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Pages 121, 122: Followers 
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Everyone seems to believe it was the Umiak who blew Alex's ship. That's premature, I'd say. (My personal guess is it was the Historians).


Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:20 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
CF2 wrote:
Krulle wrote:
The Stray recognised that this tactic may be what his admirality wants, but brings little to no effect. So he prefers to bring news home, and possibly scavenge the other ships to improve his own. And come back in greater forces.

If there is ever to be a more personal adversary for Alex then the vague random Umiak that toasted his ship, I'd wager it will be The Stray or others like them.


I don't think its been established that the Umiak toasted Bellarmine, and I'd be fairly surprised if it was.

CJSF


Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:45 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Victor_D wrote:
Everyone seems to believe it was the Umiak who blew Alex's ship. That's premature, I'd say. (My personal guess is it was the Historians).

Why the Historians?

cacambo43 wrote:
I don't think its been established that the Umiak toasted Bellarmine, and I'd be fairly surprised if it was.

Why the surprise?

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Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:54 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
CF2 wrote:
Victor_D wrote:
Everyone seems to believe it was the Umiak who blew Alex's ship. That's premature, I'd say. (My personal guess is it was the Historians).

Why the Historians?


Blind guess, mostly. AFAIK only three races have plasma focus weapons: the Loroi, the Umiak and the Historians. Of them, the Historians are by far the most advanced, so a rudimentary "stealth" on their ship (allowing to escape detection by the fighting Loroi/Umiak fleets and Bellarmine herself) is not out of the question. If Beryl spoke the truth about what kind of a weapon destroyed the Bellarmine, then – given how the Loroi seem honestly baffled (and they are very bad liars to fake it) – this leaves the Umiak and the Historians. I fail to see how destroying unknown alien vessels would play into the Umiak's agenda, so I suspect the Historians, especially because they clearly have some ulterior motives. I wouldn't be surprised if it was them who somehow manipulated the Loroi and Umiak to start fighting each other, in an effort to weaken both their potential adversaries. Maybe the plan backfired when the Umiak invaded them, forcing them to play a more active role in the war rather than stand on the sidelines and watch as the Loroi/Umiak bleed each other white in their own little "WW1 in space".


Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:19 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

There is another thread from a while back where people discussed their skepticism about who the attacker was. The Vessel That Destroyed The Bellarmine

A quick read through suggests that most people think that there is more to the Bellarmine's destruction than we currently know. Some unidentified third party, possibly the Historians, is a possibility though.

While the Umiak might have decided to engage in random actions to throw off their enemies, their behavior does not make a great deal of sense, if they were the ones who destroyed the Bellarmine.


Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:29 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
They said a new enemy does that mean its a new force or a new foe altogether?


Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:42 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
CF2 wrote:
cacambo43 wrote:
I don't think its been established that the Umiak toasted Bellarmine, and I'd be fairly surprised if it was.

Why the surprise?

Because it wouldn't make for a compelling story, in my opinion. I have more faith in Arioch than that. I am also hedging toward the Historians, but maybe not as strongly as some. In my opinion, I/We don't know enough about the Loroi to rule out a faction or some other ally being responsible.

CJSF


Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:41 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Victor_D wrote:
Blind guess, mostly. AFAIK only three races have plasma focus weapons: the Loroi, the Umiak and the Historians. Of them, the Historians are by far the most advanced, so a rudimentary "stealth" on their ship (allowing to escape detection by the fighting Loroi/Umiak fleets and Bellarmine herself) is not out of the question. If Beryl spoke the truth about what kind of a weapon destroyed the Bellarmine, then – given how the Loroi seem honestly baffled (and they are very bad liars to fake it) – this leaves the Umiak and the Historians. I fail to see how destroying unknown alien vessels would play into the Umiak's agenda, so I suspect the Historians, especially because they clearly have some ulterior motives. I wouldn't be surprised if it was them who somehow manipulated the Loroi and Umiak to start fighting each other, in an effort to weaken both their potential adversaries. Maybe the plan backfired when the Umiak invaded them, forcing them to play a more active role in the war rather than stand on the sidelines and watch as the Loroi/Umiak bleed each other white in their own little "WW1 in space".


The attack on the bellarmine was an inside job. There was no plasma lance attack, those are false memories implanted in alex' mind as part of a manchurian infiltration effort disguised as a 'first-contact' mission. Plasma beams can't melt steel fuel tanks; humanity is the patsy, space-google "loose credits" and "intergalactic orgus banking cartel conspiracy kelvin 761.483"!


Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:28 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
cacambo43 wrote:
Because it wouldn't make for a compelling story, in my opinion. I have more faith in Arioch than that. I am also hedging toward the Historians, but maybe not as strongly as some. In my opinion, I/We don't know enough about the Loroi to rule out a faction or some other ally being responsible.
CJSF


The on-ship conflict going on behind the scenes in part one could have been due to the either accidental or willful destruction of the bellarmine, for example.


Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:31 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Do the loroi actually have any 300m vessels with plasma beams? Seems to be a lot more of those among the umiak.


Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:39 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

The puzzle pieces don't quite add up. Though it could all be part of some Umiak master plan, it seems highly unlikely that they had some intricate machinations involving the Bellarmine, which they almost certainly couldn't have known about.

Maybe another scout ship made contact with the Umiak somewhere else in their territory, but the chances of them making contact, interrogating the crew, coming up with a plan, and then beating the Bellarmine to the steppes; when they had such a big head start already, seems unlikely.

Klicky-27 must have had a plan when they came to the Steppes with all those sneaky fleets. I can't think of a plausible goal for them to try to negotiate for the Bellarmine's wreckage, that they couldn't have achieved an easier way, if they were the ones to destroy it in the first place. The best I can come up with is that it was an unexpected opportunity to spread disinformation in a believable way, but if the initial operation was so flimsy that they didn't have confidence in its success to begin with, it seems like an odd way to reveal a secret weapon to the enemy.


Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:38 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
There are a few variables one needs to consider. The first is that this would need to be a second ship the Loroi couldn't know about, and the reasons for the first are unique to the species crewing it(but could theoretically be replicated by a sterile ship and robotic crew). The second is that the other ship would either need to have gotten into position before any other ships picked it up, or it would have had to moved without being noticed to get into position at that moment to fire. The third is that whoever shot the Bellarmine had to have some knowledge of who or what it was, since they'd have understood fairly quickly it wasn't actually involved in the war and wasn't armed or hostile, but fired on it anyway.

Occams razor suggests that it was another Terran ship that somehow had non Terran weapons, since the colonial authorities are the only ones that had knowledge of the Bellarmine's route, purpose, and origin. The why's and hows would obviously have to be implausible, but it's the only one with a faction that fits most of the pieces.

The next most likley scenario is the historians, since they have artificial intelligences and weapons that could do that ...but then the historian A.I. on deck doesn't seem aware of what's going on, and there's no reasonable way the historians could know as a larger group since the two civilizations are on different ends of Loroi space and there's no way for them to know about each other.

From there I'd go so far as to say it'd need to be the Soia before the Umiak, since they'd logically need to have known Earths location. But any theoretical modern Soia would be so unpredictable to be a useless guess.

If the Umiak knew the Bellarmine was there but did nothing, but wanted it's crew dead for unspecified reasons, and sacrificed their chance at victory by firing on the Loroi from a surprise flank, they'd essentially need to view destroying that ship as a higher priority than fighting the fight they were already in the middle of.


Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:05 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

Occam's Razor is not a method of choosing between different results, it is a heuristic for simplifying hypothesis that provide the same results, with the intent of testing as few variables as possible in any given experiment. Simpler hypothesis are easier to test and harder to confuse.

Now, if we're going by some kind of law of simplicity, another Terran ship seems like the least likely possibility. We know from the narrator that the TCA does not have anything remotely like that ship, there's no reason for them to shoot themselves, and there is no necessity for having prior knowledge of their route, purpose, and origin. While the attacking ship was stealthy, the only stealth that the Bellarmine employed was that the Loroi were focused on other things at the time. Anyone in the system could have seen them and boosted in their direction.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:19 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
I think that the ship that destroyed the Bellarmine was probably not from Tricky-Klicky's fleet, although I do think they are connected, my personal feelings is the new 'stealth' technology is something that has been give to them as part of a deal from an insider race within the Loroi Union (looking at you here Historians) and the ship that plasma kebabed the Bellarmine was an observer vessel checking the effects of the device or was monitoring the Loroi fleet or even affecting them through the Historians data-construct (although the Loroi hosts are unwilling to permit any access to anymore resources than the one the Historian had onboard the Tempest, that doesn't mean a hidden nearby vessel cant supply more).
To be honest, I do wonder at why they felt the need to destroy the Bellarmine and risk giving away their position if they were already hidden. I mean, the Tempest managed to filter out and recognise the plasma discharges at a later time, so it wouldn't take much more output for them to have been picked up by the Loroi ships who sensors were probably on high alert to detect just such weapon discharges in the Combat theatre. So there must have been some absolute need to eradicate the Bellarmine.

Or it could be something totally different.

I however am waiting for Alex to use the remains of the Bellarmine that were put on board the transport to build a giant killer mecha called the Bellar-Magnum, or X-Mine, then after much pathos, angst and drama, punch Mr Klicky in the face so hard his home world detonates into a small sun, then retire to a tropical world with a harem of Loroi worshipers for a life of luxury.
The end


Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:21 am
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
icekatze wrote:
hi hi

Occam's Razor is not a method of choosing between different results, it is a heuristic for simplifying hypothesis that provide the same results, with the intent of testing as few variables as possible in any given experiment. Simpler hypothesis are easier to test and harder to confuse.

Now, if we're going by some kind of law of simplicity, another Terran ship seems like the least likely possibility. We know from the narrator that the TCA does not have anything remotely like that ship, there's no reason for them to shoot themselves, and there is no necessity for having prior knowledge of their route, purpose, and origin. While the attacking ship was stealthy, the only stealth that the Bellarmine employed was that the Loroi were focused on other things at the time. Anyone in the system could have seen them and boosted in their direction.


