The Hyperionverse Technology Thread.

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The Hyperionverse Technology Thread.

Post by fgalkin » 2003-09-04 07:14pm

My most recent thread of Hyperionverse vs. the Empire raised concerns. As far as I can understand, there are no resource on Hyperionverse tech anywhere on the web. There isn't even a FAQ webpage.

To correct this unfortunate oversight by the fans of Dan Simmons's masterpiece, I ask everyone with access to the books and a bit of free time to post the various quotes from the novels that can help establish the level of military technology in the Hyperion universe. Let's make this thread into a double of the Culture thread.

Have a very nice day.
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Post by fgalkin » 2003-09-04 08:49pm

Kassad skidded to a halt ten meters from the thing and activated the assault rifle, slagging the sand beneath the Shrike in a full-power wide-beam burst.

The Shrike glowed as its carapace and steel-sculpture legs reflected the hellish light beneath and around it. Then the three meters of monster began to sink as the sand bubbled into a lake of molten glass beneath it. Kassad shouted in triumph as he stepped closer, playing the widebeam on the Shrike and ground the way he had sprayed his friends with stolen irrigation hoses in the Tharsis slums as a boy.

The Shrike sank. Its arms splayed at the sand and rock, trying to find purchase. Sparks flew. It shifted, time running backwards like a reversed holie, but Kassad shifted with it, realizing that Moneta was helping him, her suit slaved to his but guiding him through time, and then he was spraying the creature again with concentrated heat greater than the surface of a sun, melting sand beneath it, and watching the rocks around it burst into flame.

Sinking in this cauldron of flame and molten rock, the Shrike threw back its head, opened its wide as a creavase mouth, and bellowed.

Kassad almost stopped firing in his shock at hearing noise from the thing. The Shrike's scream resounded like a dragon's roar mixed with the blast of a fusion rocket. The screech set Kassad's teeth on edge, vibrated from the cliff walls, and tumbled suspended dust to the ground. Kassad switiched to high velocity solid shot and fired ten thousand microflechettes at the creature's face.
To start things off. ph34r t3h Shrike. :D

Have a very nice day.
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Post by SyntaxVorlon » 2003-09-05 11:38am

The deathbeam bomb can scramble every synapse in 4 lightyears IIRC. A group of heavy ships can destroy a sun. Etc.
Lotsa good stuff, these are THE books.

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Post by NecronLord » 2003-09-05 11:51am

It will be stickied if it becomes as generally relavant as the Culture sticky is.
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Post by Jorgasnarova » 2003-09-05 09:00pm

Could someone please post the titles to the books in the Hyperion series? This is beginning to sound interesting...must pick up that series...

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Re: The Hyperionverse Technology Thread.

Post by Xisiqomelir » 2003-09-05 09:12pm

fgalkin wrote: I ask everyone with access to the books and a bit of free time to post the various quotes from the novels that can help establish the level of military technology in the Hyperion universe.
MILITARY tech? What about that supercool bathroom door teleporter that leads to a toilet on a raft on world that's nothing but a purple ocean? I'd kill for tech like that.

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Re: The Hyperionverse Technology Thread.

Post by septesix » 2003-09-05 09:59pm

Xisiqomelir wrote:
fgalkin wrote: I ask everyone with access to the books and a bit of free time to post the various quotes from the novels that can help establish the level of military technology in the Hyperion universe.
MILITARY tech? What about that supercool bathroom door teleporter that leads to a toilet on a raft on world that's nothing but a purple ocean? I'd kill for tech like that.
Or Freecasting...You can TELEPORT to that world of nothing but a purple ocean, provided there are things living there, take a piss, and teleport back where you were....

As for the book titles.:

"Hyperion" <-- undisputed masterpiece!
"Fall of Hyperion"
"Endymion"
"Rise of Endymion"

I'd love to help but my school takes away too much of my time.

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Post by Symmetry » 2003-09-06 02:46am

Warships can use their lasers as spotlights from an AU away.
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Post by Vendetta » 2003-09-06 04:37pm

Their drive technology is problematic though.

Standard FTL drives incur large amounts of time debt, and Archangel drives have a horrible tendency to render squished anything that travels by them.

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Post by Dahak » 2003-09-06 06:13pm

Vendetta wrote:Their drive technology is problematic though.

Standard FTL drives incur large amounts of time debt, and Archangel drives have a horrible tendency to render squished anything that travels by them.
But only if they go out of the Web.
In Hegemony times, the ships could use the farcasters to get to any Webworld.

Gideon-drive is problematic, though. It's quite useless, unless you're an automated drone, or a Pax crew...
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Post by septesix » 2003-09-07 01:39am

Dahak wrote:
Vendetta wrote:Their drive technology is problematic though.

Standard FTL drives incur large amounts of time debt, and Archangel drives have a horrible tendency to render squished anything that travels by them.
But only if they go out of the Web.
In Hegemony times, the ships could use the farcasters to get to any Webworld.

Gideon-drive is problematic, though. It's quite useless, unless you're an automated drone, or a Pax crew...
Or those Nemes agents. The Core has no problem building them.

Beside, if the technoCore need it bad enough, they can either put an AI to control each Archangel warship, or have Nemes agents onboard.

And Humans also has the option of Freecasting by the end of the book.

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-07 07:38am

SyntaxVorlon wrote:The deathbeam bomb can scramble every synapse in 4 lightyears IIRC. A group of heavy ships can destroy a sun. Etc.
Lotsa good stuff, these are THE books.
The effect of the bomb drops under lethal levels at just under 3 light years distance. 5 kilometers of rock is said to be sufficent to protect humans from the effect. Both statements are from the TechnoCore's spokesman Nansen and therefore potentially suspect. As stated by SyntaxVorlon, the only discernable effect of the deathwand (other than death, of course) is scrambled synapses. The deathbomb had "no measurable shockwave above the neutrino level." Either device will not harm animals or property, only humans. Source for these statements is The Fall of Hyperion, pages 445-447 (softcover.)

I have not checked The Rise of Endymion to see whether the Archangel deathbeams follow the same pattern.

