“Good morning, Talentar, and welcome to the second day of Severe Weather Disposal Week! The ecopoesis operations team tell us they’ve got a lot of moist air to dump, so the theme for the day is wet, wet, wet!

“Up in the northern highlands, expect torrential rainfall in the vicinity of the Antíval Basin. Flood defenses around the basin rim will be operating and the flood barrier at the northern end of the Antíva Canal will be closed until flash runoff from the storms has been dealt with. In related news, three spillways have been opened in readiness at the Ontaron Cut Dam, and both dwellers along and users of the southern Antíva Canal should be prepared for high water levels and flow rates from the Dam as far south as the Isifer Bay Wetland Dispersal Structure.

“Residents in the Five Valles and in particular in the vicinity of Quinjano should be prepared for severe fog and high water levels in the Fivefold River as cold spillover descends into the valles. Visibility is expected to be negligible in the region, and highway/skyway oversight has issued a safety advisory recommending curtailment of all non-automatic flight in the region, as well as manual driving on the TI-1, TI-3, and all TV routes. Also, put on your cold suits outside even if you’re not going up on the Altiplanum; the chilling effect will be harsh.

“An unscheduled hailstorm and associated mudslide have forced temporary closure of two lanes of the TV-5, 870 miles south of the polar ice mines. Repairs are already in progress, but traffic should avoid the area until a further announcement is made.

“Finally, in unplanned weather, a localized dust storm blowing down into Kirinal Planum has closed the westbound carriageway of the TI-2 with a sanddrift. Normal service should be resumed within an hour, but for the moment westbound traffic is at a standstill, and eastbound traffic delayed as people slow to see this piece of classic weather. Folks, keep driving, please! You can replay it later at your leisure. Also due to this storm, travelers in the region between Suléyn Dome and Marusí Vallis as far south as Meltwater should check their vehicles or breather masks are rated for level three dust and fines.

“That’s all today from us. Thank you for listening to Talentar Imminence, and here are a few words from our sponsors…”

The Counterrevolution Will Be Televised

combat instrumentation and logging module (CILM): Part of the standard military-basic biomod package, the combat instrumentation and logging module is an enhanced lifelogger, recording tagged sensory recordings as well as physiological information, armor, weapon, and equipment telemetry, and tactical mesh status. The data recorded by the CILM is used to provide contextual data in after-action reports, for targeted improvement of individual performance and fireteam coordination, and in the development of future training scenarios.

Given the Legions’ institutional sense of humor, the CILM is commonly if unfortunately referred to as the “fight data recorder”.

Blackjacket’s Dictionary

Cultural Crossovers #11: Age of Ultron

On we go:

