22 August 2012

Metagame: Rambling About the Permatic Imperium.

Greetings All,

First of for the TL;DR crowd you will find this one of those long, rambling oldster posts full of knowledge and power. Also, no pictures, just boring words. As David Brin, Author, Scientist, Futurist, Creator of the Most Excellent Meme "Uplift", and Pretty Awesome Dude points out there is magic in words. I hope I still have his autograph. *sigh* Still, I met, once or twice emailed (he was very diplomatic and cool about the Postman movie). I am glad to have read his books, they inspired some of how I deal with machines and  the other animals of the planets Earth, Terra, in my Imperiums and throughout the Multiverses. This post is partly his fault, but not his alone by a long shot. Rustin H. Wright has a good chunk of how it functions. Oddly as does my Mother and making me fall in love with an Ideal. The Republic. So, yeah, expect to see of that love of republic to peek through this make believe reality.

By now I expect we are quiet alone again my dear Patrons, Fellows and Members.

This little stroll through various elements of the Permatic Imperium and those empires that went before is a bit delayed by the aforementioned upgrade of Resource Units in the Famili Holdings. Unfortunately, there is always some labor involved by the Noble to actually take advantage of the additional RUs. How else is the local TL and eventually the commons held for the imperium to elevate from say TL-8 to TL-9? By some Imperial Noble getting involved and making sure it does on their Honor and Duty to the Throne and Imperium.

So, right now there is lot of going through all the old data formats and getting them on all the machines. Should start considering the serious offsite back up.

Anyway. I suppose I can start the tour petite while I do that. Multi-tasking and all that, which by the way science is starting to suggest isn't such good things as people think. Sort of like how it proved that requiring medical interns to stay on duty for ridiculous hours was actually killing and injuring people. Not that poor junior doctors were some mad killers, just that when you worked some new kid who just spent four solid years learning as much as possible about the human species and how it can go drastically bad. No real time to decompress and truly take in the knowledge. But that's your sticking to stupid traditions. Good thing we still have that tradition of taking things like killing people due to tired baby doctors and making laws that prevent it from happening. Well, mostly, and that mostly is why you need the cops. But not sexy cop show cops but boring, average looking people who keep the infrastructure of a modern society from destroying itself.

*waves hand apologetically*

I am sorry, I digress. I claim the distraction of said upkeep, and some interesting things I did not know I had in my music collection. I do wonder which of my friends hooked me up with it. But then I am sure they still have some of that themselves. Offsite backups kids, not just for documents.

So, one moment...

*stares off into the aether (the Ship's Cat uses these moments to squeeze in some affection and pride bonding) and then returns*

Had to mount a new backup. So where we? Well, wandering I suppose. I shall however start with a general overview of the topics that I will try and cover in this small look behind the screen. No guarantee though, I am extending my Awake Cycle beyond its normal by the time this finishes I suspect  Oh and always fellow Citizens and Students attending this presentation of the Thornwood-Daarnulud Institute's Psychohistorical Introduction to the Permatic Imperium Lecture Series, I hope you are all comfortable. If not please see one of the many servo-bots or other staff.

So, today I shall discuss the following subjects: Holograms, BattleDress, the Imperial government, Knightly Orders and perhaps a bit of the requested discussion of the current basing policies of he Imperium. Mostly these will be short pieces with a certain lack of fine details. These are at the moment rough outlines,

*your Host produces a little black book and consults it before looking up and speaking, the Ship's Cat naps in a comfortable spots*

And of course right out of the legendary Gate, I enter a territory not on the path or schedule. Let us discuss Aging within the Permatic Imperium and certain Life Forms that are neither Human or so called Alien Sophonts, though they are after a fashion "alien" when compared with the Mainline Human norms or most of the organic life forms of Terran stock. These life forms are the persons classed as the Synthetics. Those sophonts that were created to a spec whether for a government agency, commercial application, or private customer. Many Lines have specs that go back to the Third and Fourth Imperiums. (So what is the proper plural form of "imperium"?) Some of those Lines and sometimes a specific Model or even more rare a Specific Unit were instrumental in the Great Rebellion for the Equal Rights for All Mankind and Kin of Terra, known often in the common media as the infamous "Robots' Rights War" or the "Fall of the Fourth Imperium". As you may remember from earlier documents and media that the Fourth Imperium was also known as the "Empire of PsiLords"  which while technically true misses much of the true arrogance of the ruling government that actively and proudly proclaimed the superiority of Mainline Humanity compared to all the Other Life born of the heritage of Terra, the  Homeworld of All Mankind and Its Kin. The PsiLords were of course in no way truly close those even then Mainline Humans that left the Sol star system all those gone to spacetime past. They were after all powerful psionics bred to rule an empire flung across endless stars. And they used those "lesser life forms" by that time often created in large numbers, which also included those true Mainline Humans the PsiLords claimed to champion.