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-09 02:11am

The courier version of the Raphael can deliver a beam of roughly eighty gigawatts through atmosphere with virtually all power routed into its weapons systems. (Endymion, pages 543-544.) Effects on the target are as follows:
We never reached the lava rocks. There was a blast of heated air and the chrome shape of the woman was ahead of us, standing three meters above us on the black rock face. “Bye, bye, Raul Endymion,” the chrome mask said. The shimmering metal arm rose.
The blast of heat burned off my eyebrows, set fire to my shirt, and threw the girl and me backwards through the air. We hit hard and rolled away from the unspeakable heat. Aenea’s hair was smoldering, and I batted my forearms against her, trying to keep her hair from bursting into flame. A. Bettik’s medkit was screeching again, but the avalanche roar of superheated air behind us drowned the noise. I saw that my shirtsleeve was smoking, and I ripped it away before it ignited. Aenea and I turned our backs to the heat and crawled and scrabbled away as quickly as we could. It was like being on the lip of a volcano.
We grabbed A. Bettik’s body and pulled him to the riverbank, not hesitating a second before sliding into the steaming current. I struggled to keep the unconscious android’s head above water while Aenea fought to keep the both of us from sliding away on the current. Just above the surface of the water, where our faces were pressed against the wet mud of the riverbank, the air was almost cool enough to breathe.
Feeling the blisters forming on my forehead, not yet knowing that my eyebrows and swaths of hair were missing, I raised my head to the edge of the riverbank and peered over.
The chromed figure stood in the center of a three-meter circle of orange light that stretched up into the heavens and disappeared only when it narrowed to an infinite point hundreds of kilometers above. The air rippled and roiled where the beam of almost solid energy ripped through the atmosphere.
The metallic woman-shape tried to move towards us, but the high-energy lance seemed to exert too much pressure. Still, she stood, the chrome field around her turning red, then green, then a blinding white. But still she stood, her fist raised and shaking at the sky. Beneath her feet the lava rock boiled, turned red, and ran downhill in great molten rivers. Some ran into the river not ten meters downstream from us, and the steam clouds billowed up with a loud hissing. At that moment I admit that I considered becoming religious for the first time in my life.
The chrome shape seemed to see the danger seconds before it was too late. It disappeared, reappeared as a blur – fist shaking toward the sky – disappeared again, reappeared a final time, and then sank into the lava under its feet where solid rock had been an instant earlier.
The beam stayed on another full minute. I could not look directly at it any longer, and the heat was burning away the skin of my cheeks. I pressed my face against the cool mud again and held A. Bettik and the girl against the bank even as the current tried to pull us downstream into the steam and lava and microfilament wires.
I looked up one final time, saw the chromed fist sinking beneath the surface of the lava, and then the field seemed to shift down in colors for a moment before it winked off. The lava began to cool at once. By the time I had pulled Aenea and A. Bettik out of the water and we had begun CPR again, the rock was solidifying with only rivulets and pseudo-pods of lava still flowing. Bits of cooling rock flaked off and rose in the heated air, joining the embers from the forest fire still raging behind us. There was no sign of the chrome woman.
Pages 489 and 490 add some more details, although the scene is problematic in some ways. We learn that the courier Raphael is capable of roughly 280 G's of acceleration (using an "enhanced fusion drive.") The Ouster cruisers in the same scene pursue at up to 80 G's of acceleration: the Ousters lack the Core parasites that allow resurrection, so they have to maintain an internal field to protect their crew from death. The three Ouster cruisers have a green drive plume. The Ouster ships fire tactical lances at the Raphael from a distance of 1 AU: at that distance, the Raphael's defensive fields "easily" handle the energy. Here's the problem with all of this: it is strongly implied that the record is a forgery. Having said that, it is a forgery intended to fool an experienced captain who is familiar with the Raphael by that point and has 12 years of experience fighting the Ousters. I would suggest that any inaccuracies would merely make the captain more suspicious, and therefore that the forgers would have taken great pains to get all the details right. I'd be curious to get some input on that and see what everyone else thinks.

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-09 09:28pm

Hegemony era, before the Fall of the Web:

The Invasion of Bressia (Hyperion, pages 141-153):

The total numbers for the Ouster swarm which attacked the world are not given. An estimated 3,000 warships began the actual assault on the planetary defenses. After bombarding the northern continent from orbit with several hundred fallout-free nuclear bombs, plasma bombs, deathbeams, and tailored virii (killing all but a handful of the continent's population of 14 million) and lancing specific military targets on the southern continent, the Ousters invaded. The swarm dropped roughly 2,000 assault transports and dropships on the southern continent. The defenders managed to hit two staging areas with nuclear weapons: one destroyed a single scoutship, the other was deflected by energy fields. While adapted to zero-G, Ouster infantry makes use of powered exoskeletons to operate on a planetary surface. More on those later.

Since the Bressia system was not part of the Web, Hawking drive was required to send a relief force. The initial Hegemony battle group consisted of 30 "Omega-class" torchships along with a single farcaster-equipped Jumpship. Ten hours after the activation of the Jumpship's singularity sphere, 400 FORCE ships of the line were in-system. FORCE uses farcaster-equipped assault boats: 17 of those were used in the initial counter-attack on Bressia. The assault boats are protected by "containment fields" which can withstand nuclear and plasma weapons of unspecified yield. The space battle was a standoff: the Ousters controlled space within 3 AU of Bressia, and the FORCE: space units were forced to concentrate on staying within farcaster range and protecting the primary Jumpship.The initial ground force of 80,000 FORCE troops was "ground up," reinforced with an additional 100,000, and was still being "decimated" while the government was debating a further reinforcement of 200,000 more.

It should be noted that FORCE strategy at the time was based on a "code of New Bushido." FORCE commanders sought to fight limited engagements against military targets, and avoid civilian casualties. By contrast, the Ousters would fight from cities and leave scorched earth behind them. By the end of the invasion, this code had broken down: FORCE: space was supporting the ground forces with orbital strikes against cities, employing tactical nuclear weapons, plasma bomb strikes, and energy weapons ("hellwhip lances," described as "dancing columns of green light.") FORCE troops attempting to dislodge Ouster commandos from tunnel networks employed sonic weapons and something identified as "T-5 gas." The invasion ended with the retreat of the Ousters to the swarm.

The Ousters subsequently attack the hospital ship which Colonel Kassad is aboard. He comments on the effectiveness of the attack: the Ouster ship attacking first fired with CPBs (charged particle beams,) blasting holes and slicing openings in the hull until the seals ruptured and the interior bulkheads gave way. After that they fired missiles with fragmentation warheads into the ship's hull. The Ouster torchship next deploys several boarding craft. The boarding craft hold approximately 20 marines, and the Ouster marines work in groups of two. The Ouster marines are described as having prehensile toes (the first marine that Kassad kills is carrying a pistol in his hand and another in his foot) and have a prosthetic tail on their suits. They are also taller than human average. Sonic weapons are also revealed to be lethal at very close ranges. Kassad presses a sonic pistol to the second marine's helmet and fires pointblank, killing her (the effect is described as "turning the brain into something resembling oatmeal mush.) The second Ouster Kassad kills is female. This is a surprise to him: all the Ouster bodies on Bressia were male.

Page 317 of Hyperion describes Moebius cubes. According to Kassad, a moebius cube is a carbon-carbon-shell set around a zero impedance containment field folded back on itself. They are designed to seal artifacts, but Kassad reveals that the fields can hold a kiloton nuclear explosion in check as long as it was boxed during the nanosecond of ignition.

Page 339 of Hyperion: the number of public access[/i] farcaster portals is somewhere around 2 million portals on 150 worlds and around half as many moons. General access farcaster portals are open to anyone through the use of a manual terminal and one's personal access card: private terminals are imprinted onto eyes-only chips. It is still possible to follow someone through a private farcaster connection using a special card to trace them.

Page 358 of Hyperion: maximum range of a sonic stunner is approximately 8 to 10 meters.

The TechnoCore AIs use "cybrids," remotes tailored from human genetic stock. The Hegemony theoretically has strict limits on how many of them the Core can have in use at any given time (Hyperion, page 343 - around a thousand, although at the time of the setting roughly 2/3rds had supposedly been withdrawn.) Cybrids can self-destruct if necessary: the effect appears to be a strong electrical discharge (Hyperion, page 363) which incinerates the body within minutes.

Page 399 of Hyperion: the TechnoCore not only creates the entire infrastructure of the Web, it also controls things like FORCE deployments and the failsafes on stockpiled nuclear weaponry and plasma arsenals.

Page 404 of Hyperion: a Schron disk (approximately the size of a thumbnail) can hold AI personalities or even the entire contents of a planetary datasphere. It is composed of "countless field-bubble memories, each capable of holding near-infinite bits of information." It cannot be accessed by the carrier and is therefore used as for courier purposes.

Page 418 of Hyperion gives us the following description of the opening stages of the battle for the world.

