Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Pyrion, Sep 12, 2013.
Taylor the industiralist and Roboshoggoth commander sounds fun to me.
Then think of it this way: she's the controlling personality of a machine body that is probably doing a shit-ton of processing on the subconscious (and/or unconscious) level just to accomplish seemingly "simple" things like projecting particular electromagnetic wavelengths on an individual nanite level so as to maintain the colors of her form, or keeping every nanite in place and doing what they're supposed to so that she doesn't spontaneously dissolve into a puddle of gray goo. She may or may not necessarily be aware of all of this, and the "training mode" could be construed as a means of abstracting away the really in-depth control she could have over said body until she gets used to what it's capable of. Slowly making her way towards the deep end, as opposed to diving in head first, ya know?
Cuz if anything, I'm gonna have the HUD story element disappear over time as Asuran!Taylor gets acclimated to just doing whatever she needs to do, with much finer levels of control than she has right now. If only because typing up each line of the damned thing is tedious, what with the copious abuse of color tags and brackets it requires.
So just because she *should* be capable of processing things at faster-than-light speeds, doesn't mean she will. It just really depends on what aspect of her is doing that work, and how acclimated she is with its overall function. The longer time passes, the more used to it she gets, and the "deeper" she goes towards becoming a full Asuran, as opposed to just being a human passenger in an Asuran body.
Ultimately, what I want to do is tell an entertaining story, not wank the fuck out of the hypothetical endgame of Alteran tech in the Wormverse. There's going to have to be some balancing somewhere, or I'm just going to get sick of writing it.
Right now, the machine and personality are completely separate aside from the interface of "Training mode". Right now she's a ghost in the shell as opposed to the machine itself. Indicators show that as the story progresses she won't need the hud as she becomes the machine. It can lead to a little, lot of body horror as she suddenly realizes that things that should be for her aren't beyond the initial energizer bunny realization of keep going and going. Simple, little things that you come to enjoy... like breathing, human contact, feeling. While I'm sure she's sophisticated enough to have simulcrum for all the senses, it might be interesting later on to see what she "misses"
She already does. Simple things like eating food (or more specifically, tasting the food - she still derives enjoyment from replication, which she'll have to moderate lest it become an addiction and she goes nuts). She misses that already. She doesn't need to sleep, and while she's so far capable of passing the time away with "daydreaming" (running simulations in her head, basically), there's going to be a LOT of downtime where her teammates are asleep and she's got sweet-fuck-all to do with that free time. Tinkering is one option, but she might also go out on nighttime patrols just to keep her other skills in check (especially as I do want to write some action/infiltration scenes in this fic at some point), again just to pass the time. It's an existence that looks great on paper until her human side starts realizing that she really isn't human anymore.
Actually, from what I remember, Tinker tech generally cannot be mass produced. They in fact do not fully understand the principles behind what they're building. What they do have is something of an instinctual "If I put this there, that here, attach that doohickey, then calibrate it just so..." They'll know what materials they need to Macgyver up what they're trying to make, they'll know how to do it, but they don't fully understand the why it all works, so the slightest variation could throw something off, so mass production is generally not possible for Tinker tech.
I believe that's one of the major reasons that Dragon is acknowledged as the Best Tinker in the World. She can understand some things at least to be able to mass produce them... Or make Tinker-ish improvements on existing technology.
What the PRT requires for Tinker tech testing isn't for mass production, it's for use, period. You make a raygun of sorts? It needs to be tested to make sure it doesn't give the people around cancer or something before you're even allowed to take it to the field. Again, Tinkers generally don't understand the principles behind their tech, so side effects are very much a possible risk...
Which means they will have a freaking heart attack when Taylor can spell out EXACTLY WHY her stuff works - and at least some other people's as well.
Indeed. Dragon has competition...
One thought: Taylor is getting reverse-engineered. We see nano-scale technology, possibly pico-scale (if not smaller) technology, such as Armsmaster's annihilation halberd, nano-thorns and such. They also have scanning technology capable of analyzing the objects of that size (hell, we have that technology). In canon Stargate, a place with no tinkers at all, Asuran replicators were being replicated, up to and including creation of Earth-native Asurans.
