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Old 07-13-2018, 07:49 AM   #241
David Johnston2
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

I may have mentioned this before but I think the "Time Tunnel" guys would work better if they weren't from Homeline but just from another world that was beginning to discover parachronics. The mislaid explorers would spend their time trying to figure out how to get home and would bump heads with Centrum and Infinity in pursuit of htat.
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Old 09-11-2018, 09:06 AM   #242
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

MJU3ps ("Em-Ju")

An electro-psionic hive mind bent on taking over as many worlds as possible, its unknown where the Numeric combination came from. By the time its seen, the Em-Ju colony is usually well advanced.

Em-Ju travels between worlds by way of portals it opens. It can only open new portals for about a month or so, and if it sends more than a given amount of mass before stabilizing the other end of it, the portal will burn out. This mass limit is usually around 500 pounds, but it seems to vary quite a bit. building the other end of the gate requires a large amount of resources, so Em-Ju usually tries to take over an industrial city in order to meet its deadline.

Em-Ju has high-tech alloys it can use to imprint psionic abilities on. It also has several brain cultures that can be grown to perform various psychic functions. Each of these are required to activate the other.

Classical Em-Ju capabilities include:
  • force feilds
  • stun rays
  • holograms
  • thought-bombs
  • fast growth chambers
  • Levitation and slow TK
  • Telepathic communication
  • Zombification (via a quickly implanted psionic chip)
  • Subliminal messaging beacons
  • Telepathic interrogation
The most common parts of Em-Ju encountered include:
  • Floaters: levitating scrap-metal shells with a brain inside and a sidearm
  • Chip Zombies: humans mind controlled by a metal chip placed against the skin. moderately unobservant and mostly used for labor.
  • Infiltrators: A cyborg with a holographic appearance, emotional telepathy, and mind control
  • Death Sphere: An floating iron braincase with telekinetic shielding, wide area mind manipulation (terror is most common), and a high rate of fire. Must be built with specialized equipment, not salvaged.
Once a world-gate is opened, a flood of equipment that makes Death Sphere look like green conscripts pours through. If the gate is not destroyed, the world will also certainly be converted into an Em-Ju world, covered in machines growing brains in vats and mining the crust for ever more Bismuth and Zinc.

Em-Ju only seems to attack high tech societies with ready access to exotic alloys. Whether this is a limitation of their travel tech or a targeting policy is unknown.

Monitoring a world for Em-Ju incursions is reasonably easy: they have a time cruch to build their gate, and they require large amounts of Zinc and Bismuth for their alloys*. Fighting them can be tricky though, with all the mind control and their experience in building power bases from scratch.

Em-Ju is intelligent, and pieces of it have various degrees of thought. All are anxious to join MJU3ps. They can negotiate, but self preservation is secondary to spreading Em-Ju to the world they are on.

This foe is aimed at ISWAT type groups, of course.
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Old 09-11-2018, 01:29 PM   #243
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Shoreline, WA (north of Seattle)
Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

The HyperGate Continuum

Agent Cullen stared in shock at the TV. Grey-2 had been a straightforward echo; monitor local traffic and keep White Star operations profitable and secret. Mostly, he'd had to deal with conspiracy theorists hunting for Men in Black, and Men in Black doing what they did. Thankfully their tech wasn't up to Infinity methods, and since this timeline was obsessed with UFOs, the company had been able to divert most investigations into other avenues, and make a tidy profit on SF movies that hadn't been made in Homeline's 1970s. But this... this was a real UFO, hovering over Manhattan. A huge white disc with strange protrusions and what looked at first glance to be the UN logo.

The excited prattle of the newscaster changed. "This just in, we're receiving a TV broadcast from the UFO..." The picture of the spacecraft over the UN building changed to a man, in a strange uniform. He looked a hell of a lot like Burt Reynolds. He spoke. "People of Earth! Greetings from the United Nations of Earths! We come from worlds much like your own, but in different realities..."

Not a single faction, but a collection of competing ones. Somewhen, in some far-distant timeline, a civilization discovered the secret of faster than light travel through deep space hyperspace gates. They built an empire, as these things go, and maybe they eventually ascended or went extinct. Before then, they left an awful lot of hypergates spread throughout the Milky Way galaxy, as well as a number of primitive civilizations ready to arise and take their place in the galaxy. One such civilization was humanity, which discovered the Sol gate out past the orbit of Pluto in a more energetic Space Race in the 1970s.

However. The HyperGates have two settings, and primitives monkeying around with them often didn't notice that they'd turned on the transdimensional mode. This ignorance was exacerbated by the nature of the gates; regardless of whether they are set to FTL or TD, they always connect to the same star. (Changing the destination requires rebuilding the gate.) They're also one-way gates, though the Precursor network always had paired gates to allow two-way travel.

