Armageddon???? (Part Fifty Up)

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Post by CaptainChewbacca »

Junghalli wrote:
CaptainChewbacca wrote:That part's real, I actually have an alluminum allergy. If I tried to wear a tinfoil hat, it'd be pretty painful.
Couldn't you put the foil over a regular hat? I don't see why it would have to be actually touching the skin.
I've had bad reactions to metal fasteners on the OUTSIDE of my clothing before. Basically, if Norman had to wear a hat like that all the time, the foil would start to break down and get on his skin, so he'd have to be showering 10 times a day. And, since Norman is my self-insertion, foiling my walls and then spraypainting them is how I would've solved the problem.
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Post by Beowulf »

Junghalli wrote:
Stuart wrote:Details of the pursuit through the night are also only just coming in and it appears the enemy believed that fighting would stop at dusk. We didn’t oblige them of course, we kept going and made it a twenty-four hour battle. During the process, we overran a lot of baldricks who had settled down for the night.
Funny, I always figured demons would have good night vision. They are supposed to be creatures of darkness, after all, and they are often depicted with slitted pupils. Though they probably figured they could use the lull in the fighting to rest and regroup.
The demons are used to bronze age fighting doctrine, in which the combat starts at dawn, and ends at sunset.
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Post by Chris OFarrell »

You know, I can't wait to see the bean counters start asking if people who are 'dead' still get combat pay or not, if they are in hell...
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Post by KlavoHunter »

Chris OFarrell wrote:You know, I can't wait to see the bean counters start asking if people who are 'dead' still get combat pay or not, if they are in hell...
... Or if they're liable to have to pay taxes for the time since they were dead...
"The 4th Earl of Hereford led the fight on the bridge, but he and his men were caught in the arrow fire. Then one of de Harclay's pikemen, concealed beneath the bridge, thrust upwards between the planks and skewered the Earl of Hereford through the anus, twisting the head of the iron pike into his intestines. His dying screams turned the advance into a panic."'

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Post by Junghalli »

Beowulf wrote:The demons are used to bronze age fighting doctrine, in which the combat starts at dawn, and ends at sunset.
That was a rule of practicality that existed for the simple reason that we're basically blind at night. If the Demons have good night-vision there's no reason for them to observe it. In fact if they were smart they'd always attack humans at night, when we're most vulnerable.

My guess is they do get exhausted eventually and were planning on using the time when they figured humans wouldn't be active to rest. Or their night vision is actually not much better than ours, one of the two.

Other comments:

Rahab's attitude is not entirely unreasonable. Your typical Demon is a pretty challenging opponent for people with access to nothing better than knives and spears, downright invincible if it fights smart and just zaps you from a distance. Since they have telepathy and have mounts and flying units they have all the advantages in communication and transportation and will likely pretty much always be able to defeat you in detail. The mounted super-Demons are going to be really tough customers. It's mostly only people born after around 1400 that would realize the potential of making gunpowder, and since Hell doesn't really have much materials available to forge cannons and muskets in large numbers you're probably limited to thrown bombs. Not to mention most Demons are probably tough enough that getting shot with a musket probably isn't going to do much more than slow them down a bit, and they have their own equivalent which is basically just as good (the lightening). People born after 1900 or so might see the potential in more advanced weapons but good luck actually making that stuff with nothing more advanced than iron-age technology. If you can free a lot of inmates you theoretically have enough manpower to overwhelm the Demons by sheer numbers but there's going to be a big gap between theory and practice if Hell is competently patrolled. It may very well be against the escapees' interests to draw too much attention to themselves. You have to also keep in mind the psychological difference between people who can reasonably hope that help will be coming and people who believe they're on their own. To the former doing something like blowing up a bridge disrupts the enemy infrastructure, to the latter it looks more like a pointless gesture than anything else.

I find the super-Demons interesting. The Demons aren't at the point where they realize they have a serious war on their hands yet, the things in Abigor's army probably are not their best units. I'd say it would make sense if the creatures on Earth now are their equivalent of combine-harvesters and the real warfighters are all still in Hell, except we know Abigor's command is part of the 999.

