Distress Signal

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 28 Sep 2013 - 2:31

I've always viewed Padania and the Five Republics Faction as being like the Provisional Irish Republican Army. They have their "action" units which engage in what the government would consider "terrorism", but they also have a political arm - the Associazione del Nord (equivalent to Sinn Fein) - that works within and without Italy.

So your OCs could be tasked with taking out AdN members (and their supporters). I'm doing something similar with Michele and Kara in Tokyo Drift.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Sat 28 Sep 2013 - 7:13

Alfisti wrote:did you have something lined up to deal with routine maintenance? Sending out conditioning pills is one thing, but the girls seem to require reasonably regular check-ups and tweaking... some of the specialised equipment for which I'm dubious of the portability of. That, or I guess the SWA could possibly, if she really was that much trouble, be intending to just let her wear out...
The routine maintance would be a case of having a tech meet them (or having them meet a tech, depending upon how close they are to Italy) at semi-regular intervals for very basic check-ups, along with regular return visits to Rome for a proper "service". Quite what to make the intervals I'm not sure. Monthly for the meet-ups, quarterly for the "service"?

And yes, the SWA's perspective is that their options are either use her for spares or get what use out of her they can before they retire her on grounds of instability. Her handler manages to get her under enough control that, while you wouldn't want to leave her alone, she's stable enough not to be a risk.

Kiskaloo wrote:So your OCs could be tasked with taking out AdN members (and their supporters). I'm doing something similar with Michele and Kara in Tokyo Drift.
Oddly enough, going after the Italian equivalent of Noraid is indeed one of the things I've got jotted down on my notes page.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Alfisti on Sat 28 Sep 2013 - 10:49

Vett wrote:
Alfisti wrote:did you have something lined up to deal with routine maintenance? Sending out conditioning pills is one thing, but the girls seem to require reasonably regular check-ups and tweaking... some of the specialised equipment for which I'm dubious of the portability of. That, or I guess the SWA could possibly, if she really was that much trouble, be intending to just let her wear out...
The routine maintance would be a case of having a tech meet them (or having them meet a tech, depending upon how close they are to Italy) at semi-regular intervals for very basic check-ups, along with regular return visits to Rome for a proper "service". Quite what to make the intervals I'm not sure. Monthly for the meet-ups, quarterly for the "service"?
Sounds reasonable.

In terms of periods: personally, and it is just personal opinion and speculation here, I tend to imagine it as a quarterly basis for "services"... I certainly work on the idea that three months is the standard cycle. Monty,thanks to her "detuned" build, can safely run out to six, but she returns to Rome for a service on, or as close to as the Blackers can manage, the normal three monthly cycle; with the last three retained as a buffer should anything go awry.

As for check-ups (for a standard build): I think monthly is a reasonable estimate, I don't think they would want to go any longer actually, particularly as the intention I imagine would be to pick up any developing issues and nip them in the bud... doubly so if she's considered a bit unstable.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Odon on Sat 28 Sep 2013 - 11:37

There's another benefit to the SWA other than their cyborgs; its value as a private death squad of the Prime Minister (and the Minister of Defense).  I always through that was where their real value lay; he can use them to cut through the notorious tangle, corruption and mixed loyalties of the Italian public service to wage his own personal War On Terror, according to his own political interests.  So in regards to whether the SWA would take on a task such as killing people in other countries, it's a mistake to assume that politicians will always pick the politically cautious option.  As history has shown, they can be reckless too, especially if they think they've got a quick solution to a problem (e.g. terrorists operating or raising funds outside the country).

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Thescarredman on Sun 29 Sep 2013 - 17:35

A detailed and interesting premise, Vett. Looks like you've got material for about half a million words.

Possible cover story for your 'borg: child actor or, if she's pretty enough, model. No place is too outlandish for a photo shoot. And as quasi-celebrities, they show up at every sort of event you can think of.

Or: child athlete. Many pro sports start them off very young. Maybe her handler can teach her to play tennis. I think some mention was made on another thread about a tennis-playing cyborg who returned serves at 300kph...

