enough ammo for two more convoys." she mused, "assuming we don't burn it up on one..."

"It's always possible, mum.  They are, as you noted, getting smarter about guarding their convoys." he agreed.

"What's our med status looking like?" she inquired.  "I mean, we're three months overdue for a gravity break, how are the crew handling it?"

"Nobody's shorting their bone-meds, but we're going to need a fresh-air break in one gee fairly soon, especially for the Planetborns." Wilhelm noted, "Bone meds are bad for kidneys and livers."

"I know." she nodded, "Have the med officer start doing enhanced physicals, focus on our planetborn personnel in particular, I don't want anyone shorting their exercise periods or medication.  Also start working up rotations for when we do get the chance for the crew to leg-stretch on a planet or in a dome."

Deep sorties like theirs are almost stereotypical- a frenzy of activity laying 'trip sensors' linked to black boxes in a spherical pattern in likely systems, followed by waiting and monitoring communications.  long periods of boredom, followed by frantic action, followed by long periods of boredom.  "In the meantime, morale activities?"

"Cooking contest is on this week, Mum, and the board for the squadron fiction contest is convening to judge entries."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 01:46:55
This type of war wasn't even common during the AGE of war...

...when all the Great Houses and the Terran Hegemony were waging hard warfare on one another with massed fleets.  The reason then, and the reason now, is that deep space interception is a right nightmare to achieve, and by 'nightmare' we mean, extreme difficulty level tasks.

The LCN's convoy raider doctrine added a piece of technology, and it's a hell of a lot easier now.  Detection sats aren't new technology.  Like space mines, everyone has built one, and in the heyday of the Star League, star systems had several at major points.

What makes these different, is the addition of FTL communication.  Simple FTL commo, relying on a fighter-sized fusion plant, nonreflective coatings that are also tuned to serve as receptive antennas, and a large number of passive sensors crammed into what amounts to body the size of a light capital missile.  power-duration and endurance is measured in months, the devices are kept stationary using simple, low-output ion thrusters.  When a pulse hits the reception array, it sends a squeal on the black-box.

The result, is that anything set up to recieve will catch that squeal, and the sats will send an encoded copy of what the sensors are picking up.

effectively, anything jumping into a system within a few thousand kilometers of a known point, will set off one that has been laid there, summoning the entire 'patrol', or even squadron, whom are waiting  in off-axis locations to listen for that squawk.

Interception becomes a lot easier, when you know where to point your telescopes, and the devices are low-powered and passive, making them hard to detect for warship sensors optimized to look for emissions in the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

Space is big, if you don't know what to look for, you might never see it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 02:09:39
Anything that lengthens that already ridiculously long supply line is good news for the Commonwealth!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 10:12:57
3055...

"Your dad's going to be glad to see you, Joshua, trust me."  Yvonne reassured the young Marik boy.  "your treatments are going well."

"What about your friend?" he asked, "Your dying friend, is she getting better?" Joshua Marik wasn't exactly 'dim'.

"Lizzy's problem is...complicated.  BUT!" she smiled, taking his hand, "the research we've been doing on her, has let us help you!"

he looked sad.  "I'm sorry she's not getting better, then."

"We've got time." Yvonne assured him.  He stopped on the path, and looked at the flowering plants. 

"it's not fair." Joshua told her, "I'm fixed and your friend's still broken."

"Lizzie likes to remind me 'life isn't fair' and sometimes there aren't any easy answers." Yvonne confessed.  In the distance, she could see the dropships coming to rest at the private port reserved for VIP's.  "your dad's almost here."

"Yeah!" Joshua grinned at her, his hair was growing back, now that the treatments made the chemotherapy and radiation treatments a thing of the past.

"Want to race me back inside?"

"still kinda tired." he said, "will you walk with me back in?"

"Of course." she offered her arm, and he took it.

Yvonne's first true triumph walked with her back to the medical building.  I beat cancer, beating Cholmann's syndrome is the next goal.

It was a hell of a lot better than her father's 'backup plan'.  The boy recruited for that one, was now in one of the new 'gifted' classes at NAIS, learning to become a scientist in the engineering field, instead of a doppelganger.  gotta remember to check in on Bryan later. she reminded herself.  In the distance the official motorcade bearing the Captain General of the Free Worlds League was just leaving the spaceport.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 10:23:09
"Your homework for this quarter is in the syllabus...

...I do not expect you to need to be reminded when it is due."  Sierra finished passing out the colorful study books, and stood in front of the whiteboard.  "This is not an easy school." she added, "If you thought you would get an easy school, then your parents and guardians lied to you.  I am a demanding  instructor, but I will be fair.  Your grades will depend on many things, many expectations, my first, is that you ask questions.  Those of you who will not question what you are told, will not pass this course."

Sierra is eighteen years old, and already holds doctorate degrees.  The children in the classroom, are between eight, and ten years old, this is part of 'paying it back' for Sierra-four hours every two days, classroom time, 'office hours' as well, and of course, the labs.  Not as a student, but as a 'student instructor' with the Commonwealth Junior Academy for Gifted Students-a subdivision of New Avalon Institute of Science.

"We will begin with the basis of scientific understanding, and that is, we begin with observing everything, and questioning.  The first statement of a true Scientist, is 'I don't know'." she intoned, "Imprint that on your minds.  'I don't know', because it leads to the true motivation for all scientific advances-'let's Find Out'...this is where you start writing in your books guys.  Everything you are here to learn, is rooted in seeking knowledge, and that begins with admitting you don't have the answers but you're willing to look for them!"

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 25 June 2022, 10:23:37
Couple minor setting inquiries for you, CS:

1) What's the status of the Federated Commonwealth alliance here? I sensed that the Fourth War still happened as canon's did. But Melissa's communication with Ulric made no mention of the FedCom and limited all its references to LyrCom only.

2) Is Hanse still around at this stage? Or has he died as per canon?

3) Um, whatever else I was thinking of slipped out of my head...

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 10:37:23
Couple minor setting inquiries for you, CS:

1) What's the status of the Federated Commonwealth alliance here? I sensed that the Fourth War still happened as canon's did. But Melissa's communication with Ulric made no mention of the FedCom and limited all its references to LyrCom only.

2) Is Hanse still around at this stage? Or has he died as per canon?

3) Um, whatever else I was thinking of slipped out of my head...

- Herb

in reverse order..

3) Uh, Oops?

2) Hanse is still around, thus the realms are still technically separate, as Victor has not yet ascended.

1)Officially the Federated Commonwealth is taking longer to fully unify, since both Hanse and Melissa are still alive and each other's first line inheritor.  This does NOT mean the Fedcom Corps hasn't happened, it has. What it DOES mean, is that for official diplomatic contact with an enemy, Mel's keeping that other knife under the table until it truly looks like she can't keep it hidden anymore.  (that, and the "LCG" units are Lyran only at this point. the FedSuns side is building a similar corps of jumpships and crews, but administratively they're separated by a few steps, mostly to prevent corruption of the sort that tends to plague oversized agencies and to maintain a backup to the backups.)

at this point in 3055 a few other ripples have happened;

a) because of the Brat Pack and over-all investment into sciences, Joshua did not die of Leukemia.  Yvonne Steiner-Davion, the member of the Brats who got deep into medicine and biology, figured out how to beat it, and did so quickly enough to save the boy's life.  She's also got the dirty secret that he's not really a Marik, but she's not about to leak it, because that might call her brilliance into question and would be poor form among her peers to let something like that out without discussing it with the rest of the Brats at minimum.

b)so Guerrero loses a cassus belli.  (insert weeping, unhappy Katherine face here). It probably helps that the Brat Pack's 'treatment' for the Machine plague works/is working?  the Leaguers, at least, are using licensed versions to deal with Screamer infestations when they detect one.  The tech exchange is doing wonders for international relations on that score.

c)I'm still struggling with what Sun Tzu's little copy-project is going to turn out regarding 'big science', but the Capellan Navy is getting a long overdue facelift with possible implications to the international scene later on.

