IoM vs The Thing

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Connor MacLeod
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Re: IoM vs The Thing

Postby Connor MacLeod » 2011-10-27 03:25pm

The question isn't a matter of whether or not the Thing can infiltrate. Genestealers and similar Xenos races (some of which IIRC aren't a whole lot different than The Thing - shapeshifter races aren't unusual at all.) I imagine they can infiltrate and take over worlds. The question is a matter of how far they can spread, and if they can spread in a way that allows them to take over the Imperium. That... is messy.

- First problem: transport from planet to planet. Space traffic isn't unheard of in 40K (merchant shipping, even some passenger shipping in the form of Pilgrimmages, etc.) exists. However, it is not nearly as prolific as some universes (like Star Wars) because private vessels are rare, and when they do exist they are often short ranged (EG they don't have a Navigator.) so at the very least its going to be slow going (best guess currently is that 1:10 people on a given planet may be an "off worlder" and this tends to assume a fairly high tech world.) The sheer random-ness of warp travel, especially over long distances, and the need for a navigator to do it with even a faint hope of speed means that progress will be an issue.

The controls over space traffic and interplanetary travel often include quarantine measures (plague outbreaks, especially of the Chaos variety, aren't unusual - anything Nurgle does or the super Psyker Teteurach from soul Drinkers are good examples.) which could complicate matters.

- second: The current iteration of the Imperium is a large, monolithic entity who is most responseive at the local levels (sector or lower) Beyond the sector level things start to go downhill as far as communication and migromanaging go. the Adeptus Terra relies on a shit load of broad policies and indirect measures (EG control of key resources like astropaths and Navigators) to ensure control. So taking Terra won't neccesarily guarantee a victory. the Thing could in theory consume two whole sectors and still ont be guaranteed victory. It will quite probably have to consume the whole Imperium to win, and this can range from a million worlds, to billions of worlds of varying types.. and trillions of humans to quintillions. When coupled with slow travel times this can mean alot of work.

- Third: how familiar something like this is to stuff the Imperium deals with/may have already dealt with. The Imperium's threats include both Chaotic/Daemonic (which can include sentient demon viruses) to shapeshifting or "infiltrating" aliens like genestealers (but not limited to genestealers either.) That is not to say that the Thing will be instantly recognized or purged. But rather, it is that the Imperium is already fairly xenophobic and its bias towards mutation (which is on a sliding scale) as well as alien/warp corruption and infestation repreesnt something of a barrier to the spread, because the sort of threat it represents is not new to the Imperium, even if the means/ability of the threat to spread is. Its quite probable (for example) they would mis-identify or mis-understand the threat (it's happened before) but still identifying it would tip off the Imperium to something happening, and that could complicate spread. Hell, the generla run of the mill catastrophes like that would be a hinderance, since it would mean heightend awareness for threats like that.

Fourth - knowledge. Considering that the Imperium tends not to have complete or perfect information of itself as a rule, its rather hard that the Thing would be able to get a complete knowledge of the Imperium either. Broad ideas, certainly (EG million worlds or thereabouts, but the exact number will not be precise). There's also the small problem of whether or not they understand/can distinguish between myth and hyperbole or even superstition. If they can't they might be mislead or even fooled without the Imperium meaning to (the Imperium is good at fooling itself, after all.)

the location that the Thing starts out at will matter as well. Ideally some major warp route nexus or trading world (a highly populus and major industrial world) is going to be better than a feral world or a agri world. Probably not a Forge world, given how unfriendly to the organic they tend to be. Hives are a maybe, unless some catastrophe happens (running out of food, for example, or a warp storm.) but even then I expect it to be slow going, and it will ultimtely come down to how fast they can spread vs how quickly they might be detected or eradicated. As long as they can stay above possible purges (which I expect will happen, but probably not in a coordinated manner very often) they should be okay.

It's even quite conceivable that the Imperium simply cannot totally, utterly root out the Thing, but at the same time the Thing fails to make any significant headway in conquering the Imperium. Especially if, in context, it was thrown into the 40K galaxy as a whole rather than just facing up against the Imperium alone.

