Trope-a-Day: Dyson Sphere

Dyson Sphere: The Empire has two, although neither by that name, the concept *there* having been devised by Cirys Minaxianos. One, a Cirys bubble, is at Esilmúr (Imperial Core); a thin layer of light-sail material surrounds the star, held up by photon and solar wind pressure in much the same manner as a statite, and managed by magnetic manipulation and selective releases of solar wind. The material, in turn, is coated with energy-producing solar foil, powering massive arrays of antimatter production facilities.

The other, a three-layered incomplete Cirys swarm is at Corícal Ailék, where the Transcend keeps its brain: the innermost being golden-winged energy-collection complexes skimming the corona of the star and powering the rest of the swarm, the middle layer being fractal chandeliers of organic crystal nanocircuitry, providing the Transcend with its massive processing power, and the outermost being the hexterranes, a lattice of hexagonal habitat-plates providing living space here at the heart of the light.

Moments in History (2)

The official history of Imperial State Security records that Istar Sargas [Alphas I Amanyr’s left-hand man, and founder of the ISS] was assassinated in 742, and control of the Directorates moved to the Imperial Security Executive, at the time a hand-picked body of his division heads.

Unofficial history and frank rumor further records that the assassination occurred in an otherwise unoccupied ISS field office, and that upon meeting the assembled assassins face-to-face, he grinned, told them they were a full eight minutes behind schedule, and flicked his lit cigar into the first of several barrels of blasting powder.

Further information – reliable further information – has not been made available to this author.

– A Shadow History, Sidony Adae-ith-Alleia

Trope-a-Day: Drugs Are Good

Drugs Are Good: The Empire’s culture has no problem with hedonic, et. al., drugs. You have, after all, the right to do anything you want to yourself, and really, they’re no worse than any other form of entertainment.

Especially since you buy them from legitimate businessmen, not “legitimate businessmen”, scrubber nanites let you sober up really damn fast when you need to, standards of quality and purity are maintained, and advances in medical science have abolished addiction and practically every other harmful side-effect imaginable, and along with creating lots of more selective, more entertaining, less awkward/harmful/etc. designer drugs.

Better living through chemistry, man!

Things to See, Places to Go (9)

Silicate Sanctuary Worlds: The renegade digisapiences of the Silicate Tree have two “sanctuary worlds” for biosapiences who flee into their space and are, or have been, of utility to them. These worlds are named Zero One (Galith Waste), a barely eusylithic habitable world and One Zero (Csell Buffer), a eutalentic supplied with scattered colony prefabs. Neither supports much in the way of industry, culture, society, or other reasons to visit, save the all-too-interesting experience of flying under the guns of grumpy ex-slaves who need a reason not to blow you out of space.

This nomenclature alone should give you a fair idea of the degree of wit that the Tree tends to ascribe to protein intelligences.

– Leyness’s Worlds: Guide to the Ecumene


Trope-a-Day: Drop Pod

Drop Pod: The Piton-class drop pod and Fist-class triple drop pods, specifically, the former of which drops a single heavy legionary from orbit to ground, and the latter of which drops three light legionaries likewise. A modified Fist is also used to drop equipment packages.

(Unlike many variants on this theme, these drop pods aren’t intentionally used to damage the enemy, although if one does land on someone’s head, that’s a bonus: it’s hard enough to get a legionary safely to the ground, through flak, with a suicide-burn flight profile as it is without having it try and double as a KEW. Besides, you can always throw a few actual KEWs out in front of it…)

On The Relationship Between Transcend and Transcendi

Kicking this one uphill from a comment to an actual post, since it may clarify matters for any other readers, too, with questions in this area:

Okay. Let me try this again.

All minds, as defined in the ‘verse, are Minskian societies of mind, masses of independently running agents on a shared substrate, from which consciousness, volition, and all other mental properties emerge. (“The Country of the Mind” in Greg Bear’s Queen of Angels would be a good symbolic representation.)

This, for example, is how technologies like the gnostic overlay work; by patching some new voices into the chorus.

The Transcendent soul-shard (hence its technical name, logos bridge) serves as a bridge between two societies of mind, carrying messages back and forth, allowing both the participation of the constitutional’s agents in the Transcend’s mentality and the participation of some of the Transcend’s agents in the constitutional’s. This blurs the strict lines of identity, arguably, but it’s not a complete subsumption of identity such as occurs on joining a Fusion; rather, every time a new constitutional Transcends, both they and It become somewhat different people in various ways, wedded together most intimately, but they don’t achieve identity of identity.

(Incidentally, as I think I mentioned in a 2012 piece, the main reason the Transcend keeps an economy and a governance around, is that they work. Sure, technically, you could replace market coordination with coordination mediated through coadjutors and Transcendent oversouls, but because of that mathematical theorem that demonstrates that even a hypothetical Omniscient Calculator could only at best equal the performance of a free market, not beat it, you’d have nothing to gain except wasted cycles and the lack of a convenient interface to the rest of the universe. Similar logic applies to various other applications.

Basically, you don’t send an oversoul to do a simpler instrumentality’s job.)

Apposite Quotation

Today’s this-very-much-belongs-in-my-universe, courtesy of Borderlands 2 and a New-U station:

“If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them.”