I just don't know what,yet.

Probably something horrifying, or something outright brilliantly clever.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: ThePW on 25 June 2022, 11:18:33
Cannon, you forgot the Shoes... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jfqZwHuc6c
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 11:49:47
Personally, I'm hoping Sun Tzu gets the earth-shattering kaboom Liz was hoping to avoid...   8)

And what Cannonshop is actually forgetting is a summary of (or link to) the Elbar Declaration another poster requested...  :)

And wow!  Yvonne cracking leukemia is AMAZING!  She'd probably get a Nobel for that, if only she could publish her work without revealing the little problem with Joshua's parentage...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 11:54:14
"AAAAAAHHHHHHGGGGHHHHH!!!!....

...pain.  Elizabeth Ngo is eighteen years old.  She's strapped to a table.  The sounds she's making, would be more appropriate to a fourteenth century torturer's abattoir than one of the most advanced medical centers in the Inner Sphere.  What's happening to her, can only be described in terms that suggest it's slightly less uncomfortable than her likely final fate.

You can't really 'rush' this kind of thing, and painkillers would be counterproductive-the effect would prevent the body from recovering, which is what happens when you're replacing nervous system parts on a living human being.

it hurts.

It hurts a lot.  It doesn't, however, hurt as much as what she's likely to go through during her next seizure.  So it's slightly less uncomfortable than what she went through this morning while trying to brush her teeth.

but at least her muscles aren't spasming in super-contractions like the one that dislocated her left knee and right hip this morning.

but it's an experimental treatment, and it hurts.

Arthur could barely stand to be in the viewing room, while his childhood crush lay, anchored for her own safety, in an ergonomic support frame, as the SCMR-derived nanomachines worked on rebuilding her decaying central nervous system.

Terry and Dr. Banzai, at least, were better at hiding their own flinch reactions behind a sort of carefully affected professional demeanour.

This isn't a cure, it's a treatment to delay the as-yet inevitable, even more agonizing death Elizabeth was facing.

but her screams would echo in his nightmares after this, even though she consented knowing what was coming.  She had, after all, helped design it.

eventually, the cycle finished, and she flopped in the restraints.

Arthur hurried down.

"Liz?" he asked, touching her tear-streaked cheek, "you're still with us?"

"I feel terrible." she mumbled, "but did it work?"

"I...I don't know." he said.

"Let's find out." she said, "bring on the scary scanner thing...******..."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 11:59:35
If he can go to her side after that, she's not just a childhood crush...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 25 June 2022, 14:52:43
Personally, I'm hoping Sun Tzu gets the earth-shattering kaboom Liz was hoping to avoid...   8)

And what Cannonshop is actually forgetting is a summary of (or link to) the Elbar Declaration another poster requested...  :)

And wow!  Yvonne cracking leukemia is AMAZING!  She'd probably get a Nobel for that, if only she could publish her work without revealing the little problem with Joshua's parentage...  ^-^

She could publish it quite easily, if she pretends (and NAIS backs her up) that she did all the experimental work on someone else and Joshua was merely reaping the fruit of that success.

That way, even if she were to release DNA info on her test subject, False Thomas is hardly going to declare that the Definitely-Not-A-Marik patient is in fact his biological son.

Heck, she could just use her work to cure some random other leukemia patient whose family agrees to pretend their kid was in fact the original test subject.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 14:56:45
The second option there is MUCH safer for all involved...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 25 June 2022, 16:06:39
I think the ultimate irony?  Sun Tzu's think tank is the one that cracks Cholmans.  Not only would it give Sunny something to hold over Hanse, while "dealing with internal matters" aka, kicking mad mom off the throne?  It is a glory to sell to his people, along with the probable related treatments for other degenerative nerve diseases.

Rather interesting, is Yvonne a full Doctor, or more a research biologist?  It'd be an interesting twist if the two young Steiner-Davions went into their mandatory service for non-combat branches, Medicine for Yvonne, and likely engineering for Arthur.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 16:16:20
That's not irony... that would be cruel fate right there...  :-\
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 25 June 2022, 16:47:17
I think the ultimate irony?  Sun Tzu's think tank is the one that cracks Cholmans.  Not only would it give Sunny something to hold over Hanse, while "dealing with internal matters" aka, kicking mad mom off the throne?  It is a glory to sell to his people, along with the probable related treatments for other degenerative nerve diseases.

Rather interesting, is Yvonne a full Doctor, or more a research biologist?  It'd be an interesting twist if the two young Steiner-Davions went into their mandatory service for non-combat branches, Medicine for Yvonne, and likely engineering for Arthur.
would the CapCon's thinktank even be looking at Cholman's though? the lyran one has a reason to do so, Sun Tzu has his focused on the physics stuff as far as major projects, and while i have no doubt that his eggheads are working on medical stuff (he's smart enough to know to recruit a wide range of talents) i suspect that Cholman's isn't on their radar.. yet. with the joshua situation, i have no doubt that he'd see the wisdom in potentially obtainign that bit of leverage. i also suspect thqat the capcon would be the only group able to develop the cure. not because of any particular medical skill, but because the capcon wouldn't be hindered by those pesky concepts of 'medical ethics', "survivable experiments", and 'volunteers required". (there is a reason that in other timelines, it took not only clan scientists but ones from The Scociety to find a viable treatment.)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 16:53:30
Agreed... I don't think it would be a priority for Sun Tzu.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 25 June 2022, 16:59:10
Agreed... I don't think it would be a priority for Sun Tzu.
after they learn about Joshua and see how that improves the relationshiop between the fedcom and the FWL i can see him directing his people to look into cholman's, but he'll be playing catch up.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 25 June 2022, 17:02:50
It depends on how deeply he's looking into the physics... that's an EXPENSIVE problem...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: croaker on 25 June 2022, 20:43:17
"The Way of the Clans" - this is Nicky K's writings from when he founded the Clans?

"The Elbar Declaration" - I'm aware of this in a very general sense from reading various Ngo-verse fics, but I can't remember the details. Can anyone point me at a previous story that talks about it in more detail, or give me a bullet point summary of the highlights please?

Way of the Clans - Yep.

Elber Declaration, TLDR version: "Genocide is bad, mmkay? Don't do it. Signed, Alexander Kerensky."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 25 June 2022, 21:07:16
Way of the Clans - Yep.

