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CTD - Alien Composites


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#1 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 12:21 PM

Hi all,

I wanted to get some other peoples ideas and opinions on the alien alloy text. Here's my opening paragraph, with a breakdown of the 'alloy', and rough descriptions of how it works.

I've also got some other ideas I'd like to include, but I want some other opinions first.


TEXT(incomplete)----------------------------------

The mystery of the unusual alloy our operatives have brought back from their
missions has at last been solved. It seems it is not a true alloy at all, but rather
a number of discrete layers of metal, ceramic, and unusual hydrocarbons, each just under
one zeptometer, or approximatly 600 molecules thick. All but the
outermost layer have a fine network of alien organic tissue spread throughout, almost
like a circulatory system. These 'capilaries' seem to center on uneven indentations on
the interior of the hull.



WRITER'S NOTES:------------------------------------

1a) outer metal layer -- titanium/aluminum/uranium alloy with imbedded buckministerfullerene
cellules supported by a mesh of reinforced silicon picotubes. This is apparently
manufactured in the final shape, and the interior grown/bonded on later.

1b) inner metal layers -- titanium/aluminum/uranium alloy with hexagonal carbon picotube
reinforcement.

2) ceramic layers -- room-temperature ceramic super-conductors, presumably to disperse heat
from energy weapons.

3) Plastic layer -- alien based hydrocarbons, created with unusual enzymes from the organic
network.

4) organic network -- Differentiated alien tissue that transports individual molecules of
each substance to the appropriate layer.

EDIT: Rough visual of how the layers work. Each number corresponds to the layer listed above.

[Outer skin] - [Core(repeated ~10^18 times for hull)] - [Interior skin]

[1a 2 3 ] - [1b 2 3] - [1a]


with 4 spread throughout.

*The general idea is that the alien alloy is grown (quasi-link to apoc?)...the final shape
is determined by the manufactured outer shell. Then the organic layer is set to work, with
blocks of the appropriate substance (indentations mentioned is text) to supply the material.


IDEAS-----------------------------------------------
1) organic layer is siliciod-based...that's why these things are always hanging around
bases, but not seen outside. They're there to build ships.

2) plastic layer is actually another alien type (maybe floating fetus things), converted by
organic layer into plastic.

3) fluff text on minor self-repair ability? No actual affect, but creepy thought.
"...you're always afraid you'll lose control and wake up some morning with a half-built time machine and a plan to go back in time and pants Hitler."
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#2 Fred the Goat

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 02:16 PM

Sweet! Nice addition of science speak, you know your shite. I was going to offer to work together with you on this, but maybe I'll just throw input in here.

I like the makeup, and I think it's great that you incorporated the silicoids. It makes it a little more alien to give it an organic layer, without being totally organic, which would be a little too X-com 3. I guess I'd vote for only having one type of alien be associated with ship construction, but I definitely like the idea of the self-repairing ability. I guess that could be why you don't have to repair armor ever? Uniforms are "free" and any kind of alien armor repairs itself.

Thinking along the lines of personal armor, you've mentioned the strength and heat dispersal aspects of the stuff. What about reflective properties? What if the buckyballs and silicon picotubes, along with the alloy, created some kind of energy-reflecting barrier, like all the atoms lined up perfectly to efficiently reflect light and energetic particles, or something. Maybe the ceramic superconductor layers heat up the organic network, or plastic layer, one or both of which emit some kind of energy not harmful to the ship/person when their temperature rises above a certain point, thus dispersing the energy. I dunno. Are you sure about picotubes? I've heard of microtubules, but never picotubes, but if you've heard of them, I'll shut up.

Maybe we could have a soldier testimonial about how they were checking out a crash site, and they put their hand on a piece of busted hull, and the next day their glove had this wierd white crusty patch on it...or maybe one on just how frickin tough the stuff is, like finding a wreck with everything in the ship totally vaporized, leaving just an alien-alloy shell. Actually, I guess they use alloys to build their equipment, too. Whatever, food for thought.

#3 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 04:27 PM

All input and help is welcomed!

I'm glad you like it...my only other idea was strange matter, but I couldn't come up with much to say about it.