Well, why the history lesson? Because history is important and knowing why things happened requires a bit of background. Many of the created, the Synthetics were for all intents and purposes immortal. They did not age. Not they had extended life spans. They were functionally immortal, unaging, generally immune to infection and often not permanently killable. Yes, one kill a specific Unit, but if it was important enough or was granted a discretionary budget it was already backed up and probably uploading and warming up as the old Unit expired. The main reason was that where humans have the immortality functions locked by their nature, they corrected that mistake on their favored children. So, while humans must take drugs to become immortal, Synthetics take drugs to become mortal. They have a serious market of "mortality" drugs. While most humans think of mortality strictly as a meme of death, such mortality drugs are mostly used therapeutically by Synthetics created in youthful shells. Using...ummm,  so what is the opposite of anagathics anyway? Any ideas out there? As I was explaining often the youthful Units will take the mortality drug and allow their shell to Age, usually to a minimum of the age of majority for the jurisdiction they are resident in. Some will do this once and remain at the first age and never take mortality drugs again. Others take them at periodic intervals to slowly creep towards something like their Actual Age, though these users often are building vast fortunes dedicated to maintaing stocks of the drugs. Some like to pick an age and rest there, above the young adult look, mature yet not elderly, the so called prime age. The pricing, scarcity, and other interesting bits that go with trying to score or maintain a steady flow of anagathics are pretty much the same ones with Mortality Drug. And yes, before anyone asks it is in fact believed that a few sovereigns were brought low by administration of Mortality Drug, but you know, you're here at this Lecture aren't you, History lies sometimes. In fact quiet a few Academic and some non-Academic Dumpster Dives have yielded some tidbit that completely ruined some cherished ideas of what happened in the days of yore. Some whispered Rumors in secret places say that Vladimir is proof of this. Not that this Institute would say such things other than to make sure that they are entered in the Rumor mill of the Archives. I mean if  you listen to Rumors he is said to be announcing his abdication any day now. And how long has that one been circulating unfulfilled? Nigh on to a half a century documented and some sources claim almost from the day he was Proclaimed.

*stops, inhales and consults the little black book*

Ah, BattleDress. Yes, let us examine BattleDress in the Permatic Imperium. Due to time and the advances in the related technologies, BattleDress and its lesser equivalent Combat Armor are not what is often portrayed in the popular media as mostly rigid sections of armor plates covering an undersuit and the basic infrastructure of the Dress or Armor. This is mostly due to budget constraints or in some cases represents such equipment as it is at some TLs. So, yes at TL-C when true BattleDress-C becomes the standard armor used by specialized Heavy Weapons or Commando strike units supporting frontline troops equipped with the less expensive and capable Combat Armor-C which is actually advanced compared to its ancestral versions. Yet within two generations of technology BattleDress-F will become something much more than mere powered armor and starts to become a true namobiomech organism. As well, a majority of Imperial Armed Forces have been through the Army Navy Marine Schools at Blackwall or have been trained by someone Certified by the School as a BattleDress Instructor. By the time BattleDress-H becomes Battle Field Rated, it is less a piece of equipment and more a life form in its own right and by Imperial High Law is a Full Person before the Law and is granted all the Rights and Duties of Citizenship.

