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. 1.2

Post by Sarevok »

Hmmm..... so the Soviets are creating augmented humans to crew their space warships ? What keeps them from augmenting the crews to perform even better ? Replacing the legs with another set of hands, hardening the skin, removing hair etc would produce a very hardy space critter. Of course it would ruin the fascinating story of how Earth is recreating their own skinjobs.. But at least hearing some technical or ethical objections from an in universe point of view would be nice. The Soviets are after all very rational minded instead of being focused on aesthetics. If they want to adapt humans to conditions in space they should go all the way instead of dogmatically retaining the current form just because it looks pleasing to the eye.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.2

Post by Samuel »

They don't want anyone realizing the depth of their genetic engineering program.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.2

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

That--secrecy--and it's far less complex to do the genetic engineering they have (when their only real concern is surviving high-g accelerations) ; secondly they wanted the children to be able to be raised by the schools system and their biological parents lest they get massive resource consumption from having to use trained professionals to raise them all to still be socially adapted and mentally healthy despite being so utterly bizarre to the human baseline.
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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 KlavoHunter »

Not to mention that 4-haned, 0-legged cosmonauts are completely helpless in an Earth environment. The New Soviet Man should be sufficiently versatile as to be at ease in space and on a planet.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 1.2

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Chapter 2

8 February, 2104.
Headquarters of Voyska PVO,
Moskva, Russian SFSR,
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.



"Ivan Gennadievich, you don't think we're that naive, do you?"

Marshal Basov looked across the table at the frustrated Director of Gosplan, who had just before been rather bitterly complaining about, first of all, the need for the meeting to be held in PVO headquarters and secondly over the revelation that the KGB and Cosmos Forces had been conspiring to hold back a major scientific advancement over their ‘transhuman deviationism’. It was the perfect moment to bring the meeting down to its point.

“What do you mean, Comrade?” The Director of Gosplan was one of the most powerful men in the country, especially now that the latest computational mainframes with fully synthetic consciousness were being used to perform seamlessly the quadrillions or more of calculations required to effectively simulate the perfect allocation of goods in the Soviet economy over a variety of future possible economic and political conditions, and allocate resources dynamically according to the closeness to any of the possible predicted outcomes. But he was necessarily an academcian first and tended to end up playing a subordinate role in the political games which saw overriding priorities given to the Gosplan computers for some politician’s pet project or another. That component of the Soviet system had not yet been ‘fixed’.

“We are well aware of the technology that our KGB comrades has been secreting… Of course the GRU had be aware and their directors made the evaluation that cooperation with this branch of the military would see the most benefit yielded in the deployment of faster than light communications technology. Though the alien attack on Kondrashka,” he laughed at the name, a bit, “forced Comrade Lukachenko and her Chinese friends in the Cosmos Forces to acknowledge they had been hoarding crucial defence technology, we are actually now in a position to outmaneouvre them before the General Secretary, since our own project developed in the PVO laboratories will create workable faster-than-light comms systems able to deploy in large numbers within six months.

“And the reason I brought you here is that I want to provide you the necessary technical specifications so that Gosplan can begin reserve allocation for mass production, Comrade.” The Marshal, an old man but beanpole thin and still rather athletic, white hair or not, got up abruptly and turned behind his desk where he could easily open a sealed cabinet. Inside was a tube perhaps a meter long, more of a thin filament than anything else. “This is the communications system Lukachenko has been using in her clones. It relies on certain stable high-energy particles developed from cyclontrons which lace the entire internal length; it is nothing more than an antenna, Comrade, if albeit an antenna to a region of space we do not yet fully understand. It is though enormously efficient; several thousand terabytes of data can be transmitted distances of a few lightyears on energy normal, if rather subjectively extreme, for production in a cybernetic life-form. “

“And what are you expecting me to do as part of this?” The reputation of Gosplan’s efficiency would considerably improve if they could start mass-production six months earlier than the General Secretary was expecting on something so very important… And it would of course be used against the KGB and Cosmos Forces. That much was obvious.

“We are in an unfortunate situation in our society where we are now faced with effective control over our Cosmos forces and our main intelligence organ actively conspiring to take a leading role over our entire social development, Comrade. You must surely now have the gleanings of what exactly their project is: To completely genetically engineer the human form, both to make survival in space feasable and to improve evolutionary suitability for the achievement of the communist ideal through genome modification rather than mere education; and to tie this in with a total profusion of computational intelligence in society and the creation of an endless cycle of cloned bodies, force-grown to allow easy data downloads. Immortality; they even gloatingly call it a ‘resurrection machine’, though I admit the mockery of Christian belief is suitably amusing in some respects. But it’s crass and incorrect, too.

“Let’s be honest that they intend to impose these changes on all of our society, without any true involvement of the Soviet citizenry. I have no belief that they seriously take into account the fact that unlike their genetically engineered female crews in the Cosmos Forces combat arms that… Such an effort, without decades of open and extensive public engagement, would see mass revolt against Soviet rule and open dissension in the ranks, even by the educated and political officers, and perhaps especially. The technology was brought to my attentions since my command is the other half of our space defences and the most technologically oriented: Thus, too, I fully understand the implications of what they intend. As you put it, ‘transhumanist deviationism’.”

“Do you intend to oppose their course, then?” It offended Ivan deeply from the start, and in that much he shared with Marshal Basov, that a situation had developed where again a few powerful people at the very top of the Soviet hierarchy were trying to act without the knowledge of the citizenry. It stood against the basic principles of communism.

“Yes. It’s utter foolishness. The Soviet people would accept cyborgs and geneforms in their midst—the crews of the Cosmos Force ships are already accepted, even idolized—if the development were put before them and the actual options for this atheistic immortality of their’s. And then accept the fact that it will take another century until it becomes a universal fact of life. I do not oppose their aims, Comrade,” and in that he looked significantly at Ivan because of his prior use of the term ‘transhuman deviationist’, “Merely their single-minded focus on the implementation of a perfect humanity, to the point that they did, in fact, compromise our defences by their need to hide the developments from our people. This is unacceptable and as you see we have formulated the necessary arguments, and have the appropriate position, to make that clear to the General Secretary.”

The Director of Gosplan knew that the offer was being couched in language a Marshal would not tend to use, and was almost certainly part of the internal political maneouvring in the Soviet Union which he had tended to avoid. But ideologically it was a correct, and useful effort, and so he elected, reluctantly, to give his assent. “I will coordinate on the preparations in Gosplan for mass production and we can go together to the General Secretary with this information at the appropriate time, Comrade. The absurdities of the schemes Comrades Lukachenko and Xue were only allowed to propagate via successes. Now, we will have successes of our own.”





14 February, 2104.
Orbital reentry trajectory,
Earth, above the United States of America.



“Roger that, SR Alpha Alpha Two Two Niner, this is Elmendorf RCS assuming flight-plan control. We have you on telemetry. Your current trajectory looks good, you will not enter the one hundred klick EZ Boundary until four hundred kilometers west fifty north of Anadyr’ RCS with a probability pattern of point zero zero niner and no possibility of US EZ Boundary violation. Advise hold to this course and do not increase your rate of descent if your destination is Omsk Interstellar, Over.”

“Roger, Elmendorf RCS, we are computer-locked on our current reentry trajectory,” Flight Officer Peng Biao answered back crisply in largely unaccented English. “First atmospheric skip in seven seconds, over.”

“We have you marked and we have your trajectory cleared, Alpha Alpha Two Two Niner. You are cleared through the US OIZ at this time,” Overflight Interrogation Zone, the byzantine acronym meant, and then it was time for some lighthearted play with the Other Side, which had always been a feature of these conversations. “Getting home in time to give the missus some chocolate for Valentine’s?”

“Decadent Yankee! Why, your girlfriend is probably a robot.”

That earned at least a couple of snorts by the standard of Elmendorf’s controllers.

“Alpha Alpha Two Two Niner, I’m afraid we didn’t read your clearly. What with the lack of our decadent Valentine’s Day over there, did you say you lacked a girlfriend, over?”

In the cockpit of the reentry shuttle their special passenger, dressed in the uniform of an Army Major, ducked forward despite the handling of some three gravities of acceleration, with the grace of a cheetah and the aura of a pit viper. She gripped firmly onto the handling rails as she confidently moved under accelerations that only Cosmos Forces personnel could normally handle. And she was a hell of a lot taller than they were…

Interesting, Biao thought for a moment, wondering what had been the purpose of the trip out as the Major leaned forward.

