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 Spaceship 
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Wolf Spider

Joined: May 15 2007, 9:36 pm
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Post Spaceship
Anyone have any idea how the spaceship got into the tunnels? Or why? And if it's big enough and advanced enough, why not send it up and absorb the ball bearings in orbit? Just thinking and pondering.

Ken


Dec 30 2007, 8:43 pm
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Orbweaver

Joined: Jun 25 2007, 12:54 pm
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How it got there: ?

But I think they are trying to kep it quiet for the moment until they figure out what it is doing there.

Of course there is also the SW Lusankya problem. Getting something that big out from under the city could cause some minor collatoral damage...

CT

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Dec 31 2007, 1:54 am
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I have been wondering how the hell it got there for about 8 years now.


Dec 31 2007, 4:38 pm
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Wolf Spider

Joined: May 15 2007, 9:36 pm
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I understand that within the context of the story, there are certain things going on. But, from outside the story don't you just wonder how it got there? If they drove it down a tunnel, the tunnel must still be there. Why wasn't it noticed? Or, did they put it in a pit and roof it - pretending it just went away? The pictures I've seen so far don't lend themselves to the pit and roof idea, so what's left? This is just nagging me to death. On the other hand (as I've said before), not all mysteries should be explained. Could be this is one of them.

I still like the idea of using it to sweep the orbital areas of the ball bearings. Granted, it may not be able to fly. They could always strap some sub-orbitals to it ... hey, it's worth a thought!

ken


Dec 31 2007, 10:12 pm
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There is a third possibility.

It was built there. If you want to put together an escape ship (for whatever reason) you'd want to build it in secret. You build your cavern and construct it in that. They seem to have sufficient nanotech prowess to have been able to form the pieces underground and then shift the manufacturing equipment out easily (Or maybe it is still there, what would a nanotech foundry look like?).

As for clearing a cascade I have seen several ideas, though none of them could cope with a full scale one.
The simplest is to basically send up a massive foam ball. Like a tough shaving foam. You spray it into an orbital track and wait for the debris to slam into it. It absorbs the bits or at least slows it down and then gravity will just pull it into the atmosphere where it all burns up.

The main problem in a full cascade being you have somewhere in excess of 50 million square miles to clear...

CT

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Jan 01 2008, 4:58 am
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Wolf Spider

Joined: May 15 2007, 9:36 pm
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You wouldn't build something like a spaceship primarily with nano-technology - you'd use cranes and ovens and welding equipment etc. Building it in place, though, is a good idea. The equipment to build it can be disassembled and taken out through some large tunnels. Of course, it still needs to be able to take off. I suspect that the roof would push back, so there needs to be a way to open the ceiling. Hope no one I know is living above this thing.

You only need to clear the cascade out of the area you want to use. Although, 50 million cubic miles of foam - Wow. What a great idea! That I'd like to see. Not only would you have ball bearings lighting up the sky, you'd have foam-fall as well.

We need another story just to deal with the foam idea!

Ken


Jan 02 2008, 7:51 pm
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kenm wrote:
You wouldn't build something like a spaceship primarily with nano-technology - you'd use cranes and ovens and welding equipment etc. Building it in place, though, is a good idea. The equipment to build it can be disassembled and taken out through some large tunnels.


There is indeed a tunnel...or at least there was one once upon a time. This picture may give you a bit of an insight into where part of it once was.
Image

Part of it is now covered by the water that you see on this side of the Erech city walls. The picture that you're seeing this on is going to be the cover for part 1. During the time that TrevorGreylock was travelling this world as rpg'er, this lake had been filled in with rubble, and eventually built over the top of. (There is a similar area in my real world hometown of Mishawaka, Indiana....for Trevor Greylocks info....the south side of Milburn Blvd around Hubbard and Middleboro in Mishawaka was all pond back during the Great Depression and was filled in and set up for housing as a WPA project)

One of the things I need to do (out of the gajillion) is put to buy a copy of Campaign Cartographer 3 and City Designer Pro and do a new map of the world, and do a current map of The City of Erech. I have a number of hand drawn ones, but they only depict the city from much, much later than these stories are set. The plan is to have these new maps done and included in the book edition as well. Unfortunately, I just haven't had the time or the cash to do it right now.

