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The Ctan
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Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Letters from the Crypt [IC-blog/Nation Maintenance]

Postby The Ctan » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:17 pm

Letters from the Crypt
Journal of Arshai Nekhet ita Thurasid, an Alien.

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New House Day (Oh yeah!)
Posted by Arshai [Feed from Aspex-2, AI Translated] at Carlan Heights, Graxis, Duat

19th November B.419d

Hi,

If you’re reading this you’re probably a bit weird, or interested in what we C’tani are up to. A couple of friends of mine have asked to know what it’s really like living here (you know who you are guys) so… yeah. Here it goes. If you don’t know who I am, I’ll cover that later.

Either way, ni’t’meecha, as we say here. This is a journal that I’ve decided to start keeping and sharing on, well, boring stuff, I guess. Stuff that happens to little ol’ me here on Duat (or wherever I happen to be). Before we begin, let me tell you a few things about myself so that you have an impression of who I am. My name, for names have some importance, is Arshai ita Thursasid, or Arshai Nekhet. I am a necrontyr; if you’re not familiar with our kind, then you should know that we resemble the most common humanoid form (or rather, humans resemble us) with some alterations that are quite significant. We usually stand taller, a product of our environment, and have various genetically designed advantages, which I may discuss at some point, and are swifter. Our colouration ranges from pale blue-grey to dark royal blue, and we tend to have monochrome hair, some shade of black, grey or white. We’re about the most frequent type of people in the Great Civilization, but that hardly matters much.

So, yeah. Young adult, no one special, decent-ish family, I’ll get into them another time, off to advanced education (university/college, what have you) next month. Time to get out from under the family’s feet and set up shop on my own.

I am eleven, which is the usual age of majority for a necrontyr. We have of course, many peoples with different rates of growth here, and I’ll have to wait maybe forty years for some of my childhood friends to catch up to me, which kinda sucks. They’re still kids, it’s really weird. You always hear the stories of some necrontyr growing up, becoming a teacher, and coming back and teaching some of their slower-lived childhood friends.

On the plus side, I’m older now, and it’s citizenship day; for me and my current friends. I won’t bore you with the details of oath taking, affirmation, character witnesses. Let’s just say that it’s important stuff. For a start, it means I can start learning Forbidden Lore, the stuff they don’t teach non-citizens. I can describe what it is to you, but I can’t really tell you the details. Stuff about the secrets of our technology, the nature of the warp and the enemy, and that’ll just have to do. It’s not a perfect system of course, and by the time they get to my age, anyone raised her knows some of this stuff already. Still enormously cool though.

Of course there’s something else that’s even cooler. Mari, Ulushidyun, Isilheri and I are doing House construction today. It’s Mari’s choice of location, Carlan heights, rocky dramatic and windswept, we went camping here last year and loved it; not least because it’s got a decent lake and stream for Ulush.

Building a house here is easy, easy enough that today is house building day. Ulush got there first, as usual, he didn’t sleep much if he could avoid it, and his tank sat on the hilltop waiting for us; made out of bronze edged living metal and moving on hover-pads, the environment tank he wears contains long tubes to wear like I might gloves, made of a flexible, elastic metal called ogamur, that moves like fabric, studded with anchor-points resembling suckers, and fine tactile hairs of fibrous carbon. He waved one in greeting, it’s hard to imagine too many of his species being friendly, and Ulush is a cold fish to most people, but he certainly gets on well enough with us. Perched on the edge of his tank’s lower rail, I paged through the illustrations I’d done. It’s a lot like making something from a kit, I guess.

You take the overall floorplan you want, plunk in a list of your needs relative to the standard, and out comes a generic design in the overall style you like. You can get as detailed as you want; I’ve always liked wide windows so I made a point of that, and obviously as we know quite a few aquatics here, it’s only reasonable to put in a decent pool with lounge capacities and extend it lengthways into a lounge and dining room to make sure people can circulate easily; three stories plus basement and aqua-rooms, sixty thousand square feet of floor-space. Obviously you’ve got to work on the decorations ahead of time; I’m going to need a study and a practical room for the next few years no doubt, so I put them on an extension, it wanted them inside the main building but I moved them out; easier to relax if you’re at least a little bit removed from all the other fun stuff.

It’s worth noting that you have to pay (gasp) taxes if you go above a certain unimproved land limit, but you can easily fit maybe three houses like this on the citizen allowance on Duat. You’ve got to make sure that everyone can enjoy the convenience after all.

Run the plan you’ve got through a compiler, and project it.

By that point the others arrived, and as we’d started mine first, it was a matter of wandering through the holo-hallways and rooms to take a look; you couldn’t get onto the different floors without a full soligram, but you can just re-set ground level or move the thing around to get a good impression. At that point obviously I dragged and dropped a few things, widened the standard doors a bit in places, pulled the mantelpiece open a bit wider to make a bigger hearth and extended a raised section from the ground for it; the interactive holos really help.

