NationStates Jolt Archive

GMC: Another prawn on the barbie.

The Territory
04-06-2003, 15:36
OOC: Just a friendly grill party. Nothing to see here. GMC and Territory only.

With the MACs finished, there's only been work on Trogdor and other less sane projects at the Tractor Collective. Some of the TC folk have gone home to spend some time with their families and friends. Most are here now, on the Embassy lot. There are a lot of sports activities going on outside, messing about in the kitchens, general relaxation. Some busybodies are already messing around with grills - not really necessary yet.

The Embassy lot is big, in a green area, and surrounded by a tall wall. The building is massive, sloping, mostly white but with some decor and mosaics in soft colors. Looked at closely it's more a cluster of buildings sharing common spaces - it looks a number of largish villas had grown together. Actually, that's how the chaotic blueprints were produced, by a process of simulated growth and modification. There are two floors and a somewhat smaller volume in sublevels.

The grounds are mostly open but are broken up by bushes and trees - there are larger groves near opposing corners. There is, however, an obvious open zone just by the walls. And a lot of highly technical and very paranoid defenses run by nonsapient AI. The result - pretty much the most palatable survivalist compound and nuclear shelter you ever saw. There are reasons a country of less than 25 million is counted as an economic and military power on par with countries 30 times its size. Heavily automated industry providing obscene per-capita spending is one, hence the architecture.

There's been some notes - NAI means anyone dealing with the Territory had better have an office drone on hand to deal with endless pestering by anal-retentive expert systems; the upside is that things tend to go like clockwork once everything is sorted. Offers of augmented reality headsets and gloves to converse with the AI representative. Informal means quite informal, come any way you want - oh yes, you're formally Visitors but since you're Citizen equivalents you are encouraged to go armed, it's tradition. Really no allergies? Blah blah freaking blah.
GMC Military Arms
04-06-2003, 15:46
GMC limos pull up out front, escorted by a squardon of Land Sharks, which are probably becoming extremely familiar to the Territory representatives. A party steps out, and enters.

[Major figures are:
Field Marshal Anne-Marie Embersby (+wife)
Group Captain Sabrina Lawrence, AFSO
Major Kurt Wagner, SFAT
Dr. Alice Merriweather, head of mil R&D (+Dr. Josef Specter from The Most Glorious Hack)]
GMC Military Arms
04-06-2003, 16:21
<If that seemed like an extremely lazy post, 's cos I've got to go out now.>
The Territory
04-06-2003, 17:33
<np, I just popped by home on the way out. I'll edit this into a less lazy post when I get back. :D>
The Territory
05-06-2003, 12:22
[OOC: Or post anew for bumpage]

The security personnel salute Territorial style. That is pretty much not at all, as pointing out officers for snipers while breaking your own concentration was considered a bad idea back in the old days. Barest nod at the leader of the friendly party, then looking past them ready to deal with any problems. Not necessary here perhaps, but this bit of showing off discipline is the equivalent of people standing around at attention.

Inside stands Ambassador Jan Ntsondo, flanked by his sister Johanna and holding hands with a baseline human male in his forties, Caucasian, weatherbeaten with sandy hair and a lean build. As mentioned, Jan is fairly short, obscenely fit and looks very much like his sister. When they're standing beside each other the resemblance becomes almost ridiculous - aside from breasts and slightly wider hips and a very slightly slimmer build, one might need Johanna's longer hair to tell them apart.

Jan makes a fair, much more relaxed approximation of the Prussian-style bow favored in formal contexts, one that does not require him to let go of his companion's hand. "Welcome, ladies, gentlemen. Please meet Guards Captain Miles Dragovich, my..." Very brief exchange of looks "... co-husband is probably the best word. My sister Doctor Johanna Ntsondo I believe some of you have communicated with. Please, step in and make yourself at home."

Behind him is the big lawn, with relaxing people and a couple of enhanced simian gardeners.
The Territory
07-06-2003, 01:39
Thermonuclear anti-matter napalm bump.
The Most Glorious Hack
07-06-2003, 02:09
Dr. Specter, smiles and offers a 'hello' to the Territory reps. He looks to be in his thirties, average height and build. He's largely unremarkable looking, except for his longish brown hair (pulled back, goes to his shoulder blades), and his left arm. The arm is made of titanium, with black brushed-titanium highlights. It looks about the same as a real arm, save for being made of metal. His dress is casual. Teeshirt casual.

He looks rather intreagued by everything around him, considering the nonexistant state of Hacker eugenics. He views everything through his scientist eyes, and only snaps out of his reverie after a light elbow from Alice, who is standing next to him.

"Oh, sorry. I'm Josef, from the Hack. Pleased to meet you all."
The Territory
07-06-2003, 03:59
Alice's elbow dig is echoed by one of Jan's directed at Johanna. She's been looking very intently at the integration of his arm with his shoulder, pausing only to flick her gaze across some of Anne-Marie Embersby's muscle groups and joints. And any psychic present might note that she's ogling Anne-Marie far more in a vivisectory manner than an amorous one.

As if that's a comfort.

"We met briefly at the SHIVA unveiling, didn't we? Please, come in and make yourselves at home. I'm very happy you could come, Josef." Odd smile, not showing teeth. "I'll try to keep my sister from prodding you too much."

Johanna makes a face at Jan.

Josef's hit the nail on the head if he intended to match local style. Dress is generally muscle shirt and drawstring pants informal. And either there was a sale on nice off-white cotton workout clothes or there's a uniform thing going on.

Miles speaks up. "Let's go in, shall we?"

[OOC: Edit to put h's in "Johanna". Darn that von Sachshausen woman!]
GMC Military Arms
07-06-2003, 09:44
[I swear, there's some damn conspiracy at work trying to stop me answering this. Just started yesterday and my fiancee turned up, tried again earlier and my parents' car died. I guess that only leaves spontaneous human combustion <Fwoomph>]

Most of the GMC delegation are casually dressed, save Major Wagner who's still wearing his half-dress uniform. And is incidentally carrying a railgun slung across his back as well as an assortment of other weaponry, concealed or otherwise. Casually for the rest is generally in respect of the cold. No short skirts.

