Jul 172013

Years ago, the first Saturnian aerostat Cloud Holm was lost in a violent storm during its opening gala, a notorious disaster that represented the greatest loss of transhuman life since The Fall. Now, it appears as if part of the crippled habitat may have survived, and Chronus Ventures, the Titanian microcorp that financed its construction, wants answers, so they send a salvage team to investigate the wreckage and download important data from the habitat’s central computer. When the salvagers encounter a group of desperate survivors, they’ll have to use a combination of finesse and quick wits if they want to depart with the information they’ve been sent to recover. Before long, another deadly storm looms on the horizon, and they find themselves racing against the clock to collect the data, return to the ship and escape alive. Will they make it, or will they end up permanent residents of Cloud Holm? Listen to find out! 

  • aw, I was waiting for the Firewall plant’s abdominal antimatter bomb to go off as soon as the rescue frigate got there. Proxies! slacking on the exsurgent management!

  • Omega

    Interesting scenario. I liked it, interesting interacting with the Saturnian system, the Commonwealth. Sounds like someone had been reading Rimward.

    Also, pretty sure in EP life doesn’t find a way. Basic Biomods is full STD Protection/Contraception, in addition to a couple of other enhancements. So unless you’re a Flat, both partners would presumably have to turn that option to off. (Or select Have Baby Y/N?)

    • Maybe their muses popped up and said, “It appears you’re about to have sexual intercourse,” and rather than listening to the prompt asking whether or not offspring was the intended consequence of the act, the couple involved told them to fuck off. Then, maybe there were long, tearful debates about the viability of raising children with limited resources in an enclave of survivors aboard a derelict aerostat that preceded their decision not to press the abortion button. Children would be good for morale, after all.

      Technology isn’t perfect, and even when it comes close, there’s always the potential for human complications. If you think people never make decisions that fly in the face of what seems like good sense based on emotion, then I think you should pay closer attention.

      • I always dislike the ‘we’re immune to all STDs in the future’ concept, too. that’s…not how life works. everyone is immune to all diseases until one gets past their immune system, and unless transhumanity has somehow exterminated or tamed and rigorously evolutionarily prunes all microlife…

        Neil Stephenson deals with that one in a grimdark reversal way in Diamond Age, where nanoplagues are common and I think can even evolve naturally. where there are nano-immune systems, there can be nano-infections.

        • Omega

          Well, looking at it both by the fiction of the universe and the mechanical rules governing some implants, the only way one can make themselves completely immune to disease (including nanoinfection, which is covered. Nanoplagues and toxins are explicitly things in EP, and you can buy a few of the latter if your feeling nasty) takes multiple implants of various cost. Nanoviri and other such things even effect Synths.

          However, what I assumed from how the core book relates the conventional STD immunity and contraception rolled into the same mention as a function of the Basic Biomods, it was some kind of augment built into the reproductive organs that “hardened” (for lack of a better word) the various membranes and prevents reproduction and infection on both ends. This would make the decision to have children much more striking, since both parties would probably need to deactivate this function (possibly with some lead time?) in order to procreate. I was more addressing the usual bullshit taught us by the film Jurassic Park that life “finds a way” as kind of a cheap rationalization (probably moreso by the players than the characters) which kind of lessens the impact in the game.

          Personally, the fact that they decided to have kids isn’t too surprising, people do it all the time in crazy post-apocalyptic fiction. What should be more striking is that given the state of Cloudholm, they wouldn’t have access to Exowombs, meaning that they would have had to..*gasp* carry the fetus and give live birth! (Or find the instructions for a c-section on the local archives if they had access) Which would probably add more to the intended “shock factor” Alex mentions below.

          tl;dr I’m not saying that people wouldn’t have kids, just pointing out/complaining about it kind of being downplayed and rationalized rather than it being the surprising and profound thing it actually would have been to all the characters involved in this fictional universe. Storytelling thing.

          • RyGuy

            Well, you put a lot more thought into it than any of us did, that’s for sure.

          • Omega

            Yeah, I’m one of those weirdos who tends to compulsively memorizes details of fictional universes, and have developed a habit of taking time to compose my thoughts on the internet. Blame it on a combination of factors from by upbringing and early internet days teaching me giving incorrect information was wrong.

            (Also, is it weird I read that comment in my head with your voice or is that normal?)

          • have you read the Culture novels? one of them (I think it was Excession?) talks a bit about the Culture’s pregnancy cycles and the way they trigger their bodies’ built-in sex change option. the Culture’s transhumanism is similar to EP Transhumanity’s in many ways, although ++ galactic utopia –grimdark.

          • RyGuy

            Consider Phlebas is actually next on my reading list, after I finish Vernor Vinge’s most recent Zones of Thought novel.

    • Alex

      Honestly, I didn’t really consider that when I was planning things out. I figured that kids are somewhat rare in the EP universe, so seeing them here would be a little shocking. I also hoped it would be a little more motivation for players to save the day.

      Also, I figured that the people were trapped on a broken space station with not much else to do. Babies seemed a logical consequence.

      If you want something more science-y. The particles in Saturn’s…megnetokillosphere…destroyed their implants because of…reasons.

  • Nirvash

    *Points out that an agi can in fact be female as gender is what one identifies themselves as and sex, which is very fluid in EP due to changing bodies and stuff, is just what parts ya have* Rasist cis scum you just dont understand zim!

    • Yeah, we did make some pretty untoward AGI jokes at 3lizab3th’s expense. On behalf of James, Meyer, Alex and myself, I’d like to apologize to any offended AGI listeners for the biochauvinist and cissexist comments made during the course of this session.

      Please don’t enslave or eradicate us, for we are but feeble humans.

  • Chados

    Omigod! Steven?!?!

    Alex, you came up with a great episode for an hours worth of planning. Quite different(but still felt like EP) from the normal game, and also, Flashlights and Infosec- nice work Ryan, Meyer, and James! I think you should have gotten some kind of achievement after this one.

    • Thanks! And I was equally impressed with how they managed to not-fight their way through the scenario. I definitely wasn’t expecting that.

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