GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Weapons and Tech in the Verse

POSTED BY: CAUL
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 16:04
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 9:38 AM

CAUL


Well, I've been working on a Firefly RPG, and had some questions about how things work in the Verse, thought I'd put them here.

Guns - appear to be advanced over our own (I would hope so after 400 years) and yet they still appear to be round or cartridge based. The weapons fired in the series seem to have an electronic hum to them at times. The question. Do you think that there is a new electric component to the standard firearm that we use today?

Ships - it appears that instead of some type of FTL or warp drive the ships in Firefly utilize simple physics to travel long distances, initiating a "hard burn" of a powerful engine to burst the ship to great speeds, which is then maintained through minor tweaks en route. The question. Are all ships in the Verse like this?

That's all for now. And if you are interested, I am using the Savage Worlds to run the game, looks to be a good fit.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 12:58 PM

SQUIGS


Quote:

Originally posted by caul:
Well, I've been working on a Firefly RPG, and had some questions about how things work in the Verse, thought I'd put them here.

Guns - appear to be advanced over our own (I would hope so after 400 years) and yet they still appear to be round or cartridge based. The weapons fired in the series seem to have an electronic hum to them at times. The question. Do you think that there is a new electric component to the standard firearm that we use today?



Seems sensible. There are currently guns in development that are fired electronically. The charge is detonated by an electrical pulse, rather than hitting it with a hammer. This means the bullets can be lined up end to end in the barrel, allowing very rapid fire. Plus a few other advantages.

http://www.metalstorm.com/12_odwyervle/prototype.html

Although firearm technology hasn't really advanced at a very rapid rate. A lot of current designs date back well over 50 years. They're going to be more powerful, but I expect the basic principles to be the same. An explosion propels the projectile.

Quote:


Ships - it appears that instead of some type of FTL or warp drive the ships in Firefly utilize simple physics to travel long distances, initiating a "hard burn" of a powerful engine to burst the ship to great speeds, which is then maintained through minor tweaks en route. The question. Are all ships in the Verse like this?



Hard to say. I don't think we even came to a conclusion about whether Firefly was in a system, a galaxy, or a cluster. If it's anything much bigger than a solar system, we need some sort of FTL travel.

Fireflies do seem to have some sort of reactionless drive system. I don't think anyone's saying how it works, apart from "engine spins, ship goes forward". Out of Gas suggests that the ship needs the engine running to keep going. Unlike contemporary spacecraft, it isn't going to drift all the way to the destination with the engines off.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 1:10 PM

THEGREYJEDI


Ah, but with OOG, there was the expulsion of the fire and oxygen opposite to the inertia, which could have easily cancelled out the forward motion. I think I've heard it called a fusion drive, which would mean that a fusion explosion propels the ship forward in the burst (which then fades in space, leaves a trail in atmo) and then the side sponsons allow for manuvering.

Though I'll agree, the guns sound electric.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 1:51 PM

JCKNIFE


Most of the guns that appear in the show are firearms in use today, or in the case of Zoe's carbine, decades ago.

I've been thinking about doing a fairly detailed analysis of the guns in Firefly--would anybody be interested? It would be a fun project for me to post but if it's going to fall right to the bottom I won't bother.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 4:01 PM

VIGGENBOY


I'd be very interested. I very much like that the firearms used in show are helping to tell the story; Instead of laser weapons or super hightech thingermabobs, our gang looks like they grabbed whatever they could out of the weapons cache in a stage coach. Helps put them in the fringes of the verse.

I don't remember ever seeing catriges eject, but its probably something I've missed versus them not being there. If in fact the weapons are not discharging shells, then there's an argument for the type of caseless rounds used in Aliens by the space marines. (I find myself passing yet another dork check.)

Yeah, do some work! I'd love to read it!


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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 4:16 PM

JCKNIFE


Wow, I already found a thread with more info that I would come up with...here of course!

http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=3&t=3815

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 4:40 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Too many of the guns in the 'verse, even the ones that look like modern guns, have a 'charging capacitor sound.'

If you're old enough, you may remember it as the whining sound that you hear when you charge the flash for your camera.

I would add a vote to those that suspect that some of the verse's guns have some sort of electronic trigger, or perhaps even electronic propulsion system.

Certainly, given the way that many guns in the 'verse sound muted when they fire, the propellant for some of these guns has got to be different from normal gunpowder.

And that makes sense. Firearms have existed for hundreds of years. The firing mechanism, the slug, and the propellant are the things that have changed the most over time. (Matchlock, Flintlock, Percussion, Rimfire, Centerfire, Smoke, Smokeless, Ball, Bullet, Copper Jackets, etc.)

--Anthony




"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005 5:02 PM

GUNRUNNER


I think the electrical hum in some weapons is a magnetic accelerator or some sort like a Rail Gun that could be used to enhance the velocity of a conventional bullet or project a caseless round. Some weapons in FF do use modern bullets- Jayne’s LeMat Revolver, Jayne’s Bolt Action Sniper Rifle in ‘Serenity’ (the casings could be ejected downwards for ease of use like a FN P-90).

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Thursday, May 12, 2005 7:19 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by caul:
Are all ships in the Verse like this?

I'm gonna guess not. Assume that the FTL (or just "very fast") engine likely needs a fair bit of space (no pun intended). There'd likely be smaller ships that don't have that kinda capability/range.

Serenity's shuttles, for one. Otherwise, why have shuttles at all?

On OOG, they could've just put Wash & Kaylee into a shuttle, sent 'em on to wherever it was they were going, then have 'em come back post-haste with the new catalyzer while everyone waited impatiently. No need for the two shuttles, opposite directions, call-back button ordeal.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005 9:20 AM

BYTETHEBULLET


Quote:

Originally posted by viggenboy:
I'd be very interested. I very much like that the firearms used in show are helping to tell the story; Instead of laser weapons or super hightech thingermabobs, our gang looks like they grabbed whatever they could out of the weapons cache in a stage coach. Helps put them in the fringes of the verse.

I don't remember ever seeing catriges eject, but its probably something I've missed versus them not being there. If in fact the weapons are not discharging shells, then there's an argument for the type of caseless rounds used in Aliens by the space marines. (I find myself passing yet another dork check.)

Yeah, do some work! I'd love to read it!




Regarding the weapons used, I like to think they have picked the weapon(s) that suits them best. I choose higher capacity newer caliber guns, but older guns still have a prominent place with shooters today, like wheel guns and even crappy 1911s.

We did see laser and wave-force weapons the series. They are/were available, just not everyone had one.

Btw, the 1911s(.45 autos) model number is referring to the date of the design. They have been around a long time. Also, .45 autos are NOT automatic(machine gun) they are autoloaders.

End of gun lessons.