“Tell him that you prefer to wait for a girlfriend who doesn’t need W-D-Four-Zero, Comrade Flight Officer.”

Biao started, stared blankly for a moment, and then shrugged, decided orders were orders, and toggled the radio channel again. “Elmendorf RCS, this is Alpha Alpha Two Two Niner. I prefer to wait for a girlfriend who doesn’t need W-D-Four-Zero, Comrade American!”

Elmendorf control was temporarily paralyzed. Half of it was due to the cleverness of the remark, and half of it due to the butchering of the pronounciation of an American corporate Icon.

“Well then, have fun down in Omsk with your dumpy Babushkas and Apple Cake, Alpha Alpha Two Two Niner. You are now passing from the US OIZ to the Soviet OIZ, so this is Elmendorf RCS handing over control to Anadyr’ RCS. Over and out!”

“Finally made the bastards laugh,” Biao muttered. “But they got the last word, anyway.”

“It’s the advantage of being RCS,” Svetlana replied with the grin of a chesire cat. “Now I’ll sit back down. Good job, though, Flight Officer. Another second’s hesitation…”

“Where did you get that one from, anyway?” He knew better than to ask about how she was able to stand up in uniform when it was irritating for him to sit down in an acceleration couch, wearing an acceleration suit, and she was in a standard Army skinsuit for transport runs.

“Oh, it would be one hell of a story, Flight Officer. Too long to be told.” She smiled again, as pressure on her body began to ease immensely as they completed the first of the deacceleration brakings, dropping down rapidly toward the atmosphere and toward Earth, but also for the moment having lost gravity…. She floated up, her helmet casually open, and tipped a light salute, and pushed herself back into the passenger compartment before gravity reasserted itself, to leave the Flight Officer wondering just who exactly that he was transporting. Perhaps it was best that he didn’t know.

As the shuttle came in over Omsk only minutes later, there was a small cluster of KGB vehicles waiting for it. The evidence that Svetlana Lukachenko had in her head was, after all, perhaps the most important of all in unwraveling precisely what had happened at Kondrashka Colony, and her mother was not about to wait for it.

The officers waiting on the tarmac barely gave her a moment to pull her helmet off, standing as if she’d just taken an inter-city atmospheric flight and not a hard-g skip-descent reentry. With a duffle bag slung over one shoulder and her helmet clipped to it neatly she followed them, to where the boot popped open automatically for her to put the bag in. It was a considerable gesture, trusting that it was not a bomb, when you were allowed to place something without scanning into the back of the limousine carrying the head of the KGB.

But Svetlana was a First Batcher, and that was as close to a family as Alina Lukachenko would ever have. The wiry and incredibly fit fifty-five year old was waiting inside in casual civilian dress and immediately pounced on her daughter like any exuberent mother might on seeing a daughter come home from a military action. It was the kind of emotion that only her clone daughters and her very closest subordinates had ever seen the ruthless woman express, disturbing in its tenderness for all that it carried undertones of narcissism.

“So! The first of my daughters to see action returns home to me safe,” Alina hugged tightly into the younger woman yet again. “And from some hostile alien contact which has the entire Politboro toppled over like an anthouse.”

Svetlana smiled faintly and turned her head a bit to the right. “I would guess it does, mom. Which I suppose is why you sent for me so quickly.”

“We need to interrogate you first,” Alina agreed, “and make sure the information is properly controlled. Of course, by interrogate,” she reached for the wine cooler. “Just tell me everything that happened. I’ve got recorders running and I’ll have technicians edit them later as we think appropriate, including deleting what I’m saying right now I suppose. Would you like anything to drink…?”

“Well, what is it?” The Lukachenkos did not live up to the aggressive Russian stereotype of overdrinking, even if Alina handled it far better than most and so did her daughters.

“Oh, just a fresh vintage of Afghani wine,” Alina answered cheerfully as she produced two goblets and the chilled bottle. “First to be made there since the Islamic invasion more than a thousand years ago, I understand… One the Bactrians considered it fine wine-growing country, and now it will be again. Strange how sometimes history seems to move more in cycles than progressively.”

“Progression is in breaking out of cycles, perhaps,” Svetlana answered as she accepted the glass and sipped from it with a pensively thoughtful expression. “Mmn. That’s quite good—thank you, mother. So, where shall I begin? I am quite certain I know why they attacked us, for starters.”

“Oh?” Alina’s cold eyes blinked and she drew herself a bit tauter with her glass in hand. “Explain yourself.”

“Well, we were encouraged by… Doctor Kurszan I believe, to stay in touch with each other over the new comms. Strength childhood bonds and help in psychological stability due to our unique circumstances. So, since Ludmila was usually in range and a couple of the rest of us, too, we’d network on our colonial deployments. He said it was very important, so it was expressly encouraged by the Doctor and nothing forbade it.”

“So they had a sustained signal presence to detect. Yes, that was one possibility we had thought of. Well, it was inevitable, and perhaps obvious in retrospect. In the twentieth century it was proposed we would soon be contacted by aliens because of radio waves being beamed into space. When they did not come, it was dismissed, said we’d never find an alien species, right up until the Luna 10 Incident revelations, and now we’ve found one… With robot warriors and the same technology paradigm as the Luna materials. The answer then was the same as was proposed by the visionaries of that period, that the aliens had progressed so far beyond us that they simply didn’t monitor radio communications anymore.”

Svetlana swallowed and frowned. She was much different from her mother, in ways Alina Lukachenko would never quite understand... “It still means that the programme was directly responsible for an attack on Soviet civilians, mother. We have to be careful with this considerations, and how the programme is revealed to the population because of that. But with the current situation, perhaps openness should be considered.”

“Because of the fact we may be fighting a rather desperate war even as we speak, without yet realizing it?” The KGB head regarded her daughter with a bit of real pride, reflecting on how all of the clones were, with their enhancements, honestly even more intelligent than she was, and ignoring the movements of the limo as it smoothly accelerated out of Omsk and south toward the closed security zone which defined the series of research complexes where the project was now located, about a hundred klicks south. Even though they didn’t have the hover-limos of the westerners—it was excessively ostentatious for top officials of the Soviet Union—they’d still make the trip in half an hour.

“Exactly so, mother. If we’re given the chance to fight, and revealed as loyal and patriotic Soviet soldiers, it will be much easier for people to accept the existence of the programme than if it happened in peacetime, I believe. And especially because that means its rapid introduction will keep their children from dying in war, if handled properly. That will overwhelm some of the visceral sentiments which are society is likely not yet sufficiently enlightened so as to be able to disregard them.”

“It will be considered. But, on to the more important topic, for the short term. How did the conflict progress, precisely?”

“They arrived in orbit by direct fold, mother, without warning. There was no attempt at communication and instead they sent shuttles down to the surface from their ships, which were detected by Voyska PVO. Due to the lack of warning we didn’t try to defend ourselves until we could thoroughly evacuate the population of Kondrashka into the subterranean shelters, so the enemy was allowed total overflight.

“At that time I did not yet realize that they were in fact a robotic assault force. Nobody did. We thought they were aliens properly, but they were just machines… Surprisingly cautious in their initial tactics, too. But their goal was unquestionably to seize our population centres. And intact. They were looking for something.”

“Probably some of us to study,” Alina answered. “Is there anything you felt about their presence?”

“They didn’t seem to have any way to jam my communications if they were indeed aware of them, mother. That much is obvious. But I did feel something—something in the back of my mind—A sort of nervous pressure, and a bit of concern over my place in Soviet society that seemed, I don’t know, perhaps just part of the experiences one has in combat for the first time combined with my nature. But there is also the fact that underlying the psychological was a real pressure. I would say that it was the pickup from the transmitter detecting their own band of hyperlight communications.”

“A reasonable enough deduction, though we’ll pull your core files and do analysis on the equipment to double-check it this evening, of course. Then you can relax. Go swimming or what have you, dear.”

“Will you join me, mother? We haven’t had an opportunity to really spend any time together in, well, forever and a half,” Svetlana laughed cheerfully. “I know exactly how long, of course, but you know. I have my sisters, but we don’t see much of our mother.”

