Who built the system killer? And Why?

Questions and Answers About the SotSverse

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:36 pm

Based on that it's possible that they were supposed to destroy everything, its just that the system killer is a long way from its point of origin and hence the pattern has spread out too much to do its job properly (the inverse r cubed law can be cruel like that). It's also possible that or most of the system killers have been destroyed over the years, and sparky is carving a twelve light year wide path of destruction because he's expecting there to be another system killer alongside him. Maybe unit number 10,457 will double back when it notices that unit 10,456 is not doing its job for some reason.

Of course I do have to admit that I'm going with the 'system killers are supposed to destroy everything' hypothesis rather than 'system killers are supposed to destroy everything along one vector' because that lets me paint a more interesting picture. The only real evidence I have for that idea is that if you wanted something that only wrecked things on a particular scale (even if that scale is galactic), you'd want it to stop at some point (presumably when it had travelled a certain distance along its path), that way you don't end up annoying people you've never met with your leftover unexploded ordinance. That said, it would hardly be unrealistic for the system killer's creators to forget about that feature, or decide that was another problem for another day (after all real world armies do use minefields). Or maybe the system killer does have a pre-set range limit, it just got broken some time in the last five billion years.

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:43 pm

Erinys wrote:
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".

--Arinn


That makes a lot of sense. I'm guessing one of the things that defines how a race sees the universe is whether they see aliens as 'not people' or 'more people', or even 'strange people'.

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:51 pm

theSmallerFish wrote:
Erinys wrote:
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".

--Arinn


That makes a lot of sense. I'm guessing one of the things that defines how a race sees the universe is whether they see aliens as 'not people' or 'more people', or even 'strange people'.


From my extremely limited knowledge of etymology 'alien' seems to mean literally strange or foreign, and can apply to either a strange or foreign person, or a strange or foreign thing. So I guess the jury's still out on us.

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

Post by Sevain » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:17 pm

theSmallerFish wrote:Of course I do have to admit that I'm going with the 'system killers are supposed to destroy everything' hypothesis rather than 'system killers are supposed to destroy everything along one vector' because that lets me paint a more interesting picture. The only real evidence I have for that idea is that if you wanted something that only wrecked things on a particular scale (even if that scale is galactic), you'd want it to stop at some point (presumably when it had travelled a certain distance along its path), that way you don't end up annoying people you've never met with your leftover unexploded ordinance. That said, it would hardly be unrealistic for the system killer's creators to forget about that feature, or decide that was another problem for another day (after all real world armies do use minefields). Or maybe the system killer does have a pre-set range limit, it just got broken some time in the last five billion years.
If your Engine of Ultimate Destruction is a military machine you would prefer not to include a off switch in the design. The reason is simple: if the weapon has an off switch your enemy might be able to press it. If it does not have an off switch and you devise a method to keep it from killing you (for example: it has a trajectory away from you) you get to have your Doomsday Weapon without giving your enemy a method of disarming it.

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:52 pm

Sevain wrote:
theSmallerFish wrote:Of course I do have to admit that I'm going with the 'system killers are supposed to destroy everything' hypothesis rather than 'system killers are supposed to destroy everything along one vector' because that lets me paint a more interesting picture. The only real evidence I have for that idea is that if you wanted something that only wrecked things on a particular scale (even if that scale is galactic), you'd want it to stop at some point (presumably when it had travelled a certain distance along its path), that way you don't end up annoying people you've never met with your leftover unexploded ordinance. That said, it would hardly be unrealistic for the system killer's creators to forget about that feature, or decide that was another problem for another day (after all real world armies do use minefields). Or maybe the system killer does have a pre-set range limit, it just got broken some time in the last five billion years.
If your Engine of Ultimate Destruction is a military machine you would prefer not to include a off switch in the design. The reason is simple: if the weapon has an off switch your enemy might be able to press it. If it does not have an off switch and you devise a method to keep it from killing you (for example: it has a trajectory away from you) you get to have your Doomsday Weapon without giving your enemy a method of disarming it.


I'm thinking that in order to have a range limit, you wouldn't need an off switch, you'd only need an internal timer (shut down after x number of years have passed). That said it's not that hard to imagine a sufficiently paranoid mind might still regard that as an unacceptable weakness (what if they hide all their people for x+1 years and then return?! We cannot let them escape so easily!).

