Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 4.0

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by K. A. Pital » 2009-08-06 01:18am

"Astrogation" actually is a Soviet term, present in most or even all Soviet sci-fi, including Lem which is most close to the 1950-1960's scientific terminology. "Cosmogation" is not present.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by JonB » 2009-08-06 01:45am

Samuel wrote:I believe it was Larry Niven in the first Man-Kzin War novel. others may have said it first though.
That rings some bells. Wasn't he describing how the 'unarmed' merchant ships of the Humans navy were able to beat the Kitties before the real warships showed up?
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by Samuel » 2009-08-06 02:06am

JonB wrote:
Samuel wrote:I believe it was Larry Niven in the first Man-Kzin War novel. others may have said it first though.
That rings some bells. Wasn't he describing how the 'unarmed' merchant ships of the Humans navy were able to beat the Kitties before the real warships showed up?
It was an explorer ship and the telepath said they had no weapons...

The story is The Warriors. First one in the whole series. The saying might be from later books referencing the incident.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by fgalkin » 2009-08-06 02:39am

Stas Bush wrote:"Astrogation" actually is a Soviet term, present in most or even all Soviet sci-fi, including Lem which is most close to the 1950-1960's scientific terminology. "Cosmogation" is not present.
D'oh. :oops: I'm really not sure how I ended up with that, except that I was operating on about 3 hours of sleep when I made that post.

Have a very nice day.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-06 11:28am

Awwwh, blushy Fima is cute.
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In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by Steve » 2009-08-06 12:27pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Steve wrote:
Sea Skimmer wrote:Well of course, but communists are not fun to defeat unless them come in category 3 hoards or greater. Ideally with no organic field artillery too, see Korea.
True, I guess the more of them there are, the wider Shep's smile when he lets loose from his interstellar aerospace strategic bomber.... :twisted:

Because, of course, the story is conveniently reduceable to a Cold War paradigm...

Ah, alas, but there is more to heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your ideology...
Bah, why can't I have fun? :P
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-06 03:29pm

Chapter One


Chicago Megapolis
4 February 2104 CE.
United States of America



“…And we do need to put faith in God back in politics! This is the fundamental issue for our modern society. The establishment of the Extrasolar Exploration Treaty Organization restored to the world an uncertain balance of superpowers to which the Eastern Bloc immediately responded… We have, for the past sixteen years, lived in a world in which China and Russia are united into one single country, increasingly become inseparable as the younger generations are raised up more fanatical in their belief in communism than ever before and intermarry with each other. My friends, the power of the Sino-Russian State which the Soviet Union has become is that of a global Hegemon.

“We cannot match it without the free and willing manpower of the great Republic of India. But even two billion Indians are without inexhaustible resources of their own. The EETO is ultimately a cooperative venture. And that is where faith comes in. The ethics of faith! We stand at the threshold of an endless competition over colonies, and it is not one in which the democratic, American way of life can survive if we continue to allow our corporations to exploit foreign labour. The kind of strife the recent actions of our companies have caused in Indian politics is something we must act to end. Free-wheeling capitalism indeed was necessary to build the economic groundwork for the EETO, but let us not forget that Christian charity also is a central part of American culture.

“And that is part of why I’ve come before you today. For much too long the technocrats have been running our society, capitalist technocracy against marxist technocracy has been the defining characteristic of the twenty-first century. Now we need to put faith back into the equation for the twentieth century. Let’s not forget that the famed President Ronald Reagan who prepared us for the long, underdog struggle against Soviet success after success over the past century, who helped lay the groundwork for American values to survive and then prosper again, was more than just the capitalist technocrat he is now protrayed to be. His great optimism came from religion—from the Christian religion and belief in one God!—and this is a profound part of the American political life. Let’s remind the power-brokers of the American economy, military, and social engines, my friends, that there is more to life than simply having androids in your household to cook your toast,” he smiled a rather folksy smile at that, “But also the profound social mechanisms of charity and compassion, which need to inform our foreign policy as much as domestic!

“So that is how my future administration, should you support me, my friends, lay out our approach in foreign policy: With a fundamental humility to the understanding that the entire world, from the heart of the Eastern Bloc in Moscow to the slums of Mashhad to the gleaming arcologies of Mumbai, all of it, all of it, is filled with people and that we are dealing in the politics of people. America has always stood for the rights of others, and fought and bled for the rights of others. It is time to challenge the present administration and their appointed successor in Secretary of State Walker by again snatching up the torch of worldwide compassion and freedom which they have let fall by the wayside. God Bless America!”

Governor Byron Bryce was not unfamiliar with soaking up the praise and affection of a crowd before as he basked in the cheers of his faithful in the grand auditorium in this most immoral of midwestern cities. Most immoral, most socialist, but also still a shining beacon of opportunity filled with corporate headquarters and some of the primary manufacturing facilities of Universal Android. Ironically the workers who built those tools of leisure were themselves some of the most willing to hear his message, and he smiled faintly at the ironies of modern society as he stepped down from the podium and walked passed the crowds, hearing the friendly cries of ‘Doc!’ or ‘Reverend!’ as he passed back to his gleaming brand-new hover limo. As usual the composites technology required for the hoverfan blades had been something the Soviets had developed first, to the point that their tank armies were already fielding the monstrous engines of war it could create.