One thought that occurred to me, in regards to Heaven probably having a better idea of what's going on than Hell. How do you suppose the Angels know which souls will suit their purposes? Usually, it's thought of as you go to the Pearly Gates and are examined to see whether you're worthy. "Really" it's likely they take the dead person, have an Angel examine his mind, and then he decides whether he's useful and if not he's given to the Demons. In the process that Angels is going to see everything in his head, so they'll probably get a lot of information that way.
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Post by JBG »

I think that it is wise that El-tee and her band go independant and don't trust the locals until they have proven themselves. After some up to 10,000 years and the only thought is of evasion? The will to forcefully resist must have atrophied long ago and to be fair with good reason. Such people are always going to be cautious until they can see that the paradigm of hopelessness has been upset.

Hell must be huge so initial physical contact with the "escapees" is the hardest part, after that homing beacons dropped initially will help the rest, otherwise a lot of supplies are being dropped into fetid swamps, sulphurous miasma and the rest.

I like the idea of a laser designator, in particular given the re-introduction into USAF service of "pigs" - the RAAF term for the Aardvark. I would assume Stuart that the RAAF and the USAF are thick as thieves regarding F-111s.

The baldricks will suffer, probably to a greater degree, from ignorance as to the concept of defiance in Hell so there is a real window of opportunity to "raise hell". That will cost them but any insurgency has to be significant to stop the roll out of Hell's legions to reinforce the smashed legion that was first to venture to modern Earth. 6,665 legions are left!

Apropos of nothing, Baines must be worth while given the number of cats he lives with!

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Post by Junghalli »

Well I wouldn't say 10,000 years is really fair, gunpowder was only developed around 1300, and the first man-portable weapons capable of getting a clean kill on a Demon at range would probably not have been developed until the early twentieth century. Before that large-scale resistance would probably have been more-or-less suicidal folly: good luck fighting sapient gorillas that can fly and shoot lightening with knives and spears. Given that we're mostly dealing with people who were down there for many centuries or even millenia and have a preindustrial mindset it doesn't surprise me that they're not seeing the possibilities.

There may be a vocal minority of moderns among the escapees pushing for more active resistance.
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Post by Stuart »

Junghalli wrote:Well I wouldn't say 10,000 years is really fair, gunpowder was only developed around 1300, and the first man-portable weapons capable of getting a clean kill on a Demon at range would probably not have been developed until the early twentieth century. Before that large-scale resistance would probably have been more-or-less suicidal folly: good luck fighting sapient gorillas that can fly and shoot lightening with knives and spears. Given that we're mostly dealing with people who were down there for many centuries or even millenia and have a preindustrial mindset it doesn't surprise me that they're not seeing the possibilities. There may be a vocal minority of moderns among the escapees pushing for more active resistance.
One of the things that struck me putting this together was just how sudden humanity's military prowess really is. If we take the human lifespan of three score years and ten as a measuring stick, it really highlights things. One human lifetime ago, it was 1938. Most human armies still walked around carrying bolt-action rifles. Tanks were a largely unfamiliar innovation nobody quite knew what to do with, aircraft were prop-engined birdd armed with machine guns, barely an even match for a Harpy. Two human lifetimes ago it was 1868, breech-loading single-shot rifles have only just arrived on the scene, artillery is smooth-bore muzzle-loaders, cavalry still charge with sabres or lances. Three human lifetimes ago, in 1798, we're back with muzzle-loading muskets and four human lifetimes ago, (1728) armies still use pikes.

Think about that, four human lifetimes to go from pikes to computer-controlled MLRS; from "can't fly at all" to supersonic jetfighters with radars and missiles that can engage from a hundred plus miles away.