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Re: IoM vs The Thing

Postby Simon_Jester » 2011-10-27 04:02pm

The Thing is supposed to be telepathic, at least in terms of its ability to impersonate people and extract memories to use for that.

I'm a little reluctant to buy its total immunity to Chaos, on that basis- or that it won't be detected if it starts moving around among psykers.

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Re: IoM vs The Thing

Postby Crateria » 2011-10-27 04:06pm

Simon_Jester wrote:The Thing is supposed to be telepathic, at least in terms of its ability to impersonate people and extract memories to use for that.

I'm a little reluctant to buy its total immunity to Chaos, on that basis- or that it won't be detected if it starts moving around among psykers.


The rules I set out are to prevent the Thing(s) from falling under the sway of Chaos as so many invading armies from other works tend to likely be. For example, when the Galactic Empire invades the Imperium, a common statement is the Empire's forces will almost completely fall to Chaos.
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Re: IoM vs The Thing

Postby DudeGuyMan » 2011-10-27 04:06pm

Purple wrote:Or are you seriously expecting a no limits situation where the Thing is newer detected until it infects something like 90% of the galaxy? Given the levels of investigation that go on in the Imperium for things like chaos I find that doubtful.


It would help if you detailed those levels of investigation and how frequently they're applied to Joe Average factory worker. Or to the rat population. You can't just go "Oh it can't win because that would be a no-limits fallacy because I said so."

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Re: IoM vs The Thing

Postby Purple » 2011-10-27 04:33pm

DudeGuyMan wrote:
Purple wrote:Or are you seriously expecting a no limits situation where the Thing is newer detected until it infects something like 90% of the galaxy? Given the levels of investigation that go on in the Imperium for things like chaos I find that doubtful.


It would help if you detailed those levels of investigation and how frequently they're applied to Joe Average factory worker. Or to the rat population. You can't just go "Oh it can't win because that would be a no-limits fallacy because I said so."

They don't apply to the factory worker at all. That's my entire point. No one cares about the average factory worker or soldier as long as they do their job. And the same applies to planets as a whole or even sectors. Points for ignoring half of my post thou. Classy. Allow me to repeat it for you, since I am such a nice person.

My whole point was that the Thing will have to imitate the people and by relation worlds it infects or else someone will decide that planet X is not paying its tithes and it will be done for by virtue of some inquisitor or something actually taking notice that something is wrong. And that given the nature of the IOM it can't reasonably win as long as it does imitate these things becouse *shock* the IOM would not care if its an imitation or not as long as the tithes are paid. So either it pretends to be the real thing thus helping the IOM and achieving symbiosis or it tries to pull a fast one and ends up on some death list along the line of what planet needs to be made an example off next.

The line you quoted was simply a note of your own no limits wanking in the context that you actually believe that the Thing could somehow infect so much of the IOM to actually achieve the sort of sudden turning of the tables you described. Well I have news for you. Chaos has been trying that for something like 10k years and it does not even need physical contact to corrupt. You don't need to touch chaos, see chaos or even know about chaos to be corrupted. All it takes is being alive and sort of discontent and weak in belief. And yet, even with all these advantages it has failed to do the thing you claim the Thing could. The Thing that needs physical contact, can be killed by relatively mundane means and has failed to take over a bunch of scientists in the north pole.

Yea, I am not holding my breath here.
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Re: IoM vs The Thing

Postby Zixinus » 2011-10-27 05:36pm

The only reason it got caught imitating the dogs was because a MacReady happened to be up after hours. It was smart enough to wait several hours until it could assume everyone was asleep. That's not "stupid", that's a mistake, and not even that big a deal since it still won in the end.


Sorry, but "turning yourself into an alien monster to eliminate a potential threat that you have effectively fooled" is still a stupid thing to do. If it were as smart as some people here suggest it is (or would be), why didn't it just wait further or gently infect the dog-handler? Why on earth did it turn itself into a monster to kill the dog?

And it didn't win in the end by tactics, it won by simple, raw virulence not by careful tactics.
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