Elber Declaration, TLDR version: "Genocide is bad, mmkay? Don't do it. Signed, Alexander Kerensky."
slightly longer summary.. on the world of Elbar, after storming a brian castle on their own, the 171st volunteer infantry division found Amaris forces had been using the facility to commit warcrimes. specifically genocidal pogroms* of the unfriendly planetary populace, who they had been rounding up into cattle cars and then shipping into the Castle Brian, where the healthy ones would be separated from the sickly ones. the sickly ones would be killed, the healthy ones would be sent to surgery wards where they would be dissected alive and without anesthesia to create stocks of replacement transplant organs and tissues used heal injured Amaris troops and collaborators.
needless to say that the 171st took this very badly, and committed their own warcrimes in turn by performing summary executions of the soldiers, doctors, and officers involved.. by way of impaling their captive on spikes (the original of the "elbar toothpick") and using them as living bayonet dummies,, often in the training of those Elbar survivors who were willing to join up.
this so appalled the SLDF proper that kerensky issued a Declaration outlining not only the SLDF's and all allied forces stance on warcrimes, put rules in place to prevent further warcrimes on the part of the SLDF and allied commands, and generally made a promise to the inner sphere as a whole that the SLDF would never condone warcrimes of any kind.
so you can understand how the Kowloonese found the clan's behavior so insulting and hypocritical on the issue. of course Kowloon was basically the only world to even remember the declaration existed, why it existed, and still have copies of it.



*literal pograms in fact, given the world had a large jewish population and they formed much of the dissident population under the Amaris Regime. since Kowloon was partly settled by jewish dissidents that left earth, and their vietnamese population left earth due oppression, you can imagine how they took the situation on Elbar.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 25 June 2022, 21:32:06
"Visiting Hours are Fifteen hundred to seventeen hundred, Monday through...

...Friday and Noon to eighteen hundred on Saturday, ma'am."  The desk nurse said it crisply and harshly.

"I. Don't. Care."  The visitor in question is wearing an LCN Admiral's uniform with the nametag 'Li', this nametag matches to an almost-ageless looking face framed by short-cut black hair, the features marred only slightly under light makeup by the scarring from violent decompression sometime in the past.  "I'm here to see my Baroness, and you're going to let me see her."  Alicia Li's tone didn't waver from the cool, conversational tone trained into officers who spend a lot of time on intercoms working with crew.

"I will not!!" the nurse scowled, "Leave or I will summon Security."

"Lady, I am Security." Alicia's tone didn't waver, "So, either unlock the door, or I will have it unlocked, give me the room number, or I will take it from you."

The defiant guardian of the recovery unit wound up watching in frustrated helplessness, as the Admiral's rank, and medals, along with a set of codewords, opened the security door, and the Officer of the Day escorted her through twenty minutes later.

****

"I will rip them to shreds!!!"  Elizabeth Ngo howled, coming off the recovery bed trailing IV needles and her catheter tube in a storm of invective flowing through four languages and no less than a dozen subcultures.

"I don't think that will be necessary or appropriate, Milady." Alicia Li was still ice-calm, "A simple memorandum and authorization is sufficient, Legal can have the charges in front of a magistrate in-"

"NO, it's not!!" Liz stormed verbally, but the discomfort of the tubes and her embarrassment at her hospital-gown bareness slowed her down.  "Does Patrick know?"

"He...they kept it from him."

"I will hang their heads on the ****** wall.  how bad is the damage?"

"Estimate is fifteen billlion in warranty work and lost production time." Li said unhappily.

"And the customers?" Lizzie scowled, "Are we going to ****** lose IOTO over this??"

"Ms. Whyte believes she can negotiate to keep the IOTO and Lockheed contracts but..."

"But." Lizzie's scowl deepened, "in the meantime, the Firm's reputation takes a beating, there is NO guarantee we'll keep those contracts, and there are a dozen or more mulbillion kroner ships on long range deployment with unreliable life support systems that somehow managed to be bribed past inspection with YOUR department, made by my family's company."

"I have already prepared a statement taking full responsibility for-"

"Oh, the ****** you will!" Elizabeth's temper was back, "You. did. your. job. or we wouldn't be speaking.  It's those arseholes in Department of Supply and Requisitions who...Took the kickback.  I want the names of the embezzlers, Li, each and every one of them, I want..." she fumed, scowled, "I want them made into an example. One that will have business school graduates and civil servants pissing themselves every night for the next two hundred years in terror."

"i'm afraid you don't have that kind of power." Li reminded her.

"Yeah, but it happens that I know someone who does."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 25 June 2022, 21:44:00
would the CapCon's thinktank even be looking at Cholman's though? the lyran one has a reason to do so, Sun Tzu has his focused on the physics stuff as far as major projects, and while i have no doubt that his eggheads are working on medical stuff (he's smart enough to know to recruit a wide range of talents) i suspect that Cholman's isn't on their radar.. yet. with the joshua situation, i have no doubt that he'd see the wisdom in potentially obtainign that bit of leverage. i also suspect thqat the capcon would be the only group able to develop the cure. not because of any particular medical skill, but because the capcon wouldn't be hindered by those pesky concepts of 'medical ethics', "survivable experiments", and 'volunteers required". (there is a reason that in other timelines, it took not only clan scientists but ones from The Scociety to find a viable treatment.)
Well when I setup the TC wunderkids (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/self-configuring-modular-robot/msg1838453/#msg1838453) they are all Tech based, not spread over a wide range of skill sets.
I do agree the CC would not be bothered by "medical ethics", but the FC has a live patient with  Cholman's does the CC?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 25 June 2022, 22:13:02
c)I'm still struggling with what Sun Tzu's little copy-project is going to turn out regarding 'big science', but the Capellan Navy is getting a long overdue facelift with possible implications to the international scene later on.

I just don't know what,yet.

Probably something horrifying, or something outright brilliantly clever.

Using the automated machines to produce the ingots, to build the factories, to produce of shipyards to churn out Jumpships and Dropships?  He is already setting up the scanning idea that he copied, he just needs the ships to make it practical.  That would be fun later on where the Inner Sphere wants to go after the Clan Homeworlds (Task Force Serpent (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Task_Force_Serpent)) and Sun-Tzu is the only one with the necessary ships available right then.

You also said the Capellan Navy is getting a facelift.  What if they are equipping their ships with modified Asset Denial Weapons that are a new version of the SCMR, but modified to not be spotted by the existing anti-SCMR systems and even integrate the anti-SCMR systems into themselves?  These would have a limited lifespan, but would be a major problem if they got onto a planet.  Make them where they enter stand-by for 3-4 days if they hear the Capellan national anthem being sung?  So schoolkids singing the anthem every day means no problems, but otherwise the little robots are causing trouble.

A third idea would be using the SCMR systems to build goods needed by Taurian and Canopian citizens, setting up a trade network.


Or other ideas:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Artifex on 25 June 2022, 22:54:01
Hoo boi, not a good time to be one of the workers at the Quartermasters of the Lyran Commonwealth
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: drakensis on 26 June 2022, 01:25:38
"You will spend the rest of your lives in this space station we have built for you. The life support system is the one you approved. You will have the same parts to maintain it that our crews have, and the manuals they work from. If the life support fails, there will be no rescue. So you had better pray the flaws in the system are truly 'not so bad', because your life depends on you being right and understanding the life support better than I do."
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 26 June 2022, 04:16:35
I hope Li has at least sent the recall order!  :o

Also, please note I massively overengineered the life support on my design proposals for this one... :)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 26 June 2022, 06:28:50
"You will spend the rest of your lives in this space station we have built for you. The life support system is the one you approved. You will have the same parts to maintain it that our crews have, and the manuals they work from. If the life support fails, there will be no rescue. So you had better pray the flaws in the system are truly 'not so bad', because your life depends on you being right and understanding the life support better than I do."

