ASH: Alternate Timeline - Cybertank ASH
pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Jul 9 12:32:50 PDT 2018
On 7/2/2018 1:17 PM, Dave Van Domelen wrote:
> https://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/ASH/OGRE.html has all the miniatures that
> this timeline justifies.
The OGREs themselves have a really cool design, TBH. Weird with a capital W.
> The first twelve thousand years of history for this alternate universe
> are identical to the history of the "Mainline" ASH, but it diverges sharply
> in 1998.
Re-reading the timeline inspired some thoughts on the nature of ASH and the
ideas it comes out of, but they're vague and would require more research
(re-reading the ASH archives, oh noes~) and are probably for a whole essay, not
just a reply. <3 So I'll skip to the new stuff.
> 1998, July 6 - The Causality Wars bleed over into modern times, apparently the
> "Something Big" that the mystics had been predicting. Millions upon
> millions die as their chosen gods drain them of lifeforce to power
> themselves in combat with other Magi. Entire Third-World countries, more
> susceptible to the lure of the Godmarket than more cynical developed
> nations, are nearly depopulated overnight. Only a desperate gambit led
> by the world's most powerful mages, both good and evil, saves the world
> from total destruction as godlings start taking energy from even those
> not worshipping them. However, the cost of this salvation is high: every
> single person on Earth with even a hint of the Magene disappears from the
> very fabric of reality. Unlike in the Mainline ASH universe, those
> involved in the plan decide it's worth the effort to catch even those
> who are not currently on Earth, such as the lost-in-space Solar Max.
> This results in an even stronger Barrier.
Interesting. I kind of figured that they didn't because they couldn't, not
because there was a risk-benefit analysis involved - but the level of Pure
Magical Weirdness involved opens up a lot of possibilities.
> It starts
> to become clear that there are no more supernormals being born to
> replace those who vanished.
Aha, because of the improved Barrier.
> 2018 - The United World body is established, replacing the United Nations.
> It has no more power (some say less) than the UN had, but is more powerful
> in two important areas: Extraterrestrial sanctions, and the Net
> (which some wags point out is almost extra-terrestrial anyway).
This is such a 1998 way of putting it. X3
> 2018-2022 - The Anchorites largely move to Chinese territory and focus on
> eliminating various mythical creatures left behind in the wake of the
> Godmarket. In the process, they expose a conspiracy by a trio of
> powerful animal spirits to subvert the government. This grants a
> strong sense that the government has the Mandate of Heaven, and
> China begins openly trading with the Pranir in contravention of
> international treaties.
Ahhhhh, nice play on that plotline. :o
> The United World founders, becoming little
> more than a forum where the Combine and Eurasian Union complain about
> Khadam and China. The Muslim Confederation simply refuses to
> participate, and neutral Australia starts to consider whether they
> should explicitly align themselves with one of the major world powers.
> 2023 - Doctor Developer is ceded the city of Detroit and several counties
> around it as a private enclave in which to test out his ideas on
> municipal (and social) engineering. Rumors abound regarding what he
> might have paid in exchange.
Dun dun dunnn...
> Any ACs created by non-Khadamite
> nations are confined to "cybertanks" that let them interact with the
> world while being incapable of leaving their tank.
Ohhhhh. Interesting - I thought it was tanks in the warfare sense and not so
much in the holding cell sense.
> 2025-2035 - While a handful of human natural geniuses such as Doctor
> Developer are able to continue analyzing and integrating Santari tech
> with Terran, it has become clear that only the cybertank-ACs are
> fast enough and tireless enough to make significant advances.
Huh. "Significant" is doing a lot of work in this sentence; it gives the feeling
of "the powers that be demand ridiculously fast technological change so they can
accumulate exponentially higher levels of profit off the surplus value generated
> 2036 - With over a generation having passed with no supernormals born, the
> Interdict status placed on Earth by the Planetary Confederation is
> downgraded to "protected primitive culture" status.
> Corps representative Delta Rose warns Earth's
> governments that their use of Santari-derived technology, especially
> cybernetics, may leave them vulnerable to legal action that would
> give one or more of the Great Houses an excuse to take ownership of
> the world.
I love the way the Planetary Confederation is set up, pretending to be this free
and fair union of worlds with meaningful interplanetary rules but really being a
creaky and half-working empire whose rules are mostly excuses to further the
cause of gaining and solidifying power.
> 2037 - Mysterious construction in Detroit is revealed to be the Mk I
> Ontological Guardian Roving Engine...or OGRE. Powered by a dedicated
> cybertank, it gives new meaning to the term "cybertank."
There we go. :3
> 2037-2045 - The North American Combine produces OGREs alongside other
> lesser forces based on Doctor Developer's designs, although the
> original Mk I remains on station in Detroit as a testbed. It is
> more intelligent and flexible than the ACs used in production model
> OGREs, and insists on being addressed as Jennifer when in social
> situations. Surprisingly, "Jennifer" is considered a fellow person
> by the residents of Detroit, and the aging Doctor Developer hands
> much of the day to day operation of the city over to the cybertank.
I'm interested as to why that is.
> 2046 - House Kasca shows up in Earth orbit claiming ownership of the
> planet, having bought out the ownership contracts of every cyborg
> on Earth as well as the intellectual property "stolen" by human
> reverse-engineers. While a disunited world debates what to do,
> Scarlet McKay (aka Doctor Developer II) and Jennifer reply forcefully:
> using carefully hoarded remant supertech that would still function,
> Jennifer enters orbit and destroys two-thirds of the Kasca fleet
> before herself being lost in a hyperspace explosion, ending what is
> later called the One Day War.
Damn. :3 :3 :3 I love it.
(And then a bunch of war stuff happens~)
Drew "is here for the social science fiction" Perron
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