Now, the group of civilizations that has spread across several timelines and thousands of stars calls itself (in English) the HyperGate Continuum. They have learned to build new HyperGates, though they aren't as reliable as the Precursor versions. As a whole, they're around TL10; they also don't care at all about the Secret. So far, Infinity has only encountered them on Q6 realities, and there is a tentative hope that the HyperGate technology is restricted to that quantum.

There are dozens of powers in the Continuum, ranging from the predatory Barathians to the United Nations of Earths, a human-centric government that comprises three cross-time Sol systems and nearly a hundred other solar systems. Of particular interest to Infinity and Centrum are the Church of the Gate and the Temporal Academy, two rival organizations that compete for control over Gate technology. Both have the ability to construct new gates, though their knowledge is incomplete, and targeting a new or rebuilt gate is very nearly completely random. Very importantly for Infinity, the Continuum appears to have no knowledge of conveyor/projector parachronics. The Continuum has also not yet encountered other space-faring civilizations with non-Gate FTL.

In game terms, the HyperGate Continuum allows Infinity to deal with space opera powers and plotlines, whether that's the Federation of Planets or the Hutt crime syndicates. They tend to be high tech and psionic; magic doesn't really fit the mood off the bat (and Infinity has only encountered the Continuum on no-mana timelines). Naturally, Infinity has a strict ban on travel to known Continuum worldlines, but they might just appear as a first contact on a world where Infinity already operates...
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:16 PM   #244
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Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

In most quantums around Homeline, secularization proceeded slowly yet continuously, to the point that it seems almost inevitable that if the local date is after the 1990s or so, religion might inform people's private lives, but it's never the main actor of history.

Alonso-2 is different. The inquisitions of Medieval Europe continued throughout the next five hundred years without pause, though it did adapt. Catholicism as it is practiced in Alonso-2 is recognizable only in its trappings.

Sometime in the 1600s, the Papistry unified the inquisitions of Europe and advanced its rule over temporal affairs. Over the centuries, it grew stronger and stronger, as the united inquisitions suppressed any kind of dissent, and by the early 1900s, it claimed dominion over the whole planet.

Though some forms of science were prohibited, practical questions of manufacturing, navigation, and engineering were encouraged (albeit with all research institutions riddled with the inquisition's spies). As a result, the current date is anno Domini 2013, and most engineering and technical fields are TL 8, all political and social techs are around TL 5, and medicine, biology, and cosmology are no higher than TL 4. Farming, at least, is TL 7, but seems to have stagnated there due to complete and willing ignorance of genetics.

How does this society avoid discovering immoral research? By having only the most loyal and holy men discover it first. Hidden within this society, the Inquisiton's black universities are verging on TL9 in the most heretical fields, and use that research to prevent the laypeople from discovering those unorthodox lies of reality.

This is how they discovered that some human beings have demonic powers in their blood, and that holy men can take those powers in order to better advance the cause of the Church. Through these techniques, the Inquisition discovered that there were countless worlds of people who must be converted or exterminated, and that their riches were often easily ready for the taking.

Their specialty is crosstime mind control. A captured hellspawn is used as a conduit which an Inquisition agent uses to leap into the mind of an unsuspecting psionic sensitive on annother worldline. Actually moving materials requires a great deal of energy and risk, and can "burn out" the conduit, so they do it only when needed.

Alonso-1, by the way, saw the early spanish inquisition sputter out in immediate internal power struggles and reprisals. All in all, it was so ineffective that Spain became a haven of non-catholic religions and saw something of a golden age.

Last edited by PTTG; 10-05-2018 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:10 PM   #245
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Coventry--first contact...

Somewhere deep in Infinity’s most secret records lie the full datatapes covering Coventry from a scientific point of view: WHY it seems to work the way it does. Those datatapes have been duplicated, and spirited away. At first, Infinity is concerned, but the investigation finds few leads, and the final lead leads to a bleeding corpse of a sociopath. Eventually, they conclude that, if they can’t find a way to get in and out of Coventry without a projector, no one else would, either.

A significant meteor strike in 1876 created a crater lake in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Not enough to bring about any sort of apocalypse, it was big enough that the mushroom cloud was seen in Boston and beyond.

On some worldlines, meteor strikes are seen as an act of god, and life resumes. Not on this one. The carnage was enough to galvanize President Grant into action. As relief poured into New Hampshire, the beleaguered President reverted to the successful General he’d been in the war. It was time to defend the country against a threat greater than had ever been dreamed of.

