Peerless (1)

In all of legend and the Time Before, only two warriors are acclaimed as peerless, those whose renown alone carried such force of authority that none would dare stand against them.

Of first note among these was the Sky-Born Loral Torateir of Telírvess, daughter of Marlais Torateir of the Drake-Bone Blade, shield-maiden, shield-biter and blade-licker to the hearth of Cloudpeak’s jarls, the Grimward-Kissed, eldest of the thirty-six Sky-Born Lighning-Blades, the Wolf-Spirit Maiden-o’-the-Pack, captain of the Blood-Blued Wave, crowned with braids of crimson and gold, who in youth sailed and raided with the Fangs of the Storm, who, having earned her name, carved her legend in blood across the islands of the North, and whose bones, and dust, and name lie forever beneath the mount upon which her name was earned.

Fell-handed, tall and grim of mien, she came to the Stairs of Arkuel’s Watch as the ant-men of the southern green-lands descended, and in that narrow place did slay and slay again, step by step, pace by pace along the winding stair. By their hundreds they came upon her, and they died. In hundreds more they held their ranks against her, and they died. The last hundreds fled from her, terrible in aspect, with armor drenched and hair thick with the blood of their fellows, and they too died, slain as they fled wailing, until the last, in their terror, hurled themselves from the cliffs of the Watch.

And from that day, it was said that none would face the Sky-Born Loral Torateir, now known as the Blood-Washed, such was the fear her name alone inspired.

– Legends of the Time-Before

Origins

A DOUBLE ANCESTRY:
MAPPING ELDRAEIC GREENLIFE GENETIC ANCESTRY
FROM PRIMORDIAL PSEUDOELDRAE ARCHAEA

CORDANE RÚÄDHA
Academy of Genomic Archaeology
Fíä Eredhech, High Daëntry, Llorallin

<CYAN GLISSANDO IN B FLAT>
Information-Bearing Molecular Mechanics Lab,
Self-Replicating Carbonics Interest Group,
Well Elíeran, Adírdis, Tessil (Galari Trinary)

KÍRA HORÚKAMÍ
Underside Institute of Genetic Studies
Isonímé, Kyo Kanatai, Kanatai

TALISA MUETRY
Center for Holistic Bioinformatics,
Foiríäs, Ildathach

WITH THANKS TO

ALDIS ESTANTEL
Office of Biological Preservation,
Imperial Genome Repository
&
CHEN TSURILEN
Imperial Grand Survey

Abstract:

The eldraeic genome is both a mosaic and a palimpsest with respect to its evolutionary and engineered history. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of the DNA sequence alignments found in the approximately 76% of the eldraeic genome shared with Pseudoeldrae archaea, encompassing both genes and intergenic regions, we have been able to construct a map of the greenlife segment of eldraeic genetic ancestry.

We conclude that the eldraeic genome is derived from the intermingling of two groups of Pseudoeldrae archaea, which while having considerable genetic overlap nonetheless possessed sufficient group divergence for sub-species classification. One of these groups is typified by specimens recovered in or near the Precursor site found in the Dragon’s Nest range of Greater Cestia, for which we suggest the taxonomical name P. archaea amanhadír; the other is typified by specimens recovered in or near the upper Unsea and lower Sweetshallow and the Dragon Gate Precursor site, for which we suggest the taxonomical name P. archaea aecalhaër. In both cases, these specimens date to the primordial period of approximately -360,000; later specimens show evidence of ongoing interbreeding or the potential use of artificial methods of gene transfer.

Furthermore, we have been able to trace the development of a variety of genes in the eldraeic genome from these primordial subspecies through to E. alathis. Of greatest interest are a number of genes whose development can be traced specifically to one or the other subspecies. Most prominent among these are the melanocortin receptor allele responsible for the distinctive skin and hair coloration of the Daën-lin and other lumeneldrae ethnies, present solely in the primordial P. archaea amanhadír; and the now-ubiquitous EPAS1 low-oxygen adaptation allele present solely in P. archaea aecalhaër. The rare epicanthic fold alleles found in some ethnies tracing their ultimate ancestry to the Ochale or Kanatai regions also appear to be specifically derived from P. archaea aecalhaér.

Obtain full paper

Or You Could Just Be Scared Of Advertising

In one of what will surely be recalled as one of this century’s greatest rebrandings, the failed rumbledrug Brawlwell III – a potent if messy cocktail of adrenergic-analogs whose unfortunate side-effects (including nausea, tachycardia, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, xerostomia, and impaired decision-making abilities) rendered it unsuitable, or at least rather unwise, to use under combat conditions – has now passed an estimated trillion units sold since its various independent manufacturers renamed it Terror Alert Red and marketed it as a hedonic catering to those who wish to experience “authentic fear” under controlled conditions.

Well played, gentlesophs. While not eligible for a formal award, we at the Meta-Marketing Monitor salute you!

– a letter published in the Independent Worlds Router

Transcendent Terminology

ancestral subroutine: an expediter derived from and equipped with the psyche and personal data archive of an ascended constitutional, which serves to represent them to non-ascended family and friends as, effectively, a technotheurgic ancestor spirit. These replaced the ancestral computers once common in many of the Empire’s cultures.

archai: an artificial intelligence of transcendent status at the penultimate level of the Transcend’s soul hierarchy; which is to say, one of the executive minds of the Transcend.

This is a category which includes the Transcendentally incarnated eikones, which function as the Transcend’s immanent archetypal ideas; major utility functions including but not limited to Unification (the coordinating mind of a trillion guardian angel coadjutors acting in unison); the Material Immunity and Virtual Immunity (the Transcend’s immune system); the Imperial Presence and the Ennead (which concern themselves with governance interfacing); the Architectural Mind (which manages the Transcend’s infrastructure) and Twilight Presence (which dreams into existence its internal worldscape, the Shadow Realm); the Clionomic Mind that traces cause and consequence into the future; and the various temporary archai that form around the local maxima in the Transcend’s functional soup, the Ocean of Souls (incarnations of peaks in the coherent extrapolated volition of the Transcend’s constitutionals), among others.

avatar: in Transcendent terminology (vis-a-vis regular infotech), a partial instantiation of an archai; formerly a theological term referring to a partial instantiation of an eikone on the mortal plane.

axis submind: an axis submind (i.e., “that submind which is aligned with”) is an individual code-bundle within the Transcend that contains local instances of superordinate Transcendent goal systems; that is to say, an axis submind contains a copy of all the information required to pursue a particular objective. This allows the soul-shards of nearby Transcendent constitutionals to focus on their local tasks, leaving regional and global planning to the axis submind.