Obviously you want to put a lot of rooms in, when doing your first house, everyone says that it’s best to put in too much rather than too little; it saves the time of re-doing it later. So there’s a nice wine-cellar and servants’ quarters for three even though I’ve not got one and don’t plan to have them for a long time if ever, it’s simply easier that way. Spare bedrooms, obviously, dining room to fit twenty, underground garage and all that; you can set it up to put flakboard and plaster in the way of any areas like that you’re not likely to use for years; obviously the service ducts connect but you don’t need to get the empty feeling. We necrontyr have always liked building down, and covered courtyards, so for tradition’s sake I put in both.

Then it’s a matter of queuing the build task, you simply send it off to the planetary master control program and it goes in the build schedule. There are a lot of drones on Duat. Far more than there are people; it’s tempting to consider it like a post-great sleep tomb, but the thing with technology is that you can just build more. The system isn’t really strained by any level of building that’s at all feasible – the general construction policy obviously filters it for community approval if you’re trying to do something that’s going to affect everyone like building a Tsilovsky Tower, or just being obnoxious by plating your house in uranium or something, or building a whole city – and after that you simply have to relax and let it work.

Within the first couple of minutes the first aspect was being set up; a couple of pre-fab modules were teleported in, sealed obviously; they tend to be implanted at a sub-surface level. The first was the pillar for a teleporch, which is basically public transport for C’tani; you simply put in the destination address and you get jumped to the building required, usually for the sake of convenience, they take a standard form of a square black pillar, big ones are called summoning cores, and dot the land here and there.

There’s lots of techno-megalithic stuff on Duat’s surface, of course; the big pylons that work to keep warp storms away and stabilize reality, and summoning cores dot the landscape, tens of thousands of the former, like, a million of the latter, in varying sizes.

I won’t get into how we did Mari, Ulushidyun and Isilheri’s houses, though obviously everyone put theirs near enough to the Carlan river that Ulush could visit without needing his tank; just polite that; and everyone has a Watergate for the same reason.

With the pillar comes the hardware for the house presence, which is an AI. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a person, it’s a sophisticated computer, which you can migrate the preferences from your halo out into, so it can predict a lot of your needs and preferences, but it’s not actually sapient like a human or an ork. One of the first things they do is plug that in.

By the time we got back from looking over the designs from Isi, Mari and Ulush’s houses (the latter required us to get our own kit out of the flitters we’d come in obviously) which took about forty five minutes, the spyders had showed up and were busy working to put foundations in; for that they obviously flatten the site off where necessary, carve out stairs and begin with the burrowing for the underground chambers for the basement, one of which would house the presence system itself of course. They fusion-formed most of the topsoil along the edges, forming a glassy inner surface, and laser-cut the bedrock, leaving a pillar of fusion-edged ground that supported a larch tree in the middle, that’d form the courtyard garden, and obviously I’d set it up to keep the roots intact. Isi would never forgive me if I knocked down a perfectly good free-standing tree.

By that point a transit-ark had showed up with the basic beams for working on the building frame, its topside opening and crane-arm depositing them near the site, before it slid off; there were three of these transport drones trundling back and forth to each house by the time it really got started.

Speaking of getting started, we got no warning on the rain; I’d not lived in a free-rain zone but here the weather was relatively ungoverned and there are no halo-alerts for routine weather, which was a bit weird. You have to actually look up what the weather will do. We popped the side of Isi’s flitter and hid out of the weather a bit, though Mari took her shoes off and stuck them out into the rain.

For those of you not following Gamara season three, I’m not going to spoil it now, so I’ll spare you the details of the discussion; back to talking about my shiny new house.

The beams and structure could be created on site easily enough, obviously, but they have a stock and just bring them in for most projects, as it conserves energy. No point in being wasteful when you design a task; the spyders took almost no time to join the beams, as living metal it’s keyed to join when prompted, so there’s nothing so crude as welding, which makes the big spyders look like kids assembling a puzzle, really. With that done, the frames of the house were in place, and they re-tasked themselves to speed up the other houses before rolling in the next components; ceramite buttressing units and living metal plates that they cut and divided into place, forming the reinforcement for most of the walls, bulked up by a material called kelak resin, which gives the whole thing a seal. The doors weren’t pre-fab standard so they moved on to setting up the house synthesis chamber next to create the doors.

Syndecks (fabbers) are a type of moly-printer, creating molecules from feedstock, they can work on an atomic level too, and obviously make up a substantial amount of any modern house’s basement, though you could visit a C’tani house, or even live in one, and never really deal with ‘em unless you see it getting built. There’s two big chambers, filled with kelak and sealed as holding tanks, for CHON and L-crys, from which you can make most stuff without needing atomic work, these then get plumbed in to the household systems, and to the main systems; those run to the various synthesis stuff. Synthesis decks can also consume and re-process matter, so in this case without needing to tank up the feeds the spyders could just drop standard doors in and the house-core reprocessed them to the right size, letting them install.