The reflective bit is a good idea...I admit I was thinking that the superconductor would probably take care of that, though. I actually got the idea from a book (The last Dancer by Daniel Keys Moran), where they have cyborgs with a superconductor mesh under their skin.

Basically, all a laser (or plasma, even) does is heat a relatively small area VERY hot. The actual heat applied is fairly minimal compared to the mass of the target. (think of the energy required to melt a whole in a 2cm thick sheet of steel as compared to melting an entire squre meter of 2 cm thick steel). All the superconductor does is take the heat from the point of attack, and spread it though the entire hull (giving is several hundred square meters to radiate away).

I though it would explain why craft weapons (and blasterbombs, both being several magnitudes more powerful than normal hand weapons) can damage ufo hulls, but you can stand next to one for hours with a heavy plasma and not even scratch it.

As for picotubes, I made 'em up :D I know carbon nanotubes exist, so I bumped carbon up to silicon, and nano- to pico- (pico being the next prefix down the list).

Sort of like 'zeptometer', which is actually a valid unit of measument. ^_^

You're right, we should limit it to one type of alien. I just liked the idea of a Muton Leader needing to fix his ship fast, so he grabs a few sectoids (or maybe humans, even) and feeds them to the ship. Immagine walking through a ufo with half-digested sectoids hanging out of the walls.
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#4 GreatGold

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 09:34 PM

Hey -

I really like the shape this is taking. I have some comments based on random Alien Alloy things said before. I belive Deimos suggested that it also be EMS shielded, allowing for more fun :D . I'm not sure WHY he suggested this, but I know there must be a reason.

So if Deimos reads this, and I didn't mix him up with someone else, could you please clarify?

I also really like the Silicoid idea... great thinking on that one. One thing I think that should be covered then, is this:

(keep in mind its just fluff, no effect on game play at all)
Obviously, you get Alien Alloys long before you ever encounter a Silicoid. And then after researching it you have the ability to manufacture. But how, if we don't have Silicoids?! Heres the twist.

The human scientists figure out how to produce Alien Alloys without Silicoids (someone else can write-up how they do this, it could be an interesting techno thingy to do), but without any idea that Silicoids are invovled. All they know is that some biological entity is involved, but no specifics can be determined.

Upon the first autopsy of a Silicoid, it becomes apparent that this species is involved the production of Alien Allloys. Theories are made, no one really knows though.

And upon the capture and interrigation of a live one, the story becomes clear. And, in the fluff text of the autopsy, the player can read this. I think it would be cute if we put in something along the lines of "If only we had known, the manurfacturing process and research could have been so much easier and effiecient!"

I personally think that an evolving plot would be cool, where later in the game when you finally capture a Silicoid, it all becomes more solid. Perhaps we could even throw a theory in with the original Alien Alloys write-up that the player believes to be true, until the interrigation, where he finds out the Xenocide scientists were wrong all along. X-Com had no twists like that, it would be neat if we put some in...

Thoughts?
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#5 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 09:55 PM

I like that alot...I was thinking something similar, since silicoids don't take instructions from humans anyways. Something about stimulating the alien cells to reproduce..it's possible but very expensive/dangerous.

One thing I really want to put in the organic section of the write up is something about disastrous early attempts, with posthumous medal recommendations for assorted scientists. It just makes it hit home a little harder that these scientists aren't just playing with funny colored liquids is beakers.

EDIT:
One of thses days I'll finish a thought before hitting submit.

Is/would it be possible to have cross-over updates like that? So that new things are revealed about previously researched items when you finish another topic? That would be really cool.

This probably isn't the place for this but another related idea I had is for the techs with really long descriptions. Rather than having 2 pages of text dumped on them at the very end, why not have progress reports every other day or so. These reports can contain a couple of paragraphs from the final description, until at the end, you have the whole thing.
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#6 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 10:05 PM

PS - What's EMS? I've heard of EMP...
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#7 GreatGold

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 10:45 PM

LOL -

I'm an EMT... it gets to your head...

EMS - Emergency Medical Services
EMT - Emergency Medical Technician
EMP - what I meant to type!!!!

