Here as a partial apology for a slow COVID-caused month is a collection of random things of a snippet-like nature I have said over the past couple of months in places other than this blog. Enjoy them, such as they are!
On attempting a rapid “unsafe start” of a fusion torch drive:
The result of most attempts at an unsafe start is melting assorted things in the engine room and/or the containment vessel, and having to pay very large fines and the costs of having a HAZMAT team get your wreck into a safe condition to drag to the wreckyard. It’s sort of like putting a bunch of monkeys in charge of starting up one of our CVNs; they can very easily wreck a very expensive boat, but you’re not going to need to replace Norfolk any time soon.
So, for example, you accidentally screw up by bypassing the proper automatic sequencing and collapse the mag-bottle for the nozzle. The energy that was in the mag-bottle gets fed back into the containment power circuit. Alarms sound, breakers trip – the really big ones that use explosive charges to separate the closers – and a whole bunch of machinery in Drive Power One through Three, including the buffering accumulators, turns into molten slag as there’s a real intense local thunderstorm. The spikes that make it through the breakers, because you’re a civilian ship, cause some random electrical failures and trip the main bus off the line in self-protection.
You, sitting in the maneuvering room, get to watch your console light up and then black out as the corresponding machinery stops existing, the emergency fire procedures dump liquid nitrogen into, then vent, the Drive Power spaces, and the master alarm signal adopts a particularly dramatic tone. Then the lights go out, and you’re left sitting there in the bloody glow of catastrophe from your console and emergency bug-lights.
You have a few seconds to contemplate your poor life choices before the Flight Commander comes down there and introduces your brains to a BIG GODDAMN WRENCH.
“All I’m saying is that pansexuality is a very large claim to make in a universe with as many sophont species as this one.”
“We’re shipping forty million tons of individually-packaged spider-silk personal refreshment wipes twelve-hundred light years?”
“Do you want the detailed answer, or just a comment on the absurdity of the universe?”
“The details, please.”
“It’s hard to keep them wiping their asses with sand when they’re sitting on a fortune in spice.”
For reference, my notes on the Transcend’s position at any given time read as follows:
“[continuing to win its game of full-contact solitaire Calvinball with the universe]
insert ‘all according to keikaku’ meme here.”
When complaining about the “you must be smarter than this stick to ride the Empire” immigration rule:
“We have empirical evidence that those who do not pass these specific tests are dangerous to themselves and others in our environment.”
“Yeah? Show us this evidence!”
passes over data rod full of watchvid
“This… this is the last three seasons of Too Dumb To Live, Too Unlucky To Die!?”
I’m sorry, but around here we only do consensualist agoric-annealing group-mind transghiblian art-deco ecotopic benevolently-hegemonic technothearchy with elvish characteristics.
“Where the fuck did all these dragons come from!?”
“As per chapter nine of the manual, dragons are a normal side-effect of a kami-based ecopoesis system.”
“She’s a bit of an alkahestic.”
“You mean an alcoholic?”
“Not unless alcoholics like dissolving things more than anyone ever should, no.”
“We do not negotiate with terrorists.”
“And yet you are here talking to us.”
“Did I mention that I am officially classified as an Ambassador of Mass Destruction?”
From an extranet compilation of Calíëne Sargas Facts:
“Calíëne Sargas does NOT possess the Eye of Balor, and as such is unable to vaporize enemy vessels simply by glaring at them. This ability has only been confirmed to affect officers ranked lower than Commander (O-6) or equivalent grade.”
Also, in defined terminology, once naval types produce something larger than a superdreadnought (bearing in mind that a hyperdreadnought is fundamentally based on a superdreadnought hull profile), they are formally typed as BM (“warmoon”) and BP (“dirigible battle planet”).
(The latter is currently a hypothetical category. Should it stop being, or a stage be skipped – well, no-one actually knows what the next type up would be, but it probably won’t be “Death Star”.
And for those curious as to Imperial titles of nobility – more specifically, runér titles – the planetary ones are rather too long a list to get into for the moment, insofar as they’re a tangled mass drawn from a large number of cultures maintaining their own systems welded into a single Table of Ranks.
On the other hand, the interstellar titles are nice and simple, being a creation postdating the Consolidation and thus a simple hierarchy. So, from the bottom up, we have:
- Ecumenarchs, holders of the Imperial Mandate over a given planet, dwarf planet, or large moon, of constituent world membership class, including its associated local orbital habitats. Captain-governors of relativistic city-ships are also ranked as ecumenarchs.
- Starkeepers, holders of the Mandate over a given star system, along with all its inhabited planets, other bodies, and drift-habitats.
- Sectarchs, holders of the Mandate over groups of high-population or otherwise important worlds, requiring more attention than would be practical for the attached constellarch, such as the Galari Trinary. Note that there is no regionality named a “sector”; the title comes directly from the root.
- Constellarchs, holders of the Mandate over all Imperial worlds within a particular constellation.
- Great Lords of the Sextants (after the Spice Way Program is placed into effect), holders of the Mandate over all constellations attached to a particular Far Star Station. There are not necessarily six of them; the title is a recreated historical holdover.
Other interstellar runér titles include Marchwarden, a title used for the holder of the mandate for a remote ecumenical colony or Imperial Exclave, not yet suited for full constituent status, but which for whatever reason requires a full runér rather than a Ministry of Colonization-assigned rector; and Castellan, assigned to the attached civilian governance of a military or scientific outpost beyond the borders of the Empire.