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Author Topic: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel  (Read 20 times)

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Offline Pariah

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Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« on: Yesterday at 10:43:53 PM »
Space Opera/Cyberpunk

Setting to be limited to the Solar System, in the game world research is currently ongoing into FTL travel, at the forefront of this field is Dr Metzi (because if I already named the guy I might as well us him again)

Date: 2163, because those are fun numbers...

Interplanetary travel is helped along by the existence of Light Gates, which (this is going to be a shocker) are gates that allow ships to travel between them at the speed of light. 

FTL communications are possible thanks to the (need name for ansible network) a staggeringly complex system of interconnected entangled particle thingies (see last C&F thread for specifics)

Pulling directly from the Star Wars prequel movies for inspiration (bad movies CAN have good ideas, no matter what CP might've said), the system is currently governed by the United System Alliance, under a largely republican form of government (and I mean that in the dictionary sense of the word, not current US party meaning) unfortunately outter system Separatists a straining against the yoke of the system.  Their biggest gripes, what with the fact that basically all trade to and from their colonies/homes needs to travel through a Gate in order to reach anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, is the fact that GateCorp has a government backed monopoly of the technologies behind the gates.  This further grates the fringers because GateCorp is most definately an inner system corporation, so all the money flows into the pockets of those already rich folks on Luna, Mars, and (to a lesser extent), Terra.

A brief history:
2028 - Mars One colony fails due to series of unfortunate events, next resupply launch skipped.  Launch in 2031 founds Mars Two on site of failed colony, renamed Remembrance in 2061.

2034 - First habitat in a Lagrange point (L1), built primarily to support a proposed lunar colonization effort.  Over the next six years habitats are to be found in all five Lagrange points.

2035 - First lunar colony establish in Tycho crater, primarily a mining colony for the extraction of He3, Lithium, Europium (et cetera et cetera) this colony develops over the next 50 years into the preeminent research hub of the solar system, home to Tycho University.

2039 - Antono Jozafo publishes theory and proof that objects with mass can be forced to travel at speed of light between 2 points.

2041 - Gate Corp founded.

2042 - Artificial Gravity developed PKU, energy requirements limit it us in planet/moon bound colonies.  It will be 25 years before advances in miniaturization finally allow their use in even the largest of space craft.

2045 - First two Gates opened, at the L5 of earth and Mars, over then next 30 years Gates are deployed to all major bodies in the solar system, and numerous minor ones, allowing the rapid expansion of humanity throughout the system.

2067 - The Gate station at earth's L5 becomes the first space station with artificial gravity generation.  3 more stations will install similar systems before the 20 year war.

2071 - WW3 (aka the 20 years war) with hostilities beginning on earth, it was originally called world war three, but because they were not limited to terra itself, a more accurate name might be the 20 years war.  Over the length of the war, roughly 60% of the human race is killed, whether due to direct action or because supplies were cut to outlying colonies that were unable to sustain themselves during the war.  By the end of the war, earth's population has been reduced to approximately 3 billion (accounting for about 2/3 of the casualties).  The victors, hoping to prevent any more such wars, united under a single world government, which was quickly expanded to include the whole solar system.  Thus the United System Alliance was formed on the basis of "Let's never do that again."

Thanks to lessons learned during the initial round of colonization, the population of earth builds a collection of arcologies and sets about rebuilding the ecosystem of the planet, a process that will be nearing it's final stages in 2163. 

2090's to now - second round of colonization, much more efficient than the first due to the fact that most of the Gates are still intact, combined with artificial gravity for reactionless drives and all the lessons learned during the first round means that stuff goes smoother.

Subs to write:
Light Gates
Gate Corp (possibly include in main Gate sub)
United System Alliance (how government functions, peacekeeping forces, interplanetary relations)
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #1 on: Today at 04:41:03 AM »
Can't have a setting without places to go, and one of the biggest draws of space opera is its roots in planetary romances, so away we go...

The Cytherean* colonies: Slowly extracting carbon and inserting hydrogen into the atmosphere of Venus, these hardy folk are viewed as deranged by pretty much everyone else in the Solar System, other than the nice folk on Io, mainly for the fact that the colonies have no failsafes for anything other than the lift bags.  Exterior walls 1mm thick being all that separates them from horribly corrosive lung death strikes most sane people as insane.  Cythereans will gladly reply that it's actually a lot safer than being in a mining vessel, because the ship might have triply redundant failsafes in place, but a hull breach is still a hull breach and all the atmo in at least one compartment is going to be sucked out into nice, hard vacuum, possibly with you included.  All they have to worry about is choking.

