Author Topic: Newish Shivan Theory  (Read 1579 times)

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Newish Shivan Theory
I posted this earlier, but I thought it merited its own thread. IMNSHO, it keeps the Shivans alien while explaining many of their actions.

I. ORIGINS AND MOTIVATIONS
The Shivans evolved in a rapidly-changing environment that encouraged copying stronger life forms (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em), assimilating weaker ones which were sufficiently malleable (by directing their evolution), and destroying weaker ones which were disruptive or less malleable. These became their core motivations, even after they had eliminated all competition and moved on to other environments, where the strategy was no longer optimal.

II. THE ANCIENTS AND THE GREAT WAR
The Ancients were not malleable, and they were destroying more malleable species which could otherwise have been assimilated. In contrast, by working together and pooling resources, the Terrans and Vasudans demonstrated their ability to merge technologies and adapt. Accordingly, the Shivans launched a subtle, long-term program to manipulate Terran and Vasudan progress, partly by confronting us with increasingly powerful threats.

III. HE WHO FIGHTS WITH MONSTERS
For example, the Lucifer gave us beam technology; in FS2, when we were stronger, the Shivans deployed many more beam-equipped warships. By the end of FS2, we are using or learning to use Shivan technology (shields, beams, Kayser weaponry) and tactics (adaptation, subspace maneuvers, acceptance of casualties). We are ever-so-slightly closer to being assimilated. Note that the Shivans could destroy us at any time (e.g. via the Lucifer fleet's still-unknown point of entry), but choose not to.

IV. THE COSMIC SCALE
The GTVA is one of many societies that are being groomed for assimilation. The Shivans are managing a vast "educational system" for various life forms, some more Shivan than others. The Shivan forces in any given classroom are uniquely suited to their students, and are somewhat different from the "true" Shivans at the center: the ones who pull the strings and maintain the records. After billions of years of adaptation and assimilation, the Shivans have become a great average - sort of an ideal to which all life forms gravitate, willingly or otherwise.

V. ADMIRAL BOSCH AND CAPELLA
Admiral Bosch surprised the Shivans. His communication with them demonstrated an understanding far beyond what was expected, given the GTVA's primitiveness. He was such an anomaly, in fact, that the local Shivan forces didn't know how to respond, so they sent him on a high-priority flight to their administrators. The destruction of Capella created a temporary connection to the main Shivan systems. It was merely a time-saver, with side effects that the Shivans deemed insignificant. They could have gone a longer, less spectacular way around, but they couldn't be bothered.

VI. FUTURE POSSIBILITIES
The Shivans could view Admiral Bosch's game changer as a dangerous aberration, a monumental achievement, or even an insoluble paradox - respectively resulting in our immediate annihilation, an acceleration of their program, and their going berserk or ignoring us altogether. On the GTVA's side, a suicidal and extremely well-informed strike force could follow the juggernauts into the belly of the beast, during the final moments of FS2.

 

Offline qwadtep

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Re: Newish Shivan Theory
Fair enough. A bit XCOM-ish, maybe.

acceptance of casualties
When did that happen? As I recall, the loss of destroyers, the Colossus, and Third Fleet as an effective fighting force are all portrayed as seriously stinging the GTVA, and the evacuation of Capella itself begins the moment the Shivans are encountered a system away.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Newish Shivan Theory
e.g. via the Lucifer fleet's still-unknown point of entry
Assuming the Lucifer didn't arrive through the Knossos, before it was deactivated.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 
Re: Newish Shivan Theory
Fair enough. A bit XCOM-ish, maybe.

I just read a summary of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. You're right, there are several similarities. I developed the social engineering idea to account for the Shivans' game-like behavior: continual escalation, attacking in waves, and general inefficiency. I was also inspired by Blue Planet.

When did that happen? As I recall, the loss of destroyers, the Colossus, and Third Fleet as an effective fighting force are all portrayed as seriously stinging the GTVA, and the evacuation of Capella itself begins the moment the Shivans are encountered a system away.

Good point. I guess it's not accepting casualties, but hardening against them. The Vasudans in particular appear to have taken the loss of their homeworld in stride.

Assuming the Lucifer didn't arrive through the Knossos, before it was deactivated.

That's possible, though Gamma Draconis is some distance from Ross 128 (where the Shivans were first encountered?) - using known jump nodes, anyway.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Newish Shivan Theory
Assuming the Lucifer didn't arrive through the Knossos, before it was deactivated.

That's possible, though Gamma Draconis is some distance from Ross 128 (where the Shivans were first encountered?) - using known jump nodes, anyway.
...And? The Lucifer and its fleet are perfectly capable of making subspace jumps.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 
Re: Newish Shivan Theory
...And? The Lucifer and its fleet are perfectly capable of making subspace jumps.

I meant that the Shivans would have had to remain undercover until they reached Ross 128, which is admittedly within their capabilities. The impression I got from ST:R was that their entry point was probably somewhere in Ross 128; the system was a hive of Shivan activity, and the last to be purged.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Newish Shivan Theory
I meant that the Shivans would have had to remain undercover until they reached Ross 128
I don't think they were exactly trying to hide from the Ancients, seeing as how they were wiping them out at the time.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: Newish Shivan Theory
I think the idea is that, the Lucifer entered the "GTVA" systems long before humanity and vasudanity discovered subspace travel. The knossos was then shut off, and the Lucifer fleet has been prowling (or not prowling and simply in some sort of power-off stasis making them very difficult to detect until GTI found/woke them up?) those systems ever since - perhaps in the less-explored end of the Ross 128 chain, which would exclude the need for an unknown entry point.
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 
Re: Newish Shivan Theory
Oh, I see what you're saying. That makes sense.

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

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Re: Newish Shivan Theory
Well, the alternative is that the deactivation of the Knossos was a recent event, which would be... odd.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 
Re: Newish Shivan Theory
Maybe the portal's deactivation was an attempt by the Ancients to cut off the Shivans, but it failed because there were other avenues into GTVA space.