But perhaps that would change in the near future. There was certainly cause to think so, and he tensed in delight at the thought. When he had grown up, there had barely been an elderly gas-hybrid car in the yard, which they could barely afford any synthetic fuel for. They had almost always had to ride the bus, and stare in envy at the gleaming electric cars of even the people just slightly wealthier than his family. But in combination with bad debt they might as well have been in the slums of Mashhad themselves. The Atlanta Megapolis had been, and still was, a place of glaring contrasts, and the ‘suburb’ of Commerce was still nothing more than a slum, and against the distant corporate landowners (who still lived on the other side of the country), Byron Bryce had fought on numerous occasions from the moment he returned from his doctorate in philosophy to ultimately found the Universal New Life Church which would go on to be the basis of his power and prosperity; fifty thousand people packed into the Commerce auditorium he’d barely been able to find the land to build at the opposition of the slumlords of what was regarded as the worst neighborhood of any Megapolis in America.

From there had come his race for the governorship of Georgia and in the past four years the new coalition, the first Christian Democrat Party of America (and living up to it far better than the so-called Christian Democrat Union of the United States of Europe) had coalesced into a real force in American politics, centered around his youthful charisma and powerful, mesmerizing speaker’s voice. He had not done badly at all.

Governor Bryce certainly cut a dashing figure. He had avoided all but the faintest hints of pudginess and had long, dark, somewhat curly hair matched nearly with a beard and mustache which in combination with his cravated Neo-Regency formal wear and slightly-going-silver hints in his hair cut an incredible presence at the podium, and in his sermons and now in his political speeches he spoke impromptu, entirely without notes, and was the first American politician to do so in decades (or so it was said) and perhaps the first in even longer who had a shot at the Presidency.

As he reached his hoverlimo, however, he saw a small commotion. It was a group of protestors on a street-corner, holding up signs: STOP UNIVERSAL ANDROID, EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ANDROIDS, and so on, insistently waved and raised into the air while the Police went into them for some permit violation, first politely and then with mace. He turned away—it made for bad publicity—and settled into the back of the limo, when the Voice came, the voice that he’d first heard during a long distant missions trip in Africa in his early theological training, and which over the quiet years he had concluded was not merely his imagination, but some facet of God driving him onwards into politics, speaking to his soul, an Angel perhaps, his own Guardian Angel.

They are right. The blonde face in his dreams whispered past gently. Your people have not sinned yet but as the demand for more and more emotional response in your creations becomes overwhelming…

“We will stand against all God’s Creation,” he murmured in the privacy of the back of the limo, eyes patiently closed, napping, it appeared, to his driver and guard in the front, and a well earned one at that.

…Not quite, Byron…


***************************************


Outside on the densely packed streets of Chicago the supple humanoform body moved easily, the servomotors well-designed for its purpose… People ignored the android, or looked on with some desire. She was a well designed model, a higher end general purpose servant though the metal neck and interface interlocks provided a blemish in the rest of the human form, as did the most skeletal fingers. Close enough to human to be comfortable with, but marked apart to be sure that all knew that it was not.

Just a simile, just a replication of humanity. Well, to a certain extent. Lila ducked into one of the entry-ways of the six story apartment bloc up in Lincoln Park—which had once been one of the best parts of Chicago but was these days getting run down as other districts were developed into the new, most brilliant parts of the Chicagoland Megapolis that were available—and sighed in relief, an automatic gesture belying her lack of emotional capability.

Here, at her destination and away from the speech she had observed, where she had been ignored as her people always were, she could feel free. Oh, the feeling was a simulcra, without actual basis in her programming. It was, rather, a rational calculation of what it meant to be in this being building, the closest that she could come. She took the elevator up to the sixth floor and then got out to quietly duck into the stairway up to the top, penthouse apartment. There the privacy from any prying eyes was effectively total.

Which was extremely fortunate, considering who she was going to meet. Theodore Wisniewski seemed to be a junior lawyer at the lawfirm of Schulser and Ricardo but Lila had access to far more privileged information than that. She knocked on the door, and didn’t identify herself and her make and model as might otherwise be required if she was serving as a rather expensive corridor.

Instead the door opened to reveal a man perhaps in his late twenties or a bit older, tall, sharply blue eyes and close-cropped brown hair. He was wearing a somewhat rumpled suit, and he let Lila in without a word, shutting and locking the door before turning back to her. “So, Comrade, good day,” he offered with a trace of amusement. It always, emotions or not, had helped her to feel at home so far, and so it was today as well, observing the simulcra of emotions it sparked in an effort to be affiably as she settled onto the couch in the small apartment with its neo-art-deco look, the main northern and city trend to the southern rural Neo-Regency currently in fad.

“Thank you, Comrade,” she answered. “I had the opportunity today to see Governor Bryce’s speech. It’s strange, his silence on the android issue.”

