Armageddon???? - Part Eighty One Up

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Edward Yee
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Post by Edward Yee » 2008-05-29 02:24am

Stas Bush wrote:At what ranges it actually occurs? If the Russian divisions have the Nona in any considerable numbers, the "wall of fire" could be maintained by firing mines up to as close as 400 meters away from the actual Russian positions, reaping a "second harvest" of dead demons right there. :lol:
Admit it, you just went and enjoyed this chapter, didn't ya? :twisted:

Just gently joking, since on the one hand, I recall you having problems with weapon-wank in the fic. On the other hand, now you've got the Russian Army in the lead and the U.S./U.K. bringing the "support fires," unlike Call of Duty 4 where it was the other way around. ;)

P.S. If you think "Herton" has it bad, who wants to tell Beelzebub, much less "Uxali," that not all Sky Chariots are alike... and not all Sky Chariots have a minimum altitude?
P.P.S. Oh god did I just ship Herton x Uxali in my head -- I HATE YOU STUART :lol:
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Post by JBG » 2008-05-29 04:44am

fusion wrote:Who or what are the BUFFS? I have no idea...


Anyways very very very good and tasty.
Or, to be more exact, H-model B-52s. They are the only surviving B-52s and the only model with turbofan as opposed to turbojet engines. Whilst their nuclear role was mainly cruise missles and short range attack missles (SRAM ), in a conventional role a B-52H can carry a shitload of iron bombs. The traditional "call sign" etc for B-52 carpet bombing raids is "Arclight".

Of course all that we have left are the H-models. During Vietnam D-models were modified to carry even more dumb bombs than the current Hs can carry. At present the B-1B can carry a greater weight of ordinance than an H-model.

In any event, battle, long awaited, is joined. And gruesome it will be.

But then again, they started it :x

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Post by K. A. Pital » 2008-05-29 05:51am

Admit it, you just went and enjoyed this chapter, didn't ya?
Hehe :twisted:

Also, the D-21 probably means either D-20 or D-30 depending on what Stuart meant... there's no D-21 indeed.
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Post by Vympel » 2008-05-29 06:37am

Stas Bush wrote:
Also, the D-21 probably means either D-20 or D-30 depending on what Stuart meant... there's no D-21 indeed.
Well the D-20 is an old 152mm piece, so I imagine he meant either the D-30, or alternately, the D-74. The D-30 is quite good though and still in widespread service (though out of production) so I imagine the D-74 might be it.

I'm surprised no ZSU-57 "Sparka" guns have been mentioned, their 57mm turrets would be big fun :)

I would've thought the rocket artillery- Grad, Uragan, Smerch MRLs would open the battle, however, what with their having more range.

I imagine all the more modern towed guns (122mm D-30/D-30A, M-46 130mm, Giatsint-B 152mm, Msta-B 152mm, S-23 180mm, etc) have used up all the trucks and MT-LBs available for towing, hence why these older 122mm guns have been improv'd on trucks?

And what about some nuclear shells from the big guns? :twisted:
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-29 07:36am

Vympel wrote: D-21 122mm? AFAIK, no such thing. Do you mean the classic/ superb D-30?
Good catch, I meant the D-30 of course. I must have been thinking of something else when I types that....

There is an SP version of the D-30 mounted on a truck chassis, I saw a model of it at IDEX a few years back. It seemed a pretty good idea at the time - I think the Czechs have developed something similar. The French have the same idea using a 155mm called Caesar.
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Post by Vympel » 2008-05-29 07:37am

Stuart wrote: There is an SP version of the D-30 mounted on a truck chassis, I saw a model of it at IDEX a few years back. It seemed a pretty good idea at the time - I think the Czechs have developed something similar. The French have the same idea using a 155mm called Caesar.
The Russians actually tried that with their Msta 152mm series as well - a truck mounted version called Msta-K - unfortunately only one extremely grainy picture of it exists :(
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-29 07:44am