The group went staggering out into the cool evening air, shielding their eyes from the staggering display of silent explosions which filled the sky. Pure white fusion bursts expanding like explosive ripples across a lapis pond; smaller, brighter plasma implosions in blue and yellow and brightest red, curling inward like flowers folding for the night: the lightning dance of gigantic hellwhip displays, beams the size of small worlds cutting their swath across light-hours and being contorted by the riptides of defensive singularities: the aurora shimmer of defense fields leaping and dying under the assault of terrible energies only to be reborn nanoseconds later. Amid it all, the blue-white fusion tails of torchships and larger warships slicing perfectly true lines across the sky like diamond scratches on blue glass.

...

"Are we in danger here?" asked Martin Silenus. He sheltered under the stone archway of the door, squinting at the brilliant display.

"Not at this distance" said Kassad. He raised his combat binoculars, made an adjustment, and consulted his tactical comlog. "Most of the engagements are at least 3 AU away. The Ousters are testing the FORCE:space defenses." He lowered the glasses. "It's just begun."

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-10 05:59pm

Hegemony era, before the Fall:

The Fall of Hyperion, pages 31-35: The Hegemony tracks Ouster swarms based on their Hawking drive (FTL) wakes. Swarms can consist of up to 10,000 discrete drives. The first major engagement between the Hegemony task force and the Ouster swarm took place 30 AU from Hyperion's sun and 29 degrees above the plane of the ecliptic. The swarm center itself is about 60 AU from the sun.

The Fall of Hyperion, pages 54-55: Core estimates of the strength of the Ouster swarm attacking Hyperion are 4,000-6,000 fighting units. The Core withheld this information until it became apparent in combat.

The Fall of Hyperion, page 75: spacecraft use a "class one containment field" to simulate gravity.

Concerning the size and power of the FORCE:space fleet
The entire FORCE:space fleet of warships numbered fewer than six hundred. Of course each was hideously expensive - few planetary economies could afford to build more than one or two interstellar capital ships, and even a handful of torchships equipped with Hawking drives could bankrupt a colonial world. And each was hideously powerful: an attack carrier could destroy a world, a force of cruisers and spinship destroyers could destroy a sun. It was conceivable that the Hegemony ships already massed in Hyperion system could - if vectored through the FORCE large transit farcaster matrix - destroy most of the star systems in the web. It had taken fewer than fifty ships of the type Nashita was requesting to destroy the Glennon-Height fleet a century earlier and quell the Mutiny forever.

But the real problem behind Nashita's request was the commitment of two-thirds of the Hegemony's fleet in the Hyperion system at one time. I could feel the anxiety flow through the politicians and policy makers like an electrical current.
Source: The Fall of Hyperion, page 114. The attack carrier referred to in the quote carries "over a hundred fighters or ALRs" (page 32.) They have a crew of 4,200 plus a marine force of 600 troops (page 54.)

Hard numbers on FORCE:ground strength appear on page 189 of The Fall of Hyperion. One hundred thousand FORCE:ground troops had been committed to the defense of Hyperion. That left thirty thousand troops available webwide to defend against the sudden appearance of new swarms preparing to attack Heaven’s Gate, God’s Grove, Mare Infinitus, Asquith, Ixion, Tsingtao-Hsishuang Panna, Acteon, Barnard’s World, and Tempe. A second wave of Ouster attacks was aimed at Hebron, Renaissance Vector, Renaissance Minor, Nordholm, Maui-Covenant, Thalia, Deneb Drei, Vier, Sol Draconi Septem, Freeholm, New Earth, Fuji, New Mecca, Pacem, Armaghast, Svoboda, Lusus, and Tau Ceti Center. Several of the twelve swarms originally being tracked had broken into several elements to hit all the targeted worlds, and had apparently been traveling at sub-light speeds for up to 50 years in some cases to avoid detection by Hawking drive wakes.

Page 314 of The Fall of Hyperion reveals that FORCE scientists have also researched developing the deathwand into a bomb. They object that researchers have theorized that the death-bomb heavy neutrinos would propigate indefinitely, and that shielding people would require 6 kilometers or more of solid rock or metal. The AI representative on the council tells them that the “labyrinthine worlds” (a set of 9 planets which have millions of miles of mysterious, ancient tunnel networks) will be sufficient to serve as shelters. The military remains skeptical of this claim.

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Post by Dahak » 2003-09-10 06:19pm

beyond hope wrote:Deneb Drei, Vier
Just to nitpick :D
It should be Deneb Vier, and not only "Vier" :)

Drei == Three,
Vier == Four.
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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-10 06:42pm

Dahak wrote:
beyond hope wrote:Deneb Drei, Vier
Just to nitpick :D
It should be Deneb Vier, and not only "Vier" :)

Drei == Three,
Vier == Four.
I made the assumption they were seperate systems since the FORCE general was listing them in order of time until attack. My bad. :oops:

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-13 08:27pm

Hegemony era:
The Fall of Hyperion, page 19: FORCE combat armor includes a "chameleon polymer." When activated, the wearer blends undetectably with the background to the eye.

The Fall of Hyperion, page 40: the displays in FORCE armor can link to satellite feeds.

The Fall of Hyperion, pages 96-98. The following passage is lengthy, but gives a good picture of FORCE armor in action:
The first shot misses Fedmahn Kassad by less than a meter, splitting a boulder he is passing, and he is moving before the blast strikes him; rolling for cover, his camoflage polymer fully activated, impact armor tensed, assault rifle ready, visor in full targeting mode. Kassad lies there for a long moment, feeling his heart pounding and searching the hills, valley, and Tombs for the slightest hint of heat or movement. Nothing. He begins to grin behind the black mirror of his visor.

Whoever had shot at him had meant to miss, he is sure. They had used a standard pulse bolt, ignited by an 18-mm cartridge, and unless the shooter was ten or more kilometers away... there was no chance of a miss.

Kassad stands up to run toward the shelter of the Jade Tomb, and the second shot catches him in the chest, hurling him backward.

This time he grunts and rolls away, scuttling toward the Jade Tomb's entrance with all sensors active. The second shot had been a rifle bullet. Whoever is playing with him is using a FORCE multipurpose assault weapon similar to his own. He guesses that the assailant knows he is in body armor, knows that the rifle bullet would be ineffective at any range. But the multipurpose weapon has other settings, and if the next level of play involves a killing laser, Kassad is dead. He throws himself into the doorway of the tomb.

Still no heat or movement on his sensors except for the red-and-yellow images of his fellow pilgrims' footsteps, rapidly cooling, where they had entered the Sphinx several minutes before.

Kassad uses his tactical implants to switch displays, quickly running through VHF and optical comm channels. Nothing. He magnifies the valley a hundredfold, computes in wind and sand, and activates a moving-target indicator. Nothing larger than an insect is moving. He sends out radar, sonar, and lorfo pulses, daring the sniper to home in on them. Nothing. He calls up tactical displays of the first two shots; blue ballistic trails leap into existence.

The first shot had come from the Poets' City, more than four klicks to the southwest. The second shot, less than ten seconds later, came from the crystal monolith,, almost a full klick down the valley to the northeast. Logic dictates that there have to be two snipers. Kassad is sure there is only one. He refines the display scale. The second shot had come from high up on the monolith, at least thirty meters up on the sheer face.

Kassad swings out, raises amplification, and peers through night and the last vestiges of the sand- and snowstorm toward the huge structure. Nothing. No windows, no slits, no openings of any sort.

Only the billions of colloidal particles left in the air from the storm allow the laser to be visible for a split second. Kassad sees the green beam after it strikes him in the chest. He rolls back into the entrance of the Jade Tomb, wondering if the green walls will help deter a green light lance, while superconductors in his combat armor radiate heat in every direction and his tactical visor tells him what he already knows: the shot has come from high on the Crystal Monolith.

