Earth Survival

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Leng Plateau Leng Plateau's picture
Earth Survival

Fascinating topic really, the question of how people survived the Fall and it's post-TITAN aftermath. Let's continue the discussion.

At least with Lovecraft, nobody pretends the gods are nice. And wherever you end up, there is guaranteed to be tentacles.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Survivors on earth? No such

Survivors on earth? No such thing. Least, that's what LLA and the corps say.

Most of the die-instantly zones are probably where people were gathering for evacuation - headhunters and such would have followed, and perhaps when the titans disappeared that's where they remained.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
That's pretty much exactly

That's pretty much exactly the case. See also: The story at the very beginning of the EP core rulebook.

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puke puke's picture
um?

Are you citing the published fiction to demonstrate how some other part of the published fiction is false?

So, because this is true: http://eclipsephase.com/releases/lack

This can not be true: http://eclipse-phase.wikispaces.com/Earth+Survivor

Did I get that right?

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
No, you misunderstand. There

No, you misunderstand. There are survivors, but it's a question of where and how they exist. Lack specifically talks about one of the old population centres around a beanstalk which is now infested with TITAN tech.

So, where is the TITAN tech? Clearly they're around beanstalks, probably around farcasters. Are they filling old cities, though? Patrolling? Where is there room for survivors? Or hell, maybe the TITAN machines are more aggressive against transhumans that visit than the ones left behind.

Surly Surly's picture
Certainly the areas that had

Certainly the areas that had the highest population densities before the Fall would be hit hard. But we also know that the TITANs built their first factories in desolate areas: "Factories sprang up like a blight in the most ravaged and deserted places on Earth, pumping out legions of dread war machines." So most people living in the least population dense areas must have died as well, test subjects for the TITANs' first-generation weapon designs.

I'd expect most survivors to live in liminal spaces - neither so empty that they were easy to search, nor so dense that they were priority targets. Suburban sprawl and in-fill, unmapped sewers and subbasements. Scavengers hiding among the ruined infrastructure, moving on the surface only during fog or heatwaves to avoid the infrared eyes of their hunters.

What about purpose-built hiding places? Since the TITANs were military AIs, they would know all about many of them. Cheyenne Mountain, the Western Hills command center, and Mount Yamantau would all be long overrun. But analogous bases built by smaller powers who lacked AGIs that could be subverted would be safer. Same goes for hiding spots built by criminal organizations. Narco plantations in whatever's left of the Amazon, military remnants in the Congo Basin, or a Cu Chi Tunnels analogue in the Gaza Strip.

Underwater habitats would be relatively safe, especially those made by civilians without much national accountability. Same goes for anyone on the water who could escape satellite observation - seasteaders hiding their vessels in plain sight in the Pacific Garbage Patch, floating homes built under the Catumbo lightning clouds, or boat people along the Mekong Delta.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Surly: You make some good

Surly: You make some good points. I would also suggest that, after the TITANs evacuated, the war-machines lost purpose and direction. They're on autopilot, they're not receiving intel, not communicating with one another.

I'd also say that there's little to no TITAN tech left in orbit, because the LLA has spent the better part of a decade shooting down anything they couldn't determine the provenance or status of.

So, actually, out on the open ocean might be one of the safer places - the TITAN's wouldn't have prioritized destroying ships at sea, I would think, and hunting a ship at sea is one of the harder things to do, even with TITAN levels of tech.

They probably would've destroyed the big navies with air power and then ignored the oceans as having a far too small head/cubic kilometer density, as compared to that they could grab in the big cities.

And after ten years, well, just about anything stops working, especially if it wasn't built to last, as TITAN warbots would probably tend to be. What's the point in overengineering something for redundancy and durability if you're not expecting to be using it in four month's time (new versions, battlefield attrition, simply abandonment,) let alone in ten years' time?

Honestly, I'd say that the instant lethality of Earth is exaggerated, but it's still certainly not safe by any stretch of the imagination. Even rusting, half-functional TITAN shit can be deadlier than a Reaper, and you never know when it's going to fire a cannister of fuck-you nanowarfare shit that's been sheltered from the elements inside a magazine.

And of course, there's another dangerous possibility: Earthbound exsurgents, compromised humans, either left behind as a parting shot or infected post-TITAN-evacuation, operating along alien lines of thinking... And, of course, just plain, simple disaster apocalypse barbarians, uninfected, perfectly normal transhumans who are thinking that those sure are some shiny toys you've got, and they'd like to have them, they won't take no for an answer and the only thing they're willing to offer in trade is bullets, delivered air express.