Vympel wrote: I'm surprised no ZSU-57 "Sparka" guns have been mentioned, their 57mm turrets would be big fun
They're around; just not here.
I would've thought the rocket artillery- Grad, Uragan, Smerch MRLs would open the battle, however, what with their having more range.
The range issue is actually why they'r being held back; the problem with all salvo rocket launchers is they take time to reload; so the Guards Special Mortar Regiments :) are being retained for specific targeting. Also, they have another job.
I imagine all the more modern towed guns (122mm D-30/D-30A, M-46 130mm, Giatsint-B 152mm, Msta-B 152mm, S-23 180mm, etc) have used up all the trucks and MT-LBs available for towing, hence why these older 122mm guns have been improv'd on trucks?
Mobilization means that everything is grabbed when its available NOW. So if there are D-30s being released from stores and truck chassis available, they get matched up now rather than waiting for a better match in the future. Its the old "the best is the enemy of good enough" syndrome. In story terms, I'm also trying to avoid the "everybody has the best and latest" syndrome so beloved of Tom Clancy. So, all the armies have a mixture of the Good New Stuff and old equipment pulled out of storage.
And what about some nuclear shells from the big guns?
Nukes are off the table for a a while. Being held back as a reserve. Hear now the wise words of Vo Nguyen Giap "Always keep a reserve. Even if its only yourself and your best friend, always keep a reserve".

Remember the war in Hell is only the start, humanity has another and potentially much more dangerous enemy waiting in the wings.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-29 08:05am

DIMO(N) Headquarters, Crystal City, Virginia

For the fourth time in the last half-hour, a gentle beeping filled the monitoring room. With some irritation, Technical Sergeant James Nevaquaya put aside the draft response procedure he’d been reading and glanced up at the grid of monitors.

Code: Select all

! 2-network Anomaly Detected 
! -------------------------- 
! VERIZON node 21633 : 28% dropped frames : Detroit, MI 
! VERIZON node 21638 : 12% dropped frames : Detroit Metro, MI (4.8 km) 
! SPRINT  node 45-3C : 15% dropped frames : Detroit, MI (2.5 km) 
? 
? Detailed capture triggered on 36 nodes.
One monitor was showing a map of the anomaly site – freeways snaking through a dense grid of streets, north of Detroit. Nevaquaya’s hand went to the mouse as he tried to bring up the spectrum display. The prototype was barely functional, a cobbled together mess of mostly civilian technology, but for now that novelty and importance of the task was keeping frustration at bay. The spectrum analyzer was still hobbled by the cell site’s receiver limitations, but it was clearly showing a broadband hump peaking in the low gigahertz.

The gentle beeping was abruptly replaced by an insistent two-tone warble. The text scrolling onto the status display snapped Nevaquaya’s mind to intense alertness.

Code: Select all

! Multi-network Anomaly Confirmed 
! ------------------------------- 
! VERIZON  node 21633 : 34% dropped frames : Detroit, MI 
! VERIZON  node 21638 : 25% dropped frames : Detroit Metro, MI (4.8 km) 
! VERIZON  node 21629 : 17% dropped frames : Detroit, MI (6.5 km) 
! VERIZON  node 21635 : 14% dropped frames : Warren, MI (9.3 km) 
! SPRINT   node 45-3C : 31% dropped frames : Detroit, MI (2.5 km) 
!                       CDMA2000 down 
! SPRINT   node 45-3A : 20% dropped frames : Detroit, MI (3.9 km) 
! SPRINT   node 44-8D : 16% dropped frames : Warren, MI (8.7 km) 
! CINGULAR node MA335 : 26% dropped frames : Detroit, MI (3.9 km) 
                        W-CDMA down 
! CINGULAR node MA334 : 22% dropped frames : Detroit Metro, MI (5.2 km) 
! ALLTEL   node  4775 : software failure   : Southfield, MI (11.2 km) 
! T-MOBILE node MA5XA : W-CDMA resetting   : Detroit, MI (6.3 km) 
? 
? Composite spectrum display enabled. 
? Detailed capture triggered on 92 nodes. 
! 
! *** POSSIBLE PORTAL OPENING - heuristic match 0.82 **** 
! 
Within seconds an office chair rolled through the door from the adjoining office, carrying Graeme Wilson with it. The civilian contractor took in the situation on the monitors almost instantly.

