In that context “mindless” meant combat that serves no purpose. If you haven’t clued in yet, I see most capsuleer combat as having no point - there is no permanence, you can’t kill another capsuleer, systems will continue to flip ad nauseum. Everything capsuleers do between themselves is designed to be infinitely and rapidly changing, to keep them occupied. Maybe I’m just wired “wrong” - I can’t derive any sense of purpose from a Jovian Curse.
Yeah, that sounds pretty stupid to me. And the arrogance comes in thinking that having done it, it won’t come back to bite you in the arse. Right now, none of the Empires can afford to assume the others won’t bolster their numbers from the ranks of independent eggers.
Which means they all have to court us when the time comes, lest they be the only ones who didn’t.
You’re missing the same thing Miz is, Arrendis: The question is moot if we can be nullified as a group. Which we definitely can-- temporarily for sure, as during the incident with the Elder Fleet.
Permanently? If there wasn’t a failsafe at the start when everybody was just flying frigates, you can be pretty sure there’s one now. Or I’m pretty sure, anyway. Updates to hardware, updates to software, updates to ships and pods, and a bajillion implant operations and cloning cycles … considering that any failsafe CONCORD added would be, by its nature, part of an official update, it’s not even something we’d have a substantial ability to resist.
Our greatest weakness has historically been, and continues to be, our obvious blind spot: sabotage.
Nope. It’s not. In fact, that is a complete non-issue in and of itself. Think about it. Who can nullify us as a group? CONCORD. None of the empires can do it, only CONCORD can.
So let’s say all-out war breaks out. Which side is going to be so sure they can win without capsuleers that they’ll shut us all down? Well, let’s say the Amarr insist on it. Let’s even say the State agrees. Do you think the Federation and Republic will allow it, or will they block that in CONCORD’s ruling council?
Do you think the logs of that council session won’t immediately get leaked? ‘The Empire and State tried to kill you all, permanently’. Yeah. That’ll play well. And the empires all know that’s how it plays out: whoever wants it, the other side blocks it, and uses the attempt to ensure outrage and a justified ‘let’s fight against them for our own survival’ response. And so none of them will risk it. They can’t afford to try, and have it backfire.
Or do you think CONCORD’s going to do it without the empires’ approval? That’d go well, wouldn’t it? You’d see the empires’ reaction to CONCORD’s ‘interference’ in their wars pretty quickly: immediate loss of funding, facilities, confiscation of CONCORD assets within their space…
Politics, Aria. It’s what happens whenever a second person enters the room.
Arrendis, Miz’s scenario if I understood correctly involves CONCORD falling anyway. She’s hoping we’ll be turned loose-- truly unleashed. That doesn’t seem like a hopeful kind of future to me, but, I don’t think it’s something I’m going to bother worrying about.
'Cause, I suspect they’ve planned ahead a bit. They may have done so as early as back when they were setting up the legal structure that would govern us in the first place. Actually, that would be the logical spot-- just build it straight into the plan establishing our existence in the first place. Then the gridlock would be on any effort to change our fate for the better.
If a failsafe exists, probably conditions for its use also exist, and no further action by the signatories is needed.
Oh-- and please remember: capsuleers aren’t a single group. To the degree that we are, we’re both mercenary and fickle, so…
Yeah. Dangerous tools call for a good disposal method.
Oh, never lose that naivete and optimism, Aria. Plan ahead? Safeguards for a worst-case scenario being put in place when it makes sense to do it? Ahhhh, my friend, you should speak with any of the politicians around you. These things don’t happen. People don’t work like that.
And attempting to put the controls in at any time after… runs the risk of the exact same leak and blowback as above.
And that last bit… oh, that’s hilarious.
If a means to destroy all of the Empire’s capsuleers exists, probably conditions for its use also exist, and “DEAR GOD WHAT MAKES YOU THINK WE WOULD LET YOU HEATHENS DO THAT WITHOUT OUR DIRECT AUTHORIZATION??”
Yeah, no. Absolutely none of the CONCORD signatories are going to trust an outside organization with that kind of power over their own military, militia, and mercenary war machines. Especially not one where their enemies sit on the ruling council, too.
At the same time, if the Emipres go to war for real, they’re not going to abandon CONCORD. CONCORD’s too useful. They’ll be the Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of the independent capsuleers, telling us ‘don’t go trying to carve off a chunk of Aridia, or Lonetrek, or Black Rise’. They’ll simply be told to stay the hell out of the empires’ way, or else. A limited engagement like the Elder Fleet, while CONCORD still had the cudgel of the Jove looming out there to support their peacekeeping? Sure, CONCORD can step in and tell everyone to knock it off.
But the Jove are gone. CONCORD’s big stick is ringing a bit more hollow. And if they interfere… right back to cutting off funding.
Don’t think for a moment that CONCORD’s going to stick their balls in that blender.
Edit to Add: You are thinking, Aria, like an engineer. That’s not an insult, coming from a Sebiestor engineer, either. Power politics don’t work like that. People are too emotion-driven, too afraid of one another, too interested only in ‘how do I benefit?’ for that to work.
I think what I’m thinking like, Arrendis, is an intelligence or military strategist. It’s a little different.
It’s completely possible that politics would have gotten in the way, but you’re overlooking something really important about us: our position in this world, and in society, is pretty much inexplicable in terms of ordinary politics and planning.
