Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 18:00.   Posted by Traveller Referee.Group: 0
Jago Lanza
 player, 586 posts
Mon 5 May 2014
at 22:48
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 20:55

“I don’t see why we shouldn’t head in that direction, assuming it’s in the Imperium,” Jago muses. “If this current jaunt doesn’t lead to anything further then maybe we’ll pick some target worth visiting. ”

“As long as were making a profit that is."

"Mmm, that looks good Shui.”


Eneris Armusezash
 NPC, 17 posts
Tue 6 May 2014
at 16:34
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
Eneris studies the dessert laid in front of him, "That looks very good.  I wasn't sure I could eat any more, but I'll find a way to force it down, somehow."  He favours Shui with a smile of gratitude.

"Hessel's definitely in the Imperium, Captain.  Next sector to Trailing, so some way off.  But if you're planning to move along the Main, then you'll be heading in the right general direction."

Keryn, too, admires the crepes for a brief moment, before starting to devour them.  "This is the best course yet, Shui." she manages to get out between mouthful's of food, "You definitely didn't need my help with this, unless anybody would have preferred crepes with groat."

Meanwhile, Jockram and his crew show their appreciation by seemingly engaging in some kind of race to clean their plates.
Tylen Orgesh
 player, 944 posts
 Darrian--Former Scout
 Age: 34
Sat 10 May 2014
at 07:15
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
Even though he had asked, Tylen had a good idea of what was going to be served for dessert - he had been up and down helping Shui all evening – and he was more than ready to hand out the plates and accoutrements when Shui passed them across.  Then he sits, grins at the stewardess and tucks into the sweet dessert with gusto.

As the conversation moves to sights seen, he considers the various sights he has seen across the sectors, but eventually decides to describe the sea on Lopiengeta.

He starts by describing a fierce storm, with winds whipping the water up into tall waves that crash against the rocky shore, and the majesty and strength of the forces of nature.   But as the storm dies and the sea is still an angry green colour and the waves turn into a massive swell – but then the sky starts to clear and the whole scene is tinged with the rosy glow of the evening sun.    Gulls shriek as the play around the cliffs in the strong breeze, seals swim around the rocks looking for small creatures that have been washed out of their safe haven.   And standing on the rocks you can feel the clean, refreshing wind whipping through your hair and dashing spray against your face.

His smile is half-wistful as he describes the scene, but somehow you know that while it is a sweet memory, it isn’t something that he wants for his immediate future.  Some time in the far future perhaps, but certainly not now.
Ash Tescali
 player, 445 posts
 Traveling through J-space
 isn't like dusting crops
Sun 11 May 2014
at 06:38
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
"Adabicci is also in the Imperium, Boss." Ash chimes in dutifully, "Rimward from here.  Just a three parsec jump Spinward from Lunion."  It was, apparently, the opposite direction from how they were travelling from Frenzie.  Even if, as the Profit Margin's navigator noted, "It is just on a different branch of the Main - very close to Sword Worlds."

The lanky ex-Scout chuckles slightly, noting to Tylen after his vivid description of the oceans on his homeworld, "I never took you for a seadog."  Then he adds quickly to ensure that his statement isn't taken the wrong way, "Not that there is anything wrong with that, of course..."

Thankfully, the conversation turns, and rightfully so, to the next course.  He adds his voice to chorus at the table, "Dessert looks fabulous."  Ash punctuates his assessment with a nod and a smile to Shui, adding hungrily, "A fitting finale."  He licks his lips eagerly, though he holds back as to not be the first to dig in and an absolute glutton.
Traveller Referee
 GM, 912 posts
 In space nobody can hear
 you swearing at me.
Sun 11 May 2014
at 12:36
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
"Not a world."  Jockram says, "Arballetra's Tiara, over in the Beyond.  System contains nothing but dust and rocks, and two suns.  A red sub-giant and a white dwarf.  The dwarf orbits the sub-giant and pulls out a streamer of matter from it, which spirals out to the dwarf and adds to its mass.  Every seventy-five hours enough matter piles up to cause the dwarf to turn into a small nova.  It pops, and throws the built-up material out, stirring up the dust clouds and, incidentally, keeping worlds from forming in the system."