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 16 Oct 2013 - 10:59

So, imagine that you've got the perfect cover story and have close contact with a high level Mafiosi. Recently, the police have gotten too close because of something screwing up somewhere and he needs to book it out of the country. 

Do you pretend to help him, kidnap him, interrogate everything out of his skull, then leave his body as an example? Or do you actually help him stay safely out of harm's way and glean HUMINT from him in the form of rumors and casual conversation while he's chilling in his cabin in Finland?

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 16 Oct 2013 - 11:22

I'm a bit confused.

Are we talking a government agent who has been infiltrated into the Mafia and is now at risk of being burned or someone in the Mafia who has agreed to become an informant for the government and is now at risk of being discovered as an informant?

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Wed 16 Oct 2013 - 11:50

Neither, the scenario is that you are the government agent who is pretending to work for the mafia as one of the people who clean up messes. Up to now, you've been doing small to medium sized jobs (such as handling dead bodies in the backs of vans) and have made a name for yourself as someone who has a very large list of phone numbers to complete a wide variety of tasks. 

Last night, a high level Mafiosi's operation went somewhat completely to hell because of bad intel, and now the Guardia di Finanza has enough evidence to arrest the man and anyone associated with him. Your job is now to get him out of the country long enough for the mafia to fix the trials to guarantee his freedom. 

Currently, there are two options. 

The first is to call your superiors in the govt. (Section 1, specifically) and request permission to interrogate the suspect and get everything you can out of him before killing him and dumping the body. When he's out of the country, he's going to be cut off from the mafia and there's no way to get more info. You'd need to kill him down the line somewhere eventually, why not do it now? This is balanced by the fact that you may throw the mafia into an uproar, which would then make operations more difficult later down the line. 

The second is to actually help him out of the country to Finland (because Finland). There, he'll only have the occasional, heavily edited, email from his pals telling him what the news is in Italy, and it's not likely that he'll get much minable data apart from rumor and hearsay (which can be used, but aren't the best sources of intel). However, it's theoretically possible that after the trials, he'd continue being a good source of info if you befriended him. This is balanced by the fact that if you leave a man sitting around with nothing to do for too long, he might start noticing things, draw too many connections, and tell his friends in Italy, which would almost certainly get you and your associates targeted.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Wed 16 Oct 2013 - 16:53

Depends on the context.

If killing him will severely impact upon his organisation's ability to carry out criminal enterprises, or cause infighting that will do the same and, as a bonus, remove other key people in the organisation, I'd say do it... provided option two doesn't work.

With option two, you have him in a room you control, which you can bug and, under the circumstances, almost certainly talking on tape about interfering with a trial, which will get him locked up, should you wish it. This can also be used as leverage (once, of course, the undercover agent has been withdrawn from that particular role).

As well as that fall back option, just helping spirit him out brings the undercover agent closer into the Mafioso's confidences, giving you the chance of more access in the future. And, while it's possible for the man to make connections, I'm somewhat sceptical of his ability to put two and two together provided the safehouse is set-up properly.

While it's not one of the options listed, I think section one probably have enough pull to arrange for the trial to fail themselves and do a deal with the Mafioso without the need for elaborate chicanery. It's also worth pointing out that, generally speaking, suspected co-operation with the authorities is a death sentence. The threat of spreading rumours to the effect that he's working with the police would be quite a stick.

A blackmailed informant isn't as reliable as a willing one, but if it's a big jail sentence, he may well play ball. And if not, well... there's always option one.

Playing the long game is usually better, as once you have one person, you can use them to track and expose more of the organisation, rather than just removing a little bit. Unless you deliver a knock-out blow, someone else will always move to fill in the gap in the internal hierarchy.

But people in charge tend to want short term results they can show their superiors.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Fri 28 Mar 2014 - 18:03

Not so much a distress call, as tapping into the hive mind for a non-GSG story I may or may not be nanoing.

