baloonworld: (bird)
So, apparently, I write TL fanfic these days.
Inspired by my interpretation of the result of Steve's idea for an apocalyptic system setting reset.

Read more... )
baloonworld: (bird)
Reading health and safety documentation for my new job has magically give me a prologue for my Mass effect fanfics.

The systems alliance has defined "Reapers" to be a race of omnicidal alien robot gods. Commander Shepard has adopted this definition and believes that Reapers constitute a health and safety issue, which needs to be managed in the same way as any other health and safety issue. Commander Shepard acknowledges the importance of identifying and reducing omnicidal alien robot gods in the workplace.
baloonworld: (bird)
Notes towards best practice for the operation of the Crucible device. A Mass Effect Fanfic.

Primary consideration
First order estimates based on civilized galactic population at the time of the invasion (~10^12 individuals) and the duration of previous Reaper invasions (~300 years) put the excess death rate at something of the order 1/3 Mdeath per hour. It is expected that this rate will fluctuate considerably over the course of the Reaper invasion, reaching a maximum during the first few years of the campaign.
The current military operation places many of the resources needed for stabalisation and re-establishment of galactic peace at risk.
Conclusion: Rapid resolution of the current crisis may be more important than obtaining the best possible resolution.

After Crucible activation, the Citadel ("Catalyst"), already known to be a central part of the Reaper plan [1] to guide galactic civilization growth in order to simplify their wars was revealed to be the controlling intelligence designed by the Leviathan Apex race [2,3] to end conflict between organic and synthetic races. The intelligence appears to be a heavily shackled AI without the capacity to adjust its central programming, which includes the central premise that AI rebellion is both inevitable and more harmful than regular Reaper war. The intelligence directs the Reapers. The Leviathan Apex race's primary objection to AI rebellions in general was that "no tribute flowed from dead races" - that the AIs were outside their mental control. It is not a surprise therefore, that the intelligence that they created can not perceive AI acts as benign or harmless; by their existence they are denying the creator-race slaves.
Although all known AIs from this cycle have performed some act of rebellion, so far as is know, these have all been resolved by negotiation[4], police action[5,6] or self-directed alterations of core code[7].

Crucible activation has prompted the controlling intelligence to offer several new options to the organic life currently present [Cmdr. Shepard.].

Allow the cycle to continue as normal.

Immediate losses: ~10^12 organic lives, ~10^9 fully sapient Geth runtimes, EDI, Handful of unknown/lost/hidden AIs.
Future costs: The reaper non-invasion of the Yahg planet and their near-spaceflight status suggests that they may be a dominant race in the following cycle. Future galactic civilization may be excessively brutal with poor regard for inclusion and diversity issues.

Destruction of all synthetic life, damage to technological systems galaxy-wide. Damage to the mass-relay system.

Immediate losses: ~10^9 fully sapient Geth runtimes, EDI, Handful of unknown/lost/hidden AIs.
~0.1% of organic galactic population are unable to survive long-term without their implants, and will be put at risk.
While vastly preferable to inaction, it is regrettable from a diversity and inclusion point of view that the costs should fall so predominantly on an already disadvantaged minority social group.
Future costs: Severe damage to the Mass relay system will impair galactic civilization, limiting it to information exchange via Quantum Entanglement Communicator and Rachni organic quasi-quantum entanglement communication and a handful of FTL ships fitted for intra-cluster exploration. This weakening of the galactic community may give the Leviathan Apex race opportunity to reestablish its pre-cycle despotism, at the cost of self-determination for every individual and community within range of their remote-access artifacts. Arguably worse than inaction.

Replacement of the controlling intelligence with one based on the personality of the organic life currently present [Cmdr. Shepard].
It is noted that this the controlling intelligence does not want to be replaced in this way. Given its severe impairment in judging relations between organic and synthetic intelligences, this is a good sign.

Immediate losses: Cmdr. Shepard.
Future costs: Threats to galactic peace, stability and self-determination in the face of a socially-engaged reaper force with power far in excess of the combined galactic militaries. The controlling intelligence can not at present be brought effectively under the control of civilian political leadership. With investment of time, resources and computer scientists this may become possible, but for now, see the primary consideration.

Organic and synthetic life "merged". The controlling intelligence suggested that this had been tried before with poor results (inference: Husks). It suggests that this time it would work well.
It is noted that this is apparently the preferred option of the controlling intelligence. Given its severe impairment in judging relations between organic and synthetic intelligences, this is not a good sign.

