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The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine 
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
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Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:37 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
But Arioch has stated that this weapons table was experimental in the first place and secondly is too old to be considered accurate...


Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:42 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Grayhome wrote:
But Arioch has stated that this weapons table was experimental in the first place and secondly is too old to be considered accurate...

old or experimental its the only evidence to support his argument but i think it might be valid since, to best known knowledge there seems too be no other table or information like this and is not actually dis-credited by its creator, more likely an early draft which is why, before this argument/discussion goes further i have 2 questions:

1) where did the table come from and

2) can Arioch comment on its credibility/usefulness/up/outdatedness? Since you know your own work better than the rest of us :)

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:34 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
I posted the table here some years ago. The numbers in the table are outdated, but the listed weapons are still correct.

The Historians use an advanced type of plasma focus that can fire in different offensive or defensive modes. The Historians gave the plans for a simplified version of this weapon to the Loroi, from which the Loroi eventually derived the pulse cannon.

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:00 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Arioch wrote:
I posted the table here some years ago. The numbers in the table are outdated, but the listed weapons are still correct.

The Historians use an advanced type of plasma focus that can fire in different offensive or defensive modes. The Historians gave the plans for a simplified version of this weapon to the Loroi, from which the Loroi eventually derived the pulse cannon.


... and who wants to bet $50 that it was the Historians too who, under the table, gave the Plasma Focus tech to the Umiaks during the 25+ year period between Loroi-Umiak First Contact and the outbreak of the war. :twisted:

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:14 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Thanks, Fredgiblet&Arioch, for the clarification.

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Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:41 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
CRACKPOT THEORY!

it's crazy, but all we know about the historians is they like their privacy.

Who's to say they don't protect a race they know as the 'caretakers' who protect and hide the secrets of a number of 'species of interest' from the past...

One of whom is humanity.
When the 'caretakers' discovered the human ship near the belligerent Loroi borders, and the fight, and had to act to help maintain their secrets, and hopefully preserve the human race.


Apparently they didn't count on Alex surviving however, which could indicate they are far from perfect :p


Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:41 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
What if the vessel that fire on Bellarmine was simply a reaction?. One moment it was scouting/observing the battle the next "omg" a ship suddenly appear in front off them. The scanners they may be using, uses pure psychick and combine them with the apparent null mind of the terrens, the result is a disaster at close range.


Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:44 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
The terran ship was idling around for a pretty long time. So that's a no.


Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:15 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
junk wrote:
The terran ship was idling around for a pretty long time. So that's a no.


Theory:
The Bellarmine was fired upon only when it begun to transmit a message. What if the Loroi Farseers thought of it as an unknown automated robotic drone/scout - to be investigated AFTER the battle was over.

Of course Hamilton couldn't for the sake of his life hold his mouth shut at least for the duration of combat - and then choosing the victorious party - and had to transmit a message STILL when the battle was still fought out between the Elfes and the Bugs.

The Farseers went probably nuts and prioritised that ship for disabling ... only not counting-in that their main advantage of targetting - which is telepathic targeting - won't work this time and mis-fired into the midsection of the Bellarmine. Also probably overestimating the durability, armor and tech level of the ship in question, probably due to thinking that if somebody can block telepathy then that party must be seriuosly technologically advanced ... which caused the Bellarmine to explode.

*this theory does not take into account that Tempo was looking very suspiciously towards the Historian Emissary when she heard from Alex about the "green-ish colour" of the beam weapon that destroyed the Bellarmine. Which brings up the following idea:*

Idea:
Also of note is the wording of the sentence of the Umiak commander "[Enemy Forces]" in conjuction with him asking about the destruction of the Bellarmine by "[Enemy Forces]". The Umiak didn't specify if it was a Loroi Union ship or one of the allied powers ambassadors ships - the Basram and the Historian. Which is very suspicious.

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Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:46 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
I strongly doubt that Farseers are used for actual target designation, partially due to there only being one with the entire group (a.k.a. too high a workload), partially due to the presence of positions on the bridge for that, partially because Farseers don't seem to me to have the resolution required, partially because Farseers are a quasi-military caste (only genuine military castes would be allowed duties/privileges such as setting targets).

Now, strategic analysis might be up their alley: analyze which sub-groups are primarily robotic, and assume that those are the stupider, and thus lower priority, targets. But actual target allocation/prioritization? No.

Also, the aggressor in that incident was still too close to the Bellarmine and too far from the battle for it to be the Loroi. In this particular system the 'safest' place for Loroi vessels is with the Loroi. Umiak forces could be hiding in any number of places, making the safeness of areas in the system unpredictable, whereas you can predict that unless things go really bad the Loroi battle group will be able to evade most of the possible damage due to fore-knowledge.

The Barsam courier might be a different story (and that, incidentally, is where the Historian envoy apparently is, so eliminate all thoughts of the envoy's ship: there isn't one), but actual Loroi forces would be with the battle group, and even the courier was probably with the battle group for reasons of safety.

