Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Post by Mayabird » 2008-05-15 12:08am

Col. Crackpot wrote:
Chris OFarrell wrote:Here's a dumb question, I'm not sure if its been asked or not.

What happens if two dead humans (fully regenerated) screw in hell? Is their kid dead too? Can they HAVE a kid? Is it some kind of super kid that has the strength and regenerative abilities of a dead person? Can it move between Hell and Earth freely?

Or for that matter, if two living humans cross over and screw, then have a kid in hell?

Or one living and one dead?!
Or if a live human screws a dead one for that matter. Honestly, I'm surprised this question went unasked so long. Especially on this board.
I suspect a lot of us were thinking it, but no one wanted to be the first to ask.

While I'm here, I might as well ask a couple of my disturbing questions:

1) Those were actual fruits of some kind, right? Not, like, borametz trees, but with fetuses in little blood bubbles instead of lambs, right?

2) Isn't there supposed to be an Angel of Death running around Africa now?
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Post by Singular Quartet » 2008-05-15 12:30am

Mayabird wrote:
Col. Crackpot wrote:
Chris OFarrell wrote:Here's a dumb question, I'm not sure if its been asked or not.

What happens if two dead humans (fully regenerated) screw in hell? Is their kid dead too? Can they HAVE a kid? Is it some kind of super kid that has the strength and regenerative abilities of a dead person? Can it move between Hell and Earth freely?

Or for that matter, if two living humans cross over and screw, then have a kid in hell?

Or one living and one dead?!
Or if a live human screws a dead one for that matter. Honestly, I'm surprised this question went unasked so long. Especially on this board.
I suspect a lot of us were thinking it, but no one wanted to be the first to ask.
... I didn't think of it.
2) Isn't there supposed to be an Angel of Death running around Africa now?
Not yet, at least. When he was running around Africa, it was a few years ago. Then Uriel declared some dude his prophet, and then disappeared. I assume he's hanging, waiting to come back and kill some people in the name of Yahweh.

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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-15 04:33am

Darth Wong wrote:In fact, I have to wonder why they would even try to build walls strong enough to withstand heavy impacts, since they don't even appear to use catapults or ballista against each other.
Demons have some other seige options that we should be seeing quite soon.
Mayabird wrote:I suspect a lot of us were thinking it, but no one wanted to be the first to ask.
<LOST_TRAILER> Answers are coming. </LOST_TRAILER> :)

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Post by gtg947h » 2008-05-15 10:53pm

Starglider wrote:Demons have some other seige options that we should be seeing quite soon.
Ehh... would these "other siege options" include large wooden rhinolobsters?

:D

Or perhaps trebuches that fling lava! I want one...

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Post by Zim » 2008-05-15 11:31pm

Some of the Wyverns are being prepped with fire and brimstone. It seems like they're going to try for some bombing runs. Of course I doubt it'll be much better then WW1 era definition of bombing: drop some explosives over the side and hope it hits something.

Wyvern flight leader: There the insolent humans are. Unleash hell and fury on them!

Human inside tank: Did anyone notice that thud? Oh well, gunner, target those low flying over-sized harpies.

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Post by Mayabird » 2008-05-16 12:49am

Since we'll probably be seeing Caesar within the next couple of chapters and this article came up, I might as well post it.

Oldest known bust of Caesar found in Rhone River

Now we have a face for him. I know Stuart likes having a face when writing his characters, and hey, might as well take advantage of this chance to get a good visualization.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-16 02:03pm

Secure Accommodation Block, Camo Hell-Alpha, Martial Plain of Dysprosium

“The Enemy is Dust, dust that gets in your boots, your hair, your eyes, your lungs. Dust in vital systems and gears and axles. Dust is the common enemy DRS Technologies helps to manage, banish or thwart in Hell, every minute of every day. The enemies DRS fights can be huge or as small as a grain of sand. And the solutions can range from providing expert service personnel to developing novel technologies. Like self-lubricating sealed axles for tank trailers. Systems that let pilots see through the clouds of dust in Hell’s atmosphere. And fully-sealed, fanless mobile computers. The goal: to help our forces achieve their objectives in Hell. Bring us your problems, your toughest challenges, we are always looking for a new enemy to conquer and take us one step nearer to completing or mission to save our dead.”