Ignoring the logistical problems, what current tech (including working prototypes e.g. literal mind-control) could you take to a medieval level world to make them think you were a god?

For example, you could use a helicopter to be in two places at once (in the 'if they were in X at lunchtime, they couldn't possibly be in Y by teatime' vein), or anti-biotics to give people miraculous recoveries.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Fri 28 Mar 2014 - 18:18

Dude, autoloading fire arms. Get a bloody M249 in there and it'll freak the shit out of people. 

Any smartphone will do, as well as tablet computers. Computers additionally, especially any sort of hardcoore programming business. Say, C++ code ofr a working video game. 

I mean, really, anything will do. They say that Jesus was a space alien, after all. Technology of a high enough level is indistinguishable from magic.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Alfisti on Fri 28 Mar 2014 - 20:01

Frankly, and like ID noted, most things spun right would do: anything from a car, iPad and small projector... down to a Bic lighter. It really depends on what you want to do with the story. Notably, most modern technology requires some form of power source, so any consumables will need to be replenished... but a lighter will last longer than an iPad and so on. *shrugs*

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Thescarredman on Fri 28 Mar 2014 - 20:07

Clarke said that, didn't he? It's true, but people get used to magic in short order. They don't have to understand such 'magic' to use it, after all; most people who use computers know next to nothing about electronics.

What you need is technology whose true nature is easily concealed - say, radio. Being able to excuse yourself from the room for five minutes and come back in with accurate news from a hundred miles away would seriously impress the masses. They might even burn you at the stake.
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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Fri 28 Mar 2014 - 21:13

I'm thinking more impressive but concealed as Thescarredman says. For example, drones could be used to 'smite' people. You won't hear them, just a rush of air and an explosion: it would appear as if you've just clicked your fingers and they spontaneously vaporised themselves.

As far as fuel, batteries etc. goes, for the purposes of this, you can assume whatever tech you bring has ultimited amounts of whatever it needs, including the logistics train and personnel.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Fri 28 Mar 2014 - 21:15

Oh God Predator Drone. Done.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Thescarredman on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 2:34

Guess I was thinking small. If Predators is more the level of infrastructure your visitors are capable of, a whole world of possibilities opens up. Since modern drones depend on GPS for navigation, you're now throwing satellites up a round your fictional world, with all the capabilities that suggests.
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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 11:29

Obtain Star Wars. 

Rain kinetic energy death from above.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 15:21

As I said, I'm looking for anything and everything at this point.


When I actually come to incorporate this stuff into the novel it'll get trimmed down to fit the world. As far as predators go, there's no GPS (space rockets are somewhat beyond what's do-able), but I was just going to use a series of long-loiter time drones as comms relays - provided it's high enough, literally no-one has anything capable of harming it.

Rods from God doesn't have a working proto-type at this stage, so it's out.

Aside from pure military stuff, there's also things like using geo-physics to locate metal deposits to appear omniscient, use of sensors and electric motors to appear to be able to move objects at will.

In many ways, I'm looking for the regular, day to day demonstrations of divinity that the masses can see and believe in.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 15:28

In that case, matches or a lighter seem to be things we take for granted. Making a fire is unholy levels of difficult if you don't have an already burning source, and a flint-and-tinder isn't exactly easy. Sure, there are people in the medieval times that can start a fire in seconds with flint-and-tinder, but a zippo with "clink-fwoosh" ability is probably not something that most people have available. 

Additionally, cigarettes and other tobacco products. I don't know about the status of drug-usage in the Medieval world, and if you're in the Middle East it's not that remarkable. However, if you're in the north, I am not aware of any significant smoking culture. 

Actually, that would be a really neat scene. 

"Ach, damn, I could use a smoke." 
"Why not? You have your pipe, yeah?" 
"Where'm I gunna get a coal to light it, ya idgit?" 
"Oh, here." *clink-fwoosh* 
"HOLY ODIN, FIRE!" 

