Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures

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Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
What kinds of weapons could be used against TITANS and Exsurgents effectively? Another post I had basically put that EMP weapons are now remarkably ineffective against TITAN and Exsurgent machinery and I want to know what then WILL work? Or even Homebrew concepts are good too. Also, What kind of countermeasures can you have against the virus itself in any form?
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Plasma is hot. Very, very hot. You pour enough of it on something, it doesn't matter how much armor they have. So hellburst grenades and plasma rifles are the go-to weapon against exsurgent and TITAN threats because they can do damage to almost anything in the book. Even fractals and nanoswarms take damage from wide-dispersment plasma weapons, and the heat has the added benefit of sanitizing the area. Guardian swarms ar good against nanoswarms that aren't self-replicating or sentient. If you're on Earth and a "grey goo" nano-cloud comes for you, you're screwed; it will adapt to defenses in milliseconds and you done gonna get ate. However, for "dumb" nanovirii, spores, and simple dissembler tech, a Guardian swarm might keep you clean long enough to get away. For simple exsurgent monsters, you might also consider feeding some infected blood to your dissembler swarm, throwing in the lost habitat, and sealing the door for a couple of days. As far as countermeasures for the virus itself, it depends on the vector. If biological, its as simple as keep your vac-suit sealed. There could also be strains that are transmitted only through fluid contact, so in such instances it could be as simple as don't touch the exsurgent juice. Digital strains are much harder. The way I read it, the only true protection from exsurgent programs is to go dark; turn the mesh inserts off or remove them, disable all RIF and signal receivers in any tech--basically the Jovian defense. All systems should be accessed via some sort of stopgap like a monitor or holograph interface; hooking cyberbrains up to an Exsurgent infected server is a recipe for zombies. But then you have exotic vectors, like sight and sound. If its a YGBM hack, the only real defense is to "Look away, Marion! Look away!" In my campaign, we invented a device for examining possibly exsurgent infested devices called a flickerbox. The players rig some basic GUI and speakers to an ecto, then carefully damaged the hardware. The digital manifestations of the virus can't make repairs on the fly unless the device has nano (bad idea in the first place), and Basilisk hacks are too sophisticated to be fully transferred via a distorted, flickering screen and a speaker that cuts out every few seconds. Of course, that does nothing to stop the virus from turning on the screen for the local vending machine and zapping you with a strong urge to kill your friends. If you've got the money, the best bet is a Faraday Suit. It blocks all incoming signals, contains heavy armor, and reconstructs all sensory input with a dummy processor on a millisecond delay. But if you don't have one of those handy, I suggest running away.
NewAgeOfPower NewAgeOfPower's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Cthuluzord wrote:
Plasma is hot. Very, very hot. You pour enough of it on something, it doesn't matter how much armor they have. So hellburst grenades and plasma rifles are the go-to weapon against exsurgent and TITAN threats because they can do damage to almost anything in the book. Even fractals and nanoswarms take damage from wide-dispersment plasma weapons, and the heat has the added benefit of sanitizing the area. But then you have exotic vectors, like sight and sound. If its a YGBM hack, the only real defense is to "Look away, Marion! Look away!" In my campaign, we invented a device for examining possibly exsurgent infested devices called a flickerbox. The players rig some basic GUI and speakers to an ecto, then carefully damaged the hardware. The digital manifestations of the virus can't make repairs on the fly unless the device has nano (bad idea in the first place), and Basilisk hacks are too sophisticated to be fully transferred via a distorted, flickering screen and a speaker that cuts out every few seconds. Of course, that does nothing to stop the virus from turning on the screen for the local vending machine and zapping you with a strong urge to kill your friends. If you've got the money, the best bet is a Faraday Suit. It blocks all incoming signals, contains heavy armor, and reconstructs all sensory input with a dummy processor on a millisecond delay. But if you don't have one of those handy, I suggest running away.
What are hellburst grenades? I can't find it. Would be cool if you pointed me to it in a core book. Yep. Unless you are incredibly intuitive, smart, and saavy, a Faraday suit with its deliberately crappy input reduces your vulnerability from basilisk hacks, or any sort of infowar attack. However, it does make you incredibly clumsy, blind, and a huge radar target.
As mind to body, so soul to spirit. As death to the mortal man, so failure to the immortal. Such is the price of all ambition.