Memnon laid the copy of Defense News to one side, marveling at the casual ease with which the humans spoke of finding solutions to problems. As if problems were games to be won, not hardships to be endured. Almost without thinking he flexed his great wings, now regrowing strong and true. Another problem humans had solved. They’d seen the mangled stumps that had been growing before and he’d explained that the fragments of steel from the missile warheads were the problem. Iron didn’t agree with demon bodies. They’d nodded and come up with a plan. They’d amputate the new growth and remove the iron fragments, then allow new wings to grow back. They weren’t sure it would work, but it was a good chance, their “medic” had said. Memnon had agreed, he had nothing to lose after all.

They’d taken him into a section of the great building that was all white. Then they’d said they would put him to sleep for the operation. Memnon had refused that, refused angrily. Who were they to put him to sleep like a kidling? He was a Lesser Herald, he could endure whatever pain the humans had in store. The doctor had agreed and said that they’d just give him a little injection to help his muscles relax, make it easier to cut his mutilated wings off. Now, if he’d just count backwards from ten……

And Memnon had woken up when it was all over, his failed wings removed and the searing hurt of the iron fragments removed from his back. And he had learned something about “medics” and “nurses”. They could be even sneakier than other humans. But he’d watched as his new wings had regenerated and they were true wings, ones that would support him in flight.

The doors banged and some humans came in, soldiers in the odd clothes they wore. The ones that had a strange pattern that made them hard to see. “Memnon, my name is Colonel Paschal.”

“Colonel.” Memnon stood up and tried to hold himself erect the way humans did. Not grovel on the floor and lick his boots as a high-ranking demon would demand. The Colonel looked at him and nodded slightly, like most of the human troops in Hell, he found the baldrick displays of submission sickening.

“Memnon, do you know of a place called Tartarus?”

“Certainly. It is the stronghold of a minor lord called Belial. I have had little to do with him, he is of little account. A defeated loser surrounded by others of his kind.”

“Well, he’s just become important to us. Critical question, you know where Tartarus is, you can get there?”

“Of course, Now my wings are well again, I can fly there. If I go as fast as I can, it will take me….” Memnon stared at the ceiling and calculated distance. “A minimum of 70 of your hours.”

“Seventy hours. Nearly three days.” Now it was Paschal’s turn to think. “How soon can you leave?”

“As soon as my lord commands. I have sworn fealty to Abigor and he to you. So when your lord orders it I will leave. What message must I give to Belial?”

“Oh, you? Nothing. We have a message for him,. One he won’t forget in a hurry. Your job is just to get to Tartarus, stay close to Belial’s fortress and wait, unseen. We will contact you there and send you the message we will wish delivered to Belial.”

Memnon nodded, now he could see why the humans had restored his wings, they needed his services as a Herald. Was Belial planning to defect to the humans as he and Abigor already had? If so, then he, Memnon, would be well placed in the favor of these strange new lords to whom he had sworn fealty.

Outer Ring, Sixth Circle of Hell

“All set up?” McElroy looked around at his unit. Well, it wasn’t his any more, but he still had a proprietorial feel over it, even though the living troops from Earth had inflated its numbers and provided a proper command structure. The strike team was now nearly 60 humans, living or deceased, and they were about to teach the baldricks a lesson in applied firepower. And applied vengeance.

“All units, get ready. Mortar teams, prepare to open fire on my command.” The voice on the radio was heavily accented. European, where in Europe was beyond McElroy’s ability to identify. Their equipment was Russian, or at least Eastern-Europe though. That meant Poles? Or Czechs perhaps. No matter, they were somebody’s special forces troops and whoever they were, they were very good.