:D
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#8 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 18 June 2003 - 11:14 PM

Heh...that was the first thing I thought, actually...I was an EMT a number of years ago...had to quit when I went to college.
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#9 F*SH

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 05:17 AM

One thing: a zeptometer is much much smaller than an atom. Certainly not 600 molecules...

I like the general idea though...

#10 Breunor

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 06:24 AM

These ideas for alien alloys sound great. Particularly the involvement of the Silacoid, or the extraterrestrial floating turd, as I like to refer to it. Now it has a purpose! :happybanana:

Just as humans learn to make their own version of the alien weapons, they learn to manufacture the alloys using some combination of spider silk and modified buckyball molecules, or something like that. When they capture the silicoid they learn the alien's more efficient method, but aren't able to extract enough from the alien to make it worthwhile.

I think it would be easy enough to segment the X-Net entries based on the progress level you're at in the research. It would be nice to see the parts of the research for more advanced items, but I think it would get annoying to some if that were done with all the research. There'd be so many pop-ups, you'd think the program was AOL!

#11 Deimos

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 04:37 PM

Ok PMS :D sorry EMS ElectroMagentic Shielding would be a necessary property of the alloy for the plasma tech, I think it was RK that mentioned in the plasma/laser thread that the reaction of the plasma I described would generate a heck of a lot of EM Interference and would need some serious shielding, hence my write up of it. :)

The only thing not mentioned in the text is how and why the iridium sheen works.

As a pointer for the future, can anyone who is submitting text work please read up and reference stuff we already approved for consideration to be included in the game. Thanks :)

Edited by Deimos, 19 June 2003 - 05:02 PM.


#12 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 04:57 PM

Here's an updated (and expanded) version....does it cover everything so far?

EDIT: Switched to file, rather than text
"...you're always afraid you'll lose control and wake up some morning with a half-built time machine and a plan to go back in time and pants Hitler."
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#13 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 04:59 PM

Here it is...


EDIT: minor tweaks, grammer and spelling fixed.

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#14 GreatGold

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:07 PM

As a pointer for the future, can anyone who is submitting text work please read up and reference stuff we already approved for consideration to be included in the game. Thanks 


Hey -

I'm not quite sure what you mean by this :huh?: . Could you just throw it at me again in another way, cause im slow tonight apparently...

Thanks,
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#15 GreatGold

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 09:09 PM

Here it is...
EDIT:  minor tweaks, grammer and spelling fixed.

Hey -

Is this a copy you would like put up as a draft on the asset page? Or just for internal review and critique here in this thread?

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#16 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 19 June 2003 - 10:14 PM

This is still just for review...I think I want at least a complete first draft before officially posting it.
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#17 mikker

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 02:52 AM

1) organic layer is siliciod-based...that's why these things are always hanging around
bases, but not seen outside. They're there to build ships.

siliciod? Why do you take them? Instand, you could say that the PLANTS at the bases are for the organic layer. Do you mean that the siliciods are the "workers?"

Edited by mikker, 20 June 2003 - 03:25 AM.

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#18 GreatGold

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 08:12 AM

Mikker -

I think your on to something. I suggest that the Silicoids be "children" of the plants... or mobile seeds perhaps. The plants should be used for Alien Alloy production by aliens, and then the Silicoids go to the news bases to sprout new plants. Now, the seeds are so important (insert reason here) and therefore the seed is just one big defensive fortress.

Also, I have taken down the ALien Alloy Text until you say its ready :D

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#19 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 10:13 AM

I admit I was thinking more that the silicoids were engineered to secrete the alien alloy layers, and eventually sort of grow into the ship.

Mobile seeds.....hmmm...maybe the plants could be used to supply the plastic layer...the plant seeds itself (releasing X number of silicoids), and then the silicoids eat the parent plant. Before being genetically engineered, the silicoids would spread out, take root, and develop into the plant stage. Now they take the plant material and convert it into alien alloy parts.

How does that sound? Or are we getting to far into the Silicoid write-up with this?
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#20 GreatGold

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 01:55 PM

Hey -

The more inter-connected everything is, the better. It makes everything that much more immersive.

Just worry about the Alien Alloys though, and when we do the Silicoid entry, we will reference back to Alien Alloys to keep everything together.

Also, Alien Alloys are now a top priority document, alonf with Elerium-115. When these two are done, we'll really be able to write-up some solid, connected, "keeping the big picture" ideas.