“0.82? That’s the highest yet. What do you make of the spectrum?”

“The general spike structure sure looks like the recordings. I’ll call NORAD – can you get any more resolution out of those sites?”

Wilson had already begun typing, his fingers a chattering blur. Console windows popped up and streams of incomprehensible commands flashed past. Meanwhile Nevaquaya had gone straight for the first entry in the speed dial.

“…big one, at four two degrees twenty three minutes north, eighty three degrees four minutes west. Confidence is moderate.”

Nevaquaya watched the civilian work while the duty officer at NORAD checked the radar picture. The contrast between the usual procurement process, even the usual R&D process and what was going on here was incredible, things were happening in days that had taken years just a few months earlier. The monitoring system was crude and buggy as yet, but getting even that operational in under four days was amazing. America had apparently rediscovered engineers who thrived on doing the impossible. Then Nevaquaya thought again, no not rediscovered, just set free from the demands of reaching some unattainable ideal of perfection.

The spectrum display flicked and restructured itself, crisper and with fewer gaps. Secondary windows began to fill up with phase analysis of signal components. “There, how about that?”

Nevaquaya stared at the screen for three seconds before speaking directly into the phone.

“Confirmed, we’ve got more data here too, confidence is now high, repeat, confidence high for portal opening over northern Detroit.”

He pressed mute, then another button that began sounding the incident alarm in the other offices. Finally he turned to Graeme. “The spikes match. NOARD is seeing radar interference at that location. Looks like the demons are going for Detroit, with a big one too by the look of it. Fighters are on the way, they’ll be contacting national guard units next.” Footsteps sounded in the corridor outside as more DIMO(N) staff converged on the monitoring room. Both men stared at the screens, where the error rates and signal strengths were climbing inexorably. Both knew that their warning was better than nothing, but also that it left precious few minutes to intercept the demon targeteer. If friendly forces couldn’t stop it in time, the heart of a great American city would die in ash and fire.

Over Interstate 75, Detroit, Michigan

Megaaeraholrakni’s arm and wing muscles already ached from the exertion – she had done very little flying these last few centuries – but the demon was so enraged that she barely noticed. How could Euryale have been so incompetent? It could not have been her own fault, she had concentrated firmly on the great glass towers that stood haughtily above the human sprawl. Yet the portal had opened half a league to the north, instead of half a league to the south, almost completely the wrong direction. ‘More likely that half-witted naga.’ she thought, as she painfully climbed through 500 feet. ‘though surely Yulupki isn’t stupid enough to try sabotaging the Count’s scheme?’

Below her streams of tiny iron boxes raced back and forth, traveling along two wide black strips set in a shallow trench. The trench cut through the human city, snaking gently and occasionally joining up with other trenches in curious curling structures reminiscent of spilled entrails. Many more of the iron boxes stood motionless on parade grounds dotted between the buildings. ‘Perhaps they worship them’ Megaaeraholrakni thought; she could think of no other reason to go to such extreme efforts for the chariot’s sake.

The gorgon could sense the nascent portal ahead; indeed it would be hard for her to miss it, given how much psychic energy it was leaking. Belial had exhorted the naga to put every effort into this attack and they were obviously giving it everything they had. It could be that this focus on power accounted for their lousy aim. She was drawing near now and the air itself seemed to crackle with power. The portal mouth was bobbing high in the air over a dark L-shaped castle, or more precisely over the bone white chariot-filled parade ground behind it.