Hope this helps...and I hope you like the sneak peek. :)

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Jan 03 2008, 12:00 am
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Orbweaver

Joined: Jun 25 2007, 12:54 pm
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kenm wrote:
You only need to clear the cascade out of the area you want to use. Although, 50 million cubic miles of foam - Wow. What a great idea! That I'd like to see. Not only would you have ball bearings lighting up the sky, you'd have foam-fall as well.

Ken


Actually I was being lazy with my calculations. The 50 million square miles is just the surface layer of the orbit zone.
The volume of it (less the volume of the planet, I assumed dimensions similar to earth) is about 123 billion cubic miles...

Someone may want to double check my maths though.


If the lake was filled in by rubble then presumably someone knew of the tunnel before hand and was concealing it. Some of the survivor groups maybe?

CT

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Jan 03 2008, 8:01 am
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Wolf Spider

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Concealing the tunnel works - if you have a way of opening it back up. Since it's been concealed beneath a lake, the water and debris would drain down into the tunnels (flooding the library?). Perhaps this is the purpose of the tunnels? Sure hope nobody's down there when it drains!

Foam in orbit - I do like that idea. Not practical. It won't work. Just a great idea. Wish I'd thought of it.

Ken


Jan 03 2008, 1:54 pm
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Orbweaver

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Just had a hunt round looking for other ways of dealing with the cascade.
There seems to be two other ones for general clear up and one for creating an immediate pathway through it.

Something called a Laser broom to basically heat up one side of the debris so it's orbit shifts and it burns up in the atmosphere faster or a heavily reinforced electro-magnet that would attract stuff and then bring it back through the atmosphere again.

The immediate one is the detonation of a major warhead to force the debris out of the way of a following vessel until it is clear of the field.

Not sure about the second two but the first one sounds plausable at least.


As for the tunnels just how far underground were they originally? There is the really impressive swimming pool in the network which was originally the basement of a club, right? Which suggests that a fair chunk of them are fairly close to the surface. But then the surface has probably been built up over the years meaning the tunnels were once even closer to the surface.

Just thoughts.

CT

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Jan 04 2008, 3:52 pm
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Wolf Spider

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I don't know - giant billows of foam in orbit. Now there's a hazard! Actually, exploding anything that creates shock waves above the cascade would clear it out pretty quickly. The shock waves would disrupt the individual orbits and send the items into the atmosphere pretty quickly. Tnt, Amatol, etc.

The lake is going to drain downward (obviously) and will follow the path of least resistance. If the deeper tunnels are bigger and can handle the flow, the upper areas should be ok - depending on the volume. Unfortunately, that large a body of water will have a tremendous force and will be almost impossible to restrict or control. Indeed, there's a good chance it would even damage the spacecraft. Just a side note: you will also need to cut off the supply of water to the lake. That has to go somewhere too.

Love these little problems. Love the solutions even more!

Ken


Jan 05 2008, 12:16 am
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Problem with detonating stuff in orbit is that everything has to be destructable (Missile, payload, boosters, etc) or else you add more debris to the field as well as clear some of it out.

Also had a look back through tunnelrunners (Only getting a little sidetracked rereading them). The Spacecraft is "about a mile and a half underground" (pg. 44). Unless there are more tunnels under it the water would end up draining into that cavern.

CT

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Jan 05 2008, 8:31 am
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Wolf Spider

Joined: May 15 2007, 9:36 pm
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If the spacecraft is manned (or womaned) and the water flow into the cavern is slow enough, that might work out ok if there are no overhead obstructions.

If you were to detonate explosives in the upper atmosphere - just below or just at the level of the main body of the cascade - the shock waves would have the desired effect without adding much if anything to the debris field. Take a lot of explosives, and a lot of transport to get up where it would do some good. Must be another way of dealing with the cascade.

Ken


Jan 05 2008, 9:32 pm
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