First Random Last |

You are currently browsing the archive for Starcaster Chronicles



24

The Starcaster Chronicles 12.04

October 20, 2023 by Tim


Subscribe
Notify of
guest

48 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gonfrask
Gonfrask
1 month ago

A single ship not, THE single ship..it doesn’t matter if a cruiser, or battle barge, or a personal lander cross the lines, it matters in which one goes the guy that can destroy planets…
Although seem the Dranglaex are going to be at the defensive for a while.

Gilles
Gilles
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

With that kind of weapon, in truth it’s just an impossible war for the defender, if the attacker doesn’t care for taking down planets. Just have the guy wander in some very small, very fast ship, and there’s not a chance in hell that it’s detected (I mean, come on, space is vast ^^). So the war only lasts until you’ve lost enough planets that you actually surrender.

The End.

Mor
Mor
1 month ago
Reply to  Gilles

Unless the weapon of mass destruction mutilates your body everytime you use it. That kind of limits the possibilities to a ship with a crew and some sort of medbay to actually keep the guy alive, so not so small.

Vukodlak
Vukodlak
1 month ago
Reply to  Gilles

The problem is he’s pretty messed up afterwards. The Colony was lightly defended, which makes since as there’s less then half a million people on it. It was a terror strike not a military one. Pulling that trick on a larger world has a much better chance of being blown out of the sky by orbital defenses.

chargersfan
chargersfan
1 month ago
Reply to  Gilles

The Dranglaex want to eradicate all other species. There is no surrender.

Terrible DM
Terrible DM
1 month ago
Reply to  Gilles

This is the problem with all war in space. It’s way easier to break things than protect them, and destroying planets is hilarious overkill when it’s only a tiny film of sludge on the surface which people care about (which includes the deepest bunkers). Space is big. You also don’t need a magic star laser. Accelerating anything with mass to near light speed creates a projectile with the energy to render anything unlivable, with the side “benefit” of being physically impossible to react to. Of course, pointing this out is like complaining about prison security in Batman. That isn’t what… Read more »

Swiftbow
Swiftbow
1 month ago
Reply to  Terrible DM

That’s why planetary shields are a big thing in a lot of sci-fi. Because that’s your protection against high velocity projectiles. Still… accelerating ANYTHING to near light speed takes an incredibly ridiculous amount of energy. Most FTL concepts use “cheats” to avoid that… while simultaneously negating the ability to use the device as a kinetic weapon. A warp bubble, for instance, being reliant on artificial gravity fields, would likely collapse in the presence of large, real gravity fields (like planets and stars). Jump drives (like in BSG) just sort of “remap” the physical coordinates without moving at all. And hyperspace… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Swiftbow
Dran
Dran
1 month ago
Reply to  Swiftbow

IIRC: They call it a Superluminal / Super-L Jump. So it might just be more akin to Star Trek’s Warp Drive (in fact much ado is made about the damage to a ship even ATTEMPTING to go Super-L in atmosphere, presumably ending your jump in atmosphere would be similarly catastrophic). This is what messed up Cort’s ship so badly (well, one of several things)

Banjo
Banjo
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

There is that fact that, with only a single star caster, this strategy would mean that they are always one stroke of bad luck away from losing their superweapon.

There is no RELIABLE way to catch that one ship that houses the planet-destroying super-weapon, but there is also no reliable way to ensure it NEVER gets blown up, especially in the immediate aftermath of firing the weapon.

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

Just a thought: Whenever I read how a planet is destroyed, and 400k people died, I think about how ridiculously low that number is. I mean this is supposedly a farming planet which has a function within a network of planets. There has to be a city around a spaceport, commodities, infrastructure to service equipment – spaceship and farming. I think when it comes to planetary annihilation in a galaxy that had some time to settle their structures even a fringe planet (that is not a developing colony anymore) should easily have a couple of million, if not tens of… Read more »

Graeme Spence
Graeme Spence
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

If it’s a mining planet I know we saw what looked like a basic primitive farm or a farm similar to our own tech but that could be a supposed low income farm or a niche farm.
The vast majority of the farms could be massive automated industrial farms where few people are needed in that regards it is easily possible for the colony size to be small in population.

Even with our tech we are seeing IOT in farms and automation I wrote a paper on the deployment of IOT tech into farming

Graeme Spence
Graeme Spence
1 month ago
Reply to  Graeme Spence

mining sorry meant farming

Robert
Robert
1 month ago
Reply to  Graeme Spence

I don´t disagree, and I wouldn´t expect a high tech society to sit on a tractor to till a field on a planetary scale. But with automation you´re mostly shifting labor from the field to maintenance, and 400k people keeping an automated farming planet running smoothly feels very low. Give a population 100 years of prosperity without the constraints of “children vs. wealth” and 400k is nothing. If you add planetary migration movements into the consideration, it should be higher. Humans have a tendency to run to places they see oppotunity in 😀 But that´s just my thoughts about sci… Read more »

Alex Pendragon
Alex Pendragon
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Well we also don’t know how big the planet was. If it was one the size of, say, Mercury or the moon, maybe that is a reasonable number.