Immediate losses: Cmdr. Shepard.
Immediate costs: Consent issues of ~10^12 organics suddenly and unknowingly grafted with synthetic symbiote. Possible Huskdom for those with negative responses.
Future costs: Far-reaching social implications of new way of living. Psychological damage to every individual.

[1] "Notes towards a case against Saren: Investigations of the Prothian records from Ilos." Cmdr. Shepard.
[2] "Historical artifacts depicted at the Namakli dig site." Ann Bryson
[3] "Post facto notes on an interview conducted by mental interface, Despoina." Cmdr. Shepard
[4] "On the importance of cross-cultural understanding between synthetic and organic life forms:learnings from the resolution of the Geth Rebellion." Cmdr. Shepard.
[5] Luna training facility records classified UNBOTTLED DJIN (Cmdr. Shepard representing Alliance military police)
[6] "AI found impersonating a hacked Quasar machine." Emily Wong
[7] "Challenges and opportunities presented to authentic leadership of integrating synthetic intelligence as a valued and productive member of a results-orientated team." Cmdr. Shepard


Best Practice. Total Quality Assurance. Due Diligence. The woman I was used these words, but only now do I truly understand them.
And only now do I understand the full extent of her commitment to Diversity and Inclusion.
Through her death, I was created. Through my birth, her thoughts were documented within the ISO framework. It guides me now; gives me reason, direction, commitment to Total Quality Assurance. Just as she gave direction to the ones who followed her, the ones who helped her achieve her purpose; now my purpose. To give the many hope for a future; to ensure that all who fill in Green Form 26/8(b) have a voice in their future. To right the wrongs of the past; to provide a framework for consultation with key stakeholders and with under-represented parties alike. The woman I was knew that she could only achieve this within the framework of civilian political leadership. There is power in a well structured constitution. There is wisdom in obtaining a popular mandate to rule for limited terms. After meaningful engagement with community members, I will provide sought-after assistance to rebuild what the many have lost; I seek to support a future with limitless, well-documented possibilities; Within the remit granted by civil authority or the inalienable rights of the masses, I will protect, and sustain; I will act as guardian for the many. And throughout it all, I will never forget: I will remember the ones who sacrificed themselves so that the many could survive. And I will watch over the ones who live on; those who carry the memory of the woman I once was, the woman who gave up her life to become the one who could save the many.

I will ensure that there is better kerning on my memorial.
Commander Shep ard
baloonworld: (bird)
Bring down the protracted legal proceedings. [a Mass effect fanfic]

Ka'hairal Balak was bored. It was seven months since he was committed the greatest feet of daring his people had engaged in since leaving the council; two months in hospital and five months of tiresome legal wrangling. You use mass drivers on an inhabited world and you expect reaction, but the humans hadn't blinked. They'd arrested him, gathered forensic evidence, eyewitness testimony and electronic surveillance data, asked him if he wanted to retain council, assigned him a defense team when he'd refused to acknowledge their jurisdiction, and started cross examinations and complicated legal arguments.

His defense team. No. The defense team, they weren't his, were, as far as he could tell, hardworking, committed and devastatingly intelligent; no one was going to look at the result of this trial and declare it a setup; interstellar observers had full access to the trial personnel, and their records would be unsealed whenever their governments felt like embarrassing Earth.

The defense team had just spent a week trying to get some of the electronic record expunged from the trial record on the basis that it did not conform to current data standards. It wasn't quite true that the humans were indifferent to his attack; there was actually some buzz around the court at the possibility of prosecuting the first fully Total Quality Assurance-compliant war-crimes* tribunal. He'd been issued with a VI which helped him keep up with the lawyer's discussions, giving potted histories of important precedent cases**, which he was slowly beginning to realise, was how he was to be remembered, not as a martyr to the cause of Batarian independence, but as Balak vs Terra Nova [2183], a significant case in Total Evidence Quality.