Alice smiles, 'Hi there. Alice Merriweather, head of R & D.'

Annie is rather busy giving Joanna an odd look, 'Inside sounds like a good idea...'
The Most Glorious Hack
07-06-2003, 09:49
While not quite that casual (prefering jeans to tie-pants), he almost doesn't notice Joanna looking at his arm, having grown used to such interest. "I'm thrilled to be invited, and inside sounds like a plan."
07-06-2003, 11:42
Sorry but i don't get what this thread is about. Can someone please fill me in
GMC Military Arms
07-06-2003, 11:47
<It's a diplomatic 'thing' between me, The Territory and The Hack.>
07-06-2003, 11:49
i'll let you be then.
The Territory
08-06-2003, 22:53
There's some kind of area heating and thin film tent thing going on by the actual grills. The volleyball players and the people in the steaming pool don't seem to mind the cold much, though. Or the ones playing a knife-tossing game.

Johanna comes to her senses. "Ah. Oh, sorry, I was just admiring your wife." Beat. Bigsweat moment.

Jan tries to sidetrack the conversation. "Yes, let's go inside by all means. My sister will be with you in a moment, Alice. As soon as her foot comes out of her mouth. I hope I wasn't too forward, but first names are sort of traditional at these affairs. Please, come in."

[OOC: Ah yes, winter. *smacks self over head* Well, if I can't think up a cheap bit of technlogical weaseling my name isn't Brannon Braga! Uh, it isn't. Never mind.

And you're not the only one, GMC. Long time net access downtime, then fluttery forums... Grr! Argh!]
GMC Military Arms
09-06-2003, 12:31
Annie smiles, ''S alright*.'

Alice nods, 'First names are fine. So, how are you guys getting on here?'

[*'I know damn well you're lying but I really don't care either way']
The Most Glorious Hack
09-06-2003, 13:29
Josef smirks, enjoying a spot of people-watching. Wandering into the tent with the group, looking at the actual material of the tent, and random items. He tries to think of something to say, fails miserably, and keeps his mouth shut.
The Territory
10-06-2003, 02:32
Johanna, not knowing the level to which she has been owned, appears reassured. She latches on to Alice.

"We're doing great, actually. You let us have a good-sized plot of land so we don't go nuts, and I'm getting to work on Trogdor. He's actually in final assembly now that the new double-mirror reactor got in but the arm's a bit wimpy so he won't be able to throw an Abrams more than fifty or..." Johanna's talking quickly now, and there's a distinctly unhealthy gleam in her eye. Possibly one familiar to Alice from looking into mirrors.

The people are a bit odd... they're all smiles and waves but there is a flinty-eyed look to many of them. There are two obvious groups - one the compact, androgynous type the Ntsondos belong to, generally looking somewhat part-African, all rather darker than they "should" be. The other group is humans, and judging from the ones on the volleyball field and teh way they move they're enhanced as well. There's a sense that the humans are generally older, more mature, respected. Talking is mostly rather low, and there's a great deal of obvious physical affection.

The tent seems to be made of several layers of some ultrathin plastic with air inbetween - on a slightly foggy day it would probably be next to invisible. From the look of it, it's held up by the area heaters and grills.

The group proceeds into the building, where Jan speaks up. "I thought we might get to know each other and get some work done, but first; does anyone need the kitchen for fixing anything up, put food into marinade or anything?"
The Territory
10-06-2003, 02:33
All your phpBB bugs are belong to Carmen Santiago.
The Most Glorious Hack
10-06-2003, 08:12
is Carmen Sandiago, anyway?]

Josef half listens to Johanna, but becomes lost rather quickly when he realises that they aren't talking electronics.

Instead he turns to Jan, "Can't think of any need, myself. I have to say, this is all pretty intreging to me. We don't have anything by the way of eugenics in the Hack."
GMC Military Arms
10-06-2003, 09:47
'Shouldn't have any need of the kitchen for a while,' says Annie, 'Just keep Elisa's food away from everyone else's.'

Alice smiles to Johanna, 'Ah yes, I've been hearing about this Trogdor conversion...Tell me, have you heard of Nihilanth?'
The Territory
10-06-2003, 13:53
"Meeting room it is, then... Maybe it's for the better, Josef. It's not like there hasn't been problems in making social integration work. But I'm not complaining, really." Exchange of smiles and touch of hands with Miles. "Oh... technically I'm a transgenic work rather than eugenic, though we do control reproduction in the enhancile population for eugenics reasons, to keep from inbreeding mostly. Is genetics one of your fields of interest?"

Miles turns to Annie and Elisa. "No problem whatsoever there, I'm mostly vegetarian myself. While Mr Posthuman Predator here..." elbow attempt-block-counter-parry-backfist-grab-cuddle "...likes his meat, I prefer to partake of foods from lower in the food chain. Ideological reasons. Unless I intrude, why did you choose to go vegetarian?"

Johanna lights up. "It's a work of art with some actual use... that gan be good or bad, I love the Yui because when the design study was made there was no way to even start building it and it remains near-useless. I only know the barest essentials about the Nihilanth... and I've read some Jane's listings that smell like you've been doing nice desinformation work."

There are two large common areas in the building; three somewhat connected salles d'armes and a large meandering water, bath and indoor garden area. The meeting room is in an appendix of the water area, sealed off only by a sliding door of blonde wood. Comfortable chairs and couches, gurgling waters, climbing plants on the walls. There a large holo in the center running a "realtime window onto pleasant places" program, and augmented-reality headsets and gloves stowed in armrests.

The door goes g-chunk, the air goes oppressive for an instant and a green "Room Secure, Comms Relays Active." message appears in the tank.