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
NewAgeOfPower wrote:
What are hellburst grenades? I can't find it. Would be cool if you pointed me to it in a core book.
He probably means Plasmaburst, which are also colloquially known as 'hellballs'. Plasmaburst: Also called “hellballs,” these muni­tions release a burst of plasma upon detonation that causes searing heat and fire damage across the area of effect without the devastating shockwaves of explo­sions that might rebound in an enclosed environment and/or breach a habitat’s infrastructure. [High]
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Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
So am I to understand that EMP weapons are completely ineffective against these machines then?
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
CodeBreaker CodeBreaker's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Yup. EMP in Eclipse Phase is basically useless. Edit: Except against Swarms, in which case they are fairly good.
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Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
So in theory you could have some kind of EMP artillery that would be effective against even a self-rep/sentient nanoswarm?
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
Cthuluzord Cthuluzord's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
I meant plasmaburst. And EMP does suck unless it's against a swarm. Everything big enough to be shielded against a pulse already is. It keeps it rare enough that it everything doesn't turn into dueling EMP grenades once combat starts.
Decimator Decimator's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Basically, EMP does nothing to fiber optics, which most EP "electronics" use in place of wires. This isn't far-fetched either, as optical computers are near-future technology.
Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
What about random hacking then? Like a grenade that emits a serious attack on the TITAN/Exsurgent/Target OS and programming at random and then explodes like a plasmaburst or EMP burst? That way you can have a few quick seconds to attack the inner workings before assaulting the outer workings.
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
NewAgeOfPower NewAgeOfPower's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Cthuluzord wrote:
I meant plasmaburst. And EMP does suck unless it's against a swarm. Everything big enough to be shielded against a pulse already is. It keeps it rare enough that it everything doesn't turn into dueling EMP grenades once combat starts.
Very cool. What do you think of Splash [Liquid Thermite] then? 2,500 Celsius should easily destroy most materials.
As mind to body, so soul to spirit. As death to the mortal man, so failure to the immortal. Such is the price of all ambition.
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Prophet710 wrote:
What about random hacking then? Like a grenade that emits a serious attack on the TITAN/Exsurgent/Target OS and programming at random and then explodes like a plasmaburst or EMP burst?
That sounds like Independence Day - everything in the universe runs iOS. Sorry, but unless you know what kind of system the threat is running it is extremely unlikely that you can design an attack that does *anything*. And probing the system of course means it can probe you. However, that kind of trick is nice against systems you do know. I had some exhumans replace a bluebox with a replica that when accessed first downloaded a bundle of exploits and then exploded in an EMP. Worked wonders, near total player-kill.
Extropian
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
EMP is great against the TITAN nanoswarms, but they have to be hit hard and fast; their adaptability gives them the potential to become immune rather quickly, so if you want to take them down with EMP, you'd better hit them quick enough to take them out in one go. I'd suggest wide-area EMP weaponry (large radius... potentially measured in kilometers) with the potential for many bursts. It'll be a high-power device with a massive battery, but totally worth it. You need something that can hit hard, hit several times, and keep hitting until the dog is down. You have no other option. Plasmaburst does make a great all-purpose exsurgent weapon. It's area-affecting and doesn't risk hull breaches on a ship (too much, at least). All in all though, most heavy weapons will work fine against exsurgents... taking them on is more about how much firepower you bring rather than the specifics of it. Just remember that you aren't just fighting creatures, you're fighting the very infection that created them. Don't risk any weaponry that puts you so close that fluid exposure becomes an option, and avoid exposing any wireless vulnerabilities; stick to laser or microwave-link connections or quantum encryption. Lastly, definitely avoid anything that might risk a basilisk hack. While others have already mentioned faraday suits, there are alternatives to even this: echolocation, terahertz or radar sensor/emitters are great alternatives that will give you "visual" acuity without putting you at too much risk for the usual basilisk hacks (though I would keep my eyes shut and muffle your normal hearing, relying solely on your alternative vision sense). As for fighting the virus itself, your best option is simply avoiding any potential for being infected. Even after any exsurgent threats have been eliminated in an area, it's likely that complete biological sterilization of the quarantine zone will be required afterwards, along with digital formatting of all electronics in the zone and nano-sterilization to top it off. Nothing should be left to chance. Hell, I might even recommend just straight-up incineration when it's feasible.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Of course, as my NPC Jack the Armourer likes to point out, "Entropy is easy, it is the natural tendency of the universe. Apply enough of it and it doesn’t matter what you are fighting." He will then go on to show his collection of antimatter-based weaponry: "Nothing survives ambiplasma, no matter how smart it is." Basically, anything not made of femtotech will survive being turned into a plasma (since it implies that the molecular bonds keeping the object together disappear). Femtotech stuff on the other hand might... atomic nuclei are not affected by a mere million degrees (you need around 100 million degrees to get appreciable effects). But if it is made of mostly quarks, then a bunch of antiquarks can still mess it up. And if it is made of something else, well, then god help us...