Of course having it only kill things in a corridor with a six light year radius would be a much bigger weakness (what if they move all their people 7 light years to the left?! We cannot let them escape so easily!). So I'm guessing that whatever their deployment patern was, it would have to give the system killers blanket coverage at least locally to solve the 'what if they move x+1 light years' problem. That in itself might give us a different reason why the system killer doesn't have a time limit, if you want to make sure that the enemy can't escape, you don't build a machine that will ever give up. Maybe the reason why the system killer travels in a straight line is because it's chasing the last derelict ship of some long defeated alien race. Maybe it will stop when that last ship finally hits something and stops drifting through the universe. Maybe not.

As I said, I don't have much evidence, I just like the idea.

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:19 am

I suppose what I'm getting at, is that a weapon without an off switch, or a shutdown code, or a mission complete status, or a recall procedure, or anything like that, is a machine that's never supposed to stop killing. Given that, I don't think it can be avoided by moving seven light years, that's too big a flaw for a machine like that, if the enemy can just avoid it, then that's just almost as bad as an off button they can press. That means, one way or another, sparky doesn't spare anyone, he's coming back to finish the job.

But maybe I'm wrong, maybe sparky's current behaviour implies something completely different, maybe he wasn't originally a doomsday machine, at least not within the parameters I've set.

Maybe he's not supposed to act anything like what we've seen, maybe he's just old, lost, and broken :(.

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

Post by Mecron » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:13 am

You are mistaken...he is a doomsday machine created by people so paranoid they allowed for no way for it to be subverted. A wepon to spit from the gate of hell with, so to speak. The same kind of insanity that causes tens of millions of dollars on researching armored command trucks to race along radiation blasted highways launching third strikes of missiles. ;)

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:41 am

So, I suppose that just leaves the question: Are systems outside of his twelve light year corridor spared? Or will sparky be back one day to finish the job?

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

Post by CPTPromotable » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:54 am

Mecron wrote:You are mistaken...he is a doomsday machine created by people so paranoid they allowed for no way for it to be subverted. A wepon to spit from the gate of hell with, so to speak. The same kind of insanity that causes tens of millions of dollars on researching armored command trucks to race along radiation blasted highways launching third strikes of missiles. ;)


A middle finger to the galaxy from their deathbed? I am intrigued by these people. Too bad they are *assuming hat = on* dust in the proverbial wind now.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

My old account blew up. Castewarkp assured me it was not malicious :).

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

Post by Saphiel » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:58 am

The System Killer is an Expert System is it not? It's clearly capable of making decisions (or being coaxed into it, as seen in the whole 'Save the Hivers!' thing). Therefore it is not following a fixed pattern, nor is it a dumb fire missile of epic proportions. It clearly has mission. Which mission (and if it still follows it) we can only guess. Sparky might hunt something.
I once saw a picture posted here, I think it was from Erinys, which showed several system Killers facing off against sever Locust Worlds, together with a comment that was something along the lines of 'This is what the last great war looked like'. So sparky might be hunting locusts, or it is denying them resources, or both.

Or it's just a giant middle finger from hell screaming "**** YOU ALL!"... although I think that is far to simple an explanation considering everything else Kerberos has brought us in terms of SotS lore.

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

Post by theSmallerFish » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:15 am

Since Mecron said he's some sort of final strike ultimate deterrence, Sparky's mission is simply to kill everyone. He doesn't care who you are or what you want, since that would imply that there's someone he wouldn't kill, and that would be a weakness that could be exploited. I'm guessing it might be possible to make a system look like a particularly attractive, and hence high priority target, but I'm guessing that there's absolutely nothing you could do to remove a system from his target list, and if he's seen it, it's on the list :twisted:.

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

Post by Enjelus » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:24 am

It acts like its been programed to maintain a flight path and destroy everything with a certain radius of that flight path. That seems like its purpose is to clear a corridor through space for some reason. It could be part of a larger "grid search" pattern if the point was to destroy the galaxy, but I'm not sure that would be the most efficient way to do it (considering stars move). And it defiantly wouldn't be the fastest way to do damage to enemies or threats near home.

Maybe its not a weapon at all, maybe its just clearing the way for a massive intergalactic highway system!

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

Post by Mecron » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:35 am

You realize you are down to critiquing whether Sherman was taking optimal roads and trails through the south, right? ;)

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

Post by Erinys » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:16 am

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

Post by Enjelus » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:01 pm

Mecron wrote:You realize you are down to critiquing whether Sherman was taking optimal roads and trails through the south, right? ;)


Lets not bring the war of northern aggression into this!

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