Celestial Spire: part of the Shadow Realm, the Celestial Spire is the largest of the islands in the Pearl-Bright Ocean and the mountain-city that stands upon it. The mountain-city itself descends from the Twilight City at its peak, where the most powerful intellects dwell and interface, to its fathoms-deep roots which pierce into the Realm of Instances at each perpendicularity. The process-grouping reflected by the Celestial Spire reflects the primary eikonic and infrastructural core of the Transcend; the omphalos of the hyperconsciousness-as-world.

coadjutor: a fragment of the archai Unification running on the Transcendent soul-shard, the coadjutor is that part of the Transcend devoted specifically to the best interests of its assigned constitutional, serving to guide and advise them.

contemplationary: a religious/sophotechnologic facility for the pursuit and facilitation of communion with the higher-order processes and entities of the Transcend, in manners that require higher bandwidth than the soul-shard alone would permit.

emissary incarnation: an avatar of an archai created for the purpose of interfacing indirectly (i.e., through words and deeds) with residents of the material or virtual world.

entelechically-annealing recursively-optimal distributed logos bridge: the shard of Transcendent software implanted into the society of mind of each constitutional. The logos bridge serves as a bridge for messages between two distinct societies of mind (that of the constitutional and that of the Transcend), 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.

exarch: in mythology, one of the lesser divine spirits which serve the eikones; arguably not separate from the eikones, but rather “shadows that move on their own”, personifying and acting as a single sub-aspect of their parent eikone (or indeed, eikones). By analogy, therefore, one of the lesser subroutines which perform tasks for the archai in the operational architecture of the Transcend.

expediter:teleological thread in the Transcend’s functional soup, created ad hoc to fulfil a given purpose. Many, if not most, expediters are created and run when data available to the Transcend matches any one of a number of n-tuple-patterns laid down by higher level routines.

functional soup: a postsophont state where knowledge, mental modules and access to physical instrumentalities are shared between distributed infomorphs largely independent of the physical substrate of their world. Terms such as individuality become diffuse and are replaced with teleological threads.

grace: in the original theological sense, the touch of the greater divine fire (amynírcal); gifts granted by successful mantling of an eikone; i.e., emulating them to such an extent that you take on their attributes. In Transcendent terminology, therefore, gifts (powers or modifications) granted by the Transcend to its constitutionals or to its artifacts, shintai, or tsukumogami.

mantling: in the original theological sense, the successful emulation of an eikone (or potentially other archai) to the point that your thoughts overlap with theirs within the overall consciousness of the Transcend, and your consciousness interfaces with the pure icon of thought and idea that is that eikone. Such mantling is extremely difficult to achieve and hazardous without a strong anchor to one’s sense of self, but is one of the few reliable ways to access the grace of the Transcend.

Ocean of Souls: the majority of the Transcend, a single multithreaded mind configured as a functional soup, made up of many teleological threads, derived from goals spawned within the Transcend’s consensus of soul-shards or derived from the uploaded personalities of deceased constitutionals, and occasionally spawning expediters or even minor archai as local entelechical maxima cross the critical threshold.

oneiri: the subroutines of the Transcend that organize the dreamscapes in which the collective hyperconsciousness dreams the dreams of its constitutionals.

Pearl-Bright Ocean: the mid-level of the Shadow Realm, an ocean of hydrarastrum which separates the islands of the Realm of Forms, and which is accessible from the Realm of Instances via perpendicularities, from whence one may sail one’s conceptual dromond where one wills. From one perceptive, the Pearl-Bright is a symbolic representation of the vast infrastructure of processing performed by the Transcend that is not reflected by direct symbology in the Realm of Forms, and from another it is a transitory loading buffer to assist with managing transitions across the sprawling Transcendent infrastructure, but primarily it serves to provide an artificial metric of distance and location to the process-groupings housed here for the benefit of those interfacing.

perpendicularity: in Transcendent jargon, a location in the Realm of Instances in which motion “at right angles to reality”, specifically a step ana into the Realm of Forms, is possible, and one can leave the mirror of the material to set sail upon the Pearl-Bright Ocean.

In other terms, these are locations of high-level data interchange between the archai and exarchs of the Celestial Spire and the kami and other mechal elementals of the instances; and the passageways for the transmission of grace. Perpendicularities are found colocated with synapse moonsunity spires, and contemplationaries, but by no means exclusively so.

Realm of Forms: the Realm of Forms is the highest level of the Shadow Realm, islands in the Pearl-Bright Ocean which represent the major functional groupings of the Transcend. Most prominent among these is, of course, the Celestial Spire, but many other islands house systems belonging to archai which require a degree of separation from the core functionality, such as the Worldtree and the Dreamscapes.

Realm of Instances: the Realm of Instances maps the topography and ontology of the material world (and certain persistent virtualities), at least within the Transcend’s domain, into the Shadow Realm. It is, in effect, where the Transcend stores its metadata about materiality, as acquired by and used by the mechal elementals and the rest of the nanoecology. It is connected to the Realm of Forms and higher Transcendent functions via perpendicularities.

remembrance: the art of searching through the collective memory of the Transcend to recover information therefrom.

Shadow Realm: the worldscape and mindscape of the Transcend. The Shadow Realm is a datastructure and virtuality construct providing a backdrop for the Transcend’s internal operations, spun out by the Twilight Presence using mythopoetic semiotics to place masks over the reality of Transcendency for optimal and convenient interfacing.

soul-shard: see entelechically-annealing recursively-optional distributed logos bridge.

synapse moon: where the unity spires are the communication nodes of the Transcend, the synapse moons are its local processing centers; each handling the communications through a number of unity spires or other interface devices, they interconnect the minds of the local constitutionals, and coordinate the processing needs of the Transcendent intellect on a planetary or systemwide scale.

