First Random Last |

You are currently browsing the archive for Starcaster Chronicles



24

The Starcaster Chronicles 12.07

October 25, 2023 by Tim


Subscribe
Notify of
guest

32 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Egasilon
Egasilon
7 months ago

Sixty-two thousand out of five hundred thousand…

Surprisingly low, but imagine what it would be if they shot a more populated world…

Darkhorse
Darkhorse
7 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

I would argue surprisingly high. Aparently four hundred thousand were killed according to Quel, or possibly Quel just referenced the total population on the planet. Regardless, I would expect the survivors to be less than a single percentage, not a decent chunk of the total population.

Droma has the right of it. The planet was scarcely populated as well as defended. It is a scare tactic, but the target doesn’t have that much effect. It nearly feels like desparation, going for the weakest and lonely of the herd, hoping to scatter the full flock.

GeorgeV
GeorgeV
7 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

Yup. In terms of our world I suppose this could be like a nuke detonating on a small backwater village. In the overall scope of things the body count is still relatively low, but…

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
7 months ago
Reply to  Egasilon

You’re not taking into account that the planet was sparsely populated and the only survivors were on the “far side”

Apples to Apples a hit like that in or near the North Pole would wipe out almost all life on Planet Earth, considering there’s very little near-or-at Antarctica.

Last edited 7 months ago by Kaitensatsuma
Acher4
Acher4
7 months ago

I just love all this worldbuilding!

One other thing that just popped in my head.
With all the implications…
Imagine if the Starcaster bearer, just missed… while trying to hit the planet.

Whooooops!
LOL!

Zaldrak
Zaldrak
7 months ago
Reply to  Acher4

The probability of it hitting another inhabited planet would be extremely small.

The VAST majority of space is empty… well, space, and only a very small percentage of celestial bodies would be suitable to carrying life, let alone actually carry it.

Paradox
Paradox
7 months ago
Reply to  Zaldrak

Not to mention that, with the sheer size of space, no matter how tightly packed the blast is, it will likely be too spread out to do significant damage by the time it enters the next star system, let alone when it actually hits something

7eggert
7eggert
7 months ago
Reply to  Paradox

I think from “reaches the next star system” to “also bullseyes the habitated planet” is no significant difference.

A Gamma Ray Burst from 300 LJ away would be trouble, Voyager is 22.5 light hours away.

Pedro Silva
Pedro Silva
7 months ago

Why do I get the feeling that the last guy (an apparent reasonable being) will be totally ignored in favor of some rash and mindless direct action? #politicsBePolitics

SkullsGrav
SkullsGrav
7 months ago
Reply to  Pedro Silva

He’s the Triumvirate of War. I think he gets to decide.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
7 months ago

It is terrorist-style attacks, this screams suicide bomber to me, and the obvious downside is sooner or later, you run out of volunteers. The galaxy is a huge place, with more planets than they have willing people.
I feel this is a good opportunity for Cort, they need to send a caster out to find their fleet, and give them a taste of their own medicine. Once he learns how to control it, he could go on a deep cover mission to hunt their fleet down.

Dorander
Dorander
7 months ago
Reply to  Scarsdale

The bearer is expected to recover, he’s alive and healing, as per the previous comic. So no suicide bomber. It’s also a really bad opportunity for Cort. He’s untrained in the use of the Starcaster, unlike the Major lady that’s been flying around and even for her it would be risky. Using Starcasters has an obvious cost, and a lone bearer in deep cover is extremely vulnerable. They can’t sustain firepower, they don’t have protection against normal gunfire, they don’t have backup, they don’t have a fallback position. It’s a suicide mission and you end up handing the enemy a… Read more »

SkullsGrav
SkullsGrav
7 months ago
Reply to  Dorander

Classic glass cannon with a huge cooldown period at certain levels of fire.

Scarsdale
Scarsdale
7 months ago
Reply to  Dorander

I wasn’t saying he would attack them, that would be dumb, I was saying to use the caster to find the other, and report back for a final push with the other’s and the fleet to back him up. To anyone else, even those who know him, he’s just a rogue pilot looking for a fast buck and doesn’t care what it takes, not a spy. I’m
sure he would be able to go places and hear things any law officer would be hard put to even get a whisper about.

Kenju
Kenju
7 months ago

For the record, THIS is the single most scientifically detailed explanation for how a planet could be destroyed I have ever seen in science fiction. It’s very simple and very logical, more importantly it is grounded in some very basic science. I admit when we saw this happen I was a bit confused as to what was going on, figuring the core itself must have somehow been destabilized and ‘popped’ or something similar, but THIS is significantly better, and more horrific when you consider what it would have been like. The evaporating of such a massive chunk of crust and… Read more »

TomB
TomB
7 months ago
Reply to  Kenju

Also changing the center of mass of your planet (core heading elsewhere) could easily result to a changed (and unstable) orbit for the planet even if everything else didn’t wipe things out.

There’s no mass harm vector that can be considered ‘no significant’ when it can be dished out on continental or larger scales.