“Fire!” The accented word came over the radio and McElroy heard the coughing thump of the mortars opening fire. They were the big ones, 120mms, the biggest modern artillery deployed within the Hell-Pit. Despite their size, their crews went to work with a vengeance. A good mortar crew can get six bombs in the air before the first strikes home and these crews were better than good. McElroy watched the ripple of explosions walk across the market place, the fragments scything down the baldricks as they stood around the stalls. They’d never been under mortar fire before, they had no idea what it was that was killing them and they just stood there, bewildered, while the bombs crashed down around them.

Mortars are deadly weapons, their rate of fire and high payload making them great killers of creatures caught in the open. Their worst limitation is ammunition supply; especially when the weapons were man-packed in the way these were. The crews were already running short and they kept back one round each as a final envoi for when the humans withdrew, Their role was taken over by three machine grenade launchers, AGS-17s, that pumped their small rounds into the target, picking off the groups of baldricks left standing by the 120s.

Down below, McElroy saw the baldricks starting to react. Cries of “human magery” echoed up the slope and figures broke from their paralysis to try and get away from the unexpected danger. The problem was, they had pitifully few places to go and far more then half their number were already down.

“Move in.” The orders were curt, tense. McElroy brought his M115 up to his shoulder and squeezed off three rounds at a baldrick that seemed unusually active in trying to rally resistance. The figure went down, sprays of green blood erupting from its body. Then it was his section’s time to move forward. The others were laying down intense fire, pinning the baldricks in position. The deceased humans got to their feet, running forward to their next position, a shallow depression about half way down the slope. It took seconds to reach it, seconds that seemed like hours, but they made it and spread out, giving covering fire for the next group to move forward.

It was classic stuff, fire and maneuver, each squad moving forward while the others covered it from their own positions. There were a few bolts coming out from the beleaguered baldrick positions but they were wild, McElroy suspected some of the enemy were just holding their tridents over whatever it was they were hiding behind and blasting away at random. It took only three jumps to close in on the marketplace and by then what few baldricks were left alive had pulled back into their camp, but doubtless they’d be re-organizing in there. Time was short.

That wouldn’t matter much. The great cart that was the object of the attack was in front of them, the mortar and grenade crews had been careful to keep there patterns of shells and bombs away from it. McElroy saw a baldrick, his legs shattered by fragments, trying to drag himself away from the slaughterhouse that had once been a market. He didn’t even pause before shooting the crippled demon in the head.

Indira, are you there?

Waiting for you. Ready now?

Biggest portal possible Indi, big as you can, it will only be for a few seconds. We’re on our way out.


In front of him, the red air of hell shimmered and a black ellipse formed. McElroy and the rest of his unit grabbed the cart and started it rolling forward, ignoring the screams from the children inside, Behind them, the mortar crews already had their weapons on their carts and were rolling them towards the hole while the rest of the special forces group gave covering fire. Then, the red/gray environment of Hell vanished and McElroy found himself inside a large building, a hangar, lit from outside by the clear yellow light of earth’s sun.

Behind him, the heavy weapons group were already through the portal, and the special forces troopers were backing out, firing through the black ellipse as they withdrew. Six of them were bringing three others who were obviously hurt, another carried a dead man in a fireman’s lift. Then, as the last came through, the portal shut down.

DIMO(N) Transit Facility, Moffet Field, Mountain View, California

As the last of the raiding group cleared the portal, a wave of cheering erupted across the occupants of the transit facility. The building had once been used as an airship hangar but had been quickly modified into its present role. It was a much better deal than the cramped Pentagon quarters that had been used before. The size was valuable, the great cart that had been wheeled through the ellipse was testimony to that. Around it, the deceased humans of McElroy’s unit were standing bewildered.

“You OK Sergeant?”

“Its Corporal Sir, Corporal McElroy.”

“No, its Sergeant (deceased) McElroy and if you knew how much trouble you were causing the pay corps, you would be a very happy man.”

“I’m just happy to be here Sir. Out of that place, shit, I feel crappy.”