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Edited by GreatGold, 20 June 2003 - 01:56 PM.

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#21 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 02:59 PM

Okay, here's complete first draft. Feel free to add it to the official list.

If anyone out there want's to come up with a personal quote text like the one mentioned earlier, go for it. I'm terrible at them.

-The Captain
"...you're always afraid you'll lose control and wake up some morning with a half-built time machine and a plan to go back in time and pants Hitler."
- A Miracle of Science


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#22 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 03:03 PM

and here's the actual file...

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#23 Deimos

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 03:21 PM

Very nice. If I may though, "The outer-most layer is complex alloy made up of Titanium,
Aluminum, and Uranium." The first two are a bit mundane and uranium is radioactive and not the best thing to be used in armour constructiuon, uinless you want your operatives droping like flies :D

May I suggest using more exotic materials like Osmium, Iridium, Niobium as they have much higher melting points than Titanium and way higher than aluminum if you want to keep the high melting point theory in the text.

Oh and I'm gona keep saying this till I'm blue in the face ;) don't forget the iridium sheen, which means there will have to be at least Iridium in there :)

#24 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 03:56 PM

Actually, I thought that "...as well as a distinctive oily sheen. " covered the iridium look. Calling it 'iridium' sounds cool...'oily' sounds more unpleasant and alien. I'd prefer to avoid Iridium actually, because it's too simple.

Changing the elements isn't a problem...I just combined military aircraft alloys (Ti and Al) with tank armor (they do use depleted uranium in armor, for the same reason they use it ammo).

How about chelonium, unobtainium, or bloodimindium? :D
(anyone else read Science of Discworld?)
"...you're always afraid you'll lose control and wake up some morning with a half-built time machine and a plan to go back in time and pants Hitler."
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#25 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 20 June 2003 - 04:03 PM

Oh, and here's the update:

Added "...Niobium, Osmium, Tungsten and Molybdenum mixed with traces of Platinum."

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#26 GreatGold

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 01:20 AM

Hey -

Wow, that was a lot faster than I thought! Excellent!

I havent had a chance to read it, but I will in the morning. And then I'll add it to the list.

Next highest in priority is Elerium-115, and also in the morning all collect al the forum posts on it in one thread, and see what that gets us started with.

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#27 mikker

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 06:11 AM

Its nice, but one things worrys me, not just this document. In this document you talk about the 2nd layer to lead away the heat from plasma/laser bursts. Now, if you have not reaserched plasma (it is even posible to not reaserch laser before this), you might wonder how the scientists can know this.

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#28 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 08:28 AM

The kind of damage that plasma causes would be obvious on the wounded and dead soldiers, as well as the surrounding area. Besides, the only thing about the alien technology that's unusual is the size....we can make the equivilent of a heavy plasma today, it just takes a fairly large building. :D

I can change it to 'energy weapons' if it really botherspeople.
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#29 Deimos

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 08:50 AM

Actually, I thought that "...as well as a distinctive oily sheen. "  covered the iridium look.  Calling it 'iridium' sounds cool...'oily' sounds more unpleasant and alien.  I'd prefer to avoid Iridium actually, because it's too simple.

Changing the elements isn't a problem...I just combined  military aircraft alloys (Ti and Al) with tank armor (they do use depleted uranium in armor, for the same reason they use it ammo).

How about chelonium, unobtainium, or bloodimindium? :D
(anyone else read Science of Discworld?)

Sorry I missed that, you're right oily does sound more unpleasant :)

Tanks use DU armour, hmm I wondered why those tank crews were growing extra limbs :D
I looked at the various melting points of the materials and the rarer stuff has higher temps that's why I suggested something like it :)

I nearly put unobtanium in just to see if anyone would get the reference. I wish I had have done it now :D

#30 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 12:07 PM

We could always add 'uselessium' in there somewhere :D

There's some comments on the firestorm thread about making this frictionless as well, so I'll try to get that added in some time this weekend.

Are we going to rename stuff like this as well as the aliens?

-The Captain
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#31 mikker

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 12:45 PM

They can't copyright "alien alloy".