So, there's very little doubt in my mind that Taylor is going to get reverse-engineered. The result will likely be worse than Taylor herself - she's very advanced. The lack of easy access to magical three materials (more about this lower) will make the performance of the reverse-engineered nanites worse, but analogs will be created, and the (tinker) science will be advanced through study of Taylor's body components.
About "magical three" materials. We know that they lie within first 159 (I think the number was) elements of the periodic table, as that is the number given by Ernest after studying the Great Four Races' Alliance's meeting chamber. The most probable origins for them are islands of of stability. The point, however, is that unless the magical three materials are literally magical, i.e. non-conforming to the laws of physics within Earth-Bet and its neighbourhood's dimensions, they could be replicated via the use of advanced nuclear synthesis options (in big particle accelerators or using a more elegant tinker solution of some kind). And if before this avenue of research wasn't getting funding, mostly because it was likely deemed unprofitable and unconductive to anti-Endbringer efforts, now it will be provided with money and resources.
Second thought on Taylor: PRT will quickly establish that Taylor didn't actually trigger. Her behavior, configuration, story all point to something different from a trigger. One possible explanation for her would be that she was created / converted into her new state by some tinker/ Possibly Leet.
Poor Leet, he gets the blame for every odd thing like Guyver! Taylor, Alchemical! Taylor, and now... Asuran! Taylor... XD
Ain't that well a compliment? Leet made a fucking Guyver! He made a fucking ALchemical!
My personal long-cherished theory is that Leet is actually Eidolon of tinkers. It makes sense to me (they are the only two capes in canon we see with powers that get progressively weaker as time passes, long-term, and they are the only ones that can basically pull anything out of their asses).
Appearance of stuff like this (Human-form asuran, alchemical exaltation, guyver suit, a BOLO, etc) would just make people realize it.
And then Taylor encounters them, by then she's probably gone full Asuran, she recognizes immediately what the hell has happened, and proceeds to hand-in-forehead the inferior copies to take administrative control.
Now, the thing is, I was originally planning (and will probably still do this, in the chapter after the investigation), they manage to get a small sample of whatever it is that Taylor is made out of, in place of a blood sample. They literally have to get her to volunteer it over, because syringes just hit a solid wall of metal. They do their usual testing on it, find it's not blood. Look deeper, it's definitely made of some sort of metal, not on the known periodic table, not found naturally on Earth, and look even deeper. Maybe hit it with a scanning electron microscope, and find out that what they're looking at are nanites. Nanites that are, by design, probably centuries ahead (if not longer) of equivalent Tinker tech. Once they've stopped freaking out, they might confront Taylor with the theory that she didn't actually have a trigger event. But I'm thinking they won't, and that's not just because I'm the author . I'm thinking they'll want Taylor to remain blissfully ignorant of the fact that she's not a parahuman, so that she continues to voluntarily play by the rules. Even if her own descent towards becoming a full Asuran takes place and she realizes it on her own, it'll take a lot longer (and by then, she'd be fully beholden to the Protectorate anyways) that there's really no point in telling her, especially as that kind of revelation could make her go crazy. They could be worried about hidden trigger phrases or something, like if she's found out, she instantly goes von neumann on them or something. So they don't tell her. She'd still get reverse-engineered in (a long) time, but they'd have to manually crack the Asuran base code from the outside in, which would be written in a language they don't understand, likely using a mathematical system they won't immediately grasp (watch how long it takes them to realize that the math doesn't make sense because the Ancients use base-8 math instead of base-10), and then they have to teach themselves subspace physics to get them networked together across any significant amount of distance.
At best, in a few years time, they might be able to synthesize their own neutronium. They can already create nanites, but materials-wise it'd be woefully inferior to the original. Actually creating more Asurans the long and hard way?
Pfft. They should just ask Taylor to do it for them. "For the greater good." :3
is there ANYTHING about the civilian identity of Leet? name? age? anything?
Heh. Actually, the sad thing is that Taylor could still trigger. AI's can in setting, after all. (Heck, anything seems like it can trigger if it doesn't have a 'shaping' perfect defense. And those are rare.)
This is arguable. Armsmaster's specialization isn't nanotechnology (though it is somewhat related) and look at what he can do.