He pauses for a little more crepe, "Can't keep doing that for ever, of course.  Best guess is maybe another hundred thousand years or thereabouts.  So get over there and see it while you can."

Corlan has been considering all through the various descriptions of worlds, and finally comes up with, "I have been to too many places with Profit Margin to make a real decision.  I'd say that the nameless ice moon where we found the wrecked Leviathan made the biggest impression, with its tall spires of ice glittering in the light from a distant sun, and the discovery that, even in a place like that, there was life to be found."
Tylen Orgesh
 player, 946 posts
 Darrian--Former Scout
 Age: 34
Sun 11 May 2014
at 16:49
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
Tylen grins "Most of the time  it was wet and boring. Occasionally it was beautiful." he shrugs again as he digs into his dessert.
Saskia Blake
 player, 496 posts
 I'm going to need a
 much bigger hammer.
Mon 12 May 2014
at 00:35
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
"Wait.  What?"  Saskia drops her fork and looks at Jockram, with an expression of shock on her face.  "You were in The Beyond?  Did you go to Northstar and see the ringworld?  I'd frelling love to see that thing -- it's only the biggest man-made structure in known space."
Shui Tiesi
 player, 1426 posts
 Quiet doctor,
 helpful Steward.
Mon 12 May 2014
at 12:23
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:20
Shui accepts the compliments with a small nod of her head and a pleased smile.  It's good people are enjoying the food; good food often helps camaraderie, making cooking is a worthwhile skill.  Anything encouraging friendship and open discourse, in her opinion, is worth pursuing.

She keeps quiet as the others speak of what they've seen over the course of their time in space.  Shui has seen a fair bit as well, of course, but most of her time has been spent doing menial work on freighters, with little time or interest to spend watching the great outdoors.  Only recently has she managed to secure better positions on ships, this being the best yet.  And hopefully her last, at least for years to come.

But then, she doesn't really think much past getting through the next week, so any concerns about the future lie more in the direction of the menu.

For now, better to sit still and drink in the descriptions, adding them to her list of the universe's poetry.
Traveller Referee
 GM, 913 posts
 In space nobody can hear
 you swearing at me.
Tue 13 May 2014
at 06:38
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:30
"Ha!" exclaims Banster, "Oh no, we couldn't go to Northstar because Jockram's too boring, and a ringworld might be so interesting that his head would explode."

"Actually he's almost right.  We didn't go there because we were prospecting, and most of the rocks at Northstar were used up making the ringworld.  No profit there for us." Jockram explains, "It's not easy being the captain when your crew are children, only interested in shiny new things and spectacular novelties."

Corlan looks up from his meal, "I've heard of Northstar.  Read an article about it... let's see... would have been about ten years ago.  A lot of focus by Northstar Interworld Technological Services - to buy a system, and then put so much effort into construction of a ringworld.  Five hundred years later they're still paying off the banks.  But the potential income from the project, when it's finally complete, will make the company one of the wealthiest in the Imperium."

"What's a ringworld?" Keryn looks embarrassed by her own question.

Eneris seems more interested in hearing about Tylen's homeworld, "How was the fishing?  I'm looking for a place to live out my twilight years."
Traveller Referee
 GM, 914 posts
 In space nobody can hear
 you swearing at me.
Sat 17 May 2014
at 18:17
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:35
There is a pause, and then Corlan steps in to fill it.  "A ringworld," he explains, "is a good way to get the most out of a system.  You go to a star system, preferably one that's devoid of inigenous life, and you grind everything in that system, apart from its sun, down into raw materials.  You strip the planets of their atmospheres, extract all of the ores and minerals, everything.  And then you pulverise what's left."

"Then you use it all to build a new world - a ring around the sun, far enough out that the temperature is right for life.  You spin it, to make gravity, and provide some rigidity.  For Northstar, it's a ring about 275 million kilometres in diameter, with a habitable surface area equal to about three million typical planets.  They're still building it, at the moment, but they've started covering the surface with soil and planning to plant vegetation."


"But you can't mine there." Jockram interrupts, "Any more than you could dig a hole and mine for gold under the floor here on Profit Margin."

"No, but the whole surface is usable.  How much food could three million agricultaral worlds produce, with no deserts or ice caps to contend with?"