That's the point, there's no one group that could both have the knowledge, produce a ship, and have the effects necessary, let alone all three while also having the motivation. Of those four things no group, including it being an inside job, has more than two. But to me it's more reasonable to assume that a group that had the knowledge found the weapon, than it is to say that a group that had the weapon found the knowledge, simply because nobody but a human vessel and maybe these new stealth ships could actually blend in AND get there first.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

The Loroi, the Umiak, and possibly their allies have been fighting over the Naam system for years. They have already been there for a long time, and the Bellarmine's path into the system dovetails into a legitimate entry point from Umiak territory. (The system the Bellarmine jumped into Naam from is only one jump away from Umiak held space.)

There is no need to know about the Bellarmine ahead of time in order to cross paths in an inbound jump-trajectory.

The fact that the attacker closed distance to 850 kilometers instead of destroying the Bellarmine from 20,000 to 50,000+ kilometers away, which would be an optimal distance for a plasma focus, suggests that they made the choice to destroy the Bellarmine only after close inspection, rather than having planned to destroy it in advance.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:21 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Yes, but that would require a ship, or ships, be positioned to attack the Loroi but refuse to. If I understand the details right firing like that also opened them up to detection. For it to be the Umiak they would have to prioritize attacking an unaffiliated ship over attacking a ship that's presently attacking their own forces.

Not to mention that even that distance is rather close in terms of space. For the Umiak to detect the ship when no other ship, including other Umiak ships, were able to raises a number of questions. Additionally ther's the obvious problem in that the Bellarmine was hit in such a way as to be totally destroyed. It was bisected, then each section was hit again just to confirm it was dead. All of this happened within minutes of the Bellarmine entering the system.

The attack on the Bellarmine is rather unambiguously premediated, and from someone who at least had an idea of what they were shooting at. There odds of any of that happening any other way are simply too high.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:08 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

There is nothing unambiguous about it.

The Umiak have been shown, first hand in the comic, to hold portions of their forces in reserve. Having reserve units is honestly a very common, very rudimentary military strategy. One of the primary functions of having reserve units is to respond to unforeseen events.

While hiding inside the protoplanetary disk afforded the ships inside some measure of cover, any ship in open space would be easily detectable. The disk itself is going to disk shaped, and the Captain Hamilton's choice of moving to the edge of the disk, put it into a very narrow volume of space. Any other ships that had jumped into the system from that corridor and were looking to hide, would necessarily find themselves in a similar region of space. In the hours that it took for the Bellarmine to travel from the jump point to the edge of the Proplyd, any other ship in the Proplyd would have had some opportunity to travel there too, especially since all of the major combatants have better propulsion than the Terrans.

Alexander Jardin's mission has been adversely affected by some truly absurd coincidences, but sometimes that's just how the luck of the draw works. Sometimes random chance does unexpected things like that.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:38 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
Here's my current thought: the Umiak have been bringing lightly-staffed semi-drone fleets to Naam for years. The uncrewed ships follow a simple heuristic of "drift predictably-investigate anomalies-destroy/evade intruders-allow friendlies to dock". They aren't fully functional, but they have enough capabilities to protect themselves, mostly with non-detection. They drift predictably because a skeleton crew, calculated to be either below Farseer detection thresholds or easily confused with message drone crews, is also in the proplyd, constantly maintaining the ships. 27 spent a while in the proplyd, because his fleet was escorting the crew intended to bring the stockpiled ships up to functional (though probably still skeleton-crew) status.

The unknown vessel detected an active anomaly, slowly approached to investigate, detected active weapons fire in system (no sense giving yourself away if you can't be mistaken for the norm), detected no "all clear" indications, and thereby fired. Either that, or didn't detect the Bellarmine until shortly before Bellarmine detected it, triggering a "close contact" branch in it's evasion routine.


Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:12 pm
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Post Re: Pages 121, 122: Followers
hi hi

A drone ship is a possibility, although I expect that Captain Hamilton was right. It's too far away from the battle to be a picket ship. If it is the Umiak, they must have more going on in the system than the Loroi realized.

Looking at it from the attacker's perspective though, I find myself more convinced that it is a third party. Suppose you're in a sneaky ship, sneaking around. Then, some random starship, the likes of which you haven't seen before, heads straight for you; and when you try to figure out who they are, they start broadcasting stuff at you. My first thought, as the captain of the sneaky ship would be, "How did they find us?"

If I were the Umiak, who is just now testing the sneaky ships for the first time, I would want to have the answer to that question in the worst way. And since I'm trying to dominate the theater of combat, I wouldn't hesitate to take it or use a show of force, like revealing my fleets at the edge of the Proplyd.

If I were a third party trying to keep my presence unknown, I would be worried about the answer, but more than that, I would want to eliminate all evidence and every witness. Then I would get away, rather than spending lots of time sifting through the wreckage for answers, which could give away my presence.


Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:11 pm
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