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  1. The Flood is basically a hegemonizing swarm with a biotech substrate, rather than the more common nanotech or infotech. In fact, it is quite inefficient at dealing with infotech countermeasures — it had to seduce Mendicant Bias into switching sides. And AFAICT it has no means of infecting silicon-based lifeforms. I am sure the Empire has plans for dealing with heggie swarms, though likely not for one with the precise parameters of the Flood.

    My guess? Start with blockade and quarantine, which is much easier for a stargate plexus than for slipstream. That’s only a delaying tactic, but it’s more than enough breathing room to build a sterilization fleet with galari crew, drone waldoes, and extensors for the Transcend. The Empire’s not going to send a single military AI to do a distributed archai’s work.

  2. At the risk of turning this into a conphysics pissing contest, I beg to differ that the Flood is terrible with dealing with infotech countermeasures. The Flood logic plague (an aspect of the Flood which attacks AIs, as happened with Mendicant Bias) is given at least as much weight as its physical corruptive form at least in the Greg Bear books where it receives the most treatment. It’s bad enough that even reinstantiations of sophonts (as performed by the Composer) inherit the logic plague corruption (this comes from Halo 4), as if the Flood is some sort of ontological corruption that can attack the very logos of the sophont, regardless of the substrate it’s housed in. A fully developed Flood outbreak also achieves full mastery of ontotech (see: star roads, manipulating the Domain, etc. ; this assumes that Halo’s conphysics can somehow coexist with the Eldraeverse’s), which is currently beyond the Empire’s capabilities.

    Which is to say that although I trust the Empire to not pull a Forerunner and mismanage the crisis through sheer hubris, I’m not sure their usual methods of quarantine, study, weaponise, and fight back would work well against a heggie swarm that can literally rewrite the rules of the universe away from under their feet.

  3. Shoot it. A lot.

    (It’s a classic.)

  4. Just realised the answer to my own response to doctorcatfish basically amounts to “DON’T LET IT GET THAT BIG!”

    And it’s nice to see that the Chief and the Imperial Navy are in agreement on this point.

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