Keryn considers that for a moment, then says, "It would always be daytime.  Not that it would bother me.  I lived underground, and the lights in public areas were always on."

"No.  There is a second ring, inside the first one, which has alternating solid sections and gaps, so it casts shadows to simulate a day and night cycle."

"That... would work."
Saskia Blake
 player, 497 posts
 I'm going to need a
 much bigger hammer.
Mon 19 May 2014
at 23:23
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:35
"That's right.  Except that at Northstar there wasn't enough material in the system, so they mined out another one nearby, also uninhabited.  One of the reasons they decided to buid the ringworld outside the Imperium was that it was easier to find barren systems that hadn't been claimed by anybody else.  Then they set up mass drivers to throw the extracted material, as hundred ton slugs, through interstellar space to the construction site.

"100 tons, moving at .1 C, and ships fitted with massive repulsor arrays in place at the other end to catch them coming in, and hitting a three kilometre target area.  That's pinpoint accuracy, comparatively speaking, for a shot of over a parsec.


Saskia almost sounds as if the whole project had been her idea.  Obviously a big fan.

"The surface area totals more than all the worlds in the Imperium, and when it's finished, it'll all be prime farmland.  Well except for the settlements and some industrial areas, mostly manufacturing farm equipment and fertilizer."
Keryn Taylor
 NPC, 25 posts
 A girl in trouble
 and in need of help.
Tue 20 May 2014
at 04:58
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40
"So they bought a system, or two, and then destroyed it, or them, so that they could buid a new one?  Why?" Keryn asks carefully, making sure that she has understood the details correctly.

Jockram laughs, "Because they could."

Keryn refuses to be put off the scent, "Why did they do that?  By the sound of things it cost them a lot of credits."

Corian shrugs, "I can't pretend to understand their initial motivation, Miss Blake seems to be the local expert on the project, but there is, potentially, a considerable fiduciary reward at the end of the project.  That could be enough to have attracted Northstar's interest.  That, and three million worlds' worth of farmland."

"Three million worlds, all with the same climate.  And no proper sunsets."
Jago Lanza
 player, 587 posts
Tue 20 May 2014
at 11:52
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40

"I suppose with a place like that you could literally fall of the edge, except that they have to have a huge wall all round both sides to keep the air in. If it got holed by a meteor or atomic weapon the atmosphere would pour out like water down the plug hole, though I expect there would be measures in place to prevent that."

"Is the intention to get three million planets worth of people to settle there to consume all that farm produce or do they intend to export it? Either way I bet it will be robots doing the farming and with all that surplus, food, timber, fuel or whatever they're growing, prices will take a serious hit."

"I suppose that sooner or later the sentient population of the galaxy will expand enough to take advantage but it's a heck of a long term investment."


- Corlan DeSant
 NPC, 46 posts
 Such a big Universe,
 I want to see it all.
Tue 20 May 2014
at 12:39
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40
"Long term indeed, at least for the agricultural side of it." Corlan agrees, "But Northstar, according to the article, were hoping that a very public display of their commitment to such a large scale project, and their ability to carry it through, would attract contracts for other work.  For example, they cite it as being responsible for their winning contracts for starport construction and upgrading across the Imperium."

"This in spite of their realising, in the early 900s, that they didn't have the resources to complete the project.  So they opened it up to colonists and interested corporations, and with the extra income have recently projected a completion date for 1234."

Eneris Armusezash
 NPC, 18 posts
Tue 20 May 2014
at 15:59
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40
Eneris clears his throat, and comments, "It's not unique, you know.  There's one at Leenitakot too, on the far side of the Imperium.  Built something over a quarter million years ago, and never finished.  Species who built it went for a smaller version.  Dwarf star, and a ring only about ten million kilometres in radius."

"They never completed the ring, so there's no atmosphere, and just the bare shell of the structure."

Ash Tescali
 player, 446 posts
 Traveling through J-space
 isn't like dusting crops
Tue 20 May 2014
at 17:15
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40
"Presumably, the inner ring would still harness the incoming sunlight..." Ash ventures off-hand, when talk turned to ringworld logistics, "That... is a lot of excess power.  And transporting it between the rings would be another logistical nightmare since both rings are moving relative to each other.".  He smiles slightly bemused at Keryn's interest on the general topic; one can almost see the gears turning as she tries to wrap her brain around the technical immensity of the project.  Well, that and he is greatly amused that - as the young woman herself has noted - she seems obsessed with sunsets, a phenomenon that she never actually grew up with.  It does appear that travel really does broaden the mind...

