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Old 07-06-2019, 07:44 PM   #261
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
The Paratime Imperium. This "Roman Empire that never fell" doesn't screw around with covert operations and secret trade apart from initial scouting. They just conquer, colonize and tax every world they discover
Brief plot idea: The first Homeline knows of the Paratime Imperium is when the Imperium invades some place like Johnson's Rome, and captures a bunch of rich and well connected tourists.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:14 PM   #262
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Ick, that's a genre that has gone a bit off the rails with regard to game balance. Or even writing stories with interesting plots. But the underlying concept of some kind of group that has taken to reincarnating the untimely dead in new universes with the memories of their original life...that has a bit of potential.
Isekai's all about the lack of balance. The idea of Iseko is that she would be encountered in the form of her markedly less powerful dupes. The reason she doesn't just feed a part of herself (and promptly regenerate) to her dupes in order to bring them up to her level of power is because the consumption ability is fairly all-or-nothing - they'd become perfect duplicates, which would also mean they'd lack loyalty to her. The current Iseko probably isn't the original - I'd imagine at some point in her career, she tried to bring several dupes up to her own level of power, and the current Iseko is the victor of the resulting bloodbath.

My initial thought actually was for some sort of isekai organization, made up entirely of reincarnated dead people (all of whom were inexplicably Japanese in their prior lives). I realized the Devour/Consume/Absorb/whatever ability that often shows up in the stories could actually result in such an "organization" that was functionally just a single person, provided one of the characters she consumed had a duplication ability. That simplified matters for me, and made it easy to name the organization. Making the character female and extremely self-serving was primarily to play with the trope, since the protagonists are typically males (inexplicably surrounded by extremely attractive women) who are ultimately altruistic. It also, again, made it easy for me to give her a (sorta punny) name.

For what it's worth, the worldline Iseko found herself on following her reincarnation was one that had a sizable number of reincarnated people with "cheat" abilities, and most of the power (and a good deal of the knowledge) she gained was from consuming such characters.
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Old 07-07-2019, 09:26 AM   #263
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Default Meteor

I've been playing with "Meteor," the timeline with access to Coventry from the outer system. Mainly I'm working on the 20th century, but also thinking about Infinity and Meteor.

When Infinity detects a conveyor signature way out in the far outer system, some might see it as a sensor ghost. But with multiple detectors picking it up, although faintly, and the best estimate is that it is near Planet Nine, how would they react? It seems like theyre might be SOMETHING out there.

If Infinity's paranoid about anywhere besides Homeline, it would probably be Coventry.

Of course, the idea that it's a 8 BILLION tone "conveyor" would be considered absurd--but anything detected that far out is either very crude, or very very big...
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Old 07-07-2019, 01:53 PM   #264
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

They'd probably assume it's a terrifying, but totally natural, space based Banestorm.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:54 PM   #265
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
They'd probably assume it's a terrifying, but totally natural, space based Banestorm.
That makes good sense. Banestorms are out there, and it makes a lot more sense than postulating another crosstime civilization that can move in and out of Coventry...after all, Coventry is absolutely impossible to get in or out of without an Infinity conveyor. (It's a HUGE banestorm, though--that's obvious.)

It might merit getting some improved scientific sensors out there.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:40 AM   #266
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Default METEOR

I was contemplating my Meteor worldline, and tossed together this little drabble.
Coventry Parachronic Monitoring Secion:

In a little known room in the main administration complex, 4 bored techs sat monitoring the sensor arrays. The array of satellites if orbit was small, but they were extremely capable. Other sensor techs monitored interesting things--traffic, fusion reactors, radio traffic, and other matters of interest. These men and women were not so fortunate; they sat endlessly monitoring cross time traffic, watching for the unauthorized arrivals or departures that simply could not happen, not here. It was not a popular duty station for anyone with ambition, thought it allowed for lots of time drinking coffee and playing games on their computers.

Senior tech O’Banion was paying more attention to the clock, inching closer to shift end, than to any of the readouts when the pulsing alarm, familiar from the monthly test, sounded. As his coffee spilled onto the floor, the computer reported, “Unauthorized parachronic activity. Repeat. Unauthorized parachronic activity. Location not identified.”

“Locate source,” he ordered, as security alarms throughout the compound sounded. This was Infinity's worst nightmare--someone seemed to be arriving at Coventry, and it wasn't a scheduled conveyor.

