How small is a Kudzu seed-drop?

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DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
How small is a Kudzu seed-drop?

How big are the 'little black boxes' that Firewall's Operation KUDZU has gatecrashing teams bury? The description of 'nanohive, starting feedstock, and cache of egos and blueprints' implies at least a cubic foot for a general hive, but I'm still kind of fuzzy on how dense EP's data-storage tech is, such as the physical size of even one of the Portable Solarchives from Gatecrashing.

Or, put another way, if a PC wanted to create their own version of such a seed drop, how cheaply could they put one together? Are there enough open-source blueprints around to put together, say, some simplified Spare morphs to sleeve into, along with enough initial infrastructure to Von Neumann up enough advanced infrastructure to get off whatever rock the seed-drop had been planted in? Or would said PC have to start finagling @-rep contacts to acquire such blueprints from any existing brinkers who might be trying short-term versions of this approach, in order to to fill in the gaps?

Thank you for your time,

o11o1 o11o1's picture
I would have imagined them as

I would have imagined them as about the size of a Cornucopia machine, but I suppose using the nanohive means they're more likely to get through Gate security if you need to put it on a first in world or something.

A slight smell of ions....

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I imagine that if you wanted

I imagine that if you wanted to make one from mostly "off the shelf" parts you'd basically need a well stocked Solarchive (blueprints, science, and human history, etc). Getting good blueprints is critical, for the seed to thrive I imagine that you'd want good blueprints which include alternate feedstocks in case of material shortages, and a lot of designs. Power generation, survival gear and habs for any number of environments (a lot can change in 10,000+ years), as well as everything else needed to bootstrap up transhuman civilization, a task too large to really elaborate here.

A desktop nanofab would be my choice for fabrication, a general hive has a massive failure point in that if the conditions or feedstocks necessary for a Prothean hive aren't right, the entire operation fails. A well hardened cornucopia machine (with a really long duration power supply, maybe a burning lens, chemical oxygen generator, and some kind of stable fuel like crude oil, powering a fuel cell?) might be best. A CM can make more power generators, more of itself, and anything else with blueprints). It'd be terrible if EM interference or strong winds or something stopped the protheans.

A well hardened small server which can hold the entire population as static ego files (easy) and run a few (harder), which will still work (call it a Specialized Server) should handle the population.

Summing that up, you'd be looking at:

* General Solarchive [High], I made that price up, but a specific one is [Low] A normal Solarchive is about smartphone sized size [small], but this might be more like a tablet.

* Blueprints [Extremely Variable] I don't want to make a price for this, because it really varies by how much basic infrastructure is available from orgs like the Argonauts. Call it 100k credits to be safe and get good and redundant blueprints. You'd only need to spend that once though, as they can be used repeatedly.

* Long Life Desktop or Industrial CM [Expensive (30,000+)]. These are normally cheaper, but I figure one which can be relied upon 10,000+ years with maintenance or power is a lot more expensive. It'd probably require a lot just to get it working again after that much time, I imagine the nanoscale parts are fragile, even to stuff as small as thermal fluctuations and noise. Normally about a cubic meter in size, but probably bigger with the extra shielding and chemical power supply. Call it 2 cubic meters, or .056 cubic meters for a hardened general hive.

* Enhanced Server (Long life) [50,000 credits for 10 infomorphs]. Using the portable server as a guide, and doubling it for .08 m^3.

Costs total to 185,000 credits, assuming you need 100k worth of blueprints, with a second unit cost of 85,000 credits once the blueprints are bought. Or about 120k credits needed for the blueprints for the hardware. These are pretty spitballed prices, but they are based on the prices in the books, so they're probably ok to use.

For the big design you're looking at ~2.1 cubic meters of volume, and .136 m^3 for the hive design. (about a bathtub, or larger personal luggage).

sysop sysop's picture
*glee!* I just like seeing

*glee!* I just like seeing someone using the Kudzu plothook in the wild. :)

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.
I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:I

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
I imagine

I imagine that's about as thorough a response as I could hope for; thank you kindly. :)

sysop wrote:
*glee!* I just like seeing someone using the Kudzu plothook in the wild. :)

I could say the same, in return - I wrote up this a couple of years before I found Eclipse Phase. ;)

Thank you for your time,

sysop sysop's picture
great minds and all :P

great minds and all :P

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:you

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
you're looking at ... .136 m^3 for the hive design. (about a ... larger personal luggage).