I dunno. I think I'm spamming a lot of stereotypes here.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 16:08

Yeah, stereotypes are one the reasons I'm asking around rather than just going: fire; internal combustion; flight - done.

The thing about medieval people is that they were uneducated rather than unintelligent (every time I saw that Columbus wasn't funded on his voyage because they thought he'd fall off the edge drivel I found it very difficult not to correct the teacher there and then rather than waiting until the children have gone). I'm taking the viewpoint that if someone sees you, for example. flick a lighter and flame comes out, they will assume that the lighter makes the flame: on taking it to pieces, they will discover a liquid that burns and a contraption that makes a spark just like flint and tinder. That's not the mark of a deity, but of a genius inventor.

If, on the other hand, you press a switch and a tube starts glowing with holy light, they can take the tube and it's fitting to pieces as much as they like, but they'll never manage to discover how it works. If that's the case, what other option do they have but to ascribe it to your divine powers? Yes, the light might fail occasionally, but people will very quickly assume upon themselves the 'we have not been grateful enough and God is displeased' excuse.

Similarly, while there is a clear link between the gift from God and how the crops all grow better when it's placed on your field, actually understanding why fertiliser works and how to make it themselves is beyond medieval technology: God gives it; Only God can make it; God has imbued it with his divine powers.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 16:34

Hm. 

Well look, why Medieval? The medieval era is just before the Renaissance, after all. Why not go earlier, to the Greco-Roman Era?

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Thescarredman on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 18:15

Something to watch out for when trying to impress the locals with your knowledge is underestimating their existing level of expertise. Fertilizer wouldn't be mysterious to people who've been collecting night soil to spread on their fields for twenty generations; they might not understand why your stuff works better, but they wouldn't regard it as a miracle. The Middle Ages had sophisticated engineering and an excellent grasp of conventional mathematics. As you pointed out in your earlier post, Vett, educated people had been fairly certain the world was round for hundreds of years, they just weren't sure how big it was and lacked the technology to circumnavigate it.
Your best bet for technological 'magic' is something that the locals don't suspect is possible, or even believe is scientifically impossible.

Obtain Star Wars. 

Rain kinetic energy death from above.



Dude, you're never going to give up on that, are you?
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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 20:15

Thescarredman wrote:Something to watch out for when trying to impress the locals with your knowledge is underestimating their existing level of expertise. Fertilizer wouldn't be mysterious to people who've been collecting night soil to spread on their fields for twenty generations; they might not understand why your stuff works better, but they wouldn't regard it as a miracle. The Middle Ages had sophisticated engineering and an excellent grasp of conventional mathematics. As you pointed out in your earlier post, Vett, educated people had been fairly certain the world was round for hundreds of years, they just weren't sure how big it was and lacked the technology to circumnavigate it.
Your best bet for technological 'magic' is something that the locals don't suspect is possible, or even believe is scientifically impossible.

Obtain Star Wars. 

Rain kinetic energy death from above.



Dude, you're never going to give up on that, are you?

TSM, you should know by now that anything cool about Flying Objects will send me into spasms.

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"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 21:49

Okay... I think at this point I'm going to have to actually give out some traceable details.

It's not so much medieval, as an average tech level that I think is sustainable (N.B. I'm aware my throwing around of Medieval and it's lack of technical knowledge and skill is a massive generalisation, but it's not worth making exceptions for the relatively minor improvements in metallurgy etc. toward the end of the period).


The setting is 'after the end'. In my notes, the earth gets hit by multiple 1km asteroids (though the exact cause will probably need to change at some point as we know where most of the big ones are). Dust and debris shield the sun and the temperature drops by about 7 degrees. The result of that is a 10 year period where biomass dies off and society gradually falls apart: cities hold together better where they can get sufficient resources, but people end up being slightly more sophisticated hunter gatherers, splitting apart into smaller groups.


High-level knowledge is dispersed and, over time, disappears to isolated pockets. The buildings and infrastructure decay until you've left with rusted bits of metal and scarred shells.