A new defense bill went through Congress in a hurry, placing responsibility for defending the country from threats above on the navy. Some thought it strange that President Grant, a general, went to the navy for this, but he had a very practical reason, grounded in the US Constitution. Appropriations for the army can only be done for two years at a time; the naval budget has no such limitations. The army was responsible, in coordination with the navy, for ground defense.

To the absolute horror of the South, the threat to the country, and an impassioned plea from President Grant, was enough to persuade General Sherman to run for the presidency. He had been absolutely unwilling to run for the job, but an appeal to patriotism finally changed his mind. He won the election of 1876 without need for the corrupt bargain of history.

Since the only way into the sky as yet was balloons, there was no way—yet—to do anything, but at least it could be researched. For the first time ever, astronomical grade telescopes were produced in significant numbers. Universities around the country and around the world could have them for the cost of production—plus an agreement to spend a certain amount of time searching for asteroids. Called the “Lincoln class telescope” after the destroyed town—now a lake—ultimately almost a hundred of them were produced. The results for the science of astronomy were impressive.

The navy’s engineering department was assigned to, besides developing new ships, researching means to stop a big meteor from striking Earth. Funds were just as scarce as historical for ships, but money flowed for flight research. Numerous artist’s impressions of the effects of a similar strike elsewhere helped bring in the funding. The famous painting, “Washington after the meteor” with the White House and Congress laid flat, and a few miles away, the lip of the crater, has remained one of history’s most influential paintings.

New Hampshire, in reaction to the disaster, amended its state constitution to require that 10% of the state budget be devoted to science and engineering devoted to protecting the state against threats from space.

In Europe, the fascination with the meteor quickly faded, and America's focus on the skies insured, in European minds, that the USA would remain focused inwards.

By 1885, massive solid fueled rockets were reaching unheard-of altitudes, sometimes carrying a smaller second stage. Instruments were primitive, but the first photographs from almost 10 miles up were a sensation. Atmosphere samples, too, were brought home.

The new cog railroad up Mount Washington was now being used, not just for tourists, but to haul rockets up the mountain. Besides being a launch platform a mile above the surrounding terrain, the launches brought more tourists to the area.

Big solid fuel rockets would often spontaneously disassemble, but that added to the appeal for tourists…things blowing up is always spectacular.

Besides rockets, substantial government research was going into scientific instruments, better telescopes, and tracking the skies. Several possibly threatening objects were noted, requiring more advanced mathematical techniques and precision to get a better idea of the threat.

The American obsession with flight started drawing people like Otto Lilienthal to the United States, where funding was readily available for their experiments.

The first manned heavier than air flight happened on June 6, 1888, 12 years to the day after the meteor destroyed Lincoln, New Hampshire and sent the Old Man of the Mountain tumbling to the ground. Unlike the refined efforts of the glider pioneers to build a light but strong machine, this flying machine was a brute force effort. Four solid rockets shoved the heavily built machine along a track, and at the end of the track, the pilot put the craft into a steep climb. More by luck than skill or engineering, he managed to maintain some semblance of control, and landed the machine intact. Tom Berenger had made the first successful heavier than air flight.

Although people perceive this as pure brute force, it was carefully planned and logically thought out. He and his team had done wind tunnel testing and flown unmanned smaller versions with adequate results. Humanity could fly.

What was apparent was that humanity would never fly far with techniques like this, or fly safely. Solid rockets burn out fast, when they don’t explode. History' s first heavier than air pilot died in a fiery explosion on his thirteenth flight, only a few weeks later.

Of course, that spurred a host of imitators, resulting in a series of violent crashes. If a kite crashes at 15 miles per hour, it can be survivable. If an amalgamation of steel, wire, wood, and canvas driven by a solid rocket crashes at 50 miles per hour, there may not be enough left to burry.

Another way to fly was needed badly. The internal combustion engine offered promise, but it was heavy. That was a mere engineering problem, and the United States wanted it. By 1892, a light enough, although EXPENSIVE, engine had been developed. In 1893, the first non-rocket heavier than air flight occurred. Undramatic compared to the flaming flights at speeds over 100 miles per hour—the world speed record was 150 mph—the “Pioneer” managed a 150 foot flight at a blistering 15 miles per hour. However, the new flying machine could be refueled and flown again, using the same engine, unlike the rockets that needed a whole new engine each time.

Europe watched as the Americans spent vast resources on the impractical reach for the skies, though the estate of Charles Babbage was thrilled when Dartmouth College bought all the patents and paperwork on the Babbage Difference Engine and Analytical Engine—then proceeded to built both machines.