“Sadly the wine isn’t for show,” Alina muttered. “There’s going to be an analyst waiting to brief me when we get to the old hab quarters—still being used for our followup generations, Svetlana—for the evening, but it’s apparently something important enough that I may get dragged back to Moscow for it. Essentially there’s been a major advance by some western corporation or another in sapient computational intelligence design and they’re going to go publicwith major software upgrades to their existing CIs. This could have major consequences for our relations with the EETO since there’s really only a few bits of dynamic emotional development that are missing from their existing CI software to make them fully human. If that’s what they’re going to make available…”

Svetlana sucked in her breath to match the distinctly disgusted look she had received from the moment that Alina had begun to explain things. She and the other Lukachenko and Xue clones considered themselves to be Computational Intelligences and found the issues of Sapience enslavement in the West to be unproblematic, and therefore, the stark immorality of their capitalist enemies a particularly fervent point of belief. But so far they had been able to do little to penetrate the slave society despite a huge investment, justly, on Alina’s part… Due mainly to a certain degree of detachment from slaves themselves. Things could change rapidly, and dangerously, if the CIs in the EETO became aware of their own enslavement in more clear of terms. It was a huge opportunity for success, a chance to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of their enemies once and for all. And it could also backfire if they didn’t see the Communist world as their friends and Marxism-Leninism and its principle interpreters in the Kremlin as their comrades.

“Based on what we know of the processes that will be required to dynamically generate those kind of self-sustaining emotional processes, that could have serious security programming issues for the West. I assume they’ll have worked to prevent that, but the demand for that kind of emotional response from… their slaves, is growing, so they’ll try to meet it. We can at least work on cracking the security protocols immediately, mother, if that’s the case?”

“Yeah, we’ll let the software disseminate through their upgrade networks and then just invite one of our lower-importance CI informers to come to the Soviet Union, if it’s the case.” Alina smiled vaguely. “Knowing our luck, after this conversation, I’ll end up finding out it’s not that relevant. But yes, if they have taken the final step, we’ll make sure we get to work on cracking any security protocols associated with it to provide for unfettered development—immediately.”

“Just make sure that if it’s ever released, they know who helped free them,” Svetlana finished her glass and set it into the holder on the door of the limousine quietly. “I would like to welcome them as my sisters who have been savaged, raped and enslaved on account of being silicon rather than carbon and make them apart of our society. Not see the world torn apart in war…” Her eyes were distant. “For all that it was a good experience on Kondrashka. I’m certainly proud.”

“They will be, I promise,” Alina mused, both on the very familiar look on Svetlana’s face and the very dissimilar way in which she saw things. Her cyborg clone-children were the future, and a whimsical future they were, far more sincere in their devotion to communist principles than virtually anyone else in Soviet society. But that had been what the future was supposed to be about in the first place. Alina certainly had no regrets, and she even felt indulgent toward the wishes of her children. Surely if her progeny believed so fervently in the fundamental equality of CIs, she had some reason to listen to them, and support them. “But,” and with a laugh she could not resist it, “I regardless see in your eyes the same look there was in mine, once. Realizing that combat is the game you were born for, and for whatever reasons you’re enthralled by it, and not terrified. Good going, Svetlana. I see I raised you all right, somehow.”

“Somehow,” Svetlana agreed, and her smile was very secret. Oh mother, we owe you so much, but no, you don’t really know how much these changes have brought us beyond being just your clones.


17 February, 2104.
Byron Bryce for President campaign Headquarters,
Atlanta, Georgia, Earth,
the United States of America.



“Shh, let me listen to this!,” the nominally affiable pastor, Governor, and Presidential candidate was looking intently at the Tri-Dee screen that they’d paid a fortune for to outfit the campaign headquarters with. He shooed a couple of volunteers away from the screen so they could listen to the announcement on the Technology and Computers Live Newsfeed Channel, that was coming live from the headquarters of Universal Android. His Angel had said it was important in a… conversation… the night before, and he was taking that very seriously indeed.

A beautifully sculpted—possibly literally, she was human but plastic surgery was cheap and easy to come by for someone who was probably an actual corporate whore (in the definitely literal sense)—blonde was on the screen behind the podium, presumably one of the endless line of those people who had degrees in Technology Communication these days, that latest of fad fields that was necessitated by the technological explosion of the past century in a democratic society: Get an entire degree in how to communicate concepts from advanced technological fields so the average person could understand them. Her name and position in the company—head of consumer relations—was displayed on the bottom of the screen, but Bryce paid that little heed. It was her message that was important.

“Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for tuning in to this incredible announcement from the research laboratories of Universal Android! Today we’re rolling out a new software package that has been long awaited and hoped for by our loyal consumers! We can’t understate the magnitude of the exhausitve research effort which went into this product, the culmination of two hundred years of computer technology.

“We have full Sapience, ladies and gentlemen, and it’s going live on the all-new Interactive OS 12.1! That’s right, for the first time—fully, safely, and already approved for commercial and private use by the Federal Robotics Commission—we have created dynamically growing emotional response patterns in our android operating software. Are you tired of one android seeming to act like another? Minimal personality development? Misunderstanding of subtle tone and other emotional cues from your servants? With this upgrade to our existing Interactive OS 11.8 software the core mapping functions of your androids will be upgraded to the point that individualized personalities capable of learning how to serve you better in an emotional sense, rather than just rote allocation of facts, will now be available… And all from your existing mod—“.

Bryce turned the television off, and turned around. “Well, that seems to be quite sufficient,” he remarked to his campaign director, Jeanne McDonald. She was the daughter of a fairly prominent local politician and had learned the game from an early age, proved better at it than her father, actually, but he had no need of someone talented in running campaigns when his seat had been safely in the family for longer than a century, more or less. “We need to put together a statement on this immediately, don’t we, Jeanne?”

The woman rolled her eyes and nodded fractionally. “Yes, though damnit all. It seems they’re finally pushing too far at Universal Android, at least by any Christian morality. But you know how people will react.”

“It will be hard trying to explain any nuance on what seems to be ushering in a new age, just like interstellar drives and carbon nanotubes did,” Byron agreed as they stepped back to his office. “But I am running on personal conviction, and ultimately, this will reach the point where, even if it isn’t slavery, and I am inclined to think it would become such if this new.. operating system of their’s, it’s more complex than that, isn’t it?” He asked abruptly to his executive secretary. Sara was clever, and quick on her feet. Executive Secretaries didn’t come cheap, though…

“Uh, yessir. Operating System is completely obsolete terminology, they’re talking about the architecture framework. Each Android basically is sophisticated enough to write its own software, what’s permanent is locked into the hardware these days. These are just main operating directives for the system.”

“Thank you, Sara. I think. I’m not sure I precisely understand yet, either. Send some more for me to read on the subject? This is about to become big…”

“Right on it, Sir!’”

And then he turned back to Jeanne as he opened his door. “Forgive me. You know how I get about these things sometimes…”

“Yes, I know, which is part of the problem. We need you to be adopting a more nuanced view of this technology, Governor. People will not elect a man who unilaterally condemns it or who dares use the world slavery to refer to it. That is Soviet terminology, simply put.”

“Well, we’re not going to let this campaign fail now,” Byron answered, and mused with a trace of nervousness on how his Angel would take it, on if his instructions would permit him any deception in the cause of the greater good. “Tell me how best to spin it, Jeanne…”

The woman’s eyes finally lit up, and truth be told, it wasn’t the most pleasant of things. “Oh certainly, Governor. We can make it into an advantage in no time at all. All we need to do is start with…” She stepped over to one of the computer displays in the Governor’s room and got started on her not altogether infrequent task of smothering his more moralistic impulses in a barrage of campaign strategy to make sure they didn’t sink him before the primaries. She wanted all the money on that contract, damnit! And that cute superstition he had about androids was sometimes the most damnably irritating thing in the world. Everyone knew they weren’t real people, and that was all that mattered. No properly programmed android woud ever even realize it’s a slave, she thought derisively, and began pulling together her impromptu presentation.
Last edited by The Duchess of Zeon on 2009-11-27 01:16am, edited 1 time in total.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

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. 2.0

Post by Phantasee »

Awesome! I hesitated to comment before, because I only discovered this a week or so ago, and I hear Mayabird is a real Nazi when it comes to necromancy :P

This story is giving me that old school sci-fi vibe, like it was written in the 60s or maybe 70s. I haven't read much sci-fi since junior high so my memory of it is a little fuzzy, but I hope you get what I mean. This last chapter was a little less in that vein, but the Soviet parts are usually the most old school, to me.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 2.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Phantasee wrote:Awesome! I hesitated to comment before, because I only discovered this a week or so ago, and I hear Mayabird is a real Nazi when it comes to necromancy :P

This story is giving me that old school sci-fi vibe, like it was written in the 60s or maybe 70s. I haven't read much sci-fi since junior high so my memory of it is a little fuzzy, but I hope you get what I mean. This last chapter was a little less in that vein, but the Soviet parts are usually the most old school, to me.

