Author Topic: Freespace Headcanons  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Look up "Von-Neumann-Probe" and "exponential growth". It is absurd, yes. About as absurd as an FTL drive that moves you from one inertial reference frame to another.

Even exponentially growing von neumann probes cannot colonize a galaxy like Milky Way in "thousands of years", as they are still limited by the speed of light. At best they can approach the 100k years limit.

999,999 years is “thousands of years”.

 
I think it would be insanely hard even for the Shivans to destroy a civilisation that encompasses the entire galaxy, alone finding the homeworld could take decades (in which the Ancients could adapt to the Shivans and still have the resources to execute their plans while they couldn't in canon).

 

Offline General Battuta

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Why? We know the Lucifer fleet took out the Ancient home world. We have no idea how long passed between first contact and that final cull. It’s not the only viable reading, but it’s a plausible one. Decades are milliseconds at the galactic scale, and with subspace the Shivans could be almost literally everywhere at once.

 
Absolutly agree with the galactic time scale thing, but if they have the population to fill the entire galaxy they have incredible industrial and scientific resources thousands upon thousands of times larger than the GTVA. Despite being ridiculous small in terms of size Terrans and Vasudan are probably only a few decades away from catching up with the Shivans in most technological aspects minus supernova (Sol isn't even part of that).

 

Offline The E

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This is, again, a very anthropomorphic reaction. But consider what must be true about a civilization that can colonize a galaxy using STL travel. One of those things, almost certainly, is that such a civilization would move, culturally speaking, much much slower than any human civilization. Think "ents" rather than humans; It would be reasonable to assume that the shivans were, on all axes of interaction, an Outside Context Problem for the Ancients -- They use FTL rather than relativistic travel, they use it far more freely and adeptly than the Ancients, they are utterly immune to whatever weapons the Ancients have and almost invisible to their sensors, they can iterate on strategies in a matter of minutes rather than days or years.
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The Ancients possessed FTL for quite a while before the Shivans attacked though. If not all Ancients had access to FTL (it would probably take a long time if it was discovered in one location to spread throughout the galaxy), would the Shivans even look for those parts not having them?

 

Offline HLD_Prophecy

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This is, again, a very anthropomorphic reaction. But consider what must be true about a civilization that can colonize a galaxy using STL travel. One of those things, almost certainly, is that such a civilization would move, culturally speaking, much much slower than any human civilization. Think "ents" rather than humans; It would be reasonable to assume that the shivans were, on all axes of interaction, an Outside Context Problem for the Ancients -- They use FTL rather than relativistic travel, they use it far more freely and adeptly than the Ancients, they are utterly immune to whatever weapons the Ancients have and almost invisible to their sensors, they can iterate on strategies in a matter of minutes rather than days or years.

This is interesting  :) - how do you know that they would for a fact develop at a cultural crawl? Have we seen an STL galaxy-spanning species develop? Not saying you're wrong, it could certainly be, but I'd like to hear why you say it's a near certainty that they'd develop slowly rather than at the same rate or even a faster rate than human civilizations as we know them - why "must" that be true?

Certainly a slow-brewing culture is convenient for sci-fi writers who don't have to keep up with centuries of pop-culture trends.  :nod:  :lol:

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Did the ancients canonically have shields?   Not in my head.......
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Offline AdmiralRalwood

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One of my headcanons—which I got from Scotty—is that the Ancients' natural form of communication was FTL (for those familiar with BP canon, the idea was that it was specifically Nagari-like, making them uniquely vulnerable to Shivan mental e-war and adding another reason they were wiped out so effectively), giving an explanation of how they could maintain their culture while slowboating across the galaxy.
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Did the ancients canonically have shields?   Not in my head.......

I think it would have taken them longer to acquire them. The Shivans tend to protect their shields, perhabs the Ancients failed to get them due to lack of combat experience if they could slaughter everyone before with pure force alone instead of tactic.

However, one should keep in mind that they did travel between stars at STL speed, so they would need atleast some sort of powerful armor to protect their seed-units against micro-meteorites impacting at a significant portion of lightspeed.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Absolutly agree with the galactic time scale thing, but if they have the population to fill the entire galaxy they have incredible industrial and scientific resources thousands upon thousands of times larger than the GTVA. Despite being ridiculous small in terms of size Terrans and Vasudan are probably only a few decades away from catching up with the Shivans in most technological aspects minus supernova (Sol isn't even part of that).

Why would their development over tens or hundreds of thousands of years necessarily prepare them to fight the Shivans? Why do you think they would have incredible industrial and scientific resources, rather than 'the resources of one solar system, repeated thousands of times'?

What if they were like the scramblers in Blindsight, or even like humans using seedships - scattering their progeny across the stars to form lonely, disconnected colonies, most of which would fail, some of which would gain starflight and send ships out to make contact with others, but still limited to a fraction of lightspeed and a frightening attrition rate? Add in a possible ethos of xenophobia and racial purity, which might drive the Ancients to actively destroy 'post-Ancient' developments, and you end up with a milieu of splinter cultures actively competing with each other, not a pan-galactic supersociety.