  • Well, this seems dramatic.
  • Hydra appear to have leveled up.
  • As always, it’s the junior minion who has a realistic appreciation of the situation.
  • The “Iron Legion”? Nice. That’s how our legions do it, too.
  • Well, aren’t you a quick one.
  • Ah, synergy.
  • Okay, how the hell did you smuggle that out of New York?
  • Well, aren’t you interesting, miss vision-inducer.
  • Ah, cultural differences. Although the audience relates more to the Asgardian.
  • Fast and weird. *snort*
  • Ah, we meet the puppetmaster inside the scepter, do we?
  • And the audience screams THIS IS A BAD IDEA in unison, because they know exactly how this works.
  • …is everyone about to have their brain eaten now?
  • Dammit, Tony, you got JARVIS brain-raped. If you survive this mess, you’re going to hate yourself for doing that.
  • Ah, the good booze.
  • I mean, he’s not wrong, and yet…
  • We like you, creepy arms dealer guy. Well, a little.
  • Okay, we have a resurrection seed with stepdaddy issues. This is going to go so well.
  • …well, you do seem to have inherited his snarkiness. Or maybe Jarvis’s.
  • Hands off the myeu-myeu!
  • Guess everyone’s getting brainfucked today —
  • — well, almost everyone! Nicely done.
  • Hello, Veronica. We like you. You’re a clever KEW —
  • — ah, that’s Veronica. And that suit looks like one of ours.
  • Oh, now, that’ll just make him mad.
  • I hope that transaction cleared fast.
  • Ah, yes, a “safe house”. More of a “safe home”, really.
  • It wants to be a real boy. Adorable. I’m guessing without giving up its universal infection-fu.
  • That’d be a terrible way to build an extranet. Just sayin’.
  • And there’s the seed.
  • The audience applauds the Maximoffs’ heel-face turn, which they’ve been expecting for some time.
  • Waters of Insight, eh? We’re just up to our asses in —
  • Crap, it’s one of those.
  • Yeah, cerebral bridges are slow.
  • Y’know, me old perversion, evolution is perhaps the single least effective way of advancing a species. Try engineering. If you weren’t, y’know, definitionally insane.
  • Nice combat drop, well executed.
  • And a hierarchical command structure, too, not a peer-to-peer distributed intelligence. The Avengers are very lucky, the audience deems, to be fighting a seed AI whose imperatives prevent it from having, y’know, strategic acumen.
  • I would trust Jarvis here, myself. But again, DO NOT PLAY WITH PERVERSION PARTS THAT YOU DO NOT ENTIRELY UNDERSTAND. It’s a simple rule for avoiding, you know, total Armageddon.
  • Because, yes, a brawl is exactly how one should resolve decision points.
  • And, Tony, just because you lucked out on try #2 DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD KEEP PLAYING WITH THEOGENIC ALGORITHMS.
  • Yeah, that would be a good sign. Damn hammer’s the smartest one in the room.
  • …you have a second AI, fine, but didn’t you back Jarvis up before trying the upload? Dammit. (Maybe even a little, or a lot, out of character.)
  • At least you kept up the snark, Stark.
  • Now that’s just ostentatious. Not that there’s anything wrong with ostentation, per se…
  • Aw, how adorable and ruthless and adorably ruthless.
  • Hawkeye, you are ridiculously self-aware.
  • Well, that’s a rescue that she’s going to need some serious memory redaction to recover from. If they don’t have that tech in this ‘verse, we recommend whiskey, neat.
  • Oh, my, a practical use for a helicarrier at last.
  • Thor, don’t ever change.
  • And Hulk, don’t food with your play, okay?
  • …well, fuck.
  • My dear Scarlet Witch, you have an admirably well-developed sense of revenge, but your timing could use just about all the work.
  • I really don’t think Tony thinks of his AIs as slaves.
  • Yeah, that new team looks like it’ll work.

So… what have we learnt here today, kids?



  • And that is not a happy shiny gauntlet.

Death and Gravity

PEVELISK (QUARTER PASSAGE) – Intercepted local transmissions report that the armed patrol monitors around the Pevelisk System’s outermost ice giant, Pevetor, were destroyed today by the battlecruiser LS Brutish and Shot, registered to the Sjark’s Burning Eye mercenary fleet out of Bir-Galk System.

While no formal statement has been issued, it is widely rumored that this action was contracted by Ring Dynamics, their recent warning that the attempts of the ecclesiastical junta currently in control of the Pevelisk System to levy tolls on through traffic making use of Pevetor’s gravity for vector change contravened both contractual and Accord-specified guarantees of freedom of transit having been ignored.

No official body in the Pevelisk System was available for comment.

Some Definitions, and a Location

heliobraking (n.): decelerating by making a number of close – i.e., transcoronal – stellar passes, in extreme cases even dipping into the upper boundary layer of the photosphere. While effective, such maneuvers pose hazards both physical, such as irradiation, combustion, or sudden realization of what a bad idea this was, and legal, as there is now someone to whom liability can be attributed both fairly and unfairly for every coronal mass ejection, solar storm, and other stellar hiccup in the near future.

axiomancy (n.), axiomantic (adj.): lit. “the magic of definitions”. Originally an informal term for the manipulations ontotechnologists perform with their reality engines (q.v.), which has been adopted as jargon of the profession.

diproton bomb (n.): theoretical ontopathic weapon functioning by inducing a delta increase in the strong interaction coupling constant, rendering the diproton (2He) stable. Should such a modified region be deployed in a stellar core, the low threshold for initiation will dramatically accelerate hydrogen fusion, upsetting the balance between thermal pressure and gravitic contraction in favor of the former, ultimately resulting in an artificial supernova event.

ISS Additional: See research categorized under BACKFIRE FULMINATION. If you do not have BACKFIRE FULMINATION clearance, please report this IMMEDIATELY to your local internal security officer.

cystal universe (n.): a “subuniverse” created by advanced axiomancy, in which the modified region created by ontotechnological means is incapable of direct interaction with the volumes beyond it. Thus, a topological defect arises at the boundary, resulting in a protected cyst surrounded by a domain wall across which interaction is necessarily limited.