Blair
Blair
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

I think you make too many assumptions. We don’t know how much arable land is on the planet, and we don’t know how old the colony there is. Both of these variables could change the expected population by a lot.

Frizbee
Frizbee
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Everything is relative. For example, there are 3.849 million people living in Los Angeles (as at 2020)

There are only 5.1 million people living in the entire State of Queensland, Australia, which has an area of 1.85 million square kilometres (715,309 square miles)

Western Australia, which is even bigger, has a population of 2.667 million.

Automation and faming immensly reduce the population required. Especially if the farming planet is only supporting a planet or two, and isn’t a major system. (Or if the planet is also supported by five or six other farming planets)

Vampyrr
Vampyrr
1 month ago
Reply to  Frizbee

Thats still millions to one area vs 400k for an entire planet.

Gonfrask
Gonfrask
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

I think that the planet was like…starting working, remember the father says that seem this year was going to finally be a good harvest.

Robert
Robert
1 month ago
Reply to  Gonfrask

You´re right! I forgot about that. Then consider my comment to be generalized, not specific.

Stephen
Stephen
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Pretty sure the Dranglex called the inhabitants settlers so it might have been colonised relatively recently too

coredumperror
coredumperror
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Something to consider is that Earth has been populated by humans for 200,000 years. That’s how we got to 8 billion people. And remember that it was well under 10 million until only a few centuries ago. This farming planet might have only been populated for a mere century. That’s just not very long for a population of immigrant workers to grow. In addition, only a small portion of the planet may have been terraformed so far. That shit takes hella time. So there might only be one city and a few million acres of arable farmland so far. For… Read more »

Esc
Esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

It looks fringe, meaning “unpopulated” It probably doesn’t have a city around a spaceport, freighters in this universe can just land and take off easy, that’s not necessary for it to function. I do think 400K is a little low if you are imagining the whole planet has been settled, but a niche fringe planet in the process of being settled, it seems much more realistic. For instance, like 20% of the surface could be mapped, and only a small amount that viable to farm for blue crystal. The people here don’t seem rich or have working utilities. Think of… Read more »

Rolando
Rolando
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

I agree with the points mentioned, that disagree with you. A frontier planet that’s only been inhabited for a few decades, in an era where a lot of the work is likely to be automated… Might not be as populated as you think. Also: 1) Most likely, only SOME parts of the planet are useful for farming and so. Earth, for example, is 38% farmland. If our planet was only used for farming… We wouldn’t have nearly as many people populating it. 2) Spaceships. Planetary obliteration isn’t instantaneous. It might have taken many hours. Enough time for every able spaceship… Read more »

Swiftbow
Swiftbow
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

When your universe is capable of creating colony systems dedicated to certain things (ie, rural farming), it no longer becomes necessary to localize all other services, especially if space travel is affordable. (Some services, of course, still need localization. But there’s a lot you could space out.)

jasmine
jasmine
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

A more basic answer could be, the colony on this planet might have different standards. I mean, just because humans on Earth procreate like rabbits doesn’t mean every human society in the Universe will, no matter how long the colony’s been established.

Meatballs21
Meatballs21
1 month ago

Reminiscent of the MD Device from Ender’s Game… all it takes is one ship to get through and nail the planet with it.

Marcus
Marcus
1 month ago

i mean… spek probably only drew attention to the number to fire cort up… but the focus on it shouldnt be the number of people.. it should be how much of what resource(s) were being farmed there.. SURE life loss is a key motivator, but maybe the crystals that were being farmed there were battery cores that can be used from households to military applications and the loss is more strategic than imagined.

Nazghallion
Nazghallion
1 month ago

Looks like that just made the power of that little thing strapped to Corts arm suddenly hit a lot harder for him.

foducool
foducool
1 month ago

talk about a rural world

Cyrad
Cyrad
1 month ago

OK, so not Alderaan levels of tragic but still pretty bad.

Cyrad
Cyrad
1 month ago
Reply to  Cyrad

Though, unsure if the Dranglaex had a better reason for destroying the planet. A religious mandate versus just being a dick to a political rival

The Legacy
The Legacy
1 month ago
Reply to  Cyrad

I’d imagine it’s under the same mentality as a terrorist cell; it’s not well defended, and gives the impression that they can strike anywhere.

LordDenning
LordDenning
1 month ago

Imagine blowing up an entire planet only to kill a population of a small city. Talk about overkill.