That's the whole point I brought up in the beginning - the FS1 Shivans appear exquisitely adapted to fight a 'hard SF' civilization. They have capabilities which are essentially magical if you're a Reynolds/Watts style hard SF alien. They operate at ranges measured in kilometers, not light-seconds. They don't produce drive plumes while moving around, because they're in subspace, so all your long-range detection gear is useless; and even at ranges of kilometers, their ships are stealth even to sensors designed to deal with subspace enemies. Projectile weapons in FS are conventionally useless against shields (with destroyer-shattering bombs just washing over fighter shields!), and the Lucifer is Extra Shielded, as if it needed to shrug off attacks by fast kinetic weapons. 

It is possible, reading the canon, that the Ancients met the Shivans as soon as months after discovering subspace. Their campaign of xenocide up to that point could have been as simple as jumping through nodes, detecting inhabited planets, and firing impactors at them. They probably never fought an alien species with subspace at all! It's conceivable that the Ancients didn't even have warships as Terrans and Vasudans conceive them - vessels designed to survive high-yield exchanges at extremely short ranges. A single shielded Shivan fighter might have been enough to wipe out one of their 'capital' warships.

When the Shivans followed them, they may have understood the node network better than the Ancients themselves. They could have appeared in hundreds of systems over the span of mere years. A civilization used to operating on timescales of centuries or millennia would have been utterly unable to react.

 

Offline The E

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This is interesting  :) - how do you know that they would for a fact develop at a cultural crawl? Have we seen an STL galaxy-spanning species develop? Not saying you're wrong, it could certainly be, but I'd like to hear why you say it's a near certainty that they'd develop slowly rather than at the same rate or even a faster rate than human civilizations as we know them - why "must" that be true?

Our own experience with culture is one of rapid shifts. A hundred years ago, our lived experience was fundamentally different from our lives now; we assume that a hundred years from now, our experiences will be different still.
For us, an interstellar, STL culture is unimaginable. Our experience shows that we would lose much of whatever commonality we started out with in just a few decades of isolation.

But if we assume that the Ancients could built an interstellar society that way, then that must mean that their culture is much more static than ours is. That they can remain recognizably "Ancient" even if they've been out of touch with their homeworld for thousands of years.

To me, that suggests that they are slow to develop new ideas, and somewhat reluctant to adopt them when they do. They probably took a long time to switch from newtonian physics to Einsteinian, and probably even longer to adopt the utter mind****ery that subspace would have to be for them -- but when they did, they could disseminate that tech quickly because they knew that all the colonies out there were still thinking roughly the same way and still speaking the same language, something humans could not.
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Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
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I agree that the chance that the Ancients ever fought a species possessing subspace drives is extreme low. It is also my guess why the Ancients screwed up so badly after they ran across the Shivans, whereas the T-V had 14 years of practice.

I don't get the point with the sublight colonies though. At first you said they colonized the entire galaxy, now they're just a small bunch of people that ended up everywhere; and instead of purposeful colonisation the Ancients just didn't dared to throw their own surplus people directly into the next sun?

 

Offline General Battuta

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What difference do you see between colonizing the entire galaxy and ‘a bunch of people ending up everywhere’?

 

Offline Colt

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Did the ancients canonically have shields?   Not in my head.......

I agree. I feel that if they had shields then they would have known off the bat that shields+subspace=null, thus node-bombing the Lucifer a lot sooner and preserving their empire (even if temporarily). Granted the GTA and PVE had shields for a month or two before they destroyed the Lucifer, but my skullcannon tells me they were more concerned with tried and true conventional methods.

Edit: Also new, unrelated theory: The GTSC Erikson discovered the Knossos in Gamma Drac first. Admiral Bosch, who was likely a high-ranking officer in GT(V?)I by this point probably intervened and had the report stashed away and waited until he had secured more power/influence, then kicked off his rebellion to have full access to the old Ancient sites in Deneb.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 03:36:11 pm by Colt »

 
What difference do you see between colonizing the entire galaxy and ‘a bunch of people ending up everywhere’?

That there's a plan what to do after arriving at their target.


I don't think that the Erikson discovered the Knossos - an a couple km wide ship in a system is virtually undetectable.

 

Offline General Battuta

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What difference do you see between colonizing the entire galaxy and ‘a bunch of people ending up everywhere’?

That there's a plan what to do after arriving at their target.

Sure, the same plan any r-selector has: hope you can find a way to survive, and if you don't, well, hope somebody else did.

These aren't humans.

 
The hope of those relocating or the government wanting to get rid of them? I don't see why they would undertake such massive efforts if their colonisation would have no purpose. They could put them into some cheap rocket and directly launch into the next sun or have them self destruct at the rim of the system. Results are the same.

 

Offline General Battuta

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You are thinking way too much like a human. Go read Blindsight, it's free and awesome.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Also, as a weird bit of trivia, it's less difficult to achieve solar escape velocity than to crash into the sun (at least starting from Earth).