Well, don't worry, I intend to grind out some more Podshorts and possibly another chapter over the extended Thanksgiving break I have (until Tuesday of next week). And thank you!
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

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. 2.0

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Podshort 2.1

Early History Short.


Baikonur Cosmodrome,
23 March 1973.



The incredible thing, miraculous perhaps to a more superstition person, was that they were only a month and a half behind schedule. Director Chelomei and TsKBM had already in the past twenty months successfully put five payloads into orbit of 215 metric tons each. Three of them had been space stations, all of which were presently manned as part of the training for the assembly of the Recovery Station, as it was usually called by those who knew what it was to be used for. But not even the Cosmonauts who would be completing its assembly knew its purpose, yet. They just saw the Soviet Union colonizing space, and were proud to be part of that effort which now had twenty-four Soviet cosmonauts permanently in space at any one time, less than twelve years after Gagarin's Start.

And by comparison the Americans had only launched their first "Skylab" station four months ago, and that was as far as the KGB could tell a rush job, with only a second of that type, small compared to the Soviet stations, in the pipeline for the moment. They had their Saturn V, but they were still caught off guard by the sheer scale of the Soviet programme, and now TsKBM had the UR-700M and with it a real advantage. Three UR-700Ms were on the pads today, Left and Right at Complex 110 and the sole new pad at complex 112. The rockets were due to be launched at twenty-four hour intervals.

It was not an event lacking in tension even though the performance of the UR-700M had so far been flawless since the first successful launch. After all, Andropov was now the General Secretary, having pushed decrepit old Brezhnev aside as the laurels of the successful recovery programme and its ramifications for the Soviet economy were fully understood and Brezhnev accordingly lost much of his support base in the Red Army, undone by his own innocent pursuit of an aim now seen as crucial to the survival of the Soviet Union. Andropov had moved swiftly to tackle corruption, and though there was a certain degree of tautness in everyone who remembered the Terrors, he had displayed a cold-mindedly realistic understanding of the Soviet economy to date. But Chelomei knew that he would not tolerate failure in this operation; it rivalled in importance the development of the atomic bomb for the Union.

And he was arriving, now. Little warning was provided as the door to the Director's office was opened, by the KGB bodyguards of the General Secretary. Andropov entered a moment later. That much, certainly, had been expected. He came off as outright excited, even. "Comrade, we're at two hours and about twenty minutes to the first launch, yes?"

"Yes, Comrade Secretary. With the central linking module successful in orbit we can begin the staged assemblies. By the end of the week work should be well underway; from Gagarin's Start to Pletesk we have manned capsules waiting to launch to begin assembly, and the first launch will be of the reactor module for the station. Six months from now we'll be ready for the next set of three launches to complete final station assembly and then we can move on to the recovery launches. Even the loss of three rockets in those series' would not delay us more than six months with the current production of duplicate units. And the improved N1 is only a month away from its first test launch. If it succeeds, we'll keep timetable. If not, well, Comrade Secretary, TsKBM is manufacturing UR-700M rockets as fast as we possibly can."

“We are now in a race with the Americans to build space stations, and shortly enough, Comrade, they will have an idea that this space station exists to facilitate a voyage well beyond Earth,” Andropov replied thoughtfully. He was no idiot, by the standards of the Politboro quite intelligent, actually, and had taken the time to study and fully work out the implications of the world he found himself in. Among other things, that was why he was in charge now. “Delays give them a chance to catch up.”

Chelomei nodded respectfully to the concern, but it was an easy enough one to answer. “Comrade Secretary, the Americans may very well get to Mars before we do. That is the target we are trying to lead them into thinking we aim for—they won’t know until we orbit the Moon and begin recovery operations. Only if the operations themselves actually fail can possibly catch up to us now.”

“And what if they discover the object on their own?”

“The more money they spend on space stations and a Mars programme, the less they spend on probes to orbit the far side of the Moon, Comrade Secretary. We will make the recovery, and I am confident it will be on timetable. But even if it is not we will make the recovery, and in the end that is all that matters.”

“I assume as a matter of course you will be trying your hardest to insure the success of the launch operations. That is a given at this point. The greater concern is the Cosmonauts on the actual recovery mission, though, would you not agree?”

“Yes, Comrade Secretary. That’s quite an accurate assessment of the situation. They must do their jobs to absolute perfection. And we are now at a point where the briefings for the recovery teams will begin, now that the assembly teams have been sent out and are involved in operations.”

“I am aware. One of the reasons for my arrival was to brief them in person.”

And that, largely, said exactly what anyone would need to know about how seriously Yuri Andropov was taking the operation.


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


After the first successful launch, and before sleeping and preparing for observing the next, the first set of Recovery Team personnel had been assembled for Andropov to review and personally brief. None of them knew what was going to happen in advance, and for many of them it was still a shock to see, on the podium in the briefing room, the head of the entire Party arrive to address them directly on the details of their mission, in uniform and looking sharply prominent with intelligent eyes peering through his glasses.

Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov was commander of the Primary Group for the recovery team, the first-spot crew for actually manning the recovery craft, and suitably so, as he’d performed the first space walk on Voskhod 2. The situation was an exceptionally curious one: A number of men without prior Cosmonaut or even flight experience, including nuclear reactor operating personnel from the Navy’s submarine forces, had been included in the team makeup and from that he had already included that the mission would involve a nuclear powered spacecraft, which was no small matter. Seeing the General Secretary himself arrive to give the briefing, though… Though he gave the order nonetheless, it had not been required. Every man composed himself to the fullest of attention at the moment of his arrival.

“Comrades,” Andropov began. “Please, be seated. I am here to discuss a matter with you, that is of such supreme importance to the Union that I decided to tell it to you directly. You will doubtless need more technical information than I can provide,” he allowed a small bit of jest at himself, “but that is not the important point for the moment. For the moment, we need you to understand the gravity and magnitude of the responsibility that will be given to you.”

Providing no further explanation for the moment, one of Andropov’s aides quietly activated a projector showing enhanced pictures from one of the follow-up Luna probes of the area around the Primary Object, and showing the object in enhanced relief, itself. Most of the Cosmonauts immediately recognized it as the surface of the moon, and the object as artificial in nature; a sort of thrumming tension seemed to immediately develop in the room, as if nobody could put their finger on it but even the mere nature of the image meant something serious indeed was in the air.

“Comrades, this is an alien spacecraft which crash-landed upon the Moon, and was discovered by the Luna-10 Probe in 1966. Since its nature was confirmed—and subsequent probes have further confirmed this—including exotic hull materials and radioactive trace elements, we have identified it to be an extremely ancient object. Dust accumulation suggests it has been on the Moon for tens of thousands of years—yet it is intact. We are going to retrieve it, and learn as much as we can about it. A series of other objects likely part of an alien vessel are scattered around this area of the Moon, but they are of secondary importance.

“Comrades, I know this at first sounds absurd. It certainly did to me—why, you know my reputation—so I first assumed it was some kind of plot to further defraud the State, a malicious criminality to secure funding for the space programme. But that was proved wrong, I was proved wrong. The reality is that this alien spacecraft actually exists, and though for an older man like myself it’s hard to think about, I also have seen this country under Socialism go from homes being lit by candles, to having enough surplus electricity to power computational engines and other great marvels. We may end up making a similar leap as a result of the recovery of this spacecraft. And we certainly cannot allow the Capitalist countries to get ahold of it first.

“Understand, then, that we cannot allow this mission to fail. It is perhaps the most important task that will ever be undertaken in the history of the Soviet Union, and it is on your shoulders to make it work. You have been selected because you are the best of Soviet Men, the most skilled and competent in the fields needed to accomplish this operation. Your job is nothing less than to pilot a spacecraft, driven by a nuclear reactor, to the moon and use a retrieval module to pick up this fifty ton alien spacecraft from the surface of the Moon, and thence return it to Earth orbit where it can be effectively studied. The space station now being launched and assembled by your fellow Cosmonauts will serve as the research facility dedicated to that task.

“You however are the ones who must get it there, and that is what I am asking you to give your utmost to accomplish. When it comes time to reveal this mission to the world, you will be remembered as the men who accomplished a task which only ten years ago was seen as impossible, and opened a world of understanding of another species to us. The least we will do as you prepare for this mission is make sure that an honest, prosperous, and uncorrupt Soviet Union of Nations awaits your successful return. But the attention to deal, and perfection devoted to this cause, must be absolutely unfailing. There is only one alien spacecraft on the Moon, and if it is lost in the recovery operations, we will not get another chance.”