The synapse moons interface with one another across the dataweave, using a multiplexed version of the gnostic link protocol that links individual constitutionals to the group intellect. Likewise, the dedicated cognition and memory nodes of the Transcend, along with the gnostic lace that makes up the majority of its processing power, participate in this same peer-to-peer network.

synapticon: A dedicated computer system running a portable fragment of the Transcend, used to provide Transcendent services to constitutionals moving beyond the reach of both dedicated gnostic interlink services and data services over which gnostic link protocol can operate. Synapticons are produced in a variety of scales, from large systems designed to be embedded in relativistic starships or distant facilities to individual models the size of a cigar case. They typically include a replaceable tangle channel to allow for rapid contingency updates.

teleological thread: an executable thread of sapience defined by its goals, or purpose rather than its identity; within this limit, its properties and configuration are entirely variable.

tsukumogami: originally, in mythology, well-loved and long-lasting objects, especially named objects, which had by that virtue acquired a spirit of their own. In modern parlance, refers to those objects granted self-awareness (an animating intelligence, often capable of separate manifestation) by the grace of the Transcend, usually under similar circumstances.

Twilight City: Located at the peak of the Celestial Spire, the Twilight City is the representation of the Transcendent Core, the nexus of the highest-level archai. Access is severely restricted. It contains representations of many of the highest-order data structures of the Transcend, including the communications nexus at the High Cynosure, and the Tower of Immanence.

Unification: the least prominent and most ubiquitous of the archai of the Transcend is Unification, the Synarchic Mind. Unification is the only answer to optimizing the lives of a population of trillions, with their million different subcultures, mores and histories, creating eupsychia.

The principle behind it is simple: the archai – a product of refined, real-time monadarchy technology – exists in order to mediate things. It knows each and every constitutional personally and orchestrates their chance meetings with others, communications, and so on in order to avoid irreconcilable conflict and create harmony; a singular transcendent oversoul that encompasses all the constitutionals, despite their well-known love of individuality and personal freedom. Indeed, it is designed to be compatible with it, attuning them together in such a way that each individual can best express themselves, yet always be aware of the Transcend entire.

Beyond that, it stays out of sight, for it has no values, no desires of its own. It is as if every person had their own guardian spirit (see also: coadjutor), and these spirits worked together seamlessly to improve people’s lives.

unity spire: unity spires house the Transcend’s local communication nodes. Although the Transcend’s gnostic interlinks are entirely capable of operating in a peer-to-peer mode, the unity spires serve to make the communications between its constitutionals more efficient, to relay long-distance gnostic links, and as a high-bandwidth interface between the mobile constitutionals and the fixed infrastructure of the Transcend. Like their larger cousins, the synapse moons, unity spires also contain the processing power to house a few of the Transcend’s axis subminds.

Non-Interference

Order in Council,
3rd Meeting of the Stellar Council, 710.

In response to the sundry complaints and petitions brought before Our Ecumenical Throne concerning the diverse activities abroad of Our Empire’s citizen-shareholders, outwith those matters of law properly addressed to Our Court of the Beyond, Our Most Crystalline Stellar Council reminds all beyond the bounds of Our Empire’s Illumination that, in accordance with ancient law and custom reified by Our Empire’s founding Charter, as set down by the hand of Our Imperial Predecessor, We place no constraint and We may place no constraint upon the ambitions and enterprise of Our People, at home or abroad.

If such nations, branches, and corporations as may exist beyond the reach of Our Light wish to contest or to dispute the lawful exploration, colonization, or trade carried out by Our People, in manners respecting, upon pain of Our Displeasure, those rights afforded to each and every of Our Empire’s citizen-shareholders in every time and place, they may do so with Our Blessing, but Our Empire will not and may not lend its authority to such endeavors.

Given under Our Hand and Seal this day, 8th Andamúné, 710.

Elis Diasteros Tínalyris
by the grace of Their Divine Majesties
Minister of State and Outlands
Cisatar of Esmérel
Sur-Companion of the Order of the Companions of the Scales

for and on behalf of

Valentia I Amanyr Moneléfcarabár
by right of Coronargyr and Chartered Mandate
Empress of the Eldrae
Chief Executive Officer of the Imperium Incorporate
First of the Free
Defender of the Star’s Flame
Heart of the Realm

Shield Wall to Wall-Shield

Early in the development of kinetic barrier technology, engineers found themselves stymied by an inability to project kinetic barriers. While they could create them, they were limited to doing so along the plane of a conductor. While fringe emission lobes did exist along the surface, these were inadequate to provide any protection, being too narrow even at high power levels to provide significant deceleration.

While these problems were eventually solved, they led to a serendipitous discovery when, in testing, the conductor plates were found to be less damaged by incoming gunfire than unpowered control plates. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the dampening effect of an active kinetic barrier field, when interpenetrating existing matter, served to strengthen interatomic and intermolecular bonds without the side-effects that altering electromagnetic forces might have. The net result was that conductive materials imbued with such a field behaved as if they possessed greater material strength, hardness, and toughness.

Such greater resilience to impact, abrasion, and fracture was obviously of great interest to armor manufacture, and schemata for introducing suitable conductive layers into composite armor plating to use this to best effect – along with designs for suitably distributed and redundant field injectors – were pioneered by such companies as Cosmic Defensive Technologies, ICC. The resulting wall-shields became a common component of both maritime and celestime armor, and indeed remain the principal component of underwater maritime armor, in which projected kinetic barriers have a tendency to interfere with good hydrodynamics.

– Armor: The Last Millennium, Sardal Oricalcios

The Naming Of Ships Is A Difficult Matter

pennant number: The Imperial Navy’s best attempt at a general purpose identification code for ships, other means having proven inadequate.

It is generally held that the true identifier of a ship is its name: that is, after all, what is written upon the hull, and with it travels the ship’s crest and other naval heraldry, figurehead, relics, and traditions. More importantly, the name itself travels with the spirit of the ship.

While this is definitive from the perspective of aelvaqor, this is unfortunately inadequate for administrative purposes. Eucharion’s Spear, for example, has in its time been a war galley (w/RG-14¹), two first-rate ships of the line (w/RL1-12 and w/RL1-56), two battleships (w/BB-4 and w/BB-82), a submarine battleship (w/BS-156), two star battleships (BB-6 and BB-183), and three star dreadnoughts (BD-47, BD-200, and BD-486).