Hitting the com, he reported to the watch officer, “Weak parachronic signature detected. Confidence 80%. Attempting to locate source.”

As guards rolled out of their bunks, gates closed, and drones launched, securing the complex against any intrusion, the suddenly not-bored techs were scanning their readouts. No location was reading, not even an approximate one. Arrival times should have allowed the satellite net to pin down the location within a fairly short distance, but nothing was showing.

The senior tech’s finders flew across the keyboard, his time as an EW tech on the USS Churchill serving him in good stead. As preliminary readouts popped up, he typed in a few more commands, and reported, “Unknown parachronic signature detected. Distance at least 10 BILLION—repeat ten BILLION—kilometers.” He reported the bearing from his location, adding, “Insufficient resolution to further refine distance. Distance is well beyond Neptune’s orbit.”

The suddenly panicked chief warden responded, “That's impossible. Only Infinity can reach Coventry, and besides, nothing could create a parachronic signature that far out. Infinity doesn't even have ships that can go out there.”

The senior tech replied, “Sir, I’m conducting further analysis.”

“Could it be some sort of stealth conveyor?”

“Negative. Bearing is very clear; this is not on Earth.”

At that moment, another tech reported, “Sir, I’ve found something interesting. The bearing of the signature is directly in the direction of Planet Nine, assuming that it’s in the right place for the current year.”

For a moment, the tech wondered if perhaps it was some sort of interstellar ship—stories all demanded that space be very very flat for “hyperspace" to be accessible.

At another query from the Warden, the tech replied, “Weak signature, but much more consistent with a jump than a banestorm—storms last. Whatever it is, it's too far away to be any threat.”

Although Coventry had essentially no natural parachronic activity, bureaucratic inertial filed it away as an anomaly, worth investigating if it recurred, but no threat. A few changes were made in the orbits of existing satellites, adjusting for somewhat greater resolution in the area of Planet Nine.

A week later, a second surge was reported, just as powerful, and in the same general direction. This time, the location could be more confidently estimated to be within one AU of Planet Nine. Out in deep space, the parachronic tug that brought the 9 billion ton cylinder to Coventry’s worldline had jumped back. Big crosstime conveyors are expensive, and the United States Cross World Service wasn’t going to leave one idle. Almost none of the big cylinders were equipped with their own parachronic systems; rather a few massive tugs move them from one worldline to another.

Reports were dispatched over the next few days, and additional instruments were brought in—just as sensitive, but now focused outwards, rather than just on the planet. Banestorm, natural phenomenon, or artificial, sensitive satellites in heliocentric orbit would detect activity anywhere nearby. Theory predicted that banestorms wouldn’t occur here—the whole point of Coventry was that the barriers to crossworld travel were almost too resilient to break. Whatever it was, the paraphysicists were getting curious.

In the extreme outer reaches of the solar system, the orbital activity on distant Earth did not go unnoticed. Apparently, someone on that primitive prison world could detect at least very large parachronic signatures this far out.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:34 PM   #267
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

In a timeline unknown to Homeline, a large and powerful nation spreads from the Indus to the Euphrates, with tendrils reaching well into Siberia, as well as colonies in the far eastern land. A secular and democratic nation, it is currently a slowly maturing TL7 in this timeline's 1883. Another great though fragile nation controls Japan, Korea, and mainland China. Then there is the rest of the world, some 100-odd nations of various sizes. Of note is a moderate-sized nation controlling parts of what we call Germany and North America.

While the point of divergence appears to be sometime in the 1100s CE, the otherwise no-mana worldline has a mysterious locus of power in the mountainous Kobuk region of Yupikstan (Alaska, in OTL). A subterranean structure that acts as a powerful, but unique, magical conveyor and projector.

The secure research facility surrounding the artifact is controlled by the small European power mentioned earlier. Smaller and poorer than the great nations of China and Asia, this faction needs whatever aid it can get -- and the conveyor provides it. The faction sends out what are essentially TL7 vikings to plunder what they can from more primitive worldlines.

In past decades, this European nation has begun to grow in power and prestige, cowing its local rivals and drawing the attention of the great powers. They have also discovered a TL8 world in the midst of an apocalyptic war, and have stolen or bought advanced military and commercial technology they are keeping secret.