The idea of recon photos taken from 15 miles up was appealing, but the European militaries thought that their balloons were much better photographic platforms—and rightly so. Aside from spectacular reports, and a few Americans that gave demonstrations in Europe, there was, as yet, little different outside of the USA.

The production of liquid oxygen wasn’t developed in the USA, but Dartmouth quickly adopted the technique as its engineers came up with the idea of using it as rocket fuel. They also conclusively proved that a rocket would function in a vacuum by the simple expedient of setting off a small solid fueled rocket in a large vacuum jar, ending the debate about if it would work in space before it began.

The Spanish-American war happened in 1898, and the navy had fewer battleships—only five—but also had a few rocket cruisers. They were not very accurate, but lofting 200 pound charges of dynamite, they were very destructive if they hit something. At the Battle of Santiago, USS Mount Hood and USS Vesuvius fired over 200 heavy rockets each. Only one hit, and the destroyer Pluton simply disintegrated in a ball of fire.

European navies dismissed the war rocket as a weapon requiring incredible luck, but armies were reassessing its potential. Rockets had come in and out of favor, and they were looked at as an experimental weapon, although useful for a siege. The United States didn’t. Instead, the rocket got the same treatment as gunnery: The navy saw that it was dreadful, and so, needed work.

With more precise manufacturing, a rocket with a reasonable degree of accuracy over short range was developed. Able to be launched from small, fast destroyer sized craft, the massive rockets filled a similar role to a torpedo in US Navy doctrine.

In the United States, and then in Europe, the improved internal combustion engines were being mounted in motorcars, which were advancing faster than in OTL.

The fervor was slowly fading, when a few meteorites struck near a farm out west. A hundred years or so later, it was proved to be a hoax, but it re-triggered the American obsession with space.

By 1900, the third generation of mass produced high quality telescopes was being manufactured—not as fine as the massive, unique, observatories, but still very useful. Dartmouth researchers had managed to build a functional liquid fueled rocket—or rather, several of them. Some used liquid oxygen and kerosene, and others used hypergolic fuel. Explosions were an occupational hazard…

One oddity, resulting from the original legislation: All military heavier than air flying machines were naval craft, although, in the tradition of President Grant, cooperated well with the army, even to the point of joint bases.

The 20th century had arrived…
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:13 PM   #246
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Coventry: First Contact II

The United States got dragged into the Great War in 1917. By that time, airplanes were far more advanced, and air war was a major factor. Four engine strategic bombers were new, but effective, and flying scout planes off of warships was more or less routine.

Homeline has essentially abandoned space, with the exception of low Earth orbit. Why build dangerous, expensive rockets when conveyors can get you to habitable worlds in seconds. That’s all well and good--or was for a long time.

With the discovery of Planet Nine, a fusion powered space probe was sent out for a closer look. It failed, but its last signal reported an incoming artificial object. The last visual transmission showed some sort of streamlined ship in deep space. Humanity was not alone.

My ultimate goal is to have this timeline run up to about 2020 or so, with torch ships sweeping throughout the solar system, Mars semi terraformed, and O’Neil cylinders common. The population of the Solar System is in the hundred billion range or thereabouts. The first tentative steps into interstellar space have been made, with an unmanned probe due to sweep through the Alpha Centauri system at near .5C in less than a year.

In the outer reaches of the solar system, where space is fairly flat, the first attempts at FTL research have instead discovered paratime. It only works in the outer reaches of the system, way beyond Pluto’s orbit, where space is very flat.

Now, they’ve discovered a handful of worldliness—all accessible only from the outer reaches of the Solar System. O’Neil Cylinders orbiting Planet Nine, far beyond Pluto, are the primary base for cross-time travel. All of the Jumpships (as they call conveyors) are fully capable long range spacecraft—jumps can only be made in very flat space.

So far, the various alternate universes have had uninhabited earths—until now. THIS Earth was different--sufficiently different that the JumpShip didn't go sweeping into the inner system (meaning anything inside Pluto’s aphelion) to scout. Instead, it sat silently in deep space, listening. Stealthy probes were sent inwards, while sensitive instruments listened to the weak radio chatter—in an odd dialect of English. The world was inhabited by humans with technology consistent with the 1940's of their history books.

The possibility of contact with another civilization had been contemplated; it was now a reality.

The probes, after a few months of drifting in system, were detecting inter-world travel signatures—supposedly impossible that deep insystem. Worse was to come—analysis of the transmissions revealed that this was a penal world, where people were sent, no matter their actual crimes, because they knew the secret of world traveling.

The local technology was relatively primitive…fusion power, but without the field adjustors that allowed for even a small one man ship to have a multi-megawatt drive. If this was a prison world—and it was--they might well only have their civilian grade systems here.

