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Old 05-14-2017, 11:26 AM   #101
Phil Masters
 
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Reminds me slightly of Greg Egan's "The Infinite Assassin". Only with a crucial inversion.

(S would be Infinity's worst nightmare squared, and they might respond by evolving into The Company; the whirlpool cult(s) would be a threat to make the likes of Centrum or a few mad gods trivial.)
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:15 PM   #102
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Boring? All things considered, Centrum's homeworld is far more unified and peaceful than Homeline. Less freedom compared to our world's most egalitarian sections. But averages for human rights probably fall further on the "bad guys'" side.
But Centrum's homeworld is also more paranoid and ruthless than Homeline. Homeline at least has swagmen and people poking into the weird. Centrum would leap on anyone who visits the home timeline and throw them in the deepest, darkest hole they have - then comes to drugged interrogations...
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:06 PM   #103
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So Boring and Dangerous. Major downer.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:32 AM   #104
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FreeKey Science Institute

FreeKey was established on a near parallel with enhanced Psi activity. Though the timeline had strong inertia, that broke down in 2012, when a psi world-jumper unlocked her talent through the help of a home-made psi booster, and started distributing the designs and her information over the internet.

She eventually started working with an online message board associated with the paranormal -- FreakyScience.net -- and over the next ten years the informal group eventually founded FreeKey Science Institute, built on ideals of freely-shared information.

In 2027, the artificial psijump module was perfected. The devices are generally externally powered, and instead of consisting of a single conveyor for a group, consist of separate modules per person, or 1-ton freight modules. Apparently they have trouble making larger single-unit capacities. Additionally, these psijump modules must be tuned carefully, and only function when jumping between two hard-wired worldlines. Per unit mass, however, the costs are similar to Homeline's approach.

Despite all these drawbacks, the simplicity and aversion to secrecy lead to widespread adoption of the technology.

It is very difficult for them to discover new worldlines. Trained and highly-skilled psionic jumpers must risk life and limb to "feel out" and jump to new worlds, and many of those worlds are empty of human life.

Nonetheless, the FreeKey Science Institute looks for other worlds with human civilizations, to research their tech openly, and offer freely everything they themselves have, including psionic world-jumping tech.

The present day is 2033, and the FSI has reached and started uplifting eight civilized worldlines; they generally contact one human worldline every six months, and an additional one or two empties. It's possible other organizations on their source world are in contact with worldlines unknown to the FSI; however, the Institute attracts the best and brightest, so they remain the leading resource.

The eight worldlines they've discovered are fairly well distributed:

A TL2 (with TL7 in pure mathematics) worldline that diverged from inertia normal in 600 BCE with a psi upswing.
A 1955 worldline that diverged in 1941 with no pearl harbor. The USA is working closely with Imperial Japan against the USSR.
A historical echo of 1972.
A 1380-like world, with the addition of a race of spirit-like creatures that take the form of nymphs, elves, fair folk, kami, rashsaka, djin, spiritual animals, and other non-monsterous spirits of superstition. They have uniformly have low levels of Magery, to go with the low ambient mana level on the worldline.
A solidly TL9 world which until contact had primitive, naive medicine of around TL4. The first worldline discovered.
A historical echo of 1801.
A historical echo of 299 CE.
A 1935 echo that was is the most recently discovered worldline. Hitler was assassinated a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-10-2017, 01:56 PM   #105
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Psi operators, unless very common, would be the bottleneck for FreeKey. Which has the benefit of making them rich without public outcry, and constantly searching the third world for those with the gift.

An interesting way to do things.
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Old 08-10-2017, 03:03 PM   #106
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They do indeed need something to slow them down. I for one could see them being more terrifying than Centrum, since they aren't afraid of showing up and selling cars to cavemen. At the same time, you can't shoot them, because... well, they're often grad students giving water filters to medival Europe.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:16 PM   #107
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Homeline can and does shoot innocent people to keep the secret though,... when necessary, and no other option is available, but it is a not uncommon behavior.
It's one of the glaring evil things they do as a matter of course. It keeps the setting from simplifying into a cliched good vs. evil, in my opinion.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:58 AM   #108
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Homeline does prefer to arrest. Its harder to control when they don't have control over the conveyers. On the other hand, just having the possibility of getting arrested by a foreign power does redirect efforts quite a bit.

If infinity is smart they'll focus on echoes and newly discovered high-tech worlds, rather than trying to keep the secret from Egyptian rustics.

That setup is quite fruitful from a diplomacy standpoint.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:44 AM   #109
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The only reason the Secret is kept so fervently is sheer paranoia and bigotry. I don't see any logical argument fighting those two reasons.
But it wouldn't be feasible to start open warfare with another jumping world that doesn't care about the secret. Especially seeing as how they're the only one that doesn't seem to care about "normal" secrecy the way Centrum, Cabal, etc. do.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:38 PM   #110
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Homeline can and does shoot innocent people to keep the secret though,... when necessary, and no other option is available, but it is a not uncommon behavior. .
Yes it is an uncommon behaviour. They might end up shooting their way out if an abduction attempt goes sour but S.O.P. is to abduct them and then either recruit them if they seem useful and reliable or just stash them in Coventry. They might assassinate someone they couldn't abduct, but they usually wouldn't because it only worsens the exposure risk with the all the attention it would attract and anyone who is so well protected that they could not be abducted by the kind of people that Homeline can deploy is highly unlikely to be an "innocent".
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