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

Paperclip Maximizer

Celad Tiragdal, the Paperclip Maximizer:

(fl. ~5400) One of the older Master Traders of the Starfall Arc Free Merchant Confraternity, Celad Tiragdal was an early pioneer of methodologies for trading with technologically undeveloped emerging markets (later codified as the Tiragdal Market Development Methodologies) that promoted local development while remaining within the severely constrained volume of trade possible without starport infrastructure and an extant developed market.

His most famous implementation of these methodologies, and the one which earned him his epithet, was in the marketing of office-efficiency technologies to worlds on the threshold of developing administration sophisticated enough to require them. He pursued this on dozens of planets, to immense success, using a two-phase trading strategy: first, importing a million paper clips to civilizations advanced enough to have paper-based bureaucracy, but which had not yet invented the paper clip, and second, importing simple paper-clip producing machines (capable of using even crudely-drawn wire as feedstock) to worlds he had previously visited which were in danger of running out of imported paper clips.

In addition to his position in the Confraternity and the fortune in the trillions of esteyn he earned over the course of his career, the Paperclip Maximizer is worshipped on Handrian (Lisune Pass) as Keledal, He Who Binds Together, a local deity of paperwork, efficiency, justice, and proper form.

– Heroes of Trade: Stories of the Great Merchants

Don’t Do That, Then

lookforward monitor: a specialized optronic circuit containing a signaling microwormhole or temporal tangle channel from the near future. (The precise time period depends on the application, and has been configured for periods as short as one micropulse and as long as a full hour.) The function of the lookforward monitor is to receive a continuous input signal from the future and generate an output signal if the input signal ceases or otherwise departs nominal.

retroveto: Triggered by a lookforward monitor, a retroveto is a safety procedure invoked automatically, whether to cancel a user-initiated action which would have caused a disaster within the time range of the lookforward monitor (detectable since changes to a worldline propagate instantaneously along that worldline in terms of its internal time), or to trigger preemptive emergency procedures, for example a reactor scram.

retroabort: In spaceflight and other transportation jargon, a mission abort triggered by flight computers in response to an abort signal from a lookforward monitor indicating catastrophic vehicle failure.

Extensive iterative development of the design concepts involved in retroabort technology along with related families of devices such as UNMOVED MONAD and the moiraean alarm ultimately led to the development of refined shielding technologies, most notably the probability unseller.

– A Collection of Temporal Technologies

Unstuck

FROM: CORE COMMAND (OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT)
TO: ALL SHIPS

***** ROUTINE
***** FLEET CONFIDENTAL E2048
***** ADVISORY

ALL FLIGHT COMMANDERS:

  1. THIS MESSAGE CONSTITUTES A ROUTINE UPDATE OF STANDING ORDER 147 (TEMPORAL IDENTIFICATION PROTOCOL).
  2. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(A) TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFIX PIP 1471 IS TO BE USED BY ANY IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIP OPERATING NONSEQUENTIALLY IN EMPIRE TIME, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED FOR IN STANDING ORDER 147(C) BELOW.
  3. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(B) TRANSPONDER/IFF CODES IN SERIES 87413-NNNNNN ARE ALLOCATED TO IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIPS WHICH HAVE NOT ENTERED SERVICE AT THE TIME OF ENGAGEMENT/ENCOUNTER, AND ARE TO BE CONSIDERED VALID FOR TWO YEARS FROM RECEIPT OF THIS MESSAGE. SUCH IFF CODES ARE TO BE VALIDATED BY PROTOCOL OROELLE BLUESHIFT FRATERNAL AT EARLIEST POSSIBLE CONVENIENCE.
  4. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(C) TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFIX PIP 1472 PLUS INSTANCE SEQUENCE NUMBER IS TO BE USED BY ANY IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIP OR STARSHIPS OPERATING IN CONJUNCTION WITH ITSELF. INSTANCE SEQUENCE NUMBERS ARE TO INCREASE MONOTONICALLY WITH EMPIRE TIME.
  5. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(D) TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFIX PIP 1473 IS TO BE USED BY ANY IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIP EXISTING SOLELY AS A RESULT OF A CAUSAL LOOP.
  6. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(E) TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFIX PIP 1474 IS TO BE USED BY ANY IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIP WHOSE TEMPORAL ALIGNMENT VIS-A-VIS EMPIRE TIME IS UNKNOWN.
  7. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(F) TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFIX PIP 1475 IS TO BE USED BY ANY IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIP WITH REASON TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS ACTUALIZED FROM A POTENTIAL ALTERNATE WORLDLINE.
  8. AS PER STANDING ORDER 147(G) TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFIX PIP 1476 IS TO BE USED BY ANY IMPERIAL NAVY STARSHIP WITH REASON TO BELIEVE THAT IT IS SUFFERING AN ONTOLOGICAL PARADOX OR OTHER RELATED EFFECT NOT COVERED BY THE CATEGORIES ABOVE.
  9. NOTE THAT IDENTICAL TRANSPONDER/IFF SUFFICES ARE IN USE BY STARSHIPS ASSIGNED TO THE IMPERIAL EXPLORATORY SERVICE AND IMPERIAL SERVICE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF STANDING ORDER 147(B), SEQUENCES 87412-NNNNNN and 87411-NNNNNN RESPECTIVELY HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED.
  10. AUTHENTICATION: OGRE ANCESTOR SILVER PLUM STAFF NEEDLE / 0x77BB4129A6678A6A

ADM MACIAN CORINTHOS
DIVISION OF RELATIVISTICS & TEMPORAL NAVIGATION

Service

I, [insert name], pledge surety in the light of the Flame that I will faithfully and well, to the utmost extent of my skill and power, preserve the Imperial peace and prevent all offences against life, liberty, and property; and that I shall do so without fear of or favor towards any person, and with malice or ill-will toward none.

I give my allegiance, above laws, thrones, powers, and peers, to the Contract, to the Charter, to the principles for which they stand, and to the citizen-shareholders of the Empire; and in the discharge of my duties I shall hold this allegiance above all other considerations.

By these words, I am the watcher upon the walls, the guardian at the gate, the shield held over the innocent, the Flame that stands against the Fire. My life is the coin with which civilization buys peace. I will sell it dearly, but yield it gladly when I must, knowing that I am a sentinel, and my life is made for sacrifice. Never shall I fail in this trust, for this day and all the days to come.

– service oath of the Watch Constabulary