[OOC: Thanks for not saving my selfesteem from utter ruin by not spelling the name right either. Or maybe you did and my SE is going down. :D]
The Most Glorious Hack
10-06-2003, 14:04
"Actually, I tend to work with electronics, but considering we just recently figured out the DNA* stuff, I'm somewhat interested in seeing where the research will lead. We've spent most of our resources on computing and telecommunications, so other areas... lag." He points over to the headsets and gloves on the armrests, "That, I can figure out, for example."

When the door clunks, and everything goes green for a moment, Josef's right eyebrow arches up, a quizzical look on his face.

[* By "figured out" he means, they know what it is, and what it looks like. They haven't actually done anything with it yet.]
GMC Military Arms
10-06-2003, 14:13
Alice grins, 'Now, if I were to tell you we'd bought two trimaran aircraft carrier hulls, attached them end-on-end, modified them beyond recognition and were going to mount a pair of 52.6 inch guns on them, you'd say...?'

Elisa puts her arm around Annie's waist, 'Well, I just don't like the idea of eating meat...Um...' pause, 'Didn't catch you name, actually...'
The Territory
11-06-2003, 13:30
"Hm..." Jan ponders. "Actually, I understand that the primary obstacle to the original transgenic work was in areas related to cryptanalysis. Compared to that, the molecule-pushing was fairly trivial..."


"Ah. Security. The architects made the embassy 'tanks' pleasant rather than grey concrete rooms, and I can't say I'm not grateful. Comms relays feeding any actual signals to the outside and back by optics, but we're not giving anything away TEMPEST-wise."

Joanna is starting to light up seriously. "Thirteen-thirties on a naval platform, and I'm guessing muzzle v in the four-kps range?" Grinding gears. "I'd say you're as bad as I, that you've got some very good materials and design in the recoil-distributing structures, and that you're probably firing scramjet-powered kinetic impactors... five kps terminal v?"

"Miles. Miles Dragovich, Guards Captain. At your service., Ms... ah, Elisa. Sorry." Sketch of bow, not quite as informal as Jan's and Joanna's manners but clearly making an effort. "Married to that lug over there and four others, raising up a gaggle of little ones."
GMC Military Arms
11-06-2003, 13:50
[Not so hot on kph here...]

Alice: 'Well, they're actually a pair of Gauss guns built for the space program...They've fired projectiles into orbit. For Nihilanth we're using a fifteen-ton rocket-assisted projectile...A fair bit of that's the front heat shield, obviously, then there's about eight hundred surface-piercing independently guided submunitions with a seeking angle of about fifteen degrees. They hit at Mach twenty or so in simulations...'

Elisa looks a little confused, 'I don't mean to sound rude at all, and I'm sorry if I misheard, but...You're married to five people?'
The Most Glorious Hack
11-06-2003, 14:01
"Really? Interesting. If it really is just a matter of moving bits of code, I suspect that progress will be rather quick, now that we've isolated the stuff."

"Interesting way to approach security. We tend more towards huge blast doors, but there's something to be said for comfort features."
The Territory
12-06-2003, 12:38
"Is it a limited traverse mount pointing ahead or an actual turret?" Beat. "Waitaminute, what do those things use for guidance?" She does take the maneuvering penetrators in stride.

Miles considers. "Yes, we're a six person marriage. Three males, three females. It's become the typical family grouping in the Territory. The core thing is to make sure there are a group of adults helping to care for children, provide continuity and, yes, redundancy. You still get the problems with a poly marriage, the need for openness, no matter who's romantically involved with whom... well, those are generalities. We're more the canonical polyamorous marriage." He indicates the Embassy. "This building would be designed for five or so such groups, and a bunch of others. It' s supposed to feel like home but.. well, no young people."

Jan: "Well, it's a difficult code. And there were some oddities surrounding our design. But creating functioning transgenes like the servitors you saw outside is a lot easier than creating a species that'll procuce fertile offspring. Unless it's a tomato.

"And, well, this is just an isolation chamber. The basement shelter is more of the blast door variety."
The Territory
12-06-2003, 12:39
All your phpBB bugs are BLOODY HELL!
GMC Military Arms
12-06-2003, 12:46
'It's a double turret...Not having much luck with the mounting so far, and it kills it's barrels after three or four shots. Guidence is supposed to be satellite, once we've ironed the bugs out...' Alice grins, 'Isn't that half the fun?'

Elisa smiles, 'I'd find it hard to keep track...Just the one wife, here.'
The Territory
14-06-2003, 05:09
"That it is. I'm impressed that you've gotten it to fire at all without cracking the ship's hull, but then you do have a tradition of good naval architecture. Unlike, say, us."

"Keep track?" Hand moves to cheek, hiding a huge grin from the Ntsondos. "Believe me, I don't even try to keep track. Only important thing is, we know we love each other. The rest follows."
The Most Glorious Hack
14-06-2003, 08:40
Josef grins, "I assumed it'd be pretty complicated, considering what it encodes. Since we've just started working with it, we haven't really had a chance to form analogies. Thinking of it as code does make sense, tho." He seems honestly intregued by this concept. He pulls a small PDA from his back pocket, "just a moment, sorry," and makes a few quick notes before replacing it.

"I hope this doesn't come off as insensitive, but..." he pauses as if trying to figure out if he's about to put his foot in his mouth, "but... how, er, 'pervasive' are the genetic... manipulations here?"

[Yeah, Josef's not good with social graces...]
The Territory
15-06-2003, 23:53
Jan smiles, "Close enough that cryptanalysis was a key development if I remember my History of Technlogy classes right."