These neovikings are a threat to the secret on their own (they don't care about hiding their relative strength on low-TL worlds, and only push harder when a threat is near their own strength). However, the great powers are a dangerous question, and they are already aiming to understand how this third-rate power has suddenly exploded onto the world stage.
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Old 11-21-2020, 12:35 PM   #268
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Capitalist, Imperialist science has long rejected the power of the People's will. In Lysenko-7, The Joint Institute for Psychological Research (Оипи) discovered phenomenon that allowed them to "amplify conciousness" to "access alternate temporalities."

The basic technology was invented in the late 1960s. This crosstime tech consists of a system not unlike a projector. The entire contents of the "departure chamber" are transported to or from an open area at the destination in a flash. There is no conveyor, but on the other hand, any given worldline can only reach a 1-12 other worldlines (3 is most common), making a node graph universe.

They have established a series of departure chamber arrays throughout Lysenko-7. The sudden flow of resources from outtime locations and ability to remove populations to outworld safety has both stabilized the regime and given it license to grow bolder. As a result, Lysenko-7's USSR grew rapidly. It is currently 1998. Capitalism and democracy are on the decline as reactionary populists gain control of nations that aren't already leaning into the Soviet sphere of influence. While the west knows of the Secret -- even if they don't believe that Soviets are actually going elsewhen as some renegades claim -- actual knowledge of how to do so remains tightly controlled. This is because by 1977, the Joint Institute for Psychological Research was relocated to a worldline they call Stalinmir, and physical travel to and from there is tightly controlled.

It doesn't help that their crosstime science is... chaotic. They publicly claim almost all crosstime effects are a product of a psionic gestalt, but that doesn't match up with the largely technological approach they use for crosstime travel. Politiburo is told a third story implying that the machines function as a result of nuclear weapons research. There is also an open cover story saying that it's actually witchcraft stolen from Baba Yaga. Homeline is under the impression that it's actually rather closely related to their own technology in principle, just crude and modified. Lysenko himself played only a minor role in bringing the technology to Stalin's attention, but did go on to shape the Soviet scientific community.

The Cabal is remarkably unconcerned with Lysenko-7 and the Оипи. Centrum sees the situation as extremely tenuous. If the west manages to steal access to Оипи's actual working knowledge, then this cold war would become essentially an eternal final war. They're willing to work with Homeline on a principle of containing Lysenko-7's spread.

Last edited by PTTG; 11-23-2020 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 10-29-2023, 05:57 PM   #269
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

The Pirate-Archivists (OK, this isn't really an organization)

You'd think an infinity of worlds would mean an infinity of culture...

It's easy enough to steal culture that dates before 1920, or from a wildly off parallel, though those have marketability problems. With copyright belonging to Homeline duplicates of the author, things can get complicated. Some media, like books and music, have few authors who are clearly defined. But movies and video games, with large numbers of creatives and corporate authors who may or may not exist. With all these tricky problems, a lot of lawyers are kept well paid sorting through these problems. So everything's fine, Homeliners get a plethora of media to devour and everyone gets their slice, right?

Well, the answer is "not quite". While an infinity of worlds means an infinite supply of culture, it does not mean an infinite number of interdimensional copyright lawyers. So people who import media need to account for the high price of resolving copyright issues. So if the price of sorting out the rights is too high, no release on Homeline. Sometimes the Homeline's version of the author doesn't want the media released. For example, Homeline's George RR Martin doesn't want alternate Winds of Winters and Dreams of Springs published before he finishes his. Many video games are made by corporations that never existed on Homeline, which requires individually negotiating with employees, too much investigative work. Some content can't even be released for profit!

So if you want to watch Sam Taylor-Johnson's version of Fifty Shades Darker, or play the Legend of Zelda: Tower of the Triforce (a rom-hack of Ocarina of Dreams for the Nintendo Playstation), what are you to do? There's the obvious answer; steal it. Unlike anything that gets a commercial release on Homeline, this is easier said than done. This is where pirate-archivists come in. They secure trips to parallel worlds, copy media that doesn't exist to homeline readable format, deal with emulators or secure specifications for hardware, and bring it back to Homeline.

This is not just a difficult to enforce problem that Customs and Inspection has to deal with. Corporate spies use piracy to cover for why their they have secret USB sticks. More dangerous criminals use it to cover for why they don't want to deal with I-Cops. Hostile actors use off-world media to try and smuggle viruses onto Homeline. All this is made more difficult as many view the practice as a victimless crime.
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Old 10-31-2023, 02:51 PM   #270
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

This thread is mostly dormant, and I'm reminded of just how much I love it. So many great ideas. I started rereading them, and there are a LOT.
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