“You can’t stay here son. You’ll have to go back, but we’re linking you directly to Camp Hell-Alpha. That’s a U.S. Army facility by the Hellmouth. A Colonel Paschal will be waiting for you and your unit, he has orders for you. By the way, you’ll be losing Ori and Aeneas, the historians want to talk to them and, frankly, they’re dead weight for where you’ll be going.” Major Warhol sounded apologetic but in truth he
wasn’t. Anyway, he wanted to talk to somebody who had fought at Thermopylae.

“Sir, I don’t think….”

“No choice Sergeant.” Warhol softened a little. “Look over there, Your mom and one of your sisters has come in. You’ve got a few minutes to say ‘Hi’ then you’re on your way to Hell-Alpha. You can’t stay here, this level will kill you soon.

Warhol looked over to the small crowd of people who were standing beside the doors of the hangar. McElroy’s men had run over to them, recognizing their relatives. Cassidy had her head buried in a young man’s chest while he stroked her hair. At their feet, a dog was sniffing at her, confused, knowing this had been his human before she’d gone but also that she wasn’t human any more. That confused him and dogs do not like to be confused.

‘Sir, over here!”

The staff had the gates at the back of the cart open and were quieting the children inside. They too would have to go back to Hell but to the area occupied by humans. What would happen to them in the longer term was anybody’s guess. People were only just beginning to realize the implications of seizing hell and Warhol knew in his heart that the problems facing humanity when it occupied Heaven and kicked out the previous management were going to be just as bad.

“What have you got?” To his surprise, two of the troopers who had opened up the cart had vomited and three others were openly crying. This was not something he had expected to see from the “Screaming Eagles”

“Look at this Sir, just look at it.”

‘This’ was a large pot, looking for all the world like an old-fashioned chamber-pot. Larger than any thunder-jug he had ever seen though. Warhol looked inside and saw a writhing mass of small red things, some looking fairly human, others barely formed.

Warhol was confused. “What are they? Baldrick kidlings?’

“No Sir. Ours. They’re human embryos. Perhaps those that were miscarried or aborted, I don’t know. But they’re our fetuses and the baldricks just ate them like snacks.” The tears were streaming down the airborne soldier’s face and he didn’t even bother to wipe them away.

Well, that’s the end of Roe versus Wade Warhol thought to himself, more to deny the horror of the scene than anything else. “Right, we have to get this lot back into Hell. Round up McElroy’s people and get them ready. Time to reinsert.

Over by the equipment bay, Indira Singh had shifted off the couch and Jennie Kwang had taken her place. “Ready to go Jennie?” She gave a big thumbs-up and settled back to make contact.

Are you there Private Chestnut?

Do I have any choice? The mind-voice was weak and sulky. From Jennie’s experience in the People’s Liberation Army, the Sergeants were in process of breaking down the spoiled little brat and building the man that would replace him. It was a form of rebirth as well.

No, so please open up the portal. It was much easier to do it from his end and would cause her little or no pain. Even humans needed only marginal amplification when opening a portal from Hell-side. The black ellipse popped open almost immediately,

“Right, McElroy, take your people though, everybody else, get that cart through.” Warhol snapped out the orders. McElroy’s unit finished saying their good-byes to their families and stepped through the portal to Camp Hell-Alpha. When everything that had to go was gone, Kwang snapped the portal shut. Given electronics, and a presence the other side, humans had the best of both worlds, they could open gates easily from hellside and close them equally easily from earthside. Would that the Sheffield problem was so easy to solve.

Warhol was speaking into a mobile radio. “They’re gone General, just a few seconds ago. The kids as well and that’s a sight that I don’t want to ever see again.”

Indira was standing beside him, politely waiting for him to finish. Her normally olive skin was gray but her tinfoil hat shone in the sun streaming through the windows, making it seem as if she was wearing a halo.

“Will they be coming back through here Sir?”
“McElroy’s people? Yes, we can’t portal from place to place in Hell, for some reason the portals can’t form when there isn’t a barrier. Like you can’t have a door without a wall to put it in I guess. But, they’ll be coming back through, in around three days if all goes well.