Please, please don't go with this stupidity. It'll take them about five seconds to note that she's using base-8 notation and around half a second more to convert it to base 10. And the math would still make complete sense. That scene was just complete fail in canon, please don't repeat it. Math (theorems, equations, logic) doesn't depend on what notation you use at all. And in real life we use far more than base-10. We have base-16 and base-2 for computers, we have entire fields of math where bases are arbitrary (including such things as base-Pi).
Base-10 differs from base-8 only in how you write down symbols.
Wouldn't they need to do so, if only to caution her from approaching some tinkers, especially unknown ones, as one of them may well have a kill-switch for her (because she's his/her creation)? They would need to brief all the PRT that there's an advanced tinker out there, with access to powerful nanotechnology and other tech. The best case scenario is that it was Leet who made her - then he can't repeat his success (they'll go out and interrogate him, I believe). If it wasn't him, then PRT has all right to expect an army of even more advanced robots to appear soon wielding energy weapons and flying in space-ships. They have to prepare for it. Also, Taylor's possible teammates have to be briefed that she may go omnicidal if confronted by some unknown tinker and given an order. The problem isn't Taylor. The problem is others like, and more advanced then Taylor that could be out there.
I was actually thinking "material processing and medical equipment". In canon asuran nanobots are used for some very impressive healing. They don't need to be made out of super-materials for that. Reverse engineering them enough to make an injection that would give everyone a regeneration factor capable of preserving their life with their head severed is somewhat of a priority, I believe.
Alright, no problem, it means less work for me anyways.
Possibly. It's more a case of them weighing the pros and cons of telling her just in case she doesn't have a kill-switch that'll trigger upon that revelation versus not telling her and running the risk she encounters the Tinker that supposedly built her. The rest of that makes perfect sense though.
EDIT: Just had a realization of how well this could mesh with what I've already written: the memory wipe of the conversation with the two ancients, once she realizes that there's a certain time period during her triggering phase where there's nothing. She'd probably freak out and start thinking that they might have a point.
So they might take the material, find they have some pretty damn advanced nanites, realize they probably wouldn't be able to pull off creating their own nanomorphs, but they could repurpose the design into something considerably more mundane, but reproducible and many orders of magnitude more useful?
*writes this stuff down*
Well, they did this in canon. At least they reprogrammed asuran nanites for healing using earth-technology.
On pulling off their own nanomorphs, well, I'll refer you to worm nanothorns (two years away from this time in canon timeline), Armsmaster's halberd (it uses nanotech to cut through anything), and then there's "Outcast" episode of SGA, where a scientist on Earth is able to make a human-form replicator (full human mind, no special urge to replicate) - several, actually, using Earth materials.
So, yes, they probably wouldn't be able to get anything near as advanced as Taylor immediately, but it'll definitely be "within a decade of dedicated effort" I believe (faster even) to produce a close facsimile. Also, Dragon. And giant blobs of nanites for a form. And I can see Defiant using some of that for his upgrades. Or being the first convertee. "Ghost in the Shell" type cyborgification would be possible too.
Some more thoughts:
Taylor is made out of special materials, right? She has magical three in her composition. There's a problem with that. Taylor will get damaged, she'll lose some of her nanites (to radiation, damage, etc). Asurans are definitely not invulnerable enough to come out of the fight, with, say, Lung, unscratched. Every scratch will be an irreplaceable loss for her, in terms of magical materials. So, her performance, or at least durability, is likely to go down as time goes, because she would need to restore herself using Earth materials.
If she can "heal her wounds" by converting matter (metals, carbon, etc) into more nanites, then she could be used as a supply of nanites (to be reprogrammed for something useful).
If she magically converts matter she consumes into magical three materials, then she may be used to obtain said matter.
I have a real hard time thinking of something they could do to establish Taylor as a non-parahuman. I mean, she doesn't have a brain any more, so the lack of the extra bit can't be seen. On the other hand, The Custodan lacks a brain, Crawlers brain is an alien thing I doubt anyone could figure heads nor tails of, Dragon doesn't have a brain...
Panacea can sense the connection to the Passenger through the body... but Taylor doesn't have a body in the sense Panacea needs, and so on.