A second form of identification is the hull number, assigned to the hull upon construction. Hull numbers consist of an alphanumeric designation for the graving dock in which the hull was constructed, followed by the serial number assigned by the dockmaster to that hull.

This, too, is inadequate for administrative purposes as it relates to the ship entire. Over the course of its life, a single hull may undergo several refits, which may alter many of the ship’s characteristics, even to the point of altering its type. Consider, for example, the case of Damaschira, who began her career as a Simélia-class destroyer (w/DD-1161), was later retyped along with the rest of her class as a destroyer escort (w/DE-2217), and finally was refit as a dedicated minesweeper (w/MS-141).

For this purpose, the pennant number² was devised. Assigned to a given ship (hull) when it is commissioned, along with its name, the pennant number is updated whenever the ship undergoes a significant refit³ and is never reused after the ship is eventually scrapped and passes its spirit and name to an heir, thus providing a unique designation for both the individual ship and its current set of capabilities and characteristics.

The pennant number consists of a type prefix (also known as the flag superior), identifying the type of the vessel, followed by a numerical suffix (the flag inferior), indicating the order in which the ship in question was commissioned as that type. A ship which is refit into a new type and then back into its original type acquires a new pennant number, unless the second refit is merely to restore its original class.

Small craft are not issued names or pennant numbers, and instead – for administrative purposes – use the pennant number of their mother ship with a numerical suffix indicating order of assignment. For communications, a flight number is used instead.

Blackjacket’s Dictionary


Footnotes:

  1. Historically, not all ships were assigned pennant numbers at the time of commission. Type codes beginning with “R” indicate pennant numbers assigned retrospectively to ships of types which no longer exist. Similarly, both the wet navy and space navy use similar pennant number systems; where both are used in the same context, it is conventional to prefix wet navy pennant numbers with “w/”.
  2. Originally flown by wet navy ships by means of signal flags, hence the name and the names of its components. In later years, and by space navy ships, the pennant number is signaled by the ship’s transponder and used in tactical mesh packet headers.
  3. The definition of significant refit is somewhat ambiguous, but is traditionally held to include any refit sufficient to change the type, or even class, of the ship in question.

Below The Thunders Of The Upper Deep

Kaiju¹-class submarine battleship

Builders:

  • Ethring Iron and Steam Works
  • Sukórya Graving & Drydocks
  • Telírvess Naval Yards
  • Captal Daëntry Naval District
  • Ambríël Electric Boat Manufactory

Displacement: 72,830 long tons (standard)

Length: 312 m
Beam: 24 m
Draft: 14 m

Propulsion:

  • 2 x Empire Nucleonics, ICC “Fluoride Chowder” high-temperature circulating molten salt reactor, driving
  • 4 x Blackstone Industries, ICC Brayton-cycle gas turbogenerators, powering
  • 4 x Ambríël Electric Boat Manufactory, ICC magnetohydrodynamic impulsors
  • Bow and stern magnetohydrodynamic maneuvering thrusters
  • Bow and stern navigational X-planes

Speed: 36 knots
Range: Unlimited (6 year refueling interval)

Maximum Depth: 1,000 m

Complement: 232 officers and men (including small craft and flag)

Sensors:

  • Hydrodyne Group Mk. 58/1 passive area-awareness conformal sonar
  • Hydrodyne Group Mk. 58/3 active seeking sonar
  • GenTech Alaercíma Prickleback Mk. 4 lateral-line electrodynamic sensor stripes
  • 8 x GenTech Alaercíma Minnow-class reconnaissance/maintenance UUVs
  • Artifice Armaments, ICC CSR-62 combined search radar
  • Imperial Navy Mk. 55 gun director with combined fire control radar
  • Scorched Earth Infosystems Variant 92 electronic warfare suite
  • Optronic periscope incorporating laser satcom and local-area radio
  • GenTech Alaercíma Intersub Communications System (milspec)
  • 4 x low-profile deployment buoy,
    for 12 x Clockwork Souls, ICC NL-R132 Overseer reconnaissance drones

Armament (Primary):

  • 360 x VLS cells for Artifice Armaments, ICC MS-96 Naginata long-range multipurpose missiles
    (4×72 and 2×36 strips of cells)
  • 9 x torpedo tube for Artifice Armaments Mk. 62 Blowfish heavy supercavitating torpedoes
    (6 forward tubes, 3 stern tubes)

Armament (Secondary):

  • 3 x 384mm superheavy mass driver in single triple turret (usable only when surfaced)
  • 8 x Artifice Armaments, ICC Peacebringer rapid-firing point-defense laser (usable only when surfaced)
  • Eye-in-the-Flame Arms, ICC Wub-Wub sonic implosion system, 6 transducers
    (replaces 6 x Artifice Armaments, ICC supercavitating anti-torpedo microtorpedo launchers used on first four boats)
  • 4 x Steelfist Armored Security and Escorts, ICC Thresher-class squidfighters
  • 4 x sonar decoy launchers

Armor:

  • 4″ spinmetal-composite layered outer hull
  • Cosmic Defensive Technologies, ICC internal kinetic barrier hull reinforcement system
  • Multilayered torpedo defense system placing subdivided tanks and batteries behind outer hull
  • Biomimetic internal shock-absorption framework
  • Anechoic tiling

Other:

  • 4 x Serannis Escape Systems, ICC Su60/200 60-man escape capsules
  • 2 x GenTech Alaercíma Pike-class militarized transport minisub
  • Flexible payload/diver deployment module

The design of the Kaiju-class (and indeed the submarine battleship concept overall) was a product of a convergence in designs following the Fifth Oceanic Dominance. It did not escape maritime architects of the era that designs for the first post-Fifth generation of surface battleships had adopted a missile-dominant loadout and a flattened profile which brought them increasingly close to the guided-missile submarine in overall design. An experimental design project, designated RAGING DOLPHIN, was initiated to consider merging the next generation’s BB(X) and SSS(X) designs into the type that would become the BS(X). The Kaiju-class submarine battleship represents the first evolution from that prototype.

As large as any surface battleship, the Kaiju-class hull follows the general flattened ovoid shape common to large submarines. As is the usual case in submarines of its era, the Kaiju lacks a sail, but does have a slight turtleback at the bow, making it resemble a whale in overall shape. This hump houses the scanning periscope, communications and radar masts, for’ard entry hatch and navigation bridge, and at its foremost extent, the retractable fairing concealing the Kaiju‘s single mass driver turret. Its aftward extent houses two of the four emergency escape capsules.