A system that sets up a class of mini mercenary nation-states? (That’s what we most resemble: every one a tiny tyrant.) Utterly bizarre. Mercenaries, historically, have at best been considered a necessary evil by those in power. At best, they’re a dangerous tool; at worst, they’re an existential threat. The same dynamics you’re pointing to as getting in the way should have acted to stop it from the beginning. The obvious answer to such an idea is, “Are you NUTS?!” … which means there’s something else going on.
To be clear, I’m not talking about empire military capsuleers. I’m quite sure they’re governed under a different, more traditional scheme. I’m talking, exclusively, about the anomaly that is the pod pilot privateer.
For the empires to set up something like us is pretty literally a matter of sponsoring their own competition, an entity with no enforceable bonds of loyalty whatsoever, an entity so completely outside the rule of law as to be allowed to turn even against CONCORD itself without significant consequence.
Have you really met politicians who would be okay with such a thing? Weird politicians. (Mostly I think the dynamic is normally to want more power, not to inexplicably create unaccountable, independent entities that get to play with antimatter.)
It’s the sort of thing where I expect someone approached the CONCORD signatories with a proposal and plan. … And, probably that plan would have included something to answer the objections of those who took one look and said, “How is this a good idea?”
Politicians might not think like engineers, but the people who design stuff like the program behind us? Probably they’re a little more engineer-like. We’re nobody’s political pet project. We’re something someone designed.
Most military and intelligence strategists know that no, people tend to not plan ahead. They don’t tend to dot their "i"s and cross their "t"s, unless there’s some upheaval that forces them to remember to do it. New systems? New systems are full of holes, and no place in them is as rife with oversights and errors as the safety systems. As a species, we develop and implement technology long before we consider how that technology can be a problem, especially with weapons technology.
No, our position in this world isn’t inexplicable at all. We’re the hired guns at the fringes of society, the mercenary bands wandering the edges of the deserts or moving from trouble-spot to trouble-spot, offering our swords to those with the money. We’re the pirates, living just out where the navies can’t quite root us out. Many times, those pirates were naval officers, those warlords were leaders in an army, and they just decided ‘I’m in it for me, not the Cause’, and off they go, with their military-grade technology, be it the best armor or a fast ship with three decks of powerful cannon, off on their own course. Sometimes, those warbands or pirates decide ‘I want my own city’, and take one that the law of the larger nations doesn’t reach. That’s a pattern in the history of every human society, at just about every level of technology.
Any attempt to make us seem somehow unprecedented… ignores lots of precedent. And at every level of technology, somehow, those safeguards just aren’t there. Armor’s left in the keeping of the soldiers between battles. Ships might be moored, but there are no sea-gates to keep them from meandering off, no guards to watch to make sure the captain hasn’t decided to put to see without orders.
You keep pointing at ‘who would be stupid enough to even let us exist?’ as evidence that there must be safeguards. I tell you the mere fact that we exist… is evidence that they didn’t think it through. Again. Just like Every. Single. Generation. Before.
Tech gets made by engineers. It gets implemented by politicians, bureaucrats, and people looking to turn a quick profit—exactly the people who should never be in charge of things like that.
… you just described the Guristas, Serpentis, and Angel Cartel. Not us. Nobody intentionally builds deserters and pirates and tells them, “Here, have a ridiculously powerful new piece of military tech. Now do what you like! (Oh, and we’ve gotten rid of basically all your legal duties.)” Which is pretty much exactly what they do with us.
We’re no band of plucky fringe outsiders; our rise was sponsored-- actively promoted. We’ve been receiving occasional gifts from the SoCT, stuff we can’t build for ourselves. In other words, the Jove, or what’s left of them. They’ve been dying for a long time, plenty of opportunity to set their affairs in order. And even if I accept everything you’ve said as true, they were still involved.
Since when? You do your stint at the school, they get their research ISK out of you. You’re a test subject for a few years, and then they let you out into the world. It’s no different than ‘here, you’ve just been trained to be a soldier, we’ve given you the ability to kill people at will. Now you’ve served your hitch and mustered out, have a nice day’. The legal issues surrounding our serial-immortality are a completely separate issue to whether unleashing a dangerous pack of trained killers is unprecedented.
They didn’t? I know you don’t remember your school days, but I was subjected to years of testing in a number of different ways. Do you think all that research was just to see if I was a good candidate for graduation? Do you think the empires, who have finally gotten to where they’re developing their own cloning tech (the Templars, and alphas), even if it’s based on Jovian precursors, haven’t been using all of us for research subjects so they can figure out just what effects this is all having, and what a decade and a half of minor, iterative work has changed?
Aria, seriously, do you believe we’re not rats in a maze, even now?
Well, since you mention the neural burner-- you do realize it’s a pretty deadly piece of equipment, right? Gods and spirits, Arrendis, is it really so hard to imagine that the same people preparing to deal with us might have foreseen that we’d be kind of a threat, and prepared? I guess it’s probably not a comforting thought that stepping into the pod might put a gun to your head, but actually I find the idea way more comforting than the idea of a bunch of power-obsessed pseudo-immortals overrunning everything.
Oh, they definitely have the technical ability to do it. I’m saying they don’t have the procedural, social, and political processes in place, and cannot now develop them, because they’re too busy glaring at one another and thinking ‘there is no way I’m letting them take a potential weapon out of my hands’.