The Misfits…

…and a plea for indulgence!

I’m going to start posting more chapter of the unexpected novel again, with an eye toward kicking myself into getting. It. Finished.

However, I’ve been away from it for a while now and I’ve got a bit rusty. (And some of it has been a bit … difficult to write. The evolution of one of the characters, although unavoidable, isn’t entirely pleasant, and I think that’s held me back a bit.)

Anyway, due to being out of the loop for a while, the next couple of chapters are probably not going to be much good. Hopefully it will get back together once I have my wits about me again.

In the meantime, please humour me!


13 Responses to “The Misfits…”

  1. So, been following you amazing story for awhile now. Just wondering when to expect the update, This is looking to be a very good noval and i belive i may be able to ask a friend a GW to have a read and see what they think

    • Hello there! I’m glad you like it. I’ve been running a bit slow with it recently, unfortunately, due to a combination of generic lethargy and also (a bit less craptastically) time spent on science writing and data reduction. I’d post what I’ve got of the next chapter, but unfortunately it’s not one that can be ‘chopped up’ very easily.

      However, it does exist, and Things Are Happening. Albeit slowly…

  2. Hello again,

    Good news, Thank you for it. I Fear’d that it would be abandoned which would be a shame, I have seen far to many good stories filter out.

    • I don’t plan to abandon it, and I do know where it’s going. However I think I’m going to need to look at my upload patterns, as the recent chapters have a mess, to be honest. The problem is that Sunday evenings are really the only time when I now get a chance to sit down and write, and of course once you’ve written something, you don’t want to sit on it … only when you’ve just finished and it’s 1 AM on a Monday morning, obviously that doesn’t leave much time for proof-reading!

  3. I’ve been keeping a close eye on your story and it’s pretty much the only WH40K fic there I really follow. Keep up the good work!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    While I’ve been following the story and greatly enjoying it thus far, with the latest chapter, I find myself confused by the fatalism of the Techpriests. The Hive Mind is crippled, likely still too confused to give proper orders, leaving its defense fleet severely weakened, if not useless – also running into its own mines, for what little that matters in comparison – and essentially equivalent to any 50-km asteroid. Which should mean that it’s a trivial problem to the Imperium. Their warships possess teratons of firepower – easily enough to nudge the asteroid-equivalent out of a collision path. Engagement ranges are huge: the distance between Terra and Luna would not be out of combat range, and may well even be within standard. The Hive Mind’s fleets wouldn’t be able to shield it from enough fire to prevent it from being deflected – even if they wanted to, and the Imperium’s ships could stay far enough away to not be in immediate threat, but still close enough to hit the target. And, of course, they could eventually just redirect it into the local sun.

    And if all that fails, standard combat speeds are between .5c and .75c. The drives necessary to achieve those sorts of speeds in timeframes meaningful in combat (that is, a shift from orbital speed to combat speed, or combat maneuvering requiring rapid changes of direction) are necessarily incredibly powerful. Simply jump to a point 10 or 20 hours away and engage the engines at full burn, on an intercept course with the Hive Mind. The ship will hit it with enough force to not only deflect it, but vaporize it. A useless tactic against any target capable of maneuvering, but very useful in this situation. Incidentally, this would be a good way to dispose of the Admiral – better to die a hero than to be stripped of command and executed for disobeying orders.

    In summary, then, the situation should be easily dealt with – perhaps even in a way that removes the necessity of exterminatus (as the Hive is essentially equivalent to rabid animals without its Hive Mind) – and I would think that the Techpriests, backwards as they are, should be able to think up something to deal with it. Heck, I would imagine that the threat of asteroid impact is something dealt with regularly, perhaps with better solutions than I’ve presented here, though perhaps not with enemy fleets defending the asteroid.

    Anyway, as ironic as it may sound, given that this is essentially entirely criticism, I am entirely sincere in saying keep up the good work. The rest of the story doesn’t need comment, as it speaks for itself.

    • Hello. I think there may be a slight disagreement over what is considered to be physically-possible πŸ˜‰ (Remember also that I’m coming at this from a slightly different angle than most of the readers probably are … part of the reason why the astronomy is unusually detailed is because I’m halfway through a PhD in said subject – even if said PhD does sometimes feel like a trainwreck, but that’s a different kettle of fish entirely.)