"How pervasive... consider this. We're a multispecies nation, with a constitution that specifically ignores a person's species. Just under ten per cent of our population is of a posthuman species - we look close to human, we interact well with humans, but we're not human. Pretty much every human born in the Territory is extensively genofixed to prevent a large number of genetic problems. So, genetic manipulation is quite pervasive.
"I hope that didn't sound alarmist. Really, we're just another culture."
The Most Glorious Hack
16-06-2003, 14:42
"Hmmm..." Josef lets this tumble around in his head for a few moments. "Fair enough. My question was more out of scientific curiosity, rather than... erm... xenophobia. Especially as this is a whole different field for me."
GMC Military Arms
17-06-2003, 13:20
'Well...Early similations firing the guns as they were mounted on land gave a thirty-two percent rate of capsizing or sinking outright, much higher without the trimaran hull. There's some heavy modification underway at the moment to fix them for the new mounts. Of course, Akujiki won't have those problems, since we're purpose-building those guns for combat instead of satellite launches.'
The Territory
21-06-2003, 23:15
A smile. "A certain xenophobia is merited, Josef. Paranoia does have the virtue of keeping one alive, after all. I don't mind - this embassy reflects typical Territory architecture which tells quita a bit about our outlook, pleasant and girded in reinforced concrete. We value prudence highly.
"Or 'paranoia' as some might call it."

"You're actually capable of fielding railguns of that power on a surface combatant?" Joanna looks at Alice with unsettling admiration. "You see the need we have for improvements in surface ship design?"

[OOC: Bad case of RL... when the forums or my connection weren't acting up pretty much all I could post was pissy little semiflames. :? Sorry.]
The Most Glorious Hack
22-06-2003, 05:23
He smirks, "I can see your point. However, considering the wide range of... people on this planet, xenophobia reaches a point of diminishing returns rather quickly." He glances around the embassy and smiles. "Ah yes, and iron fist in a velvet glove, I suppose. That's okay, we're pretty big on hiding our security functions too."
GMC Military Arms
23-06-2003, 08:46
'Well...We're pretty proud of our work.' she smiles, 'Hey, have you seen this?'

It's a thick folder marked 'Mammoth series dev file <external copy>'

'I think it might interest you a little...'

<A lot, actually. As well as the Mk7A2 with SAM launchers and a nuclear reactor, there's also heavily censored reports on the experimental fusion-powered railgun-armed Mk7A3 and the proposed AG Mk7A4. In addition, there's some detail on the 6x10 VLS-array equipped arsenal tank Bahamut and the AEGIS-equipped Werewolf, as well as a few dozen more ideas, details on the MAP and HMAP and a slightly bemused report on Trogdor.>
The Territory
25-06-2003, 17:12
"I think," Jan replies "and this is just me, that if you put yourself in a physical bunker you're likely to put yourself in a mental one as well. A strongly built house is a different thing. Xenophobia... ultimately, xenophobia is simply stupid. Where do you draw the line?"

"I think it will, even though I'm not the one with the glossy paper fetish." Johanna smiles, then goes... odd for a bit. She leafs methodically through the documentation, then sits for a short while.

"Quite impressive. I'd argue that tracked AFVs as large as the Mark Seven are inefficient however well built, but these might come close to working. And they pretty much confirm that you're beyond any SATO standard - SATO standard we'll have to discuss later." Polite nod to FM Embersby.

"The A4 is the only model I have issues with. Ah..

"You've seen the harness-drive vehicles coming into Territory use. Those aren't gravitic, rather they use a reactionless drive we've only recently been able to get useful thrust-to-weight ratios from at sea level - it's much more efficient in flat space.

"Anyway, the first interface ships and fighters are coming into service, and even before that we could have built a flying tank... we'll probably re-kludge Trogdor for harness drive. In any case.." Several mean-looking AFVs appear in the tank. "...these may look good but simulations strongly indicate that staying close to conventional tank designs will be a waste of a good drive package. Except for topside turrets of course.

"As for how to actually build an effective battle platform, we don't know. We're ripping off various sources and fabricating short series, but so far we haven't really struck gold, except possibly in one eight-fifty-ton vehicle." Ugly, blunt, wide wedge-shapes in the tank.
The Most Glorious Hack
26-06-2003, 09:59
"Hm... can't say that I thought of it like that. You raise interesting points, however. I wager xenophobia of most any type would cause issues, even if the planet was full of... "normal" humans." He frowns, "One of our allies is so xenophobic, I wear long sleeves and gloves."

"As for drawing lines, well, that's a pretty difficult thing to do, I wager."
GMC Military Arms
27-06-2003, 11:36
Alice smiles, 'Personally, I think ASPD's pushing the landship concept a little with the AEGIS platform, but then we do need something like that to provide top cover for Shiva on land anyway, I suppose.

'Well, our AG unit's functioning, although not with anything like the kind of masses we'd be talking about for an AG Mammoth...At the moment, an AG combat vehicle of any sort is pushing it a little.' she flicks through the file, and hands it back on a page of a proposed schematic, alongside some Shirow-pleasing concept sketches.

'They're just drawn a big circle for the AG plant. They don't even know how big a drive unit for an AG Mammoth would be at the moment.'
The Territory
29-06-2003, 03:20
"It did, didn't it, at least if you ask some of our older people." Jan looks slightly worried, "History seems even more likely to drive you insane than geography. In any case, I've seen records of genocide on what had up to then been a human Earth, and there's enough human-to-human xenophobia to go around in the world today."

"Well, if you're going with SHIVA an AEGIS platform is a logical companion." Reexamining the concept sketches, and the AG Mammoth - and reflexively getting up and bending over to examine them, providing the camera with a regulation Shirow-style butt shot... then she draws a decisive circle slightly inside the circle on the sketch. "I'd say this is what you need to bring the size down to to make it work. But any way you look at it, logistics vehicles will be workable before fighting vehicles, giving you plenty of time to work."
The Most Glorious Hack
29-06-2003, 07:16
"Indeed. You should hear the history of my country. Its shockening violent. Depressingly so."