ByteTheBullet (-:

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Thursday, May 12, 2005 10:44 PM

SOUPCATCHER


There's also some stuff in the references section of the site that you might find interesting, JCKnife. It's kind of hit and miss with the level of detail of the entries, however.

http://www.fireflyfans.net/referencelist.asp?s=weapons
http://www.fireflyfans.net/referencelist.asp?c=queue

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Friday, May 13, 2005 5:58 AM

THIEFJEHAT


I'm cursed with 2 issues:
1. I love firefly
2. I'm well versed in physics and Astromomy

I want to love this show so much but when issues of spaceflight come up I grind my teeth in frustration. There are always 2 issues that Sci-Fi space faring shows are forced to deal with:
1. Light speed creates a paradox
2. Space is really really really big

I will refer to this awsome website for astronomical education for various topics on distance, physics, and the nature of the cosmos: http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/qanda.html#top

The sci-fi hurdle with FTL drives is always the vastness of space combined with the paradox of lightspeed. Over the years, various shows have dealt with this issue in varying ways:
*Trek creates a sub-space bubble, then applies Warp (the wobble image of the enterprise prior to warp was supposed to be the creation of the sub space around the ship)
*Star Wars uses Hyperspace
*Dune folds space through the use of the Spice
*Andromeda(ugly show) used slipstream (artifical wormholes)
*Stargate positions gates with space folding attributes but only allows X amount of mass to pass at one time.
*Other stories have used the concept of "outspace" saying that a parallel universe to ours is accessable and that a minor movement there equates to a greater movement here. So you jump "out" travel a short distance then jump back "in" thousands of light years from your start point.


The problem with Firefly is that it never got away from the good 'ole fusion drive. Joss was asked several times about the means of space travel in the 'verse and his reply was always that he never really thought too hard about it but that it was certainly fusion and that the backwash in space we see after ships fly off(the wake) was residue from a fusion burn.

If you ever watched Carl Sagan's opus "Cosmos" from 1980, you'll remember that the ability to craft a fusion driven spacecraft is well within out current technology. For those of you wondering why we don't have fusion power plants on the earth, be certain you understand the difference between CONTROLLED fusion (power plant reactor) and UNCONTROLLED fusion (H bomb). A fusion Drive spacecraft is meerly a ship that fuses hydrogen atoms into Helium atoms and releases a tremendous quantity of energy in the process. This produces the equivalent of an uncontrolled fusion reaction that pushes a spacecraft forward through space. Thus "Wash...go for hard burn" is a fusion drive. I recall when I 1st watched the pilot and witnessed the escape from the reavers I was in utter shock. The hard burn in the Whitefall atmosphere is nothing less than an H-Bomb for the planet's surface. You can even see the mushroom cloud pattern of radiating fire in the top-down view. Ultra cool Joss....ultra cool.

But the big issue isn't the use of fusion at the planetary level...it's going from star system to star system. Space is vast. How vast? Well alpha centuri, the closest star to earth, is about 3.4 light years from us. With a fusion drive, current estimates are that we could travel up to 20% the speed of light. A trip to Alpha Centuri would still take thousands of years. It is possible to continue to accelerate if we'd have enough fuel, but as we approach 80% light speed, relitivity kicks in and although we arrive within our lifetimes the folks at home are much older. If you are interested in a true scientific paper on fusion drive technology go here: http://www.ibiblio.org/lunar/school/InterStellar/Explorer_Class/Bussar
d_Fusion_systems.HTML
If you have a real science background this paper will astonish you.

Firefly maintains that humanity has colonized a portion of the Milky Way. If I recall correctly, the marketers who typed the text on the DVD box set imply that the Galaxy has been nearly explored, but working in marketing is about as far from an astronomy career as one can get. I seriously hate to think that humanity has been everywhere in the galaxy. In 400 years it would be totally impossible to visit and explore 200,000,000,000 star systems. In case you were wondering, that translates into written english as "two-hundred-freaking-billion". I like to think that in the 'verse, humanity has been to about 10% of our galactic spirial arm and that a small few kept flying until they passed beyond the galactic rim and came back savage(reavers). 10% of our SPIRIAL ARM (not galaxy) and growing seems appropriate. It explains why the constant references to "terraforming crews" keep croping up as humanity continues pushing outward and creating habitible planets when they find nearly 1.0g planets with a passing atmo that can be modified. The only world system that says it colonized an entire galaxy, and I believe, is the star wars verse where intelligent life history goes back for well over 100,000 years and hyperspace tech exists.

I'm not trying to squash a Firefly RPG with my tech issues. I love Sci-Fi RPG's. But I also like consistancy. I have no issues buying into star wars tech or star trek tech. Why? Because its all technobabble and that's fine. Joss however, touches more conventional tech. He trades the fantastic (trek, dune, star wars) with the realistic. That's great. But what he needs to do (or us perhaps) is explain how the craft travels at FTL via a fusion drive and does not violate special relativity. Remember SW has hyperspace, trek has subspace. Firefly has nothing.

So in the creation of your RPG rule system for spaceflight in the verse you are backed into a corner because:

1. Ships are traveling vast interstellar distances in day and week (sometimes month) timeframes. This implies FTL tech.
2. Conventional fusion tech suffers from issues centered on relativity. The closer you approach light speed (c), the more time dilation is experienced from the point-of-view of those standing still.

The solutions
1. Ignore that relativity even exists. Sci-Fi has been doing this for years.
2. Create a sub Space Technology system so that time equates correctly from those moving and those standing still.
3. Imply that the ship travels as close to 'c' as possible with minor relative effects. So a 5 day trip from say...Whitefall to Boros would be perceved as 7 days from the folks on Boros. You'd be limited to a value of .55c. mayybbeee .6c

The trade off on option 3 is that anyone with an education in relative motion who does some math will ask you why the stars are so close to each other. Of course, less than 1% of americans are able to do this. 99% would buy it just fine.



Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Friday, May 13, 2005 7:05 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


I've been meaning to start a thread like this my own self for fan fic purposes - thanks Caul for getting the ball rolling!
Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
I'm cursed with 2 issues:
1. I love firefly
2. I'm well versed in physics and Astromomy

I want to love this show so much but when issues of spaceflight come up I grind my teeth in frustration. There are always 2 issues that Sci-Fi space faring shows are forced to deal with:
1. Light speed creates a paradox
2. Space is really really really big

I will refer to this awsome website for astronomical education for various topics on distance, physics, and the nature of the cosmos: http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/qanda.html#top will be conducting some in-depth research - I'd dearly love to find a theory that works realistically and doesn't involve dilithium or some such... what about cold fusion?
Quote:

thiefjehat said
Firefly maintains that humanity has colonized a good portion of the Milky Way.

Actually, all that's said on that point is that they went out and found a whole bunch of new earths. Doesn't say how long it took, how far they went, or anything like that. Some of those "new earths" had to be terra formed for human habitation, remember - probably more than some, and not all with the shiniest of results.

My thought is that Joss kept that piece deliberately vague so as not to get bogged down working out the history of it all. He wasn't writing Dune or Star Wars, after all. And I also think that the mythology/genology of Slayers and their Watchers got manufactured as Buffy and Angel progressed. I doubt Joss meant for it to get as complicated as it did. He probably meant for the Firefly "timeline" to be developed the same way - as he went along. Unfortunately, 13 episodes isn't enough for that.

