Author Topic: An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)  (Read 387 times)

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An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)
Alright friends, riddle me this.

One technology that is a fixture of the wider Freespace universe beyond BP is near-instantaneous, intersystem communication. We see several examples of this throughout the main FS2 campaign (been too long since I played FS1 to remember if there as well) the most notable of which is allied command in the final mission of the main campaign when Capella goes nova. This implies that somehow, electromagnetic signals must be transmittable via subspace. The subspace nature of this tech is further reinforced by the fact that communications seems to hold in the Nebula, even with EM interference that sends sensors on the fritz with only a few exceptions (Kappa Wing).

In the BP continuity, it is explained that the root of NAGARI is the ability to project transmissions into minds via a similar subspace mechanism, and that ETAK succeeded by beaming transmissions directly into Shivan vessels IIRC, though I defer to the devs. This latter NAGARI component, broadcasting messages that translate into human thought, is certainly a technological leap from being able to broadcast signals that can be understood by a radio.

My question then is why is ETAK fundamentally different from the intersystem comms technology that is in widespread service? If the average GTVA fighter can carry intersystem comm gear, surely the technology is miniaturized and mundane enough that ETAK wouldn't be necessary. Why couldn't Bosch or the NTC Trinity have just pointed their ship's intersystem comms gear at any Shivan vessel and kicked off communication that way if regular transmissions did not work? Could every fighter in the GTVA inventory then have the ability to communicate with the Shivans?


Offline Colonol Dekker

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Re: An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)
Because etak transmits in shivan.

Re: An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)
Because etak transmits in shivan.

Ah but that's the thing, what is "shivan"? Surely it can't be a language as traditionally understood, as that requires cognition and would be the road to the great darkness. '

Therefore it would have to be more akin to computer code, which would make something like the Idun directory sufficient to communicate with the Shivans; you don't need a tech, just the codebook. And if modeled on code, then why is communicating with the shivans not the same as having the ability to control their actions?

Unless of course, just as the Shivans are shown in Universal Truth 2 to evolve their ships to match the given threat, that somehow their mode of communication, be it a mathematical or traditional language, evolves on a somewhat random basis, but that would raise questions about the utility of the Idun directory 50 years after its compilation.

Re: An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)
Merely because the inter and intra system comms involve subspace, doesn't automatically mean that the human body is capable of receiving them. I think of them as simple radio with a subspace component. You still need a device to convert the electromagnetic signal to something we can perceive.

I think of Nagari (and ETAK) more as the non-local manipulation of quantum effects. Something more akin with going into your brain and directly manipulating specific nerves to fire. That is a fairly gross, as in using a howitzer to take out a mosquito, use of such a technology (or natural ability) but it seems that there are quite a few constraints placed on the various Nagari actors.


Offline QuakeIV

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Re: An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)
Given that a single Shivan specimen is seemingly vastly more powerful than the mightiest UEF computer banks (cassandra), I think its perfectly reasonable that humans in their extreme low-tech-ness would need a gigantic machine to properly communicate with the Shivans.

Certainly that wouldn't be needed if the Shivans had any desire on their part to communicate, but they for the most part didn't really seem to have any desire to do that in a big way prior to ETAK going into use and catching their attention.

Re: An ETAK in Everyone's Pocket (minor BP spoilers)
As far as I understand, subspace comms send regular radio waves through subspace to their destination. ETAK and Nagari are subspace waves, they're created in subspace and propagate through it unlike regular waves that simply use it as means of traversal.
The way waves propagate in subspace might be entirely different for those that are created in subspace vs those that were created in realspace and sent into subspace, therefore different tech is required.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded