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Ptesan-Wi

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Originally Posted By: Ptesan-Wi
Note: this fiction is being written to a pre-determined outline. As such, participation is by invite only. If you feel you should have a part in this fiction, please contact me.

Thank you.


Sorry I would not be interested in this fic, I prefer not to put nails into other peoples coffins.
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Hugin: There is more coming on this. In fact, I'm hoping to get to work on it this afternoon. Right now, I'm in a hotel room in Springfield, Missouri, but once I get home, I plan to try to tackle the next post.

Revenant: No problem.

Silvertalon: No problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK, the post is up. For the purpose of OpNet reactions, at 3:00 PM Central Time on 7 August, 2017, the effects that were seen/felt in Ibiza occur at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in three distinct bursts, with the third seeming more powerful than the first two.

I would like to thank Wargear for drafting this latest post; I think she did an excellent job with it.

The main fic is closed at this point. Some folks will be jumping into the sequence at this point; please do so as a new fic. That said, first responder is Sean McCline.

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As an aside to anyone who's interested, the sonic booms of the falling projectiles could be heard as far away as 100 kilometers, and the flashes of light may (depending on terrain) be visible from even further away. Any glass within 30-40 kilometers (depending on terrain shadowing) shattered from kinetic shock.

As an aside to the nitpicks out there, I'm aware that the speed of travel for the rounds in the fic is signifigantly greater than that described in Aberrant World Wide Phase II. Given that the design in use by the Directive in 2017 was designed by Machina (a Mega-Int 5 tech genius) and has had a solid two years of re-engineering behind it, I don't find that inconsistent. Besides, it works better for the drama of the piece.

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You know me, I'm nitpicky.

Did any one work out the science involved in what happens when you launch a projectile into the earth at that speed? 1,270 miles in only 2.7 seconds, would be able to puncture a very nice sized hole not only through a nova, but well into the earth as well, we’re talking several thousand feet. (I’m not going to post my figures, it’s already done and over with)

Not once... not twice... but three times. At the speed listed you may as well be jabbing a needle through the planet. A needle that could do considerable wide spread catastrophic damage to the United States from seismic activity that resulted in the shockwave and having the Earth's crust blown clean through.

I know everyone loves having the loudest ka-boom and toting the biggest gun. I'm also well aware that Wargear is quite intelligent, however, the figures given would have resulted in an incredible loss of life and inflicted irrevocable damage to the entire state of South Dakota.

One shot obviously would have done some damage, but three was overkill and should have destroyed a hell of a lot more than Wakinyan.

Excellent story Timeslip, I enjoyed it immensely. I'm not trying to make waves ladies; I'm just offering up some food for thought in the future, this is a discussion thread after all. smile

Also since I'm a stupid American and I don't feel like calculating all the metrics into distances I can understand I'll assume Revenant was at the Burrito Barn and missed it all. frown

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I admit that - for purposes of suspense - I haven't read the whole piece yet, but I did scan it, attempting to find a place where the relative size of the bombardment rods was described, and did not find one.

During the 1950's, Dave, the US worked on Project Thor. The idea was basically the same; orbital bombardment. But aside from using the tungsten telephone poles, they also experimented with a smaller, crowbar-sized rod that could be used for anti-tank, -satellite, -bunker, and even -personnel weapons.

But yeah, the tungsten phone poles would fuck the earth up good. Project Thor couldn't be completed because the SALT II treaty banned orbital WMDs.

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Quote:
Project Thor couldn't be completed because the SALT II treaty banned orbital WMDs.


If that's the case, what is an orbital WMD doing in existence? Considering it was just used to kill a nova (and Ibiza before that) wouldn't this pretty much be a declaration of war? This weapon has fired twice and both times it's been deliberately intended for the destruction of novas.

Canon universe follows the same political timeline as the real world does.

As for the payload, it's now irrelevant, no matter what is said the type of ammo used will now be of whatever type would conveniently not cause any of the damage to South Dakota that the Mega-Intelligence 5 nova overlooked.

My biggest concern is that WWIII has pretty much been declared. Can we just skip to TNoLK, get it over with and start rolling new characters?

I have this idea for a great savage warrior... he has elephantiasis but deals with his handicap by composing and singing lovely ballads. Gonads the Bardbarian yearns to live!
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Originally Posted By: Revenant
If that's the case, what is an orbital WMD doing in existence? Considering it was just used to kill a nova (and Ibiza before that) wouldn't this pretty much be a declaration of war? This weapon has fired twice and both times it's been deliberately intended for the destruction of novas.

Canon universe follows the same political timeline as the real world does.


The canon political timeline allows for living creatures who can terraform countries and level forests in an hour. The canon political timeline also allows for this group called "The Directive" that basically does whatever the fuck they want. grin They get to do this because it still doesn't level the odds.
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As much as I enjoyed the story (and I did, immensely) I have to admit I honestly didn't expect any sort of reasoning or technical justification other than, "Because we say so." Reasonable consequences are often (not always) overshadowed by the dramatic overtones, and that's to be expected in this medium.

It reads well as a work of fiction, but to say that the aforementioned results are simply conveniently swept under the rug is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. Individual PC anecdotes aside, I would honestly like to see some real fallout from this little event, which obviously deviates from canon considerably.

I suppose it falls under the category of the Golden Rule- those with the gold make the rules. If "The Directive" and its agents have the gold in this case, so be it; I'll just consider it another deus ex machina which, like Mal or Pax or anyone else, is utterly unbeatable and all PCs must kneel before its impossible might. Why? Because they say so. wink

That being said, I'm not about to start an argument about the idiocy of canon in this thread, since it's generally agreed that White Wolf wouldn't know a logical, cohesive story if one sat on their collective faces and wiggled.

Excellent story, PW, and a very worthy tribute to a fallen godling.

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If I recall correctly the death-blast radius is 100 yards. It was used in Ibiza without destroying the whole city, in fact without even a massive loss of life. I personally don't have a problem with it, especially given the absuridty of some of the things we've already allowed here.

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I posted in 'Echoes of Thunder' I wasn't sure if it was a public or private thread. I assumed it was similar to when Procyon did his big TV interview and we all posted our reactions IC in one long and rather interesting fiction.

If I stepped on toes I apologize. I really only wanted that one post to be slipped into Dying Thunder somewhere but I was too busy to discuss with PW when, where, or how we could make it work.

So far this whole event is great, we've really had a slow year and needed some excitement. Does this mean beer prices will be lower at the Pow Wow this year? smile

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I'm not going to participate because I cannot suspend my disbelief. The weapon is an orbital kinetic kill weapon. It fires telephone poles* made of depleted uranium earthward at hypersonic velocities.

The thing nobody has thought to include is that these things will not pierce the earth like big bullets and just leave three neat holes in the ground and a greasy stain where Waki was standing. All that kinetic energy has to go somewhere and it will do it in an entropic fashion. In other words, you'll get heat. You'll get a lot of heat.

With the KE that these things were packing, you can count on full-on fireballs and mushroom clouds. Maybe not to the standards of Hiroshima** and Nagasaki, but close to it. The area around ground zero will be scorched clean. There will be smoke and pulverized earth in the air obscuring vision for hours. There will probably be a very nice firestorm that lingers for a day or more.

They're shaped like three bullets, but they will hit like three nukes.

(* Rough estimate)

(** The anniversary of Hiroshima's bombing was August 6th, by the way.)

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I actually want to toss in the note that Nova is quite correct, and a massive part of the injury being done to Waki in the fic is heat-based kinetic explosions, which do kick up tac-nuke scale mushroom clouds. That that wasn't brought out more properly in the kill scene itself was my fault (I did the initial draft as an assist for PW, and wound up focusing primarily on Waki's reactions rather than the impact effect of the projectiles), and it should be taken into account in the general reaction that what used to be Wounded Knee is pretty much fused and cratered black glass now for a signifigant radius around the impact site. Waki's corpse itself may very well be semi-intact, as Sean described, given the preternatural toughness of his body; the ground they're standing on, on the other hand, is anything but.

And actually, Rev, the math's a lot worse. But trying to do the actual physics of it (assuming a Mach 25 speed, which is what AWWP II lists) would result in a 6 minute delay between each shot, which would pretty much kill the drama of the moment. Not to mention that the canon suggests that a shot lands three rounds after targeting, which is fairly ridiculous as well. But since that's what the canon device says it does, no reason to reinvent the wheel.

As an aside, I expect there will be serious political consequences (both between the US and the Directorate, and on the domestic side) from this which I'm hoping people will work into their fiction. I know that if/when I get around to doing anything in response to it, I'll be touching on that point.

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Just as a quick note, the original (and I presume the upgraded) orbital gun thingie doesn't fire a "telephone" pole. Per Worldwide Phase II, it fires a "bus projectile, a foot-long bullet with a pointed ceramic head... rear guidance fins and limited propulsion". A kilometer before the target, "the ceramic head and bus housing detach, revealing several rows of arrows made from depleted uranium, lead or both," which go into a controlled spread via an explosive charge.

This isn't a telephone pole. It's still going to do a helluva lot of damage in the immediate vicinity, as Wargear described, but it's not the kind of "non-atomic nuke" thing that a telephone-pole sized projectile would be.

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As an aside, I would like to note that I've discussed various aspects of this story - including the death-by-orbital-gun bit - on chat with most of you at varying times over the past three months. If objections to the degree of "no, can't accept it" were pending, it would have been rather nice to have heard them sometime prior to pouring a ton of effort and time into the fic as it now stands.

With regard to repercussions, such are planned as part of the story. The comfy relationship between the US and Directive is about to become not-so-comfy. Indeed, I'd like to see an international cry go up to take away the Directive's big killtoy as a result of this (Ibiza, they got away with; this time, people were looking for another instance and the secret just can't hold together any longer), and would really, really love to see some other players pick up that particular ball and run with it, to show the reaction by Project Utopia and the Teragen and the world community in reaction to this event through their characters and whatever NPCs they wish to write. More locally, the faction of "Waki-worshipping" Lakota new-warrior types are going to go on the warpath... and trying to rein them in and broker some kind of peace is going to be PW's primary part in this arc (at least, once she's out of deep psi-reinforced shock).

As for canon... we're off the map. Have been since after Ibiza. With the exception of the vague Night of the Long Knives bit that may or may not have any effect outside of the Teragen and may or may not be a blood bath or deft coup or who knows what, there's quite literally nothing on the canon map between Ibiza and the Aberrant War (other than a references to a few tech developments in the 2020s, mentioned in the Trinity Timeline). We're all making it up, and doing so without a net.

That said, if you feel it cannot stand, by all means please initiate a Non-Canon vote.

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Note: I personally think that the best way for the Directive's KEI gun to go away is for the international community to raise a ruckus about it once it's exposed (which it just did to itself), and the UN to instruct Project Utopia to go disable and investigate it. If folks with a Utopian bent want to write that up, I'll dance with glee.

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Just as an aside (brought on by Cosmic Comet's very logical act of tracking down the satellite itself), I figure it highly likely that the Directive rigged the KEI itself with some form of proximity quantum detector and a self-destruct. Probably a very powerful self-destruct.

Just something for everyone to keep in mind.

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Originally Posted By: Wargear
Just as an aside (brought on by Cosmic Comet's very logical act of tracking down the satellite itself), I figure it highly likely that the Directive rigged the KEI itself with some form of proximity quantum detector and a self-destruct. Probably a very powerful self-destruct.

Just something for everyone to keep in mind.


You had your fun and the story is over.

It's everyone else's satellite now. Considering the actual effects of what a three shot blast would have done to South Dakota was all but excluded I'm willing to accept that the satellite will have what ever the next author decides.
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Originally Posted By: Revenant
It's everyone else's satellite now. Considering the actual effects of what a three shot blast would have done to South Dakota was all but excluded I'm willing to accept that the satellite will have what ever the next author decides.


Ooh, or you could take note of the fact that it's been my satellite for about three years.

What the fuck are you all expecting? A big metal sign on the side that says "PROPERTY OF THE DIRECTIVE: PLEASE DON'T TELL"? I understand that electronics can be tracked through various means, but the Directive has probably ticked on to an idea like spoofing by now, and I sincerely doubt that the Directive would stamp the parts with identifying serial numbers.

The idea that somebody could eyeball the thing and figure out where it came from is ridiculous. In order to track its origins, you'll need to claim it, bring to earth, and start scrapping it. Anybody who tried would very probably be nailed to the ground by an infestation of Project and Directive spooks within an hour.
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The weapon is a canon item. You cannot claim it. You might be able to say that Machina built it, and that's cool, but it's part of the printed canon universe, you as a player, may not claim it. I'm honestly not trying to sound liek a dick here dude, but it's not like it's Machina's house or car, or othe personal effect. It's a canon item, like Pax, Mal, and Project Utopia, it belongs to us all.

If that's the case, then tomorrow I'll announce my claim to a part of canon material and expect it not to be contested.

Quote:
What the fuck are you all expecting? A big metal sign on the side that says "PROPERTY OF THE DIRECTIVE: PLEASE DON'T TELL"? I understand that electronics can be tracked through various means, but the Directive has probably ticked on to an idea like spoofing by now, and I sincerely doubt that the Directive would stamp the parts with identifying serial numbers.

Do you honestly think a nova like Revenant cares where it came from or who built it? Destroying it is the only thing that matters, and if they rebuild it, he destroys it again.

Quote:
Anybody who tried would very probably be nailed to the ground by an infestation of Project and Directive spooks within an hour.

Good, it helps flush out a guilty party... eventually one of them would talk. If South Dakota can survive an orbital bombardment with the only adverse effects being a lost cell phone signal, then 200-300 Directive and Project novas will be no problem. Like you said... they could send all they want, it'll hardly level the playing field to their favor. It's all about dramatic license.

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Let's not get into a canon dick-measuring contest yet again, Dave. I'm merely pointing out that at the time this particular piece of machinery became active, the Directive had at their disposal someone with Machina's talents. We don't even have to say it was him; but they had access to someone who could do what he did.

That in mind, I'm saying maybe you guys should approach this reasonably before you pull out the torches and pitchforks and go hunting for men in black. To assume that an organization like the Directive wouldn't acknowledge that using such a device would open the door to scrutiny from Utopia and various individual novas and have some series of bulwarks installed to prevent such deduction is...well, sloppy. If anyone plans to hunt down the satellite and try and track it back, that's something that should be taken into account: it was designed specifically by a covert organization by a nova who's at the apex of nova intellect and has virtually zero peers in the engineering field.

Quote:
Do you honestly think a nova like Revenant cares where it came from or who built it? Destroying it is the only thing that matters, and if they rebuild it, he destroys it again.

Oh no, I endorse destroying it. No reason anybody, sufficiently empowered, shouldn't be able to. Can't imagine it would take all that much, just the right combination of destructive capacity and ability to leave orbit.

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Ugh, I'm not getting into this with you. You and Wargear are awesome, no one can ever be a step ahead of you. Revenant was genetically engineered accroding to Machina's design...

Was that enough ego stroking or should I wait til Wargear is here to finish, I know how much you guys like to hear how about how awesome you are.

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I don't care who does what to the damned thing. Could you please stop arguing over it like a bunch of cranky little boys who can't agree on who the toy sports car belongs to that afternoon?

The point is, none of this was mentioned in the fiction. Saying, after the fact, and only after a PC has started making attempts to fiddle with the satellite, that it has a proximity self-destruct system which would be very nasty if anyone should consider making the attempt to approach it is pretty... well... lame.

Please, for everyone's sakes, get your ducks in their rows before you start projects like this. Most of us are pretty intelligent people, and we will look for loopholes in your explanations or avenues by which our characters can reasonably act under the circumstances. If you leave out things like super-powered self-destruct systems wired off proximity triggers, I don't think it's fair to suddenly toss that into the mix afterward... especially when, IC, that means destroying a multi-billion dollar piece of equipment.

The Directive is not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniprescient, and their resources are not utterly limitless. Can we please stop pretending that they are? Thank you.

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Aw, Dave, you're right, I'm sorry.

Here; you can add a few dots to your sheet, fly up to outer space, locate a 50 meter satellite in Earth's orbit, bring it down to terra firma, rip it apart, find the secret gnomes on the inside who run the thing, interrogate them to find out who their masters are, and then you can go to all the Directive installations all over the world and kill, bully, or threaten all of them into turning over all their black tech and never hurting any nova ever, ever again.

There. That enough stroking for you?

No, I know. God fucking forbid someone should provide a counterpoint to your plan to do whatever the hell you want.

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Originally Posted By: Machina
No, I know. God fucking forbid someone should provide a counterpoint to your plan to do whatever the hell you want.


Knock it off. Seriously. This is PW's story. Neither you, nor Wargear, nor Rev, nor anyone else should be running roughshod over it. "Mistakes were made," as the saying goes. Pertinent information was left out, people are miffed. If you can't show some common decency to each other, then at least respect the creatrix of the storyline and rein it in.
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Originally Posted By: Velvet
The point is, none of this was mentioned in the fiction. Saying, after the fact, and only after a PC has started making attempts to fiddle with the satellite, that it has a proximity self-destruct system which would be very nasty if anyone should consider making the attempt to approach it is pretty... well... lame.


Okay, I personally don't endorse the whole self-destruct thing. I think it's a bit much, myself.

Having said that, your logic in this case is a little slippery. I understand what you're saying, and it's a fine point, but it could easily be interpreted as "anything not mentioned in the Fic is totally up for grabs". Sometimes that's just not reasonable; must we throw in a series of adjectives to describe every potential quality something or someone has just to cockblock someone coming in after the fact and saying "I say it does this, do it does this"?

Anyway. I apologize. Dave, too. The whole Project Thor satellite thing is something I adopted a long time ago, and while I'm stoked that it's seeing a little airplay, I take a little umbrage with people cavalierly running in and defining it along a series of parameters that I just don't think makes sense.
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Originally Posted By: Machina
Anyway. I apologize. Dave, too. The whole Project Thor satellite thing is something I adopted a long time ago, and while I'm stoked that it's seeing a little airplay, I take a little umbrage with people cavalierly running in and defining it along a series of parameters that I just don't think makes sense.


Machina, the fact that you assume I would any character of mine just fly up there and treat the thing like it's a Lego toy firing Nerf projectiles and designed by Willy Wonka, quite frankly is insulting.

I pride myself in the work the I do, and I also pride myself in my ability to respect other characters in my fictions (even if I butt heads with their players). Be it their designs, their power, or just their personality.

To attempt to tell me how to do something, or to assume that I'm too stupid to realize that there it's not just sitting there and when Revenant gets close to it the only defense it has to offer him is "Protected by Viper, stand back." is again a slap in the face.

And there is no need to apologize; no offense was taken through harmless debate.
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