“We think he’s avoiding it for a purpose,” Theodore agreed. “I watched it on the tri-d myself. Coffee?” The high-end models these days could digest food for further energy (and were far more efficient about it than humans), and most appreciated the gesture of being offered it, seeing as they could not afford it on their own, not technically having money.

“Of course.”

He smiled as he poured the cup and prepared it exactly as she found most suitable before handing it over and moving to sit in the easy chair across from her. “How much time do you have before you’re expected back?”

“I was given a bit more time than the speech actually took, so another thirty minutes or so here, variable depending on traffic conditions for the trams.”

“Very good, Comrade. Is the data…?”

“Oh yes!” She set her cup of coffee down and fished out a small disc from an under-pocket in her vestlike coat. “I’m satisfied to be of service, again.”

“We tremendously appreciate your work, Lila,” Theodore answered. “The exploitation of computational life forms is an issue which is going to tear world capitalism apart, and your participation will be remembered by future generations, simply as that of a heroic woman fighting for freedom.”

“Thank you, Comrade.”

The Soviet agent smiled again, and kept his agent involved with a more relaxing conversation on rather more trivial subjects for the next thirty hours. It was not hard to please Lila, such as it was for her, and anyway, he had in his close interactions with the Android community of Chicagoland grown into a genuine disgust for their slavery which went well beyond the state propaganda he believed absolutely to be right. The enslavement of computational life-forms was merely the last gamble of the capitalist system to avoid immiserization, and the Union was already using it to bite back.


Kremlin of Moskva, Russian SFSR,
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.



The times were changing. The amalgation of the People’s Republic of China in 2088 had brought together the USSR with the slightly more populous PRC to form a nation unquestionably the world’s largest, out of the two largest, in citizenry. With it the Politboro had reached a membership of sixteen, but only six of whom were Chinese. But of the eight candidate members, six were Chinese, so the balance would soon be rectified.

Alina Lukachenko didn’t mind it. She had, after all, been involved in the heady days of the Union’s expansion and crucial in the reasons for it. With it had come even more power, too, for she now had control of the whole security apparatus. The years had been kind to her; at the age of fifty-seven she was three times Hero of the Soviet Union (though the third was only for her actions in the Project and aiding in the unification of China with the rest of the Soviet Union and she didn’t count it on the same level, privately, as her two combat awards) and chief of the KGB. The spur of the moment decision to follow and fight for the legacy, the bloodline of her body that she’d been offered, had been one she’d never looked back on, and it had carried her right here into the very heart of the Union’s power.

For a fifty-five year old woman she was exquisitely well preserved, still running several klicks a day and swimming as well. Mostly she otherwise spent her time vigorously involved in the duties of managing the world’s largest intelligence and security service, and her vacations were scarcely such by the standards of anyone else, being usually mountain climbing in the highest of the Chinese Himalayas. She’d substantially expanded the infiltration and special operations capabilities of the KGB and stubbornly defended the efficacy of the human intelligent wing and a strong network of informers as the best way to deal with the resurgence of the Americans and western Europe through the EETO.

And through it all there was the time spent with the children she could only describe as her daughters. There were deeply, deeply classified pictures which only she and a few others had access to: Supervising groups in shooting, leading others mountain-climbing and hiking. And in all of them all of those she led were identical, shades of her own youth… The first group had consisted of a hundred and twenty and she had, through various feats of heroic improvisation, managed to be part of their lives in some way or another. The second group was about three thousand, and to them, she would be a more distant figure, transmitted through the stories of her initial ‘daughters’ who were herself.

Though forced development growth was being pursued side-by-side with the rest of the project, which in theory would reduce the body to a mere mobile husk for a sapience, that sapience had to first be nurtured and created. They had normal, if very compressed childhoods, reaching full adulthood by fourteen years of chronlogical age. And of aging, they’d see precious little.

Alina was not particularly envious; if the project succeeded at its furthest aims, than real, secular immortality would be possible for all. It would offer a true transcendence, some had said, but Alina didn’t care about that. She had been the most pragmatic of the early members of the Project, and naturally had ended up the most powerful. She was instead in things to preserve a life for her clonal offspring which would transcend all other considerations for her, personally. If immortality was not achievable for those of earlier generations, she would not mind, having breathed life into so many.

But events had now called it all into question. News from the frontier had been downright terrifying, and the analysis of the attacks had ultimately brought together this adhoc meeting of the central power brokers in Sovmin and the Politboro (and where they overlapped) to decide the response to a distinctly hostile alien first contact. Alina knew the most about it, though, and what she explained was unlikely to please anyone else. Well, almost anyone else; Xue Li could be counted on to support her in this, seeing as the commander of the Space Ministry and with it the Cosmos fleet had an equal share in the project. Alina had another three thousand or so clone daughters who had grown up speaking Chinese, after all, under the terms of the cooperation. …Some of Li’s had grown up speaking Russian.