 >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 26 June 2022, 15:24:09
I hope Li has at least sent the recall order!  :o

Also, please note I massively overengineered the life support on my design proposals for this one... :)
and this cutting corners here, here, and here... well could have in theory maybe have a minor flaw but nothing like that could be fatal unless the backup system(s) were to also fail at the sametime at the same issue.

But I am kinda confused Ngo allowed an untested product Life Support System to be put on the Deep Space Hunters?  They didn't build them in house?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 26 June 2022, 15:32:52
i get the feeling it is less 'untested' and more 'accepted a producer's substandard parts"
the kind of parts that test out fine, even in prolonged testing, but have enough shoddy materials and/or workmanship slipping through a less than thorough QC that when in wider use they wear out quicker and are more prone to breaking under stress.. but not all of them. just enough to make their reliability questionable. the kind of thing that has to be bribed to clear testing because just a few too many of the tested parts failed, but not so many that the system appear obviously dangerous. just a few % higher than the called for specs.
overengineering wouldn't help, because the same questionable parts would be all through the system. what good is having half a dozen back up systems if they all have the same flaws?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 26 June 2022, 16:16:31
That depends on how you rotate use of those backup systems...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 26 June 2022, 23:22:00
"It's endemic...

...to the procurement systems in the Commonwealth, and it's not even isolated to the Commonwealth!!"  piles of 'homework' greeted Arthur when he walked into the recovery room.

"Liz?"

"Hi Arthur."  Elizabeth's appearance was a little better than it had been last week.  She had regained color and wasn't shaking.  an aide in a white business suit took this moment to retreat, looking slightly cowed.

"What are you doing with your Baronial staff that has them whispering in the hallway, Liz?"  he asked.

"Nothing...much?" Liz offered, "we're doing a new thing, it's called 'Forensic Accounting' in preparation for next week's Estates General hearings."

"Mom told me." he said, joining her bedside, "You're supposed to be avoiding stress."

"Crushing my enemies is going to be very relaxing." she assured him.  "I'm thinking that hanging traitors is also very relaxing, otherwise why would so many despots in history do it?  Wanna see my enemies list?"

"Liz, that's not healthy." he told her.

'Yeah, well, neither is selling faulty components to the Navy." she told him, "at least, when I'm done it will be right up there with injecting yourself with polonium.  My lawyers tell me the counts of fraud we found just in parsing Mount Asgard's procurement records might be enough we'll need a whole continent to serve as a white-collar prison.  The trouble of course, is that it's more widespread than just the Lyran member-state.  Ms. Whyte's working with your dad to Subpoena records from Federated Boeing."

"Uh, what??"

"long. term, wide-spread corruption.  If Li's people hadn't bumped into those bad air-scrubbers accidentally we wouldn't even know it was there, leeching the nation to the tune of trillions of Kroner."  Elizabeth explained, "I've had to hire people to help with the work load, Art.  It's enormous and pervasive, the taxpayers are being soaked for tens of trillions, maybe hundreds of trillions, I'm starting to think I'm going to need scientific notation to simplify the accounting.  If I didn't know better, I'd think we were looking at a massive interstellar conspiracy going back generations."

Arthur straightened, "Why wouldn't it be?" he asked.

"When you have a choice between incompetence, and conspiracy? incompetence tends to win out, a famous scientific mind in the 20th century termed it 'Hanlon's Law'-for this to be a conspiracy, they would have to have near-perfect internal security, to a level even MIIO can't manage, and they'd have to be able to pass it down through generations." she shrugged, "I don't see anyone being that well organized and still being human."

"and on the flip side??" He asked, "what's the counterpoint to your point?"

"Okay, not ONE conspiracy.  Hundreds, maybe thousands, each of them thinking it's 'not that harmful' and 'just their due'.  THAT is completely credible-they aren't coordinating or talking to each other, they would each be horrified and offended by the actions of the others.  It's more organic, and therefore, more likely, than some centralized super-brain coordinating the impoverishment of not one, but multiple realms simultaneously.  Some, like certain departments of LIC are doing it intentionally for military reasons, some are doing it to gain a lever on competitors or because they think they can.  my point is, around sixty percent of military expenditures we've had a look at, Arthur? are overbudget to the tune of 200% of what they should be, and those are the relatively clean ones."

"The other forty percent are worse??"

"Yeah. kind of explains things, doesn't it?" her eyes glittered with malice, "Why our forces were so very easy for the Clans to overcome in the first wave, I mean? or why the RX-79 was delayed, and still isn't up to the performance it should be for the sticker price?  What what it actually costs the Federated Commonwealth brigade should be able to have a battlemech for every man assigned to it from the cooks to the techs to the 'mechwarriors themselves, not one of those units should have to rely on a civilian jumpship for anything except moving the brothel personnel.  we've all been systemically ripped off and I think it's been for generations...in any case, I get to testify to the Estates General, and your parents are talking about giving me the long-dormant exchequer post, provided I'm a good girl and let the doctors torture me some more."

"How did that go?"

"No seizures this week, no headaches." she shrugged, "I guess it's working a bit...?"

"I brought some stuff, Liz, if you can drop the work for tonight?" he offered.

"Yeah, I can do that. mostly it's letting my people do their jobs now..."

He finally grinned "Coolness! mind getting rid of the minders?"

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: The Wobbly Guy on 27 June 2022, 00:19:30
Ahhh, the smell of corruption. Endemic to mankind itself.

Heck, even the clans, for all their efforts, are not immune to corruption. The Society, for example, is simply a more organised form of it.

In fact, corruption is a good explanation for the miniscule forces present proportionately to overall population and GDP, though it doesn't explain the part where that minuscule military force can exert control over an entire world.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 27 June 2022, 00:42:03
easiest way for comstar to hide the economic manipulation they've been doing. encouraging lots of other people to accept corruptions within the system. means comstar just has to insert a few agents every so often to get the process kickstarted whenever it slacks off, and slow efforts to uncover the actions
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 27 June 2022, 03:25:47
I was thinking ComStar didn't need to push that hard too.  Just a nudge here and there.  Maybe frame a clean contractor once in a while...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Death_from_above on 27 June 2022, 04:23:02

Heh, nice Gundam reference  ;D

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Trace Coburn on 27 June 2022, 04:37:33
Heh, nice Gundam reference  ;D
  Uhh... that’s the canon designation for the project that became the Fox corvette.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 27 June 2022, 05:03:46
  Uhh... that’s the canon designation for the project that became the Fox corvette.
Which just makes it a canon gundam reference. Fasa seemed to like those, iirc a fair number of wolfs dragoons pilots in the old sourcebook were named after characters from the gundam shows.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Death_from_above on 27 June 2022, 06:10:31
  Uhh... that’s the canon designation for the project that became the Fox corvette.

Genuinely didn't think about the Fox Corvette (RX-78), my mind went straight to RX-79 Gundam Ground Type..

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Vizzer on 27 June 2022, 10:24:21
It also depends where the money is going. If it's "normal" corruption then somebody is enjoying a lavish lifestyle - which does have some minor economic benefits paying for all those escorts, luxury vehicles & mansions.
But the numbers seem too big for this particularly as this is the sort of corruption that people like Loehengrin look out for.
So where has it all gone?
** Cough *** Terra *** Cough *** Comstar *** cough.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 27 June 2022, 11:36:44
"It's multilayered...

...and long running."  Baroness Spider Moon, Elizabeth Ngo, sat in the hot-seat in front of the Estates General.  DBC, CBC, Wolfnet, and Comstar camera crews were hanging on her words-for different reasons.