Now the real catch if we take our four human lifetimes ago Army and jump back one hundred human life times, the armies then actually don't look very different. They still use pikes and much the same way as did the Macedonians in the Phalanx (in the 17th century the "push of the pike" was considered the decisive weapon on the battlefield). The only real difference was the replacement of bows and arrows by muskets and in absolute performance terms that's no big deal. If we had to graph the military efficiency that results, the result would be almost a flat line for those 100 lifetimes, a minor increase in the 101st and 102nd, a significant increase in the 103rd human lifetime and suddenly the line goes straight upwards and vanishes off the top of the chart in the 104th. Is it any wonder the poor demons have been caught completely flat-footed?
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Post by NecronLord »

Junghalli wrote:I'd say it would make sense if the creatures on Earth now are their equivalent of combine-harvesters and the real warfighters are all still in Hell, except we know Abigor's command is part of the 999.
These ain't necrons. The heralds were that. They were accustomed to showing up, and carting off entire populations as tribute, remember?
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Post by Stuart »

JBG wrote:I think that it is wise that El-tee and her band go independant and don't trust the locals until they have proven themselves. After some up to 10,000 years and the only thought is of evasion? The will to forcefully resist must have atrophied long ago and to be fair with good reason. Such people are always going to be cautious until they can see that the paradigm of hopelessness has been upset.
That's true; viewed from their own perspectives, both Kim and Rahbat are perfectly correct. I try to make that a common feature of my work, that people by and large make the correct decisions when viewed from their particular perspectives; that some of those decisions are faulty is due to the information available and the perspective being deficient or inappropriate rather than them being stupid. I detest the situation where one of the characters does something utterly dumb simply because their cartoon-stupid.

Here's a good example. The Ell-tee and Rahbat have entirely different perspectives. Rahbat believes that nothing is going to change, hell is always going to be as it is, that any resistance is futile. Therefore, her first priority is to try and get as many people out of the pits and into relative safety as possible. Starting a war in hell is pointless and counter-productive in that it'll just result in her refugees being found and sent back to the pits.

Kim knows that help is coming. She has direct orders from her Commander-in-Chief to keep fighting and spread the word that rescue is on its way. The more chaos she can wreak in hell, the fewer hellish forces get sent to the front line and the quicker help will arrive. If a few people get killed or sent back to the pits, well, that's a price worth paying.

They're both right within their frame of competence. Its that frame that makes the difference.
Hell must be huge so initial physical contact with the "escapees" is the hardest part, after that homing beacons dropped initially will help the rest, otherwise a lot of supplies are being dropped into fetid swamps, sulphurous miasma and the rest.
There are beacons already - what they are and how they came to be ill be explained very shortly.
I like the idea of a laser designator, in particular given the re-introduction into USAF service of "pigs" - the RAAF term for the Aardvark. I would assume Stuart that the RAAF and the USAF are thick as thieves regarding F-111s.
That they are. I'd guess there's a lot of Australians working at Davis-Monthan working to get as many F-111s flying as possible.
The baldricks will suffer, probably to a greater degree, from ignorance as to the concept of defiance in Hell so there is a real window of opportunity to "raise hell". That will cost them but any insurgency has to be significant to stop the roll out of Hell's legions to reinforce the smashed legion that was first to venture to modern Earth. 6,665 legions are left!
Abigor has 60 legions with him, 56 infantry, 3 cavalry, 1 airborne. Of those, 28 infantry, 2 cavalry and 2/3 of the airborne are either dead or running for their lives. 28 infantry, 1 cavalry and 1/3 of the airborne ((total almost 200,000 baldricks) are about to hit the center of the US line where what amounts to an armored corps is waiting for them. There are 939 ready-deployment legions left in hell plus 5,667 more militia-type legions being mobilized - hence the long columns of baldricks leaving Hell.

That doesn't count the angelic components of course. Angels are much like demons (they're very, very close relatives). We can presume that the angelic host is about double the size of thr demonic horde.
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Post by Xon »

Stuart wrote:If we had to graph the military efficiency that results, the result would be almost a flat line for those 100 lifetimes, a minor increase in the 101st and 102nd, a significant increase in the 103rd human lifetime and suddenly the line goes straight upwards and vanishes off the top of the chart in the 104th. Is it any wonder the poor demons have been caught completely flat-footed?
We are living in quitely literally in a post-singularity society(compared to the forces of heaven & hell), and that is a great example to demonstrate it. And funny enough all your examples implicitly focus around the industrial revolution and it's impact.
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Post by Raj Ahten »