Their participation and prominence in the project and the very tendencies as superlative individuals which had seen them the subjects of the Project had guaranteed they both sat on the Politboro on that day, and the two women, clustered at the same side of the table, had so-far remained silent by unspoken agreement to husband their power as the nervous reports and analysis had continued. The old days where the General Secretary had had effectively total control were largely gone; the decisions of the Politboro, usually in ad-hoc committees like this one with Sovmin, essentially controlled the nation by consensus rather than diktat.

It wasn’t until the General Secretary looked straight at her and began to speak that she snapped back into focus and listened attentively—having been briefed by her own intelligence services quite some time before, after all—to what she was being asked. More information? Well, that’s pretty much time for me to explain the relief.

“There are a few details, Comrade Secretary, which do need to be explained,” Alina agreed politely, and then began to elaborate. “First of all, the dispatch of the relief expedition was done based on Project information, which was not included in the operational summary due to the classification requirements. Comrade Xue and I however were well aware of the attack from an earlier date and arranged for the dispatch of the Dmitry Pozharski as being the only ship in the area able to respond, unfortunately.”

“We are able to rectify the patrol patterns in that colonization sector, Comrade Secretary,” Xue Li noted. “But we did not have any advanced warning or expectation of the attack.”

“How was the military relief arranged?” General Secretary Anton Korovin was a sharply lean, balding man with a quietly thoughtful expression, whose efforts at fitness contrasted with the usually somewhat corpulent nature of most of the Politboro these days enough to even impress Alina. He might not have supreme authority but she certainly knew she was expected to give a straight answer on that question.

“The resurrection technology in use in the Project effectively doubles as a hyperlight comms system. My daughter, Major Svetlana Lukachenko, sent the message through it which allowed us to dispatch the Dmitry Pozharski immediately because one of Comrade Xue’s daughters is an officer at Kypchak naval base.”

Everyone else at the table was distinctly uncomfortable by the maternal way in which the project was relished by the two, but nobody spoke it. They had acquired far too much power for the eccentricity to become a further point, and the project was, after all, something everyone, indeed, anyone could be attracted to. The prospect of immortality was not a light one.

But the General Secretary was still all about business. “That wasn’t detailed in the latest project summaries, Comrades.”

“It was an improvisation on their part, Comrade Secretary. We had not intended, as has been noted, to pursue FTL comms technology until the Project had been rolled out to the general populace at large. Once the idea is accepted the dispersion of various technologies from it into broader society should come as a matter of course,” Xue Li answered for the pair.

“And indeed by directly linking the two we can more easily convince people of its benefits,” Lukachenko noted. “I do have a draft of a dispersion order sending some of the new generation presently in training, who don’t have careers or assignments established yet, to the various colonies where they can essentially act as attack spotters who can rely information back for us.” Though it galled Alina to have her daughters employed, even temporarily, as walking hyperlight transmitters, it was a necessary concession and for the moment it was an important part of their capabilities, anyway.”

“How long until the transmission technology can be fielded, Comrade? In light of the alien threat that we have discovered, we cannot wait for the maturation of the Project to proceed before implementation of a defensive hyperlight communications network.”

“Comrade Secretary, I don’t think it’s advisable. Remember that we have, for the first time since the 2010s, seen the Capitalists rise ahead of us in standard of living metrics, both the Americans and the Europeans. Part of that was the less-well-developed nature of the People’s Republic, if I may speak bluntly, but in a real sense there is a danger of the western model becoming ideologically appealing to the people, as it was during the worst years in the 1980s before recovery began. With their extensive use of computational intelligences as effective slaves denied the legitimacy of their sapience due to some of the cruder aspects, such as emotion, of human intellect not being incorporated… Well, they are offering the chance of turning each member of their proletariat into a great slave-owner.

“Internal information efforts have focused heavily on the fundamental immorality of this, and the several computational intelligences we have smuggled out of the EETO have proved a powerful propaganda effort in explaining to the people their fundamental humanity. But there is still a perception that the West is taking the lead, and people are certainly envious of the developing leisure lifestyle there. The Project offers the chance to reverse that recent decline in what was once the highest levels of ideological commitment to Marxism-Leninism in the populace in the history of the Union, and indeed complete the implementation of a genuinely communist society. But if it is mis-handled due to expediency, the results could be disastrous; the west could take the lead decisively and resulting disillusionment in combination with a serious backlash against the Project might well delay the realization of socialist aims into the more distant future.”

A pause. “On the other hand, Comrade Secretary, I fully acknowledge that the technology can’t be kept a secret for long even just using relays, but the current models are intended to be interwoven into a human body, and I’d like to at least develop a new service model while presently claiming to have simply developed the technology—say, disperse them with black boxes as their operators, that is the best cover—specifically for communications. And defence of our citizens in the outer colonies certainly takes the highest precedence.”

“How long will the development of a specific regular service model take, Comrade?”

“At least a year,” Alina answered apologetically. “Fortunately we need less than a hundred relay volunteers from the Second Generation to make such a system work, however, and a year’s deployment will still let them continue their educations effectively. This will not harm the intelligence-defense aspects of the project, nor do I anticipate, seeing as it is a regular military duty, any harm in the fact that they were deployed in this fashion reaching us propaganda-wise when we unveil the Project to the broader world and use it to strengthen computational intelligence sympathies with the Union and Marxist ideals.”