"Baroness Ngo, I'm sure everyone here knows about your strides as a scientist, but that doesn't qualify you to speak on the subject of National Finance."  Ingrid Hasseldoffsen, Baroness Glencoe (Donegal), noted.

"I don't have to be, I hired experts." Liz stated bluntly, "The Forensic Accounting was conducted by neutral experts with no ties to any other government agency or contractor.  I was horrified by the results they brought me, and we're not halfway done yet.  Nashan Enterprises alone has suffered a sixteen billion kroner loss in the last fiscal year-one that was invisible to Her Grace Duchess Doons, your sponsor-because her people didn't know they were losing the money.  The folks at Lockheed-CBM did a housecleaning a few years ago now, and that housecleaning didn't catch the parasitic drag on their finances.  I'm finding numbers that have to be expressed using scientific notation and, Ladies and gentlemen, it's not just in the Commonwealth."

"What makes you so assured of that?"  Lukas Marsden (Butlerville, Pandora) asked.

"Because if it were only impacting the Commonwealth, then we would have lost the commonwealth two hundred years ago." Liz said it bluntly, "The issue is widespread, in the last five year period, the loss is on the order of ten to the twelfth power in Kroner just in the Commonwealth, as I show here, in this chart..."  she waved a hand and the displays lit.  "That represents roughly thirty percent of the total collected tax reciepts nationally.  In other words, pilferage on a scale undreamed of, and it's hitting every one of your pockets, along with the pockets of every employee, constituent, subject, or citizen under your watch.  Our national economy is bleeding money at what can't be a sustainable rate."

"And what is your 'prescription' for this? who is responsible?"  Charlene Luvon asked, looking frustrated.

"Well, 'who' would be a lot of people." Elizabeth stated, "I do not, at this time, believe it is the action of a single conspiracy.  The losses are inconsistent,  and it is my belief that even a concerted effort may only recover around sixty percent of the wealth that's been bled, because it's not just one group or person.  The first move, therefore, is to isolate and identify specific priorities, start with the easily found cheats, embezzlers, and frauds.  Move from there, to the less visible.  My very first prescription, is to conduct a punitive audit of the Department of Quartermaster, removing unqualified or easily identified corrupt individuals in positions of authority and power within the department.  I'm not just speaking of senior officers, but also senior civil servants, then, begin audits on every military contractor with the Judiciary on the hotline, looking for backhanders, this will, of course, have to include seated members of this body who may have accepted bribes or kickbacks in exchange for the use of their influence."

"and when would this hypothetical audit begin?" 

Elizabeth sighed, "It has already begun."

Lohengrin personnel in uniform, escorted by Military Police, began filing into the chamber.  "I would suggest that attempting to resist arrest at this time will be accounted as an admission of at least partial guilt." Elizabeth added, "not all of you are going to be arrested, but, we did have to call in reserve militia to help with the arrests and processing."

Cries of outrage erupted and the chamber was deafening.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: nocarename on 27 June 2022, 11:44:59
Years ago I ran into a story where Batman was training a Robin. (There's a point, I promise.)

Bruce assigns essays about how the Robin would solve different problems. These escalate - disaster, hostage situation, take out an evil parallel Superman and so on - until finally the scenario is that Batman himself has snapped and needs to be stopped from a roaring rampage of revenge.

Now the essays have also increased in length as the problems got more complicated: contingencies, who to recruit for different problems, that sort of thing.

The last essay on how you stop Batman? 'Without prior warning.'

Surprise. Speed. Violence of action. The third is held in potential, but it sure is present.

EDIT: Sun Tzu is keeping a very close watch on Liz and the Brain Trust for ideas to steal. One might predict a similar sort of anti-corruption project in Capellan space...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 27 June 2022, 13:24:00
Sun Tzu has no need for an anti-corruption project in Capellan space, now an anti-Comstar/Terra project yes indeed
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Nikas_Zekeval on 27 June 2022, 13:27:41
"and when would this hypothetical audit begin?" 

Elizabeth sighed, "It has already begun."

Lohengrin personnel in uniform, escorted by Military Police, began filing into the chamber.  "I would suggest that attempting to resist arrest at this time will be accounted as an admission of at least partial guilt." Elizabeth added, "not all of you are going to be arrested, but, we did have to call in reserve militia to help with the arrests and processing."

Cries of outrage erupted and the chamber was deafening.

Recalling Hanse's wedding toast?  I'm sure Melissa both happily approved of this timing, and added more funds to finding a cure for Elizabeth so she can be a daughter-in-law.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 27 June 2022, 13:59:31
Sun Tzu has no need for an anti-corruption project in Capellan space, now an anti-Comstar/Terra project yes indeed
they're ultimately the same thing, and given the capcon's crippled economy post-4th succession war, you can bet that he'd direct people to look into it, since a 30% loss is a major one, and the CapCon has generally weaker anti-corruption protections to begin with so the loss would probabl be even higher for them. so fixing that issue would be a high priority now that he knows it exists. and it would also be an easy sell to Romano, though getting her to do it properly instead of just purging every senior official without investigation might be tricky.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 27 June 2022, 14:43:13
they're ultimately the same thing, and given the capcon's crippled economy post-4th succession war, you can bet that he'd direct people to look into it, since a 30% loss is a major one, and the CapCon has generally weaker anti-corruption protections to begin with so the loss would probabl be even higher for them. so fixing that issue would be a high priority now that he knows it exists. and it would also be an easy sell to Romano, though getting her to do it properly instead of just purging every senior official without investigation might be tricky.

Of course, he has the advantage that he doesn´t quite have to bother with the same standards of evidence as the Commonwealth. As long as the evidence convinces him that an individual is guilty, that´s enough. No long court trials, either, except here and there as a show for the public.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 27 June 2022, 18:38:28
That will only really work once HE is the Celestial Wisdom...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 27 June 2022, 18:58:35
That will only really work once HE is the Celestial Wisdom...  ^-^
or if he can convinced his mother to delegate the duty. which would probably be easy enough once he points out the amount of paperwork involved. as long as he produces reports showing progress and turns up a crop of people she can give show trials and public executions to every so often, he can probably swing a free hand.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: The Wobbly Guy on 27 June 2022, 19:26:34
On the flipside, one can argue the corruption was a good thing - smaller militaries and hence less loss of life during wars.

It's also important to note exactly how corruption affects overall production - I've heard arguments that since the corrupt folks are still spending the money, it goes back into the economy anyway. But that money was essentially unearned, and there was nothing produced of equivalent value.

I mean, just look at a certain son of a prominent political figure in real life (I'm from Asia, and even I know about it). All that money spent on drugs and women. Sure, that money went to the economy, but he didn't produce anything to deserve it.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 27 June 2022, 19:37:32
without getting into rule 4 issues related to it.. real life has generally shown that beyond a certain (fairly low) level of wealth, it doesn't actually contribute to the economy at all, but just sit unused in bank accounts and tax shelters, not circulating and not generating economic activity.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Rodon on 27 June 2022, 20:01:23
without getting into rule 4 issues related to it.. real life has generally shown that beyond a certain (fairly low) level of wealth, it doesn't actually contribute to the economy at all, but just sit unused in bank accounts and tax shelters, not circulating and not generating economic activity.