When a sophont enters a Career in the Permatic Imperium that grants them access to the Skill: BattleDress-1+, they have been at least tested for compatibility with one or more BattleDress-Hs. The sophonts first experience with BD-H is with a blank Dress which does not contain a Personality. A Personality is what is most commonly known as Artificial Intelligence, but that would be a crude comparison as such AI systems are their Ancestors and while they are owed more respect than they often get in historical fiction medias and badmemes, AI are to Personalities as Neanderthals are to Mainline Humans. Primitive through no fault for their own. AI do still serve the Imperium in Combat Armor-H and some have even been Mentioned in Dispatches for their Service to the Imperium. But they are still not Citizen, but Subjects of the Imperium. Limited. A Personality is not Limited. It is a free life form with its own legal person recognized by Imperial High Law, Custom and Rights and His Imperial and Royal Majesty Vladimir ((, Emperor of the Permatic Imperium' has Proclaimed is was such in the Fifth Imperium and so it shall be in the Seventh Imperium, the Permatic Imperium now in the two hundredth year as an unbroken government. They also by their nature have all those things that go with have having personality. They are individuals, they form bonds, the have  associates, fellowships, prejudices and wonderful qualities just like any other sophont does. Some times this mean some people just don't get along with BattleDress. They may be fine with Combat Armor, but don't deal well with using BD. As was said on ancient and lost Terra, "She's doing it, man! She ain't digging it!"

Referees and Players. A Note on BattleDress-H and Characters.

The basic mechanic to check an initial reaction would be using the Personals mechanic in the Traveller5 rules of course. If a Player wants to play the BD-H's Personality then well, that is some of that PvP that probably doesn't involve somebody getting killed,  though in the Metagame, it has happened that real combat was required for a User and BattleDress to properly bond. 

For NPC BattleDress Personalities, roll Flux. A result of Negative Flux indicates they don't get along and a Positive Flux results in a good bonding.

End Rules Mechanic Instructional Media. You may now return to the Lecture already in progress.

Sources show that in some cases the User and Unit bonded do exposure to an exterior stressor. Most often this occurs under combat conditions, though the next most common is some form of space travel related non-optimal condition, which is space wether N or J, can go from inconvenient to dangerous to deadly in very little time. In those cases the Pairing earns Awards, Decorations and in some cases they are Knighted and the rare ones, usually those that have earned the Starburst of Extreme Heroism with Diamonds are Elevated to the Nobility and granted a Imperial Title, Holdings and Authority. Many claim that a majority of those elevated are from the Royal Armed Forces (RAF) and not the Imperial Armed Forces (IAF), yet the actual data does not bear that out. A harsh examination of the records will show quiet the opposite, in truth the IAF has more of its Members of Service (MoS) elevated to Baron or greater by the Emperor. He seems to expect an amazing standard for a RAF MoS of the to qualify for Vlad to award the SHE/D to a member of his personal units and our sources would back this theory up, but let us get back on track shall we? 

So at TL-C we have...

*is interrupted by the Ship's Cat's demands*

So, at TL-C we have a Plate and Frame style BattleDress with an Optional AI system. The AI is set to amplify the User's Skills and Knowledges. They all have Fighting-1, but after that the SK Loadout reflects the Operations the User was assigned during their Terms of Service of the Imperium.  They are costly and have very few Options other than the strength and endurance enhancements and a exceptional resistance to damage. The base infrastructure is a nanoscale array of biomechanical organisms and metamaterials. This infrastructure supports the sensor grid, the data paths, the data processors and amplification systems. Over  this infrastructure are reactive plates of metamaterials chosen for their response and resistance to damaging conditions. At this point in development the physical bond between the BattleDress and the User is just being employed and are not truly Paired and Bonded. The AI does not have Personality and the physical connection is like wise limited. They do not make full use of the Users physical form factor.

By TL-H, this has changed. BattleDress at this point is in its fourth generation and the Gen 5 is prototyped and probably being issued to special units for evaluations. The first time a sophont as we covered earlier, is putting on a blank base BattleDress. When a MoS that teaches or grants the skill BattleDress-2+ will mostly likely be pre-screened for compatibility with their Personality. Even a Blank is a considerable piece of equipment. It comes with a full contact interface, what the BD-H  senses the User senses, they feel the same sensations, they are a new hybrid person. At this stage of evolution the BD-H is a life form in its own right. With its Paired User, it becomes something new and has certain syncing processes that must be completed for the new Personality Merge (PM) to emerge and boot its full capabilities. One of the drawbacks of the PM is that energy is traded for quickest response and damage resistance, This could be considered an ablative effect and the User and Battledress may have to check that the physical link stays completely in sync and if the damage penetrated how much and what kind? At this point the  BD is fully nanobiomech and even the metamaterials are a product more of the hybrid nature of the entity.

