The Emperor's Poopships

SF: discuss futuristic sci-fi series, ideas, and crossovers.

Moderator: NecronLord

User avatar
Zor
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5859
Joined: 2004-06-08 03:37am

The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Zor » 2018-10-24 01:54pm

A key part of how the Imperium of Man works is something akin to the ancient economies of Mesopotamia and Egypt in the Imperial Tithe. Most worlds of the Imperium are required to provide aide to the Empire in various ways as Tithe as overseen by the Adeptus Administratum. What a world provides depends on what it is best suited to provide. Hive worlds provide soldiers for the guard, Forgeworlds and Industrial Worlds provide machinery and so forth. Of course making X product often requires Y raw materials, a forge world requires ore to produce machines, among which will be mining machines to go off to star systems rich in ore. Likewise Hive Worlds and Industrial Worlds are fed by Agri-Worlds, which are given over to extensive intensive cultivation.

Even so there's a complication about using Agri-Worlds for food production. Basically loading up a million tonnes of space potatoes on Agri-World Bumkin-IV onto a star ship for Hive World Altarius-III means taking a million tonnes of biomatter out of the Bumkin-IV biosphere. Eventually if this keeps up enough of the hydrocarbons and similar will be used up and the planet's ecology (and it's potential for food production to serve the Imperium of Man) will fail. Fortunately, there is a solution to this, if it is not a particularly pleasant one.

Basically at the end of every Hive City's twisting mess of a sewer system is a set of huge cisterns hundreds of meters across into which countless million bowls inevitably feed a lake of fetid yellowish brown water churned by huge machines tended by low ranking Techpriests who diligently tend to machine spirits which were not those they envisioned on their first day of training and are glad that their olfactory receptors were replaced by cybernetic systems. Every week, the sludge that settles to the bottom is dredged up by barges manned by those who often wonder if their supposedly cushy jobs in which they make more than triple what the average line worker while working less hours was actually better than the underhive from which they were recruited from and fed onto conveyor belts which lead into the hoppers of large landing craft that make a constant circuit from the water treatment plants to orbit, dropping off their foul smelling payloads onto kilometer long freighters who's interiors are full of massive silos. Once full, these ships brave the perils of the Warp, guided by the Light of the Astronomicon to systems home to Agri-Worlds. Occasionally Ork Freebootaz take these vessels in search of Imperial Plunder, when they find out what is in their holds they often wish that they had steered clear of this fight. But more often then not they arrive as intended bearing their cargo to where it's needed.

On said worlds a farmer rides along on a sturdy STC Space Rice Planter laying down this year's third harvest over an area of artificial wetland the size of Rhode Island. The machine spirits are cooperative and in another 2 hours his shift will end with his quota met and he can retire to the house sized vehicle's tiny cabin to get a meal packet, hand things over to his wife and get some sleep. In two more days they'll be back at their village complex and can see their children again, but for now the monotony of things gets to them. Then suddenly he sees something in the night's sky. What he sees is, simply put, falling stars. But that would be such a petty and dismissive way of describing the shower of radiance which fills the night sky, turning night into day. His wife sees it as well and comes up to take note of it. The priest at the local chapel has spoken of such events which come one or twice a lifetime, it means that they have been blessed by The Emperor and that the fields shall yield bumper crops. They get down on their knees and pray in thanks, but they never take their eyes off the beauty of the sight.

Satisfied that their job is done and that the dispersal units have created a reasonably diffuse spray to the world below, the captain of the Poopship tells her crew to set a course for another Hive World so they can take on more material to sustain the relentless agricultural projects of the Imperium of Man.

Zor
HAIL ZOR! WE'LL BLOW UP THE OCEAN!
Heros of Cybertron-HAB-Keeper of the Vicious pit of Allosauruses-King Leighton-I, United Kingdom of Zoria: SD.net World/Tsar Mikhail-I of the Red Tsardom: SD.net Kingdoms
WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE ON EARTH, ALL EARTH BREAKS LOOSE ON HELL
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/ind
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/tra
Terran Sphere
The Art of Zor

User avatar
U.P. Cinnabar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3845
Joined: 2016-02-05 08:11pm
Location: Aboard the RCS Princess Cecile

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-10-24 02:16pm

This all assumes Hive Worlders' fecal matter is fit biomass for growing crops, given all the toxins and spook that's doubtlessly present in their systems.