So my theory is this: Earth, in desperation because the planet was in dramatic decline, funded some heavy R&D into space travel. This facilitated a significant discovery of some fashion with regard to fusion, enabling humans to reach distances in space that was heretofore unheard of. THEN, it could be very likely that we got uber-ambitious within those 400 years or so, found a single solar system with several planets that either suited our needs, or had moons that would do in a pinch.
Quote:

thiefjehat said
I hate to think that humanity has been everywhere in the galaxy though. In 400 years it would be totally impossible to visit and explore 200,000,000,000 star systems. I like to think that in the 'verse, humanity has been to about 10% of our spirial arm and that a small few kept flying until they passed beyond the galactic rim and came back savage(reavers).

I think you and I are unanimous in this. I'd say even less than 10% though - more like a fraction of a percent. You can pick your own number, because as you said, space is really really really big.

And don't take this the wrong way, but your very shiny facts are based on science that is currently known. We don't know what discoveries could be made in the future. Another Einstein could already have been born and well on his or her way to bringing the Firefly 'verse to fruition. Look at how fast we went from computers that filled warehouses to the kind that fits in your hand - and that's just a miniscule example.
Quote:

thiefjehat said
But what [Joss] needs to do (or us perhaps) is explain how the craft travels at FTL via a fusion drive and does not violate special relativity. Remember SW has hyperspace, trek has subspace. Firefly has nothing.

... YET.

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Friday, May 13, 2005 7:56 AM

BYTETHEBULLET


As interesting as this is, you guys do know it is just a TV show/movie, right?!? It's in the script.

Just messing around with you.


ByteTheBullet (-:

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Friday, May 13, 2005 8:47 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by ByteTheBullet:
Regarding the weapons used, I like to think they have picked the weapon(s) that suits them best. I choose higher capacity newer caliber guns, but older guns still have a prominent place with shooters today, like wheel guns and even crappy 1911s.

We did see laser and wave-force weapons the series. They are/were available, just not everyone had one.

Btw, the 1911s(.45 autos) model number is referring to the date of the design. They have been around a long time. Also, .45 autos are NOT automatic(machine gun) they are autoloaders.

End of gun lessons.


Quote:

You also said:
As interesting as this is, you guys do know it is just a TV show/movie, right?!? It's in the script.

*eyebrow raising*

*JUST* a show, is it? So... WHY are you bothering to straighten out our thought processes about the weapons?

To that end, you wouldn't happen to have any notions on what that *extra* sound is when Mal pulls his hand gun? Aside from a post-production sound add-in, of course. Actually, finding out what was used to actually MAKE the sound we hear would be harder to do than hypothosizing about what it coule be.

But then it's just a show, isn't it?

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Friday, May 13, 2005 8:57 AM

THIEFJEHAT


Quote:

Originally posted by Channain:

my theory is this: Earth, in desperation because the planet was in dramatic decline, funded some heavy R&D into space travel. This facilitated a significant discovery of some fashion with regard to fusion, enabling humans to reach distances in space that was heretofore unheard of. THEN, it could be very likely that we got uber-ambitious within those 400 years or so, found a single solar system with several planets that either suited our needs, or had moons that would do in a pinch.



1st let me say Channain, your posts are always insightful. Whether on firefly or buffy or whatever. Love to read them.

To expand on fan fic and world building for an RPG, history is also a big part of things MY theory on 'verse history is this:

Sometime in our near 21st and early 22nd century future things are going to get very bad on this planet. The ecosystem that has been in a happy balance for over 1,000,000,000 years will be derailed by continued burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of ecological balancing factors(vegetation) as humans sprawl out across the planets surface. By the time the problem is in everyones face it'll be too late to reverse and the Earth will be slowly transforming itself into something akin to Venus. (1000F surface temp, toxic atmo). Also, most resources humanity requires will become scarcer and scarcer as the population gobbles up the planet.

At this time there will be two social-economic Powers left on the Earth. America and China. Deep space planet hunting telescopes(that in fact are in construction right now) will locate star systems in our stellar neighborhood that possess planets that could support life. As has been proven in our history, when humans face demise they unite. A multi-national tech race begins 350 years before firefly (mid-2100's) to create propulsion devices that could reach these nearby stars. 325 years before firefly China is the 1st to found a new homeworld called Sihnon (circa 2192). America soon follows up with Londinum (wouldn't YOU like to be the king of all Londinum and wear a shiney hat?). These two planets will become the core capitals of space faring humanity. Earth is left behind and largely forgotten. As Mal would say, Earth-that-was got used up.

from 300 to 200 years before firefly (2200-2300) the english and asian cultures slowly unite under one governmental establishment called the Anglo-Signo Alliance. In these years the first new planets are colonized. These 1st planets get shiney names of gods and mythological people. Hera, Osiris, Persephone, Ariel, ect. Later such planets constitute core worlds. Around 150 years before firefly it becomes a hassle to come up with new shiney names for hundreds and hundreds of worlds as the sphere of expansion around Sihnon/Londinum continues. This is when folk start putting mundane names on planets. Triumph, Shadow, Whitefall,...whatever. Look on a map of whatever state you live in and start reading the names of those towns with small dots. I live in Indianapolis but nearby my map shows towns with all kinds of wierd names. Bluff Creek, Boggstown, Beanblossom...and hundreds of others. Thus begins the settling of rim worlds.

Around 100 years before Firefly (early 2400's) the social/economic system of the core begins to evolve into something akin to the Parliament/East Indiana Company/Nobility relationship of 17th/18th century England. This comes in the form of Alliance Government/Blue Sun/Nobility. The nobility is born out of those people who achieve great wealth and start family legacies. Corporations emerge on Core worlds, one of the largest which is Blue Sun...sort of a combo of Microsoft, Proctor&Gamble, and Lockheed Martin. Both of these entities operate under the umbrella of the Alliance Government but since they control the wealth they begin to influence and control the government to their own interests. Thus corporate and noble agendas begin to corrupt and direct the government.

At the same time as this evolution is occuring in the core, the rim is being largely viewed as less-human. Abuses to rim worlders are common. Slavers will snatch people and put them in terraforming crews(shindig poolhall conversation), Whole moon populations are oppressed(Jaynestown), Crime Lords operate unchecked if they pay off authorities(War Stories), Alliance power turns a blind eye to individual crimes(Heart of Gold) or just suffering in general (The Train Job). The rich and powerful begin to lock themselves away from common folk (Trash) People like the Tam family emerge who are fed Alliance and Blue Sun propaganda and have no idea that some people truely suffer in the verse.

At 30 years before Firefly (year 2487) the tension finally boils over and a revolution begins on a rim world that is quickly and savagely put down by the Alliance. Although the rebels were silenced, their message was heard throughout the rim. Independence! 20 years before current events, rim-worlders begin to organize under one banner and 16 years before current events (year 2500) they unite. At first the Alliance scoffs at this rag-tag motley army until they strike a shocking victory over Alliance power in 2506. Soon afterwards they offically declare secession and the Unification War begins.