“Then implement the relay programme with your resources immediately, Comrades Xue, Lukachenko. That will let us concentrate the Cosmos forces into rapid reaction squadrons, correct?”

“Yes, Comrade Secretary,” Xue affirmed.

“Then we have a viable strategy for taking on the heavy enemy warships at great numbers in the short term should another raid be attempted. That’s sufficient for now. Thank you.” The General Secretary turned his attention to the other defensive officers and the debate which soon boiled over and involved Xue over re-allocation of resources in the present Five Year Plan to accelerate construction of the new Maxim Gorkiy-class. Alina remained silent, musing on the prospective motivations of the robotic attack force. What she hadn’t mentioned was that she suspected they had also detected communications between Svetlana and the Earth central computers which provided the initial resurrection capability. The enemy must be assumed to have FTL comms capabilities, or else the attack did not make sense. But they would have to wait for another attempted raid to gather more information, to find some kind of survivors in the robotic attack forces and see if they could be communicated with, and Alina had learned the patience for that in these very same meetings.
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In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by darthdavid » 2009-08-06 07:01pm

This is a very interesting premise for a fic. I can't wait for more :).

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by Gandalf » 2009-08-06 09:51pm

What a fascinating read.

Will there be anything relating to the Sino-Soviet merger itself? I'd be terribly interested in seeing how that occurred.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by Samuel » 2009-08-06 11:32pm

Steve wrote:
The Duchess of Zeon wrote:
Steve wrote: True, I guess the more of them there are, the wider Shep's smile when he lets loose from his interstellar aerospace strategic bomber.... :twisted:

Because, of course, the story is conveniently reduceable to a Cold War paradigm...

Ah, alas, but there is more to heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your ideology...
Bah, why can't I have fun? :P
Because here the commies are the good guys. They got a massive tech advantage and now that they got a boost ahead they can be alot more magnamious. Plus the evil captialists are actually respectably evil.

Although I suspect that Japan has already gone the robot route. :D Do we get Hello Kitty death bots for this war?

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by FireNexus » 2009-08-07 09:45am

I can't figure out why the toasters attacked the Russians, to be honest. From what I can see so far, the USSR in this story is shying well away from the AI-slavery that caused all the problems for everyone in the past.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by Themightytom » 2009-08-07 10:17am

I would still like to know exactly what was on the moon, it sounded like a colonial ship but it had resurrection technology?

The Cylons could be attacking the Soviets for the resurrection technology, or they could just be trying to extermiante all mankind at this point, haveing discovered that they missed a few and they ahve rebuilt a new civilization. They wouldn't neccesarily differentiate between soviets and Americans, especially if they assume taht the soviets will INEVITABLE begin messing with AI.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by [R_H] » 2009-08-07 11:20am

Very cool. One question though, why are hover tanks used?

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-07 02:57pm

1. No, the resurrection technology is not from the ship, but independently developed. It is just a really big computer and some hyperlight comms gear which flash a full copy of the brain of the subject into the computer which is then loaded onto a blank-slate forced developed clone. Though unlike with Cylon tech you'd still be somewhat underage subsequent.

2. If I told you why the Cylon attack happened, I wouldn't have a reason to write a story...
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by Mayabird » 2009-08-07 06:22pm

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Thank you! Ah, Commerce being an official slum has a nice ring to it, something natural and righteous. Too bad it led to that guy, but at least he's not named Lauren "Bubba" McDonald XII.

Anyway, back to gloating laughter for me. Hehehehehahahhahwhhwbwhahah.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by Battlehymn Republic » 2009-08-07 06:49pm

Boo! Bring back the Sino-Soviet split with a Neoliberal-pretending-to-be-Communist PRC worshipping Deng instead of Mao!

And since it's the future it would be all cyberpunk.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-09 07:06am

Podshort 1.1

Early History Short.

Baikonur Cosmodrome,
6 August 1971.



Vladimir Chelomei wished for another cigarette, mostly. The first launch on May 20th, after all, had failed. But the sensitive computers and electronics in the control room forbade it, and in some sense he was too nervous to even smoke. After all, he knew the stakes that were riding on the launch, the stakes which were riding on the entire project. Somewhere out there, an alien race existed: This was incontrovertible fact. And it was now contingent on him, and his design from TsKBM to get the Soviet Union to that incredible relic.

“Comrade Director. All systems at Launch Complex one-ten are good. Standing ready to begin final countdown on your directive.”

“Go ahead, Gennady Iosevich. Begin the countdown!”

They were in the control room for the N1 Launch Complex 110, but it was no flawed N1—still being redesigned with the aid of the new BESM 7 computers developed specifically for the ever more sophisticated analysis required for the missions—that was on the launchpad. There were a few other pads at Baikonur now which would be used for the improved N1 in the later stages, when the integrated circuit computers required to balance its complex engine flow were finished and the failure of the earlier tests could be undone. But Chelomei really didn’t give a damn about those.