He frowns slightly, "Perhaps a happier topic is in order. Even more banal would suffice, such as what life is like here."
GMC Military Arms
29-06-2003, 13:52
'Interesting...Well, our current AG research is mainly on reducing effective G-forces on the cockpit of an aircraft...Low powered stuff is the only practical application so far, and even then we've got the problem of supplying the thing with enough power to run...The Starblade project's going to iron that out, but it's no good for our current generation of aircraft like the Shrike.'
The Territory
03-07-2003, 01:29
Jan laughs, "Yes, we turned to scholarly matters and were filled with gravitas, not to mention depression? Not the point...
Life's good, Josef. We're working and it isn't easy work and we're all volunteers who like that sort of thing. And we Territorials tend to be fond of simple pleasures. So..." a grin, "It's all good. Except that we're a bunch of adults in a household without any children."

"Mm... I considered making cockpit inertial dampers part of the Falcon 7 Improved design, but the pilots trust their wombtanks - is the AG tech suited to low-thrust applications like drives for surface and submarine craft?" Beat. "Starblade?"
The Most Glorious Hack
03-07-2003, 10:08
He crooks up an eyebrow. "No children?"
GMC Military Arms
03-07-2003, 10:17
'At present it's no good for thrust at all; you need a seperate conventional engine to move...Oh, did I say Starblade? It's our Aerospace Fighter project, s'all...'
The Territory
05-07-2003, 22:36
"No, no children. It's security again. You'll find that pretty much every Territorial you see outside the Co-prosperity Sphere is a Citizen and that she performed her national service in a military branch, that or a soldier. The few exceptions are, well, exceptional. And it does make a place like this seem like... well, a sham basically. Not entirely solid."

"Ah... and you're counting on improvements to change that, so you're not developing systems based on the AG's present performance?"
The Most Glorious Hack
06-07-2003, 12:49
He seems a little surprized. "If you don't mind me asking, why such a high priority on security that there's no children?"
06-07-2003, 15:19
OOC: This is extremely interesting and well done. Also, I finally understand why the meetings between Territorials and Lavenrunzians are so weird.
GMC Military Arms
07-07-2003, 10:34
'Well, AFSPD are happy with an inertial compensator on Starblade...They've got that plasma engine they're working on for drive.'

She grins, 'Between that and the Eye of God, I guess we don't go down as the sanest people you've ever worked with...'
The Territory
11-07-2003, 02:47
Jan muses. "Like most things it's traditional, Josef. And like most traditions the reasons for it are not all pretty.
"The original core of the Territory was a corporation providing military services. It existed in an... ugly... social context, generally. Intelligence, counterintelligence, covert work, wet work, and acquiring a lot of enemies... and on the home front, we were all too close to a number of collapsed nations. The reason we were given the original land grant in north Rhodesia at all was that Executive Solutions took it upon themselves to rebuild a section of the Copperbelt province.
"And so we became, security conscious is perhaps too mild a word. But it has kept us safe first through our own history including several very nasty wars and then in a world of, what is it, seventy thousand-odd nations all to many of which are run by nutcases."

Miles looks at Johanna and coughs. Johanna makes a low, rumbling noise - it's relaxed but for a moment there is a definite challenge going on. Then , relaxing instantly, she turns back to Alice. "As Miles would be sure to point out, you're not one of the least-sane by any means. But then engineering is to a great extent art, and artists don't profit by being entirely sane. And unless you're going to tell me that the Eye of God is a low altitude Death Star hovering on gravs, I'm not going to revise my opinion."

[OOC: Thanks! Yes, they are... odd. But I rather like them, even some of their less-pleasant sides...]
The Most Glorious Hack
11-07-2003, 08:02
Josef nods, "Yes, at times the sane to insane ratio in this world is really frightening. Luckily, we've managed to stay in the shadows of the world scene, which has allowed us to miss some of the nastier aspects of this world."

He smiles, "I wager that by now we're too big for most anyone to want to mess with. That, and certainly mutual defence treaties should help. Of course, our 'birth' into this world was pretty damn messy. Not as bad as it seems that yours was, but knowing a bit about the past certainly makes your... measures... seem much more reasonable. And I'm well aware of how things tend to continue once being viewed as traditional."
GMC Military Arms
11-07-2003, 08:17
[You missed this? ]

'Err...Not quite, just your average aircraft carrier sized tracked supergun...'
The Territory
17-07-2003, 01:56
"I sometimes imagine that we are on the insane side, actually. But that doesn't mean that we aren't good neighbors - as I deal with foreign policy, I actually feel that how well one cooperates with others is a better metric than sane or insane or even good and evil. Well, not-evil and evil at least." A slow smile. "Yes, diplomacy by big stick. Sadly the method best suited to teh situation... are we drifting toward grim seriousness again?"

Joanna looks disappointed. "Well, with antigravity and fusion technology coming on line... hmm." Pause. "A actually be thinking you goin with..." Pause. "Ooo yes. It's doable. Spherical hull, linear fusion reactor doubling as spinal mount..."
The Most Glorious Hack
18-07-2003, 07:54
"Insanity is relative, I've found." He grins, "And we do indeed to be slipping into depressing areas. I wonder if this is the beginning of a trend..."
GMC Military Arms
18-07-2003, 07:59
Alice blinks, 'Err...What are you thinking of?'
The Territory
20-07-2003, 02:57
Jan smiles at Josef, almost perfectly controlling a reaction to the scientist's grin. "Insanity serves some people well, I find. Students of some scientific discipines, some artists, athletes, spiritual folk. So, to speak of happier things, what sorts of benevolent insanity are there in the Hack?"

Johanna shapes air between herself and Alice, speaking very quickly. "The Eye of God - it was the name for a weapon in a TV series I saw once. Huge battle platform that used exotic weaponry, basically. But..." a large spheroid object forms in the holotank "...if we go with a basic plasma laser armament in the forty-terawatt range we can actually build a barely-workable low-altitude bombardment platform with a... seven hundred meter radius hull. Wait a bit and it should get in the quite workable range. Ooo, I'm so pleased. Not that it will ever be built of course."
GMC Military Arms
20-07-2003, 09:10
[Be you speaking of El-Hazard, where I stole the name from?]