The Unification War is fought for a half decade, mostly on the rim. It itself is an echo of the American Civil War and just like the previous conflict, battles occur mostly in the territory of the rebels. Ultimately though, just like in the 1860's, the independance is ground down by the industrial might of the core, although since they are fighting on home soil they are far more motivated. The Battle of Serenity Valley occurs on a core planet, Hera. This battle was the tip of a final push by the Independance in a campaign into the core. And...just like the battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania...the rebels are ultimately defeated. This occurs six years before the pilot episode. And..just like in Gettysburg..those men who fought there and survived were never the same again. To quote a conferdate soldier circa 1870: "Many of us went to Gettysburg. Some of us did not return. And if you were not there you will never understand."

The rest of my history is quite short:
Mal buys Serenity in -5 (2512)
He hires Wash soon afterwards
He hires Kaylee in -4 (2513)
Jayne pulls the job on Higgin's moon in -3 (2514)
Patience shoots Mal in either -3 or -2 over salvage rights (2514 or 15)
Jayne signs on around -1.5 (early 2516)
Inaria rents the shuttle 11 months before the pilot. (late 2516)

Mal sells Patience his stolen cargo in 2517 and pulls the train job for Niska a month later.

The events of Objects in Space occur nearly a year after Mal pays Patience back.

And THAT is my verse history.

**EDIT ADD MORE INFO**
A note about how Mal fits into this mold. I think he was born on a rim world circa 2486, around the same time as the inital revolt that was violently qwelled. He grew up on his family's cattle ranch on Shadow surrounded by rim-worlder anger against the Core and it's possible that his family had money or at least some legacy to pass onto him. I believe he took a bride in his teens and this girl was snatched or killed by slavers (Take my Love) and later as hostilities grew twixt the Alliance and the growing Independence faction his land was occupied and annexed by the Alliance government (Take my land) as a part of an Alliance occupation policy to qwell rebellion. (and an excuse to further abuse power) It was soon after these events that Mal...about 18-19y/o joined the Independence army as an enlisted man. When the Unification War broke out he was 20 and a newly promoted Sergeant. As the war progresses he becomes a loved and respected leader by those enlisted under his NCO command. He is so experienced and respected that he often takes complete tactical control of engagements when brass fails to lead(Battle of Du Kang) or killed (Hera). He was 25 when the Independence was defeated in the Battle of Serenity Valley (Take me where I cannot stand). In the months that followed the defeat he watched as the Alliance freely flew about the rim abusing and degrading the general populace in a manner similar to Sherman's march to the sea in 1864(Burn the Land and Boil the Sea) A mere year later he purchases his beloved ship from a scrapyard dealer and, accompanied by Zoe, leaves his dreams of independence, his belief in justice, and his faith in god behind.

He was 31 when he sold the goods to Patience.
**END EDIT**


Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Friday, May 13, 2005 11:26 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
*Andromeda(ugly show) used slipstream (artifical wormholes)

Slipstream isn't artificial wormholes (you may be thinking of Babylon 5' jump gates/points).

Slipstream (like Firefly's system) was never fully explained. We only know a few things: Only organic minds can navigate it (no androids/AIs). Frequently-used slip-paths become shorter (say, between Sinti and San-Ska-Re, two heavily-populated "core" worlds), while unused paths (between Earth and San-Ska-Re) are longer.

It doesn't really relate to real space, but seems to involve collapsing probabilities (perhaps it's based on the improbability drive of HGttG). You navigate it by knowing where you're going (pick a destination) and making choices at "decision points" (like forks in the road). organic minds choose right 75-99% of the time. AIs average around 23%. Nobody knows why. Some people have speculated that the slipstream is the mind of God (and, being natural life forms, organics are naturally attuned to the correct paths). The stream connects points in space, but they're all jumbled up. I can enter slipstream near Earth, fly around for a half-hour, and end up at Proxima Centauri. Or I could zip along for two seconds and end up in the Triangulum Galaxy. As you can imagine, getting lost is a Very Bad Thing.

It's also apparently possible to cut a world off from slipstream; Tarn-Vedra (centre of the Commonwealth) "disappeared" about 300 years before the show's present. Presumeably the system still exists, but no slipstream route will reach it (the ones that used to work now lead to different locations). It'd take several thousand years for anyone to get any kind of signal there (Andromeverse commucation is at lightspeed, so it's far more effective to use couriers), let alone a slower-than-light ship.

Quote:

The only world system that says it colonized an entire galaxy, and I believe, is the star wars verse where intelligent life history goes back for well over 100,000 years and hyperspace tech exists.
Andromeda's Systems Commonwealth stretched across three galaxies (the "Known Worlds"), but like I said, it's all 'cause of slipstream's profoundly bizarre rules.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Friday, May 13, 2005 11:41 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
1st let me say Channain, your posts are always insightful. Whether on firefly or buffy or whatever. Love to read them.

Why... thank you...and my I say the same to you.
Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
To expand on fan fic and world building for an RPG, history is also a big part of things MY theory on 'verse history is this...

And what follows is the most well-written, insightful and thoroughly thought out timeline I've seen. You know, with an outline as shiny as that, you have to be writing something somewhere. Right?

Do you mind if I keep this in my own background files? I haven't been able to read it all through yet. Need to think on some of it awhile.

I draw...therefore I am. http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922
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Friday, May 13, 2005 12:31 PM

THIEFJEHAT


Quote:

Originally posted by Channain:
You know, with an outline as shiny as that, you have to be writing something somewhere. Right?



Nope. I'm not much of a writer. Just a very intense thinker. My background is scientific and engineering related. Sci-Fi intrests stem from my gravition to storytelling. This in turn leads to comics, RPGs, world building in general.

I'd be better placed in a think tank for world building consistancy issues for a sci-fi TV show than in writing character relationships. I've tried my hand at writing a story and frankly, I suck. My talents are not in introducing and developing themes.

You know, if you want another lengthy essay I can talk about my analysis of how Book fits into the Unification War. Plus there's the secrets Inara is keeping too. Both those subjects are found in various other threads on this site.

There are several things I would like to further flesh out in the verse
*compile and explain all the mechanical tech we hear about, mostly from Kaylee (Compression Coils, Catylizers, Port Pinlocks, ect..) This has already been done to a minor extent by Haken on this site here: http://www.fireflyfans.net/referencelist.asp?s=engineering but I'd like to go further with it.
*Further explore how Blue Sun Perminates every single person and forward my theory that people in the verse are being implanted with nano tech by Blue Sun
*How the Companion Guild came to be, how it is organized, and come to an understanding of guild law.
*Flesh out the monetary system of the verse. Mal gets paid in platinum by patience. What good is metal wealth in the future?

There are many other things too

And sure you can save my stuff for your work, I don't mind.


Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Friday, May 13, 2005 12:40 PM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

riginally posted by ByteTheBullet:
...even crappy 1911s.



I know you did not just call 1911s "crappy"...

_______________________________________________
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Friday, May 13, 2005 12:45 PM

LOBOHAN


As I recall on the DVD special features there is a deleted scene with the captain talking to Saphron, maybe? Anyway he says something along the lines of : "More than 70 Earths spinning in the 'verse and the meek inhereted not a one."

That strongly suggests that they haven't spread across the whole galaxy.