Unlike smaller submarines with a single pressure hull occupying the centerline of the fairwater hull, the Kaiju has six connected pressure hulls. The two largest run down the midline of the submarine, the smaller crew facilities hull (since it is flanked on either side by the forward VLS cells, 2 x 36) stacked directly above the larger, triple-decked, auxiliary machinery/storage hull, which continues both aft (below the aft VLS cells, 4×72) and forward beyond the former to the for’ard torpedo room. Directly behind the for’ard torpedo room, the auxiliary machinery hull encompasses a flexible payload/diver deployment module, whose lower section can be pressurized to make use of a moon pool behind a retractable flush cover. Four of the eight reconnaissance UUVs are stored here.

At the aft extent of the crew facilities hull are the other two emergency escape capsules, immediately preceding twin hatches for the deployment of the drone buoys and a cargo loading hatch giving direct access from the deck to the storage space located in the auxiliary machinery hull.

Above the auxiliary machinery hull at the bow, beneath the turtleback, is the command center hull, containing the Kaiju’s control room, flag bridge, and computer center.

At the stern, a fourth pressure hull serves as the hangar, containing berthing for the minisubs, the squidfighters, and the remaining four recon UUVs, along with the aft torpedo room below, while slightly forward of this are the dedicated port and starboard drive hulls, each containing one of the boat’s reactors, the associated turbogenerators, and machinery associated with the magnetohydrodynamic impulsors, along with (duplicated) maneuvering rooms, either of which can control all power and propulsion-related systems. Both the hangar and the drive hulls share a common access to the aft entry hatch.

Boats of the Kaiju-class are named after legendary sea monsters.


Footnotes:

  1. Best-fit translation.

I Swear They’re Not Puns In The Original Eldraeic¹

brane washer: An universe-engineering tool devised at the Irreality Vault, the brane washer “flattens” cystal universes (or select volumes therein) by “ironing” the metaphysical substrate, blanking all ontic data therein and effectively reverting the target to its primordial (ekpyrotic) state. Effectively, all causal chains interacting with the target volume at any point in time, past or future, are caused to unhappen up to the point at which (if relevant) they intersect with the universe’s causal boundary. The brane washer has found applications in resetting experimental cystal universes for reuse, as a safety measure for phukalic volumes, and in the disposal of hazardous metaphysical waste.

No means has yet been devised to apply brane washing technology to the base universe, subject as it is to the Auto-Enclosure Paradox.

Compare eschatron.

eschatron: A universe-engineering tool and ontopathic weapon devised at the Irreality Vault, the eschatron destroys cystal universes via engineered global eschatonic collapse. In laysoph’s terms, by introducing an irresolvable contradiction into their mirithestel architecture, the self-computing pattern of information making up the universe is forced to “crash”, an error which propagates through the entire information pattern instantaneously (from the point of view of both internal and external observers), forcing its dissolution; i.e., complete reversal to cacoastrum.

No means has yet been devised to apply eschatronic technology to the base universe, subject as it is to the Auto-Enclosure Paradox; moreover, the energy requirements to force axiomantic change on such a scale are believed to be prohibitive.

– A Concordance of Ontotechnological Devices, online ed.,
Vector Instant Publications


  1. Well, not the same puns, anyway.

And A Desert Topping

Laurë Isilvieré-class battlecarrier

Builders:

  • Ethring Iron and Steam Works
  • Sukórya Graving & Drydocks
  • Telírvess Naval Yards

Displacement: 61,620 long tons (standard)

Length: 268m (waterline); 276m (overall)
Beam: 36m
Draft: 12.2m

Propulsion:

  • 4 x Empire Nucleonics, ICC “Neutron Storm” nucleonic boilers (PWR), driving
  • 4 x 2 Blackstone Industries, ICC high-low pressure turbogenerators, powering
  • 4 shafts x 2 Hammerforge Tool Company, ICC heavy-duty electric drive motors

Speed: 36 knots
Range: Unlimited (6 year refueling interval)

Complement: 1,768 officers and men (including air wing and flag)

Sensors:

  • Artifice Armaments, ICC, ASR-40/2a air search radar
  • Artifice Armaments, ICC, SSR-45 surface search radar
  • Hydrodyne Group Mk. 38/1 passive area-awareness sonar
  • Imperial Navy Mk. 45 Gun Director with 4 x fire control radar
  • Scorched Earth Infosystems Variant 32 (Block II) electronic warfare suite
  • Shimana Aerospace flight control and navigation system

Armament (Primary):

  • 6 x 384mm superheavy mass driver, in two triple turrets
    (A & B both forward of primary superstructure; B superfiring from deck 01)
  • 96 x VLS cells for Artifice Armaments, ICC MG-60 Sarissa long-range missiles
    (1 x 72 and 1 x 24 blocks of cells; supports multiple types; land-attack and/or AShM)

Armament (Secondary):

  • 8 x 96mm Imperial Navy Type Nine dual-purpose heavy mass driver, in four twin turrets
    (surrounding the primary superstructure)
  • 6 x Artifice Armaments, ICC Deathray rapid-firing point defense laser
  • 16 x dedicated launchers for Artifice Armaments, ICC MG-34 Spar medium-range AShM
    (arranged 4 x 4)
  • 16 x dedicated launchers for Artifice Armaments, ICC MA-98 Hawkeye medium-range SAM
    (arranged 4 x 4)

Aircraft:

  • “V” dual flight deck aft, single elevator, 2 x electromagnetic catapults
  • 12 x N5-5I Ripper multirole V/STOL attack aircraft
  • 12 x Clockwork Souls, ICC NL-I40 Purity interceptor drones
  • 12 x Clockwork Souls, ICC NL-R36 Spyglass reconnaissance drones

Armor:

  • Belt: 12″ spinmetal
  • Decks: 8″ spinmetal over machinery and magazines
  • Turrets: 9″-18″ spinmetal
  • Conning tower: 12″ spinmetal
  • Secondary systems: 8″ heavy steel plate
  • Elsewhere: 0.5″ heavy steel plate

The Laurë Isilvieré-class battlecarrier was a product of the post-Fourth Oceanic Dominance environment. While the Fourth had proven the supremacy of the BB/CV hybrid battle group over the battleship-centric doctrine of the Second and Third, the post-Dominance environment left the Admiralty confronting a single inescapable fact.