Kassad feels pain sting his chest, and he looks down in time to see a five-centimeter circle of invulnarmor drip molten fibers onto the floor. Only the last layer has saved him. As it is, his body drips with sweat inside the suit, and he can see the walls of the tomb literally glowing with the heat his suit has discarded. Biomonitors clamor for attention but hold no serious news, his suit sensors report some circuit damage but describe nothing irreplacable, and his weapon is still charged, loaded, and operative.

Kassad thinks about it. All of the tombs are priceless archaeological treasures, preserved for centuries as a gift to future generations, even if they are moving backward in time. It would be a crime on an interplanetary scale if Colonel Fedmahn Kassad were to put his own life above the preservation of such priceless artifacts.

"Oh fuck it," whispers Kassad and rolls into firing position.

He sprays laser fire across the face of the Monolith until crystal slags and runs. He pumps high-explosive pulse bolts into the thing at ten-meter intervals, starting with the top levels. Thousands of shards of mirrored material fly out into the night, tumbling in slow motion toward the valley floor, leaving gaps as ugly as missing teeth in the building's face. Kassad switches back to wide-beam coherent light and sweeps the interior through the gaps, grinning behind his visor when something bursts into flames on several floors. Kassad fires bhees - beams of high-energy electrons - which rip through the monolith and plow perfectly cylindrical fourteen-centimeter-wide tunnels for half a kilometer through the rock of the valley wall. He fires cannister grenades, which explode into tens of thousands of needle flechettes after passing through the crystal face of the monolith. He triggers random pulse-laser swaths, which will blind anyone or anything looking in his direction from the structure. He fires body-heat-seeking darts into every orifice the shattered structure offers him.

Kassad rolls back into the Jade Tomb's doorway and flips up his visor. Flames from the burning tower are reflected in thousands of crystal shards scattered up and down the valley. Smoke rises into a night suddenly without wind. Vermillion dunes glow from the flames. The air is suddenly filled with the sound of wind chimes as more pieces of crystal break and fall away, some dangling by long tethers of melted glass.

Kassad ejects drained power clips and ammo bands, replaces them from his belt, and rolls on his back, breathing in the cooler air that comes through the open doorway. He is under no illusion that he has killed the sniper.
I can't find the page, but somewhere in the first part of The Fall of Hyperion we discover that FORCE still uses the humble entrenching tool.

Page 182 of The Fall of Hyperion: FORCE combat armor dampens down the wearer's heat signiture to "minimal" levels in addition to the chameleon effect.

Page 139 of The Fall of Hyperion: the armor is also powered, with a network of strength-boosting servomechanisms. The arm gauntlets are said to be capable of carving through half a meter of stone or severing a tree.

The Fall of Hyperion, page 348. A singularity sphere (which creates the farcaster portal) is a dodecahedronal construct with "thirty thousand square meters of surface." The effect of destroying it is to release the singularity, destroying the sphere and "everything within a six-hundred-kilometer radius."

The following from The Fall of Hyperion details the bombardment of Heaven's Gate.
The data columns now showed more than a hundred Ouster warcraft in orbit around Heaven's Gate. Ground forces there had been instructed not to fire unless fired upon, and no activity was visible in the thirty-some views being fatlined to the War Room. Suddenly, however, the cloud cover above Mudflat City glowed as if giant searchlights had been turned on. A dozen broad beams of coherent light stabbed down into the bay and the city, continuing the searchlight illusion, appearing to Gladstone as if giant white columns had been erected between the ground and the ceiling of clouds.

That illusion ended abruptly as a whirlwind of flame and destruction erupted at the base of each of these hundred-meter-wide columns of light. The water of the bay boiled until huge geysers of steam occluded the nearer cameras. The view from the heights showed century-old stone buildings erupting into flame, imploding as if a tornado were moving amongst them. The Web-famous gardens and commons of the Promenade erupted in flame, exploded in dirt and flying debris as if an invisible plow were moving across them. Horsetail ferns two centuries old bent as if before a hurricane wind, burst into flame, and were gone.

"Lances from a Bowers-class torchship," Admiral Singh said into the silence. "Or its Ouster equivalent."

The city was burning, exploding, being plowed into rubble by the light columns and then being torn asunder again. There were no audio channels on these fatlined images, but Gladstone imagined that she could hear screams.

One by one, the ground cameras went black. The view from the Atmospheric Generating Station Heights disappeared in a white flash. Airborne cameras were already gone. The twenty or so other ground-based images began winking out, one in a terrible burst of crimson that left everyone in the room rubbing their eyes.

"Plasma explosion," said Van Zeidt. "Low megaton range." The view had been of a FORCE:Marine air defense complex north of the Intercity Canal.

Suddenly all images ceased. Dataflow ended. The room lights began to come up to compensate for a darkness so sudden that it took everyone's breath away.

"The primary fatline transmitter's gone," said General Morpurgo. "It was at the main FORCE base near High Gate. Buried under our strongest containment field, fifty meters of rock, and ten meters of whiskered stalloy."

"Shaped nuclear charges?" asked Barbre Dan-Gyddis.

"At least," said Morpurgo.
This is followed shortly thereafter by the bombardment of the world God's Grove, on pages 371-373 of The Fall of Hyperion.
“You will see… “ began the Templar again, and as if to punctuate his words there came a great, soft sound, almost as though a million hidden people had sighed and then moaned softly.
“Good God.” Said Dure and looked to the west where it seemed that the sun was rising where it had disappeared less than an hour before. A hot wind rustled leaves and blew across his face.
Five blossoming and inward-curling mushroom clouds climbed above the western horizon, turning night to day as they boiled and faded. Dure had instinctively covered his eyes until he realized that these explosions were so far away that although brilliant as the local sun, they would not blind him.
Sek Hardeen pulled back his cowl so that the hot wind ruffled his long, oddly greenish hair. Dure stared at the man’s long, thin, vaguely Asian features and realized that he saw shock etched there. Shock and disbelief. Hardeen’s cowl whispered with comm. Calls and the microbabble of excited voices.
“Explosions on Sierra and Hokkaido,” whispered the Templar to himself. “Nuclear explosions. From the ships in orbit.”
Dure remembered that Sierra was a continent, closed to outsiders, less than eight hundred kilometers from the Worldtree where they stood. He thought that he remembered that Hokkaido was the sacred isle where the potential treeships were grown and prepared.
“Casualties?” he asked, but before Hardeen could answer, the sky was slashed with brilliant light as a score or more tactical lasers, CPBs, and fusion lances cut a swath from horizon to horizon, switching and flashing like searchlights across the roof of the world forest that was God’s Grove. And where the lance beams cut, flame erupted in their wake.
Dure staggered as a hundred-meter-wide beam skipped like a tornado through the forest less than a kilometer from the Worldtree. The ancient forest exploded in flame, creating a corridor of fire rising ten kilometers into the night sky. Wind roared past Dure and Sek Hardeen as air rushed in to feed the fire storm. Another beam slashed north and south, passing close to the Worldtree before disappearing over the horizon. Another swath of flame and smoke rose toward the treacherous stars.
“They promised,” gasped Sek Hardeen. “The Ouster brethren promised!”
“You need help!” cried Dure. “Ask the Web for emergency assistance!”
Hardeen grabbed Dure’s arm, pulled him to the edge of the platform. The stairs were back in place. On the platform below, a farcaster portal shimmered.
“Only the advance units of the Ouster fleet have arrived,” cried the Templar over the sound of forests burning. Ash and smoke filled the air, drifting past hot embers. “But the singularity sphere will be destroyed any second. Go!”
“I’m not leaving without you,” called the Jesuit, sure that his voice could not be heard over the wind roar and terrible crackling. Suddenly, only kilometers to the east, the perfect blue circle of a plasma explosion expanded, imploded inward, then expanded again with visible concentric circles of shock wave. Kilometer-tall trees bent and broke in the first wave of the blast, their eastern sides exploding in flame, leaves flying off by the millions and adding to the almost solid wall of debris hurtling toward the Worldtree. Behind the circle of flame, another plasma bomb went off. Then a third.
Dure and the Templar fell down the steps and were blown across the lower platform like leaves on a sidewalk. The Templar grabbed a burning muirwood baluster, seized Dure’s arm in an iron grip, and struggled to his feet, moving toward the still shimmering farcaster like a man leaning into a cyclone.
Half conscious, half aware of being dragged, Dure managed to get to his own feet just as Voice of the Worldtree Sek Hardeen pulled him to the edge of the portal. Dure clung to the portal frame, too weak to pull himself the final meter, and looked past the farcaster to see something which he would never forget.
Once, many, many years before, near his beloved Villefranche-sur-Saone, the youngster Paul Dure had stood on a cliff top, secure in the arms of his father and safe in a thick concrete shelter, and watched through a narrow window as a forty-meter tall tsunami rushed toward the coast where they lived.
This tsunami was three kilometers high, was made of flame, and was racing at what seemed to be the speed of light across the helpless rood of the forest toward the Worldtree, Sek Hardeen, and Paul Dure. What the tsunami touched, it destroyed. It raged closer, rising higher and nearer until it obliterated the world and sky with flame and noise.
“No!” screamed Father Paul Dure.
“Go!” cried the True Voice of the Worldtree and pushed the Jesuit through the farcaster portal even as the platform, the Worldtree’s trunk, and the Templar’s robe burst into flames.
The Fall of Hyperion, page 378. Farcasters do not teleport anything. The effect is described as "punching holes through space-time and allowing one to step through black hole 'trapdoors'."