Spoiler re: the movie

Select to view spoiler:


The movie states in very certain terms that the show takes place in a single system with many planets and hundreds of moons. So no FTL problem at all, assuming they got to the system in sleeper ships, generation ships, very fast burn anti-matter rockets or rare and costly FTL that you never see in the show.



"If they take the ship, they’ll rape us to death, eat our flesh and sew our skins into their clothing, and if we’re very, very lucky, they’ll do it in that order."

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Friday, May 13, 2005 3:18 PM

BYTETHEBULLET


Quote:

Originally posted by Channain:
*eyebrow raising*

*JUST* a show, is it? So... WHY are you bothering to straighten out our thought processes about the weapons?

To that end, you wouldn't happen to have any notions on what that *extra* sound is when Mal pulls his hand gun? Aside from a post-production sound add-in, of course. Actually, finding out what was used to actually MAKE the sound we hear would be harder to do than hypothosizing about what it coule be.

But then it's just a show, isn't it?

<



Ok, so maybe is is more than 'just' a show. I was only messing around hence the big ol' smiley.

I have alot of useless and some useful knowledge and I try to add positive things to a topic when I can. Weapons are one of my hobbies(my nick should suggest that) and one thing that really bothers me is how hollywood treats weapons. I wanted to pass alone truthful and useful info in this case. Not the mention that guns are real even when used in movies, that are that,just movies. (see the smiley?)

As to the gun sounds, unregardless what produces them in the movie, I speculate that in the future primers(the little thing that the firing pin hits to ignite gun power in a cartridge to expel a bullet at a high velocity) could be electronic and the sound could be a capacitor getting charged to 'fire'. Simple. This of course is a very real possibility as these types of guns exist today(see multiple references in other posts above), though I have no idea what the ignition system sounds like...yet.

I hope this is helpful, please feel free to ask any related questions you'd like. I do not claim to know it all, but I can find the answer relatively easily if I do not already know it.


ByteTheBullet (-:

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Friday, May 13, 2005 3:23 PM

BYTETHEBULLET


Quote:

Originally posted by InevitableBetrayal:
Quote:

riginally posted by ByteTheBullet:
...even crappy 1911s.



I know you did not just call 1911s "crappy"...



Now would I do that? Again the addition of the big ol' smiley should have been a give away. I was really just fishing to see if there were any other enthusiasts here. I am not a .45 guy, but I do not hold it against those that are.


ByteTheBullet (-:

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Friday, May 13, 2005 9:38 PM

ROCKETJOCK


Re: Ship's drives: Although Serenity's short-term "Dash" engine (The "Hard Drive" fusion reactor on the stern) is clearly reaction based, my theory is that long-range thrust is derived from the "It spins and you move" engine, which I refer to as "Gravity Drive". (Kaylee mentions Gravity Drive in "The Message", although in honesty it's not made clear in the script if this is a propulsive system or another way to refer to Serenity's artifical gravity.)

I look on the situation as analogous to an automobile having a nitrous oxide system; sometimes you want a burst of sudden power, but you can't drive coast to coast on Nitrous.

Since Firefly never discusses relativistic effects, and 70 planets is a bit too many to co-exist in a single system, I tend to believe in the FTL drive/multiple system theory. And since no one has proven that the propagation rate of gravity is limited to "C", it's as good a candidate for FTL protential as any other piece of Treknobabble Doubletalk out there. Maybe the BDM will clear this up. (This is not a request for spoilers.)

"Do you know what the definition of a hero is? It's somebody who gets somebody else killed." -- Zoë Warren

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Saturday, May 14, 2005 4:29 AM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Just a quick word of response to this thread. I have thoroughly enjoyed the history and theories that have been posited (particularly TheifJehat's), but I daresay, this is missing the point.

Is FTL a big problem? Sure. Is tech something of a mystery in the Firefly 'verse? Yup. But here's my basic premise: who cares?

Now before you hang me from the yardarm (or whatever the 25th century equivalent is) hear me out.

I think that if you asked Joss, he would tell you that Firefly is all about storytelling. It's about "nine people in the vastness of space seeing nine different things". Joss isn't trying to give us a fully fleshed out verse--he's using the 'verse as a vehicle, a backdrop for some damned good story telling.

This goes to the heart of what sci-fi/fantasy is all about. At its best (J.R.R. Tolkien, Philip K. Dick, Star Wars, original Trek), it tells stories that simply couldn't be without a fantastical backdrop. You can't tell a story with the scope of Lord of the Rings without putting it in another world. Same with Star Wars--it just wouldn't work in modern-day Brooklyn. The best sci-fi/fantasy is about the story; it's about people. And the fantastical setting allows for a fantastical story to be told.

Bad sci-fi, on the other hand (and I'll spare you examples just in case I touch a nerve), is more and more about the tech and about the universe/setting itself. The story telling gets bogged down under a discussion of radion accelaration sub-atomic drive shafts or some such, and never really gives human drama.

To me, Firefly falls into the first category. Who really cares about FTL, fusion drives, gun tech and so on? I care about Inara and Mal's unrequited love. I care about Book's mysterious past. I worry whether Jayne will betray Simon and River again. I love the 'verse, but only insofar as it is a vehicle that allows these very human stories to be told.

So I overlook FTL/vastness-of-space type issues. Rationally speaking they do present a problem. And I must admit, as a curious person, I do wonder how they could do what they do (e.g. gravity in space). But in the end, I'm more than willing to suspend disbelief and simply accept that Serenity can travel vast distances quickly. If I get hung up on how she does it I might lose focus on what really matters in Firefly: the human drama.

*Edit*
The foregoing isn't to say that you can't or shouldn't enjoy discussion of these types of issues. Just giving my perspective on them.

_______________________________________________
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Sunday, May 15, 2005 6:38 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
I'd be better placed in a think tank for world building consistancy issues for a sci-fi TV show than in writing character relationships. I've tried my hand at writing a story and frankly, I suck. My talents are not in introducing and developing themes.

It's good to know your skills, isn't it? I'm creative minded - I can draw, I write fairly well, but math? *pfwaf* I had to take the dumb math test for college three times to make sure I didn't have to take transitional math. I barely squeaked by, but I did it Get me past balancing my checkbook, and I'm hopeless! So it's good we have folks like yourself to do this kind of deep, dark, involved thinking - enlightening the obsessively canon writers about what we should and shouldn't do.
Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
You know, if you want another lengthy essay I can talk about my analysis of how Book fits into the Unification War. Plus there's the secrets Inara is keeping too. Both those subjects are found in various other threads on this site.

Hey, I'm a writer, I like lengthy essays! I have my own theories about Inara, but haven't thought too much about Book beyond the very obvious - he wasn't always a shepherd (then again, no one is born a shepherd or a pastor, are they?) but there's a heckuva lot more to it than that. Like he was high up in either the military or law enforcement, both of which are very common theories. I'd love to hear what you have to say on any topic. I started a post once about how the war would be referred to, based on the divided references to the Civil war by Northern and Southern States. Some liked to use the same term you did - Unification War - while others preferred (Southern voce) The War of Independence. It was a fun thread!
Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
There are several things I would like to further flesh out in the verse...