Megaaeraholrakni began a slow sweeping turn, oblivious to the attention she was beginning to draw on the ground below. She reached out with her mind, the psychic force radiating down from her wings to caress the extra-dimensional nexus at the heart of the portal. Crude ‘dragging’ was for novices, one merely had to induce a desire to move in a particular direction and the portal would do the work (or rather, the teams of naga powering it would be forced to do the work, but it was all the same to the gorgon). But mere seconds after the portal had begun to move it began to oscillate wildly, shedding energy that arced to the ground as lighting. Megaaeraholrakni had no choice to use every ounce of strength she possessed to wrestle the portal back into submission. Flying directly above it, buffeted by the thermals created by the arcing, it seemed to her that she was riding an untamed beast, ready to throw lighting back at her at any moment. The gorgon’s confidence in her own ability was supreme however, and perhaps not unwarranted, as she soon had the unborn portal simmering in a semblance of submission. Grimly she set off towards the great gleaming towers, a corner of her mind already devising a way to gain revenge on whoever was responsible for this mess.

Tanner Firearm Supplies, Northern Detroit

“Thanks for keeping these aside for me Erwin. I know they’re hard to come by right now, what with the Brits adopting them as standard and grabbing the whole production run.”

“Hey no problem Danny. Wouldn’t want to see a friend short of firepower if one of those monsters makes an appearance.” The shopkeeper insisted on shaking the customer’s hand. The man then scooped up the box of .338 Lapua from the counter and made his way out of the store.

Daniel Wright had stowed the ammo in the under-seat safe and was about to start his pickup’s engine when a glint in the sky caught his eye. He considered himself something of an aircraft buff and took a closer look, trying to the identify the type. It was bronze colored, the silhouette changing as he watched… something clicked into place as he realized that it was not a plane, but a creature. A creature that looked just like the grainy news footage from England. At first it had looked like it was circling over the AA&M building. Now it was definitely heading for downtown; the shop was built just off the I-75 and the demon was flying roughly parallel to the highway.

He leapt out of the truck, grabbing his Barrett 98 from the rack. Fortunately the optics were still in place from his Sunday range visit. As Daniel unlocked the safe he hesitated for a second; shooting into the sky was usually a reason to make fun of ignorant third-worlders, as what went up had to come down and it could well come down on someone’s head. But only for a second. The Sheffield death toll had now passed 16,000 and he had to stop that happening here at any cost. Daniel clicked the magazine home, braced himself on the side of the truck, brought the monster into the sights and fired.

The shot was on the edge of effective range to start with, and without tracers it was basically impossible to correct for drop, deflection and wind drift, so Daniel just had to give it his best guess. He could hear other shooters opening up, and with luck one of them got lucky. He blew flew the first magazine with no apparent effect on the distant flapping form and as he was reaching for the second he noticed that other shoppers from the gun store had joined him in the parking lot. Some were starting at him, some at the sky.

“There’s a damned Baldrick up there!” he shouted, “grab a rifle and start shooting, or it’ll burn the city.” He didn’t wait to watch them respond, the fresh magazine clicked home and he soon had the rifle realigned on the target. This time the creature definitely seemed to be hit, dropping suddenly and flapping erratically as he fired his last three rounds. No way to know if it was one of his rounds that did it, but it didn’t matter. Erwin and Bob were back with AR-15s from the store, and beside him even Emily was enthusiastically letting fly with her Smith & Wesson 586. Top marks for effort, Daniel thought, as he noticed a large dark green and very old half-track coming to a stop on the side of the freeway. The ready platoon of the 3rd Michigan Infantry Regiment, United States Volunteers had arrived with an M-16 quad-50 they’d “liberated” from a museum and they wasted no time opening up with their much-loved M2 mount. Wright recognized some of the volunteers as they took up their positions, the 3rd Michigan had been built around a re-enactors group and to Wright, they looked a bit odd in modern BDUs.

