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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)


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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 06:20pm
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You know, even if Abby somehow manages to make it back semi-intact, Satan might (a) execute him on sight or (b) simply not believe him, instead thinking it is some sort of a plot/conspiracy/heavenly meddling --- and then skip back to (a) :P



"Of course, what would really happen is that in Game 7, with the Red Sox winning 20-0 in the 9th inning, with two outs and two strikes on the last Cubs batter, a previously unseen meteor would strike the earth, instantly and forever wiping out all life on the planet, and forever denying the Red Sox a World Series victory..."

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 07:51pm
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Which means that Abighor is NOT going back to Satan to report back. To do so would be instant suicide.



"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 08:10pm
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Yeah, it's hard to imagine an outcome where Abigor gets command of a new army. Satan seems like the kind of leader who would instantly execute any commander who failed so completely, and not accept any excuses. Even if both Memnon and Abigor survive long enough to return home, it seems to me that the hidebound institutions of Hell would not react quickly to any information they bring, if they react at all. And given the established rivalries between Dukes in Hell, it seems to me that his rivals would only see an opportunity to gain position, even if Satan went completely against character and showed mercy to the disgraced commander.

And if Abigor decides not to report back to Satan, who else would he go to? Rival Dukes? The only happy ending I can foresee for Abigor is to hide out in Hell until such time as Satan's rule becomes precarious. But of course, Stuart is more creative than me; he may have something completely unexpected up his sleeve.



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 10:30pm
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With 25 short chapters, it is amazing that we are already at page 67.

Anyways this is a very good fic

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 10:39pm
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One thing that's been bothering me: isn't it a bit odd for a demon who wants to imprison and torture every last human being to be shocked at the ruthlessness of humans who run down fleeing enemies? Or is his shock merely a reflection of his sense of entitlement at being a "superior" being to whom such savagery should not rightfully be applied?



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html


Last edited by Darth Wong on 2008-03-13 10:40pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 10:40pm
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I think the key is "what happens to a demon when he dies."

If a demon dying on Earth just appears in hell, it'd explain a great many things. And give a rational reason why the demons fearlessly suicide to the breaking point. They know they've got at least a second life.

As for Abigor, an idea might be that Abigor's allies somehow shelter him. Then through these allies, Abigor acts as a "shadow commander" of sorts. Behind the pomp and pagentry of a royal court there's the professional soldiers who have nothing to do with politics. If Abigor has established a relationship with one them, he could go to one of them who's a particularly good friend and convince him of the huge danger. The tradeoff being, that this professional would know of the coming human threat and get victories and perhaps Satan's favor, while Abigor would be sheltered and unknown to Satan.

Or it could have nothing to do with Satan's favor at all. Like humans, demons must have some who are interested in higher ideals like Hell's glory and victory of Hell over Heaven, rather than political personal advancement. Maybe part of the "old guard" who are veterans of the Hell Heaven war would see the danger of ignoring new human magic. If Abigor distances himself with the court and Satan, he won't be caught up with Satan when he falls from his throne.

As for imprison and torture every human being, it could be the Nazi syndrome. Certain Wermacht Generals claimed to know nothing of the holocaust, but probably knew something was going wrong. Abigor could know humans are being tortured, but never visit the torture pits or know that is the whole point of Hell. It's a huge stretch, but it makes the demons more... human. Or more realistically Abigor knows, but just like humans out of sight out of mind.


Last edited by brianeyci on 2008-03-13 10:58pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 10:44pm
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If dead demons simply reappeared in Hell, one would think that the people in Hell would have already noticed their army reappearing. Death in this cosmology seems to force some kind of phase change to a different state of being.



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 11:07pm
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Sidewinder wrote:
Besides prion-related diseases, e.g., Mad Cow Disease, what other "weird conditions" are you referring to?

I don't know, there's just a lot of different stuff that could happen. Insanity, infertility, propensity to certain illnesses, etc. Maybe they're all related to prions.


Last edited by Adrian Laguna on 2008-03-13 11:19pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 11:14pm
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Darth Wong wrote:
If dead demons simply reappeared in Hell, one would think that the people in Hell would have already noticed their army reappearing. Death in this cosmology seems to force some kind of phase change to a different state of being.


