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  1. - Top - End - #481
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    part 7.5 Tau - 1 week report
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    Contact with the Tau is peaceful and we are negotiating the establishment of embassies, although the Tau will have to wait until GSV Crossing the Bridge arrives.

    In the mean time, we are also negotiating a trade of knowledge on Chaos as well as any other species in the local vicinity. The Tau are very concerned about Tyranid activity in this region of space and we surmise that we might be able to negotiate for some concessions in return for helping them fight off this HS.

    The Tau are concerned that we have politely declined their invitation to join the Greater Good but they have remained interested in potential fruitful contact. They are also slightly concerned that we, or at least this GCU and Gunboat Diplomacy, have decided to not grant any potential military help against any race other than the Tyranids. And that this extends to any potential technology sharing in the short term.

    In general, we conclude that a rapid technology transfer to the Tau is likely to greatly destabilize this region's balance of power. The hyperspace drive will immensely benefit the Tau over the IoM, given that the Tau are certain to adopt it faster and adapt to its tactics quicker. Their expansion has also been greatly limited by their realspace speed.

    On the other hand, they are intrigued by our problems with Chaos and a chance to study why they are not similarly subjected to Chaos contaminations (which are exceedingly rare among the Tau, and even in those cases, generally not destructive) is likely to yield a major advance in contamination prevention.
    As far as this GCU can tell, the Tau themselves are unclear why this is the case. It is noted that their claim that adherence to the Greater Good being a shield against Chaos does not carry explanatory power.

    In any case, a decision among us in Contact needs to be made. The Tau are certainly a much more benign civilization than the IoM or possibly even the Eldar. Expanding their influence would aid our causes in the short term, but in the long run may greatly hinder our attempts at reform.
    And yet, refusal to trade major technologies like the hyperspace drive on the excuse of preserving the balance of power is likely to generate some understandable hostility. And that may hurt our chances of understanding the valuable Chaos resistance the Tau have, at least through peaceful means, which this GCU is certain should be exhausted before invasive means can even be morally considered for such a benign civilization.
    --- End of Tau segment ---

    It is an interesting conundrum.

    The Culture has something the Tau really want. The hyperspace drive.
    The Tau has something the Culture really wants. Their Warp resistance.

    And the Culture might not go along with the trade because if they give the hyperspace drive to the Tau, the IoM WILL get majorly pissed. Especially the Ultramarines.
    And the IoM'll probably get their asses kicked by the Tau with tactical FTL (and IoM grade strategic speed), which might make things all manners of complicated.

    Remember that at this point in week 3, they have already made contact with the IoM, and the ROU Gunboat Diplomacy is enroute to Maccrage to establish contact.

    Diplomacy is complicated.

    Note that the situation is different for the Eldar. They have amply demonstrated their ability to keep secrets (and to snoop for other people's secrets), so there's no diplomatic fallout with other races to aiding the Eldar.


    What do you guys say? If you were the Culture, would you trade the Tau the hyperspace drive for a chance at cracking the Chaos contamination problem? (which admittedly, is kind of a Big Issue)

  2. - Top - End - #482
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseah View Post
    The Culture manages to work together on big problems (see Idiran War) because sometimes, enough people think something is worth doing that they do work together to do it.

    Those who didn't want to join in... didn't. They broke away and formed the Peace Faction. They still won, but even if the Culture was slowly losing the war, they wouldn't have forced their other people to join in.

    It's not like numbers makes much a difference to the Culture except on the tactical scale. They have gone beyond raw numbers, with exponentially fast replication from nowhere available to them if they feel its worth the 'inelegance'.
    Apparently the Culture doesn't like making things from thin air/gridfire because they think its crude and 'boring'. Boring! Which means that it's not all that difficult to convince them that they need to, just threaten something they hold to be more important, like their ships or the existence of the Culture, and requires that conjuring of matter from nowhere and they'll do it.
    This is why I don't understand how The Culture isn't constantly riven by civil wars.
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    Sure, the "main" Culture doesn't feel like imposing its will on other Robot Masters (meatpuppets can be freely manipulated) but it would literally only take a single Ship to go off to some forgotten corner of the galaxy to build up another rival "Culture" before coming back to slaughter/enslave the core branch.