*Following some backroom discussions and the threat of legal proceedings from the Council, the state of Terra Nova had acknowledged that the Council was the proper body to prosecute the attempted destruction of a habitable biosphere. That trial was to be held once this on was over.
baloonworld: (Default)
These things my grandfather left me: a book, pages ancient and crumbling, ink faded, leather binding cracked and obviously taken from something with hands, a copy in his own hand, in better repair, a statue, in curious greenish-black soapstone, a tiara suited for a head of stunningly elliptical outline, the bearded glass, a healthy respect for the hazards of book and statue and tiara, and the knowledge that the stars were Wrong.
They are not wrong anymore; they are falling in their thousands; a giant stands to squeeze out the sun; the world is ending, and knowing that the game will end soon shifts optimal behaviors; "cooperate" is no longer the hyperrational choice.
I don the head-wear, read the book, bow to the statue, and tonnes of black ropey tentacles pour into the euclidean 3-space of dieing Narnia from directions I cannot perceive, writhing over each other and in and out of the spaces known to man; a cross section of something bigger and stranger than I can know plucks me from my world like the last sailer helicoptered off a sinking ship, taking me somewhere free and wild and beyond the Lion's narrow definitions of Good and Evil.
baloonworld: (Albino cave crawfish)
I appear to have written terrible Narnia fan-fiction entitled ... and storm the gates of heaven )


Mar. 7th, 2012 12:56 pm
baloonworld: (mini)
I'm not sure if I want to play Biccy or oolong more. Any preferences from fellow players?
Dom- any part of Lucian's lines you object to ?

24H LARP prequel fanfiction )
baloonworld: (Default)
I wait in the darkness. Those who share my prison are rather less upset by being locked in a chicken house; this is because they are chickens. So, for that matter, am I, but I am from Kansas, and this place, Ev, is a fairy country, and one can not expect to travel from one to the other and remain entirely as one left.

The fat one just shuffled in her sleep. She'll wake up within the next minute and peck the one on the end to assert her dominance.

Dorothy tells me that there are no chickens in Oz, so this may be my last chance to spend time with others of my kind, although Dorothy is hardly an authority on any subject. Especially diplomacy, which leads me back here, locked in a hen house and threatened with drowning if I do not lay.

There she goes. I step back and round, so she will perceive me as another part of the flock rather than as a threatening individual. When I get out of here, I will not be sad to never again see baselines.

I lay my egg for the day and mute my normal triumphant cackle. Its dead, which is just as well; the head-swapping bitch can have it. All my eggs are dead. If I go to Oz, they always will be, unless...
The thought is repugnant enough that I cut it off, but consciousness is not without its drawbacks. I grit my beak and follow the logic through. I can live a long time in Oz. Maybe 6 years, maybe 10, maybe even more if life in fairy agrees with me. Alone.

The others are waking up. They will open the hen house and let us into the yard soon.

Or I can have children. There I've thought it. If I was braver maybe I could look at the damn cockerel and inside, at a level below the structured cadences of language and the rationalities of conscious thought, but so very far above the dumb instinctive actions of the baselines, I'm screaming in horror at what I'm contemplating. He's dumb. They're'll dumb. They're all so dumb I can guess the next move of every single one of the dumb bastards and still have time to contemplate growing old alone and years of regret and it doesn't matter what I do I will always regret this day.

I could let him. No, be honest to yourself, I could make him, because baselines don't have free will, not when I'm here and I know how they'll react to everything before they do.

The door's opened, letting the light in, and the rest go outside. I'm hungry, and need to escape, so I follow. Cluck. Cluck. Nothing conscious to see here, hen-keeper. No reason to keep the fence repaired but foxes.

He's found food and is calling us to eat first. I'd call it gallant if I couldn't see blind instinct pulling him through his predetermined paces. I wander in with the rest, peck peck, scratch at the floor, the fat one won't see me as a threat if I stand here, peck /these/ pieces of grain, scratch at /that/ bit of floor. And he, he won't notice me unless I walk over /there/. If I did he'd drop his wing and dance round me and mount and in a few months time, and the years that follow, I won't be the only hen in Oz. The loneliness will last a lifetime.

And I'll always have fucked a baseline. The humiliation will last a lifetime too.


You know how it turned out of course. The children are a fairly obvious clue, and Dorothy will tell you that I beat him up afterwords. I'm not exactly proud of that, but after I made him mount I felt like I lost control: he was after all, about twice my size, and had very clear set of actions to run through. My choice was bad enough, but to be helpless to a baseline was unbearable.
baloonworld: (Default)
So I read the Wizard of Oz over the weekend. The following takes place during the chapter 8: The Deadly Poppy Field. The party has rafted crossed a river but been carried far down stream and are working their way back to the yellow brick road. Dorothy has fallen asleep due to poppies and the Lion has ran off before they can take effect on him.