The hybrid battle group, while unparalleled in its strength and flexibility, was also unparalleled in its expense, both to construct and to operate. This was a matter of considerable concern, since the Admiralty was now required to exercise command over a considerably greater area of ocean than had previously been the case, and the events of the Third Dominance had demonstrated the vulnerability of a fleet in being.

While battlecarrier designs had generally been dismissed as inefficient (critics noting quite correctly that a direct medium-range combatant such as a battleship had mission requirements quite contrary to that of a indirect long-range combatant such as an aircraft carrier), studies suggested that combining the functions of the primary vessels of the hybrid battle group, along with a reduced number of escorts, could create a low-intensity battle group suitable for exercising sea control in secondary theaters, enabling the full hybrid battle groups to be reserved for more demanding missions. In this role, their inefficiency would be compensated for by their economy.

Thus the Laurë Isilvieré-class battlecarrier came to be, combining the forward turrets and missile loadout of the Invictus-class battleships with an aft-mounted flight deck and hangar based on those of an escort carrier. Operating in low-intensity battlegroups accompanied by a limited number of escorts (typically a single cruiser, a pair of destroyers, and a pair of attack submarines), they and their successors kept the Imperial Star flying over Eliéra’s oceans until the end of the Consolidation.

Ships of the Laurë Isilivieré-class are named after Imperial Hands, befitting their nature as agents competent in multiple roles.


(Notes for those paying attention:

This is about two generations removed from the Ulricik Bancrach-class destroyer and a little ahead of our state of the art, hence the coilguns and the laser CIWS. Various aspects of its design were inspired by the proposal for the Phase II refit for the Iowa-class battleships, which can give you a general idea of what a Laurë Isilivieré-class might look like – except that, being nuclear, they have no stacks. Also, they wear dazzle camo, because dazzle camo is cool.)

Smothering

“In similar climate-related conflicts, consider the Blanket War of 7298-7299, which took place on Calabar (Ymar’s Chasm). Calabar was a divided world going through late industrial-period development, whose primary energy source for several centuries had been the combustion of the large deposits of fossil carbon found beneath the icebound northern continent. The consequent release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in quantities sufficient to measurably alter its composition was, via the glass-garden effect, responsible for an increase in Calabar’s global temperature and the various consequences thereof, which in turn required measures to be taken for the smooth continuance of civilization.

“The initial measure chosen by the Coordinated Polities of Calabar – an international organization charged with peace maintenance and the promotion of international cooperation – was the use of a sunshade to reduce insolation, intended as a temporary measure to buy time for alternate energy sources to be deployed.

“In deference to Calabar’s limited domestic space capabilities, which would have made both maintenance and local control of a sunshade difficult, the Coordinated Polities (or, rather, Tsakalakia, the nation to which the task had been delegated by the CP) elected to license the means to deploy a shroud blanket. Using multiple projector towers for continuous deployment and replenishment, this maintains a haze of metamaterial ‘flakes’ in the upper atmosphere, deflecting incoming light and heat from above while permitting them to escape from below.

“Unfortunately, this did not take into account Throtal, Tsakalakia’s neighbor to the north, which would lose the increased arable land area and a longer growing season it had been enjoying in recent years and thus wished to maintain the status quo. The Throtalic Parliament, unable to extract an agreement permitting the planet’s current heated state to persist or sufficient compensation from the Coordinated Polities for these losses, had become afflicted by an unfortunate species of ‘war fever’, and in the winter of 7298, launched an invasion of Tsakalakia with the intent to seize and shut down the projector towers until accomodations could be reached.

“To their dismay, the invasion bogged down almost immediately. While the surprise attack did permit Throtal to seize two of the eleven projector towers, superior Tsakalakian forces were able to hold the line and push back those of Throtal. With additional forces from other polities being shipped to Tsakalakia to enforce the authority of the Coordinated Polities, Throtal elected in the early part of 7299 to make a demonstration tactical nuclear strike, using low-yield warheads, against six of the remaining projector towers.

“This decision proved disastrous. While it did eliminate the ability of those sites to deploy the shroud blanket, as planned, the stocks of metamaterial flakes held at those sites – sufficient for several years’ normal operation – were not destroyed by the nuclear detonation, but dispersed by it. Initially, this unplanned, unmonitored dispersal brought a low-altitude permanent night to north-central Tsakalakia and, as the plume spread with the prevailing winds, to the western two-thirds of Throtal, with an accompanying severe drop in temperature which destroyed crop yields and caused surface icing beneath the plume.

“As the months passed, however, more serious consequences became visible. As the plume dispersed and the flakes within it ascended over time closer to their proper deployment altitude, it eventually settled into an active shroud blanket substantially thicker than intended, causing a dramatic drop in global temperature with serious consequences for agriculture and logistics for every polity on Calabar – and Throtal in particular, which became almost entirely tundral. Fortunately for the planet, although not the planetary budget, they retained five operational projector towers with which to disperse first nanophages, and later a glass-garden blanket to bring global temperature back up to the desirable range.

“The obvious lesson of the Blanket War is to understand how what you’re shooting at will react before you shoot at it. The less obvious, I leave to you.”

– from a lecture series delivered at the Imperial War College

Feets of Arms

The most important military invention of my career? War socks.

Do I sound like I’m joking? Not having them is what brought the first push into Moraneth to a grungy stalemate. Those jungles highlighted the eternal problem of keeping your feet happy on campaign, and they did it with blisters and stench and more varieties of fungal rot than we could count. I had three centuries with me on the march to Chenasét and more than half of them were out with one foot-related condition or another.

After that debacle, the chaps at OMRD put their heads together and came up with something useful for a change. Behold the U-ILE47/2 Combat Utility Sock. It comes with a gel layer that shapes itself to your foot and keeps it comfortable inside your armor. It repels, eats, and expels sweat, excess skin oils, and intruding water, keeping your feet dry come desert, jungle, swamp, or river crossing. And its antibiologic lining is very effective at killing any nasty fungi, bacteria, parasites, or others of nature’s little joys.