Oval Office, White House, Washington.

“Well, that’s the end of Roe versus Wade. The public won’t balk at ‘right to life’ legislation now.”

President Bush lifted his eyes from the report and looked steadily at the speaker. “Karl, hear me on this and don’t even think of crossing me. You will say nothing of this, do you understand, nothing. We’re classifying this report so deep that it will never be found.”

“But Dubya, it’s a prime opportunity to get that judgment reversed.”

“I don’t care. Karl, have you any idea how much suffering this report will cause if it gets out? All the women who have lost babies for any reason, natural or otherwise, read it, they’ll think of their baby in those vats, waiting to be used as a baldrick snack. You’ve read the reports on depression and stress disorders amongst women who’ve lost or aborted babies, I will not be responsible for increasing their suffering. We will have a quiet word with the Justices, share this information with them, then when the opportunity comes, they can make the ruling that they think fit. But we will not cause the suffering and grief that results from this report to force their hands in public.”

“But….”

“I said No Karl, what part of that don’t you understand. And I’ll repeat this, don’t try a leak or ‘arrange’ for somebody else to do it for you. Got that into your head? Because it is a warning.”

Camo Hell-Alpha, Martial Plain of Dysprosium

“McElroy? This your unit? Good. We’ll get you to a briefing room ASAP. We’ve got three days to train you up on operating the navigational beacons and get you prepared for the next part of this operation. Your instructors will be with you shortly.”

McElroy looked around at the Army base, its scene familiar even of its setting wasn’t. He might be out of the Hell-Pit but he was back in the regular Army. And its habits hadn’t changed, it was still ‘hurry up and wait.’
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First?

Post by JN1 » 2008-05-16 02:25pm

I'm glad to see another chapter up, I was beginning to miss my Armageddon fix. You're getting into rather controversial territory with Roe versus Wade, IMVHO.

Good work, keep it up.

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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-05-16 02:32pm

Wow.

That was... really something. Squick.

Now, how about some Ori and Aeneas? :)
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Post by Illuminatus Primus » 2008-05-16 03:14pm

Maybe I'm off my rocker, but the raison d'etre of this chapter seems to be "obligatory demon amazement with basic technology, brief fight scene, political statement." Not to mention, just because we know that magic soul-energy from embryos creates undead ones in Hell, how would that all of a sudden give them moral rights? If we're scientists and that's the major theme of this work is science over superstition, why does possessing magic soul energy the quintessential variable of human rights? Why isn't it just the same was the status quo of basic human genetic content or something? Embryos share that with adults but that doesn't necessarily give them moral rights? Why does this soul energy either? Do they suddenly become thinking, feeling, aware individuals on a relevent basis once they're reborn in Hell?

No offense Stuart, but your fiction has gotten increasingly weighed down by your need to make unnecessary and hamfisted political statements. From the some of your way back diatrabes on Islamism through the TBO Caliphate, climate change through TBO scientists, to the unrealistic evil cable news people hating on guns unrealistically, to the pointless PO remark, to this. I only say it now because while I find it generally stuffy when authors try to use art and fiction as a pulpit for their axes, this chapter doesn't seem to have much purpose other than to interject a political statement.

Also, taking the moral claims of this chapter at face value here, Karl Rove is an unwittingly good person and George W. Bush is a really bad person. Of what value are mothers' angst before the halting the mass death of real people as soon as possible?
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Post by FireNexus » 2008-05-16 03:29pm

Well, I'm still pro-choice, but given the circumstances presented, I'd probably have to become pro-life. Making a fetus permanently a fetus seems a lot more wrong than just killing it, IMO. Although that's an initial gut reaction.
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Post by Col. Crackpot » 2008-05-16 03:33pm

perhaps it's time for a stand alone comment thread for Armageddon.
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Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2008-05-16 03:35pm

Illuminatus Primus wrote:Maybe I'm off my rocker, but the raison d'etre of this chapter seems to be "obligatory demon amazement with basic technology, brief fight scene, political statement." Not to mention, just because we know that magic soul-energy from embryos creates undead ones in Hell, how would that all of a sudden give them moral rights? If we're scientists and that's the major theme of this work is science over superstition, why does possessing magic soul energy the quintessential variable of human rights? Why isn't it just the same was the status quo of basic human genetic content or something? Embryos share that with adults but that doesn't necessarily give them moral rights? Why does this soul energy either? Do they suddenly become thinking, feeling, aware individuals on a relevent basis once they're reborn in Hell?