I can't really see her being recognized for what she is. If they could do that, secret identities would be impossible.
Regarding the reverse engineering of Taylor, it's important to consider that Tinkers do not fully understand their technology, they are unable to explain how they do it*, there's no standardisation, each Tinker maintains their own tech and except for basic things, having one Tinker look over another Tinker's work is problematic**. Tinker powers work by granting a intuitive knowledge of a specific area of dead race's technology. The corollary of all this is that unless the technology studied matches closely to their area of knowledge, Tinkers are no better at understanding tech than regular people.
Aside from that, despite its canonicity, I consider the speed at which SGC Earth technology progresses to be outrageous. It usually takes 5 years to produce an engineer in a specific domain, 8 years to produce a PhD and a good ten year to design and build and aircraft carrier with 20th/21st century tech. SGC manages to design and create their Frankeinstein ship in less than four years. I semi-reconcile this timeframe with realism by adding a tone of off-shelf Goa'uld and outdated Asgard components plans they input in stolen Fabricators***. But even then my suspension of disbelief is badly shaken.
Wormverse lacking these, I'm not seeing any reverse engineering during the time frame of this story, unless you are planning to have it take place over multiple decades.
* hence why Dragon is so broken, the containment foam she created is no Tinker produced
** The exception being Teacher who grants custom Tinker powers
*** When we see Apophis shipyards, they aren't on industrial planets and are manned by mostly tech-blind Jaffa, it follows that there is a way to build ship that doesn't require a highly educated population and industrial sector to sustain. Hence Fabricators, something in between an ultra-advanced 3d printer, a Star Trek Replicator and Mass Effect Omnigel Fabricator.
Remember, there are some very freaky parahumans out there, Weld is made of living metal and Echidna, another parahuman is made of stuff that defies the laws of physics as we understand them.
Well, there are several persons who could easily verify that Taylor isn't one:
2) Glastig Uaine (I know that Taylor won't be meeting her anytime soon)
3) Anyone having a trigger in Taylor's vicinity
4) Tattletale, from deductive reasoning (Taylor's power is too artificial)
5) Hatchet Face (his power negation won't affect Taylor)
6) Anyone with power negation, amplification, manipulation abilities.
He doesn't understand or rely on that. I think he would just shrug it off as weird.
Now if only she was sort of sane in a way that made anyone trust her.
Dragon has presumably been near triggering parahumans, and she thinks she isn't a Para-A.I. at this time. It's the normal responce, but to everything there are exceptions.
What? All the powers are completely artificial, and many of them are copying things done with alien technology that the Entities have added to themselves. She couldn't even figure out what was up with the Endbringers until a huge hint was dropped on her lap, and that hint doesn't exist in Taylor's head to began with.
Tends to be useless around tinkers, and her power would be seen as "Oneshot turn myself into a robot," charge spent, no need to do more since the job is done.
Parahuman's are a really diverse and non-standard bunch. There are strong tendencies, but when you start talking about the margins...
And there are enough Parahuman's by this point for there to be lots of margins.
Like I said earlier, she might be able to make the magic thee materials using synthesis. If she is, then there is nothing saying production is fast, simple and cost effective. Just by making the process of making more nanites difficult or majorly cost intensive you greatly reduce the chance of her being used as a nanite farm.
I wonder how long it is going to take her to make the connection between "Asuran" and "Asura" that would be a rather interesting leap of logic.
All the way back when someone was talking about how the replicators got their power. I seem to remember that they got power from any ambient source so she might find relaxing in the sun to be an enjoyable activity or sitting in a fire... or generating a power cable that she plugs in next to the TV. I think it came from the time that they landed on the planet that was nothing but replicator blocks. It is also likely the reason the Asgard were so fucked with all their energy weapons.
Pretty sure he'd be weirded as hell about Taylor not having any passenger. And he collaborates with PRT researchers on his findings.So, come Endbringer fight (or even before) and he'll know about this, and will tell others about it.
Tinker is Super tech, Thinker is Super mind, and that's what Teacher offers.
While there are a few who will know she isn't a Para, almost all of those are enemys, like the Endbringers, or Glastig Uaine.
Now that I think of it, Dinah might be able to tell, if asked the right question. Contessa, too.