To build the technology narrative, we need to plot out a chain of events, based on core cause and effects, over the era. This chain has to explain the rise and fall of Supremacy technology and re-emergence of some aspects of lost technology with the new psionic technology. With that said, there are two chains I am thinking about: the Navigator and the Gamer (Legionary). These two chains can be woven together, and woven with other chains, to make some form of 'meta-chainmail' (that sounds like it should have RPG stats, like 'meta-chainmail +5 resist bread attack'! 😛 )
Navigator and FTL drives
The Navigator developments go hand in hand with the FTL Drive developments. It's easiest to talk about them together, and how one affects the other. Some parts are easier to visualise than others and do not require much discussion for now. What I'm interested in for this post are the changes. To break it down by era;
Regular human can act as a Navigator to guide machine-made Blink-Drives. These Blink-Drives are powered by reality-side energy and use phase materials to distort reality and build the drive.
During the fall us humans are in a mad fight for survival. The machines abandon from humans under Article 5 of the Mars Accords and in the process, we lose access to TFL. All worlds are isolated.
Switch to Eldritch-Engines which use the power of the Infinity and are constructed by the Navigator's mind aided by man-made machines. Far less accurate and require far more from the Navigator, reliant on the increased psionic powers accessible by humans due to thy weakening of the Great barrier between reality and the Infinity, post-Psidemic. Navigators are more psionic and need extensive training to control their powers. The Commonwealth set up orders, the start of genetic engineering to improve abilities.
Navigator dynasties, based on bloodlines and breeding, the legacy of their genetic engineering. Starting to stagnate. Navigators are foetus like and live within sensory deprivation vaults. Feed data from their ships sensors, and only understand the world as a ship, so self-identify as star-ships (like those who self-identify as attack-helicopters). Even procreation between Navigators is handled at a ship level;
When two ships love each other very much, they drop their landing gear and deploy their universal coupling rings...The Birds and the Bees of star-ships
This is a symbolic mating. The reality is representatives of each Navigator house exchange DNA samples (Navigators are asexual and reproduce through artificial means, combining both DNA stands and injected them into a constructed egg).
The Eldritch-Engines no longer work, Navigators are their ships are stranded where they were last able to jump. Interplanetary communications are down. The Universe is collapsing.
Can a human conscience survive the Infinity? This opens the door for the multi-verse, time to hop realities!
Gamers vs Gribblies is one thing, Gamers vs Gamers is another. Fighting mindless Gribbly 'demons' is like taking on the computer in an early 21st-century video-game, but Gamer vs Gamer is real competition. That's like COD (Call of Duty), Counter-Stike, or Fortnite. Here everyone wants an edge, and cheating is on the cards. The events in the timeline drive the technologies of the Legionaries, the realities on the ground pushing Gamers towards genetic engineering.
Rack-farmers use VR for after-work games, and virtual socialising. These VR rigs are a development of the rigs use in the 'old days' to control Paleodrones (ancient drones, pre-Artiloid tech). The rigs can still control drones, except the machines have disabled this functionality. It can be re-enabled if a human wants to drone up and run around in the surface of their homeworld, but most homeworlds are desolate rocks devoid of life. Some humans enjoy drone combat, and there is a whole industry around that. However, there is no guarantee that human controlled drones are actually running around the surface, as the machines could simply run a simulation. Where the elite anti-VR gamers, customising real drones, are also running around a VR game and the machines 'damage' the real drones before having them stagger back through the air-lock.
Cosplay: The machines will build humans fully functional personal body armours and weapons from the VR games they play for conventions. These cosplay armours have VR heads-up displays. There is an industry of man-made and adapted customisations, mostly cosmetic, supporting gamers to help make their mark. The machines see this as part of our entertainment, and mating rituals, and keeps us out of trouble.
Guilds: we form gaming guilds. These guilds are built around drone combat, VR combat, and Cosplay exhibition combat.
The primary target is the demons. Gamers repurpose machine-made cosplay armours. This comes with VR overlay, head-up, technology, and running about is cosplay armour!
The machines are so accurate in their simulations that virtual files for games can be fed into old fashioned replicator machines (used to create the cosmetic customisations) and produce functioning equipment and tools. These machines still function as they are human accessible, and use older optoelectronic crystal chips or even archaoelectronic chips (preppers), and lack 'bio-photonics' cortex.
Now Gamers are fighting Gamers from other worlds. Not only new worlds where Gamers had the same idea, but also the continued fracturing of the nascent Empire of the Commonwealth. Their wish to gain an edge over other elite Gamers leads to an arms race, and guilds start fielding genetically enhanced Gamers (no machines to control the gene pool and tell humans 'no'). Rise of the transhumans.
The Guild Wars are in full swing. The Augmented Reality is used to change reality, and switches from a passive overlay system to implant technology. Guilds now have full control over their elite Gamers, by messing with their reality. Top Gamers are now AFG (Artificial Flesh Golem) emersed in a schizophrenic world of artificial-delusion fighting other humans as if they were 'Demons' and 'Orcs', crushing 'Goblins' underfoot.
Referring back to the Navigators, the Eldritch-Engines start to fail, and those who are not lost by the contraction, race back to Gaia world as the epicentre. Peace and love as we work out a way to escape the death of the Universe? Or Battle Royale! That's about when the machines turn up...
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
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