Hegemony Task Force 181.2 intecepts the next Ouster attack on Mare Infinitus, beginning on page 406 of The Fall of Hyperion. One significant fact is the statement of the "lethal radius" for standard ship weapons: this is a distance of approximately .13 AU that ship weapons become effective against ground targets despite ground field defenses. Their assault on the Ouster ships, which resumes on page 458 of The Fall of Hyperion, reveals a significant fact: all the "Ousters" in the swarm attacking Mare Infinitus self-destruct in the same fashion as cybrids. On page 437, the Ousters confirm that the only swarm attacking the Web is the swarm at Hyperion. The rest of the worlds being attacked by "Ousters" are in fact under attack by agents of the TechnoCore.

Page 477 of The Fall of Hyperion gives a guess of "several hundred million gigaelectron volts" for the CEO's override, realtime fatline transmission to "everyone, everywhere."

Page 480 of The Fall of Hyperion: every singularity sphere known to be in existence was destroyed within 2.6 seconds of each other (263 of them.) Thousands of people were caught in transit: the effects ranged from instant death from dismemberment, to amputated limbs, to simple disappearance. The ship carrying the death-bomb disappeared within the farcaster network when both entrance and exit portals were destroyed within a nanosecond of each other. It was conclusively proven that the bomb detonated within the portal network: the effect was unknown.

Page 487 of The Fall of Hyperion: the Fatline transmission medium is "the hyperstring Planck-infinite topography of space-time itself: what AIs had cryptically referred to as the Void Which Binds." At this point unknown forces cut off fatline transmissions (the "hyperstring medium" suddenly becomes unreceptive to modulation.)

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Post by Falkenhayn » 2003-09-13 10:26pm

Pax Era

pgs. 111-112
"The Uriel picked them up at a distance of .86 Light Years and launched three virtual Hawking Hyperkinetics...watched as Holos misted, formed and dematerialized the Oort Cloud, tracking the theoretical hyperkinetic seeker missiles as they shifted out of Hawking space [C- Velocities], sought out the three dormant torchships and registered two Kills and one High Damage Certain-Probable Kill..."
Also, Planet Class Archangel Cruisers are capable of speeds of .75 psl.

pg. 208
"De Soya Hesitated. He could not use the guise of orders to precipitate his departure at six hundred gravities..."
Father Captain Federico de Soya commands the Planet Class Archangel Cruiser Raphael
Many thanks! These darned computers always screw me up. I calculated my first death-toll using a hand-cranked adding machine (we actually calculated the average mortality in each city block individually). Ah, those were the days.
-Stuart
"Mix'em up. I'm tired of States' Rights."
-Gen. George Thomas, Union Army of the Cumberland

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Post by Falkenhayn » 2003-09-13 10:28pm

The above are from The Rise of Endymion
Many thanks! These darned computers always screw me up. I calculated my first death-toll using a hand-cranked adding machine (we actually calculated the average mortality in each city block individually). Ah, those were the days.
-Stuart
"Mix'em up. I'm tired of States' Rights."
-Gen. George Thomas, Union Army of the Cumberland

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-14 09:34am

First, something I overlooked in The Fall of Hyperion, on page 116: there is no time-debt for fatline transmissions or detection of the Hawking effect.

Pax Era:

Endymion, page 7: the chameleon polymer used in FORCE armor in the Hegemony Era is used in civilian hunting ponchos. It is described as being expensive.

Page 13 of Endymion describes a military flechette pistol. The weapon fires a cloud of six thousand steel flechettes and is fed by flechette cartridges. The first shot blows apart the stove Raul Endymion was cooking on, the pan of stew he was cooking, the sink, the window above the sink, and the shelves and crockery on the shelves. While Raul is struggling with the gunman for the weapon, the flechette gun goes off again while aimed at the gunman's own head. The effect is not described in detail, although the passage mentions forensic specialists who "used needle-nosed pliers to try and retrieve every shard of M. Herrig's skull and scattered brain tissue from the perforated floor and wall."

Page 28 of Endymion: Upon learning that over thirty thousand Pax troops have been deployed to capture the girl Aenea, 5,000 of them Vatican Swiss Guard, Raul (who is a former Sergeant in the Hyperion Home Guard) speculates that a dozen Swiss Guard in full armor could probably wipe out the 10,000 troops of the Home Guard.

Pages 33-35 of Endymion: Father Captain De Soya's task force of three fast-attack torchships drops from relativistic velocities under more than 600 G of deceleration. They discover an Ouster orbital forest, composed of several thousand trees each a half-kilometer long. Details follow.
At two-thirds AU, the three torchships of Pax Task Force MAGI open up with their long-distance weapons. At that distance even energy beams would seem to crawl toward their targets like lightning bugs on a black bedsheet, but the Pax ships carry hypervelocity and hyperkinetic weapons: essentially small Hawking-drive starships in their own right, some carrying plasma warheads, which are spun up to relativistic velocities in microseconds to detonate within the forest, others designed simply to drop back into realspace, their masses enlarged, and to plow through the trees like cannonballs fired through wet cardboard at point-blank range. Minutes later the three torchships are within energy-beam distance, and the CPBs lance out in a thousand directions simultaneously, their beams visible because of the riot of colloidal particles now filling space like dust in an old attic.