*I like Cytherean to describe colonies on Venus, mainly because I apparently have the same problem with Venusian as early astronomers did, namely it sounds bad.  Venerean works, but carries connotations of pus, lice, and drippage...

Mercury - While there are a few Mercurian mining colonies, and a couple factories, Mercury is still largely uninhabited.  Part of this is caused by the fact that Mercury doesn't have a Gate of its own due to its present status as a "wandering planet."  Forced out of its original orbit it's currently migrating to its future position as Venus's moon, planned arrival time of late 2236.  As Venus's moon it will end up tidally locked to its new planet, and impose spin on her, also providing tidal heating, allowing for a heated Cytherean core and a magnetosphere to help keep that precious hydrogen in Venus's atmosphere where we're working so hard to put it.

Project Hektor: In response to complaints from the outer colonies over how much of their tax money was going to fund work on the inner systems, PH is clearing the Jovian L4.  Using advances in applied gravitronics (no idea what I'm going to call gravity manipulation, I think that's the industry accepted term though) first researched at the Charon Institute for Colonization, the Project is capable of projecting strong gravity fields away from the actual source of the artificial gravity.  The Project will collect all the asteroids in the L4 into one spheroid, thus simplifying resource extraction and providing valuable real estate for colonization.  Depending on the success of the project, Patroclus might be the next application of the technology, thus solidifying them in the wrong camps for perpetuity.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Pariah

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Re: Chalk and Fire: The Prequel
« Reply #2 on: Today at 07:22:33 AM »
Weapons, because while I was all set to do one post here a day, sometimes the brain says "screw you and your plans, you might as well write this s**t down because otherwise you'll forget"

In the distant future of 2163 the most common thing people think of when you say weapon is largely the same as what it was 300 years before, a gun that projects its projectile downrange through the combustion of its propellant in a violent reaction.  This is because, despite how amazing some of the advances in personal and seige weaponry have been, gun powder actually has a lot to recommend itself with.  It's self oxidizing, which means it functions just as well in atmo as it does in vacuum, it doesn't require batteries or any other sort of power supply, and while advances in defense technologies and personal augmentation means that the traditional 9mm hollow point of grandpappy's day no longer strikes fear into the hearts of innocent bystanders, continued advances in the field means that in the world of today gunpowder is still relevant.

With that out of the way, on to why you're really here, to hear about the awesome but slightly less practical weapons.  :mrgreen:

Electrolaser (picture the shock rifle of Unreal Tournament, which I'm assuming someone over there read about testing in electrolasers and said, "I want THAT in the game")

Definately falling under the exotic label, the electrolaser functions by using a laser to excite the air in a beam to the point where it forms a channel of plasma, which then gets a nice lightning bolt to shot down its length to even out the electrical thingymajigs.  Listen, I'm tired and applied awesome is not my major.

Primary uses: anti-personnel/anti-materiel sniper rifle is the image that first pops into peoples minds when talking of elctrolasers, though it isn't the only use.  During the war batteries of electrolasers were set up as anti-missile point defense systems, being significantly cheaper and more effective than launching your own missile at the incoming missle.  They're also commonly mounted on (attack helicopter/transit helicopter style) gunships.  Due to the exotic nature of the weapon, most systems are not properly shielded against sustained fire, and most infantry style troops are infact not shielded against directed lightning.

CONS (in all caps because killing people with lightning is awesome and everyone should want to use one of this, so we need to cover why a generic assault rifle is more often better)
-Due to how the weapon works, it can ONLY be used in an enviroment with atmosphere, and when taking it from one type of atmo to another (say Earth to the outside of a Cytherean hab) on board software needs to be updated so as to provide the proper amount of power to the laser to properly ionize the air.  Most vehicle mounted weapons have the processing power to do this automatically, however the man portable version must be updated by hand (newer models generally have the most common loadout preinstalled, just requiring a brief trip into the system menu)
-Power.  These things eat power like it's going out of style.  This means that one either needs to be plugged into the local power grid, or as is the most common case in the field, plugged into a portable fusion bottle.  Said bottle needed to be lugged with you, oftentimes by the spotter in a 2-man team.  Just because antigravity exists doesn't mean we can eliminate all weight, and most man-portable fusion bottles already have so many interconnected grav fields that too much outside interference can cause containment failure, with all the fun that the image of a fusion reaction escaping containment brings to your wonderful imaginations.