The impression I am getting is that when a person dies, their soul either moves "up" or they disintegrate. And where you are has nothing to do with this, rather it's the placement of your soul on the ladder of dimensions. My guess is that if someone from the next reality "up" were to come down for a visit and get killed, they would go to their own heaven, no matter how "low" they went before they died.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 11:16pm
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Darth Wong wrote:
One thing that's been bothering me: isn't it a bit odd for a demon who wants to imprison and torture every last human being to be shocked at the ruthlessness of humans who run down fleeing enemies? Or is his shock merely a reflection of his sense of entitlement at being a "superior" being to whom such savagery should not rightfully be applied?


It's not uncommon at all, Mike. It's rather something that uncivilized and even outright savage peoples around the world commented on (like the Mahdi in the Sudan in the 1880s) when confronted with modern technological warfare--it was so mechanistic, so disconnected from the normal rituals of fighting and killing. They would be shocked at how disciplined modern, western troops were ("They all died in place, falling like stones, firing their rifles to the last", as the Zulus said of the British they defeated in a pyrrhic victory), and they were shocked at how they kept on pursuing defeated enemies until their utter destruction. That was actually something which only really Caesar did before Napoleon, who refined the killing of defeated armies into a science which allowed him to conquer all of Europe, and spread the practice generally. It's quite likely that no Hellish army has ever pursued another that has been defeated; winning means it is time to negotiate to them. To the post-18th century western General, winning the battle means it is time to ruthlessly pursue and systematically butcher the fleeing enemy until they surrender or are utterly annihilated. THAT is what is horrifying demons--it is something they simply have never seen in thousands of years, nor can they imagine in their style of warfare.

The other horrifying thing is how IMPERSONAL it is. In demon warfare, they fight each other, they wound each other, they eat each other--and it's up close and personal. You see your enemy's blood run, you see them bleed out, you tear out their guts. It's the same thing for when they torture humans--they rape them, they gut them, they flay them.

Systematic, mechanized, impersonal butchery is TERRIFYING to a bronze-age mind. Demons are no different there. It's no longer like they're fighting creatures, it's like they're fighting a force of nature. They can't stand their ground and slash at their opponent with their claws; instead, there's simply shrapnel from massed barrages exploding their comrades seemingly at random, the demon next to you has his head suddenly explode out of nowhere, you step on something you think is stable ground and it blows up and you lose a leg, etc, etc, and you never see the people or things killing you. That is what is terrifying them, and making them start to think the humans are utterly horrible. For them, torture and warfare are personal affairs. For modern humans, they're no different than assembling cars at a factory.

Winston Spencer Churchill put it best when it termed it (again in reference to the wars with the Mahdi in the 1880s and 1890s in the Sudan) as "Scientific War". The demons fight primitive, tribal wars. They're horrified, shocked, and scared, because for the first time, they've encountered, and been ground up by, the machinery of Scientific War.



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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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 11:20pm
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Marina, I disagree about how pursuing enemies to destruction is a new thing. All throughout antiquity, the greatest slaughter was always after the enemy army broke, when the victors ran them down like animals. That was one of the primary roles of cavalry, chasing a broken army and killing those who don't run fast enough. It's only when modern professional armies that instituted orderly retreats to back-up positions arrived, that the focus of killing switched to the battle itself. The Hellish way of doing thing, where the two armies disengage after the battle is won, has almost never happened on Earth.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-13 11:30pm
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I have to admit that I started to twitch when the demons began whinging to themselves that Humans were so terrible. Yes, they should be shocked and stunned by this new approach to warfare, but, as has been stated, they make their afterliving by torturing billions en masse. I can't tell if it's the human in me or the editor in me that it offends, but it irritates me to no end that none of the demons even so much as ponders /why/ the humans would want to eradicate them so totally. Like I said, though, I recognize that I'm empathizing with the human characters to a sufficient degree that I can't tell if it's the writing that bugs me or the demons that bug me. :)



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 12:04am
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Anyone else think it would be hilarious if one of the demons started whining and then caught on part way through, something like, "Why do the humans hound us so? I mean, we were only planning on exterminating their species and... enslaving... them... ooooohhhh... uhhh... we may need to take a different tack guys."