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jKaiser jKaiser's picture
Hearing it described as that,

Hearing it described as that, it makes me think that the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro 2033 series would be good inspirations for an Earth-based game, at least as far as video games go. Especially ten years later, anyone who hasn't died is probably doing okay, all things considered. Still hardcore survival mode, of course, but what population groups still remain would have adapted and adjusted to the new realities.

As for whether or not the TITANs' legacy is still self-maintaining and actively pursuing this goal or that goal, I'd say that depends entirely on how much the actual TITAN AIs relied on lesser AI and other servitor programs, and whether or not those are inactive (or gone) as with the TITANs or still at work. That's probably a campaign axiom-level question for anything taking place on Earth, on reflection, since it would determine a lot about the nature of things planetside.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
I don't imagine the TITANs

I don't imagine the TITANs would have used much in the way of unfettered AGIs and Seed AIs... If anything, really.

After all, they were the TITANs. If anybody should have been aware of the risks of sapient AIs turning on you, it would be them. :P

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jKaiser jKaiser's picture
True enough, but they also

True enough, but they also are AI, and from what I'm reading as implications, were part of a broad neural network in general. Spinning off lesser AI to handle lesser tasks seems like an efficient task, safeguarded by the fact that, well, the TITANs were post-singularity. Presumably they knew how to avoid our mistakes while punishing us for those same mistakes.

Then again, you have the Prometheans fighting against them, and maybe they found some weakness in the approach, servitor AI or with the TITANs assuming...*sigh* ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROL. Who knows, maybe in some GM's game, the servitor AIs achieved a mini singularity of their own and the TITANs were destroyed or driven off in a cybernetic blitzkrieg of some sort in a hammerblow of cosmic irony.

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Anything's possible, jK. And

Anything's possible, jK. And that could be funny.

Still, I think the most usable version is that Earth is full of pre-sapient, powerful(!!) but pre-sapient automatons, doing nothing intelligent, just following their last instructions and operating on preprogrammed decision trees.

It means they're more like unimaginably powerful wild beasts than sapient enemies.... And means that it might actually be possible to reclaim Earth.

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ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Jurasic Park with particle cannons.

If I ever get to do a campaign on Earth, I'm going to play up the idea that TITAN Warmachines are as much creatures as devices for all it's worth, especially with the idea that whilst individual components "may" wear out despite post-singularity design and materials, the warmachines will be able to scavenge and self-repair... by preying on each other, with emergent behaviour resulting in some sort of twisted ecosystem

A couple of scenes that I have running through my head:
1. A warbot and a fractal going at it in a cityscape, blowing through buildings and wrecking the scenery whilst a firewall team tries to sneak past unnoticed, with the fractal eventually winning and settling down to feed on it's kill.

2. An automated ore-collector tasked to deliver feedstock to a manufactory tasked to produce headhunters being brought down and eaten by a Snapper, with a swarm of headhunters attempting to drive it off.

3. A “tree” with solar-cell leaves and large pod-like fruits; every now and then a pod splits and disgorges a human, most of which wander off*, but a few of which “wake up” and start screaming. Eventually a headhunter or shifter comes along to attack... only to get speared by a barbed tentacle from the ground, which drags it to the “trunk” where it's devoured by toothed vines.

I imagine survivors eking out an existence by hiding – either staying undetected or by disguising themselves as exsurgents/warmachines.
I have a picture in my head of a survivor wearing a hunter-killer “carapace” as a disguise, or having an exsurgent parasite in a jar over their heart so that the warmachines think they're infected... and praying that the jar never breaks.

* The humans wander off till they die or encounter transhumans. Should the latter occur, they will feign injury and call for help to get close to them, at which point they burst, spraying the area with the exsurgent virus; infected become lethargic and depressive, eventually losing all will to go on and curling up on the ground... at which point they extend roots, and a new tree grows.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
jurassic park with particle cannons

That was horrifying but awesome, TWNW.

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

raezenkane raezenkane's picture
Redliners novel by David Drake

This novel feels very applicable to Earth Post-fall. Having been declared psychologicaly unfit for continued battle status, an elite company of space marines is dropped onto a planet with it's biota organized into concentrated hostility by an alien bioweapon center.
They are equipped with EP style weaponry but the planet's life forms offer incredible resistance and danger.
I recommend the read, especially since they just reprinted it in an anniversary edition...

LuisCarlos17f LuisCarlos17f's picture
Survival is possible, at

Survival is possible, at least you can change the canon background to create your own stories..

but the survivors would be really hidden, and very far away. Maybe they survived in a secret underground base because they were totally isolated, without links with the rest of the world, or at least since the conflicts started.

Maybe they suvivors were in TITANs' "farms", infected with exurgent strain, but not too serious to be fatal.

The Master Confucius said: “The noble man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony.” (Anaclet 13:23).