Blog

Weaving technology chains
24th Oct, 2019

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’! ๐Ÿ˜› )

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;

Supremacy

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.

Psidemic 

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.

Reunification

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.

SitA

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 Return

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

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.

Supremacy

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.

Psidemic

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.

Reunification

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.

SitA

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.

The Return

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…

5 Responses

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!

To support my work: Connect

  1. malika says:

    Regarding the Navigators, there are some thoughts popping up at this very moment:

    NAVIGATOR HOUSES:
    We gonna have to look at these ones at a certain point. Not so much the individual houses and their customs/aesthetics, but more their basic workings. If post-Psidemic Navigators are these a-sexual creatures who are one with their ship, I would imagine that Navigator Houses would consist of two classes: the Navigators themselves and their servants. These servants could take on many forms (regular humans, robots, genetically modified creatures, psionic entities etc).

    COMBAT GAMES:
    We might have to dig up some of the ideas from the Vareya thread, basically a whole world dedicated to gladiatorial combat. Sort of a world wide Colosseum, entertainment broadcast throughout the empires.

    PREPPERS:
    It’s funny that you should mention preppers. I was thinking of them earlier this week. I would imagine that during the good old Supremacy days there would probably be preppers in Ecorium worlds who are creating various backup systems that would activate in case the Machines would every pull back. During the Supremacy days they would be considered mad, but the Psidemic would eventually prove them right. One might of course wonder if the Machines would have been too happy about preppers, I would imagine that they would try to make that illegal or at least sort of cover this in Articles 3 and 4 of the Marc Accords.

    THE RETURN:
    Another tricky thing. If the Eldritch Engines no longer work: how can humans and machines return to that one world to come together?

    • Philip S says:

      Navigator Houses: Some of my 40K musings will turn up in the House structure, check the Nobilitie section of the Dark Age.

      Vareya: You could work it up as an example. We will need examples for later on, when we create a community and a platform to share ideas. Maybe, one day, we’ll collect together the worlds created by the community and publish them! I want to involve people.

      Preppers: There will always be Preppers, as someone will always think of the worst-case scenario, contemplate it, and then prepare for it. It’s part of the natural human survival instinct to plan for the future.

      The Return: It is the Eldritch-Engines that fail, but Blink-Drives still work, which gives us two chains;

      The machines need humans to guide their ships, so most of the original Navigators from the Supremacy era left with the machines during the fall, part of Article 9. So during the following era, the machines are out there, somewhere. These Navigators have been away from humanity for a very long time. They may have been places that the Commonwealth (and other factions) can only dream of. As the Universe starts towards the end of ‘Stare into the Abyss’ era the machines can use their Blink-Drives to jump back towards the Gaia world at the epicentre of the collapse.

      While Blink-Drives can galaxy-jump, Eldritch-Engines can only star-jump and limited to the ‘Milky-Way’ (not our Milky-Way). The machine return from all over the Universe, but humans return only from within ‘Milky-Way’.

      The Eldritch drives us a different type of ‘Navigator’. They were created after the machines left, a separate strain of humanity, during the end of the Psidemic era. Who’s creation brought about the Commonwealth and the Stare into the Abyss era. This introduces a new set of ‘Navigator’ houses to pilot the ships with Eldritch-drives, which are very different from the original Supremacy era Navigators. These new Navigators are part of the engine; they ‘create it’. For the time being, let’s call them the Alchemists. As the Universe loses the anchors (ghods), and becomes less infused with the creative power of the Infinity, the Eldritch drives become less powerful. The Alchemists start to migrate away from the less infused space. The infused space is weakest at the edges of the galaxy. It is stronger towards the epicentre. So the Alchmics move away from the edges of the galaxy and towards the epicentre. Many return before the Eldritch-Engines ceases functioning.

      During The Return era, we have a vast number of machines, and lots of humans. This multitude has to figure out how to circumvent the end of the Universe. The machines become very interested in the Alchemists. The machines’ Blink-Drives still work, so the machines can still create machines that can breach reality. Combined with the new Alchemists, who can conjure a new engine within the machine created bubble, leads to a new type of drive/ engine. The Supremacy upgrades and jumps into the Infinity, a tiny artificial reality, and there they access the Multi-verse.

      This ties together the two chains. For a while, they separated, but they combine in the end.

  2. malika says:

    Preppers: But aren’t preppers a breach of the Mars Accord? The whole accord is one of dependency relations, preppers break that (social) contract. I can’t help but think of the Right to Repair movement here. The Machines could be comparible to big corporations like Apple here, in the sense that they want humans to consume their tech products, but not repair or modify them since it would mean that they’d no longer be dependent on the company.

    (appended*) Whilst there will always be preppers, the question is whether this is legal according to the Mars Accord. Articles 3 and 4 stipulate the rights and obligations both sides of the treaty have. I feel that trying to circumvent that would be a breach. Would this mean that those who breach the rules would be cut off from Machine tech? I would guess so? This would then mean that the preppers would probably be a bit careful on how they’d prepare. I guess this would have many links to the Right to Repair movement. The relation between Man and Machine would be very similar to the relationship companies such as Apple has with their customers: buy and use our products, but don’t you dare repair or modify them, dependency must be maintained.

    The Return: I’m digging this notion of access to the multiverse, this can become very weird in many ways. You can imagine stuff like the Spiderverse movie in which many different incarnations of the same character pop up, or scenarios like The Man From The High Castle in which a military force seeks to conquer the entire multiverse. Regarding tiny bubble realities, it does remind me a lot of the whole Age of Sigmar setup, I should start reading up on that background since it might have a few ideas we can integrate into the mix.

    (appended*) Multiverse: This becomes very interesting, perhaps this is the ‘post-post-apocalyptic’ idea/vision I was pondering about a while back. It’s all rather messy and dystopian, but with a sense of optimism (new universes to explore). Dealing with the multiverse could be a lot of fun, be it various versions of the same character (think of all the different versions of Spiderman in the Spiderverse movie), of the idea of the conquest of the multiverse (the Nazis from the tv show The Man In The High Castle), or perhaps even something akin to pocket/bubble universes. The latter is something kinda reminding me of both Rick & Morty as well as Age of Sigmar, which reminds me…I really need to look into the background of that universe.

    • combining ‘double-post’ comment (the first message was not lost, held for moderation, but the placeholder thank you can disappear if the cookie is deleted).
    • Philip S says:

      Preppers: I figure that the machines do not mind humans being Preppers, as the technology they can access is human-made and ‘basic’. The machines would only step in if a Prepper faction stated designing AI to develop more advanced AI, intending to replicate a bio-photonics (what the Artilects are made out of). Even in this extreme circumstance, the machines would target the rival machine and leave the Preppers be. Other than that, the Peppers are so far down the technology scale as to be completely non-threatening.
      Having said that; Peppers can be seen as hostile by other humans, a threat to stability. Armed Preppers who advocate for violence or lethal responses may provoke a death, which gets the machines involved. Humans know they cannot be seen as complicit in a death of a fellow human so would take steps to avoid that. Some societies, where a Prepper faction goes awry, may outlaw the behaviour.

      The Return: Jumping into a multiverse is the Psidemic in steroids. With psionic-events, we already see alternatives to reality: small bubble realities within the larger universe. Those little bubble realities are mini-universes. Jumping into the multiverse could be upscaling this. As the universe shrinks, these bubble realities may remain. The shrinking universe no longer contains those that remain and they grow, like seeds in the Infinity. As they grow they overlap, each on its own phase, creating the first multi-layer of the multiverse the Supremacy will invade.

  3. Malika says:

    PREPPERS:
    It seems we’d need to look into the consequences of breaching the Mars Accords. In the case of killings, the machines seem to pull back their technological services. In case of creating another AI or creating tech that would allow humans to function independently from the machines in case of (for example) a breach of Article 5, we see that the machines are a lot more lenient in their response. How so?

    As for other humans’ responses to the preppers. It is a bit of a trope/cliche that the preppers are a hostile group, arming themselves and going out to kill some other people. What if we turn it on its head? I could imagine that non-prepper humans might get rather hostile towards preppers in fear of what consequences the machines put on this type of behaviour. So perhaps the non-prepper humans would try to preventively evict the preppers from Supremacy society. How possible is it for humans to leave the Supremacy? Could they pack their bags, build a ship and just leave? If so, we could see many prepper like communities leave the Supremacy, trying to survive in space (as difficult or impossible that might be).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2004-2019 Philip Sibbering. All Rights Reserved.