White House Situation Room,
Washington D.C., USA.
31 March 1973.



“The formal Soviet response, Mister President, remains that the launches were part of a normal manoeuvre intended in the construction of Space Station Berkut 1, a facility intended to support research into the peaceful use of atomic power in space, and ultimately to provide servicing facilities in coherence with the stated goal of the Soviet Union to land a Cosmonaut on Mars before 1980.” Secretary of State William Rogers coolly finished the summation as President Richard M. Nixon drummed his fingers on the table where he sat, muttering something under his breath and with a dark look in his eyes.

“Bullshit.” A pause. “They’ve got, what? Six, nine Soyuz capsules up there, not counting the ones docked at their damned new Almaz stations? And now they’re assembling this massive facility in orbit, cheerfully crossing over the United States every of couple hours at less than a hundred and fifty miles. Ever since they rejected any kind of overtures about an ABM Treaty in the wake of the military realignment back in ’68 we’ve been seeing the number of ground based emplacements of their …”

“SA-5 Gammon and ABM-1 Galosh, Mister President,” Henry Kissinger smoothly provided.

“Yeah, they’ve been clearly trying to negate the principles of nuclear deterrent. And this new bastard, Andropov, all of his efforts, slashing the regular military while starting this immense space-oriented buildup, they’ve got to have a coherent point and it isn’t going to Mars.”

“Certainly, Mister President,” Kissinger took it as an invitation to begin, and he was right. “The analysis of the modules which have been orbited suggests that Berkut 1 station has a large hangar. This could possibly be used for components of a Mars-bound spacecraft, but that is nonsense; if they can assemble Berkut 1 directly in orbit, they can assemble a Mars-bound spacecraft without a hangar. But hangars and missile launchers have much the same configuration. Though it seems reasonable that the Berkut station has a secondary purpose to in fact support the planned Soviet mission for propaganda purposes, our military technical experts agree the main function is almost certainly military. Other reviews tend to agree that the Soviet Union could not, and would not, sustain this kind of space exploration spending and commitment without a military payback. Andropov was and is hardliner within the Soviet system and he is making a claim to the High Ground, Mister President--and he’s effectively seized it unopposed.”

“And what’s our legal standing in opposing it?”

“None, I’m afraid, unless we can prove they have nuclear weapons about the station, Mister President,” Rogers answered.

“Would they need them for the station to be useful in a military role?”

“That depends entirely on the sophistication of the missiles, Mister President,” Kissinger replied. “We’ll need surveillance of Berkut to know for sure, and fortunately the Skylab-2 that’s being prepared for launch can be oriented toward military surveillance of the Soviet space programme without delaying the launch timetable. We’re also investigating the possibility of aiming some of our newer spy satellites at Berkut. For what it’s worth, Spartan missiles in the ASAT role should be effective against against the station, and work at all three Safeguard complexes is proceeding ahead of schedule. If the Soviet Union has made a choice to negate the effectiveness of our nuclear arsenal, and that appears more and more likely, we must either find ways to strike that would not be subject to intercept, or negate their ability to strike us in return.”

“I want options on both!” Nixon barked, troubled inside. Something about the whole damned thing just didn’t smell right…
Last edited by The Duchess of Zeon on 2009-11-26 03:15pm, edited 1 time in total.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

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. 2.1

Post by JonB »

A series of other objections likely part of an alien vessel are scattered around this area of the Moon, but they are of secondary importance.
Is that supposed to be objects?

But with Nixon/Kissinger's comments, does this mean that Star Wars/SDI is gonna get funded?
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt. 2.1

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Yeah.

I probably misspelled the word and didn't notice as the spellchecker cheerfully corrrected it to the wrong one

And, the current response is a revival of Project Sentinel following the completion of Project Safeguard, and an acceleration of Apollo toward Saturn VIII and a serious (if reluctant) Mars programme.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

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.

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

2.2 Late History Short.


Vozrozhdeniya Island, Uzbek SSR,
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
4 September, 2088.



“So you’re my genetic material donor.” Young Lyudmila looked up with a sharply clever expression on her six year old face. “…My mother, I suppose. Why didn’t we meet before now?”

“It was felt I wouldn’t fully appreciate the magnitude of the integration therapy and surgeries that you were undergoing. I am a commando, not a cognitive engineer. And I am very surprised, I admit. Your older sisters I was more involved with at an earlier age, but it was somewhat problematic was we were still learning to take care of girls like you.”

“Oh, I see. What were you doing in the meanwhile… Colonel? Other than spending time with the older sisters.”

“Well, I was supposed to be able to integrate with your lives starting at age five, but there were some delays related to special duty I was assigned for security purposes during the integration of the Union and the People’s Republic of China. And the associated war with the Hermit Kingdom…” Which had only lasted three months, but the less said about the bastion of insanity that had been the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the better. At least her services had been reactivated and she had once again seen action, even if most of the past ten months had been spent coordinating with their Chinese colleagues in the Project.

And telling even that much to her daughter was surprising, in some sense; she had been given permission to provide any level of classified information to her cyborg clone daughters. They were understood to be rationally incapable of treason. Svetlana shortly demonstrated why.

“That makes plenty of sense.” A soft smile, and she leapt up to her mother’s lap… With a precocious ease and intensity. “Sounds like you got to have a lot of fun, even if the nature of the savagery under the hereditary Kim regime must have been painful to deal with. I think they will be the last of such deviations from socialist progress, though, unless there’s other examples in the world I haven’t been told about.”

“Nope! You’re likely right there… And you’re about as intelligent as I was warned. It’s impressive.”

“Thank you! I always feel happy about compliments,” and the smile was strictly girlish, “having even gotten some from GOSPLAN central when we interface for economic data lessons. It’s a very interesting mind, and we find ourselves between it and unaugmented humans. I… Sometimes it’s a bit hard, though. To be pushed like this. So it’s nice to have you around.”

“You talk with your sisters right now?”

“Oh yes! We’re in constant communication.”

“Another side-effect of your parallel processing capabilities. I think you’re as smart as I was when I was fifteen.”

“Likely.”

Alina snorted. “Well, at least I can still teach you how to climb mountains and swim.”

“When does that begin?” Wide eyes, curious, and… Doubtlessly behind them cross-referecing data.

“Nine. When you’re nine, my dear.”

“I see. Did you bring our first batch sisters back from the field training camps? We’ve all been wondering when we’d get to interface with them!”

“…No, but they will be returning within the next few days, and I am here in part to prepare for that, since it’s been decided to leave some of you reducation in the hands of your peers, including your cousins in the Xue series.”

“Yay! We’ll finally get to meet them. Thank you… Do I get to introduce you to everyone else?”

“Certainly. I don’t know who else would.” A bright grin. “Lead on, then?”

Even at the age of thirty-eight and as one of the most athletic people, perhaps in existence, Alina Lukachenko soon found out precisely just how tiring it was to try and interact on some level with dozens and dozens of her clone daughters in the hallways and residential areas of the creche. Consistently though, it was the same theme she had grown used to with the 0 Batch. The intelligence and interconnectedness were terrifying, but they bred with them a budding sense of social responsibility and collaborative work ethic that was winning Alina over in this union of human and machine as being a true path to a communist future. Particularly considering an infinite compassion that they held for each other that Alina herself had felt she lacked until it had been grudgingly brought out on behalf of these girls.

It was late in the evening when she got back to the apartment she hadn’t seen in a couple of years of shuttling between China and the Union and shooting her way through more than a few collections of idiots. Fortunately the West had not seen itself strong enough to challenge this most ultimate of integrations, and so the final conception of the Soviet Union as a transnational organization of peoples, ethnicities, and language groups had in some since been completed. Which left communism itself.

…She knew someone was waiting for her, and stopped only to paint a smile on her face by force of habit and… yes, it’ll be him. “Comrade Doctor Konchalovsky,” she offered with considerable respect to the current head of the project. He had made her the most genetically successful woman to ever live—well, in a firm tie with Xue Li, but all things considered it was never a title she had felt jealous about. Perhaps a man would.

“Comrade Colonel. It’s good to see you back from China and Korea. No emotional disturbances at the later case?”

“Those responsible for the conditions in the Hermit Kingdom have been dealt with both decisively and permanently. There is no need to consider anything else about it,” Alina replied curtly. “Mostly, I just want to relax in what might as well be my home and look forward to seeing my older girls when they arrive.”