    All it would take is producing one Mind with the correct desires, and then churning out "sympathetic" intelligences in enough Ships to overwhelm the fragmented "main" Culture forces in a surprise or short-term war.

    Really, this is how I figured Tzeentch (at the very least!) would have responded to The Culture by now. Y'know, convincing a Ship (which has free will) that He had a good idea. Something like "hey, see how the other Ships are so frightened and powerless in the face of this new threat? I can teach you how to control and understand Chaos so that you don't have to be worried about it."

    Then Tzeentch (or his proxies) gives that Ship access to Warp Sorcery and convinces it to go off and experiment. A week later (considering how quickly The Culture seems to act ) a fleet of Culture Daemonships rolls back and destroys the unaligned Culture Ships and then begins to take over the galaxy.
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  3. - Top - End - #483
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    I can't post late today, so I'm posting early.

    part 7.5 IoM contact
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    Week 1
    GCU Starry Banner at Alpha Centauri
    Tracking Ordo Xenos activity at a mining operation. They are using this place as an untracked Astropathic beacon that communicates directly to Sol. An improvised command center has been found, carefully concealed even from the local mining operators. Interestingly, no written or uploaded records are to be found. They appear to memorize their information, a sort of security measure, although we have tapped all communication from the Astropathic Choir so we still have access to it.

    We have scanned select minds, commanders mainly, and we have come to the conclusion that they are in the process of collating widespread events that originated with us. Examples include the Sol probe, Pest Control's destruction of the Tyranid fleet, Ork-infestation interventions, among others.

    The IoM has become aware of our existence.

    Starry Banner requests advice on further action.

    ...
    We will proceed with first contact with lines that keep secrecy.

    Ordo Xenos, Information Center
    There is a knock on the door and the guard glances at his companion for a moment before cautiously opening it. The knock did not follow the secret code, which actually sounds alot like a normal knock.

    The door opens to reveal the figure of a male human, but the man's features are unidentifiable. They are bland and generic, as if someone had taken all the most common traits of IoM citizens and made up a person with them. The uniform he wears is likewise a mix of the Imperial Guard's and the Inquisition's.

    He refuses to answer questions about his identity and when fired upon, bullets go straight through him. The psyker doesn't even detect his presence but he is obviously not a blank. Anyone even trying to touch him finds that their hands pass through and restricting his movement is impossible. He can walk through people and doors.
    Someone figures out that its a hologram of such high fidelity that it appears exactly as if it was a normal person. No auspex, no psyker or any kind of sensor can detect where the origin of the hologram is, although the auspex notes that the light coming from the hologram is real.

    The man, unarmed, holds out his empty hands and speaks in Low Gothic.

    "We apologize for this unusual form of contact. We are the Culture and we understand the Ordo Xeno's need for secrecy in your duties so we have chosen to contact the Imperium in this manner.

    The unusual events that you have been tracking can be mostly related to our activities, except for the following,"
    Another hologram of a list of chance events, warpstorms and strange reports across the galaxy appears. The Culture has nothing to do with these events.

    "We have decided to contact the Imperium in hopes of preventing future misunderstandings. Please understand that our hesitation has been out of reaction to your xenophobia.

    You may ask this hologram questions. We will try to answer what we can. "


    That's... gonna shake things up quite a bit. They will try with other Ordo Xeno's groups, but this one happens first.

  4. - Top - End - #484
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    All it would take is producing one Mind with the correct desires, and then churning out "sympathetic" intelligences in enough Ships to overwhelm the fragmented "main" Culture forces in a surprise or short-term war.
    Minds are made within specific psychological parameters. While variation and natural development is allowed, a Mind that violates the Culture's norms so grossly is a once in forever event.
    Apart from that, I think one of them did decide it would read minds without permission. I don't know what happened to it, but it probably isn't anything good.

    EDIT: how this squares with free will and individual liberty? Eh, I don't know. But that's how it is.

    Additionally, GSVs are the ships that can build everything. A GCU is not able to manufacture ships (or at least, they were never described to do so, but I don't doubt one might be able to, given enough time and effort). GSVs have multiple Minds (3, I believe) and while one may deviate, the others will overrule it.