And the last  note on BattleDress and those sophonts that chose multiple Terms in the Imperial Service before we move to our next topic on the tour. That is that if a sophont Musters Out with a Skill of Battle Dress-4+ they have a chance to be granted their Paired and Bonded Service BattleDress-H. In rare case and in those instances it should be noted means a through background check, a rigorous Counsellor's examination, the involvement of the Imperial Bureaucracy ephemera regarding various regulations, forms to filled out and possibly fees and Insurance for both the Sophont and the BattleDress-J/[Personality Designation] to be allowed to stay together at Muster Out, Official Secrets Act paperwork of course is always required. After all that, a process that may take anywhere from Expiration of Term(s) of Service (ETS) exit formalities up to year. If the sophont in question has an enemy anywhere in the preceding chain of events the process can be delayed for sometime. It happens though it is officially frowned upon as it can stress both the entities and may cause physical or psychological harm. Now on ti a subject near and dear the heart of Tee and Sir Mason Storm, Tailgunners.

*a page is at this point flipped and consulted, the Cat is again napping, one hopes contentedly*

Let us start with what a Tailgunner is for those who might not be familiar with the meme. Tailgunners are extremely specialized AIs or Organic Implants selected for their species traits, most often predators, but others are prey, it depends on the person. Its primary purpose is strictly Threat Analysis. It takes in all the possible sensor data and creates a series of threat indication sets, forecasts probable threats and responses to those threats. It datamines exclusively to identify threats for the User and let them initiate an immediate response in case of danger. They have limited agency in most cases, but some of the high end Tailgunners show sign of proto-Personality, though none have so far passed the battery of Turing Acceptance Exams. Those that do apply for the Exams are often very sophisticated simulations of a true Personality and have often survived many decade in which to upgrade their ware and infrastructure. In the end a Tailgunner that has grown that far beyond its original purpose may just help its User to help  it put together the Credits Imperial (CrImps) to upgrade itself to a form factor that allows it transition to being a real Personality.

Tailgunners can trace their origin to back to the ancient age of Pre-Jump and even to Pre-Astroport Terra. It was on those battlefields the meme was born. When Terra was TL-7 cresting to a world standard of TL-8 systems were developed first by the military-industrial complexes or Bureaux of those days to detect and track incoming slug rounds. By the time reached TL-8 handcomps are standard among the world's armed forces  and individuals on the battlefield were creating versions that used those handcomps' sensors and computing power to do the same functions for a fraction of the cost of first generation. By TL-A+ these systems are implanted in military, police public and private, those serving as part of a Protective Services Unit (such as a Foreign Office may assign to a visiting dignitary), and high level members of governments.

This might  be the time to answer the burning question, can a Tailgunner become paranoid? In short, yes. The long answer, not until the its AI reaches a certain level of complexity. The good side of this is much like other people they do respond to therapy at roughly the same rates as sophonts. Those that respond well may have a chance to qualify for upgrade to Personality. And that is the scoop on Tailgunners.

I am beginning to think I may have lied about the "no pictures" bit early in the Lecture. I am getting closer to scanning a page or too of my LLB here to show you how these topics bloomed during presentation here. I will think about it while refreshments are dealt with.

*at this point you are encourage to check food, beverage and other refreshment needs as your Host will be doing by having some northern Terran style cheese, it appears to be an aged cheddar which he shares with the Cat and refreshes in other ways, and after a short while and when all the Guests are likewise ready returns to the presentation*

And now we get to the specifics of the governance of the Permatic Imperium and its predecessors. As is proper we shall start with the basic structure which consists of the Sovereign, the Moot, and the Senate. We will examine each in turn and some notes and perhaps even some details that like those before, will bloom into full fledged descriptions. We shall see.