The problem I think is that they don't have the sheer bloody-mindness to realize what their own stated goals mean. They have essentially declared unlimited, total war on humanity in a winner take all, no holds barred fight, when they have never done such things themselves! They keep calling this a war, but really they way they're thinking is that this is a harvesting operation where the cattle will be good little creatures and line up nicely for them to chop down. And then, when their prey turn on them, they suddenly start thinking that they should be playing by the rules and let them get away, when they would have done the exact same thing had the fight gone the other way.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 12:42am
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If Abigor survives, he's about to learn that humans DO negotiate with the enemy-- they just prefer to negotiate with lower-ranking officers/officials who're too cowed by the higher-ranking officers/officials' deaths to object to the victors' demands. In fact, I expect to see this happening once Hell is conquered.



Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 12:42am
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Adrian Laguna wrote:
Marina, I disagree about how pursuing enemies to destruction is a new thing. All throughout antiquity, the greatest slaughter was always after the enemy army broke, when the victors ran them down like animals. That was one of the primary roles of cavalry, chasing a broken army and killing those who don't run fast enough. It's only when modern professional armies that instituted orderly retreats to back-up positions arrived, that the focus of killing switched to the battle itself. The Hellish way of doing thing, where the two armies disengage after the battle is won, has almost never happened on Earth.


Pursuit lasted until nightfall in ancient times, Adrian. What I am referring to is the Napoleonic custom of annihilation battle. Napoleon was the first to systematize (though Caesar did it intermittently, who was Napoleon's inspiration) the process of continuously harrying the enemy for days or even weeks without a single letup after a successful action until their army was totally destroyed.



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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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 01:24am
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That gets mentioned in the story, as well. The Demons camped out for the night, werent ready for assualts.



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 01:49am
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Has a policy been set by Petraeus concerning Baldrick surrenders, and POWs? I mean, it's nice having corpses and all, but we need live ones to get into their heads.... Perhaps we could see a repeat of company level groups surrendering to UAVs...



"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 02:44am
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I thought the bit about how they were unprepared for decapitation strategy was interesting. I wonder what would happen to the balance of power in Hell if one of the US snipers managed to get close enough to Satan himself to ventilate his skull with a .50cal round. If anyone's going to be overconfident about his personal security, you'd think it would be Satan; he certainly isn't going to protect himself the same way a modern leader does.

Nobles in Hell are clearly rather unfamiliar with the concept of fear, and almost all of the nobles who have learned this concept did not live to explain it to the others.



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"It's not evil for God to do it. Or for someone to do it at God's command."- Jonathan Boyd on baby-killing

"you guys are fascinated with the use of those "rules of logic" to the extent that you don't really want to discussus anything."- GC

"I do not believe Russian Roulette is a stupid act" - Embracer of Darkness

"Viagra commercials appear to save lives" - tharkûn on US health care.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Mike/RantMode/Blurbs.html

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 02:53am
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Darth Wong wrote:
I wonder what would happen to the balance of power in Hell if one of the US snipers managed to get close enough to Satan himself to ventilate his skull with a .50cal round.


I don't think .50 is gonna cut it. There are reports of Baldricks taking .50 rounds to head and semi-surviving (I guess at long range).

So the Croatian RT-20 is needed.

RT-20

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cartridge size comparision: .50 BMG (top) and the 20x110mm Hispano (below)

Caliber: 20x110mm Hispano
Operation: manual operated, bolt action
Barrel: 920 mm
Weight: 19.2 kg with scope and bipod
Length: 1330 mm
Feed Mechanism: single shot, manual loading
Maximum effective range: about 1800 meters

The RT-20 was developed in the Croatia in the mid-1990s as a pure anti-materiel and anti-armor rifle. The RT-20 name means "Rucni Top, 20mm", that is "Hand Canon, 20mm". It is one of the most powerful anti-materiel rifles fielded by any army in the world today - the only others design roughly comparable to this monster in the terms of the caliber and effectiveness are the South-African NTW-20 rifle and the Finnish Helenius APH-20 (will be posted at this site later). The RT-20 had been successfully deployed during the war in the former Yugoslavia in the second half of the 1990s. It is manufacture by the Croatian company RH-Alan and is officially adopted by Croatian army.