The forest burns. Tailored bark, oh-two pods, and self-sealing leaves burst from violent decompression or are sawed through by beams and shaped plasma blast-tendrils, and the escaping globules of oxygen fuel the fires amid the vacuum until the air freezes or burns away. And the forest burns. Tens of millions of leaves fly away from the exploding forest, each leaf or cluster of leaves its own blazing pyre, while trunks and branches burn against the black background of space. The shepherd comets are struck and then volatilize in an instant, blasting the braided strands of forest apart in expanding shock waves of steam and molten rock fragments. Space-tailored Ousters - "Lucifer's angels" as the Pax forces have contemptuously called them for centuries - are caught in the explosions like translucent moths in a flame. Some are simply blown apart by the plasma explosions or comet bursts. Others are caught in the path of CPBs and become hyperkinetic objects themselves before their delicate wings and organs are flung apart. Some attempt to flee, expanding their solar wings to the maximum in a vain attempt to outrun the carnage.

None Survive.
Pages 36-37 of Endymion: the crew of a Pax torchship is a dozen officers and half a dozen "others." We also get our first look at an Archangel-class courier ship. The ship's fusion flame "reaches scores of kilometers." The courier ship can travel "anywhere in known space" in a matter of days, rather than the weeks of ship-time and years of real time required by the Hawking drive. Travel using the "Gideon drive" is always fatal to the crew. Details are also given about the time required for resurrection via the Cruciform: the usual time is 3 days, and the risk of an "incomplete reintegration" is near-zero. This time can be accelerated to as little as three hours, but at that point the risk of an unsuccessful resurrection is nearly 50%. Pages 51-52 of Endymion add that an unsuccessful resurrection means that it will be weeks or even months before the subject can be revived, and is described as a "very painful" process. There is also a period of "postresurrection confusion" which can last hours or days.

Page 44 of Endymion: spacecraft, even the in-system variety, are expensive. Raul states that "...even in those days (note- the Hegemony Era) only a planetary economy could afford to build a starship." He further notes that "in his lifetime only the Pax could afford starships of any sort" and "no individual in the known universe" could afford a private ship.

Pages 67-68 of Endymion give us some data on Hawking drive speeds:
I nodded, all the while pondering the wisdom of explaining to him that Old Earth had been swallowed by the black hole dropped into its guts during the Big Mistake of '08. But, then, this ancient creature had fled from that shattered world. It made little sense to contradict his delusions. His Cantos had mentioned some plot by the warring AI TechnoCore to steal Old Earth - to spirit it away to either the Hercules Cluster or the Magellanic Clouds, the Cantos were inconsistent - but that was fantasy. The Magellanic Cloud was a seperate galaxy... more than 160,000 light-years from the Milky Way, if I remembered correctly... and no ship, neither Pax nor Hegemony, had ever been sent farther than our small sphere in one spiral arm of our galaxy - and even with the Hawking-drive exclusion to Einsteinian realities, a trip to the Large Magellanic Cloud would take many centuries of shiptime and tens of thousands of years' time-debt. Even the Ousters who savored the dark places between the stars would not undertake a voyage like that.
Obviously, the distance and times in this quote are ambiguous. page 137 of Endymion gives us a more useful figure. The Consul's ship states a travel time of "six and a half days ship-time, three months time-debt" to travel to Parvati, and better yet gives a distance: 1.28 parsecs. If we assume that the ship is still using Earth-standard months, this would give us a figure of 1 day of ship-time = ~13.85 days of real-time. I came up with a speed of ~234 times C ship-time, with the ship's speed being about 17 times C in real-time. Using those figures in the above quote, passage from the Milky Way to the Large Magellanic Cloud would take about 684 years of ship-time and amass a time-debt of ~22,857 years. Archangel velocity, as stated above, is far faster.

Page 82 of Endymion: the new courier ship which Father Captain De Soya is given command of is designed for a crew of 6, and armed to the level of the torchship he previously commanded. It has an automated resurrection system: this is unusual enough that De Soya remarks upon it.

We learn some more about Pax ground and aerospace forces beginning on page 87 of Endymion. The Pax forces are using fighters: they have to use thrust-reaction planes since EMV vehicles "don't work worth a shit" (to quote Martin Silenus) on Hyperion. The fighters are Scorpion-class: they've clocked them at Mach 3, and they are stated as having a combat ceiling of low orbit. Five ships are in orbit around Hyperion: a three hundred thousand ton Akira-class Troopship, two Pax-class torchships, a C3 ship in high orbit, and De Soya's courier ship. Pax torchships are stated as being capable of lancing the Consul's ship (a target possibly 50 meters long) at a distance of half an AU.

Some miscellaneous details from the same passage: all Hawking drives move at the same "pseudo-velocity," Thus, outrunning another ship is a matter of beating it to the "translation point" in real-space. The Consul's ship has been Ouster-modified to "spin up" to Hawking drive in 23% less time than a Pax torchship is capable of.

Beginning on page 97 of Endymion: Swiss Guard troops wear powered armor, along with a flight pack for mobility. Normally this is an EMV pack, but on Hyperion they must use bulkier reaction packs. The packs are stated to be heating up due to intake of sand in the zero-visibility conditions the troopers are flying in. One of the troopers engages and destroys a suspicious contact (revealed to be a target drone) at a distance of 175 kilometers, using a "steel rain dart" fired at Mach 6. The dart detonates 30 meters above the target and showers it with 20,000 steel flechettes. The Pax deployment includes "armored CTVs, gun emplacements, missile batteries, and observation posts." Their orbital detectors are monitoring the space around Hyperion for a distance of 30 AU.

Pages 154-155, Endymion: a ship's exit velocity from Hawking drive will be identical to it's entrance velocity. The Consul's ship translated to Parvati at .03 C.

Page 168, Endymion: there is a minimum range at which CPBs or kinetics can be used. The range is not stated but appears to be under 100 meters.

Page 183-187, Endymion: To match speed with the Consul's ship, De Soya at first has the courier Raphael accelerating at 147 G. This acceleration climbs to 230 G's as they are attempting to board the Consul's ship. At that speed, he has 4 or 5 minutes before he has to throttle back to avoid the risk of straining the fusion drive systems. When they release the Consul's ship, Raphael is described as throttling back from 110% thrust. The flame from the fusion drive of the Consul's ship is described as "capable of reaching a hundred kilometers through space."

Page 199, Endymion: One of the weapons aboard the Consul's ship is a FORCE-issue assault rifle. Raul rejects the idea of attempting to use it to repel boarders, noting that the rifle is cumbersome to use without powered armor and that Pax-Era power armor will simply shrug off its output.

Page 210 of Endymion details the forces in the Renaissance Vector system, which is a major garrison world and transshipment point for the war against the Ousters.
The resources available to him this time are impressive. Besides more than two hundred thousand ground troops, including several thousand elite Pax Marines and the surviving Swiss Guard Brigades from Hyperion, de Soya finds extensive sea and space naval forces. Present in Renaissance System and subject to his papal diskey command, are 27 torchships - 8 of them Omega class - as well as 108 nesting ramscouts to probe ahead of the torchships, 6 C3 fleet command-and-control ships with their escort cloud of 36 fast-attack ALRs, the attack carrier St. Malo with more than 200 space/air Scorpion fighters and seven thousand crew aboard, the antiquated cruiser Pride of Bressia, now renamed the Jacob, 2 additional troop transports in addition to the St. Thomas Akira, an even score of Benediction-class destroyers, 58 perimeter defense pickets - any 3 of which would be capable of defending an entire world (or a mobile task force) from attack - and more than 100 lesser ships, including in-system frigates that carried a lethal punch for close-in fighting, minesweepers, in-system couriers, drones, and the Raphael.
Endymion, pages 226: at a bare minimum, destruction of a farcaster arch would require atomic explosives. There is doubt implied about whether even nuclear weapons would destoy one. When de Soya realizes they are headed for the arch, he orders the ship shot down and then orders the farcaster arch slagged from orbit for a full minute with a CPB. The effect is as follows.
Both visual and tactical are a visual demonstration of chaos theory as hundreds of aircraft and airborne troopers fly away from the portal as if flung outward by an explosion. The area is barely empty on radar before the violet beam burns down from space. Ten meters wide and too bright to look directly at, the CPB strikes the ancient farcaster portal perfectly on target. Concrete, steel, and ferroplast melt into lakes and rivers of lava on either bank of the real river. The river itself turns to steam in an instant, sending the shock wave and steam cloud billowing out over the city for kilometers in every direction. This time the mushroom cloud reaches toward the stratosphere.
After the orbital lancing, the farcaster portal is glowing white-hot but is still intact. On page 232 of Endymion, de Soya states that the only targets that he knows of which can withstand a full minute of CPB fire are Ouster orbital forests and swarm asteroids, and even those would be "heavily damaged." This is confirmed by the Chief of Planetary Engineers, who states that the alloy of the farcaster was not damaged by the attack, although it radiated heat for over 48 hours. Page 305 of Endymion adds that the farcaster portals have been left in place because the engineers who had examined them feared that a thermonuclear explosion might be the result of attempting to dismantle them.