      Anyway, there are two key points to develop here as well as raw speed: volume and mass. Kinteic energy is linear with mass, but the mass of an object will rise with the cube of its radius (if we assume constant density). Kinetic energy only increases with the square of the velocity.

      Or, to phrase it another way, the volume of the hive craft that’s falling is certainly vastly greater than any Imperial ship, and thus so will its mass be. This is partly why I actually quoted the (estimated) kinetic energy – ~ 8 * 10^26 J – in the text. Also bear in mind that the per-second output of Earth’s Sun is 3.84 * 10^26 J.

      As to the addition of vaporisation, that wouldn’t really help. First of all, I’m not actually sure that a thermal mass this large (~ 7 * 10 ^ 16 Kg, if I remember correctly) is going to boil off very quickly, and certainly not in a matter of hours.

      And then there’s the fact that, even if it does, having the planet hit by a giant plasma bolt isn’t any better. Don’t forget conservation of momentum πŸ˜‰

  5. […] on from a comment on this post, I’ve had occasion to re-check my figures. And I’ve discovered that they’re a bit […]

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Certainly I’m aware of all that. But as incredible as it may sound, that really is rather insignificant for 40k. A single nova cannon shot has been estimated (by someone else) to have a momentum of 5e17 kg*m/s, and a kE of 9e25 J. Which is obviously a very high number, despite the fact that the estimate itself is in the lower half of what’s described in canon. And that doesn’t even account for the fact that the projectile is supposed to explode, too. In any case, that alone should be enough to accomplish the required redirection, though perhaps only after several shots, but I imagine insufficient to kill the Hive Mind, allowing for both futuristic supermaterials of some sort and psychic reinforcement, even though the kE is over my rough estimate of the Hive Mind’s gravitational binding energy.

    And as before, the option remains to ram the thing. 10 hours of full burn yields a kE of ~3e29 J with a momentum of ~1e21 kg*m/s – the figures shouldn’t be considered very accurate here because I wasn’t able to find sufficiently concrete numbers for ship mass, but they’re a decent order of magnitude estimate. 20 hours doubles the kE and momentum (obviously), though the actual impact speed is only increased by 0.005%. An impact from something like that would likely reduce the Hive Mind to a fine mist (relative to its current size), heavily biased in the direction of the ramming ship’s travel – Minoris and Majoris would only see some meteor showers. That’s really what I meant by “vaporize”.

    Yes, those numbers are really, really high. But apparently that’s more or less accurate, given that ship powerplants have been described from time to time as having stellar-scale output.

    • Well I can’t really comment on numbers whose derivation I haven’t seen, so I shan’t. Also, I have to say I’m somewhat dubious about the idea of a spacecraft-mountable powerplant that can develop the power output of a star, and particularly without a citation to support it. Even assuming complete, 100% efficient conversion of mass to energy, then an E = mc^2 argument indicates that to match one second of (for instance) our Sun’s output, one would need to convert around 4 billion kilograms of mass. A typical ‘big’ mountain is something like 500m Kg, by way of comparison. And that’s just 1 second of output; obviously sustaining that indefinitely is going to need a continual supply. And that is assuming 100% efficiency, which thermodynamic arguments make rather unlikely.

      … And there is also, of course, the narrative issue. You see, I don’t necessarily actually want a magical deus ex machina rescue. Particularly given that the last 150K words have been trending in the direction of Bad Things Happening at Riothria, and if they then didn’t – well frankly, it wouldn’t be very convincing.

      • Another factor that needs to be issued is the type of protection that the Hive ship has.

        In the story the ship “rippled” as the other ive ship crashed into it..
        Now this would sudjest that the ship has some sort of abobtion armour.

        Now you also need to factor in gravity if you talking about moving the path of the ship though sheer power. The Sun would of had a sling shot effect no matter what the orignoal orbit has been. The you need to factor in the gravity pulls of other objects in space.

        Even if the weopns did manage to do somthing a Nova cannon is designed to rip ships in half, Not to change thier direction.

        Even if you ripped the ship in half which due to the size would take about 200 shots minimul thats even if the cannons could get though the ships defenses.

        Overall there possiblility of moving a hive ship of that size would be exteamly dificult.
        Also please factor in the Nid’s method of travel which is to capture itself in a gravity well and Pull itself. Now since the ships perpolsion systems are damaged it may have cuaght onto the planets gravity well and now can disable it.

        It all depends on how much you know really πŸ˜›

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