    The other thing is that the Culture currently has a moratorium on direct experimentation with the Warp. Which all the ships know to follow due to the exact nature of the threat you mention.
    They're afraid of exactly that. A fleet of Chaos Culture ships coming to burn everything in the galaxy.
    Last edited by jseah; 2012-11-12 at 10:42 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #485
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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Unrelated to the current Tau discussion: here's an essay I found by Iain M. Banks that provides a bit more detail on the Culture from both an in-universe (for those not as familiar with the series) and an out-of-universe (for those with philosophical disagreements with the Culture) perspective.
    Thanks for the link

    I am greatly amused than Banks does not even raise, let alone address, the issue as to why there are any meatpuppets in The Culture at all. He makes a big deal about how dangerous it is to live in space (hence making it impossible for "hegemonies" to stomp out dissent yet producing Perfect Socialism ) but doesn't stop to consider that the vacuum of space is a lot less dangerous for entities that don't need to breathe or eat and are comparatively easy to harden against radiation.

    Oh, and that some manner of education is sufficient to convince the meatpuppets that they need to work hard to maintain their level of hedonism even though everything is taken care of by machines. Handy that
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  6. - Top - End - #486
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    A three way war between Orginal Culture, WAAAARGH Culture and Chaos Culture would be funny And possibly Galaxy Ending
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimsage Matt View Post
    A three way war between Orginal Culture, WAAAARGH Culture and Chaos Culture would be funny And possibly Galaxy Ending
    Ork Culture wins.

    Ork Culture produces a gun with enuf Dakka.
    Ork Culture fires the gun.
    Everything explodes (including the Orks)
    Orks win (moral victory!)
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2012-11-12 at 10:51 AM.
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  8. - Top - End - #488
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    "Needs More Dakka."
    Fade to black.

    There is never enuff dakka.

  9. - Top - End - #489
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    I need data! Someone answer how the Ordo Xenos might react! =P


    Also, does anyone have some kind of excerpt for this Amberley woman? Someone requested that the Culture contact her, and if she's involved with the Ordo Xenos, sure. But I need to know how she'll react and think, so an excerpt of some kind would be nice.
    Last edited by jseah; 2012-11-12 at 11:06 AM.

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Well, it boils down to what faction the inquisitor in question* is part of.

    *Ie, the one present if there is one, or the one responsible for this setup if not.

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Contacting Amberley means you are pretty locked in to writing a Cain story.... ;)

    You should totally read the two Ciaphas Cain anthologies...
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-12 at 11:16 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #492
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Well, it boils down to what faction the inquisitor in question* is part of.

    *Ie, the one present if there is one, or the one responsible for this setup if not.
    Uh, faction?

    The only thing I'm getting out of the Lexicanum is that whoever is running the show is probably a Lord Inquisitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Contacting Amberley means you are pretty locked in to writing a Cain story.... ;)
    =|

    Meh, I'll try. Not from his perspective, since I know I'll butcher it.
    I can't even deal with his personality type in real life, much less write using that style.
    Last edited by jseah; 2012-11-12 at 11:16 AM.

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Quote Originally Posted by jseah View Post
    I need data! Someone answer how the Ordo Xenos might react! =P


    Also, does anyone have some kind of excerpt for this Amberley woman? Someone requested that the Culture contact her, and if she's involved with the Ordo Xenos, sure. But I need to know how she'll react and think, so an excerpt of some kind would be nice.
    Not sure how they'd react, but here is information on Amberley.
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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    The Inquisition is riddled with conflicting philosophies, which Inquisitors identify with and use to describe themselves... various Radical or Puritan groups. Read the FFG RPG book 'radicals handbook', for more information of the Radical philosophies.
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-12 at 01:06 PM.

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Why don't you read about the named Ordos Xenos Inquisitors in general?

    http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Cate...rs_(Ordo_Xenos)

    and pick one?

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Quote Originally Posted by jseah View Post
    Uh, faction?