I75-I94 Interchange, Detroit, Michigan

The gorgon’s mood had improved somewhat as she flew south towards the human towers. This realm’s bright direct light had been painful at first, but now it felt pleasantly warm on her back. The proto-portal seemed to have settled down, and she was free to gaze at the landscape below, savoring her power to end their pitiful existences. She was death incarnate, an avatar of cleansing flame come to burn this hive of vermin off the face of the planet. Megaaeraholrakni had always reveled in the exercise of psychic power, and now this was the culmination of all those millennia of effort.

That said she did have something of a dilemma. As she ascended it became clear that the towers were built next to a wide river. If she opened the portal over them, the lava would pool there and many of the lesser buildings would be spared. Perhaps it would be better to open it some way from the river, to ensure that the rest of the city burned? There were a great many parades of chariots here – the big flat buildings next to them could be workshops, and Belial had been quite insistent about destroying those. On the other hand, blocking the river with lava would not be so bad, the scalding steam and the flooding was sure to be amusing…

Megaaeraholrakni’s musings were interrupted by a sharp pain in her right wing. Suddenly she became aware of the irregular cracking sounds coming from below, coming faster and faster with each passing second. Agony flashed down her side as something tore into her flank. The gorgon looked back in disbelief at the green blood dripping from the wound. How dare they? She’d heard the rumors of the human’s newfound magery… now too late she realized how foolish she’d been to dismiss those warnings.

Another projectile slammed into the base of her tail, shattering a vertebra and sending pain shooting up her spine like a white hot poker. Megaaeraholrakni screamed and flailed wildly in the air, an act that granted her a brief respite as the next few shots went high. The portal crackled dangerously below her and she threw her wings out again, desperately trying to glide clear. It was at this moment that the hail of machine gun rounds began to arrive. The heavy rounds ripped through her torso, spraying yellow blood into the air as the gorgon began to fall out of the sky, trailing limp wings behind her. Megaaeraholrakni had a final few seconds to reflect on her folly before she plummeted through the phantom portal mouth. The massive electrostatic charge building there found a convenient discharge path through her body, and the gorgon finally died in a white hot flash of lightning, her charred and broken body tumbling down onto the interchange below.

Okthuura Yal-Gjaknaath, Tartaruan Range, borderlands of Hell

Baroness Yulupki’s eyes were closed, her coils writhing with pain as she tried to force the chorus back into harmony. The ritual had started to go wrong as soon as the portal begun to form. Instead of a single unified psychic push, there was discord. The closest human sensation was ‘tone’ and ‘timbre’; the ritual needed pure chords, but some of the naga were holding the wrong notes. The situation had rapidly deteriorated as each naga tried to stay in ‘tune’ with her neighbors, magnifying the initial dissenting voices into a psychic cacophony.

“All of you, follow me!” Yulupki screamed, over the wails of her subordinates and the hissing of the lava. It was hard to know if the naga on the other platforms heard her, but telepathy was out of the question in this din. The effort had dried out the tips of her tentacles and the energy began to arc back to the surrounding flesh, charring the scales. To the naga it seemed that her body was on fire and her brain was being squeezed in a vice, but gathering strength she didn’t know she had, she made a final push to stabilize the portal. She was somewhat surprised to find it actually working. Her strong, clear stream of psychic energy stood out clearly in the haze and the other naga rallied around it.

“That’s it, hold it, a little longer!” Why hadn’t that damned gorgon opened the portal yet? She couldn’t keep this up, if the signal didn’t come in another minute they’d just have to…

The wash of feedback hit Yulupki like a brick wall. She collapsed onto her pallet, barely hanging on to consciousness. The raging psychic turmoil had been replaced by a numb calm. ‘No, that can’t be, oh no…’ Her pitiful cry rang with the anguish of a human whose eyes had just been torn out.