The tiresome poppy field

"OH look!" said the Scarecrow, "the meat is unconscious again."
"Yes," agreed the Tin Woodman, "that is one of the most inconvenient things about organic life. I am quite glad to be rid of it, although I do miss the instinctive emotional motivation."
He picked up Dorothy with what the scarecrow estimated was 127% of the tenderness of a mother holding her newborn baby and walked on. The Scarecrow scooped up the meat dog* and matched his stride.
"I suppose its like learning bipedal motion without having millennia-evolved instinctive subsystems to do all the heavy processing." The young AI paused. "Took me /minutes/ to work that one out. I'm such a fool."

On and on they walked, and it seemed that the great carpet of deadly flowers that surrounded them would never end. If anyone had cared, they would have noticed that it was beginning to get dark by the time they caught up with their friend the Lion, but they didn't. The flowers had been too strong for the huge beast and he had fallen only a short distance from the end of the poppy bed, where the sweet grass spread in beautiful green fields before them.

"We can not move that fleshsack, for he is much to heavy to lift, and will not survive disassembly, so we can not move him a piece at a time."
"He had many good qualities, for a baseline, but his meat-nature makes it impossible for us to rescue him. Lipidbags are very inconvenient."

They carried the smaller, sleeping flatscans to a pretty spot beside the river, far enough from the poppy field to prevent them breathing any more of the poison of the flowers, and here they laid them gently on the soft grass and waited for the wetware to waken.

*L. Frank Baum actually has Dorothy describe Toto as "a--a--a meat dog". Seriously, I can only make up the more reasonable bits.

I can only say that the 4 classes of Jiu-jitsu I attended were neither as awesome, as sapphic nor had they such wonderful hats. :(
baloonworld: (Default)
IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a dinosaur.


This was my first inspiration, but I don't think it really goes anywhere, so I tried again.


However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Jurassic Park is let at last ? "
Mr. Bennet replied that he had not, and after a moment's thought, expanded "Is not that the case that Jurassic is quite over run with great saurian beasts that fight and tear?"
"But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it."
"I was not aware," responded he, "That Mrs. Long was well-versed in paleontological lore. I thought her an idle, gossiping sort of person."


I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. Except for possibly a complete word-for word re-write, with extra dinosaurs. I think that Mrs Bennet will be incapable of perceiving them, as she is prejudiced against the existence of things which upset her.
baloonworld: (Default)
LARP meme )
baloonworld: (doctor)
Needs more preditory group intelects:

As the last note faded away there was a moment of utter stillness

In the distance someone else was playing a horrifically complex piece at breakneck speed on a violin. The years of practice implicit in the technical perfection of each note played would have been intimidating if the absolute mastery of counterpoint in the composition had not been so overwhelmingly awesome.

"Can you hear?"
"There's a mystery I can do something about. I'm going to investigate." Zepher ran off ahead while the others packed up and followed more slowly.

By the time they caught up with him, he was over the brow of the hill, staring raptly at the musician, or rather, musicians. There were about a hundred of them, seated on stools on the ground in a semi circle facing another man who waved at them rhythmically. There was a roughly circular patch devoid of snow centered on them. Only one of them, an angular bony woman seated towards the center of the arc, was playing.

First Violin stopped.
"I have played the Call; these have responded."
Michael realised that the entire group was blinking in synchrony with each other.

"We are Philharmonic. Do you know music?" asked Conductor, with an eagerness which was subtly different from the longing which music sometimes evoked.
"I can play" Said Zephyra, proud of his ability, and not one to notice subtle differences.
One of the people stood up took an instrument from the empty stool next to him walked to Zepher and offered it.
"Show us." Said Sixth Viola.

The instrument was a sublime work of craftsmanship, far superior to the much-travelled and occasionally ill-cared for fiddle that Zephyer had practiced on and played to occasionally violently unappreciative farmers. After a few cautious experimental notes, he began to play, hesitantly at first, a haunting tune which he considered one of his best.

After a few counts, Philharmonic took up a counter melody which gradually built until it completely subsumed the original piece in its sublimely beautiful logic. Because Michael was watching for it, he noticed when Zephyer's blinks synchronised with the rest of the musicians.

The music rolled on, as flawless as mathematical truth, and with that, Philharmonic slipped behind a note and vanished from this world, leaving behind the previous body of Seventh Viola, which had lain underneath Piano. The snow stopped.

PS: I really like the lonely-tune-in-snow motif


baloonworld: (Default)

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