Page 284 of Endymion: while test-firing an antique .45 automatic pistol, Raul comments on the "indecent roar." Raul had had some familiarization training with slugthrowers on Hyperion since the Ice Claw rebels used them, but the noise seems louder than anything he is used to. Possible explanations would be that either the projectile weapons he trained with used a weaker cartridge than .45 ACP, or they used some sort of sound suppression. The plasma rifle is described as being able to hit targets out to the horizon (~25 kilometers on Mare Infinitus.) It is a quiet weapon: the noise is described by Raul as a "cat's cough."

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-15 05:20pm

Pax Era:

Endymion, page 335: flechette guns are accurate to around 60 or 70 meters.

Endymion, page 366: a person wearing the Cruciform can be resurrected merely from "a few centimeters of the intact Cruciform and a bit of flesh that can be DNA typed and grown to order." It is not, however, infallible: the lieutenant knocked over the side of the ocean platform is declared to have died the "True Death" when no part of his body or Cruciform can be recovered. Too much time decomposing or the total destruction of the body (by the thermonuclear explosion of a ship's drive, for example) can defeat it.

Endymion, page 369: The Pax has submersibles which can operate at twelve thousand fathoms.

Endymion, page 442: Cardinal Lourdusamy explains the newest ships in the Pax fleet to Father Captain de Soya.
"We have thousands of ships...," begins the priest-captain and stops.

"Yes," purrs the Cardinal. "These ships will use the new archangel technology. But they will not be like your Raphael - a lightly armed courier - but the deadliest battle cruisers this spiral arm has ever seen. Capable of translating anywhere in the galaxy in less time than it takes a dropship to rise to orbit. Each ship named after its homeworld, each staffed by devoted Pax officers such as yourself - men and women willing to suffer death and receive resurrection - and each capable of destroying entire swarms."
Page 451 of Endymion describes the workings of the Raphael's drive.
The Raphael spins down into Sol Draconi System. Contrary to the explanations received by Father Captain de Soya and others who travel by archangel craft, its drive mechanism is not a modification of the ancient Hawking drive that has defied the lightspeed barrier since before the Hegira. Raphael's drive is largely a hoax: when it reaches near-quantum velocities, it keys a signal on a medium once referred to as the Void Which Binds. An energy source from elsewhere triggers a distant device that ruptures a subplane of that medium, tearing through the fabric of space and time itself. That rupture is instantly fatal to the human crew, who die in agony - cells rupturing, bones being ground to powder, synapses misfiring, bowels releasing, organs liquefying. They are never to know the details: all memory of the final microseconds of horror and death are erased during cruciform reconstruction and resurrection.

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-19 05:17pm

Pax Era:

Endymion, page 467, on the workings of the Farcaster portals:
All during the three centuries of the Hegemony of Man, everyone knew that there were hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of TechnoCore-created farcaster portals - from the smallest doorway to the larger River Tethys arches to the huge spaceborne portals. Everyone was wrong. There is only one farcaster portal. But it is everywhere.

Using the interface module, Rhadamanth Nemes queries the pulsing, living warmth of the true farcaster within its camouflage disguise of metal, electronics, and fusion shield. For centuries, humans jumping by farcaster within the Web - at its height, one human analyst suggested that there were more than one billion jumps a second taking place - had served the Ultimates, those elements of the TechnoCore who existed to create a more advanced AI... the Ultimate Intelligence whose consciousness would absorb the galaxy, perhaps the universe. Every time a human had accessed the fatline-connected dataspheres or farcast during those Webdays, that human being's synapses and DNA had added to the computing power of the Web-wide neural net the Core had built. The Core had cared nothing for humankind's visceral urge to move about, to travel without energy expenditure or time lapse, but the farcaster Web had been the perfect bait to weave the very fabric of those teeming hundreds of billions of primitive, organic brains into something useful.
Endymion, page 507: Raul on plasma rifles.
I wanted to tell her that a plasma bolt would hurt anything not wrapped in twenty centimeters of Web-era impact armor.
Endymion. page 516: Pax combat suits have an ablative shield of hundreds of microlayers of colored ablative in case of a coherent light firefight. This layer of ablative can possibly survive atmospheric reentry from low orbit using an auxillary reaction pack for retro thrust, although de Soya describes it later on page 549 as a "desperate attempt."

Endymion, page 540: extreme heat can set off plasma rifle cartridges.

The Rise of Endymion, page 32: Hegemony/Pax-standard months are exactly equivalent to Earth months.

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Post by beyond hope » 2003-09-20 06:34am

Pax Era:

The Rise of Endymion, pages 53-54 give us the first description of the Planet-class Archangel battlecruisers:
"His Holiness has asked each industrial world in the Pax to build - or at least to bankroll - one of these planet-class archangel battlecruisers, Father Captain," said Admiral Wu in her briefing voice. "In the past four years, twenty-one of them have entered active service. Another sixty are nearing completion." The holo began to rotate and enlarge until suddenly the main deck was shown in cutaway. It was as if a laser lance had sliced the ship in half.

"As you see," continued Wu, "the living areas, command decks, and C-three tactical centers are much roomier than on the earlier Raphael... roomier even than your old torchship. The drives - both the classified C-plus instantaneous Gideon drive and the in-system fusion plant - have been reduced in size by one-third while gaining in efficiency and ease of maintenance. The new Raphael carries three atmospheric dropships and a high-speed scout. There are automated resurrection creches aboard to serve a crew of twenty-eight and up to twenty-two marines or passengers."

"Defenses?" asked Father Captain de Soya, still standing at-ease, his hands clasped behind him.

"Class-ten containment fields," said Wu crisply. "The newest stealth technology. Omega-class ECM and jamming ability. As well as the usual assortment of close-in hyperkinetic and energy defenses."

"Attack capabilities?" said de Soya. He could tell from the apertures and arrays visible on the holo, but he wanted to hear it.

Admiral Marusyn answered with a tone of pride, as if showing off a new grandchild. "The whole nine meters," he said. "CPBs, of course, but feeding off the C-plus drive core rather than the fusion drive. Slag anything within half an AU. New Hawking hyperkinetic missiles - miniaturized - about half the mass and size of the ones you carried on Balthasar. Plasma needles with almost twice the yield of the warheads of five years ago. Deathbeams..."

Father Captain de Soya tried not to react. Deathbeams had been prohibited in Pax Fleet.
Pages 79 and 80 of The Rise of Endymion give us some more details of the new Raphael's exterior:
De Soya was given one day to recover his faculties and was then shuttled to the Omicron^2-Epsilon^3 fleet staging area, a hundred thousand klicks out from the military base. The midshipman piloting the wasp-shuttle went out of his way to give Father Captain de Soya a good look at his command, and - despite himself - de Soya was thrilled with what he saw.