It does, but that is typically done by providing funding directly to new companies, it also provides money for the banks to loan out.  If it just sat unused, inflation would eat it alive, so it has to be at least make enough to balance out the losses from inflation and preferably gain a little more.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 27 June 2022, 20:11:37
Rodon has it right: money "sitting" in a bank account is absolutely being used.  Where do you think bank loans come from?  ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 27 June 2022, 20:13:43
they're ultimately the same thing, and given the capcon's crippled economy post-4th succession war, you can bet that he'd direct people to look into it, since a 30% loss is a major one, and the CapCon has generally weaker anti-corruption protections to begin with so the loss would probabl be even higher for them. so fixing that issue would be a high priority now that he knows it exists. and it would also be an easy sell to Romano, though getting her to do it properly instead of just purging every senior official without investigation might be tricky.
See that the issue you are going to have Romano just running a purge, unless he can balance it properly.  She does have a habit of "Random purge"

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Deathrider6 on 27 June 2022, 22:37:43
I see heads rolling rapidly. Lots of them. Liz angry is bad.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 27 June 2022, 22:46:53
Rodon has it right: money "sitting" in a bank account is absolutely being used.  Where do you think bank loans come from?  ???

Bank loans only occur if people choose to get one.  If there isn't enough economic activity to start or expand a business with a loan, then a person or business will not get the loan and that money just sits in the bank.  For example, a bank might have a billion dollars to loan out, but if people can't afford the down payment on a new business van or don't expect enough income to make that business van useful/profitable, then they won't get a vehicle loan to buy that van.  (Or if the expected rate of return is less than the loan%, i.e. a company that with the loan could grow at 3% per year, but if the loan is at 4% will not get the loan)

Now what can also occur is cycles of growth and depression, where there is a brief surge in economic activity and people feel comfortable enough to spend, then the economy contracts and people (and companies) with smaller bank accounts have to sell off stuff in order to have a place to live.  The people with the money in the accounts can then buy properties much cheaper than usual.  After buying up the properties and waiting/engineering the next boom cycle, the properties are then rented to people and corporations; putting more money into the oligarch's bank account.  It is publicly labeled as 'Agile' business development, and explained that this way a business only has to rent the equipment when it needs to, instead of having an ongoing capital investment that has to be maintained and might not be used.

The other reason to keep money in a bank account is to just keep score among the wealthiest people:
"I'm so wealthy that I can have ten billion kroner sitting in a bank account doing nothing"
"I have twenty billion"

So this could be another source of the various Mech contracts in the Inner Sphere, an oligarch operating through a cut-out to damage a competitor's business, forcing that competitor to buy hazard insurance through the oligarch's insurance company.

You also have people siphoning money off to make McMansion-equivalents, where their home is very stylish and intricately constructed (aka expensive), and during the next raid a stray LRM blows a hole in part of it.  So the insurance company gets to pay for the replacement wing, and the money gets diverted to non-critical items.  The only benefit this provides is that the inter-system shipping demands keep the market for Dropships and Jumpships strong.

4th rule violation is spoilered here: this is an hour-long video on how corruption can ruin a military, using Russia's military (and recent activities) as examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9i47sgi-V4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9i47sgi-V4).  I figure some GM's can use this as a fun source of ideas for their home campaigns explaining
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Rodon on 27 June 2022, 23:20:53
Bank loans only occur if people choose to get one.  If there isn't enough economic activity to start or expand a business with a loan, then a person or business will not get the loan and that money just sits in the bank.

This is off topic, so I'm going to stop after I point something out.  If your economy isn't expanding, its contracting and you've just said that if no-one was expanding as they wouldn't be able to pay off the loans they would generate by generating profits that out-passed what they could get by loaning out their money.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 28 June 2022, 02:53:06
See that the issue you are going to have Romano just running a purge, unless he can balance it properly.  She does have a habit of "Random purge"

I think Sun-Tzu is smart enough to know he needs to feed his mother the names of the people to be purged, rather than just presenting her the situation to be remedied.

He´s getting quite skilled in playing her insanity to get what he needs. And once his activities start producing positive results, Romano should be more and more inclined to just let him handle the whole thing.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 28 June 2022, 03:18:51
Bank loans only occur if people choose to get one.
*snip*
If a bank exists, loans exist.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 28 June 2022, 05:51:23
If a bank exists, loans exist.

More precisely: If loans don´t exist, money won´t just sit around in accounts. Because without loans, the only way for the bank to make money off the deposit is to charge fees. And if your money shrinks while it´s on the account, because of fees, you won´t leave it on the account unless you absolutely have to. You´d be better off stuffing it under the matress or burying it in the garden.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 28 June 2022, 07:53:59
I think Sun-Tzu is smart enough to know he needs to feed his mother the names of the people to be purged, rather than just presenting her the situation to be remedied.

He´s getting quite skilled in playing her insanity to get what he needs. And once his activities start producing positive results, Romano should be more and more inclined to just let him handle the whole thing.

"Mother, I need your permission to execute some people and confiscate their possessions."
"Are you bothering me with trivialities?"
"They have stolen several billion yuan and used it to enrich themselves in a tawdry manner."
"Tell me something I don't know."
"They stole the money from you."
"That's something I didn't know."

(paraphrased from the mob speech in the movie 'Eraser')

If a bank exists, loans exist.

I'd see it as loans may exist, but nobody would take advantage of them until the interest rate drops low enough to make them worthwhile.  So banks will have to choose between decent interest rates and nearly nobody getting one of those loans, down to sufficiently low interest rates that are barely worth the bank's time and are difficult for normal people to get access to.  With the low interest rates, that means the bank won't make as much money (bank account interest will always be less than bank loan interest), meaning fewer benefits for employees and investors.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 28 June 2022, 11:41:30
you'll also note i said "beyond a certain point". once your past the low double digit millions per account, things like loans can't keep enough of the funds circulating at any given time and the bulk of the funds just sit doing little more than being bragging rights about how many digits someone has. banking systems and economies can only sustain a certain level of flow. this is one of the reasons why concepts like "trickle down economics" has never worked.

and when you are talking about corruption on the level of 30% of an interstellar GDP, something that would be measured in the three digit trillions and more probably in the quadrillions.. there is going to be a lot of funds just sitting in the bank accounts of a relatively small number of people not generating as much economic activity.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 28 June 2022, 18:56:51
There's a difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 June 2022, 22:51:07
[out of story] BEcause I love playing with economic concepts...you guys are arguing the elephant-that is, focusing on the obvious features immediate to hand.

Billions in a bank can, indeed, generate more cash-it's called 'fractional reserve banking' and it's how Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, and most national banks work and function.

Jeff Bezos can't liquidate his assets overnight.  Shocking, huh?  that's because his 'net worth' is invested across such a wide scale that he needs accountants to keep tabs on his accountants, who are then keeping tabs on the accountants monitoring, maintaining, and manipulating the actual investments.

St. Elon of the Musk has the same thing-he can't just liquidate those billions, it would take a lifetime to get close and probably be a financial and economic catastrophe as seemingly unrelated loans suddenly decapitalize and collapse (along with bank failures...so MANY bank failures...)

For those that don't understand why a run on the banks is bad, there's the debts owed portion of the ledger of assets.  This represents how much money is owed to you, and it's an asset.