Lily
Lily
7 months ago
Reply to  Kenju

It is very detailed, though I am not sure it is very accurate(not that blowing apart a planet is a well understood science, so granted this is all speculation). To start off with, the stuff vaporized wouldn’t disappear, and would still exist in some form. There would be a giant hole in the planet but it would be filled by liquid rock, the rock is a gas form, or maybe even a plasma. So there wouldn’t be a void to suck anything into it. Secondly, even if we assumed it would work as mentioned, would the planet really shake it… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Lily
Kenju
Kenju
7 months ago
Reply to  Lily

Vaporized means just that, vaporized, reduced to gas, not removed from existence (that would be atomized) As for why the planet would shake and break but not collapse in on itself, that is pretty simple. Remember it wasn’t just the crust that was destroyed, the atmosphere was as well, and space is a vacuum. The mantle and outer core are both highly liquids with a very high viscosity, such liquids react to a vacuum in a rather specific way, they get pulled up and pull at their entire mass. Literally the planet was pulling itself inside out. Mantel and outer… Read more »

Lily
Lily
7 months ago
Reply to  Kenju

Exactly, so the atmosphere wouldn’t be sucked into the ‘hole’ because the hole would be filled with super hot gas from the vaporized rock. There shouldn’t be a vacuum any where, since nothing was destroy, just turned into gas, and that gas would still fill the void left behind. If anything the gas would likely be really hot and escape back out of the hole to the surface, rather than air coming from the surface into the hole. Also even if the atmosphere was destroyed(which doesn’t seem to be the case, since the comic said it was sucked inside), that… Read more »

Cal
Cal
7 months ago

I have a very important question, which may or may not help give clues to what will happen next:

What is happening with the lady’s hand in the second panel? xD

Not That Brian
Not That Brian
7 months ago
Reply to  Cal

Nothing – drawing hands is hard, and sometimes even those experienced at it mess up in minor ways.

Esc
Esc
7 months ago

I love that the triumvirate of war, Droma, is depicted as wise turtle.

Extremely shrewd of him to analyze how the Dranglex are operating. For all their bluster they are not invincible nor overwhelmingly powerful. Their actions show how their strategy is tinged with desperation. The Dranglex are doing things that someone who has a countdown looming over them (Cort’s Starcaster) they are not acting like it is inevitable.

In that, it means if the Federation can make war wisely, they can ultimately win.

deep
deep
7 months ago
Reply to  Esc

Maybe the character was inspired from Morla, the Ancient One

Namefield
Namefield
7 months ago

Context please: Who are these people, what’s this place, where’s this place, how do they fit in with the story ?

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
7 months ago
Reply to  Namefield

Meeting of all planet representatives of the federation with ruling triumvirate presiding as Everyone finds out Exactly what happens to hopefully stop widespread panic from occurring. Cort and crew somewhere below probably in that holding cell.

If a starcaster beam were to vapourize just this room though…

TamTroll
TamTroll
7 months ago

how exactly were there “survivors” from that? People scrambling to spaceships i guess?

I keep thinking of people clinging to large chunks of the planet drifting away, but i don’t know of those things would have the atmosphere required to not just slap someone into a vacuum, even if they DID have an oxygen tank or something with them.

Maybe some people got in metal air-tight containers or something and basically iron-lung’ed it until rescue arrived… if it arrived.

Not That Brian
Not That Brian
7 months ago
Reply to  TamTroll

It would take time for the hit to do the damage it needed to in order to kill everyone.

If the federation immediately realized what was happening their response might not have been more than a few minutes out – it’s unclear how distances and FTL speeds work in this universe.

In any case, yes there are a number of ways that survivors are possible, but still they should be a smaller number I would think.

Esc
Esc
7 months ago
Reply to  TamTroll

Metal air tight containers is another way to say starships. And this universe is lousy with them. If the mother of all earthquakes is hitting…I can see some people getting to a spaceship. About 15% of the people made it to a starship in time, and as the person noted, it was mostly from the opposite side of the planet, where the damage wouldn’t be immediately, only growing strongly apparent over the course of minutes.

Lily
Lily
7 months ago
Reply to  TamTroll

I assume they were able to make it to a space ship. It would take some amount of time for the destructive forces to propagate around the planet. I don’t know at what speed a planet cracking in half moves, but it could be minutes, or even hours. Light speed communications would be substantially faster.

TomB
TomB
7 months ago

The range of interesting alien species in this story reminds me of the Alien Legion comics of the 1980s/1990s. They too had many well realized and interesting alien species.

Tim’s gotten pretty darn good with his art over the years.

TomB
TomB
7 months ago

For some reason, if I had the ability to launch another strike and where everyone figured I’d shot my load, I’d be going straight for the most high impact attack that I could muster. It would have to be Important in some major areas (resources, control centers, or cultural/religious) It would ideally have lots of people to kill on it And it would be in a place not expected, maybe deep within Federation space. If it were me and I thought I could reach it, I’d be striking the very gathering this meeting in today’s strip and trying to wipe… Read more »

DDM_Reaper20
DDM_Reaper20
7 months ago
Reply to  TomB

The restrictions of the Starcaster would make a deep strike a dangerous endeavour. The prince was in a coma, and a single ship against the defences… plus, it would have to get into strike range in the first place. It is logical that the headquarters of the Federation are well-protected against a fleet, much less a small task force, let alone a single ship.
Keeping one’s enemies on their toes is pretty much the way it’s done, but military strategy has its limitations — much more so when the ONLY super weapon they have has some serious limits.