No offense Stuart, but your fiction has gotten increasingly weighed down by your need to make unnecessary and hamfisted political statements. From the some of your way back diatrabes on Islamism through the TBO Caliphate, climate change through TBO scientists, to the unrealistic evil cable news people hating on guns unrealistically, to the pointless PO remark, to this. I only say it now because while I find it generally stuffy when authors try to use art and fiction as a pulpit for their axes, this chapter doesn't seem to have much purpose other than to interject a political statement.

Also, taking the moral claims of this chapter at face value here, Karl Rove is an unwittingly good person and George W. Bush is a really bad person. Of what value are mothers' angst before the halting the mass death of real people as soon as possible?

Are they real people, or is the point just that the idea is so horrifying that the body public would never tolerate it regardless of whether or not they are? This is a story, and it's less obvious as to if Stuart simply meant it as a device for conveying the immense horrors of hell, with a fairly realistic response from the remnant conservative elements in the United States. I mean, it isn't his idea (this same thing happens with Stirling and the Draka) that it means Roe versus Wade should be overturned or will be--it's that of a random and probably conservative military officer, and Karl Rove. This assumption that people use their characters as mouthpieces for their political views may be a bit excessive. Viz., the peak oil thing--is that Stuart seriously taking objection, or is it just the insertion of some versimillitude in reference to modern events?

I dislike the idea of criticising authors of fiction on these grounds. The key being fiction--which means it's possible that in another universe objective grounds for making abortion illegal could exist, and they would not invalidate objective grounds for keeping it legal in this one.
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Post by Sea Skimmer » 2008-05-16 03:52pm

Politics aside, embryos making the transition is relevant to the nature of hell and just how all those energy fields are actually functioning. Also for all we know at this point it may be that only embryos with actual brain activity make the transition, which would mean that abortion legislation could be settled with compromise that stills allows stuff like the morning after pill. If all embryos do make the transition regardless of state of development, then this would make me wonder if dead limbs, fingers and toes from humans who remain alive on earth also would make the transition.
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Post by phongn » 2008-05-16 03:54pm

Illuminatus Primus wrote:No offense Stuart, but your fiction has gotten increasingly weighed down by your need to make unnecessary and hamfisted political statements. From the some of your way back diatribes on Islamism through the TBO Caliphate, climate change through TBO scientists, to the unrealistic evil cable news people hating on guns unrealistically, to the pointless PO remark, to this. I only say it now because while I find it generally stuffy when authors try to use art and fiction as a pulpit for their axes, this chapter doesn't seem to have much purpose other than to interject a political statement.
I'll have to agree here; from my perspective little things like your little shot at Peak Oil (or the occasional TBOverse remark about global warming) make your stories less focused. It's one thing to show pieces of life as part of the story (even if IP disagrees with the Caliphate, it's at least a major part of the TBOverse) but wantonly adding them in takes away from your writing.