Just some quick comments and questions on the resistance in hell. I would find it extremely unlikely that it is unified and all humans who escape form one group. Wouldn't there likely be multiple factions that even fight each other more than they do anything against the forces of hell? I imagine there would be some hard bastards from throughout history who would kill demons simply because they are angry at them. (Likely some EVIL people in this category, memebers of the mongol hoard and similiar sorts) And what of non monotheists who end up in hell (Hardcore communists, for instance)?
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Post by Surlethe »

As far as we (i.e., Broomie & Co.) know, right now the resistance is a loose group of cells working to stay out of the demons' way. If Rahab is not a disguised demoness working to turn them in or a turncoat working to reduce her alotment of torture, the resistance is sort of like a giant underground railroad that funnels prisoners who manage to escape into hiding and keeps them there, just as Rahab did with the Tango flight pilots.
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Post by Firethorn »

KlavoHunter wrote:
Chris OFarrell wrote:You know, I can't wait to see the bean counters start asking if people who are 'dead' still get combat pay or not, if they are in hell...
... Or if they're liable to have to pay taxes for the time since they were dead...
The beancounters will probably get overruled, at least for those who are still active combatants in hell.

And I see hell counting as a sort of POW camp, thus it's a combat zone and non-taxable.

Thought the general rules for combat/back pay, POW promotions*, etc, are going to have to be ironed out.

I'm thinking that treating it like a resurrection, a starting over, will end up being the rule. IE you're a WWII soldier that died in combat and has been stuck in hell for 60 years. You don't get more than what the average joe that died in a car accident back in the states gets - UNLESS you rejoin, in which case I'd spring for rank at death** and restoration of time in service.

Can you imagine trying to sort stuff out if, say, John Rockefeller tries to get his estate back?

As for current generation, I'd put stuff on hold more or less for a year or so while some stuff gets hammered out. For things like houses and cars, I figure that auctioning stuff off and placing the monies in a trust(and personal items in storage) at the moment to be the best option - you might be able to leave a number of homes 'open' by selling off the estates of those that dropped dead at the command, but if the war drags on it might not be possible given a still expanding population and war economy.

*Even as a POW, you still get promoted with 'the average', thus a captain who's released after a decade might find himself a colonel.
** At current pay scales, of course.
Last edited by Firethorn on 2008-02-20 03:57pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Marko Dash »

if hell is bronze age whats heaven at, renaissance? early (very early) atomic?
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Post by Stuart »

Firethorn wrote:The beancounters will probably get overruled, at least for those who are still active combatants in hell. And I see hell counting as a sort of POW camp, thus it's a combat zone and non-taxable. Thought the general rules for combat/back pay, POW promotions*, etc, are going to have to be ironed out.

Can you imagine trying to sort stuff out if, say, John Rockefeller tries to get his estate back?

As for current generation, I'd put stuff on hold more or less for a year or so while some stuff gets hammered out. For things like houses and cars, I figure that auctioning stuff off and placing the monies in a trust(and personal items in storage) at the moment to be the best option - you might be able to leave a number of homes 'open' by selling off the estates of those that dropped dead at the command, but if the war drags on it might not be possible given a still expanding population and war economy.
You know, I'm gettinga glimmering of an idea for a sequel to Armageddon where all of these problems have to be sorted out. Can you imagine, for example, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo demanding back-pay from the Italian government? Or Julius Caesar wanting Brutus charged for murder?

(by the way, if anybody hasn't seen it, I thoroughly recommend HBO's "Rome")
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Post by Burak Gazan »

:D

Oh, we gotta see Pullo!

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Post by MKSheppard »

I'm more interested in busting Brehon Burke Somervell from HELL and putting him in charge of our logistics. :D
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Post by Rye »

Interesting stuff, fun, but Abigor has been severely nerfed. From S. L. MacGregor Mathers (1904): "The Fifteenth Spirit in Order is Eligos (another name for Abigor), a Great Duke, and appeareth in the form of a goodly Knight, carrying a Lance, an Ensign, and a Serpent. He discovereth hidden things, and knoweth things to come; and of Wars, and how the Soldiers will or shall meet. He causeth the Love of Lords and Great Persons."
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Post by Junghalli »

Raj Ahten wrote:Just some quick comments and questions on the resistance in hell. I would find it extremely unlikely that it is unified and all humans who escape form one group. Wouldn't there likely be multiple factions that even fight each other more than they do anything against the forces of hell?
I find that quite plausible. Hell has close to all humans that ever lived in it, so escapees would be anything but a unified block.
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Post by Stuart »