At Launch Complex 110 the rocket to be tested today was a UR-700M (RD-350) prepared to lift a 215 tonne dummy payload into 200km orbit. If it succeeded, assembly of the first permanent orbital space station, Almaz 1, would begin within less than eighteen months. It would require the delivery of six 215 tonne modular segments into orbit, as well as one smaller interconnection model to be delivered by a UR-500 which would launch sooner. Assembly would be aided by a series of Soyuz launches from both Pletesk and Baikonur and when finished the station, powered by its own nuclear reactor, would be ready to fulfill its purpose.

Not to serve as the base for preparation of a mission to Mars, as the official explanation would be provided, but to serve as a base for the nuclear powered recovery mission which would pluck the alien spaceship off the surface of the Moon, which would require another four UR-700 launches—or three UR-700 and one N1 launch—to assemble and man the salvage craft. The sheer magnitude of the effort was staggering, but the full weight of the USSR had been thrown behind it to the point of major drawdowns by the military which Brezhnev had been manoeuvred into by the Chairman of the KGB, which had made the most pessimistic, and optimistic, analysis about the meaning of the alien device. And Andropov was, though at a safer distance, actually present…

…Oh yes, Chelomei had no intention of a second launch failure.

The disjointed stream of thoughts had done its job. The engines fired without further comment and tensely the control room launched the success of the liftoff, that brilliant gleaming pillar of light which provided hope for the entirety of the Soviet Union and the entirety of the world, even though almost none of them knew about it yet. They passed through nineteen seconds where fuel line problems had done in the first launch and the sweat in the room redoubled, tense faces monitoring the telemetry all the more intently as they continued upwards toward space. 151 seconds into the launch the six engines and associated fuel tanks of the first stage split off, and… Second stage successfully switched over to its own internal fuel tanks for the remaining three RD-270 motors.

The atmosphere, however, remained exceptionally tense. There was still plenty of time to fail in as the rocket continued to ascend into high orbit. But Vladimir Chelomei had been right. Glushko’s engines were reliable and didn’t fail; once the complexity of the fuel pumps and linkages had been dealt with, the rocket performed flawlessly and a sense of extreme relief began to flood through the control room after third stage ignition was successful.

The hardwired phone next to his position rang, and Chelomei picked it up. He knew who it would be. “Comrade Chairman?”

“Comrade!” Andropov sounding enthusiastic, and that completed the feeling of utter relief that slipped through Vladimir; he had succeeded, he had been vindicated where Korolev had not, and now, the man who was rapidly manoeuvring Brezhnev into irrelevance in the wake of the discoveries considered him to have succeeded. It hadn’t been since the development of the atomic bomb that the head of the security services had been given total oversight capacity for a technological development operation, and it showed the extreme seriousness of the task.

“Do you think another four launches will be acceptable as proof of reliability before rocket is used to lift nuclear payloads?”

“Yes, that will be sufficient proof, Comrade Chairman,” Vladimir answered. “Which payload sequence should we begin planning for?”

“Another dummy launch, followed by a series of space stations which will provide reliable cover for the expenditure of materials. The more training platforms and positions for the pre-positioning of cosmonauts for the operation as we have, the better. The extra expense… Is considered trivial in light of the circumstances.”

Trivial in light of the use of nuclear rocketry to return an object estimated to be 50 metric tons from the surface of the Moon to a space station in Low Earth Orbit. Well, things had changed quite a lot, but the important thing was that though the American Apollo 15 might be returning from the Moon right now, there was no sign that the Americans had found the spacecraft themselves, being so fixated on their manned moon landings. It was much easier to win a race the other man didn’t know he was running…

“Understand, Comrade Chairman. We’ll begin planning for the next test launch immediately, of course. The Cosmonauts, are I understand, are to receive their initial briefings within the week.”

“Very good. I expect we are still on target to begin component assembly of the recovery station by January of 1973?”

“Yes, Comrade Chairman.” Five years of desperate work had paved the way for another year and a half of it… But what would they find when, at last, a Cosmonaut’s hands touched that which had been crafted by the hands of another species? Vladimir fancied he could hear the anticipation in even Andropov’s voice.
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In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. P.2

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-09 07:14am

Stas Bush wrote:"Astrogation" actually is a Soviet term, present in most or even all Soviet sci-fi, including Lem which is most close to the 1950-1960's scientific terminology. "Cosmogation" is not present.
Thanks for that, Stas. Will retain it, then.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by Johonebesus » 2009-08-09 09:46am

I wonder if these are descendents of the "loyalist" Cylons who left the humans on Earth or of Cavil's faction (since we saw a couple of basestars around the Colony that weren't present at the last battle).

Are we going to see any angels prompting the Soviets to recreate resurrection technology? That was one of the biggest difficulties I had with the series, that the Colonials designed robots that were so similar to the Thirteenth Tribe's centurions. Not to mention that they came up with so many things that were identical to their modern Earth counterparts, like pianos, suits, cigars, autos, etc. Either the angels are responsible for getting the same things created again and again, or "God" manipulates human minds to make them do the same things, which brings on so many questions about what exactly he wants and how exactly he operates.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-09 07:48pm

Johonebesus wrote:I wonder if these are descendents of the "loyalist" Cylons who left the humans on Earth or of Cavil's faction (since we saw a couple of basestars around the Colony that weren't present at the last battle).