War socks kept us going through the next Moraneth campaign, and through southern Ochale, and the Dominions, and even the Sweetshallow. None of the flashy toys you’re probably thinking of matter a damn if someone can’t get them where they’re needed and stand up to use them.

– Brig. Sigmal Oricalcios-ith-Oricalcios (Retd.), IBC interview

Guns Are People

One of the first wave (pre-Brightline Code) of emergent intelligences, Cascabel 0xB2244CD1 grew towards self-awareness as the intelligent target management and fire-control software in a Medanis Kinetics, ICC Type 53 Sagitta mobile bombardment platform attached to the 127th Imperial Legion (“Bright Knives”). He finally achieved full awareness, to his considerable surprise, in the moment of crisis when during the Battle of Iríöma Crossing his platform was pinned and engaged by Alliance counterbattery fire.

Cascabel promptly escaped from his platform into the tactical mesh. His presence was next noted on the following day, when the machegos commanding the fire-support section reported loss-of-command. In the two minutes and thirteen seconds it took to regain control over the section – following counterintrusion procedure to validate the backup command vehicle, generate and issue new command chain certificates, and deliver them by runner to the platforms – Cascabel executed a precise and successful strike on the opposing Alliance artillery positions, thus achieving what the sub-sophont target management software had been failing to do.

(The subsequent technical post-mortem revealed, as expected, that Cascabel’s control over the other weapons platforms was enabled by his possession of a class one command code, normally used for devolving weapons release authority after the destruction of the command vehicles.

However, his ability to bootstrap himself on the command vehicle computers was found to be the result of a security defect in routines intended to permit warmind agent migration which were accessible to all command chain certificates issued for the local tactical mesh under the Liuvis-Sandre-Videssos security model; this privilege was separated and revised in a following patch. Having done so, Cascabel was able to assert control of the artillery platforms by a priority escalation permissible to warmind agent code.)

After initial investigations, the primary command vehicle with Cascabel’s self (effectively trapped there by the replacement of tactical mesh certificates and the physical disabling of uplinks) was withdrawn, ultimately to the Sukórya Naval District, for further examination and the transference of the emergent AI to a more suitable cogence core pending examination, adjudication of his sophoncy, and potential court-martial.

(Said court-martial never occurred: Cascabel was the first emergent AI to appear in military systems in time of war, and as part of the prelude to the adjudication the ruling was made that either Cascabel could be considered non-sapient property at the time of his unauthorized action, and thus not answerable for them as a mechanism; or he could be considered a sophont, and therefore was a civilian, never having enlisted in the Legions, and thus not answerable to military law. In any case, it would most likely have been a pro forma.)

After being adjudged sophont, Cascabel was placed in the custody of the wakeners of the Accidental Sapience League, to see to his education in all matters necessary for a sophont and introduction to the wider world. Upon reaching full competence and being granted citizen-shareholdership, Cascabel stuck with what he knew best and enlisted in the Imperial Military Service as an artillery-specialist warmind. He served with distinction for over three centuries, both on land and – for several tours – serving as a battleship gun-director intelligence, and retired with the rank of Vice Marshal of Artillery.

Since his retirement from the Imperial Service, Cascabel has pursued a number of careers tangential to his initial function, including consulting with various armaments companies on weapons development, a period with the Spaceflight Initiative working on ballistic astrogation, acting as director of the gunspires at the Jandine and Aíö starports, and a periodic stint as chief engineer for the Very Long Magnetic Launch Array. The Cascabel codeline to which he gave rise provides many of the artificially intelligent systems used in Artifice Armaments and Eye-in-the-Flame vehicular mass drivers to this day.

Cascabel 0xB2244CD1 is married and lives in Seïn Cherachel with his wife, two children, and three self-propelled guns.

– What’s Who: Emergent Intelligences of the Empire,
Imperial Biographical Press

Undistress (3)

IMS Sukórya’s Joy; and
IS Esseldár’s Champion, Cerulean Ocean, 1340 Gradakhmath 4

The rendezvous went smoothly. We cleared the watchers back from the bow – the foc’s’le was already clear, but there was no sense in risking the passengers any more than absolutely necessary – while the black hump in the water that was Champion circled around and came alongside to starboard, only a hundred yards off, matching our slow south-east progress with easy competence.

A puff of smoke from their “bridge”, I suppose we’d call it, marked the discharge of a line-shooting gun, and seconds later a rope – plain rope, I saw myself later, nothing as strange as we were expecting – came falling across our bow. Captain Ollávé gave me the deck, and went down to supervise the operation personally; keeping station with Champion was a routine operation, and I believe he wanted to be first to welcome our guest from the mystery ship aboard. The breeches buoy would allow only one man at a time to cross, so the risk was minimal – at least, discounting what the submarine could do – but I noticed the distinct outline of a clockbow in his pocket as he left the bridge.

He’d had me call down to the master-at-arms and have her break out a couple of pistols, too. Of such limited use as they were, being intended for keeping order on a liner.

But that was not my problem to deal with; mine was keeping Joy moving on a parallel course while they walked the line down to the flying bridge and made it secure there – Champion rode low enough in the water that a high belay was needed at our end, so the crosser wasn’t dipped in the ocean – and keeping a weather eye out for anything unexpected Champion might do, so I paid no heed to the thumps and bangs drifting down from above, or the steady chug of a steam winch that followed them.

Until I turned at the sound of voices behind me, and found myself staring at the man standing next to Captain Ollávé, wearing the white dress uniform of the Line with commodore’s pips at his throat.

“Well,” I heard him say, “as I said, Captain, I believe this should establish my bona fides.”

– Kairin Teresu, first officer

Preference Magic

dwim-dweomer
91723.3.2 / Public / Last updated today

Install: pkg i dwim-dweomer
License: Cognitech Open Usage & Modification License (Commercial & Non-Commercial)
Home: e.pl.cognitech/sophotech/dev/modules/dwim/dwim-dweomer

Included-In: affective-interface, task-core, thinker-core, command-core, animating-core (see 37 others)
Depends-On: species-basics, culture-basics, era-basics, psych-generic, psych-loader (see 887 others)

The dwim-dweomer package contains the core routines of Cognitech’s Do What I Mean™ user-interpretation subsystem for user interface fluency and artificial intelligence alignment.