"Leenitakot?  Really?" Ash notes with a touch of incredulity.  He usually prided himself on having a fairly large breadth of knowledge - especially when it comes to Imperial geography.  But, he hadn't heard of that particular phenomenon at all.  "Wow." the lanky navigator muses aloud, "to abandon that project must have been catastrophic..."

He shakes his head, breaking his reverie.  Then Ash looks at Eneris more closely, his expression slightly askance, "How did you find out about the abandoned ring at Leenitakot?  Have you actually been there?"  It is less that Ash doesn't believe that the ex-Navy man has made the story up.  Far from it, but more that if the man has actually been there, then Eneris' travels have indeed been very far and wide.  And the man's stature has risen considerably in Ash's eyes; that is a lot of travelling to cross the Imperium.  And though he already knew it, the ex-Scout is made keenly aware once more that Eneris - like all of the crew and passengers on the Profit Margin, really - has much more to them than meets the eye.
Shui Tiesi
 player, 1427 posts
 Quiet doctor,
 helpful Steward.
Tue 20 May 2014
at 18:03
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40
They would need more than spin to keep the air in place, Shui considers.  A planet holds atmosphere thanks to its gravity, and centripetal acceleration, which simulates gravity, will in no way draw things to it.  The local gravity of the ring itself - dispersed as it is over the circumferance of the orbit - would not prove sufficient.

She wonders how they would manage.

"It sounds...striking," she murmurs.  'Terrible' is a better word, but it might sound like a criticism, and she's leery of such things at the moment.  Farmland?  Certainly useful.  But tearing up an entire system, simply to build the ring?  Breaking down whatever worlds have grown there?

Not for her.

She's content to sit and listen.  Everyone is enjoying themselves, and it's better to allow it than start up a debate on the whys and wherefores.
Saskia Blake
 player, 498 posts
 I'm going to need a
 much bigger hammer.
Thu 22 May 2014
at 23:46
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:40
Saskia too queries Eneris' comment on the ancient ringworld, though her reasons may be a little different from Ash's.

"Leenitakot?  Why are these frelling stupid things so far away?" the engineer growls.

The navigator's question about power generation gets her attention though, and diverts her fury.  "Northstar uses strips of photo-receptors on top of the rim walls, above the atmosphere, to generate energy.  400 million square kilometres of solar arrays, even with a day-night cycle, generates enough power to keep the lights on.

"There's also a maglev system running along the top of the walls -- actually inside them -- probably the only known case where you can travel around a solar system by train.  Starports are located on ledges on the outside of each wall.  Makes for nice easy launches that don't need any fuel.  Just push the ship off the ledge, and centripetal force throws it outwards at almost ten metres per second."

Eneris Armusezash
 NPC, 19 posts
Sun 25 May 2014
at 13:31
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
"They're so far away because all the closer ones were stripped for souvenirs by tourists." Eneris chuckles, and then he adds, "Did you know there's a rosette over in the Vargr Extents, probably built around the same time as the Leenitakot ringworld?"

"What's a rosette?" Keryn again.

"You take several planets of roughly equal size and shove them close together, so that they all orbit a point in the centre.  Then you transform them so that they all have matching environments.  This one, in the Extents, has five worlds, all spinning in a circle around their common centre of gravity."
Saskia Blake
 player, 499 posts
 I'm going to need a
 much bigger hammer.
Mon 26 May 2014
at 23:09
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
"See?  Proves my point.  Too.  Far.  Away.  Never heard of any of these things close by."  Saskia shakes her head in disgust, and then stops, resting her elbows on the table, and her chin on her fists.

"What I wouldn't give for a decent bit of lost alien technology, or a mysterious wreck of unknown origin." she says wistfully.  "Just one.  That's all I ask.  Nothing complicated -- I'm a simple girl at heart -- wouldn't even mind too much if it didn't rewrite the laws of frelling physics.