The military are better suited to riding out this sort of thing than everyone else and, without getting into the unnecessary detail, 70 years after the disaster strikes Bob (for want of a better name) becomes the Commander of Eglin AFB. Bob is fifty/sixty at the time and is, for reasons of magic, effectively immortal. Over time, people forget that the Commander was once Bob, and he becomes simply The Commander. He's already a faintly mythical figure in the eyes of the people who aren't allowed to live on Eglin AFB (he's immortal, and his soldiers can appear in two places at once (i.e. take a helicopter to travel several days worth of distance in a few hours), and he makes it rain fire (explosives)etc.), and his current lover suggest taking it further and actually appearing as a god.

This means that a) people who want to rebel against his rule are now trying to overthrow their God, which tends to make finding supporters harder to do and b) is the psyop to end all psyops against the various groups on the borders.

While they're the best armed and equipped, even the remnants of the military have some difficulty in obtaining resources, so firearms are for emergencies and strategic locations only e.g. the hydro and solar plants. In the aftermath of his deification, they become more restricted, reducing the general tech level down to match the outside world apart from the 'miracles' performed by the new god's priests. Over time, the religion becomes more overt and knowledge fades away until only the priesthood knows about computers, electricity, drones etc.

They maintain this tech advantage by systematically searching for and destroying anything they deem forbidden, especially in areas belonging to other groups. While there are elements of the enlightenment floating around, steam-engines are considered to be dangerous, as they enable factories and industry. As such anything other than sword and shield etc. is a dangerous pre-cursor and that knowledge and capability needs eliminating. A sword is a sword, but they're not much of a threat if you can just machine gun them all down at 400 yards. Similarly, civilisation  post 1500 or so needs infrastructure, be it canals, railways and decent roads, or advanced metallurgy and economies of scale: they're either destroyed when discovered, or beyond the relatively small nation-states in the area. Okay, someone might invent a really impressive loom, or an enterprising person might start making muskets in their house, but without organised industry, modern tech levels are impossible to reach, preserving the advantage.

The story is set a thousand years or so further on, where all the technological upheaval has been forgotten and things are Just How They've Always Been.

In short, I'm going for medieval because that's the level you can reach with limited technical ability: horses, basic blacksmithing, wooden/basic(ish) stone buildings and everything doable by hand from a one-room house, with everyone able to be self-sufficient. For further development, you begin to need to develop a surplus food supply and have increasing numbers of towns and specialised trades, which requires more co-ordination and larger 'nations' than I'd like to have.

As I said, however, that's average. To the east and west, there are two groups who are convinced that they're the Roman Empire and have (by choice) tech levels to match; further up the Mississippi, there's a group of neo-Egyptians, though they're happy to grab whatever tech comes along. Further to the south, there's a group that have maintained almost modern levels of clock-making, as they use them to navigate the Atlantic etc. But if the world descended into barbarism, I think most places would manage to maintain a medieval-esque level of technology and knowledge as it's all (as a general rule of thumb) based on individual level observation and muscle-power. 


As far as the fertiliser goes, while they make know what it is and that it's just the same as their own, that's true, but it's vastly superior to manure. After all, a sword is a sword, but people are quite happy to have one that works better than their own because it's given by a god. It won't convince someone of divinity by itself, but it's a relatively minor way to spread 'proof' of God's blessings.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Alfisti on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 22:18

Well... I guess at least there would be no environmental controls, which would make running the fertiliser plant a bit easier... Razz

Probably not entirely relevant in story terms as it's relatively easy to write around, but probably worth noting that, like a lot of modern industrial process facilities (smelters, glassworks and so on), once it's running you can't actually shut a fertiliser plant down (at least, of the variety I'm familiar with) because it will eat itself alive.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Sat 29 Mar 2014 - 22:43

From the stand point of an engineering student, my immediate question is how you prevent research institutes from suddenly dumping huge amounts of cash into these problems and solving everything hardcore. 