Are we going to see any angels prompting the Soviets to recreate resurrection technology? That was one of the biggest difficulties I had with the series, that the Colonials designed robots that were so similar to the Thirteenth Tribe's centurions. Not to mention that they came up with so many things that were identical to their modern Earth counterparts, like pianos, suits, cigars, autos, etc. Either the angels are responsible for getting the same things created again and again, or "God" manipulates human minds to make them do the same things, which brings on so many questions about what exactly he wants and how exactly he operates.
Well, look at how the Soviets are going about things. It's no longer about a limited group of people, about "Cylons". They literally intend to technologically transcend death for the entirety of the human race. Humanity is however obviously being manipulated by the "angels" yet the question of what "God" intends and the actual motivations thereof... Not to be answered until later. Or even the morality of said entity..
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by Johonebesus » 2009-08-09 11:19pm

The Duchess of Zeon wrote: Well, look at how the Soviets are going about things. It's no longer about a limited group of people, about "Cylons". They literally intend to technologically transcend death for the entirety of the human race. Humanity is however obviously being manipulated by the "angels" yet the question of what "God" intends and the actual motivations thereof... Not to be answered until later. Or even the morality of said entity..
And yet the first thing they thought to do with FTL communication was create "resurrection" technology. They are having to go to some effort to design FTL communication devices that aren't built into the human brain. That seems like an odd progression of technology. Then of course there is the fact that they are calling it resurrection at all, instead of psychic cloning. Especially since they are (presumably) materialists, they ought to think of it copying a mind, not actually preserving the consciousness. This is what makes me wonder if they are somehow being pushed in the right direction by somebody.

I guess "singularity" isn't much of a goal for Westerners in this story. That was another thing that sort of bothered me about the series. It seemed like merging Cylon and Human would be the natural and obvious thing to do. Apparently Colonial AI started out by a father trying to resurrect his daughter with a psychic clone she had made. Why didn't this become the focus of Colonial research? I could imagine human minds temporarily being transferred to centurion bodies for combat or other physically demanding duties, then switched back to fleshy bodies once the assignment is over, unless the Colonials worried about the soul and continuity of consciousness. I am very interested to see how you deal with the questions left hanging or even never brought up in the series.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-10 01:42am

And yet the first thing they thought to do with FTL communication was create "resurrection" technology. They are having to go to some effort to design FTL communication devices that aren't built into the human brain. That seems like an odd progression of technology. Then of course there is the fact that they are calling it resurrection at all, instead of psychic cloning. Especially since they are (presumably) materialists, they ought to think of it copying a mind, not actually preserving the consciousness. This is what makes me wonder if they are somehow being pushed in the right direction by somebody.
Well, they justify the term, in terms of absolute contempt for religious conception--we can do everything that your God can do, in short. The odd progression of the technology can also be justified in terms of funding priorities in the very politicized process which still occurs in terms of Gosplan resource allocation. And there's nothing psychic about it--they also see that the copy is preserving the consciousness due to the process argument. I.E., a copy is a copy, is a copy. They'd tend to see multiple instants of the same personality as the same being according to their own materialistic view, which is why if you'll note the various Lukachenko clones all have developed their own personalities via branching from a developmental phase.

That said.... For all this mitigates some of the concerns, I know it doesn't quite explain the very similar development cycle, nor should it, because there is clearly "Angelic" influence on this Earth.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon » 2009-08-10 02:59am

Podshort 1.2

Early History.

Komsomolsk-na-Amure,
Russian SFSR.
16 February 2079.



“She’s the best swimmer in the country at her age, I’d say. Olympic quality material. I don’t understand why she was rejected from the trials…”

“The message was very firm,” the Headmaster of the City’s Sports School shrugged. “Some reason for not being suitable… Is her family in disgrace, I wonder?”

“They’re the finest communists in the city, Comrade,” the swim team instructor answered with a frustrated look. “She really could go all the way. She’s broken every record ever held in the city…”

“Yes, I’ve heard of a few cases of that elsewhere recently. Perhaps it’s the nutrition of this generation, but then again she’s so petite.” The subject, for all her incredible swimming ability, was only 150cm tall, and barely that. “Between that and her sense of balance it’s scarcely natural.”

“Well, I’ll go tell her,” the frustrated woman turned away, geniunely regretting the news poor Elena was going to receive. She had tried so very hard. The swim team instructor waited until the end of the period classes and then headed over to where she expected the girl to be, but was surprised by her absence.

“Vladislav, where’s Elena?”

“Oh, didn’t you hear? Her parents were in communication the night before—apparently she’s not to be attending the school anymore….”