From her vantage point on the crater rim Euryale had been watching the ritual with mounting concern. She was not yet a participant, but she could sense the unbalanced forces and the resulting instability in the half-formed portal. At the same time, she could sense Megaaeraholrakni’s progress over the human city through the mental link with her handmaiden. That link had just dissolved into echoes of pain, confusion and panic before disappearing entirely. Mere seconds later, what could only be described as a psychic shockwave had rushed out from the centre of the crater. The gorgon could barely make out the great snakelike forms through the dense smoke and heat shimmer, but she could tell that nearly half the naga were down and the rest were thrashing and wailing. Behind them the shrines were breaking out in glowing red patches, as local hotspots began to melt the metal.

Euryale launched herself from the rocks, determined to save the ritual. She pushed questions of what had gone wrong and who would pay out of her mind. That could come later. Her wings billowed taut as they caught the strong thermal and she soared over the bubbling lava. The thick smoke stung the gorgons eye’s; she couldn’t see clearly, but the series of bright flashes and a tortured groan probably signaled the collapse of one of the shrines. She was right over the portal now and she could feel it swelling and ascending, pushed out of the volcano’s throat like a cork in a barrel.

It was the moment for Euryale’s own supreme effort. She put everything she had into a single release aimed directly down, hoping to slam the portal down into the lava in the same act as pushing it over the threshold for opening. For a split second the smoke seemed transparent, as the entire crater was lit up by a storm of dancing lightning. Then noise and motion returned and Euryale was falling, the air whistling through great burning rips in her wings. The lava below convulsed, dropping and splashing and throwing out great chunks of magma. Desperately she tried to ride the thermals clear of the maelstrom before she was swatted from the sky or consumed by the fire.
Last edited by Stuart on 2008-05-29 11:05am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Resinence » 2008-05-29 08:28am

Nice chapter :)
Your not going to kill off euryale? Right? :cry:
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Post by KlavoHunter » 2008-05-29 09:26am

Resinence wrote:Nice chapter :)
Your not going to kill off euryale? Right? :cry:
Will Detroit be destroyed? Will Euryale be killed by her own lava? Tune in next week and find out, same Armageddon time, same Armageddon channel! :P
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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-29 10:32am

This is what happens when you ask your head witch to use personnel supplied by your bitter enemies, tell her she has half as much prep time as she thinks she needs and then shout 'More power! I must have more power!'.

The first part was my little homage to the masterful use of fake computer transcripts in 'The Andromeda Strain' (shame Michael Criteon's later books went downhill so much).

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Post by phongn » 2008-05-29 10:49am

Starglider wrote:The first part was my little homage to the masterful use of fake computer transcripts in 'The Andromeda Strain' (shame Michael Criteon's later books went downhill so much).
As an incredibly minute nitpick, T-Mobile uses GSM, not CDMA.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-29 10:59am

Destructionator XIII wrote:Michigan is MI; MA is Massachusetts.
Oops. Editor required on isle 4! :)
phongn wrote:As an incredibly minute nitpick, T-Mobile uses GSM, not CDMA.
I may be ignorant of basic American geography, but I'm better at IT stuff. T-Mobile uses GSM for their 2G service, but W-CDMA for their 3G service.

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-29 11:18am

Starglider wrote:
Destructionator XIII wrote:Michigan is MI; MA is Massachusetts.
Oops. Editor required on isle 4! :)
As long as we're pointing out typos, an "isle" is an island. An "aisle" is a passage, as in a grocery store between shelves :)

PS. Chapters 56 and 57 added to the cleaned-up version. We're on the edges of our seats, Stuart!
America had apparently rediscovered engineers who thrived on doing the impossible. Then Nevaquaya thought again, no not rediscovered, just set free from the demands of reaching some unattainable ideal of perfection.
Nitpick: it's not a demand for "perfection" that slows down the rate of development: it's ass-covering. For commercial applications, you have to be absolutely sure that nothing will go wrong before you release something to the public, or else you'll get your ass sued off. You don't need something that's perfect: you just need to be sure that it won't fuck up. It's better to have something with inferior performance that doesn't fuck up, as compared to something with great performance that might fuck up. This attitude filters down through the entire management chain, so that people are more afraid of making mistakes than they are eager to accomplish anything.