Also, couldn't the Agri Worlds have a similar waste reclamation system to fertilize their crops, without have to import it from offworld? Surely, the Administratum would consider that more efficient.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

User avatar
Zor
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5859
Joined: 2004-06-08 03:37am

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Zor » 2018-10-24 02:25pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-10-24 02:16pm
Also, couldn't the Agri Worlds have a similar waste reclamation system to fertilize their crops, without have to import it from offworld? Surely, the Administratum would consider that more efficient.
Agri-worlds are supposed to be Space Saskatchewan, a whole lot of farmland wit a few million or so people sprinkled across it. I'm sure that they can make use of their biosolids for said purpose on a small scale, but, well that would be just that. Small scale. It also does not address the issue of depletion by taking stuff out of a biosphere.

Zor
HAIL ZOR! WE'LL BLOW UP THE OCEAN!
Heros of Cybertron-HAB-Keeper of the Vicious pit of Allosauruses-King Leighton-I, United Kingdom of Zoria: SD.net World/Tsar Mikhail-I of the Red Tsardom: SD.net Kingdoms
WHEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE ON EARTH, ALL EARTH BREAKS LOOSE ON HELL
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/ind
http://zortropolis.myminicity.com/tra
Terran Sphere
The Art of Zor

User avatar
KraytKing
Padawan Learner
Posts: 418
Joined: 2016-04-11 06:39pm
Location: US East Coast

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by KraytKing » 2018-10-25 09:58am

Better might be the corpses produced in mass quantities by Hive Worlds. Probably aren't doing much good sitting around in the global basements.

And Zor is right. No matter how efficient the planetary reclamation system, you're taking biomass out of it when you export food. You have to bring that back somehow, and shit and corpses is the best way. Or, you just import immigrants and rely on high worker replacement rates.

I take issue with the distribution system. I've gotten used to the inefficiency of the imperial system, but this suggests that agriworlds are largely rural. IF they're going to have the massive production they are presented to have, they're going to look more like northern California indoor weed farms than what we have for modern largescale food production. Agriworlds will look pretty much like Hive Worlds, just slightly smaller and full of food instead of people. Thus, by necessity, the distribution system for the fertilizer is going to be highly mechanized nd very efficient.
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
--Mace

The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
--Solauren

I always get nervous when I hear the word Christian.
--Mountain

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

User avatar
madd0ct0r
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5860
Joined: 2008-03-14 07:47am

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-10-25 12:46pm

KraytKing wrote:
2018-10-25 09:58am
Better might be the corpses produced in mass quantities by Hive Worlds. Probably aren't doing much good sitting around in the global basements.

And Zor is right. No matter how efficient the planetary reclamation system, you're taking biomass out of it when you export food. You have to bring that back somehow, and shit and corpses is the best way. Or, you just import immigrants and rely on high worker replacement rates.

I take issue with the distribution system. I've gotten used to the inefficiency of the imperial system, but this suggests that agriworlds are largely rural. IF they're going to have the massive production they are presented to have, they're going to look more like northern California indoor weed farms than what we have for modern largescale food production. Agriworlds will look pretty much like Hive Worlds, just slightly smaller and full of food instead of people. Thus, by necessity, the distribution system for the fertilizer is going to be highly mechanized nd very efficient.
I dont know if the bizzare tech/servitor/candles/labour mix of w40k allows indoor farms at mega tonne scale without a hive worth of people to support the tech/labour needed. At least on the scale of centuries of 40k.

Then again i dont know how rural agri worlds avoid food spoiling in transport to starport. But they do allow you to reuse fantasy bits...

I wonder what rate of tonnage you can remove from an ecosystem that can be resolved by planetary weathering?

water, carbon nitrogen all hugely common. Trace metals in cycles probably replenishing from rocks too.
"Aid, trade, green technology and peace." - Hans Rosling.
"Welcome to SDN, where we can't see the forest because walking into trees repeatedly feels good, bro." - Mr Coffee

User avatar
tezunegari
Jedi Knight
Posts: 645
Joined: 2008-11-13 12:44pm

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by tezunegari » 2018-10-25 01:01pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-10-25 12:46pm
KraytKing wrote:
2018-10-25 09:58am
Better might be the corpses produced in mass quantities by Hive Worlds. Probably aren't doing much good sitting around in the global basements.

And Zor is right. No matter how efficient the planetary reclamation system, you're taking biomass out of it when you export food. You have to bring that back somehow, and shit and corpses is the best way. Or, you just import immigrants and rely on high worker replacement rates.