Irreality Vault: A series of linked cystal universes buried beneath the city of Ascension, Resplendent Exponential Vector (Imperial Core), used for primary testing of experimental technology in the fields of ontogenesis, ontopoesis, and ontopathic weapons.

Atlas Smugged

So, MirrorField left this excellent in-character comment on the last post, which rather inspired me to throw in a response. Well, sort of – not directly, but the person Sph. Ortheyn was arguing with seemed to need some gentle correction.

Worst bar fight I ever was in? Somewhere in the Seam, can’t talk about it more precisely. Anyhoo, there was this hardcore libertist, never been sure whether he worked for Sanguinary Enforcers or someone else, who started the whole thing after a drunken philosophical discussion where I pointed out how “Liberty” and “Freedom” were not preciously unique foundation stones in functioning society. Stout? Definitely. Useful? Most assuredly. Irreplaceable? By no means. I mean, just look at Equality Concord; proof that you can build societies on other foundations. Some may argue that they’re foundation stones for best and most functioning societies. I agree, but only to a degree: It would take only a single innovation, philosophical or technological, to make those concepts as obsolete as gold coinage. Worse, if and when that happens, even the Empire would have to reinvent itself or crumble into the dustbin of history as the other adopters simply out-compete it.

The Guy took my viewpoint …badly. Three lost teeth, one broken rib, bruised kidney and moderate stunner trauma. Last one because someone had pulled a knife and bouncers decided to stun everyone and sort things out later. I avoided him until re-deployment and haven’t seen him since.

Jarrus Ortheyn, memetic warfare officer for bonded mercenary company Hounds of Tindalos

And thus, some comments made by the soph patching up the other side of this particular bar-fight…

Okay, kid, so now I’ve got you in the healing vat and you’ve just got to float there while it fixes your body, I’m going to lecture you. By way of brain-fixing, which comes free, ’cause your story is a lot sorrier than you think it is.

Do you want to hear about your fundamental mistake first, or your first mistake? Well, since you’re not in any shape to talk right now, I get to pick.

Firstwise, you carried on arguing with someone whose idea of an other-foundation society was the Equality Concord? The civilization which converts its citizenry into something with all the self-determination of the cells in a cellular automaton? The one that’s half a brain-pithing technicality away from a p-zombie cult? That Equality Concord?

Kid, anyone who waves that around as an example is either provoking you or already brain-eaten, so just put on your best scorn-face and walk away.

Fundamentally? You’ve got the zeal of the converted, but not the brains of the converted. You forgot one of the first principles of libertism, the one that goes “A sword is not an argument,” and yeah, that does mean a punch in the face ain’t an argument either. The argument was yours to lose, and you lost it right there.

And yeah, it was yours to lose. Soph you were arguing with – you said he was a meme-wrangler? – had a case that rested upon the notion that ethics are mere arbitrary postulates that you can construct as you will towards your desired end; that it’s possible to innovate in the field, as if constructing a technology. And that’s not just nonsense, it’s obvious, well-documented nonsense that you should have learned about… wherever you went to learn stuff.

The phase-space of ideas may be infinite and unbounded, but the phase-space of true ideas, while it may also be infinite, is very definitely bounded. And ethics is a science, not a technology; thus, it is not innovated, but discovered, revealed from study of the nature of sophoncy and its relationship to the universe. And as a science, it is subject to the correspondence principle: whatever grand new theories there are in the field, they must uphold the extremely well-tested principle of liberty as we know it today in all domains in which it has been so tested.

Obsolescence, fah! The intrinsic theory of value was never true. It failed that test as soon as it was put to it. That you can build a sort-of economy on it – just like you can build a so-called civilization on other principles – is to say no more than that you can build medicine upon the corporeal vigors, or chemistry upon mercury-sulphur-salt theory, or astronomy upon heliocentrism and numerical correspondences, and have it work… mostly, and after a fashion, until the truth puts it to the fire. Not all mistakes are swiftly terminal, even if they ought to be.

And, not to put too fine a point on it – while arguments from authority are poor epistemology, god’s interstellar brain has thought about this, and we agree with us both in said domains, and insofar as we can understand ethics for transcendent hyperintelligences.

Which is to say, kid, read a damn book and stop punching people. That last is in the very first line of the Fundamental Contract, so if you’re going to go around calling yourself a libertist, learn the gorram root-code, already.

Déïndé Liuvis, medtech, Quor Orbital Eleemosynary Clinic