I asked Haken about that once, and I believe we are able to post to that Reference list as well-informed fans. I asked if I could add to the Chinese language translations. You might want to ask him yourself if you could add some updates on the tech, etc. I'm sure he'd appreciate the contribution to the cause.
Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
And sure you can save my stuff for your work, I don't mind.

Shiny! Thanks!

I draw...therefore I am. http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922
Live in Minnesota? Join the Group! Yahoo Group, that is...
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Sunday, May 15, 2005 8:14 AM

THIEFJEHAT


Quote:

Originally posted by Lobohan:
As I recall on the DVD special features there is a deleted scene with the captain talking to Saphron, maybe? Anyway he says something along the lines of : "More than 70 Earths spinning in the 'verse and the meek inhereted not a one."
B]



That works well within my vision of the 'verse. Perhaps 25 established core corlds and 50-ish rim worlds and maybe that many more undergoing tereforming operations and not currently habitible.

Now, as to your spoiler post:

Select to view spoiler:


This is seriously unsettling to me. Are you saying that the movie states clearly that all planets/moons are within the same single star system? So Sihnon and Triumph and Persephone and Whitefall and ect...ect... are all within the same single star? Besides being way less romantic in terms of storytelling, it just about utterly violates accepted theories of planet formation. To have 70-ish earths and hundreds of 1g moons all in 1 star system is seriousing ruining my suspension of disbelief.

Perhaps it's just the events of the movie that occur in the same system?




Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 9:42 AM

DEADMAN


Select to view spoiler:



The size of the serenity universe is firmed up in the film.
Everything takes place in a single solar system, there is no FTL. There's something like 25 planets, and a hundred moons or so.



In our mrs. Reynolds we find out that 70 planets/moons have been terraformed.

Select to view spoiler:



Throughout the series Joss uses galaxy/system more or less interchangably. And I DONT like the fact that the firefly verse is constrained to a single system. IT makes it feel very small. But thats the way it is.



Select to view spoiler:



So no FTL.



If you watch, Serenity never really seems to be going fast enough for FTL anyway, especially after a firefly effect. Fast? Yes. FTL fast? No.

"Also? I can kill you with my brain."
-River

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 12:49 PM

THIEFJEHAT


Deadman,

You just openly posted movie specifics in un-spoiler form.

But since it's out in the open now, I hate the idea that this verse is within 1 single star system. It's completely illogical. Whatever has people all upset in Seattle that they are petitioning to change the movie...I hope this is it. I'd rather see a loved and respected main character die in my face that be forced to swallow the terrible idea that 25+ 1g planets and hundreds of 1g moons all orbit 1 star. What complete foolishness.

How does one communicate physics and astromomy truths to Joss?

**Edit**
Man, this makes me really sad all of a sudden. Such a rich and awsome 'verse has been tossed in a trash can with that premise. Granted, at this point fusion tech totally works, (interplanetary vs intersteller travel) but the whole wonderful idea of expanding humanity is wasted. My long lengthy post above should demonstrate how long and hard I've thought about the 'verse and I'm forced now to begin to believe that Firefly isn't as brilliantly thought out as I have been thinking it was for the past 18 months. You simply CANNOT have that many planets around a star. At most...AT THE VERY MOST...you might have 2 1g planets orbiting at the correct distances from the parent star and perhaps a couple moons around a gas giant...or in a binary orbit with a parent near-1g planet.

I feel like my spirit just got crushed. When I walked out of star wars episode 1 I felt this way. When Willow kissed Kennedy in buffy season 7 I felt this way. When Farimir took the ring to Gondor I felt this way. Will there ever be a film experience that gets things right?
**End Edit**


Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 12:53 PM

INEVITABLEBETRAYAL


Quote:

Originally posted by Deadman:
The serenity universe is firmed up in the film.

Everything takes place in a single solar system, there is no FTL. There's something like 25 planets, and a hundred moons or so.



Hey!! If you're going to post spoilers, put them in spoiler text! Poor form! God, I can't even describe how badly I want to curse at you for that.

_______________________________________________
I wish I had a magical wish-granting plank.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 12:55 PM

THIEFJEHAT


indeed. That was what we had been speaking about further above...but we were talking in spoiler text. I too was shocked to see it suddenly placed in the open like that.


Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 5:21 PM

DEADMAN


Select to view spoiler:


I'm sorry...how the HELL was that a spolier?



Mal says in a voice over of the original TV series that it all takes place within one solar system. "Earth got used up, so we found a new system with hundreds of new earths."

Select to view spoiler:



It was just, for some reason, always kept bizzarely ambigous by statements like "[The reavers] ...got out to the edge of the GALAXY to that place of nothing, and thats what they became." But the fact is, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN FTL in firefly.



But again, Watch the show. Serenity never makes an FTL jump. After the firefly drive kicks in she's always moving WAY too slow for that.

Select to view spoiler:


So I ask you, how the hell is that a spolier? Calm down and think about it for a freaking minute. Besides that, such a piece of information that is NOT a specific "revelation" in the film could hardly be called a spoiler even if it WAS something that had never even been hinted at in the series. The fact that the firefly verse takes place within a single system IS THE FIRST THING THE FILM TELLS US in a slightly rushed piece of exposition designed to catch up everyone who HASNT seen the series. The film assumes WE'RE ALREADY FAMILIER WITH THAT FACT.



Side note: Joss defines the size and nature of the firefly 'verse in one of his interviews prior to the movie. Considering the fact that Joss HATES spoliers and adamently does his damndest to keep them from reaching the web, I would consider such a statement from him to mean that information is fair game.

"Also? I can kill you with my brain."
-River

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 7:12 PM

ROCKETJOCK


Quote:

Originally posted by Deadman:
I'm sorry...how the HELL was that a spolier?



Deadman, if you've been on this site for any amount of time, you have to know what a controversial subject this is; and since the TV show gave contradictory information (which it did; check out the alternative versions of the opening narrative if you don't believe me), the shape and size of the 'Verse as defined,codified and clarified in the movie is indeed spoiler information. If nothing else, the fact that others had seen fit to discuss the matter only under the "Spoiler" shield should have given you a freaking clue! Nothing personal my friend, but you must face the fact that you have just farted in the airlock.

At this point I'm seriously considering not reading any more posts at all until the gorram film comes out!

Deadman (and others) -- I strongly suggest you go back and edit your posts to "Spoilerize" the information in question.

Additionally, I strongly recommend that no one pass this information on past this thread, if only out of respect for others.

It's too late to unspill the milk, but perhaps we can minimize the damage



"Do you know what the definition of a hero is? It's somebody who gets somebody else killed." -- Zoë Warren

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 7:28 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I assume that spoiler script is unnecessary now, but just in case...

Select to view spoiler:




We know that artificial gravity is a reality in the Firefly universe. Gravity is the one real obstacle to turning a small moon into a liveable world.

We have over a hundred planetoids in our system, after all, but most of them don't have enough gravity to hold down an atmosphere.

If they were able to install some kind of gravity generator near the core of the smaller planetoids, they might be able to generate the gravity they need to keep the atmosphere in.

Geo-thermal energy might even power it.




