Who built the system killer? And Why?

Questions and Answers About the SotSverse

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Kingstiger
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Kingstiger » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:04 am

So, I've been thinking about this, and what if Sparky wasn't designed as a weapon (i.e, something you fight with) but rather as some sort of... last act of spite? It doesn't seem to target anything in particular, just roams from place to place, blowing up any system it comes across. It doesn't seem to target anything, like you'd expect from an expert system meant to go after a specific party. Maybe some ancient race, facing their own extinction, just went all supervillian and decided that if they can't have the galaxy, nobody could.

mrelegos
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by mrelegos » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:04 pm

Hey everyone, I'm new to the boards, but I couldn't find this theory voiced anywhere, so I thought I'd put it up.

I think whoever made the SK was fighting a species that used Node Lines as transport. After all, what happens after Sparky consumes a system? All the Node Lines connected to that system are destroyed, along with any fleets current travelling along those node lines.

With that in mind, I envisage some species witnessing gravimetric pulses showing an unstoppable armada of Node Ships heading towards their planets, eradicating them one at a time like a single minded Zuul horde, almost. So they created the System Killer, a weapon of last resort, evacuated as many of their people from the system as possible...and destroyed their own sun in order to destroy the oncoming fleet.

I have no evidence to support this, outside of the fact that the Node Lines are destroyed by it, but I like the theory.
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Enjelus
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Enjelus » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:22 pm

I think the idea that it was built to stop the locusts is most plausible, after all if you're fighting something that consumes all the resources from a system and reproduces exponentially the quickest solution is to destroy the resources.

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usermist2
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by usermist2 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:01 am

mrelegos wrote:I have no evidence to support this, outside of the fact that the Node Lines are destroyed by it, but I like the hypothesis.


Fixed that for you. ;)

But the reason why the node lines aren't there any more is because node lines only occur at universal stress points, aka massive gravitational fields, aka stars. Guess what sparky eats for dinner? The things that make node lines possible.
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mrelegos
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by mrelegos » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:00 am

No, I realize that, I'm just looking at the effects, and backtracking from there.

I'm saying he's eating the stars to destroy the node lines, not just destroying nodelines by eating the stars.
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theSmallerFish
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:06 am

I had a thought about the system killer, which may or may not be a little 'out there' :? , but here goes:

Erinys said that the system killer was the last survivor of an ancient war, and whoever built it made a dreadful mistake (I think the implication is that it destroyed its creators, but I might be wrong there). The most common assumption I've seen is that mistake was in the design, programming, or construction of the system killer, and that this error caused it to turn on its creators destroying them along with the enemies it was supposed to attack.

I was thinking, what if the problem wasn't that the system killer went wrong, what if the problem was that it went right? What if the dreadful mistake was not in how the thing was built, but that it was built or used at all. The thing you have to remember is that calling it a system killer is actually an understatement, it doesn't kill a system, it kills systems, plural, and there's every indication that if left to its own devices it would keep killing systems forever, repairing itself from their remains.

So here's the scenario: sometime, more than 5 billion years ago there was an extremely advanced civilization that decided they needed to use a system killer (or system killers, there might have been a lot of them once, and there still might be more roaming around, the universe is a big place after all). Maybe they were at war with someone with comparable technology, maybe they were fighting some unknowable horror, or maybe they just hated the rest of the universe, whatever the reason we are unlikely to ever get a definitive answer, what matters is that they built the system killers and they used them. They told the system killers which systems comprised their empire, and they told the SKs to go and kill everything else, and they did, it worked perfectly, the system killers did, and are still doing, the job they were supposed to, wiping out everything except their creators.
What was left after the dust had settled and the victory celebrations had calmed down, was a handful of systems, all alone in an ever expanding void, the empire of the creators, untouched and safe from all aggressors. The galaxy outside that empire was simply, gone, utterly destroyed, and the nearby galaxies would be following it shortly. Because of the finite speed of light it would take a few years before you could see the stars going out in the skies over the creators worlds, and many millenia before the skies of those lonely worlds would be completely dark. At that point the creators would have been able to see the extent of their victory, and perhaps the depth of their mistake.
There was nothing outside their empire, no enemies, no allies, no trading partners, no worlds to expand to or explore, no resources for great projects, no mysteries to unlock, just the cold and the dark. There was nowhere to go to except the other systems of the empire, and without the rest of the galaxy even they would drift apart in time, and there would be no hope of escape when those stars finally sputtered and died. Nothing left but stagnation and death. The success of the system killers destroyed their civilization, it just took it a few millenia to die.

Maybe the system killer did go wrong and somehow turned on its creators, but even if it worked perfectly it would still kill its creators in the end, there is no safe distance when you decide to blow up the universe.

Anyway, that's my take on the subject :noid:

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Profound_Darkness
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Profound_Darkness » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:56 pm

theSmallerFish wrote:...
I was thinking, what if the problem wasn't that the system killer went wrong, what if the problem was that it went right? What if the dreadful mistake was not in how the thing was built, but that it was built or used at all. The thing you have to remember is that calling it a system killer is actually an understatement, it doesn't kill a system, it kills systems, plural, and there's every indication that if left to its own devices it would keep killing systems forever, repairing itself from their remains.
...