"Hezmanah!  I'd settle for a tiny little minor magnetic anomaly.  Or a previously unknown particle, and there's one of them discovered about once a frelling week, so not really that big a deal."

Traveller Referee
 GM, 917 posts
 In space nobody can hear
 you swearing at me.
Tue 27 May 2014
at 14:21
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
Eneris grins, "Somebody wants to get a name for herself, so there'll be a ten metre hologram of her in the Museum of Science on Capital."

"I'm sure Miss Blake will become famous in her own right, one day." responds Corlan.  "Certainly, in my experience, she has the right sort of attitude to work.  One that will lead to some discovery, or technical innovation.  Perhaps a more efficient drive, or the like?"

"Perhaps you'll get partial credit when I construct a robot so perfect that it will end all further research into robot design, just because everybody realises they'll never make a better one." Keryn suggests, and earns a laugh from Banster.  "I'll make sure I mention you in my autobiography, Saskia."
Ash Tescali
 player, 447 posts
 Traveling through J-space
 isn't like dusting crops
Tue 27 May 2014
at 19:32
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
"Hmmm..." Ash muses aloud, "A set of orbiting bodies, like a Klemperer rosette, is only inherently metastable isn't it?  Any perturbation can cause the entire system to runaway into collapse since pushing a body out of alignment with its brethern doesn't have a restoring force for the change in gravitational pull."

"Have you been to the Extents as well?" the lanky navigator notes to Eneris with a chuckle, "Damn, you've gotten around, Mr. Armusezash..."

Ash just smiles with a slightly bemused expression when Saskia goes on her discovery tirade.  He shruggs slightly, "I dunno, Ms. Blake...  I think we should be careful what we wish for.  Sometimes wanting a 'Life of Excitement' gets you shot at and stabbed and stationed next to leaking plasma conduits...."  He doesn't say much more, but it is pretty obvious that the ex-Navyman and Scout is speaking from more than a touch of personal experience.

Running his hands through his close cropped hair, Ash switches the subject from the past and back to the future.  He turns towards Jago, "What do you say, Boss?  Perhaps a side trip to the Extents to visit one of the artificial wonders of the universe is in order..."
Tylen Orgesh
 player, 948 posts
 Darrian--Former Scout
 Age: 34
Wed 28 May 2014
at 05:12
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
Tylen is more than happy to as the conversation drifts on.
Eneris Armusezash
 NPC, 20 posts
Sat 31 May 2014
at 22:17
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
"I haven't been to any of those places." Eneris admits, with a rueful grin, "Not Northstar, nor Leenitakot, nor Tireeen.  But I got interested in these things when I was young, and read a lot about them over the years.  Not a lot else to do when you're manning a gunnery station on a long patrol through the outer reaches of a system."

Corlan's expression falls, "That's a shame.  I was hoping to have a long talk with you one evening regarding your  visits to these worlds."

Jockram nods, "That's the way it goes.  The Universe is a big place, and no matter how much you travel you can only get to see a small fraction of it.  I'm lucky that I have my own ship and can go where I want to, but for a man in Eneris' position, where all of his destinations were selected by somebody else...  Well, that's the main reason I quit working for mining companies as soon as I could afford to finance the Hound."
Shui Tiesi
 player, 1430 posts
 Quiet doctor,
 helpful Steward.
Mon 2 Jun 2014
at 12:35
Re: Profit Margin - Rangent/Vilis (0601) Date: 287-1107 21:45
It's truly a fascinating conversation - one to which Shui, sadly, has little to add beyond exclamations that she, as well, would love to see many of these places.  Better to sit and drink it in, listen to her friends' experiences, and hope to have some of those herself, someday.

After all, they've explored a wrongly-jumped ship on an icy moon, and met the shadow-creatures that inhabited that seemingly lifeless place.  After that, could not anything happen?

She refrains from bringing up Captain Lanza's 'artifact', as she's uncertain if it's private.  But surely that would qualify for one of Ms. Blake's wishes?  Perhaps, Shui considers, it is simply that the Captain's artifact remains impenetrable, impossible to analyze, that Ms. Blake doesn't count that note as crossed off her list.

She shoots a quick smile at Tylen, shrugging slightly.

The smile fades as Ash brings up his own 'life experiences', unpleasant as they were.