Bare with me here because we pick up from here on the blog. Over the last couple of days there's been something that's been bugging me and that's the Soviet robots with Kosmos '68. Over on the https://kosmos68com.wordpress.com/ site there's a great article about robots & cybernetic lifeforms in the USSP here. My question becomes why would the USSP be using clunky advanced robots when the US corporations are running slick android bordering on full blown cybernetic human beings or life forms?! And yes, I know its a conceit of the Soviety style of design & Science Fiction genre's focus esspecially of the Kosmos '68 cold war setting. And it got me thinking about the rise of A.I.. And how it's possible that in the one hundred & twenty five years between Orbit 2100 & Hostile something rather nasty happened.Maybe it's no accident that the Soviets don't use Androids and thier ilk. And perhaps the Soviets are so gun shy about A.I. that it drove them to start investigating alternatives such as psionics. And the fact is that the Americans & the rest of the world have sorta learned. And the answer to this comes from Japan within the Hostile Setting book;"With controlled immigration from within the Asia-Pacifi c region, and renewed focus on automation, robotics and artifi cial intelligence technologies to increase productivity, Japan was looking boldly into the future. As China entered its time of crisis and First Recession began to bite, Japan was able to show leadership in the region and formed the Asia Pacifi c Partnership in an attempt to weather the storm. China had lost its lead in the region – Japan once again dominated the Far Eastern area." Between this time & the Second Recession A.I. flourished but it was short lived because of the Oil Crisis of the Second Recession; "Oil was desperately needed, not for fuel, since most vehicles ran from hydrogen fuel cells and power-stations were fusion-based and required helium-3. Petroleum was needed by the plastics and the chemicals industries. Bioplastic was in use, but its reliance on vegetable matter grown in fi elds that could otherwise be used to feed starving millions, meant that oil, tried and tested over centuries and understood by all chemical engineers and plant designers, remained the primary choice. Now oil reserves on distant moons and on harsh planets would have to provide a source for that oil. The Oil Crisis of 2200 initiated a Second Recession lasting for 15 years. Some colonies and outposts were temporarily abandoned due to cost-saving exercises." All of this history can be found on page 15-16 of the Hostile Setting book. This peroid is when A.I.'s life forms and minions step in. And for a bit it looked grim but then the rise of A.I. was cut short by the lack of raw materials. Colonies were literally abandoned on certain back water worlds. And this got me thinking about Hostile's shift from the cybernetic into the bio technological. These 'abandoned' colonies had me thinking about Michael Brown's Afterday & Stellagama Publishing's Cepheus Atom.And yes, Stellagama Publishing's Cepheus Atom is based on Cepheus Quantum rpg system. It's really not that hard too cross them over. That being said it would stand to reason that the Soviets & the Americans would be very gun shy of anything smacking too much of the fully sentient A.I. intelligence.
Once the A.I. genie was out of the bottle the rapid rise in colony disasters only came to a halt with the Earth & her colonies being abandoned. There might still be colonies out there where exotic A.I. indused cybernetic life forms are the rule not the exception.
And this goes back into something that our group discussed tonight. Have all of this history simply be swept under the rug by Earth's corporations & the USSP?! In a short answer yes. Long answer is that there may be still functional colonies still struggling out in the void.
And there may be cybernetic lifeforms that have adapted & become another menace in the darkness to plague PC's. Now that Transdyne Cybersystems and Haruna Biolabs have cornered the market within Synthetics. Events are moving to expose some of the hidden blunders made during the days of the Second Recession. And with that exposure comes the increasing horrors that lurk in the darkness.
On the Soviet side the
Stellagama Publishing's Cepheus Atom comes in very handy. There's already a number of warbots & other cybernetic lifeforms that can give even the hardest marines pause. The Rise of A.I. events leads up to the real cybernetic horrors & that's next generation synethics that are living out in the void. We encountered these horrors within our own Tanhauser gate mini campaign. We would later on encounter these horrors within the Earth sector & Clement sector campaigns.