    The only thing I'm getting out of the Lexicanum is that whoever is running the show is probably a Lord Inquisitor.
    Here, an excellent guide to the many directly contradictory and opposed factions of the inquisition

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Here, an excellent guide to the many directly contradictory and opposed factions of the inquisition
    There are some more in the RPG books not listed there...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Here, an excellent guide to the many directly contradictory and opposed factions of the inquisition
    Interesting. The Recongreagators would seem to be the best bet for the Culture
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    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Interesting. The Recongreagators would seem to be the best bet for the Culture
    EDIT: Also Xenos Hybris.
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-12 at 12:25 PM.

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    Which faction is the most likely to begin launching an empire-wide investigation on the suspicion that various inexplicable events might be tied together with a single explanation of Xeno?

    It seems like the Monodominant Puritans have the most motive for doing so since they're fanatically xenophobic.

    But at the same time, other factions might notice the traces faster. (after all, alot of things happen in the IoM so they have an extremely noisy dataset)
    The Ardentite Puritans were mentioned to be rather investigative.
    And the Xeno Hybris Radicals also have a motive in investigating events of possible powerful xeno technologies. (a possible IoM hypothesis for the Tyranid fleet's destruction could be that someone used a Xeno artifact)

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    Meh, Monodominant leads to hilarity. So Monodominant it is!

    Kill the xeno! Lolz.
    It also gives the Culture a reason to go talk to other inquisitors. Like Amberley.


    Now, the highly xenophobic inquisitors are contacted by a mysterious alien race that claims responsibility for a whole list of rather impossible occurences and are talking to them through an untraceable hologram... (and of course, shooting the hologram isn't going to do anything since it's clearly not the xenos themselves)

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    Meh, Monodominant leads to hilarity. So Monodominant it is!
    Just remember then, Inquisitors are the most dangerous individuals in the Imperium. Frighteningly competent and unflinchingly deceptive.

    Even a died in the wool nutjob monodominant might well feign a pretence at "Conciliatory dialogue" to lure the dangerous Xenos in to be crushed. And the trap when sprung, will be extremely competent even if the Culture is capable of evading it.

    Inquisitors are often powerful psykers, or have powerful psykers on their staff. They have the best wargear in the Imperium, including lost archeotech that may as well be unique. Grav manipulation, stasis fields, displacer devices, force fields, cloaking fields, haywire grenades and warp weapons like psykout or vortex bombs are all on the table if the Inquisitor Lord gets an inkling that they might be required.

    Depending on the Conclave, Inquisitor lords are nominally supposed to be above partisan factional concerns, and will be required to deal professionally with the other inquisitors in the sector whether radical or puritan.
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    They will try to talk and gather information I suppose.

    Time to play If I Were:
    - The Culture have introduced themselves and claimed responsibility for events that are widespread in the galaxy. If they speak the truth, they are a massive threat. It also could be an idle boast or a lure to sidetrack us from the main threat.
    - That the hologram was able to give a list of which events were theirs and which were not implies that they have already bugged this entire investigation, despite the nearly unbreakable security of working off pure memorization.
    --- That in itself implies some form of advanced technology or warp powers that can be concealed from a psyker.
    - The hologram itself is also worrying, given that we can't trace or shut it off.

    Things to do:
    1. Find out the Culture's extent and reach; primarily, where their planets and home region is
    2. Get an estimate of the Culture's military capability and other abilities; they certainly seem to be very good at infiltration
    3. Get to know the Culture's goals, allies and enemies
    4. Get more inquisitors on this case. Just my own network and inquisitor friends aren't going to be enough, especially if they've already bugged this place; which btw, was supposed to be unfindable

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    The most useful Inquisitors for The Culture to contact would be:

    -Ordo Xenos
    -Radical overall
    -Moderate Recongregator
    -Conservative or Moderate Xenos Hybris

    Remember... the lines between these factions are quite blurred. Some of them started as conspiracies, some are still conspiracies, and many are just generic labels that Inquisitors attach to philosophical tendencies amongst the Inquisition in general, for internal (Inquisition) use. So you can definitely follow more than one of these!


    A concerted effort to profile Inquisitors in general for purposes of contacting the right ones, would be helpful in targeting specific contact and diplomatic efforts. Do remember though that these are the most secretive professional paranoid sociopaths and psychopaths in human space...