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
1 month ago

So Miami, Florida / Halifax Nova Scotia approximately for population comparison.

Foxhood
Foxhood
1 month ago

…Ok. Why do they think a regular holding cell would be enough to contain a man who has a weapon of planetary annihilation fused to his wrist???

Kevin Greenbaum
Kevin Greenbaum
1 month ago
Reply to  Foxhood

They know Cort won’t fire it while he has a chance of hurting anyone that isn’t trying to kill him, definitely not where his friends are, if he wipes out the ship they all die. I’m more curious if they thought about Speck being able to melt his way to freedom if he’s not in a special cell.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Foxhood

Cort doesn’t have the control he needs to just open the cell, if he tries, it’ll blow a huge hole in the whole ship, vacuuming everyone.

Acorr
Acorr
1 month ago

Reminds me of that kurzgesagt episode where they discussed best interstellar war tactics. Send a small block of matter at near lightspeed towards a species’ home planet. At relativistic speeds it would disintegrate on impact, turning the entire mass into energy, obliterating any planet. You cannot defend against that. As soon as you can see it, it will be there momentarily.
And since you can’t be certain, they wouldn’t do the same, best practice would be sending the weapon the second you notice their existence

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Acorr

Neil DeGassee Tyson had talked about that, it would have to be a mass equal to a sky scraper to have any effect, the atmosphere alone would slow the mass a huge amount, even before it reached the ground. The game, Universe Sandbox 2, even let’s you test how much mass it would take to have a world-ending affect. I’ve never played it myself, but I’ve seen enough “Lets Plays” on YouTube.

emeralkat
emeralkat
1 month ago

For a whole planet, honestly 400,000 doesn’t seem like a lot.

Even if it is on the fringe, in a galactic empire with a well developed planet for agriculture, you’d expect there to be more.

At least a million or so. It’s not like it’s a small moon, but a planet…..

Note we don’t even know the biology of any of these other random species created in this series as nothing about that is explained. Just a “haha, they look funny” type aliens.

But we do know that humans bread like rabbits and soon fill out said populations….

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago

The Starcaster uses the energy of the local star to send a blast of pure energy into a target, if you aim that much energy at a planet’s core, you can destroy the core causing many things to happen. The planet’s magnetic field to stop, ending it’s protection from the solar winds, you lower the general gravity of the planet, causing it to break up since it’s core is the major part of the planet. Without the attraction of the mass of the core I have little doubt the atmosphere was already leaking off, and the blast seemed to trigger… Read more »

Dagroth
Dagroth
1 month ago

I wonder about two things: 1) Dranglaex need to live somewhere, too, isn’t destroying habitable planets against their interest? (as we can see in the previous strip, the planet was torn apart, all that is left are its chunks floating in space) 2) Since Starcaster draws energy from a local star, how does their use affect the stars in the long term? Won’t they run out of fuel prematurely and die? (In case of this system, it may be irrelevant for the purposes of settlements, if the only habitable planet was destroyed, but apparently starcasters can also be used to… Read more »

Vedrit
Vedrit
1 month ago

While four hundred thousand is a lot of people, that’s really not much for a “farming planet”
Heck, the US alone in 2017 (most recent number I could find) had 3.4 million farmers. Even if you consider automation… For an entire planet, the scale of automation would be crazy. Bots, drones, etc. Largely operating without oversight of a living being

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
1 month ago
Reply to  Vedrit

They did call it a settlement, meaning it isn’t very old. And I doubt many settlers are getting any assistance either, I’m sure it’s handled by “giving” the land, then charging for everything from food to seeds. so it’s going to be slow going for some time. 400k isn’t bad at all for a settlement, there was nothing more than a landing area, a well, and a store for buying the thing you need to start your farm. The rest was up to you. Before the attack I’ll bet it had a real space port, and many store fronts, hotels,… Read more »

Vedrit
Vedrit
1 month ago
Reply to  Scarsdale

Even for a freshly settled planet, that’s peanuts. As someone else commented, that’s a small city on modern Earth. And it’s supposed to produce enough food to justify its existence? Cost of settlement? When? In 10 years? 50? You’d think the settling government would want to get it up to a minimum level of production as quickly as possible, and sprinkling half a million citizens is probably not going to produce results anytime soon.

Komi
Komi
1 month ago

Look at the look on Nyrah’s face in that last panel. Someone is very unhappy with having turned themselves in now.

Lily
Lily
1 month ago

Information is the most important thing in war, be it a thousand years ago, today, or in a fantasy space adventure.

Ana
Ana
1 month ago

400k doesn’t sound like a huge loss for planet wide destruction.It wouldn’t even cover new york city. By several magnitudes