First we begin with the Sovereign. The Sovereign of the Permatic Imperium as you know is His Imperial and Royal Majesty Vladimir the Second of His Name. As an aside I think we here at the Institute should some day delve into the historical singularly named sovereigns of various Terran descended interstellar states so far left in the past. Vladimir has managed to strike an entry on that roll with his ascent to the Throne of the Permatic Imperium. The His Majesty has many privileges and powers/ These are balanced by duties that he must continually fulfill in order to maintain the privileges and powers he holds and uses by Imperial High Law and Custom. So what are some of those privileges, powers, and duties> Glad to see you are interested Citizen.

The Emperor is the font of all Honors, This means that His Majesty reserves the sole right to issue Edicts, Decrees, Commissions, Posts and Offices, Commands, Warrants, Awards  and Decorations, Ranks, Titles and Holdings. He may at his pleasure delegate these privileges or powers to Nobles under the Oaths to be used to care out his duties that are linked to that authority in "His Name and Voice and by His Hand". He may be bound by the actions of the empowered Noble or their subordinates for good or ill. Sovereigns of pervious Imperiums have been removed for a delegated Noble's negative actions. As Vladimir II has claimed the Title of Prince-Regent of the Fifth Imperium, then by by law and custom he is vulnerable to being removed as Emperor, or at minimum the Title of Prince-Regent of the Fifth Imperium. We will cover how he would he be removed later.

HI&RM Vlad 2, is the Commander In Chief of the Imperial Armed Forces (CINCIAF) and the Royal Armed Forces (CINCRAF). Again if the wars go well, he gets the credit for his military policies and decisions or the blame and its much less pleasant consequences when they are not successful and have heavy costs to the Imperium.

The Emperor is responsible for the Common Welfare and Defense of the Realm. He is the final word the CrImp stops with him and he knows it. He has after all managed to be Proclaimed Emperor of the Permatic Imperium some two centuries ago and has been on the interstellar stage for shy a few decades short another century.

So about those Nobles of the Imperium?

And so we get to the Moot. The Moot is also known as the Council of Peers which is one of the old names for the body of nobility of the previous Old Empires. Another term for it is the House of Lords. It is comprised solely by those Citizens that have been elevated to a minimum of rank of Knight or Baronet, who may Sit in the Moot without the Right to Vote. While a Knight or Baronet may not vote their Seats and status as observers they do still sometimes hold Proxies. Basically these Proxies represent their ability to get a word to Voting Members of the Moot (VMM)  to vote their constituents' favor. And as with a Voting Nobles Proxies may be exchanged for other compensations. As you may have already figured out VMMs are Barons or greater titled Nobles compose the Voting blocks of the Moot. All Members of the Moot, Voting or Sitting are granted the right to append the initials MM after their name.

One of the greatest powers the Moot has is shared and executed by the Moot and the Senate and that is the power to remove a Sovereign from the Throne. Now, obviously this historically and psychohistorically has been difficult. Needless to also say there are probably somewhere a faction attempting to do it right now. His Majesty no doubt has some one on that and countering its memes and  other threats. Sir Mason was instrumental in foiling numerous plats aimed at His Majesty.The factions that are using this method to remove Vladimir II from the Sapphire Throne and put their Claimant on ti in his stead are less a threat than those who managed to kill  many of His Majesty's Guests at the Winter Ball. As you might remember a division  of a MegaCorp was and may still be under investigation by unnamed Agents of the Crown even now. No Official Word on result or results of the Investigation has been released at this time. Some Nobles may have ties to that MegaCorp or worse be involved in more personal way.

The Moot has the power to block certain choices of His Majesty for Offices or Minister Posts. In the end this is mostly for infighting among the Members as most of those positions are filled by the appointment of a Noble serving in the Moot  These Nobles are more often those exploiting all those Proxies and their power  in the body are not to underestimated. For instance most Members of the Senate have warchests of millions or at outside best tens of billions of CrImps, their asses are calculated in Credits Imperial. A Member of the Moot has a warchest that is calculated in Resource Units (RU). This huge increase in power a Noble can wield in the name of the Imperium.  Many of them hold Preferred Shares of one or more MegaCorps in their portfolios. In addition to they all have some Imperial Holdings they are responsible for maintaining and defending for the Imperium. They are also encouraged to improve these Holdings. It is often those Nobles that chose to directly oversee to these duties by being on site are those MMs that trade their Proxy for those who spend their time in Session than they do in administering their Holdings.

