[ASH] Info File: Supertech Taxonomy

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at haven.eyrie.org
Sat Oct 14 11:08:01 PDT 2006

In article <egqmpi$6j4$1 at news.Stanford.EDU>,
Saxon Brenton  <saxonbrenton at hotmail.com> wrote:
>A query:
>Over the years I~Rve occasionally wondered how an Anchor would do in
>other universes with other laws of physics.

     Well, an ASH-universe Anchor couldn't even GO to another universe.
Violating the boundaries between realities is itself against the natural
     It helps to see Anchors as the universe's antibodies.  They are able,
whether actively or passively, to repair damage done to the universe.  The
Magene is an infection of reality, breaking it down in various ways.  Anchors
fight that infection.  No one knows if this is actually an anthropomorphic
effect (i.e. there's some self-aware part of the universe directing the
creation of Anchors) or just a sort of reflexive response.  

>My defalt assumption is that when an Anchor causes someone else~Rs
>Physics Violations to cease to operate the Anchor is affecting the
>superhuman only indirectly.  The Anchor applies his or her own
>abilities to the fabric of space-time to cause it to loose the
>elasticity that allows Physics Violations to occur in the first place.
>Thus, the superhuman is denied the opportunity to create Physics
>Violations because the material he or she is working with is no longer
>responding, not because the superhuman no longer has the power.

     Pretty much.  The superhuman is trying to bend or break the universe,
the Anchor locally strengthens the universe's resistance to breakage.  The
Anchor doesn't have to know about the specifics of what the superhuman is
trying to do...or even be aware that it's happening.  The Anchor passively
creates an aura of stiffening as a default.
     Now, highly trained Anchors can learn to be more selective.  Clamp down
more on some things while leaving others alone.  Shut down one power at a
time, for instance.  That this is possible is one argument against the theory
that there's an intelligent agency behind the existence of Anchors, since
it's kinda violating the spirit of things.  :)

>Things get murkier when dealing with other universes.  Perhaps the best
>example is Kid Kirby~Rs ability to draw nigh-incomprehensible looking
>technical doodads from the Kirby Zone.  Barring a contradiction from
>Jameel I presume that an ASH universe Anchor standing in the Kirby Zone
>would be unable to switch of a Kirby artefact for the simple reason
>that the artefact does not constitute a Violation while in the Zone.
>Of course, this assumption falls flat on its face if the Anchor is
>projecting a suppression directly at the artefact, since the Anchor
>would thereby be imposing ASH universe laws and creating an area where
>Kirby Zone physics do not apply.  The inverse of the situation, a Kirby
>artefact in the ASH universe, would constitute a Level 4 example of
>supertech and be dampenable as normal.  (That said, I do wonder if
>someone knowledgable in Violation Physics has ever thought to try and
>protect a piece of supertech by surrounding it in a self-sustaining/
>self-bootstrapping bubble of slightly alien reality ~V something very
>close to ASH universe reality but with a natural tendency to not be so
>harsh against Violations.  It may not work, but there might be story
>potential in someone trying...)

     Anchors are pretty much just agents of the ASH Universe.  Even if you
could move one to the Looniverse, the Anchor wouldn't be able to affect
     Now, affecting an invader is another matter entirely.  If Kid Kirby came
to the ASH Universe, he would presumably need to maintain a link to the
Looniverse in order to draw power.  Kid Kirby lacks the Magene, after all,
and can't bend the universe directly.  An Anchor could pinch that link
closed, however, effectively depowering Kid Kirby, although KK might be able
to act briefly on personal reserves before running out of gas.
     And now we get to the various extradimensioanl visitors in the ASH
setting, like WarStar.  Some are merely from alternate worlds that also have
the Magene, so no problem there, Anchoring works normally.  Others,
especially from "demonic" realms, are actually trying to overwrite the
invaded reality with their own, so they play by their own physical laws.  An
Anchor can force back this impingement, cutting off power to the attackers as
mentioned above.  In that respect, they're kinda like Storm Knights from

     If the Looniverse has Anchors of its own (and there doesn't seem to be
any evidence that it does), they'd work under totally different principles.
Is Drama a natural principle, or an invading energy (given that it comes from
the Authorial domain)?  If it's a violation, then Limp Asparagus Lad would be
an Anchor.  If it's a natural part of the Looniverse, then perhaps CAPTAIN
CAPITALIZE would be what passes for an Anchor, ensuring high drama.  And so
forth.  But the Looniverse seems chaotic enough in general that it wouldn't
have an immune system, it just goes with whatever.

     Dave Van Domelen, notes that supertech and magical items don't work
under quite the same rules, to bring up a point from the Yahoo group.

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