The H.H.S. Raphael was obviously state-of-the-art technology, no longer derivative - as all of the previous Pax ships de Soya had seen had been - of rediscovered Hegemony designs from before the Fall. The overall design seemed too lean for practical vacuum work and too complicated for atmosphere, but the overall effect was one of streamlined lethality. The hull was a composite of morphable alloys and areas of pure fixed energy, allowing rapid shape and function changes that would have been impossible a few years before. As the shuttle passed the Raphael in a long, slow ballistic arc, de Soya watched the exterior of the long ship go from chrome silver to a stealth matte black, essentially disappearing from view. At the same time, several of the instrument booms and living cubbies were swallowed by the smooth central hull, until only weapons' blisters and containment field probes remained. Either the ship was preparing for out-system translation checks, or the officers aboard knew very well that the passing wasp carried their new commander and they were showing off a bit.

De Soya knew that both assumptions were almost certainly true.

Beforethe cruiser blacked into oblivion, de Soya noticed how the fusion drive spheres had been clustered like pearls around the central ship's axis rather than concentrated in a single swelling such as on his old torchship, the Balthasar. He also noticed how much smaller the hexagonal Gideon-drive array was on this ship than on the prototype Raphael/ His last glimpse before the ship became invisible was of the lights glowing from the retracted, translucent living cubbies and the clear dome of the command deck. During combat, de Soya knew from his reading on Pacem and the RNA-instructional injections he had received at Pax Fleet headquarters that these clear areas would morph thicker, armored epidermises, but de Soya had always enjoyed a view and would appreciate the window into space.
Another bit of technology aboard the new archangel battlecruisers is revealed on page 89 of The Rise of Endymion: they have a new resurrection creche which allows for a 2 day cycle, with a 92% chance of a successful resurrection.

Page 56 of The Rise of Endymion gives us the dimensions for the headquarters of the Pax Mercantilus. It is described as a carbon-carbon doughnut 270 meters thick, a full klick wide, and 26 kilometers in diameter, orbiting in the trojan point trailing the Vatican world of Pacem by some sixty orbital degrees.

Page 112 of The Rise of Endymion: Pax torchships are capable of hiding within the photosphere of a large K-type star, using class-ten containment fields for shielding and radiating heat with trailing monofilaments half a million kilometers long.

The following beginning on page 136 of The Rise of Endymion explains both Hegemony era space combat and the crucial differences in how the archangel battlecruisers operate.
Space war had brought a return to such mutually agreed upon engagements. The great battles of the Hegemony days - whether the ancient internecine wars with General Horace Glennon-Height and his ilk, or the centuries of warfare between Web worlds and Ouster Swarms - had usually been waged close to a planet or spaceborne farcaster portal. And distances between the combatants were absurdly short - hundreds of thousands of klicks, often tens of thousands, frequently less than that - given the light-years and parsecs traveled by the warring parties. But this closing on the enemy was necessary given the time it took a fusion-powered laser lance, a CPB, or ordinary attack missiles to cross even one AU - seven minutes for light to crawl across the distance between would-be killer and target, much longer for even the highest-boost missile, where the hunt, chase and kill could take days of seek and countermeasure, attack and parry. Ships with C-plus capability had no incentive to hang around in enemy space waiting for these seeker missiles, and the Church-sponsored restriction on AIs in warheads made the effectiveness of these weapons problematic at best. So the shape of space battles over the centuries of the Hegemony had been simple - fleets translating into disputed space and finding other translating fleets or more static in-system defenses, a quick closing to more lethal distances, a brief but terrible exchange of energies, and the inevitable retreat of the more savaged forces - or total destruction if the defending forces had nowhere to retreat - followed by consolidation of gains by the winning fleet.

Technically, the slower ships de Soya had served in previously had a powerful tactical advantage over the instantaneous-drive archangel cruisers. Revival from cryogenic fugue state took only hours at worst, minutes at best, so the captain and crew of a Hawking-drive ship could be ready to fight shortly after translating from C-plus. With the archangels, and even with papal dispensation for the accelerated and risky two-day resurrection cycles, it was fifty standard hours or more before the human elements of the ships were ready to do battle. Theoretically, this gave a great advantage to the defenders. Theoretically, the Pax could have optomized the use of Gideon-drive ships by having uncrewed craft piloted by AIs flick into enemy space, wreak havoc, and flick out again before the defenders knew that they were under attack.

But such theory did not apply here. Autonomous intelligences capable of such advanced fuzzy logic would never be allowed by the Church. More importantly, Pax Fleet had designed attack strategies to meet the requirements of resurrection so that no advantage would be surrendered to defenders. Simply put, no battles were to be fought by mutual agreement. The seven archangels had been designed to descend upon the enemy like the mailed fist of God, and that was precisely what they were doing now.

In the first three Task Force GIDEON incursions into Ouster space, Mother Captain Stone's ship, the Gabriel, translated first and decelerated hard in-system, drawing all long-range electro-magnetic, neutrino, and other sensor probes. The restricted AIs aboard Gabriel were sufficient to catalogue the position and identity of all defensive positions and population centers in the system, while simultaneously monitoring the sluggish in-system movement of all Ouster attack and merchant vehicles.

Thirty minutes later, the Uriel, Raphael, Remiel, Sariel, Michael, and Raguel would translate in-system. Dropping to only three-quarters light-speed, the task force would be moving like bullets compared to the tortoise velocities of the accelerating Ouster torchships. Receiving Gabriel's intelligence and targeting data via tightbeam burst, the task force would open fire with weaponry that held no respect for the limitations of light-speed. The improved Hawking-drive hyper-k missiles would wink into existence among enemy ships and above population centers, some using velocity and precise aiming to destroy targtes, others detonating in carefully shaped but promiscuous plasma or thermonuclear blasts. At the same instant, recoverable Hawking-drive high-velocity probes would jump to target points and translate into real space, radiating conventional lance beams and CPBs like so many lethal sea urchins, destroying anything and everything within a hundred-thousand-klick radius.

Most terribly, the shipborne deathbeams would slice outward from the task force archangels like invisible scythes, propagating along the Hawking-drive wakes of probes and missiles and translating into real space as surely as the terrible swift sword of God. Countless trillions of synapses were fried and scrambled in an instant. Tens of thousands of Ousters died without knowing they were under attack.

And then the GIDEON Task Force would come back in-system on thousand-kilometer tails of flame, closing in for the final kill.
Page 142 of The Rise of Endymion:Standard Swiss Guard battle armor is designed for surviving, moving, and fighting in environments ranging from air to water, hard vacuum, hard radiation, slug assault, energy lance assault, and high explosive environment up to the kiloton-yield range. The new commando suits also include their own class-four containment field and can piggyback on the ships' fields.

Page 150 of The Rise of Endymion: As on Hyperion, EMVs are useless on Mars.

Page 200 of The Rise of Endymion: Per Hoag Liebler (Executive Officer aboard the Raphael,) no Pax ship in three centuries had ever mutinied or come close to a mutiny.

Page 203, The Rise of Endymion: Resurrection does not have to be instantaneous. Father Captain de Soya avoids permanently killing Hoag Liebler by putting his dead body in the resurrestion creche and setting it to "store."

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SyntaxVorlon
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Post by SyntaxVorlon » 2003-09-21 02:22am

EMVs aren't useless, just unjustifiably hard to keep working due to the unpowerful mag field.

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