The hypothetical threat to the Pax Americana was now very real. This would need to be studied intensively. A small O’Neil cylinder, with a maximum normal population of a million or so people, was jumped into this new system--the standard method of starting a new colony. THIS one, however, was well armed and armored, with a dozen heavy cruisers inside, assorted lesser craft, and the infiltration division—people prepared to make first contact.

The world they have jumped to is Coventry. Infinity, being mostly planet bound, hasn’t searched the outer system, and has no clue that flat space allows for unassisted jumps here. They are unlikely to even realize that they have company until the United States Space Force makes first contact—or, in a decade or two, one of the lesser powers gains access to the timelines.

I had originally started this as a "USA hit by meteor" timeline, but thought it could be a decent cross time player in Q3. The different cross time method might or might not follow the same quantum rules as the others--it was mentioned that the Quantum Number is only one of several factors. The only point of contact being coventry makes things interesting...

There is also the option of using this timeline in a more conventional manner.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:18 PM   #247
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Meteor is an interesting timeline. To make it weaker vs Homeline I'd reduce the total population a lot. Richer populations have lower growth rates and this world developed faster so would probably slow growth earlier then we did. Most world population predictions have us peaking at middle to late this century at 9-11 billion and then shrinking. With the solar system to expand in it might keep growing but not that fast and it's starting the lowdown from a much smaller number.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:00 PM   #248
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Meteor is an interesting timeline. To make it weaker vs Homeline I'd reduce the total population a lot. Richer populations have lower growth rates and this world developed faster so would probably slow growth earlier then we did. Most world population predictions have us peaking at middle to late this century at 9-11 billion and then shrinking. With the solar system to expand in it might keep growing but not that fast and it's starting the lowdown from a much smaller number.
Meteor is a good name for it. Weaker or stronger than Homeline isn't a major concern, since their only point of contact is Coventry. It might stay Coventry only, if their menthod of crosstime travel works in a different "direction."

Meteor is, perhaps quantum (3, 2i) and their technology worked in the Y axis. It may be some time before there's another point of contact--or not.

The idea is that Meteor is stronger in its home system, but it only has a few systems. First Contact will be interesting. The whole society has been obsessed with space since the 1870's, with the resultant steady development. Population growth might slow, but with easily made O'Neil Cylinders, there's room.

Power is not a concern. Rundown of the Tech Level:

Transportation: 10 edging towards 11. Constant boost ships limited by acceleration tolerance. Artificial gravity is implied by the cross time drive/FTL equations, but not yet sorted out.
Weapons: 11 without nanotechnology. Disintegrators implied by ability to manipulate strong and weak nuclear forces. So far, said manipulation is limited to inside nuclear reactors
Power: Effectively 12. The ability to manipulate the strong and weak nuclear forces allow effectively near total conversion power plants
Medical: TL 9

Homeline is likely to reasize that they are not alone in Coventry when the O'Neil Cylinder shifts in. I'd assume that Coventry, of all places, as parachronic detectors of great sensitivity to watch for unauthorized transits. A multi-billion ton transit--an O'Neil cylinder--might get picked up.

Meteor is probably getting close to post-scarcity, but isn't quite there yet.

Just as Infinity and Centrum always arrive on Earth, regardless of where it is in its orbit, Meteor (are the inhabitants "Meteorites?) transits close enough to Planet Nine that it acts as an anchor.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:16 AM   #249
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: Alternate Crosstime Organizations

Originally Posted by PTTG View Post
Sometime in the 1600s, the Papistry unified the inquisitions of Europe and advanced its rule over temporal affairs. Over the centuries, it grew stronger and stronger, as the united inquisitions suppressed any kind of dissent, and by the early 1900s, it claimed dominion over the whole planet.
One wonders what happened to the Protestant countries in the 1600s? And to their armies and fleets? The Orthodox countries? Why, by the 1700s even Catholic countries wouldn't accept a non-national Catholic agency interfering, even by way or religious issues, in their internal political affairs (the Jesuits, I mean).
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:49 AM   #250
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default How would Infinity react?

If the timeline "Meteor" existed and Infinity detected a parachronic jump in Coventry's extreme outer system--implying a MASSIVE conveyor--how would they react? (8 billion metric tons, assuming a tube 20 KM long and 5 KM in diameter, with a hull 5 meters thick. The cylinders are made out of very thick steel rather than more expensive, lighter materials.

They aren't true O'Neil cylinders--intended to be used in the extreme outer reaches of the solar system, they don't have the massive sunlight needs, so no vast open panels. They can't even SEE that far out.
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