This is generally how I've read the concept. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Unfortunately recognition that something shouldn't be done tends to come after doing the thing... The concept oft presented with such doomsday devices isn't if one (or a people) might learn from the mistake but if there will be time to learn.
Mecron wrote:... "Hey aliens!! Candygram from the planet of crazy talking monkeys!!" ...

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Ludovsky
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Ludovsky » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:20 pm

Considering the automated nature of the System Killer(s), I cannot help but wonder if they weren't something like an Elder Race's equivalent of the russian Dead End system:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Hand_ ... ear_war%29

Considering how it destroy systems without discrimination or even apparent goal other than destruction and it's automated nature makes me wonder if it's launch itself wasn't automated as well. I.e.: a weapon that could be released automatically even long after the empire's leadership, if not the whole of the empire itself, had fallen with nobody technically around to order a retaliation strike.

theSmallerFish
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:21 pm

As a follow up to my earlier ramblings, I thought I'd have a go at answering the initial questions: Who built the system killer, and why did they do that?

I think the defining characteristic of the system killer is that it doesn't stop doing its job, for any reason, ever. If you were designing a weapon just to destroy a particular enemy you might program it to stop once it had destroyed all of their systems, or if you weren't sure where all their systems were you might program it to stop once it had destroyed everything within a certain radius (set at the time of launch so your enemies couldn't just move house for a few years to avoid it). Even if the weapon was meant as a threat you would usually want to threaten a particular set of enemies, or at least a general area where you and your potential rivals live. Using the Cold War as an analogy, a country might build weapons that threatened their enemies (e.g. the USA might build weapons to threaten the USSR and its allies, and vice versa), everyone who is not one of their immediate allies (for the US that would be everyone outside NATO, for the USSR everyone outside the Warsaw Pact), and finally everyone who might oppose them (i.e. all other countries, and maybe everyone in your own country as well just to be on the safe side). The cold war version of the system killer would be a weapon which not only killed everyone on Earth, but also took off into space to look for new people to kill. Why build a weapon that will kill people you have never met or even heard of?
I think the answer to that could be very simple: you don't need to meet people if you have already decided that they simply have to die :evil:. I think the peole who built the system killer didn't just want to kill their rivals, they wanted to kill absolutely everyone, and if possible make sure that no new life could arise. I think for the system killer's creators all of the universe outside their dominion was far too dangerous, far too alien, and far too wrong to be allowed to exist. From their own perspective they probably thought they were defending themselves, in the same way that an arachnophobe with a heavy book might defend against spiders. The universe was wrong, so they built something to fix it.

As for who they were, I think somewhere in the SOTS universe there is a hole in the sky, a huge void that used to contain a hundred galaxies or more, although none still living can recall their names, or the names of the beings that had the misfortune to live there. Somewhere, near the centre of that void there are a handfull of dead stars, slowly drifing apart over the eons. Around some of those old cold husks there are long dead worlds, their surfaces worn down by the passage of time. These are the last resting places of ancient race, their remains and their great works turned to dust by the passage of fifty million centuries or more. You will never know their names, to those who once knew them they may have been known as monsters, or murderers, or devils, but everyone who knew those names is long dead. As for what they called themselves, no outsider ever knew that, they did not care to speak with vermin.

All that's left of that ancient civilization is the system killer, eternally scouring the universe, ever obedient to the will of its long dead masters.

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Sevain
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Sevain » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:48 pm

The system killer does not destroy all systems (or at least did not in Prime; haven't seen good old Sparky in II). It travels in a set direction and destroys all systems in its path until it reaches the end of the map, but it does not zig-zag around to devour every system on the map. Therefore one might think of it as a cannonball that one fires against hostile stars: it is going to punch a hole and then travel onwards forever. If that sounds a bit irresponsible don't worry, it will be Someone Else's Problem once it gets through the enemy territory.

Which might explain why it has no off switch: no friendlies are supposed to be in the "blast radius".

theSmallerFish
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:50 pm

If I had to guess what the system killers creators called themselves, I would guess that they called themselves 'people', by extension that would make everyone else 'not people'. To them 'not people' were things, things that had to die.

They were a friendly bunch weren't they :insane:.

theSmallerFish
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:55 pm

I'm guessing the reason why the system killer goes in a straight line is that we are seeing a very small part of a larger pattern, possibly an initial mapping phase to see where the strongest resistance is. I think the systems it passes by haven't been spared, it just hasn't got to that part of the pattern yet.

Of course I could be completely wrong about that.

theSmallerFish
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:59 pm

The reason why I'm guessing we haven't seen the whole pattern yet, is that a twelve light year wide tunnel wouldn't be enough to end a war between powerful ancient races, not unless it doubled back at some point, or unless there were a lot of them :| .

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Sevain
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Sevain » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:14 pm

I'm pretty sure there were a lot of them. This is purely based on a comment about a galaxy ravaged by two system killers and locusts looking "like the final war".

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Erinys
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Re: Who built the system killer? And Why?

Post by Erinys » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:19 pm

theSmallerFish wrote:If I had to guess what the system killers creators called themselves, I would guess that they called themselves 'people', by extension that would make everyone else 'not people'.


Curiously, almost every name that a race has for themselves translates as "the people". In much the same way that 95% of all the home worlds in the universe have a name which translates as some variant of "Dirt". Unless the species is aquatic. In which case their home world has the stunningly original name of..."Water".

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