Trope-a-Day: Do Not Adjust Your Set

Do Not Adjust Your Set: The obvious canonical example is the Emergency Notification System, run jointly by the Watch Constabulary and Emergency Management Authority, which can send out a signal across the IIP mesh network preempting every device to deliver an emergency notification. Subverted inasmuch as it can be overridden freely at the receiving end, on the grounds that if there’s a gorram emergency going on, people might need to use those devices.

(There is also is counterpart, the Emergency Monitoring System. Separate from the basic functionality in which devices that perceive an emergency happening locally will report it of their own volition, the EMS permits a code to be sent out instructing all devices within a specific area to activate all their sensors and report what they perceive to the WC/EMA. Again, this is optional functionality – no-one has to participate for obvious privacy and property reasons – but rather depends on the authorities being trustworthy and individuals being mutually responsible citizens…)

Delta

Sixty-two thousand feet above the surface of Eliéra, Gaëlenén’s Cup coasted slowly in its perpetual circuit, seven of her eight fission-driven pusher fans only ticking over, yet still able to drive her through the air at a relaxed 480 knots. The Emergency Management Authority’s superwing was a massive delta of titanium composite, five-decked and fully 600′ from one of her wingtip vertical stabilizers to the other; her underside studded with the blisters of pod launchers, and the closed doors to the flight gantries from which she could dispatch, at need, her multiple wings of reconnaissance drones, rescue and clean-up craft, intervention vehicles, and heavy field constructors.

Today, though, Cup was not alone in the sky. A K-50C Roustabout paralleled her course only two hundred feet above, auxiliary thrusters battling the wake turbulence, such that it could keep station above and in front of the open dorsal hatch of Cup’s silent engine. The Roustabout had its rear hatch fully open, exposing the cavernous length of its fuselage, and its cargo crane extended, lowering lines down to where Cup’s aircraftsmen waited to catch them with rocket grapples, and hook them onto the pellet containment of the engine’s dedicated reactor. A second containment module, pregnant with fresh thorium and borate, waited inside the Roustabout.

Emergencies, after all, wait for no soph, and take no account of the necessities of maintenance or refueling.

And so Cup had never landed in her eighteen-year service life. And with proper care and attention, she never would.

 

Trope-a-Day: The Ark

The Ark: One of the projects of the Emergency Management Authority/Fifth Directorate are the “Civilization-Backup Ships”, ark vessels hidden in deep space with as close to a complete backup of civilization as can be managed – the notion being that in the event of an extant existential threat large enough to threaten the survival of civilization entire (what’s called in the jargon a hard civilization kill event), they’ll come online under CASE NIGHTFALL ASUNDER, get the hell out of Dodge, and reboot it somewhere else.

Trope-a-Day: Apocalyptic Logistics

Apocalyptic Logistics: Enabled, to some degree, by the way in which the Imperial Emergency Management Authority is staffed by ever Crazy Prepared-type that the Imperial Service has available. (Manufacturing is made somewhat easier by cornucopias, but they too depend on central nanoslurry supplies and energy supplies, so it’s not like they’re a panacea in this department.) But the EMA is notorious for its Crisis Citadels, entire mountains and asteroids stuffed with emergency supplies of all kinds, and their smaller local counterparts, and their deployable disaster pods – and even for sponsoring the engineering of things like home-growable pharm plants. Oh, and emergency command centers build aboard giant flying-wing aircraft that never land to ensure that ground-based disasters can’t take them out. Which are themselves redundant. (In full accordance with the traditions of the Imperial governance – it may not do much, by design, but those things it does do it does very well indeed.)

As a side note, it also helps that Flamic doctrine takes its negentropy seriously, and as such the faithful are expected to be as well prepared for emergencies as, say, the Mormons, with some extra emphasis on rebuilding.

…civilization may one day fall, but the forces of entropy are going to have to work for anything much more than a stumble.

Trope-a-Day: Red Alert

Red Alert: In the Imperial Navy, played with realism (also with the Most Annoying Sound, inasmuch as the alert klaxon is custom-designed to irritate the nerves of every possible sophont listening, simultaneously):

“General quarters!  General quarters!  Set condition one throughout the ship!  This Is Not A Drill!

The Admiralty, Core Command and the Theater Commands in particular, prefers to use Defcon Five as its system, as do the Imperial Emergency Management Authority for states of civil emergency, and the Imperial Security Executive for local security warnings (a.k.a. our “terror alerts” and their “recommended paranoia levels”).

Military installations, the Constabulary, the EMA, hospitals, etc., do often have a bunch of color-coded response codes (“alerts” and “conditions”) to instruct everyone exactly which immediate situation they ought to be responding to, however, so the “emergency squad scramble” aspect of this trope is played straight.

Trope-a-Day: Elaborate Underground Base

Elaborate Underground Base: The Imperial Military Service (various, with special props going to the Imperial Navy’s hollow hangar moon at Palaxias IIb), the Imperial Emergency Management Authority’s Crisis Citadels, more than a few data havens, the original location of Argyran Depository, the Nightfall Complexes (retreats for city populations in the event of nuclear war, asteroid impact, etc.), and oh, yes, all the entire cities built down there by people who just found that they liked it…

Trope-a-Day: Defcon Five

Defcon Five: Three of these systems, actually.  The Admiralty has its “strategic condition” levels, in both global and theater senses, ranging from Six (“all is peaceful, quiet, tranquil, and frankly boring”) to One (“full-blown war, or, if this is the global level, galactic armageddon”).

Likewise, the Emergency Management Authority has its “civil emergency states” on a matching scale, where Six is “everything’s working just like it should, no trouble”, and One is “did anyone get the number of that asteroid?”; and the Imperial Security Executive has its “exceptional security alertness” scale, colloquially known as the “recommended paranoia level”, which runs Blue, White, Amber, Red, Violet, Black, where Blue is “nothing to see here” and Black is “total shitstorm, kill anything vaguely suspicious on sight, apologize later”.