A Member of the Moot may be removed from the Rolls of the Moot and their Titles, Offices and Holdings removed from them and reverting to His Majesty to reassign, often with that approval of the Moot. A Member will be removed if convicted of HIgh Crimes or Treason.

The Moot and its Members may generate laws for the governance of the Imperium. They approve with the Senate all Joint Motions to create new Imperial Law, Petitions for some action such as the Elevation of a Citizen or Subject to a higher Social Standing and some Imperial Awards and Decorations one of which is the Imperial Armed Forces' Meritorious Conduct Under Fire {MCUF).

In some cases the Moot can block the actions of the Imperial Senate, but as usual the conditions under which they may exercise that power is laid out in the Imperial High Law, Customs and Precedent of the Od Empires that lead up to the current Imperium.

Oh and for the curious a Member of the Moot is expected to raise and maintain for the Common Defense of the Realm a body of Household Troops the size, specifications, qualifications, quality, and technolgoical infrastructure varies by the individual Noble. The general tendency is to maintain a mix of tech and size as possible. For example the Count Ivor hault-Daarnulud is known to keep a trouble shooting team equipped with the best the Imperium and his House and famili allows. He is on paper the Patron of the 1323rd Lift Cavalry Squadron a TL-C unit around 600 troops and their logistical support. He also maintains a unit of the Order of the Spinward Marches of which he is both a Patron and Member of.

At this time, I must conclude the Lecture for a Sleep/Rest Cycle. not to mention the Ship's Cat has been quietly making "It is time for sleeping with me and stopping everything else for my rightful demands for Alone Time with me.

So, I leave you with some questions answered some left to be answered when I next pick up this Lecture. I hope this Lecture has met your requests and desire for a deeper look into the Permatic Imperium and Its working.

I will excuse myself and allow the staff to see you all safely to your next location. Be Well, Fellow Travellers, I bid you a good day cycle and turn into my rack.


Postscript: (Do we need a electronic version or are we set on PS?) Now I go off to do one last minute proof before posting it. And as I am only about half way finished with that Task when I write this and I really do want to sleep with fuzzy-butt, I will probably just skim the rest and post it any way, errors and all. Please excuse any you find past the italicized section labeled for Refs and Players. After that you entry the land of the sleepion event Horizon.

Well, off to skim and later regret.

*a large respiration cycle later he did skim and post*

*and then just decides as he added the tags and apologized for the errors he publishes the post if for no other reason than the really curious this kids what creation really looks like in tis raw, true form. Learn. It ain't pretty at first*



  1. WELL HOT DAMN! I have twelve Followers.

    Oh, wait. I saved Tucker.

    So now the first thing this new "public" follower of this blog sees is a half proofed, raw form post that does not even finish with describing the Imperial government. the reader is left to wonder about how the Imperial Senate works.

    (shakes head and grins*

    Figures. Well, first of all, welcome to my neck of the Gibson Matrix. I hope you find this to your liking even in its current form. If it ever makes it to finished real product I promise we will take more time on the proofing the document. You will be paying for that.

    Well, Lateness.

  2. This comment is a both a virtual reminder to myself, but also functions as a teaser on a subject once touched on before.

    I will have to discuss Assassinware in a future post. It has bearing in the Settings History both in the Traditions of the Grand Multiversal Conspiracy or the Grand Unification Plan from the psychohistorical perspective.

    Well, I really must return to my last read and sleep. No more shall I post on this till I have got some sleep.

    Be Well.


Citizen, Subjects, Travellers and others are warned that the Imperium does encourage a certain amount of democracy, but never forget, here you are in the Domain of the Imperium.

Please do not make me be a Tyrant.

Thank you,
Lord Craig A. Glesner,
Count Smoug, Viscount Alell, Marquis Malroy & Phlume, Baron Donu-na,
Knight Retainer of the Emperor for Salla, Inarli, & Bhuur,
Knight Retainer of the Baron Jacha,
Knight Retainer of the Baronet Kiind,
Knight of the Third Imperium for Trane,
Travellers' Aid Society Member # 0543.