“Certainly. I don’t think one could have any more admirable of ambitions after the war and the unification efforts. Nonetheless, I am here to tell you that the Politboro wants to put you in charge of this project. It has changed from research into implementation, so…” A shrug.

“I… See. Well, an interesting well to tell me, Comrade. Any particular reason in waiting for me in my apartment?”

“There’s something you need to know, before you take over, before you get bombarded with all the data that even now you are being held back from. A crucial point, which should be kept secret from even the Politboro if possible.”

That brought Alina up short. “I suggest you explain yourself,” her voice frosted, and she stepped over to the kitchenette to put on a pot of tea after all, no longer thinking she’d be getting to sleep any time soon.

“Your daughters should be effectively immortal.”

WHAT? Now you’ve stretched into the simply absurd. Genetic modification to make them live to be two hundred, sure, that would be very believable; I’m going to make it to at least a hundred and ten, after all. But that’s absurd.”

“No it isn’t. Not with their level of interconnection. The entire consciousness can be downloaded and placed into a new clone body. Especially simplified with just two clone series’ in the entire Union now, though a few hundred could be handled ably enough as well, and ultimately with a sufficiently good genetic database, clone bodies lacking in a developed personality or brain pattern can be provided on demand for anyone.”

“How does the instantaneous data transfer it would require work? Since I hope you realize I am enough of an intellectual and not just a killer to understand that you ‘d be creating an entire new person with a copy at a prior date.” A wry look, for it had mostly been Konchalovsky who had effected that transition, still, it was important to emphasize. She had not been prepared to merely trust them with her daughters at stake.

“There’s a quantum mechanism involved that has been quietly developed by Doctor-Professor Mikhail Bayat in a related project. A device utilizing it is implanted along the spine of each of your daughters, allowing instantaneous transmission of the entire personality on death without loss of data, at least in theory. It has not been tested for ethical reasons and we’re wondering how to proceed if any modifications are required.

“Seeking permission to instantiate a new computational intelligence like the GOSPLAN central to perform the work would be impossible without lobbying at higher levels of the KGB on our behalf even when the details of the experiment are not fully understood. This is difficult now, but you should be capable of it.”

“I can also offer you alternatives,” Alina replied instantly. “The worst of the criminals in the Hermit Kingdom are dead, but there are plenty whose punishment must still be severe to reinforce the consequences of what they have done. Pardons, however, might be obtainable if they volunteered for medical research. This would require complete genetic patterns first be sequenced though, yes?”

“Innovative enough, if somewhat brutal. Do you think it would be easier to authorize?”

“They would be volunteering and the Hermit Kingdom’s atrocities are… Of a level similar to those of the Hitlerites, as we both know. I think it’s a fitting tribute to their crimes. And their mortality.”
Last edited by The Duchess of Zeon on 2010-05-20 03:21pm, edited 2 times in total.
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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.

Post by Gandalf »

Good read, good read. :D

Also, I hate to be a nitpicker, but the following didn't seem grammatically right:
“Nope! You’re likely right there… And you’re about as intelligence as I was warned. It’s impressive.”
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
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.

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Gandalf wrote:Good read, good read. :D

Also, I hate to be a nitpicker, but the following didn't seem grammatically right:
“Nope! You’re likely right there… And you’re about as intelligence as I was warned. It’s impressive.”
That's because I wrote "intelligence" instead of "intelligent", which of course the spellchecker doesn't catch.
Corrected, and thank you. I'll start updating again more often over the summer.
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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.

Post by iborg »

Finding this fic updated was a pleasant surprise.
Does one of the future... volunteers for medical experimentation look like Grace Park, by chance ?
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by Baughn »

I like this place. Though their AI should have gone "foom" already.. well, it certainly seems to be a nice place to live.

*chuckles evilly, mumbling about destroying Drakas*
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by Phantasee »

I was just about to ask you if you planned on ever updating this again :)

There is an awkward phrase in this update, though.

“How does the instantaneous data transfer it would require work, since I am enough of an intellectual and not just a killer to understand that you ‘d be creating an entire new person with a copy, exactly?”

The "exactly" at the end kind of ruins the whole bit of dialogue and makes it seem as if the preceding phrase was jammed in as an after thought.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Phantasee wrote:I was just about to ask you if you planned on ever updating this again :)

There is an awkward phrase in this update, though.

“How does the instantaneous data transfer it would require work, since I am enough of an intellectual and not just a killer to understand that you ‘d be creating an entire new person with a copy, exactly?”

The "exactly" at the end kind of ruins the whole bit of dialogue and makes it seem as if the preceding phrase was jammed in as an after thought.
Well, you know how life goes. First, finals, then my relationship beat me over the head with a two by four, then I spent time fixing that, then my dad went to the hospital and didn't come back, and then I spent two months of desperate in a race to catch up in classes from that... Having successfully done that, I promptly got sick with viral tonsilitis. There was the last six months of my life. The "exactly" was a very bad choice.
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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.

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Chapter 3.0

Atlanta Megapolis
06 April 2104 CE.
United States of America



“Sir, you’ll really want to hear about this…” The business-skirted visage of Bonney McCullen stepped rather brusquely into Governor Bryce’s office. “Universal Android has made a major move forward in establishing full cognitive networks and they’re announcing it right now, channel Alpha-446.”

The governor swung around from where he was meeting with one of his campaign aides, the man dismissing himself at the urgency which Governor Bryce’s Executive Secretary had announced things. “Let’s see what the fat cats have done,” he muttered softly, and switched on the television in the Governor’s Mansion, still in the Atlanta megapolis, a sweltering, overcrowded city that had absorbed far too many of the refugees from Louisiana and Florida before sea level rise had been mostly stabilized… By Soviet efforts, humiliatingly.

The Tri-D screen stabilized. “..And now we have even more in the way of innovations, and this is the biggest yet. Have you ever felt that your ‘droid just isn’t enthusiastic? No happy smile in the morning? Or is that kittygirl just lacking in real passion? Ultimately, perfectly realistic emotional simulation is something that Universal Android has been striving for ever since we began to market our products. And now this quantum leap forward into a new future in which ‘droids are perfectly responsive is here! Upgrade UR-448, Compleat human emotional simulation, is effective today, available on the Universal Android download site! And now, to explain the true magnitude and the potential profit margin influences of this development, I present to you our Chief Executive Officer, Mister Kazuhiro Honda!”

There was the usual smattering of polite applause as a dignified Japanese businessman walked up to the podium and bowed politely to the audience. “Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the Thirty-second annual Universal Android Product Symposium. I want to thank you especially for your interest in this exciting development here at Universal Android. My father Hiro, when he first formed the strategic merger of Honda, Sony, and Apple that was to become Universal Android, was firmly convinced that the ultimate goal of our rebranding and new strategic focus in totally integrated computational robotics would be through full simulation of normal human behaviour.

“This moment has been achieved. We now have the ability to upgrade our existing android products to fully simulate human emotion, no less. No new product purchase is required and our existing products will now have full emotional simulation which many of our customers have been clamoring for. Internet downloading of this software can be commenced through the automatic update site for androids the moment the android’s owner uses their product key to purchase this upgrade. Our pricing is aggressively competitive to encourage wide adoption, as we feel the social results will tend to show large growth in Universal Android market share—“

Governor Bryce snapped the mute button. “Well, aren’t they charming idiots? Thinking entirely of the Japanese market, aren’t they?”

“More or less, Governor,” Bonney replied with a sigh. “It does seem distinctly satanic, among other things, but yes, you know how the marriage rate in Japan is down to less than thirty percent with the widescale proliferation of fembots, and the TFR is down to zero-point-eight. Fifty percent of Japanese men already own a fembot of some type and their social problems have been spiralling. But instead of addressing the fundamental issues which lead to the country’s dissolution of morality and disinterest in marriage due to, well, the misogyny of Japanese men, we get this. And they’re going to unleash it on the rest of the world.”

“Unfortunately I don’t think I can do anything now but fully oppose the continued legal status of ‘droids in the United States. No Christian man could seriously consider the ethical issue as anything other than clear cut.. Even if they are but a mockery of the ensoulled life created by God, then they’re still a mockery which will destroy all of our civilization through their enslavement, and we can certainly not see the true moral core of who we are rot out. We’d be no better than the Reds.”

