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🎨 Creative [Riff] Step-fort: Interdimensional Colonial Marines vs. the Long Giegerish Earth...


Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
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1. AI. Androids are evidently a thing, and I’d like a little more examination on them. How many makes and models are out there, and which are most popular? Are there any models that have become self-sufficient, making more of themselves in factories without human assistance? Is it all ‘droids, or are there AIs that control habitats, satelites, or even Forts? I can see a lot of appeal in players having a sapient base.
Two kinds of AI:
Replicants! Artificial people made using some unknown secrets gained found deep in the worlds! There are all kinds of makes and models in my head. They normally follow orders, but again they're based on Aliens and Blade Runner so...problematic tech. They ted to be very smart, very fit, but not so good at the social thing since they're all fairly young and possible made without souls...

Second: big 70's computers! rows of blinking lights! Giant sized databanks! These are the ones that help do the equiations for stepping, running things, and giving you directives from faraway corporate masters. I figure this AI is...questionable. It may not be AI, just very complicated data structures. These are mysterious, and cunning, and not too trustworthy.

2. Exactly how weird can the alternate Earths get? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Earth, but the Haast eagle is still around”, and 10 being “The planet Midnight from Doctor Who, made of diamonds, lacking an atmosphere, and covered in psychic super-predators”, how weird can the things you see outside your Fort get?
For my own universe, I figure most planets are in the 3-8 range. Probably gets weirder the further you get from Earth prime because...I think that's a law.

3. Bats. How big can they get? How large are their swarms when initially encountered? They must be limited, because only ever encountering bats on bat-worlds wouldn’t be as fun. How do they act in the absence of humanity?
Bats in my head: range from "mid-sized dog" to over 9 feet tall Man-Bats. One recording during the fall of Earth had one possibly over 30 feet long, but it wasn't really in the camera shot. Swarms probably start at "solo bat eating a crew" to "wolf pack of hunting nightmares" to "this is the worst video game ever".

What they do when people aren't around? become apex predator, take over the planet, possibly start changing the biosphere, and build...giant things. We still send a few scout forts to Earth (normally to launch an ICBM or three), taking any chance to blow up whatever they're doing.

4. Bats can cling to the side of Forts when they step. Can humans?
Yes! Mind you, a human will die instantly due to the lightening-blast of plasma, followed by a few brief seconds of exploding vacuum before being imapcted again by more plasma and super-heated air, but yes! You can hang on the side of a Fort if you want to...

Nyx Nought Nothing

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I'm trying to figure out why step-forts would stop by worlds where the only inhabitants are a family (or few families). I'd expect any settlement with significant trade links to be at least a mining settlement.

Also, for moving step-forts on land, might I suggest something like a crawler-transporter, because that is a fantastic visual.
That's basically what the land-carrier from Area 88 was, a desert crawling aircraft carrier/battleship mounted on treads. i've only seen the movie promos, but Mortal Engines also has the mobile city/fortress premise. Having mobile step-forts could be useful for exploring new Earths by allowing wider ranging scouting without having to step back and forth and keeping scouting parties close to base in case of emergency evacuation.

i take it that step-forts can't do a step between locations on the same Earth?


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I'm figuring no contact outside the world you're in, so that leaves us with post offices. Probably small 20-foot tall uncomfortable "News Stands" that jump from world to world, updating and transmitting information. Probably just radio and mail, with little to no real "Internet", as I'm picturing computer technology closer to Mother than Microsoft.
This is TOTALLY a job for uunet*.... It's almost exactly... well, similarly.... to what uucp was designed for, asynchronous communication. You won't be able to run a chat program over it, but step-USENET will totally be a thing.

* - As opposed to uwunet, which is something else altogether.
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