'Well, we've had stranger ideas. They're actually building a submarine battleship...*'

Annie steps in, 'Incidentally, didn't you say something about discussing SATO standardisation?'

[*A nice bit of time-warping going on here. This'd be the Isengard, currently off the Der Angst coast near the Stonewall Jackson]
The Territory
23-07-2003, 21:31
Johanna smiles. "Submarine battleships actually make some sense... the surface layer is a bas environment." The object in the tank keeps changing... then freezes, shrinks and moves to the side as Annie speaks. Johanna's slight flush fades.

"Ah, yes. Standardization, quite the important issue. I take it you are familiar with the Territory proposal? [OOC ref: SATO policies board, standards thread] The core of is that there is a large set of military systems designs from our 2015 to 2035 era that are within easy reach of all SATO nations, with some help in tooling needed in a few cases. Those designs have been modified lately to conform to very strict standards of parts commonality." Images flicker in the tank, machines apparently reacting to half-concious thought.

"In any case, at this technological level - basically corresponding to what is on the drawing boards of most SATO nations - these are very solid designs in the land and air arenas. In the space arena everyone is welcome to support our efforts in the construction of nonsapient AI controlled warsats and cutters based on the designs pioneered by Hephaestus for the GUDA defense grid, as well as slaved graser sats. It is my opinion that attempts at spaceship standardization will prove counterproductive, except possibly in logistics vessels which should be based on Menelmacari drive technology.

"Which brings us to naval systems, where GMC is well beyond the general cutting edge and more importantly has a history of technology conforming to the general timeline. I believe that you have made some purchases from Western Asia, but still you have a tradition of excellent naval architecture. So you become a natural source for mainline-level standardized naval designs.

"A couple of general thoughts - with a number of SATO nations adopting standardized arms there will be subtantial gains in volume from economy of scale, and gains in logistic efficiency. The downside is that nations significantly ahead of the standard will have separate logistics needs - but at present all SATO nations suffer from that problem, so the situation will still improve."
The Most Glorious Hack
24-07-2003, 11:07
Josef smiles despite himself, "'Benevolent insanity', indeed. That's one way of putting things, I'm sure." He thinks for a moment, "Well, every nation has issues, I suppose. Ours might be rapid consumerism, followed closely by near obsession with tech-toys, I guess." He smirks, "And then there's the environment. Or lack there of, rather..."
GMC Military Arms
28-07-2003, 08:58
Annie nods, 'I'm still not sure why they insisted on seven-six-two-five-one...Seven-seven-five is a much better round, in our experience; it's lighter and easier to fire, especially with a composite casing.'

'Still, it makes a lot of sense, I suppose...Would you be using rocket launches to get your sats into orbit? We've got a magnetic launcher that's somewhat more economical, s'all.'

Alice nods, 'SABRE...It's one of the largest guns in existence, cal thirty-two feet and a barrel length of one thousand eight hundred...It's good for payload launches of one-hundred twenty tons. We've already got quite a few sats up there, mostly railgun mounts for boost-stage ABM work, although that's on the nonexistant side of secret.'

Annie continues, 'Well, you'd have to speak to the Navy about the specifics, but I'm sure they'd approve of your ideas. Just to be sure, you're suggesting standardised vessels at export-level, carriers to gunboats? So that's without IAD, magnetic acceleration guns or fusion reactors, I'm assuming.'

'Regarding the reference to the Western Asian designs, we were looking into trimaran hulls for stability on naval platforms...Made more sense to buy them than modify our own docks, and worked out a fair bit cheaper in the long run, too.'
The Territory
30-07-2003, 03:46
"Maybe I used the wrong word... benign is probably better. The sort of thing that really isn't sane by general standards or even your own. I'd wager that your obsession with tech-toys comes into that category. And some people speak out against consumerism but really - with all that production going on there likely won't be many people too poor to consume. And that means everyone at least has food and housing."

Joanna ponders. "I'm not hugely fond of compromise rounds myself, but then we always designed for power first. Gradually more hotloaded 6.5 by 55 that we're phasing out now after about 200 years instead of 5.56 , a Soviet 9.3 by 62 round instead of 7.62 by 51 and that one's been upgraded too. But I believe that a 5.56 - 7.62 - 12.7 family with enhanced penetrators can be made good enough for general usage. Either that or go with a drastically upgraded light-heavy-antimateriel family.

"We used rocket-ram transatmospheric vehicles and coilgun launchers before our space program atrophied and we turned to foreign commercial transport. Some time ago the Black developed a form of reactionless drive... it's less efficient in a gravity well but the latest engines have a thrust-weight ratio in the 200 newtons per kilogram at sea at sea level, that is excluding power supply. In any case, we now maintain a fleet of utility craft for the satellites and the related autonomous cutters are able to get to orbit and back. The satellites can actually deorbit themselves and survive a water landing undamaged. Hephaestan materials science impressive for the time.

To Alice: "Pretty much the most effective way to get materials from ground to orbit short of using a beanstalk, yes. Do you fabricate the warsats in orbital shacks?"

Back to Annie: "Yes, standardised craft at export level, except for some systems that should be built at the highest possible level to counteract infowar and signals intelligence and the like. And even then the overall design should allow for replacement of those systems with export-level counterparts. Fusion is right out, some magnetic acceleration weapons might actually work. I am unfamiliar with IAD."

[OOC: Ah yes... El-Hazard reference, definitely. That and eading some Poul Anderson and a silly urge to build a mini-Death Star...]
The Most Glorious Hack
30-07-2003, 15:59
Josef smiles, "Well, you have a good point. In regards to the consumerism, the outcry tends to be external. There are a few VR shows that are little more than sound bites from some SeOCC official or another. Similar to Noam Chompsky in a way, I guess. A few people agree, most find it idiocy." He shrugs, "And, well, with all the people seeking refuge in our country, I guess we're doing something right."