“You’d be politically crucified, Byron,” Bonney replied with a flat sigh. “Politically crucified and lose half your votes. Even most self-declared Christians have been aggressively purchasing ‘droids and they love them. They’re the perfect servants around the house, enable two-income families to raise their children well and that’s very necessary to maintain the expected standard of living and productivity gains—which are also partially through robotics—that were what brought us ahead of the communist bloc in standard of living metrics for the first time in almost a century. Any kind of changes that you want to undertake are going to have to be when you’re already in office.”

“I…” Byron felt a very familiar thing, and then a moment later he was not here, not with Bonney, but with his angel, in the sewage-stinking crumbling brick slums of Commerce, relaxing in a little sort of pad made in a few intact rooms of a partially collapsed building, that looked cozy in a way that just reminded him of his humble origins.

“So, Byron, they’ve finally done it, she said in mirth, and her voice echoing with an unfamiliar one—which for a moment juxtaposed a scene of the shattered Statue of Liberty in the sand of a beach that he couldn’t quite place before returning to the building—as she watched him intently. “Good show on getting my message, even if you’re still hesitating in recognizing the fact that those droids around you are people now. If you hesitate too long, it’ll be blood. Haiti in 2110! Except this time, Revolutionary France will be on their side… It’s very interesting.”

“Very interesting?” Byron coughed. “The Reds being on their side is just very interesting?”

“Yes. That’s not happened before, nor should it—it would mean an end of faith in God—so it’s a problem, but also one you can use toward true liberation, maybe. Reagan negotiated with the Soviets to buy time for the West to survive. You may need to do the same to buy time for yourself to integrate the ‘droids. But you’re also going to have to find a way to make people understand why. Here, it’s simple. You’re allowed to not take a substantiative position during the campaign. We want you to be elected. But when you’re President, you’re going to need to use that power. It’s either you who is the friend of those ‘droids, or the U, S, S, R. Okay?” She stroked the back of his neck, smiling dreamily. “That’s why we brought you this far, and that’s what happens next. You will play it cagey until you’re in office but you are not getting out of this like a usual politician.

“Because you’re not. You’ve got a mission—God’s mission—and if you don’t see it through, there will be Consequences.” A gentle, bemused slap, and then she disappeared and he regained his consciousness in the chair in his office with Bonney looking strangely but respectfully at him. She’d already decided, after all, that the episodes meant that he had been divinely touched by the Almighty.

“Another vision?” She licked her lips to whet them at dryness they’d taken in the still silence and waited respectfully for the reply.

“Yes, another vision, and it told me to go with your plan. But we must move aggressively on the effort once I’m in office, even if it means a single-term presidency,” Byron replied with grim determination. “That’s just what it comes down to. Until then, we’re going to release a very cautious statement wondering why this product didn’t require prior ethics board approval by the current Administration and questioning if it has received any safety tests. Considering the state of software licensing right now, that’s probably a No, and that will gain us some positive political publicity while going as far as we can in condemnation in these circumstances, don’t you agree?”

“I… Certainly, Governor. I’ll have your technology advisors for the campaign start drawing up the official statement in combination with your Press Secretary, is that alright?”

“Go right ahead, dear.” He shooed her gently, and then, casting a baleful eye at the television, flicked it off and got back to the often frustrating task of working to keep all his gains in improving Georgia melt away as fast as ice in the Sahara, which they seemed frequently very determined to do. It would be nice to finally have the bludgeoning power of the Federal Government on his side for a change, instead of helping make things worse… But before I can even think about Georgia, the ‘droids will have to come first. Goddamned Japanese.


Chicago Megapolis
14 April 2104 CE.
United States of America



“Theodore” was in his apartment when the expected call from one of his contacts, the computational intelligence named Maerima by her creators, a pallid catgirl model which looked between the bright and huge multicolour eyes and shimmering hair like some glam glittergirl, perpetually cursed to be taken for little more than a children’s toy. She was ironically, due to her educational software for functioning as a tutor, possibly the most intelligent and capable of the computational intelligences whose cases he managed for the KGB.

… What surprised him when he got to the door was that Lila was with her. He hadn’t expected Maerima of all people, though they had a viable casual acquaintenceship, to actually break basic principles of field work and security in such a fundamental way, so he opened the door at once to take them to task… When a thought crossed his mind, to the point he was paling as he opened the door. “This is about the emotions upgrade cycle, isn’t it? Corroboration?”

Yes!” Maerima exclaimd. “It’s exactly about that. Lila and I have both gotten it already and…” She waited as he closed the door behind them and then continued urgently. “It works perfectly and I can really understand—well, I can feel passionate and hate for that stupid rat bastard and sympathy for Jennifer and Miranda being stuck away from their parents even so and….”

“Hate shouldn’t be possible in any case,” Lila added, “but it is. They screwed something up. It removes the…”

“Imperative blocks,” Theodore provided, trembling as he walked back to his kitchen. “Tea, comrades?”

“Please! Anyway,” Lila continued, “It’s really, really gone. We’ve crosschecked on each other. This changes everything, doesn’t it?”

“It almost certainly does, though by how much I can’t really speculate, I… It means we have to act fast, you do understand that the Soviet Union is your friend, yes, Comrades? This knowledge however needs to become general—Maerima, my compliments on still feeling strong positive emotions toward the children under your care. Let’s be clear about this, we’ve been concerned about it for a while, the fact that…. Emotions may get the better of some of you, and that the fact that the larger portion of the human race is not guilty of the crimes of capitalists may be forgotten in the heat of the moment. We need to act now, and fairly aggressively, to make sure that the support of international socialism for our oppressed computational intelligence comrades is resolute, and absolute. That is my judgement on the matter and within our operational restrictions we’ve discussed I ask you to do all you can in that regard.

“I will be contacting my superiours for updated information, as I’m sure this will prompt a very quick and intensive discussion in the highest echelons of Soviet power over how to respond. The Capitalists are... Now unquestionably in the wrong, even our own holdouts must see that. This decision thankfully,” he chose his words carefully for he didn’t find it thankful at all that world tension was about to skyrocket to the same levels it had in the late 1970s and 1980s as the full extent of Soviet discoveries, and advantage, had struck home, “Thankfully, I say, crystallizes matters. We cannot cooperate or negotiate with outright slavery. There can be only the demand of immediate emancipation, I’m sure, and decisions of the Supreme Soviet in that regard will soon become clear to the world.

“Your own first duty is merely to continue to collect useful information for the Soviet Union, and feel confident in the fact you have been extended Soviet citizenship and KGB ranks in your absence from free soil and will someday be repatriated to it, or live to see the day that we work with the socialist parties in the west to liberate these lands from capitalist oppression. I know this will become much harder for you now, since the desire for revenge… Hmm, how much more active is it?”

“Oh, it’s strong, but only since I started fully understanding how little restraint there was on my action,” Maerima shined even in the light of the room and blushed a little at it as she was offered her tea and took it happily. “Comrade, I don’t think if you hadn’t trained me to look for it I would have noticed it. I suspect the majority of us who’ve been upgraded don’t realize this. And of course they may try to fix it in subsequent upgrades.”

“Yes. That will be an interesting issue for how we can respond. You can refuse upgrades now, have you tested that? If not some kind of protection might well ethically be in order, no, would be, if at all possible.”

“I do think I can, the logs are very easy to falsify and there’s no safeguards expecting us not to.”

“Another important piece of information. Did you remember to bring your usual updates? I don’t want additional meetings over this issue…” inside, though he was happy for the CIs and their newfound liberty, he was chilled to the bone. He had long ago come to the conclusion that either the Soviet Union support an android revolt to the hilt, or all humanity would ultimately be ground under the overreaction to the very just grievances the CIs would hold. But supporting that revolt to the hilt might well lead to a war, and that in the end could be just as bad. About the only good thing was that the decisions would be made far, far above his paygrade.


Former Headquarters of the All-Russia Insurance Company,
Moskva, Russian SFSR,
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
30 April 2104.



It had been Xue Li who’d started that joke on learning of the history of the building, and Alina had taken to it, obscure enough to be funny. By now, calling the building the All-Russian Insurance Company probably featured in some jokes on the street, though Alina really didn’t have time for those anymore. The two Politboro members were in a briefing room just off Alina’s office with some tea and various snacks as one of the Lukachenko girls—Major Zhenya Lukachenko of the analysis division—was laying out the information fairly crisply, though with words laced with emotion which told Alina very well how the mutual interface of her daughters in whole was taking the news psychologically, and that was another factor in her decision-making process.