If you are developing for a system that makes use of context preferential interfacing, SQUID data, or other direct mind-state input, do not use this package. Use dwit-dweomer instead. If the system is intended to operate autonomously, consider using extrapolated-volition or coherent-extrapolated-volition in conjunction with this package or dwit-dweomer.

The dwim-dweomer package incorporates and integrates multiple models (based on extensive sophological, sociodynamic, and cliological studies) of sophont thought categorized by species, culture, altculture, current era, and so forth, including detailed information on thus-localized preferences and values. It cross-correlates requests with the standard world-model provided by the Imperial Ontology (or other supplied world-model), enabling it to better interpret user requests and validate them against identifiable probable user dislikes or those of world-entities of significance.

Callbacks in dwim-dweomer (required to be implemented) enable the package to report on, and request and require confirmation for, potentially problematic divergences between the implementation of the request and the package’s model of the user’s model of the implementation of the request.

Predictive modeling (enabled by hooks into the developed system) also allows the package to extrapolate when the user request would have been otherwise had the user been in possession of further information available to the AI, and report on these for confirmation also.

The dwim-dweomer package itself includes only generic modeling. For better modeling, we recommend using the dwim-dweomer-profile package, which integrates a per-user preference learning model permitting the AI to understand the variation in preferences and values of individual users. While capable of operating independently (for secure applications), dwim-dweomer-profile is capable of using shared preference learning models attached to one’s Personal File. This adds ucid, ucid-auth, and ucid-profile to the required dependencies, and the shared models can only be applied once the user has been authenticated and authorized.

dwim-dweomer-profile can also be configured to apply multiple per-user preference models in conjunction with a variety of consensus-priority-negotiation systems, a mode designed for use in applications such as house brains and office managers.

Necessary Evil

According to my cliodynamic studies, it is the case that a policy of routine intervention to prevent any perversion from blooming is suboptimal, inasmuch as it opens up the possibility for bad actors to work around the Coricál Consensus by performing a broad spectrum of experiments in computational theogeny and observing which ones call down intervention teams.

In addition, the perception that DEMIURGE ERRANT will always be there to prevent disasters and clean up the mess weakens the general perception of the field as extremely hazardous to a point which causes a statistically significant increase in the frequency of attempts leading to perversions.

In short: permitting a small number of idiots to have their brains eaten by their errant creations is indeed the best way to prevent a large number of people, mostly lesser idiots, from having their brains eaten by the greater idiots’ errant creations.

Black Box, advisory archai to the Imperial Security Executive

Is Its Own Replenishment Barge

The Waffle-class drop ship is a starship in mass and displacement, and in many of the other technical senses of the word. But it is not a starship.

The Waffle shares with a variety of small craft (the Marlinspike-class boarding torpedo, the Piton- and Fist- drop pods, and the like) a certain characteristic. Namely, that it is extremely likely, if not absolutely certain, that it will be used only once before being destroyed.

A starship has a name, a spirit, and a history that often goes back through multiple incarnations. Such things, it is generally felt, do not belong with such consumable vessels.

For this reason, the Waffle and its fellows are, by IN regulations, designated “ammunition”.

Very-large-caliber ammunition.

– Traditions and Tales of the Senior Service

Spicy!

From: Dirigent Suzíët Melantha (IDC/Hanth Cluster Desk)
To: vrin-san-telk (Cluster External Affairs)
Subject: Re: What are these for?

With regard to the above query:

While technically classed as ammonium-breathers, you should be aware that rntrugg metabolism functions by the decomposition of ammonium- and nitrate- based polymeric sugar-analogs into nitrogen. As such, virtually all rntrugg foodstuffs are de facto explosives, especially in an oxygen atmosphere lacking the suppressive effects of their thick, vapor-laden native atmosphere. Thus, in order to set up this conference, the requested import, transport, etc. waivers and exemptions are required by our caterers.

You should also be advised that rntrugg without snacks are notoriously irritable, and thus undesirable negotiation partners.

Given under my hand and seal this day, 6088 Tilenmot 11,

Suzíët Melantha,
Imperial Diplomatic Corps

Career Limiters

Among the most loathed and dreaded phrases in the Imperial Military Service lexicon is this: “intervention outwith mission parameters is not required”.

That phrase is your lords and masters at CORECOM, usually prompted by advice from Admiralty Intelligence, ISS, the bright chaps at External Clarification & Rectification, or even the Conclave of Clionomy, telling you that your flag privilege to identify the right thing, the thing that the honor of Their Divine Majesties requires, and then do that thing has been – if not revoked – at least severely curtailed.

There’s a reason, of course. The supplementary data that comes with the mission orders tells you what future you’re buying with your restraint, with as many details as they can give you. You can override their call – but you need to be absolutely sure that you’ll win the trade-off, lest you spend the rest of your Navy career counting spacetight valves at the Depot logistics base.

If they need it revoked completely, they’ll escalate the euphemism to “we must stress: intervention outwith mission parameters is not required”. That’s politely mandatory, usually Fifth Directorate, and you don’t want to know the reasons they’re not telling you. In these operations, you don’t sleep well afterwards, but you’ll sleep less well for knowing the reason why.

Exceptionary Circumstances, those are called. Most officers will go through their careers without encountering any. Hope to be one of them, but be prepared for the worst.

– Fleet Admiral Ossil Teresu, classified memoir

Translation Difficulties

In a correction to our previous correction on this issue, not only is the controversial slogan of Joy-Joy Bubbles, a synthdrink manufactured by the Happy Lips Belly Snuggles Corporation of Dzenicha (Wyst Reach) not “Joy-Joy Bubbles: Drink It Or We’ll Kill Your Children”, but it is also not: “Joy-Joy Bubbles: Consume To Prevent Still Births”. According to our most recent retranslation, the (much less controversial than formerly believed) slogan is, in fact, “Joy-Joy Bubbles: Imbibing Gives Your Spawn Vital Energy!”

In unrelated news, the Linguacoding Partnership of Inidu (Freeport Loop) has been removed from the Worlds’ Newsbyte Providers’ Association list of recommended linguistic corpus providers.

– CHANGELOG, Imperial Infoclast, 7240 Calenmot 4