In order to achieve what is described in this story, tort law must have been suspended for certain market sectors. People must have been informed that failure to reach milestones on time is worse than a device which does not reliably work as advertised. There would be a lot of collective psychology to forcibly overcome. And certain shady individuals would probably try to take advantage of that, which would mean in turn that some kind of disciplinary process would need to be in place to deal with such miscreants in the absence of traditional negligence lawsuits. You can bet that if KBR was told that time was of the essence and they were allowed to cut some corners on reliability or safety, they would go hog wild. Somebody would have to do some serious ass-kicking to prevent abuse.
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Post by Starglider » 2008-05-29 11:26am

Darth Wong wrote:
America had apparently rediscovered engineers who thrived on doing the impossible. Then Nevaquaya thought again, no not rediscovered, just set free from the demands of reaching some unattainable ideal of perfection.
Nitpick: it's not a demand for "perfection" that slows down the rate of development: it's ass-covering.
And contract milking, which is almost deserved with some of the constantly-shifting government specs, and a regularatory burden that's gotten pretty excessive in some areas (though of course a hot war has a tendency to shift the safety vs combat effectiveness tradeoff point). Stuart inserted the last sentence there; I imagine he was thinking of projects such as FCS and LCS that set insane requirements and then were very reluctent to compromise when they proved unattainable.

Certainly with software though, it's possible to do things ten to one hundred times faster than the time a typical big IT consultancy would quote you for the project - if you have very very good software engineers, don't care about polish and can tolerate the high defect rate (and have no bad luck).

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-29 11:30am

True; unrealistic objectives can be another serious problem, although it has often been said that the most hated word in the English language for an engineer is "revision". Constantly shifting requirements just murder morale in engineering departments. I actually believe that most engineers would prefer absurdly difficult objectives to constantly shifting ones. How many times can you work your ass off on something, only to find that the customer changed his mind and you have to throw 90% of your work away? After a while, you stop working your ass off on anything.
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Post by phongn » 2008-05-29 12:10pm

Starglider wrote:I may be ignorant of basic American geography, but I'm better at IT stuff. T-Mobile uses GSM for their 2G service, but W-CDMA for their 3G service.
Gargh. Considering I used to be in telecom I should've known that :(
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Post by NecronLord » 2008-05-29 12:16pm

Here's hoping Eurayle can pull it off. Why? Because it's much less dramatic if hell's doom weapon is essentially a one shot.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-29 01:39pm

NecronLord wrote:Here's hoping Eurayle can pull it off. Why? Because it's much less dramatic if hell's doom weapon is essentially a one shot.
Oh Hell has more doom weapons than just one. Belial's an interesting fellow.
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Post by Stuart » 2008-05-29 01:54pm

Darth Wong wrote: Nitpick: it's not a demand for "perfection" that slows down the rate of development: it's ass-covering. For commercial applications, you have to be absolutely sure that nothing will go wrong before you release something to the public, or else you'll get your ass sued off. You don't need something that's perfect: you just need to be sure that it won't fuck up. It's better to have something with inferior performance that doesn't fuck up, as compared to something with great performance that might fuck up. This attitude filters down through the entire management chain, so that people are more afraid of making mistakes than they are eager to accomplish anything.
In defense 'demand for perfection' and 'covering one's ass' are pretty much the same thing. These days a defense program has only to hit a minor glitch and there are calls from all over for it to be cancelled. SO, the demand is for flawless performance first time. To put this into perspective, every one of the first 64 TOW shots missed its target and every one of the first 32 Gabriel anti-ship missiles fell in the sea - yet both are probably the most successful missiles in their class. We see the "perfection" argument coming up with ABM with those opposed to its development demanding the demonstration of 100 percent hit rates knowing that such performance is neither possible nor necessary.