I take issue with the distribution system. I've gotten used to the inefficiency of the imperial system, but this suggests that agriworlds are largely rural. IF they're going to have the massive production they are presented to have, they're going to look more like northern California indoor weed farms than what we have for modern largescale food production. Agriworlds will look pretty much like Hive Worlds, just slightly smaller and full of food instead of people. Thus, by necessity, the distribution system for the fertilizer is going to be highly mechanized nd very efficient.
I dont know if the bizzare tech/servitor/candles/labour mix of w40k allows indoor farms at mega tonne scale without a hive worth of people to support the tech/labour needed. At least on the scale of centuries of 40k.

Then again i dont know how rural agri worlds avoid food spoiling in transport to starport. But they do allow you to reuse fantasy bits...

I wonder what rate of tonnage you can remove from an ecosystem that can be resolved by planetary weathering?

water, carbon nitrogen all hugely common. Trace metals in cycles probably replenishing from rocks too.
The Imperium of Man has Stasis field technology.

Robot-girl Man / Papa Smurf / Roboute Guilliman or however his name is spelled was poisoned during his fight with Fulgrim and put into stasis.

So it is possible that grocery ships use a form of this Stasis-tech to keep the produce fresh.
"Bring your thousands, I have my axe."
"Bring your cannons, I have my armor."
"Bring your mighty... I am my own champion."
Cue Unit-01 ramming half the Lance of Longinus down Adam's head and a bemused Gendo, "Wrong end, son."
Ikari Gendo, NGE Fanfiction "Standing Tall"

User avatar
Khaat
Jedi Knight
Posts: 920
Joined: 2008-11-04 11:42am

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Khaat » 2018-10-25 01:20pm

tezunegari wrote:
2018-10-25 01:01pm
So it is possible that grocery ships use a form of this Stasis-tech to keep the produce fresh.
Or the Big Lie is that the produce from the agri-worlds is rotten by the time it gets to "market", and what people do eat at the destination is the is just the local dead ("soylent green is people!") processed into neat, stackable storage chits* for export to the agri-worlds. The ships return to port with the ruin they left with as cabbages**.
[dons RT beard] In the olden days, the colonization of space by humans was achieved by manipulating the human genome for adaptability to alien worlds. This resulted in the abhumans: ogryns, squats, ratlings (halflings), beastmen, and mutants (back when mutants were a thing, not just "chaos spawn"). Very limited reason to not think it allows humans to eat some very "un-food" things to satisfy their dietary requirements. [/RT beard]

*cue vending droid from Judge Dredd, "eat recycled food; it's good for the environment and okay for you."
**cue Avatar: the Last Airbender cabbage merchant, "My cabbages!"
Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.
Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule #4: Be outraged.
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12803
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-10-25 04:38pm

ITT we find Zor has thought entirely too much about poop.

That said: pretty much every world in the Imperium probably has -some- way of generating food supplies. Corpse-starch is probably one of the more common measures on Mechanicus worlds, for example, as I'm certain they probably recycle a lot of servitors and dead workers.

But yes, there is probably some mechanism for this in at least the more prosperous systems. Poorer agri-worlds probably just get worked to nothing and then the people are removed en masse to another world to start the process all over again. Pretty sure there have been a few planets depicted as such.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4180
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-10-25 04:43pm

There are probably some worlds that get deliveries from poopships and others that get chemical fertilizers that were produces on yet another world. The Imperium isn't very consistent.
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-10-25 04:38pm
then the people are removed en masse to another world to start the process all over again.
That's rather optimistic of you.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12803
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-10-25 04:57pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-10-25 04:43pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-10-25 04:38pm
then the people are removed en masse to another world to start the process all over again.
That's rather optimistic of you.
Depends on who's in charge, mostly. Realm of Macragge is pretty likely to keep fertilizing their agri-worlds, while forgeworlds might just transfer their population en masse, and Bumfuck XI in the far west of Segmentum Incognita gets forgotten once the tithe ends because Hiveworld Calypso just got eaten by Tyranids anyway so they don't need it anymore and they have more pressing things to worry about...
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4180
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-10-25 05:40pm

I was talking specifically about transporting the people from an exhausted agri world to another world. If the Imperium wants to put more humans on one planet, it's not going to gather them from all over an agri-world. It's going to go to a hive world where the available people are far more concentrated.