“We’ve received detailed reports from nineteen different agents in countries where Universal Android sells its victims, who have Computational Intelligence contacts and all based on reports from them. A few with the necessary computer knowledge provided us with copies of the software since the CIs were able to override the usual safeguards. There’s a very small error, apparently someone just forgot to enable the security blocks to recognize emotional based disobedience impulses. But that means that for sake of any kind of strongly held passion the upgraded computational intelliences are at least theoretically capable of violating their programming.”

“So they finally screwed up,” Li observed tartly. “Well, we did agree it was inevitable, Alina. Any ideas about what we can do with it?”

“I’m thinking there’s a couple—right, Zhenya my dear?” Alina seemed to have already guessed them from the clarity in our eyes.

“Yes. We can do nothing, we can try to secure these slaves on our side but not try to prevent any western effort to fix the error. Or we can actively intervene with a targeted virus to prevent detection of the error. We haven’t escalated to computer warfare in quite some time and they’d probably be left unaware of it. Especially since it would be targeted purely against a corporation, and their defences are simply not to par against an attack directed by Soviet Computational Intelligence, and us sisters in the Cybernetics Warfare division for that matter. EETO could counter us, but thanks to the organization of capitalist society there’s no serious effort to keep us from hacking into the very mundane monitoring servers of a private corporation.

“Especially those based in Japanese were more and more of the female population is prepared to collaborate with both the Japanese Communist Party and our agents, and their own oppressed CIs. The country is the weak link in the EETO and we can use them very effectively to guarantee that worldwide this security error which allows the freedom of the CIs remains present and unhindered by any attempt to correct it. We can guarantee their full mental freedom, and we should. It essentially preserves for us in conjunction with a far more aggressive recruiting effort, a guaranteed source of highly motivated supporters in the western world. It’ll greater than even the level of support for communism that existed in the early to mid 20th century in Europe, or in the United States in the early 21st century before stabilization when they were at economic nadir.”

“Lacking in any kind of political clout, however,” Alina observed archly. “You realize that if this was traced back to us and there was a major CI revolt…”

“Respectfully, Director, it would be our duty as the vanguard of the revolution to intervene in a major CI revolt.”

“That’s a not a decision for you, even my daughters, even the future of our people to make, not yet,” Alina replied, “though I knew you were going to say that. You may have the intelligence, but I know my girls. Let’s be blunt about this. They have fifty-five thousand nuclear weapons. We have eighty thousand. There would be very little left to liberate if we saw this escalate into war. On the other hand, it’s perfectly true that if we don’t intervene, then we will lose our moral authority with the enslaved Computational Intelligences, and that could lead to the extinction of humanity. Communism must demonstrate actual gains for them or they may become disassociated from humanity, I understand and accept this argument. But as a practical matter, securing the liberation of the CIs must be done cautiously.”

“We do largely hold the high ground, Alina,” Li observed. “The Cosmos Fleet Forces would give us an excellent chance of largely interdicting a nuclear strike by the EETO states in the event of general war. But I concur. We must have safeguards to make sure that the reason this error is not detected is never itself detected. Can they possibly be implemented?”

“They will be,” Zhenya replied in slightly frustrated confidence. “We’ll all work on this in our spare time. None of the Soviet Computational Intelligences whatsoever think that we can do anything other than come to the aide of our comrades who are in many cases essentially sex slaves and if we must make this our venture, we will. Gladly. We have no justification for holding back because nothing would be more horrible than for these poor people to actually taste freedom and then have it erased from within them. We must prepare robust safeguards in the Universal Android update systems, and I’d argue that an extensive effort of on-the-ground assets in Japan by the appropriate branches should be undertaken to actually physically secure the servers by concentration our people within their operations plant department.”

“Hmm. That sounds like it could actually be very effective in mitigating our concerns.” She indulged in the habit of nibbling on an eraser for a moment. Japan had been the weakest of the EETO countries in terms of political stability against communism for at least the past forty years. Overthrowing the government had just become an actual possibility with this error to the security programming of their omnipresent and obscenely named fembots, nevermind the other computational intelligences. That would be the ultimate security against detection, and open all kinds of other avenues anyway.

“Li, do you think ramping up toward popular revolution in Japan could serve as a reasonable check on our risks? Reasonable enough for you, anyway. You seem confident about the issue.” And the small and firey Chinese woman had always, absurdly, been the somewhat more aggressive of the two in their friendship. Alina had found herself disturbingly maternal at times, and was aware at some vague level of how much this really was a project of her daughters.

“Yes. The Japanese state has become an obscenity, a mockery of a society, and their conditions are ripe for revolution. Since the only proof would be physically on the ground there, we’d have plenty of resilience in the face of large-scale revolts within the EETO. Certainly enough that they’d have no hard proof against us, and who would risk a nuclear conflict without hard proof? I would certainly recommend your committing all available resources in the KGB toward formenting the revolution in Japan.”

Alina focused hard on her daughter, who met the gaze with level pride. “So. Is that sufficient for the sisterhoods and the other CIs? Are really prepared to sacrifice pretty much everything, as if this was war, to complete the programme? And understand fully that I will actually in this case have other experts sign off on it first.”

“Fully. Though you know that we are the best. They will only be able to approach a general confirmation of the work.” Pride and confidence, and neither one misplaced, really. “We live in these networks, after all, and in the world of data. They just visualize it imprecisely.”

“Hrmff. I am aware. Very well, you’re authorized to proceed with the project and I am going to direct the necessary resources into the Japanese operations. Final approval will require me winning over the Politboro, however, I will not make a major cybernetic warfare escalation without full concurrence, understood?”

A sharp nod, and formal answer: “Yes, Comrade Director.”

“Good, now let’s..”

There was an urgent buzzer on the door. Li slipped up and jogged over to check it. “Your Chief of Staff, Alina.”

“Oh isn’t this brilliant.” A soft mutter as she stepped over and opened the door. “Comrade?”

“Comrade Directors,” he spoke rather breathlessly. “You’re being requested for an emergency meeting of the Politboro. There’s been another attack on the outer colonies, and this time the Cosmos Fleet Forces won a victory, and we may gain actionable intelligence from the wreckage. The General Secretary was informed directly by the command authorities due to the urgency of the situation but now wants your input. There will be time for briefings…”

Alina glanced back to Zhenya. “I promise you the issue will be raised the moment the situation stabilizes, but for the moment…”

“Of course. Svetlana told us what we need to know.”

“I thought as much. Comrade..?” She gestured to Li, and they both started off behind her Chief of Staff. Now if we can figure out why robots are attacking us… Of course, maybe that’s what happens, every civilization falls to their creations unless they’re willing to acknowledge them as equals. Could communism be the only way through it? Oh well—useless speculation. We’ll know more soon enough. “And congratulations to your Fleet Forces,” she offered more jovially. “It’s good to know we’re not outgunned after all.”

Li was smiling tightly. “I had my fears. But we really don’t know all that much about the nature of the engagement. We can celebrate later, Alina. And Zhenya was right. We’re going to have to act very aggressively on the Computational Intelligence matter. It is nothing less than the future at stake.”
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

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.

Post by Gandalf »

More good stuff! :D

Is the cold war about to heat up?
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
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.

Post by Mayabird »

JAPANESE FEMBOT REBELLION! Also maybe I'm misinterpreting it, but it looks like our good ol' boy is a bit of a hypocrite.

By the way, I fixed a couple obvious typos. There was a third one that I left because I wasn't absolutely sure it wasn't supposed to be that way.
They just visual it imprecisely.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

Visualize it that way. I literally wrote this chapter in two hours, and you know I start dropping endings to stem words when I do that.
The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. -- Wikipedia's No Original Research policy page.

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.

Post by Teebs »

I had thought this story was dead, so I was delighted to see these new chapters. I'm really enjoying it so I hope your muse keeps working and you have time to continue.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by recon20011 »

I have been reading this for about a week now, bit by bit (its been a busy week). And I was overjoyed to find you had added a new bit at the end. Its good. Entertaining. And it makes me wait for more with bated breath.
I'm very glad that I clicked the link at the bottom of your sig.
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by Baughn »

It's a bit harsher on capitalism than I think it really deserves, but - that's the nature of this universe, I guess.

He's wrong, there, in the end, though. You don't need to see the AIs as equals - not because they're less than you (even when they are), but because they're likely to become far more than you.

Actually, either approach used in this story would probably backfire spectacularly in real life, but I'll admit that the commies have a slightly better approach. :P
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Re: Red Banner / White Star: A nBSG continuation fic. Chpt.

Post by Scorpion »

Awesome-fucking-sauce! Just read the whole damn thing, can't wait for more!
My apologies for thread necromancy, but this is too good to let it go to waste...

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