To be blunt: Clancy's later stories started drowning in the weight of his personal politics; I'd hate for this to happen to yours as well.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-16 03:59pm

Illuminatus Primus wrote: No offense Stuart, but your fiction has gotten increasingly weighed down by your need to make unnecessary and hamfisted political statements.
Actually, I'm not making a political statement here; I'm throwing out a question that has to be considered. Here (as in the dead-sex question that arose earlier although I didn't get a chance to get at it first) we have a very controversial question. The fundamental question is, assuming that Hell (and by implication Heaven) exist, what are the consequences of that knowledge? This was the key question in the thread that kicked off this whole story. Now, we've run smack into a really awkward question - what happens to very young children and pre-birth infants (you can take pre-birth as far back as suits your personal prejudices). It is an extremely awkward question and there's no real way around it. So I've tossed the question out - assuming a classical Hell exists and infants are in it (if not getting this form of horrible situation something else equally bad) - how would we deal with it? I've taken a shot at what the results would be here by assuming that two people who are intensely political animals will immediately think of the political cosnequences. If we'd pitched a doctor in, we might well have had another answer. The ractions of the soldiers give the response of the "man in the street" to such an appalling discovery.

But, there's a more general sense here. Fiction of any sort splits into two categories, there are the political/social blueprint type (gee this is the way everything should be) and the question type (if these are the circumstances that apply, then what will the consequences of this situation be?) My stories all fall into the latter category, they propose a situation and then ask what the consequences of that situation is likely to be. Armageddon is very much in that mold. Nothing in Armageddon (or in TBO) is me laying down the law as saying "this is the way it should be." ALl the stories are saying "IF this is the way it is, then what are the consequences."
From the some of your way back diatrabes on Islamism through the TBO Caliphate,
The TBO Caliphate is a classic example of this approach. The fact is that documentation captured in Afghanistan clearly indicated what the kind of society the people involved were aiming at. They wanted an all-inclusive Islamic state run according to the highly puritanical lines laid down by the Taliban. The absence of education of women, their restruction to the home as breeding machines, all are taken from Taliban documents and the practice of their regime. So, lets assume they got the state they wanted. What if the proposed Caliphate existed? How would it be run? What would its internal and external policies be like. Just like in TBO we have Cuba run by the Mafia. What would a state that really is run by criminals look like?

By the way, you might note that in this story, the Iranian officer is portrayed as a very honorable, indeed almost noble, man. Also, in TBO, who is the bad guys and who are the good varies from story to story. In AoN and Crusade, the Japanese are "bad" but in RotV they're "good"
to the unrealistic evil cable news people hating on guns unrealistically,
Actually that news insert was taken almost verbatim from a genuine news report concerning a home invasion that "turned violent" when the home-owner shot one of the invaders and chased off the other two. The fact that the invaders had already beaten his wife and children and were theratening to pour boiling water over them wasn't mentioned.
to this. I only say it now because while I find it generally stuffy when authors try to use art and fiction as a pulpit for their axes, this chapter doesn't seem to have much purpose other than to interject a political statement.
No, we're setting up the counter-measures for preventing further Sheffield-like attacks. We're moving pieces into play. And we're also illuminating demonic mental processes plus stressing that Hell is a very nasty place indeed.
Also, taking the moral claims of this chapter at face value here, Karl Rove is an unwittingly good person and George W. Bush is a really bad person. Of what value are mothers' angst before the halting the mass death of real people as soon as possible?
You might look at it that way, somebody else may say that the consideration given to people's feelings redounds to Bush's credit while Rove's intent to use the situation for political ends is discreditable. I haven't answered that, I've tossed the questions out there for everybody to think about. Which of the two men is right? Is either of them right? Faced with this horrifying bit of information, what is the right thing to do? Is there a right thing to do? I have made no moral claims here, I deliberately wrote the section so that the morality of the answers is left open.
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Post by MKSheppard » 2008-05-16 04:15pm

Illuminatus Primus wrote:Of what value are mothers' angst before the halting the mass death of real people as soon as possible?
Actually, I'm with Bush here. From a grim standpoint of view; if we splashed this all over the papers, sure, we'd gain a momentary propaganda boost; but there would be incalculable effects, like a dramatic uptick in suicides; and we can't really calculate where those sucides would take place. Put bluntly, it's better for the war effort if we suppress it and only release the information after the war.
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Post by DarthShady » 2008-05-16 04:17pm

I am glad to see that Memnon is back.

This chapter really shows what kind of shit we can expect to see in hell.