How it works, is this: you put a billion dollars in the bank, and the bank, then, lends out that money through cheques...nine times at once.  The bank charges interest, the repayments include that interest, but if you come and try to yank your billion dollar bill out of the bank, you'll collapse the credit they've extended to those other nine people.

because you've removed the reserve.

get it?  This is how rich people can stay rich-you lose a billion bucks, but you're owed nine billion, you're 'bankrupt' until you're paid back.  (thus, how someone can go 'bankrupt' four times and still be a billionaire.)

now, when you apply it to a national scale, what Liz is finding isn't entirely someone pocketing the kroner, it's more like manipulations causing that 'owed' nine billion not to be paid back at the rate it's supposed to be, despite the debtors making regular payments (in part, only in part), this, overcharging on contracts, delays (that cost money as well, since delays cause penalties when you're talking loan repayment)...

It's a lot of complex credit-production-productivity formulas, and when you stack it with ordinary pilferage, theft, fraud and abuse? it can become enormous.  The more complex your financial system, the easier it is for someone unethical to game it.  This isn't the prestige thing, that's an oversimplified (and frequently inaccurate) assessment.  Your auditors don't need to look for the diamond-studded toilet seats, they need to look for the cheap plastic ones that cost as much as something made of solid gold.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 28 June 2022, 23:10:04
"I completely support the efforts of the...

...National Exchequer in bringing down the conspiracy of corruption."  Melissa Steiner-Davion said the words in front of the cameras.  "This massive auditing of the national finances is long overdue."

The approach was a little shocking in more than one of the Successor states, as conventional  political wisdom is more aligned with 'if you find massive corruption on this level you hide it to protect your position'.

Instead, Lohengrin, Loki, and MIIO were doing a huge business arresting nobles from Filtvelt to Mainstreet.  The word "Purge" was being used in foreign press, several prominent officials have been caught at the borders, trying to escape a nations-wide sweep, and the courts were becoming clogged with white-collar crimes cases.

Meanwhile, the market prices were plunging on the Tharkad and New Avalon exchanges as the real costs of commodities started to be released.

**********

"What do we do with them all?"  the list of 'bad actors' was growing exponentially on a daily basis.  Putting Elizabeth and her people in charge of the audit had seemed to be a way to keep the girl where she could be observed, a task that fit her bullheaded work-ethic but didn't include playing with dangerous scientific equipment or hauling off on jumpships to play space cowgirl.

"A lot of these people have held military commissions."  Hanse noted.  "Many of them are still young and healthy enough to serve..."

"Draft them? give them weapons??" Mel scoffed, "My dear, that would be inviting a coup attempt!"

"yeah.  it would." he agreed.  "But hear me out...we can't imprison them all, we can't really execute them all, it would be a ****** nightmare, but they DO need to make restitution..."

"Not all of them can be redeemed."

"But some can. maybe even enough." he said.  "An offer of redemption, of forgiveness." he explained, "It's worked with Pat Ngo's collection of ex-pirates."

"We're really considering this?" Melissa asked.

"I think we might have to." Hanse noted.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: drakensis on 29 June 2022, 01:35:18
Twenty years in leg infantry units stationed facing the Clans, surrounded by soldiers fully aware that this is 'the man' who was stealing their tax money.

Also:

Ulric: "So, we can safely say that this corruption is evidence that our system of economics is superior, quiaff?"
Clan Merchant Factor: (not meeting his eyes) "Aff. That would be safe to say."
Ulric: "Safe for who?"
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: The Wobbly Guy on 29 June 2022, 01:42:45
Twenty years in leg infantry units stationed facing the Clans, surrounded by soldiers fully aware that this is 'the man' who was stealing their tax money.

Also:

Ulric: "So, we can safely say that this corruption is evidence that our system of economics is superior, quiaff?"
Clan Merchant Factor: (not meeting his eyes) "Aff. That would be safe to say."
Ulric: "Safe for who?"

Until Ulric does an audit (if he even has enough trustworthy warriors with the requisite skills to do so) and finds out what the Society had been squirreling away.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 29 June 2022, 03:29:11
Love it Drakensis!  ;D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: mikecj on 29 June 2022, 12:02:40
Twenty years in leg infantry units stationed facing the Clans, surrounded by soldiers fully aware that this is 'the man' who was stealing their tax money.

Also:

Ulric: "So, we can safely say that this corruption is evidence that our system of economics is superior, quiaff?"
Clan Merchant Factor: (not meeting his eyes) "Aff. That would be safe to say."
Ulric: "Safe for who?"

Oh we need an Omake of this please!
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 29 June 2022, 23:33:01
How do you define 'human'?

Elizabeth studied the MRI when she came back to consciousness intently.  "You replaced part of my brain, doctor, and..." she continued through the results, "more than part of my brain, christ, there's less than twenty percent of 'me' in this!"

"how do you define 'human'?"  Dr. Banzai asked her.  "Do you feel artificial?"

"Granddaddy's axe." Liz said, adding "Ship of Theseus, even.  ******, how would I know except that MRI pass knocked me the ****** out."

"But you feel, and you think, and..."

"And I still feel affection, yeah.  There actually IS more than chemistry involved in emotion.  There's memory too..."

"And growth.  You've continued to learn new things." he told her.

"Doc...did you even talk to the rest before you did this to me, because you didn't tell me the truth." she scowled.  "About what you were doing to me, what it would result in, what I'm becoming."

"We don't have a cure, Liz, YOU recognized it, you even theorized it." Dr. Banzai explained, "It's viable."

"No kids." Liz told him, "that's a problem."

"We can do something about that.  I've had a look at the data the Dragoons brought, and what was picked up during the Blair Atholl fight.  You're not toxic, your ovaries still work, and we can sort out the unrealized potentials to prevent the syndrome from coming back in a generation or two...and if you can't tell whether you're alive, or even really you? then I'd suggest you ARE you, that you ARE alive, and that you're not going to die by the age of forty."

"Doc, based on this, I might not die at all unless someone kills me.  Your alteration to the SCMR tech? it's still replicating and self-maintaining based on these signals."  she frowned, "That was on purpose, wasn't it?  who told you to do that?"

"Arthur." he quailed before her angry gaze.

she closed her eyes, "So he knows."

"Yes."

"I guess I have to say yes, don't I?"

[end]
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: ThePW on 29 June 2022, 23:34:51
*Claps* A proper ending.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: glitterboy2098 on 29 June 2022, 23:35:56
guess she's a Borg now.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 30 June 2022, 01:53:23
guess she's a Borg now.

Hey, uh...you remember her warp..er, jump dreams?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 30 June 2022, 03:17:58
Pretty much exactly her jump dreams, aside from what she herself does.  Well played!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 30 June 2022, 05:30:53
guess she's a Borg now.

But is her Borg form like the queen with cybernetic exterior, or like 7 of 9 with catsuit?   ;D

Or will she go for a more combat-capable form like the Major (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motoko_Kusanagi), Alita (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Angel_Alita), or Naomi (https://topstrongest.fandom.com/wiki/Naomi_Armitage)?

The other fun is that in ~30 years or so, people will be wondering why Arthur is getting older and she isn't.  Time for a few physical changes, to help prepare for a new identity?  Perhaps some of her 'kids' will have the same Cholmann's issue, and they will be brought into the upgrade path.  So Kowloon will be guided by a cluster of hidden immortals, trying to remain moral along with their immortality.