[Hm... Guns and Philosophy. Wish my BBQ's were like this...]
GMC Military Arms
03-08-2003, 09:54
'Ah...We tended to design for usability primarily...Not counting that damn .356 magnum assault rifle they designed for enhanced troops. Lower charges put more rounds on-target in a burst, in our experience.'

Alice shakes her head, 'No, they're launched assembled in ceramic sabots, actually.'

'Sounds good...IAD is Integrated Air Defence, it's our AEGIS replacement...Uses an AI in the fire control system.'
The Territory
04-08-2003, 10:35
"There's nothing like verifiable data, Josef. As a refugee... I suppose the only choice one has is where one is going to go. And, well, one tends to do one's homework. At least if the stories Grandmother Nami tell me have anything to do with the truth, that is." Fond smile. "I won't even get into Chomsky, but I seem to remember that I never saw his political works figure as required reading... no, not even recommended I think."

A pause... "Actually I think I posed a hard question. I'd say a the Territory vices are obsessiveness and territoriality. That's cultural. In the enhancile population there are a lot of nonhuman responses. An addiction to physical activity, hunting behaviors, competetiveness, aggression." That no-tooth smile again. "I'll tell you it gets pretty hard at times to be a diplomat with all the smiling going on, Josef. But well, it's only an inconvenience."

Johanna ponders, and images of ships and small-arms cartridges flicker in the tank. "AI in the command loop - that would imply that you are headed for full coordination in all battlespaces?" Ships moving off, cartridges arraying themselves.

"Usability is a prerequisite, Annie... our small arms evolution largely stems from troops becoming increasingly hardened. For instance I am basically protected at, ah, what are the terms... class three-aye overall, class three over vital areas and my bones approach class four. That is actually softer than even an obsolete mechanical enhancile," full conversion cyborg in BDUs flickers by, "and in combat I'd wear light powered armor. Hence the semiautomatics and firing depleted uranium penetrators from hotloaded cartridges, and the railweapons finally coming into general service. Ah... sorry for going on like that. Anyway, would it be your opinion that it is indeed possible to work up a decisively improved family of small arms cartridges in a short timeframe? I would tend to argue that."

Cogs clicking over at Alice's statement... well, neurons and diamondoid rods actually. "Fully assembled... that would mean that you're not really dependent on conventional launchers at all save for personnel. The AG project is a high priority, or am I way off base?"

[OOC: Well, phiosophy is common OOC... but there is generally a lack of guns here as well. :)]
GMC Military Arms
04-08-2003, 10:54
Annie shakes her head, 'Coordination on all weapons on a single platform is what we're looking for, not of the whole battlegroup; that'd place too much responsibility with the command vessel; knock that out, and you lose everything else. That's not really what we're looking for, even if the command vessel is something like Nihilanth.'

She nods at the suggestion regarding calibres, 'Well, we can easily cooperate with your team, and I could arrange to have Wavell Gunnery Range placed at your disposal for tests...'

Alice nods, 'AG's fairly high, yes, although not all of our sats are designed with extended stays in mind...Our launch costs are extremely low, just the costs of electricity and routine maintainance checks and replacements.'

Annie smiles, 'And that catastrophic malfunction during testing...'

'Well, we're actually trying to forget that...S'the problem with gun launches against conventional...If there's a fault inside the gun, it's very costly to repair the damned thing. We're lucky it only hit the upper barrel, really.'
The Territory
04-08-2003, 20:24
"Ah... actually, there is theoretical work relating to a more dispersed approach. I don't know how it relates to GMC practice, but it should be of interest to AI researchers in general."
A set of cartridges. "Standardization carries a high priority, and I have the authority to bring in staff and rapid prototyping equipment. Basically I would say the goal is to find a shortlist of candidates for," ticks off items "high-velocity sidearm cartridge, light rifle, heavy rifle, antimaterial rifle and shotgun." Primary candidates edging on the heavy side to Annie's eye, perhaps. Ceramic-fiber composite variants and compatible ceramic-coated brass ones, cheaper but heavier.

A looks between Alice and Annie at the menton of catastrophic failures. Reminescing perhaps. "Hm... yes, that's the reason we haven't even attempted an elevator even though it would beat even gravships for bulk transport. Huge investment in infrastructure. One bad enough screwup an you can lose the lot."


That's a more gestalt-oriented approach, BTW. Originating from work on smart swarms of dumb robots. And the cartridges... well, Johanna is perhaps a trifle optimistic. She's a bit more scientist than engineer, and an enhancile. So they'll likely be a bit to resource intensive and a bit too heavy. Over to you.


65 pages. Start a new thread.


Ahem. Nicely struck at the dwellers in the swamp that is General.
The Most Glorious Hack
05-08-2003, 09:15
He thinks a moment, "At first, we were rather surpized at the influx. Between the ravings of various communists, and the memory of our past, we couldn't believe it. Then we were rather horrified at the numbers. We had to actually expand government, and create an office to control such things." He sighs, "Things seem to have evened out, however."

"Well, from what I've seen and read -- which isn't too much, granted -- there's a certain reason behind the Territory's 'obsessiveness'. There is something to be said for watching out for oneself. As for diplomacy... well, let's just say that I'm glad to be a tech, as opposed to an official diplomat."
GMC Military Arms
05-08-2003, 10:05
[Actually, Rachel is Annie's ex, not Alice. Friendly-but-sad breakup. Alice and Annie are just friends.]

Alice smiles, 'What kind of research? We can always use more information.'

Annie pauses, 'Hmm...Some of those would probably be a little heavy, but we can work on that. You'd also want a standard grenade round for your assault rifle underslungs, perhaps a couple of others...What's your normal round type, GPR*?'