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Post by NecronLord » 2008-05-16 04:21pm

I seriously question whether that would be GWB's first reaction. And yeah. Ick.

Not to mention, remarkably odd.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-16 04:21pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:[ Are they real people, or is the point just that the idea is so horrifying that the body public would never tolerate it regardless of whether or not they are? This is a story, and it's less obvious as to if Stuart simply meant it as a device for conveying the immense horrors of hell, with a fairly realistic response from the remnant conservative elements in the United States. I mean, it isn't his idea (this same thing happens with Stirling and the Draka) that it means Roe versus Wade should be overturned or will be--it's that of a random and probably conservative military officer, and Karl Rove. This assumption that people use their characters as mouthpieces for their political views may be a bit excessive. Viz., the peak oil thing--is that Stuart seriously taking objection, or is it just the insertion of some versimillitude in reference to modern events?
That's pretty much on-point Your Grace, the primary intent was to demonstrate what a hellish place hell is (with a little dig at the "original sin" dogma thrown in) plus throwing out the question, how would humans cope with a discovery like this. After all, the whole point of the thread that kicked this of was "how would humans cope with...."
I dislike the idea of criticising authors of fiction on these grounds. The key being fiction--which means it's possible that in another universe objective grounds for making abortion illegal could exist, and they would not invalidate objective grounds for keeping it legal in this one.
EXACTLY; the situation that exists in Armageddon doesn't exist here so the two are not comparable. That means we can explore the what-if without affecting our opinions on what should be the case in our universe. (As a matter of fact personally I am also pro-choice so the opinions expressed here are 180 degrees removed from my own. I've also written about situations from the viewpoint of a Russian communist WW2 officer which reflect his beliefs and opinions,).
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-16 04:24pm

NecronLord wrote:I seriously question whether that would be GWB's first reaction. And yeah. Ick.
Ick indeed; but then, we're talking about Hell, a place of ultimate evil, sin and disgusting ickiness. I just wanted to remind people of that.

As to GWBs reactions, I don't know. He's a very political creature so he would be figuring the politics of the issue but he has got a very marked human side when few people are around to see it. But, the point was to toss up two opposed approaches and see which one people thought was right.
Not to mention, remarkably odd.
Hell's a remarkably odd place...
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-16 04:28pm

phongn wrote:I'll have to agree here; from my perspective little things like your little shot at Peak Oil
Without looking it up, the only Peak Oil bit I remember was wehn one character looked ta the lines of vehicles on teh move and thought that Peak Oil didn't exist before, it certainly did now. The actual point is that its refining capacity that's the bottleneck right now,
or the occasional TBOverse remark about global warming
I had to knock Global warming out in TBO - I didn't want it getting in the way. Anyway, the TBOverse has lots and lots of nuclear powerplants...

I am trying hard not to do a Clancy. Really.
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-05-16 04:33pm

Stuart wrote:Ick indeed; but then, we're talking about Hell, a place of ultimate evil, sin
No we're not. We're talking about Baldrickland, a place populated by rebels from the unnameable one's rule. Not some objectively evil place created by the maker of morality. No need to lay it on with a trowel and assume that everything they do has to be some twised perversion. The goodness of god, and the righteousness of his cause are lies, there's no reason to assume that the concept of hell being entirely evil is not also a lie.

EDIT: Not to say it shouldn't be a literal hell-hole, but I think it's a bit much to 'remind us of that' if you've not got a solid idea of how the transition-energy thing works to underpin it.
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Post by Guardsman Bass » 2008-05-16 04:41pm

Are humans born with the ability to make the "jump" to Hell upon death? I thought that the story (and the characters) said that it was a cumulative process over a person's life that built up the "energy" to make the jump. Although considering that young adults made the jump, I'm still surprised that children (never mind actual infants and fetuses) made it.
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-05-16 04:43pm

Guardsman Bass wrote:Are humans born with the ability to make the "jump" to Hell upon death?
Evidently so. It's possible, likely, even, that what's said about energy levels is half understood at best, and counter-productive nonsense at worst.
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