User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3602
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Jub » 2018-10-25 08:09pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-10-25 05:40pm
I was talking specifically about transporting the people from an exhausted agri world to another world. If the Imperium wants to put more humans on one planet, it's not going to gather them from all over an agri-world. It's going to go to a hive world where the available people are far more concentrated.
Yeah, when an agriworld is farmed out those citizens are probably left there to rot. That said, even a mostly barren argi world should support a few million people for generations just on the small farmable plots that are left.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12803
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-10-26 02:21pm

I don't dispute that the Imperium probably leaves a lot of agri-worlds to rot. As always, there's a lot of situational context to any scenario, as the Imperium has so much local variation. A wealthy and relatively humanitarian area like Ultramar will be more likely to take care of its citizens.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4180
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-10-26 04:18pm

Ultramar probably plans for its agri-worlds to remain in operation indefinitely by replacing lost nutrients.

Avrjoe
Redshirt
Posts: 34
Joined: 2017-05-01 06:38pm

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-10-30 12:58am

I am picturing the amusing image of pirates raiding the wrong convoy and ended up saddled with tankers of waste.

What about a plot seed where said tankers are being attacked by Tyranids. They seek Biomatter and could use it as a food source meanwhile agri-worlds are willing to pay a premium to get replacement fertilizer. what one was the one type of ship not in need of a protective convoy now requires escort.
I used to be Median but life has made me Mean.

User avatar
U.P. Cinnabar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3845
Joined: 2016-02-05 08:11pm
Location: Aboard the RCS Princess Cecile

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-10-30 01:16am

Once proud warships of His Holy Fleet now reduced to handling the shit details.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12803
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-10-30 02:22pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-10-30 01:16am
Once proud warships of His Holy Fleet now reduced to handling the shit details.
It's a crappy job, but someone's got to do it.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
KraytKing
Padawan Learner
Posts: 418
Joined: 2016-04-11 06:39pm
Location: US East Coast

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by KraytKing » 2018-10-30 02:33pm

I contest that it actually exists. Probably just more propaganda bullshit.
If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.
--Mace

The Old Testament has as much validity for the foundation of a religion as the pattern my recent case of insect bites formed on my ass.
--Solauren

I always get nervous when I hear the word Christian.
--Mountain

Brought to you by Carl's Jr.

User avatar
U.P. Cinnabar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3845
Joined: 2016-02-05 08:11pm
Location: Aboard the RCS Princess Cecile

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-10-30 02:58pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2018-10-30 02:22pm
U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-10-30 01:16am
Once proud warships of His Holy Fleet now reduced to handling the shit details.
It's a crappy job, but someone's got to do it.
Do poopship crews eat shit sandwiches?
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

bilateralrope
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4180
Joined: 2005-06-25 06:50pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-10-30 04:56pm

Poopships are probably more hygienic than other ships of the Imperium. Mainly because of the risk of Nurgle cults.

User avatar
U.P. Cinnabar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3845
Joined: 2016-02-05 08:11pm
Location: Aboard the RCS Princess Cecile

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-10-30 05:00pm

Or the Nurgle cultists wallowing within.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 9757
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-10-30 05:30pm

Or they're as automated as possible and the crews are routinely purged...probably into the ship's own cargo...to minimise potential Nurgle corruption. That's grimdark enough for 40K.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
U.P. Cinnabar
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3845
Joined: 2016-02-05 08:11pm
Location: Aboard the RCS Princess Cecile

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-10-30 06:49pm

After all, servitors were made by the Omnissiah to handle the shit details.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
—29th Scroll, 6th Verse of Ape Law
"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
---Doctor Christine Blasey-Ford

User avatar
A-Wing_Slash
Padawan Learner
Posts: 374
Joined: 2005-09-20 09:22pm

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by A-Wing_Slash » 2018-11-03 04:42am

Pretty sure Imperial poop-ships were mentioned in Ravenor, though I don't have a copy handy to check.

User avatar
madd0ct0r
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5860
Joined: 2008-03-14 07:47am

Re: The Emperor's Poopships

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-03 08:11am

My first thought was the hive would want the water and the ship to minimise mass, so the transported stuff would be vacumn sealed crates of compressed dry shit cake.

My second thought waa that 40k does not give a shit about mass, and a wet sludge is easier to bulk trabsport as you can pump it around.

Where does the cargo lie on the Bristol stool chart?
"Aid, trade, green technology and peace." - Hans Rosling.
"Welcome to SDN, where we can't see the forest because walking into trees repeatedly feels good, bro." - Mr Coffee

Post Reply