Extropian
King Shere King Shere's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
I kinda envision one form of infection the Exsurgent virus can spread as- is swarm machines capable of moving in anything that has a electric system in it, Perhaps "floating" or swimming inside electric currents, then its individual swarm machines could be similar to the size of electrons. I also envision some strains similar to home worlds "The Beast"
Quote:
´The Beast is a bio-mechanical virus that is able to use both organic and inorganic material to spread its matrix and melds both organic and inorganic material into one living organism which it controls. ... The purging protocols mentioned are quite brutal. It involves flushing decks under threat of infection with surplus superheated plasma from the fusion drives, instantly immolating everything in the area including crew, unshielded equipment and the Beast entity itself. This is based on the rationale that it is infinitely preferable for the crew to be instantly killed than to spend an eternity as part of a Beast biocircuit, and that it would be better to lose a few decks than the whole ship. http://homeworld.wikia.com/wiki/The_Beast
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Arenamontanus wrote:
Of course, as my NPC Jack the Armourer likes to point out, "Entropy is easy, it is the natural tendency of the universe. Apply enough of it and it doesn’t matter what you are fighting." He will then go on to show his collection of antimatter-based weaponry: "Nothing survives ambiplasma, no matter how smart it is." Basically, anything not made of femtotech will survive being turned into a plasma (since it implies that the molecular bonds keeping the object together disappear). Femtotech stuff on the other hand might... atomic nuclei are not affected by a mere million degrees (you need around 100 million degrees to get appreciable effects). But if it is made of mostly quarks, then a bunch of antiquarks can still mess it up. And if it is made of something else, well, then god help us...
Yeah, the only way we can possibly fight the exsurgents is to assume that they are held by the same laws of nature that we are. Even when they clearly aren't, we have to use the ones they don't seem to violate to hurt them. For the most part, antimatter is by far the best weapon we have. Plasma is a nice second, followed by raw bombardment. Of course if you plan to use big weapons to eliminate the threat, it's best to get it as contained and isolated as possible. Once the exsurgent threat is optimally separated from salvageable transhuman interests, you can then eliminate it from afar. One direct-hit ship-class antimatter weapon is likely all you need to completely destroy an infected habitat and eliminate all chances of survival. That's why I recommend that you never be afraid to call for an Erasure. Handle what you can, but never be so prideful as to not call in the big guns when it's necessary. You are talking about the fate of transhumanity, after all.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Prophet710 Prophet710's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
How would one propose to go about cleansing an entire habitat then if it needed to be salvaged?
"And yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us."
Decivre Decivre's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Prophet710 wrote:
How would one propose to go about cleansing an entire habitat then if it needed to be salvaged?
It depends on how much of the habitat is infected. With only a smaller quarantine area, it might be a simple matter of killing the larger exsurgent threat and bathing the area in cleaner and guardian nanoswarms to make sure the job is done. But remember... even one stray exsurgent nanobot will repeat the entire cycle... so cleansing must be beyond thorough. Once an infected area gets so large that management becomes unfeasible, or you are dealing with a threat more serious than just exsurgent infection (like TITAN war machines), then salvage likely becomes unfeasible. You're better off simply eliminating the quarantine zone, or abandoning it altogether.
Transhumans will one day be the Luddites of the posthuman age. [url=http://bit.ly/2p3wk7c]Help me get my gaming fix, if you want.[/url]
Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Re: Anti-Exsurgent/TITAN weapons and countermeasures
Prophet710 wrote:
How would one propose to go about cleansing an entire habitat then if it needed to be salvaged?
Consider that, with nanotechnology, it might be much cheaper to simply blow the thing and rebuild at other place. So salvage operations would be the only real reason to send a team inside... and then you would probably kill the team and scrub really hard the salvaged stuff (be it software or hardware).