And speaking of fusion escaping containment, that brings us to our second kind of exotic weaponry...

Plasma Weaponry AKA The Marine's Portable Kitchen

Capable of both opening up passages into opposing ships (aka can opener) and cooking adversaries inside their own power armor (Microwaved Marine) plasma weaponry saw significant use in the latter stages of the war.  Because any personal armor capable of standing up to the sort of micrometeorite hits you'll see in a space engagement is more or less impervious to small arms, and boarding squads already carried a plasma lance to open passages into opposing ships (and yes, sometime boarding is called for, you don't always want to just nuke them from over the horizon) plasma weaponry saw significant development.

Heavy, unless if you're wearing power armor, you don't really want to have to try to use this.  And, in case you needed another reason to not use this outside of power armor, because more plasma weapons are basically just opening one end of a fusion bottle and letting all the fun stuff shoot out, you also get a nice dose of hard radiation.  Oh, and the very slight chance of catastrophic containment failure when you stop firing, which is why marines felt a need to give the weapon a nickname, because it's less scary when you get to walk around with a portable kitchen as opposed to the official moniker of Directed Plasma Lance.

Can't be used in atmo.  Though this one is less of a hard and fast rule than the shock rifle's in atmo restriction, it's just that as the amount of atmosphere increases the range of the plasma decreases.  At ground level on earth you're basically just holding a really expensive and dangerous blowtorch, and really, there are safer and more efficient ways to do whatever you're trying to do at that point.  Why not try Russian Roulette instead if you really have a deathwish?

Mass Drivers

Functioning along the same general line of thought as gunpowder weapons (and crossbows, bows, and thrown rocks before them), a mass driver exists to propel a piece of ferrous material downrange with as much force as possible.  The only reason they're not man portable is because the recoil issues haven't been solved yet, and the power issues, but the moment someone figures out the recoil I'm sure the power issues won't be too far behind.  There's money there.

ANYWAY, mass drivers are absolutely amazing at what they do, and they scale beautifully as well.  Spinal mounted mass drivers are used on many of the asteroid breakers, with numerous "point defense" drivers to further break up their prey, as well as protect against the stray piece of valuable mineral that might damage the ship.  Note that the same general principles work on a war-ship as well, though in that case they'd also have missiles with which to pelt the enemy.


In this case I'm referring to a weapon that fills the same general role as the 40mm grenade launcher, with the added bonus that on-board computers allow for EFF and target-locking functions.  Other uses are in ship-to-ship combat where a single large missile will split either shortly before it gets in range of point defenses or when it appears that an anti-missile missile has achieved lock, launching anywhere from 6-600 submunitions with their own onboard tracking and defense avoidance programs.  While this method is clearly less explosive on a gram for gram basis than a single missile that uses all that payload for its own explosives, it has the benefit of potentially overloading defending point defense programs with too many targets, allowing more powerful missiles through due to poor target selection.

and I'm sure more weapon ideas will come to me, but that's it for today...  I'm pretty sure...

Edit: FRACK!

Monomolecular blades
Pulse Rifle (HL2) <-some sort of projectile weapon using exotic method of pushing things downrange.
Glowing Crossbow Bolts (HL2) <- superheated to deal with heavy armor, though I really don't think that'd work...
Shredder Ammo (ME2) <- think of something to do with the name as inspiration
Disrupter Ammo (ME2) <- "--"
M-920 Cain/Littleboy (ME3/FO3) <- because manportable nukes :mrgreen:
Mauler (HL3) <- Hand shotgun
Fuel Rod Cannon (HL1) <- unknown glowing green explosives
Needler (HL1) <- switch from tracking f&f to shotgunning a cloud downrange, keep the fact that whatever material it's made out of explodes in a nonlinear fashion the more of the material is present in an area
« Last Edit: Today at 07:57:56 AM by Pariah »
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station