The RT-20 is built around the very powerful 20mm ammunition, originally developed for Hispano Suiza HS404 anti-aircraft round of WW2 vintage. This ammunition is still used in anti-aircraft guns in some countries for AA guns and generally available in HE (explosive) and AP (anti-armor) loadings, both suitable for anti-material roles. The AP loading also can be successfully used against infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. The 20x110mm round fires the 130 gram (2000 grains) projectile at muzzle velocities about 850 meters per second. This results in high terminal effectiveness but also imposes a serious problem of excessive recoil forces. The 20mm Hispano round generates about 4 times more recoil when fired from 20 kg rifle, compared to .50BMG (12.7x99mm) round, fired from 10kg rifle (such as Barrett M95). To make the recoil more or less bearable by the average shooter, the Croatian designers developed a quite interesting counter-recoil system, that uses a reactive principle. The system consist of the large reactive tube, located above the barrel. The forward end of this tube is connected to the barrel at about its middle point. The rear part of the tube forms the reactive nozzle. When gun is fired, some hot powder gases are fed from the barrel to the reactive tube and back, forming a back-blast with reactive force that cats again the recoil forces. The large muzzle brake further helps to decrease the recoil. This reactive system, once popular in large caliber (about 80 - 100 mm and bigger) recoilless rifles, almost never had been used in such relatively small weapons. This system, while effective in counter-recoil, has some disadvantages, First, it requires some special firing techniques for shooter to avoid damage from backblast. Second, due to the same reason, it hardly can be fired in confined spaces like the small building rooms, and the RT-20 cannot be fired with structures, such as walls, in close proximity to the rear.. Third, the backblast can create additional spots for enemy, giving away the position of the rifle.

The rest of the system is relatively simple. The rotating bolt locks the barrel by three massive lugs. RT-20 is a single-shot rifle and thus have no magazine. The shoulder rest and the pistol handle with trigger are located under the barrel, so rifle is obviously a bullpup. The RT-20 has no open sights, instead it had an telescope optical sight, mounted on the barrel and offset to the left.



"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 03:30am
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I love this thread. "If a sniper's .50cal headshot isn't enough to kill Satan, I suggest we use a 20mm sniper rifle instead." It pretty much does summarize all the creative and deliberative power of humanity.



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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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 03:53am
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in regards to the baldrics viewing humans as brutal, we are food to them.

Im sure if cows started to slaughter farmers and butcher their families, some might look at how horrible the cows have become :P



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 04:16am
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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 04:47am
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I think that ArchMage has it right. Weren't humans described as being "cattle" to the demons ( and probably angels too ) earlier on?

We are a simple food source ( meat ) and a psychic source for demon/angle advancement. How we started off like that Stuart has not elaborated on but a couple of demon/angel assumptions seem to be that we are one a resource and two utterly inferior, The hubris is almost hardwired. Almost as Abigor and Memnon show insight and an ability to learn from their admittedly out of their world experiences.

That hubris that I referred to also seems to have made demons and angels unable to note the flavour and nature of human military history. Hanson made a good case for a fundamental shift in the nature of human warfare in "The Western Way of War". Whether one agrees with his analysis or not it does suggest that humans were, at least here and there, moving away from purely ritual methods of warfare. New Guinea Highlanders for instance were still fighting primitive ritual war well into the 20th century.

So it appears that they missed the significance of, for example, hoplite warfare, roman warfare, the mongolian way of war, the 30/100 year type wars and most importantly for them, total industrial war.

Plus and a big plus and following the above, they don't understand that this is a contest of wills as well as weapons. We are fighting for our absolute survival and we exterminate the enemy or are exterminated in the attempt. For them it is almost "business as usual", "standard operating procedure" etc. That attitude may be modified after the first F-111 missions into hell and later heaven. That attitude will be modified when the first nuclear devices are initiated ( I find it hard to believe that Stuart can resist the temptation ).

Mark, if snipers may use 20 mm rounds, should HMGs be replaced by the new generation of light weight 25mm tripod mounted weapons ( one of which has a quick change to a 50 cal barrel feature )?

Jonathan

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 05:32am
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If I were interested in a history of the development of warfare as listed in the last few posts, where should I start?



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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2008-03-14 05:55am
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I am not the best person to ask here. I referred to Hanson. All of his stuff is worth consideration. Keegan's "A History of Warfare" is sublime. In my most humble opinion anything by John Keegan is worth adding to your library.

Stuart, Her Grace, Mark, Sea Skimmer et al could give you vast lists of such books, many of which I would not be in the least aware of.

Try this first if you can get hold of it - Dupuy's "The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare".

Jonathan

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