Monday, August 19, 2013

Pondering About Ships In My Sci-fi Universe

New Things to Imagine. In light of some technical understanding this is how I imagine ship interiors to be like. 

Ship Interior Surface
I think the inside of a ship with nanotechnology around would have smart paint that wrote down all warnings and instructions as a fail safe measure. Smart Paint is basically paint that can change color, when applied some stimuli. Airborn Nano-Tech or the Ship's Maintenance bots are equipped to modify the smart pain and transcribe graphics and data, even digital codes. 

I got the Idea from work, where we keep notes in all our IT equipment in case the person we need to help fix is not there and we know where everything will be. Also living in a place Poor in Signs is a B*tch, you get lost and its always handy to have all important information handy in case you can't depend on the Engineers or the Ship AI to help you. 

Ship Atmosphere
Ships and any enclosed environs would have a mircobot immune system. Nanotechnology generators continuously generating microbots as these degrade quickly is going to be part of the air and Eco system, looking for viruses and hostile nano tech. Your "life support" or regular consumption of electronic supplies can be consumed. 

Ship Insides
A ship would be crawling with micro tech ecosystem that maintain it and report to the computer the current condition of all the parts. Any rats or alien stow always would be immediately detected, except those in the cargo hold in secure freight. They probably do all the maintenance of all the hard to reach and softer electronics. Engineers are versed with all his "Pokemon" engineering toys and tools, and because of Rapid Prototyping being the Norm, come up continually with very specialized and alien designs for micro-bot maintenance units. GM's and writers can play around with the aesthetics, making cute and cuddly (PG) microbots to those that look gross and insect-like. 

All the other ships that dock in the mother ship depend on the mother ship for its anti bodies, which in extended duration missions die out. 

Like Car Maintenance or Fuel, the cost of such materials and supplies can be worth the value of the "soft" electronic parts of ship divide by the year of natural obsoletion (typically 3-4). So if your electronics is about 5% the ship cost then divided it by 4 you have 1.25% per year or 0.11% per month in consumed electronic fodder for the Microbot Replicator. 

Heavy Repair Bots - Ship Symbiots
This basically makes the ship alive with its own "biology", although dependent on processed materials for its consumption. I am imagining military 100 yard long vessels with 1 to 4 ton mechs/robots that make them near completely self sufficient and act as mobile turrets moving around the surface of the ship to provide point defense or ECM where needed and repairs. These Robots can detach with Maneuvering Systems and work with "tug boats" to repair the ship or various other tasks.  

I got the idea remembering the Destroids in Robotech acting like Weapon Turrets on the Macross. Its basically a Mobile Turret that can change its facing. Then why not push the idea further and have them move around to repair the ship and many exterior tasks - like a Symbiot taking care of its Host. 

There is serious exterior hull damage, the Symbiot moves in to control the damage! EW systems shoot a penetrating round to deliver Nano-Virus Tech into the system where it will allow it to "Hack" the ship, the Symbiot will attack the delivery mechanism. It will even sacrifice itself for the ship either by giving up its carapace and form to close off hull breach or concentrate all its EW systems and intercepting an attack.  

The Ship AI and Relationships
Going further as a living thing, a ship can house an ai that can emulate a human with all that baggage that make it safe but annoyingly restrained, you don't want a ship without compassion or it might kill you or harm someone carelessly. Relationships with ships, the AI, is something that can be a great source of drama and role playing. 

Various Platonic Relationships, but then there is room for romantic relationships when the Ship AI possess the Steward Bioroid. Those who like drama and relationships in the story can wonder what will happen if the crew has a complicated relationship with the AI or explore various relationships. 

What if the Ship sees the captain as a Parent, or the Captain is the "child" or "dependent" in the relationship. What if they are Partners or Peers. What if the Pilot is F*ing the ship, who is the captain's daughter/son, while the Captain is F* the steward who is a AI peer of the ship and closest to sibling, and the engineer is the "other parent" with unrequited love for the Captain kinda of mess.

Ugg I'd write that and direct a machinema show with this kind of screwed up relationships. That would be a fun show to watch, and to play with the ideas of AI, Sapiens, and Emotions. 

Ship Life Support. 
The Cost of Life Support in a Ship reflects the cost and efficiency of life support technology in a tech level. So if this is very high, one needs to calibrate the relative cost of Life Support in various other Enclosed Domains. Its also important to note that Life Support Determines the available Economic Force that can be devoted to other things. 

So if Life Support is Expensive, some planets are like living in Medieval Times where 95% is devoted to Life Support (Food production). You cannot expand or grow if the cost of Supporting what already exists eats up most of your resources. 

I'm with GURPS where Life Support is fairly cheap, the way we spend on Air conditioning, Heat, and Wear and Tear materials of our living domains. I think if it was Too expensive, even with Economies of scale, then living in dangerous vacuum space would not be feasible. 

IMSU since people wear their Vacc Suits or Life Suits as an extension of their being or person, then life support is minimized further and they are protected from Nano-Tech intrusions as well. If people want to see "flesh" they can project avatars in Virtual Space. 


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