I mean, I'm biased, but the Georgia Institute of Technology would immediately be like: "No sun? Fuck that business, I'm designing a solar cell that lets me generate ridiculous amounts of electricity." 

Meanwhile, the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champagne) would be like: "No crops? Fuck that business, I'm GMO-ing the shit out of this wheat so that it's totally okay with growing at 60 degrees Fahrenheit." 

And then there's Stanford, Caltech, MIT, Cambridge, etc. etc.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Sun 30 Mar 2014 - 7:10

Oh I'm sure they would... briefly.

After the initial hit, you'd get by on stored foodstuffs and what remains of the harvest, but then you quickly get into the situation where there's not enough food to go around. It takes _time_ to successfully GMO wheat and develop (and get someone to build, which is probably the harder thing in the middle of societal upheaval) functioning solar panels that provide a functionally useful level of energy.

I'm a cynic, but people quickly descend into looting and rioting, especially where there's food scarcity. Sure, there's the police and the military, but if _everyone_ is rioting, there's not much they can do. A University requires a lot of people to make it work, and yet more to produce the raw materials and power they rely on to do their research. Where's that going to come from when there's no more oil to transport the coal to fuel the power station because everyone's stockpiling or trading it for food? And they might make more, but enough for it to be universal quickly enough to provide enough food for everyone before people start dying off?

The entire setup is basically the hierarchy of needs: industrial and technical processes require everyone to be fed, and they need feeding the various resources they need. If they can't get that food, no-one is going to be able to work long-term because they're starving to death. People die in three weeks, so after the first year the population is going to start falling until the density drops sufficiently for the land to support. If you're out in, say, Kansas, there's space for that, but if you're crammed into a city like New York there's no way it can support everyone.

But this is all back-story, really. Coming back to the original question: how could you make ignorant people who work on a pre-enlightenment level of technical knowledge believe you were a deity?

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Vett on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 14:47

As I can't really find anywhere else to put this and google isn't really giving me what I want, what sort of damage does 7.62 NATO do to a person?

Are we talking a person with a chunk missing, an unrecogniseable pulp or a relatively neat entry-wound  and a messy exit?

Based on [url=http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/Wound Profiles/M80.jpg]this balistic profile[/url], I'd assume the latter, but I'm not sure what the profile is based on.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by Il Direttore on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 14:54

From what I know it's the last one, but it's generally not pretty. I did an unwise thing and google-image searched gunshot wounds, which led me to exit wounds, which led me to deer-hunting forums where people have taken photos of the exit patterns when they hit deer with .308 hunting rounds, which are of course comparable to a 7.62. I don't recommend you look for these yourself because of the gore factor, but let's just say that in one photo the exit wound was about the diameter of a grapefruit or smallish cantaloupe.

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- President John F. Kennedy
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Re: Distress Signal

Post by taerKitty on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 18:44

I believe it depends on if the bullet hit bone or just flesh.  It'd be possible for a through-and-through wound to look relatively 'clean', but in doing so, the bullet will still have transferred a great deal of energy via hydrostatic shock, possibly rupturing tissue in the surrounding area.

If it hits bone, especially on the way in, then the bullet will likely mushroom as by design, and then it'd be like taking a large scoop out of a person.

Remember, you are God.  Once you deal with PDW rounds and above (assault rifle, battle rifle, and anti-material rifle), you can deal just about any damage tot he character you want.

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by PolosElite23 on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 21:51

taerkitty wrote:I believe it depends on if the bullet hit bone or just flesh.  It'd be possible for a through-and-through wound to look relatively 'clean', but in doing so, the bullet will still have transferred a great deal of energy via hydrostatic shock, possibly rupturing tissue in the surrounding area.

If it hits bone, especially on the way in, then the bullet will likely mushroom as by design, and then it'd be like taking a large scoop out of a person.
Pretty much this. Expect the "pink mist" if its a headshot...

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Re: Distress Signal

Post by taerKitty on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 22:16

Usually more like "partially deflated basketball" from the few pics I've see. AMRs do the 'Scanners' thing.

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