Of course Comstar (and WoB) would be very interested in the technology.  Imagine a WoB able to provide all their people with basic versions of their cybernetics (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Manei_Domini#Manei_Domini_Cybernetics) with a minor injection/medical process.  When it is time for someone to be promoted, the people welcoming them to the new level place their hands on the person, and via contact wireless communications provide the unified instructions to that person's SCMR-hive to build the new upgrades.  After receiving the instructions, the new member is told to pray to Blake.  As the person is praying to Blake, they can also feel the enhanced cybernetics coming online internally as well.  (The prayers are mnemonics and meditation techniques so their mind can be in the right state for the cybernetics to link properly.  If the new cybernetics don't come online properly, that tells the other MD that you might be a potential infiltrator.)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: BATTLEMASTER on 30 June 2022, 06:25:10
Just imagine - in a thousand years the people of the Inner Sphere will all be T-1000-like beings.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Wereling on 30 June 2022, 07:02:09
I wonder if the experience of a K-F jump changes with parts of your brain replaced by nanotech?
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 30 June 2022, 09:07:14
I wonder if the experience of a K-F jump changes with parts of your brain replaced by nanotech?

I wonder if Liz goes into the jump as a cyborg and emerges from the jump as rather messy grey goo ...   ???
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Wereling on 30 June 2022, 14:26:57
I wonder if Liz goes into the jump as a cyborg and emerges from the jump as rather messy grey goo ...   ???

I mean, in-universe electronics go through a jump all the time. I doubt it would be fatal. However, what happened with the Bright Star Auto Scout makes me wonder what the side effects would be.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: HABeas2 on 30 June 2022, 15:40:13
It's any sufficiently smart AIs that suffer "madness" effects when jumping. The Bright Star and the Caspar drones can't hack it, and neither can their pale imitations unleashed in the Jihad. Dumb electronics that require constant human input to do their jobs are largely immune. The Word of Blake's cyborgs could travel through hyperspace with no ill-effects (so far as we know, but then again, they were already off their rockers by the time they became cyborgs anyway).

In Elizabeth's case, well... how smart is her nanotech?

- Herb
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: idea weenie on 30 June 2022, 16:09:23
In case someone was wondering, here is the Jump Dream (https://bg.battletech.com/forums/fan-fiction/self-configuring-modular-robot/msg1838146/#msg1838146)

I mean, in-universe electronics go through a jump all the time. I doubt it would be fatal. However, what happened with the Bright Star Auto Scout makes me wonder what the side effects would be.

Here is the post where the SCMR go dormant during jumps:
(snip)
"Not really.  Jaime's still looking for a less intrusive solution, the problem is, there isn't one, and there's not likely to BE one, there might've been one back in '41 or '42, definitely was one back in '33, before the ****** things figured out how to go dormant during a jump, you know, when the smallest ones were still the size of my hand instead of the size of a ****** grain of rice...and it's confirmed by other means, the Clans, the people who sent us are coming-Kerlin died, Ulric's good but he's up against a lot of factors in the homeworlds that were under control before those morons from Comstar stumbled onto the cluster."
(snip)
***
(snip)
Liz spread her hands, "Not really?  if they're surviving jump space to spread then an EMP won't cleanse an infestation."

"Spores." Yvonne had found her 'niche'-while the others had only a passing interest in biology, she'd found it far more engaging than their mechanical, electronic, chemical and physics activities, and she had, by eight, gained her proper place as the gang's 'bio expert'.  "spores can survive where the plants and fungi they form can't.  it's why you can find the same mold on just about every planet human beings live on."

"huh." Liz frowned.  "yeah, that checks...so, if we can stop the spores, we can stop the growth?"
(snip)

How the inactive spores get powered by a jump:
(snip)
"It hunts spores." she said,  "Yvonne figured out what the machines were doing.  The spores are inactive until they've been exposed to KF fields, the EM actually charges and activates them, and the waste infrared from a jump is absorbed, after that, they move and replicate...like a fungal lifeform or some of the lowest-level animal forms, as they grow and reproduce, they gain additional processing, getting cleverer through a heuristic algorithm. the crisis is because we're looking at...Yvonne, what did you call it?"

"Invasive Species." Yvonne announced, "The self-replicating robots are like an invasive species, no natural predators, so they consume their environment and keep reproducing, only shifting their behavior and structure to react to shortage in habitat or resources, and I think they've got a drive to reproduction like other lifeforms."
(snip)

So anyone converted to SCMR-bodies would likely have a sensor within them to detect an upcoming KF jump and put themselves on standby, waking up when the jump is complete.  Li-F double-jumps might cause an issue, until the next program update to handle double-jumps.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 30 June 2022, 17:20:32
You've put WAY too much thought in to this...  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Giovanni Blasini on 30 June 2022, 18:42:55
That’s the motto of Battletech in general.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Korzon77 on 30 June 2022, 19:05:03
You know, I was thinking--there might actually be a lot of salvageable people in the LC on the corruption thing. Because evidently its normalized corruption just the Way things Are. Everyone takes a little bit, because that's how its done.

So a lot of people who were just taking their cut might actually be horrified when they realize that they've been part of a system literally destroying the LC.

Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 30 June 2022, 19:23:09
Those are the people who will survive and prosper after their punishment...  ^-^
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Euphonium on 30 June 2022, 21:24:12
You've put WAY too much thought in to this...  ::)

You say that like it's a bad thing...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 01 July 2022, 03:18:44
Which I definitely did NOT say!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Wereling on 01 July 2022, 10:26:28
So anyone converted to SCMR-bodies would likely have a sensor within them to detect an upcoming KF jump and put themselves on standby, waking up when the jump is complete.  Li-F double-jumps might cause an issue, until the next program update to handle double-jumps.

My only concern there is that shutting down parts of the brain for a jump may not be possible, depending on things like what parts of the brain are being handled synthetically and the startup time of the synthetic parts.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 01 July 2022, 21:15:51
Eh, we sleep every day...  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 02 July 2022, 07:59:03
 ... yes but while we sleep parts of our brains definitely are not running out of our nose as reddish-grey goo ...  >:D
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Sir Chaos on 02 July 2022, 09:35:56
... yes but while we sleep parts of our brains definitely are not running out of our nose as reddish-grey goo ...  >:D

Now you tell me...
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Cannonshop on 02 July 2022, 09:50:45
I'm not gonna write that death scene, but you guys all cottoned on to the fact Lizzie's fate in THIS universe is the worst one yet.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: cklammer on 02 July 2022, 10:00:10
That's fine - apparently most of us have vivid imaginations anyway ...  ::)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: DOC_Agren on 07 July 2022, 21:17:47
So I was watching Strange Evidence on the Science Channel tonight

and they talked about Claytronics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claytronics) and  Smart Dust (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartdust).  And all I thought of was this story.
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Daryk on 08 July 2022, 02:40:48
That's pretty much where Cannonshop was going, yep!  8)
Title: Re: Self Configuring Modular Robot.
Post by: Wrangler on 02 August 2022, 08:36:42
I've finished archiving/reposting the story to the BattleTech Fanon Wiki (https://battletechfanon.fandom.com/wiki/Self_Configuring_Modular_Robot) for safe keeping.  So it will be there for folks to read.

---Readers Cap On---

I like the story, it seemed to get lost by 3055.  Inner Sphere has totally forgot the Machine Plague that was consuming the Inner Sphere planet by planet. Then we don't hear anything about it. It gone...not mentioned again.  That part little upsetting/disappointing.   Ngo could have been used as key to allow plague to stop or there could been epic fight or something.  Raider war against the Clans & Elizabeth's struggle try fend off the virus seem take center stage sort of.  Its about her of course, but the main threat was dropped.  That's disappointing.

I wish there was more, Elizabeth's ending is fine with me. 
----Readers Cap Off---