So, the poor design and engineering teams spend most of their time trying to make sure nothing embarrassing happens on tests and that has two effects. One is that the program gets slowed down drastically and the other is that nothing goes wrong on testing so no faults are discovered and they all crop up when the beast enters service.
In order to achieve what is described in this story, tort law must have been suspended for certain market sectors. People must have been informed that failure to reach milestones on time is worse than a device which does not reliably work as advertised. There would be a lot of collective psychology to forcibly overcome.
Indeed, that mindset is very heavily engrained now. It would take a serious shock (like the one hypthesized here) to crack people out of it.
And certain shady individuals would probably try to take advantage of that, which would mean in turn that some kind of disciplinary process would need to be in place to deal with such miscreants in the absence of traditional negligence lawsuits. You can bet that if KBR was told that time was of the essence and they were allowed to cut some corners on reliability or safety, they would go hog wild. Somebody would have to do some serious ass-kicking to prevent abuse.
We had that in WW2. When the US mobilized, there was a lot of serious malperformance across the industrial board, most of which was written off as the cost of doing business. It's an old American tradition, the word "shoddy" comes from war profiteers in the North during the ACW who were paid to make uniforms out of new wool but used 'shoddy' - wool recovered and respun from old clothes. The uniforms fell apart after a few days in the field hence the negative connotations of the word which have eclipsed its original meaning.
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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2008-05-29 02:02pm

Euryale! NOOOOO!!!!!!!!! :x :x :x :x
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Post by JN1 » 2008-05-29 02:22pm

It's an old American tradition, the word "shoddy" comes from war profiteers in the North during the ACW who were paid to make uniforms out of new wool but used 'shoddy' - wool recovered and respun from old clothes.
Well, well, one learns something new every day. I always assumed 'shoddy' was an old English word. Now I know differently.

So Sheffield has been badly damaged while Detroit is to be saved? Well I guess we'll see soon. :wink:

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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-29 02:25pm

Stuart wrote:In defense 'demand for perfection' and 'covering one's ass' are pretty much the same thing. These days a defense program has only to hit a minor glitch and there are calls from all over for it to be cancelled. SO, the demand is for flawless performance first time.
Interesting. What do you think has driven this attitude?
Indeed, that mindset is very heavily engrained now. It would take a serious shock (like the one hypthesized here) to crack people out of it.
Institutional psychology is a bitch to change. I suspect that a lot of contractors would have a hell of a time changing their mentality, and you would get faster results by opening up the field and letting people bid on contracts who were not allowed to bid before. Newer, fresher blood so to speak, even if (or perhaps because) they have less experience.
We had that in WW2. When the US mobilized, there was a lot of serious malperformance across the industrial board, most of which was written off as the cost of doing business. It's an old American tradition, the word "shoddy" comes from war profiteers in the North during the ACW who were paid to make uniforms out of new wool but used 'shoddy' - wool recovered and respun from old clothes. The uniforms fell apart after a few days in the field hence the negative connotations of the word which have eclipsed its original meaning.
Thanks, I did not know that. I love "where did that word come from" stuff.
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Post by Darth Wong » 2008-05-29 02:27pm

JN1 wrote:
It's an old American tradition, the word "shoddy" comes from war profiteers in the North during the ACW who were paid to make uniforms out of new wool but used 'shoddy' - wool recovered and respun from old clothes.
Well, well, one learns something new every day. I always assumed 'shoddy' was an old English word. Now I know differently.

So Sheffield has been badly damaged while Detroit is to be saved? Well I guess we'll see soon. :wink:
The portal is already in the process of opening, but the receiver is dead. They don't seem to need a receiver in order to open a portal, just to control one. As long as they can get it under control, I imagine they could still open it despite the death of the receiver, but it might be a lot messier. Of course, this is only a guess, as this is fictional cosmology we're talking about here.
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Post by Sidewinder » 2008-05-29 02:38pm

It's on. It's so on. (Maniacally laughing in anticipation of the nuking of Tartarus and barbecuing of Belial.)
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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