    Also, most ANY Inquisitor --Puritan or Radical!-- would respond to that contact with fury at the realization that they entered Sol. And also paranoia that The Culture infiltrated them.


    Also, Inquisitors do work together, for big things. Even those with extreme philosophical disagreements in methods. And these events would definitely qualify as 'big'. The bigger the threat, the more likely they are to not be divided (overall) by the various cliques and conspiracies amongst them.


    Also, if you haven't read the two anthologies, they are Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium and Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium. Trust me, if you spend a few days reading those things straight through, you'll have the writing style entrenched in your head close enough to get enough of the patterns right...


    Also, Inquisitors, regardless of their faction, do tend to be 'human first', in that no matter what, they want humans to be the safely dominant force in the galaxy. Even the Xenos Hybris (which is supposedly in the Calixis Sector only, and probably still at the level of 'conspiracy' rather than 'philosophy' at this point), who believe in some level of cooperation with Xenos, still want the Imperium and Humanity to be dominant in general. I would presume that there are other conspiracies within the Ordo Xenos that have identical goals to the Xenos Hybris, but are in different sectors and have different names, and don't necessarily know of their Calixian counterparts...
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2012-11-12 at 12:42 PM.

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    Last post for me today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Also, Inquisitors do work together, for big things. Even those with extreme philosophical disagreements in methods. And these events would definitely qualify as 'big'. The bigger the threat, the more likely they are to not be divided (overall) by the various cliques and conspiracies amongst them.
    Oh, that does help quite a bit.
    If only because it simplifies the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Also, if you haven't read the two anthologies, they are Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium and Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium. Trust me, if you spend a few days reading those things straight through, you'll have the writing style entrenched in your head close enough to get enough of the patterns right...
    I'll have to go find them though. And I don't actually have a few days to spare, since you know, nanowrimo does exist and I do still write this.

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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Edited my post... =D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Thanks for the link

    I am greatly amused than Banks does not even raise, let alone address, the issue as to why there are any meatpuppets in The Culture at all. He makes a big deal about how dangerous it is to live in space (hence making it impossible for "hegemonies" to stomp out dissent yet producing Perfect Socialism ) but doesn't stop to consider that the vacuum of space is a lot less dangerous for entities that don't need to breathe or eat and are comparatively easy to harden against radiation.
    Why are there puppies and kittens in human society? They're adorable in their own clumsy and a bit dumb but sometimes surprisingly clever way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murska View Post
    Why are there puppies and kittens in human society? They're adorable in their own clumsy and a bit dumb but sometimes surprisingly clever way.
    I absolutely agree

    That said, I'm not sure I'd give pets guns that can blow up cities or trust them to screw around in other civilizations. Seems irresponsible to me
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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    As an =]I[= Lord I think I'd be looking to set up a meet, then kidnap and interrogate the Diplomat for info. Probably try and replace the Diplomat with a Callidus assassin to have a high placed plant within the Culture.

    I don't think it would work. But what they might get is a face to face meeting with an experienced SC agent, who they manage to mind scan with a hidden psyker. That would give them a lot of info. If they can telepathically pass that on and spread the message out via astropath, then suddenly the IoM has a lot more situational understanding. At least amongst the higher ups.


    Oh, hey. One thing the Inquisition has that the Culture would be very interested in is Null Rods. They utterly cancel all psychic activity that they come into contact with. Psykers are rendered powerless if they touch them.
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    Default Re: The Culture explores 40K II: Now With 100% more Fanfiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    I absolutely agree

    That said, I'm not sure I'd give pets guns that can blow up cities or trust them to screw around in other civilizations. Seems irresponsible to me
    But they're so adorable!

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    I have this mental image of Minds having a "lolhumans" series of memes now.

    On topic:
    The inquisition, while fractious, would definitely cross-reference and call in more groups as backup in a situation like this. Especially if the Culture mentions that they went to Sol, or slipped up and mentioned anything related to their relatively peaceful contact with xenos.
    Last edited by Forrestfire; 2012-11-12 at 01:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deffers View Post
    I could imagine a dwarf puttering about his mine, axeing his alebeard or doing whatever it is dwarves do,
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