--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 9:31 PM

DEADMAN


I've edited my former posts with the intention of keeping the crowd who seem to jump at nothing from thinking they've somehow been spoiled. The text present only argues points from the show.

Again, however, I restate that JOSS HIMSELF in an interview gave difinitive answers about the size of the firefly verse. An interview that contained no "spoilers." Also remember, Joss hates spoilers and loves surprises. Why would he ruin something himself then?

Select to view spoiler:


Yes, I agree. Its less cool to think of the firefly verse as a single system. Less scientifically accurate too...heck, even two or three star systems tied togeather would have been better. But I think the reason he chose to have such a small system was his justification for why ships keep bumping into each other out there. If you notice, they tend to do that a lot for an interstellar 'verse.



As for a gravity drive...why would Serenity have a gravity drive? It makes far more sense that she would use her two main engines for some kind of sustained burn. But thats hardly necessary in space travel. Get up to speed...and inertia will carry you the rest of the way.

"Also? I can kill you with my brain."
-River

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Monday, May 16, 2005 3:09 AM

THIEFJEHAT


Anthony,

You post is correct:

Except you don't need a "gravity generator" in the planet. It's actually far simpler than that.

I had considered at length the fact that artifical gravity existed. We knew that fact straight away from the pilot episode once they got the goods inside the airlock. Just before Mal says "Wash we're on, go" the goods crash to the deck. Hence: gravity.

A new planet teraforming theory is that in order to achieve 1g on <1g planets, all one needs to do is somehow find a way to inject the heavest stable elements into the planets core. So...take venus for example. That planet is the closest to 1g in our own solar system at .83g. If one was to mine a large quantity of a heavy element offworld and transport it to venus and (don't ask me how) somehow injected this heavy element (lead, uranium, whatever) into the core of venus, it would slowly climb in gravitional field. You would do this until you tweak it to 1g.

Teraforming is, and will be for centuries, more Sci-fi than fact. But it excites me to think that one could encounter a .8g planet with a minor atmo and after increasing it to 1g and then breaking up compounds in the crust for O2, N2, CO2, and H2O, one could create an earth.

HOWEVER, there would never be a star system with hundreds of acceptable bodies for this process. And that's what now upsets me




Do not fear me. Ours is a peaceful race, and we must live in harmony.

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Monday, May 16, 2005 3:45 AM

ROCKETJOCK


Quote:

Originally posted by Deadman:
As for a gravity drive...why would Serenity have a gravity drive? It makes far more sense that she would use her two main engines for some kind of sustained burn. But thats hardly necessary in space travel. Get up to speed...and inertia will carry you the rest of the way.]



My suggestion of Gravity Drive is only necessary if you assume a multiple system/FTL scenario -- which would be a 'Verse too big for a simple reaction drive to be practical in. In a single-system 'Verse things would work as you have described. Although that still doesn't explain how the "It spins and you move" nature of Serenity's engines work.

And Deadman, thank you for the show of class in editing your prior posts, even if -- no especially if -- you don't agree with the necessity. Now if those who quoted you would do the same with their own posts, we can get this thread clean for all those who prefer their surprises fresh in the theater.

"Do you know what the definition of a hero is? It's somebody who gets somebody else killed." -- Zoë Warren

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Monday, May 16, 2005 5:06 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I think it's interesting to note that in the pilot episode of Serenity, when Zoe mentions the terraforming properties, she mentions (correct me if I'm wrong) that atmosphere and gravity are brought as close to earth that was as they can make em.

Am I wrong?

If not, then from episode one terraforming has involved a 'gravity fix' on the pesky little worlds. Thus making any pipsqueak moon a candidate for colonization. Get yourself a binary system and a greenhouse effect, and a wide range of planets can have the needed surface temperature.

--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Monday, May 16, 2005 5:15 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

Originally posted by thiefjehat:
Anthony,

You post is correct:

Select to view spoiler:



Except you don't need a "gravity generator" in the planet. It's actually far simpler than that.

I had considered at length the fact that artifical gravity existed. We knew that fact straight away from the pilot episode once they got the goods inside the airlock. Just before Mal says "Wash we're on, go" the goods crash to the deck. Hence: gravity.

A new planet teraforming theory is that in order to achieve 1g on <1g planets, all one needs to do is somehow find a way to inject the heavest stable elements into the planets core. So...take venus for example. That planet is the closest to 1g in our own solar system at .83g. If one was to mine a large quantity of a heavy element offworld and transport it to venus and (don't ask me how) somehow injected this heavy element (lead, uranium, whatever) into the core of venus, it would slowly climb in gravitional field. You would do this until you tweak it to 1g.

Teraforming is, and will be for centuries, more Sci-fi than fact. But it excites me to think that one could encounter a .8g planet with a minor atmo and after increasing it to 1g and then breaking up compounds in the crust for O2, N2, CO2, and H2O, one could create an earth.

HOWEVER, there would never be a star system with hundreds of acceptable bodies for this process. And that's what now upsets me





Hello Thief,

It's the sheer quantity of stable heavy elements needed that turns me away from such a prospect. There appears to be a lot of little moons in the Firefly 'verse, and even the big Alliance ships couldn't hope to carry enough heavy elements to fill a moon's core. I've never seen any evidence of alchemy or replicators either (thank heavens.)

I'm sticking with the technology solution for the small moons and whatnot. A technology solution that is largely a one-shot fix. Which means that, like your heavy element theory, it'd need to be self-sustaining.

I'm not a physicist though.

--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Monday, May 16, 2005 5:30 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I think the 'Gravity Drive' mentioned on the show is a device that creates gravity on the ship. However, I think it also serves as an inertial dampner (creating gravitic compensation for centrifugal force generated during maneuvering and accelerating.)

I do not think it is a propulsion system (though, perhaps part of Serenity's own gravity can be counteracted as well, allowing that blocky bird to enter atmosphere slowly and land safely?)

--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Monday, May 16, 2005 5:48 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello Rocket,

"Although that still doesn't explain how the "It spins and you move" nature of Serenity's engines work."

The spinning drive element definitely seems to be related to Serenity's speed. If I remember it spins pretty fast when they're going to do a 'full burn.'

I conjecture that the spinning drive is a part of the fusion drive system, and that when it doesn't spin they can't get a fusion reaction going. Thus no thrust. Thus, even though you might be moving, you're not moving where you want to go. No course corrections. If you happen to be currently aimed at the far reaches of the black... then you'd just float off into nowhere eventually.

Or so I conjecture.

Serenity seemed to be motionless in Out of Gas, but there was no frame of reference. Everything in space is relative to everything else.

--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Monday, May 16, 2005 6:30 AM

BLEYDDYN


Quote:

Originally posted by viggenboy:
I don't remember ever seeing catriges eject, but its probably something I've missed versus them not being there. If in fact the weapons are not discharging shells, then there's an argument for the type of caseless rounds used in Aliens by the space marines.



Huh. Can't believe I've never noticed the lack of cartridges being ejected. Do they ever show anyone loading rounds into a weapon other than the grenade sized one that Jayne loads in the pilot? Have to watch a few episodes again

However, you don't have to go to a Sci-Fi place to find caseless rounds. Heckler & Koch made an infantry rifle that used just such a technology. See here, for example: http://www.military.com/soldiertech/0,14632,Soldiertech_G11,,00.html

While the G11 seems to use a fairly conventional primer, it should be easy enough to switch to some kind of electrical ignition.