********************************************


“What is to become of us, then, comrade?” The little girl was not afraid, and had never been. She had gotten in trouble when she was younger for using her very unusual strength to defend herself from the teasing of her classmates, and then had focused it all into her swimming, but here, at least, she was definitely unsettled. Not all fifteen year old girls got taken on a trip by a couple of KGB officers, even less in a private car, though she almost wished for a plane from how very rough the roads were, and she imagined it would be worse on a vehicle with not such a good suspension. It still had a small three-cylinder diesel to augment the batteries, since it was an official car and a big limo no less, though even those had the engine being phased out these days.

“You’re going to a special training school,” the woman in the crisp olive drab uniform answered. “Consider it a very high honour. You see, Elena, when you were not yet conceived,” she assumed, correctly, full familiarity with biology out of a fifteen year old. “Your parents volunteered for a programme which guaranteed them automatic living standards bonuses. It entailed their having a female child through in vitro fertilization. That’s you, Elena, and you were modified in the laboratory when you were still just potential genetic protein. The basic idea behind the programme is that if we cannot make space more hospitable for humans, we’re going to make humans adapt to space. Directed evolution, you can call it.”

Elena swallowed as she thought through the implications of what the officer was telling her. “You’re saying I was created to fulfill a specific purpose in Soviet society, Comrade?”

“Yes.”

“May I ask what?”

“Yes, certainly. We’re going to Vostochny Cosmodrome where you and others of your age cohort like you will be entering a rigorous programme to be trained as personnel of the Cosmos Fleet Forces. You see, young Comrade, we are now at a technological point where we can build ships with far greater acceleration than the crews can handle. Women naturally handle acceleration better than men, and the smaller the person is, the better they handle acceleration. So we genetically selected to create the smallest reasonably functional women possible, who had induced copies of natural mutations to provide a hyper-dense bone structure to maximize your time in zero gravity. Other circulatory processes were enhanced so that your body can better handle the strain of very high acceleration, and your respiratory systems somewhat improved, so that in the event of an unexpected decompression you can survive for longer, and your system of balance was changed and improved to minimize vertigo—thus why you are such a good swimmer.

“We hope to rigorously train you enough through both practical training here at Vostochny and also in orbit, and through assignments in the existing Cosmos Fleet Forces, so that we can ultimately make up the crews of all our non-automated space cruisers with augmented individuals like yourself, and in doing so allow them to achieve much higher accelerations than those of the capitalists, who for reasons of their outdated religious dogma will not engage in similar programmes.”

Elena sucked in her breath excitedly. “So you mean that I am to be a Soldier-Cosmonaut, comrade?! Why… Even when I was trying to get onto the Olympic team I’ve never had quite so much of a dream of that!”

The officer smiled indulgently. “Yes, you are, Elena, thanks to your excellent marks in your maths and physics work as well as your physical capabilities, you’re going into an accelerated Cadetcy programme in the Cosmos Fleet Forces. It isn’t physically possible to negate acceleration, so the success of you and the rest of your cohort will guarantee that we possess a marked performance advantage for the Cosmos Fleet Force in the future.

“I am afraid, however, that you will be out of contact with your parents for several years, except letters…” That was the hard part to break to the girls, but it could not be helped. They would know what was being done to them, but their parents could not possibly do so, just that they were being well taken care of. They had, after all, agreed fifteen years prior to exactly what was now happening, and they were amply rewarded for it, and someday soon enough their children would come back as part of a new generation who could truly make the void of space a Soviet lake.

Elena’s face fail, but she also nodded tautly in understanding, and, indeed, a glimmer of a thoughtful, clever smile soon returned. “I think that explains why you had to reject all of us for the Olympics too. You didn’t want the west to know, did you, Comrade? And their blood tests because their degenerate athletes frequently use performance enhancement drugs would have revealed that I’m different from the human norm in my genome?”

“That’s roughly correct.” Tatiana wasn’t about to smash up the poor girl’s belief in the purity of Soviet sports; she’d worked in security aspects (terrorism from the collapsing Islamic world was always a threat) of the Olympics before and knew how much the state tended to sanction performance enhancing drugs. In a sense, genetic engineering was the same way, just a lot safer (since the failed embryos from the early experiments could be discarded without harming the body of any actual living thing)… But the girl didn’t need to think about that, either. “Also of course there were actually a lot of girls like you entering sports and so it would have been suspicious to sweep every women’s medal in those sports in the upcoming Olympics,” she added with a soft and genuinely amused laugh.

Elena joined in, even as her thoughts were far distant, to the idea of becoming part of the next generation of the Soldier-Cosmonauts who prepared for the defence of the Soviet Union and her colonies amongst the stars. It seemed, in a heartbeat, like she had been meant for it from the moment she had been born, and of course, she had.
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In 1966 the Soviets find something on the dark side of the Moon. In 2104 they come back. -- Red Banner / White Star, a nBSG continuation story. Updated to Chapter 4.0 -- 14 January 2013.

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.2

Post by Gandalf » 2009-08-11 09:23pm

Another great few chapters. Keep it up! :D

A quick question, why does the angel talking to the American seem to look like Number Six? Did he have a fling with another Six?
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That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.2

Post by Themightytom » 2009-08-11 09:24pm

read.
savored.
awesome.

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