Most doors are the hinge-type, but front and exterior doors, along with window shutters, are solid ceramite. As you can probably tell our houses are built to take a bit of a beating. By then they’d got onto bricks; when boring out the bedrock for the basement and maintenance levels, the spiders take pains to preserve as much good stone that might be usable as local materials; we tend to build directly through to ground level where possible; there’s a planetary geophysical survey that highlights the best sites, if you find a view you really like (and don’t think is too churlish to wreck for others) then a few moments is all it takes to pull up best house sites nearby. These stone pieces were then las-cut into place as stone dressing on the outside; I like more classical styles, so the lower level on the facing side of the hill has rustication (where you make the stone rougher) and the upper levels are smoother, with colonnaded balconies and porch, as well as courtyard; the machines did most of this, at some point I may ship the stone off to be re-dressed, particularly the tops of the pillars, but that would be another project entirely.

Wood’s trickier, but obviously important for flooring, and I went for nothing especially fancy. There’s orbitals that force-grow gene-tweaked ebony (I like ebony) and other woods, and the house plan included it, and ware-vaults full of stacked wood with anaerobic environments to keep them from decay. There’s wood you’d have to pay for of course, but for the purpouse of house building in a hurry, can’t beat it. This is where the builder scarabs came into their own obviously, scissoring off slats of wood and fitting them into place, the same with the slate dressing of the roof areas that won’t be flat gardens, and moving them in, by this point there were a couple of hundred drones working.

Dark vitrodur panes and clear angvirrin crystal are used for the windows, obviously, the dark ones used for some edging to give a bit of contrast, while the internal pluming, including a bore-shaft down to a central plumbing and access line were dug for all four houses; the whole system then goes much deeper to the undercity levels; I’ll talk about the undercity another time if people like.

Decoration’s still a bit basic, you can get that machine-done too, if you want, but I’ll actually put some work into curtains and décor.

So yeah, that's about the sum of how you get a house over here; I'm just sitting here, browsing furniture from the Thurasid surplus; usually any clan will have piles and piles of furniture spares; we tend to build to last.

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Last edited by The Ctan on Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."

User avatar
The Ctan
Minister
 
Posts: 2726
Founded: Antiquity
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Ctan » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:35 pm

Lighthouse in the Desert
Building a better future one brick at a time.

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The Brotherhood of the Beechwood needs your help…
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A Secret City
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Posted by Arkeri

7th June B.423d


As I write this, we’re parked up in the steaming jungles not too far from the Silver Flame territory, its’ a rough terrain to get used to for most people, the leaves are thick and visibility for arboreal-derived necrontyrforms is low, it’s a place where natural advantages are most positively displayed.

It’s a ghostly place. It’s all the more ghostly now.

I’m not unfamiliar with ghosts, I’ve lived more than one life, as any necron has, but still there’s something indefinably sad about the ruins here. The area where we’re camped is a scheduled memorial in Crystal Spires.

It’s a sacred conquest to the Alteans, settlement land to the Carcenese, and it’s disputed to this day. Even with the borders not yet settled, though, there are necrons here, no one from Carceno is going to trouble us, we’re after all the protectors here. But there’s one policy objective we have set some time ago, and I’m up here doing it.

It seems odd to be building houses, and cities, for people who aren’t born yet, in land whose meaning no one knows. Houses with no doors, and roads with no connection to highways, basements of thick material that contain supplies and building material that no one will use.

It’s not clear who will rule this land in the end, probably Crystal Spires, in my opinion, but what’s clear that no matter who rules, that the inhabitants will be Storkii. Ranisath swore it would happen, and his cachet among the our people was high at the time, therefore it is as good as accomplished.

People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence


Because this article’s attracted a lot of followers, I’ll edit a little more in.

For those who’ve not followed us before, we’ve been making a long trip across the Altean nation, as part of the infrastructure creation effort, I’ve volunteered to work in that, mostly laying rail lines, I use an entire workforce of canoptek constructs, my bugs have burrowed through mountains, so a task to build a city is a welcome break, and a chance to relax.

I mostly travel with the White Tiger clan, my wife’s Nayali group, but no, few people nowhere the new city is I’ve built, and anyone going to vandalize it, because I do know that not all of the comments here are… appropriate, will be crossing a restricted zone and, well, I leave the consequences to your imagination, or a short search…

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Last edited by The Ctan on Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"If any should be slaves, it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. When I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." ~ Abraham Lincoln
"The Necrons were amongst the first beings to come into existance, and have sworn that they will rule over the living." - Still surprisingly accurate!
"Be you anywhere from Progress Level 5 or 6 and barely space-competent, all the way up to the current record of PL-20 for beings like the C’Tan..." Lord General Superior Rai’a Sirisi, Xenohumanity
"Many races and faiths have considered themselves to be a threat to the Necrons, but their worlds and their cultures are now little more than interesting archaeology."


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