On the other hand, I always liked Babylon 5's PPG's which supposedly fired plasma created by hitting water (or something similar) with a very high voltage, then accelerating it magnetically. Theoretically, you should be able to combine the two by using the expanding plasma to fire a solid projectile.

--Bleyddyn

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Monday, May 16, 2005 6:37 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

I've always been fascinated by the phrase "She needs air around her to fire" that Jayne says in regards to Vera.

Real guns have all the air they need inside the cartridge. This lends additional support to the idea that these slugs use a different propulsion mechanism. Air specific, even.

I wonder what it could be?

--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Monday, May 16, 2005 9:34 AM

DEADMAN


Anthony, its been suggested somewhere, I think in the firefly wiki, the the guns use some kind of chemical (organic?) based propulshion system as opposed to a purely explosive one. How modern rounds ARENT chemical is beyond me, but there it is. Maybe firefly guns are more guass based? Rail guns wouldn't require air so that throws that theory out.

Gravity drive and FTL:
Ok, lets pretend for a minute that we have multiple star-systems, FTL, and all that other good stuff.

Again, why would serenity need some kind of seperate invisible drive? Whenever she goes to warp or lightspeed, or whatever, the engine that provides the power for that is clearly the big firefly effect that comes off her back. Heck, practically the back third of the craft is a giant engine. Why would you want ANOTHER one on top of that? Think of it this way: however serenity tweaks space to achive FTL, that drive system is probably a part of the big main drive off the back. In fact, I would propose that ALL of serenity's engines feed off her main engine, becuase otherwise in out of gas there would be no reason for serenity to be dead in the water as long as they could keep her two side engines going. Modern Jets are powered by their engines, so there's no reason serenity couldn't be too as long as she had fuel.

The biggest question about serenity's artifical gravity is why it kept functioning after all her other systems were down...you still need power in some way for that. Which leads to...

As for the spinny thing: I always figured it had more to do with power generation, or was some important part of the main engine. The fact that the main engine always turns at about the same speed as the spinny thing would seem to suggest that.

Terraforming is actually NOT in the relm of science fiction. We could, at this moment, turn mars into a habitable planet WITHIN 80 YEARS. Basically, it would involve placing solar reflectors in orbit to melt the icecaps (which would actually thicken the atmosphere believe it or not, and introducing lichen to turn the soil into something useable. Of course, mars actually has almost earth normal gravity, roughly the same amount of sun energy earth does, a lot of water, and an already existant if thin atmosphere.

The biggest scientific problem with a giant single solar system as I see it is that all the outer worlds would get very little light, especially if we're talking about a huge planet cluster here which would necessitate larger orbits for a number of planets to keep them all from tripping over each other's gravity wells. Pluto and cheron are little iceballs. However, on the subject of moons, because of jupiter's enourmase size, it would be entirely possible for it to have an earth sized moon orbiting around it. As I recall its moons (titan for example) are actually significantly larger than earth's moon.

"Also? I can kill you with my brain."
-River

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Monday, May 16, 2005 8:36 PM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Hello,

Keep in mind that Serenity's life support is not entirely dependant on the big engine.

When Mal asked about the backup life support in out of gas, he clearly expected it to work independant of the main system.

But Kaylee said it wasn't even on, that it must have been damaged in the fire.

So, I would conjecture that Serenity was operating from some kind of battery power. They couldn't change course. The life support was disabled in the explosion. But lights, communications, and gravity still worked.

--Anthony


"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Monday, May 16, 2005 9:41 PM

GUNRUNNER


I think that the whole “Can’t fire guns in space” thing is a regulation issue and not a technical issue. The Alliance wants to prevent people from arming ships with weapons so they force all gun manufactures to make rounds that can’t fire in space. So you could buy a gun that could give an Alliance Gunship a hard time but finding rounds for it would be hard and building an aiming system with a built in case & air supply would be beyond the resources of an average criminal.

EV Nova Firefly mod Message Board:
http://s4.invisionfree.com/GunRunner/index.php?act=idx
My Other Site:
http://www.utnhq.com/TLAM_Strike/index.htm

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 12:19 AM

DEADMAN


"Bullets are soft lead Mal. Even Vera could barely breach the hull...and she's the best I got."

I doubt handguns could do anything significant to alliance ships. ESPECIALLY a big ole' cruiser like the dortmunder. You'd need missles to deal with something like that.

"Also? I can kill you with my brain."
-River

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 6:08 AM

ANTHONYT

Freedom is Important because People are Important


Quote:

Originally posted by GunRunner:
I think that the whole “Can’t fire guns in space” thing is a regulation issue and not a technical issue. The Alliance wants to prevent people from arming ships with weapons so they force all gun manufactures to make rounds that can’t fire in space. So you could buy a gun that could give an Alliance Gunship a hard time but finding rounds for it would be hard and building an aiming system with a built in case & air supply would be beyond the resources of an average criminal.

EV Nova Firefly mod Message Board:
http://s4.invisionfree.com/GunRunner/index.php?act=idx
My Other Site:
http://www.utnhq.com/TLAM_Strike/index.htm



Yeah, I can't say I buy the regulation theory, especially given that many of the guns and ammo are likely to be manufactured locally on rim worlds who are only peripherally under the Alliance's radar.

And really, the Firefly crew seems unlikely to care about such laws. When is the last time they had their ammo checked?

--Anthony

"Liberty must not be purchased at the cost of Humanity." --Captain Robert Henner

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 8:17 AM

GUNRUNNER


Quote:

Originally posted by Deadman:
"Bullets are soft lead Mal. Even Vera could barely breach the hull...and she's the best I got."

I doubt handguns could do anything significant to alliance ships. ESPECIALLY a big ole' cruiser like the dortmunder. You'd need missles to deal with something like that.

"Also? I can kill you with my brain."
-River



Well Jayne was thinking about shooting from inside the ship at the walls, shooting at another ship is different. You have an Alliance Gunship flying towards you’re bow at equal speed as your ship, you fire a burst from a large machine gun- the speed at which the bullets hit the Gunship is double, increasing armor penetration. Now take a stern on attack for example, it would be just the bullet’s speed plus targets speed but that is still at speeds greater than a normal gunshot. Firing from inside the ship you have to deal with the ship’s artificial gravity and inertial dampening.

Of course I wouldn’t expect Jayne to know that.

EV Nova Firefly mod Message Board:
http://s4.invisionfree.com/GunRunner/index.php?act=idx
My Other Site:
http://www.utnhq.com/TLAM_Strike/index.htm

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 4:04 PM

CLJOHNSTON108


Quote:

Originally posted by Bleyddyn:
I always liked Babylon 5's PPG's which supposedly fired plasma created by hitting water (or something similar) with a very high voltage, then accelerating it magnetically.

During the gun battle in "Safe", I believe I detected a bit of the PPG sound effect...

http://faultgame.com/images/ppg.wav

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