The only known forces within the system that this leaves is the Umiak, and it seems unlikely that an Umiak ship that had edged that close to another ship would start firing unless they believed themselves under attack.

Conclusion: The Bellarmine's attacker is currently unidentifiable, because the attack just doesn't make sense for any of the known actors.

As for only being attacked when they started sending a message, I mostly agree; that is the first interpretation that comes to mind. Someone, I think, was trying to hide while watching the battle, moved to investigate a unknown ship (the Bellarmine) and panicked when the Bellarmine started broadcasting to them (I'm working under the assumption that they believed their EW abilities sufficient to keep them hidden longer: Arioch has said that Humanity's computer technology, which implies to me their sensor-interpretation technology as well, are unusually advanced for their tech level in the story).


Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:12 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
That's an interesting interpretation... instead of assuming that both ships saw each other simultaneously (or the aggressor saw them first), the alien commander is spooked by a previously unknown ship announcing itself at perilously close range and then doing evasive maneuvers.

Alternatively: if the "friendship messages" included video, an Umiak vessel would assume they were looking at Loroi and open fire. Maybe even voice info would be enough for the Umiak, I would imagine that the Loroi/Human vocal sounds would be relatively distinct, even when speaking Trade.

@ Absalom:

I agree that the Barsam and Loroi would be out of their minds to be going alone in that system, but I disagree with your assessment regarding the Umiak. I see a number of possibilities that could include an Umiak aggressor:

1) The ship is drifting to observe the battle from relative safety (perhaps because it's carrying their far-sight jamming equipment) and then it and Bellarmine spot each other simultaneously. The captain, erring on the side of caution (especially if the jamming equipment is there), obliterates Bellarmine because of the high risk posed by a vessel at that range, even from a low-tech civilisation.

2) The Umiak ARE aware of the human vessel, but don't fire until the friendship message is sent. The friendship message contains audio/visual information that makes them misidentify the humans as Loroi, and they assume the target ship belongs to the Union. I don't like this one, though, since the Umiak would be crazy to intentionally get that close to a vessel they haven't identified.

It's still odd to have a lone Umiak vessel of that size drifting in the middle of nowhere, though. If it was indeed an Umiak vessel, it makes me think that it was performing a special function (ie, carrying a farsight jamming device.)


Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:02 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
starstriker1 wrote:
@ Absalom:

I agree that the Barsam and Loroi would be out of their minds to be going alone in that system, but I disagree with your assessment regarding the Umiak. I see a number of possibilities that could include an Umiak aggressor:

1) The ship is drifting to observe the battle from relative safety (perhaps because it's carrying their far-sight jamming equipment) and then it and Bellarmine spot each other simultaneously. The captain, erring on the side of caution (especially if the jamming equipment is there), obliterates Bellarmine because of the high risk posed by a vessel at that range, even from a low-tech civilisation.
IF there is one or more ships with farsight jammers (I'm thinking this Umiak force just has a lot more automation than normal, so that it looks like a smaller force than it is) then they'll be hidden with the REST of their individual battle formation, because having them actually be all alone is both dangerous and unusual: Umiak war ships travel in large groups. The very fact that the Loroi found Jardin instead of the Umiak indicates that the vessel was
1) alone, and
2) that it left once it was satisfied with it's thoroughness.

I don't have a problem with part 2, but when you consider part 1 in light of Bellarmine's situation, it doesn't seem to me to fit the Umiak. I can imagine an array of Umiak ships positioned around the system for observation purposes, but any such ship would have paid enough attention to it's target that it would find, for example, Jardin. It may be that it was an automated drone warship sent out remotely to observe which followed some simple heuristics to decide to attack right then, but that level of automation seems a bit TOO high: I'm expecting everything at least as large as a gunship to have a minimum of one Umiak as crew.

starstriker1 wrote:
2) The Umiak ARE aware of the human vessel, but don't fire until the friendship message is sent. The friendship message contains audio/visual information that makes them misidentify the humans as Loroi, and they assume the target ship belongs to the Union. I don't like this one, though, since the Umiak would be crazy to intentionally get that close to a vessel they haven't identified.
I am actually assuming that the other ship intentionally got that close, but I'm assuming that it was detected when it passed behind a thinner bit of some particular cloud. My theory is that they expected their EW + the cloud to prevent their detection for longer than it did.

This is not the same thing as saying that I think they didn't intend to fire: I have no doubt that if this is what happened, then they were already prepared to fire and just hadn't intended to settle on THAT particular action until after they'd gotten more data.

starstriker1 wrote:
It's still odd to have a lone Umiak vessel of that size drifting in the middle of nowhere, though. If it was indeed an Umiak vessel, it makes me think that it was performing a special function (ie, carrying a farsight jamming device.)
As I've mentioned above, I think that if the Umiak DO have a farsight jammer, then they'll have sent several along, all of them on perfectly ordinary looking (and operating) ships, which are themselves all with Umiak battle formations, so that they'll have something to blend in with. Umiak normally gather as large formations, so any ships not doing that is instantly distinctive.


Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:31 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
My main problem with it being an intentional approach on Bellarmine is that it's absurdly, unnecessarily dangerous to get that close when you've got sensors and weapons capable of operating effectively from many orders of magnitude further away. The ship was only 60km away! At that range, if the Bellarmine had been armed with a single mass driver weapon (which other ships in its class have been armed with) it could one-shot their vessel with no chance of a miss. Those primitive mass drivers aren't effective at longer range, but when you're close enough that you just can't miss, their damage output is catastrophic. Even a missile launch from Bellarmine's relatively low-velocity torpedoes would be potentially fatal. Advanced beam weapons like blasters and plasma foci would also be capable of delivering a crippling blow at that range... and with the Terran ship unidentified, from the perspective of the alien commander it could have been armed with any of those weapons. Closing to that range is suicide if the target is armed in any substantial way, or at least asking for major damage to an expensive asset.


Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:30 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
There is another aspect: The Umiak jamming-device made this ships crew invisible to the farseers, too, no matter who they were.
This could imply that the invisibility of our hero is actually due to that device. An idea i don´t like very much - i´m curious to see if Alex is still "invisible" on the Loroi homeworlds.

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:39 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Except the Umiak don't have farseeing. The Umiak aren't inhibited at all from far seeing sensors in a system being jammed.


Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:40 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Tempral_Imperial wrote:
Except the Umiak don't have farseeing. The Umiak aren't inhibited at all from far seeing sensors in a system being jammed.

:?:

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:47 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Trantor wrote:
There is another aspect: The Umiak jamming-device made this ships crew invisible to the farseers, too, no matter who they were.
This could imply that the invisibility of our hero is actually due to that device. An idea i don´t like very much - i´m curious to see if Alex is still "invisible" on the Loroi homeworlds.


If this is true then ... ouch :? . The Loroi will be pissed that Terrans send an envoy to the Umiak as well ... and then double pissed that Alex "forgot" to mention that. :shock:

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:49 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Durabys wrote:
If this is true then ... ouch :? . The Loroi will be pissed that Terrans send an envoy to the Umiak as well ... and then double pissed that Alex "forgot" to mention that. :shock:


Actually, the human mission was to assess the situation and assure the survival of the species by aligning itself with the belligerent most apt of providing such an end.

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Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:53 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Trantor wrote:
There is another aspect: The Umiak jamming-device made this ships crew invisible to the farseers, too, no matter who they were.
This could imply that the invisibility of our hero is actually due to that device. An idea i don´t like very much - i´m curious to see if Alex is still "invisible" on the Loroi homeworlds.


The Loroi didn't see Bellarmine coming before they arrived in the system, and they can't detect Alex even face-to-face (something even a non-farseer Loroi can do, if I remember correctly). Since the Loroi are presumably still able to detect each other normally (or they wouldn't make a point out of it), Alex's "mask" is an anomaly, and likely extends to all of humanity.


Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:00 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
starstriker1 wrote:
(something even a non-farseer Loroi can do, if I remember correctly).


You do.


Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:41 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
fredgiblet wrote:
starstriker1 wrote:
(something even a non-farseer Loroi can do, if I remember correctly).

You do.

*phew* ;)

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Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:12 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if current Umiak farseeing jamming (if any) isn't them just having figured out how to transfer consciousness from flesh to machine.

We know they are fairly happy on cybernetics, so one could assume that they would take the next logical step and completely throw out the wetware.

This would make them undetectable by loroi farseeing for all intents and purposes.


Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:35 pm
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
junk wrote:
To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if current Umiak farseeing jamming (if any) isn't them just having figured out how to transfer consciousness from flesh to machine.

We know they are fairly happy on cybernetics, so one could assume that they would take the next logical step and completely throw out the wetware.

This would make them undetectable by loroi farseeing for all intents and purposes.


Assuming a machine-hosted intelligence inherently lacks whatever it is telepathy works with. And if they were anywhere near being able to copy a living brain into a working machine substrate, they should have had a variety of sophisticated AIs for quite a while now, so why has the Loroi farsensing ability been such a problem for them up to now?


Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:41 am
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Post Re: The vessel that destroyed Bellarmine
Mjolnir wrote:
junk wrote:
To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if current Umiak farseeing jamming (if any) isn't them just having figured out how to transfer consciousness from flesh to machine.

We know they are fairly happy on cybernetics, so one could assume that they would take the next logical step and completely throw out the wetware.

This would make them undetectable by loroi farseeing for all intents and purposes.


Assuming a machine-hosted intelligence inherently lacks whatever it is telepathy works with. And if they were anywhere near being able to copy a living brain into a working machine substrate, they should have had a variety of sophisticated AIs for quite a while now, so why has the Loroi farsensing ability been such a problem for them up to now?

Well, under that theory, it probably wouldn't have been something they themselves came up with, but more likely something they recently derived from some Soia-era relic that they haven't had real long.

On a slightly more likely possibility in the same vein, it could be a development of cybernetic and the requisite neural interfaces, incorporating vastly increased automation tech and literally plugging a handful of crew into shipboard systems.


Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:55 am
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