[*General Purpose Round, a lead slug with a tungsten carbide core]
The Territory
08-08-2003, 15:56
"At times diplomacy can be quite exasperating, Josef. But it is a challenge and my, our obsessiveness is in no way confined to just matters military. It does make for a certain thoroughness, though.

"Could you tell me more about how your culture's been inflenced by the refugee situation? We started out as a melting pot, but we've become insular. With the Most Glorious Hack it seems to work the other way around?"

Joanna ponders, then looks very slightly chastised, perhaps flushing very slightly under dark, tanned skin - any empath would have to credit her restraint since she is in point of fact quite chastised. "Yes... I would tend to agree with that, Annie. Next family of tested prototypes down is twlve to sixteen per cent lighter by standard projectile mass, and the optimum round is likely slighly heavier than that." Shift in the tank as the lighter rounds are exchanged for what text indicates are plagiarized designs. The AMR and shotgun rounds remains, intended for a two-man rifle and a CAWS or indeed GMC OCAW equivalent weapon.

"Territory preference is for a 35 to 40 mm round for use in rifles and GMGs, those fancy OICW-style things never panned out on our line except for bastards abusing Third World nations. You have that expression?" Slight tinge of inherited loathing surfacing near the word 'bastards'.

"Once you go up against an enemy who put their troops in full armor they turn into popguns and you can't get decent guidance into 25mm without nanofacture. That brings me to another option, replacing the antimaterial rifle with a 25mm-range two-man cannon and bringing the heavy machine gun round back. But we should go ahead with the whole family, in my opinion.

"Our last generation of general-use cased rounds are of depleted uranium composite with a diamondoid coat, and an equivalent tungsten-osmium round for low-intensity conflicts where the local environment's an issue. Railspikes are similar, except that we're starting to bring superdense core rounds into service. Mainly for maingun rounds and snipers' weapons so far. That's reasonably classified by the way."

[OOC: Superdense being artificial "island of stability" isotopes.

Ah, the joys of soap opera. ^_^

At times I do not save lengthy postings. At times, that leads to my feeling very very tired.]
The Most Glorious Hack
09-08-2003, 06:24
Josef seems to ponder the question for awhile. "Sort of, yeah. After the Corporate Rebellion, the Hack wasn't exactly a nice place to live. We were on the other side of the refuge fence for awhile. Luckily, President Gibson was still very active then, and he was a major figure in the founding of Chiba City, and getting things back on track.

"After that, there was a long period where we had some immigration, but not to much. Like equilibrium. Now, however... well, it seems we've gotten a reputation for our technology sector, and for economic freedom. Now we're getting refugees. As I mentioned, it caught us by surprize.

"At first we weren't sure what we should do. We didn't need more homeless, of course -- nobody does. Currently, many of them are doing more meanial jobs, dishwashers, janitors, etc. Some have moved into the tech sectors, but most of those already had knowledge.

"Essentially, it hasn't been an issue long enough for any sort of 'melting pot' to develop. I'm guessing there will be some resistance at first, but we're pretty open minded. I'd say things seem positive."
GMC Military Arms
13-08-2003, 12:35
She thinks for a moment; 'But generally, if you're facing heavy conventional armour you'd be sending troops in with 96mm disposable ATGM tubes anyway, Karl Gustavs or TOWs...At least, that's the way we handle things. 20mm has it's uses, though variable fusing on a round that small is insanely fiddly...We really aren't into the idea of putting needless electronics in an infantry rifle.' she thinks, 'Although the navy finds it works perfectly on those 88mm automatic flaks Nihilanth has.'

'Mind you, our standard anti-armour round is the fifteen by one-fifty, either Gauss or rail delivered. We've done a lot of work on power cells to get effective anti-tank EMGs to the point where non-enhanced infantry can carry them.' she grins, 'The odd inaccurate report notwithstanding.'

'With regard to composition we tend to go for a tungsten carbide spike with a lead shroud...It's effective against armour and almost universally fatal against soft targets,' frown, 'Effective, but extremely unpleasant.'
16-08-2003, 01:02
Jan raises a glass of water in what comes pretty close to a toast. "I'll drink to that, Josef. Be quite a while until integration's sorted but you've got a good shot if anyone has." Exchange of looks with Miles. "Was that William Gibson? Former author?"

Weapons and cartridges moving in the tank, as Johanna replies. "Quite... we've stuck with 100mm recoilless rifles for general infantry work since basically forever, firing rockets or missiles. That and 90mm disposables. Precision light cannon do have their uses though.
"And yes... that press release concerning railguns. I don't guess I'll ever find out if it as desinformation or an overzealous intern at work?
"That's what we call a dual purpose round, Annie... it might be issued for some situations, like counterinsurgency work. In the lighter calibres that SATO standard weapons would use, I'd say it's the optimal projectile. There isn't the luxury of killing by raw projectile energy with a penetrator."
The Most Glorious Hack
16-08-2003, 07:26
Josef smiles, and elevates his glass as well, "Thank you for the compliment. At times I wonder if I'm too optimistic..." he shrugs rather non-comitaly.

He grins as he hears Jan's question, "It would be fitting, wouldn't it? He was certainly a major inspiration, after all, our capital is Chiba City. However, his name is Carl Gibson." He smiles sadly, "Haven't seen him in ages, however."
The Territory
18-09-2003, 15:52
"To optimism, then," says Jan, and drinks. An odd, fond look. "Sometimes our old ghosts come back, Josef. Or maybe that's just the ancestor-worshiping savage in me talking."

Another sip "Still, that sort of worldview is rather appropriate in today's world."
The Most Glorious Hack
19-09-2003, 06:36
Josef nods, "Indeed, optimism. While I've never been one for ancestor worship, I can see your point. Reminds me of an old folk song. All my life's a circle..."
The Territory
03-12-2003, 23:30
GMC Military Arms
04-12-2003, 10:11
*tag from t3h futur*