Zuul wrote:Interesting stuff, fun, but Abigor has been severely nerfed. From S. L. MacGregor Mathers (1904): "The Fifteenth Spirit in Order is Eligos (another name for Abigor), a Great Duke, and appeareth in the form of a goodly Knight, carrying a Lance, an Ensign, and a Serpent. He discovereth hidden things, and knoweth things to come; and of Wars, and how the Soldiers will or shall meet. He causeth the Love of Lords and Great Persons."
By "nerfed" I assume you mean down-graded. Not necessarily. What your quoting is the mythological demon, what the guys in the tanks are fighting are baldricks, the reality that lies behind the legends.

So what we have to do is take the description and work out the reality that lies behind it.

He's a "Great Duke", ie an Army commander.

He appears as a knight carrying a lance, an ensign and a serpent. In other words, he flies a banner and rides a rhinolobster.

He discovereth hidden things, and knoweth things to come; and of Wars, and how the Soldiers will or shall meet. In other words, he's inquisitive, quick to learn and a good commander

He causeth the Love of Lords and Great Persons." In other words he's charismatic.

Which is exactly how he's being portrayed :)

When reading mythology its always fun to strip away the verbiage and work out what the description really says. We can do that with any mythology and its surprising how often what we end up with is a very down-to-earth description of a real person.
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Post by Zeond »

Great stuff Stuart. I am really enjoying the story and await the next chapter.

As I have been on a Russian/Soviet martial music kick lately, I've taken to reading the story while listening to The Sacred War and I wouldn't be surprised if someone were to rewrite the lyrics for the current conflict to read something like this:
The New Sacred War wrote: Rise up, huge country,
Rise up for a mortal fight!
With the the dark demonic force,
With the damn horde.

Refrain x 2:
Let noble fury
Boil up like a wave
A people's war is going on,
A sacred war!

We'll give repulse to oppressors
Of all fervent ideas,
Rapists, robbers,
Tormenters of people.

Refrain

Black wings don't dare
To fly over the homeland,
Her vast fields
The enemy doesn't dare to trample.

Refrain

To the rotten demon scum
We'll drive a bullet into the forehead,
For the betrayers and oppressors
We'll knock together a solid casket!

Refrain x 2
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Post by Gullible Jones »

One thing that kind of bugs me... That downed harpie envies the angel he meets because the angel can seduce human women. But if the baldricks are really native to another world, they shouldn't find humans attractive. Rape as a form of torture makes sense, since it's not driven by sexual attraction; seduction makes sense, because it's a way of gaining influence and intelligence; but actually lusting after humans doesn't, unless there's something about the baldricks' reproductive methods that we haven't heard yet.
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Post by JBG »

"Abigor has 60 legions with him, 56 infantry, 3 cavalry, 1 airborne. Of those, 28 infantry, 2 cavalry and 2/3 of the airborne are either dead or running for their lives. 28 infantry, 1 cavalry and 1/3 of the airborne ((total almost 200,000 baldricks) are about to hit the center of the US line where what amounts to an armored corps is waiting for them. There are 939 ready-deployment legions left in hell plus 5,667 more militia-type legions being mobilized - hence the long columns of baldricks leaving Hell. "

My mistake.

But mobilisation of militia suggests a population of baldricks, not on active service etc, from whom such militias can be organised or recruited from!! That sort of ties in with speculations as to what, for instance, the economy of Hell is and to be honest, what most of them do most of the time if that is the case.

"You know, I'm gettinga glimmering of an idea for a sequel to Armageddon where all of these problems have to be sorted out. Can you imagine, for example, Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo demanding back-pay from the Italian government? Or Julius Caesar wanting Brutus charged for murder? "

As a lawyer, the prospect of sorting that out makes my head spin. Some very hard decisions would have to be taken to effectively cap claims otherwise the living will be bankrupt and destitute. At the least.

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Post by PainRack »

Excellent read:D
I'm also amazed at the level and depth of demonology and other mythical information here. Are there any sources I can refer to?
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