On a related note, I'm currently pondering something along the lines of cobbling together the Mapping Missile from Gatecrashing, the Internal Rocket mod from Transhuman, and a Spare synthmorph. For around 3,000 cred (or 9 hours of CM time), it seems possible to fire off a fork of oneself to anywhere you can reach with around 13 km/s of delta-v (not counting the initial escape from the local gravity well); which, according to https://imgur.com/SqdzxzF , is a large portion of the Solar system.

I'm trying to mentally putter around the general concept, and possible variations, to see what improvements I can think of to the basic Kudzu plan. Eg, adding a rocket to a basic gatecrashed Kudzu seed-drop would let said seeds be planted on bodies other than the ones with Pandora gates, which seems handy to increase security; or, at these costs, I'm a little surprised that there's no mention of any oddball ego who's been seen launching dozens-to-hundreds of "probes" across the Solar system, possibly with the initial explanation of prospecting as many different asteroids & comets as possible in hopes of a lucky strike on at least one.

One setting detail that I haven't dug up yet is whether there's such a thing as stealth in space - that is, whether it's possible for a rocket to light its engine without everyone in the Solar system easily being able to track its precise trajectory.

Thank you for your time,

sysop sysop's picture
The hard science answer is no

The hard science answer is no: https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/23313/stealth-in-space-how-realistic-is-it I don't think we have anything like a cloaking device out there in setting.

That said... I think there are some tactics to it. You can be tracked, but first you have to be spotted. Doing small engine bursts intermittently can keep your chances of getting spotted low. So could using something solid as cover for your launch trajectory. Depending on the sensors and platform you're worried about observing you - you could mess with their sensors to erase yourself digitally as well.

Basically look at any of the options you would use to run the blockade on Earth and they apply here.

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.
I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
It'd be pretty easy to

It'd be pretty easy to upgrade a Kudzu pod with a strong enough rocket to go to other planets in the system should be pretty easy, especially on gates on planets with a low escape velocity. Going to other solar systems would probably be a lot harder, but obviously not impossible, because that's exactly the kind of stuff being done at Justin Case.

The rocket wouldn't need to be as overengineered as the rest, as it doesn't need to last as long.

Stealth in space is very hard, and essentially impossible with longer journeys. Intermittent engine burns can help, but there's a lot of eyes watching in the solar system, and those engine burns will heat the ship itself to visibility. Looking like a piece of debris, or a ship which is supposed to be there helps a lot. There's a big difference between someone seeing a small rocket and someone caring though, so long as you stay away from important places.

DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Stealth in space is very hard

Fair enough; I've oft referred to this page for inspiration, but was wondering if there was a trick of EP tech that I hadn't read up on yet. :)

Given that some synthmorphs can work at cryo temperatures, then a vessel won't need to radiate away life-support heat, which leaves the engine as the thing to worry about. So - what about leaving the engine turned off during launch, by launching the craft from some sort of mass driver, perhaps embedded inside a warren/beehive asteroid? Is there any info on how strong an acceleration any given synthmorph or piece of equipment can survive without damage?

Thank you for your time,

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Mass drivers heat their

Mass drivers heat their projectiles. Eclipse Phase's near perfect metamaterials probably offer some interesting ways to direct waste heat, but I guess that they aren't likely to be good enough to hide a ship completely.

DataPacRat DataPacRat's picture
Trappedinwikipedia wrote:Mass

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Mass drivers heat their projectiles. Eclipse Phase's near perfect metamaterials probably offer some interesting ways to direct waste heat, but I guess that they aren't likely to be good enough to hide a ship completely.

I'm thinking of something similar to the ideas for a Moon-based solar-power-satellite industry - a miles-long track, with magnets accelerating a metal bucket containing the actual payload. Any induction heating should be confinable to the bucket, which, IIRC, can be slowed back down and captured while the payload continues travelling at full speed.

... Aha, I thought I had some files: Lunar Mass Driver

Thank you for your time,