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#32 GreatGold

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 03:26 PM

Hey -

The newist version has been added. I think we may want to finalize any last points, as its looking very complete at the moment.

So, with the permission of Cpt. Boxershorts, I'dd like to turn the entry from blue to green. I await you word :D !

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#33 Fred the Goat

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 03:38 PM

Tanks use DU armour, hmm I wondered why those tank crews were growing extra limbs :D

Uranium From What I've Heard (and we all know how reliable that can be):

It's not necessarily highly radioactive. In fact, "depleted Uranium" is so called because it doesn't have the high neutron count necessary to be useable in a power plant. I forget what the mass numbers are, but yes, there is Bad Uranium and Slightly Less Bad Uranium. The latter is used in tank armor, and more importantly in tank shells. There's a LOT of evidence that Gulf War Syndrome wasn't caused by chemicals floating around on the Persian breeze so much as the vaporized American tank shells, with those nice heavy Uranium tips (cancer rates in Iraq went up 700% after the first war). But I digress. Uranium isn't too bad in armor, provided it's the depleted kind, and anyway the aliens seem like the kind of jerks that wouldn't really care, anyway.

A side note - Uranium is NOT the stuff that you can jam together to get nuclear fission. That's weapons-grade plutonium (there are different kinds of this stuff too). Basically it goes like this - Uranium is mined, the good stuff (238?) is extracted, it's put in power plants which have to fire neutrons at it to get any sort of reaction going. The result is (in part) weapons-grade plutonium, as well as (I think) depleted Uranium. The latter is put in shells, the former in bombs. Weapons-grade plutonium is so radioactive that if you get a nice big chunk of it in one place, it simply starts a chain reaction of neutrons and goes off, killing millions of your heathen enemies in the most brutal ways possible. :explode:

As for the Alloys, I think you could tweek them a little more, but I don't think it's necessary. They're done. Best not to jinx it. THAT said, I did some minor editing on the document, mostly spelling, but I also changed the middle sentence in the second-to-last paragraph - "...to be bonded with the existing region." and I deleted an extraneous word here or there. I also added fluff text. :D Feel free to bash/scrap some or all of my revisions.

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#34 GreatGold

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 03:51 PM

Hey -

Fred, I'll wait to see what Cpt. thinks, and if he likes the corrections and changes, that will be the final.

And we can continually tweak the text, as long as no themes within it or added (unless neccesdsary) or changed.

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#35 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 21 June 2003 - 05:25 PM

It looks great to me...we might want to have someone with a better knowledge of grammer look at it before we actually release the game (but then again, we should probably do that for all entries at that point).

I really like the quote! :master: That's exactly the mood I was hoping to evoke. The details are just left to your imagination.... :hate:
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#36 Fred the Goat

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 04:31 PM

Sweet! Glad you like it. :D

Oops. New page. Feel free to delete this if no one else adds anything.

Edited by Fred the Goat, 22 June 2003 - 05:16 PM.


#37 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 22 June 2003 - 09:57 PM

Whoops...we almost forgot to add the frictionless bit. I put it in for the external shell as a 'side effect of the closely spaced buckminsterfullerene'. I also cleaned up a few typos, and gratutitous comma abuse on my part.


I think its good to go! :beer:

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"...you're always afraid you'll lose control and wake up some morning with a half-built time machine and a plan to go back in time and pants Hitler."
- A Miracle of Science


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#38 GreatGold

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Posted 23 June 2003 - 08:50 AM

Amen!

I'll add it as completed tonight, when I get home around midnight. That makes TWO!! completed entries, and about a dozen or so that are well on their way!

Amazing,
Gold
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#39 Maverick

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Posted 29 June 2003 - 03:50 PM

OK, i just had a really long post but i lost it -- stupid computer. here's the gist of it. draw the ideas if you like.

replace the ceramic layer with a plastic. Plastics may one day be able to act as superconductors. If we do it like this it explains why it bends without breaking (ceramics are brittle, plastics don't have to be)

the superconductive layer is polarized to control the shape of the piece manufactured (also explains why an electric current could repair dents)

the EM field around the alloy disperses EM radiation as well as bending incoming EM radiation (ie light) giving us a reason for the sheen look on the alloy.

since it is polarized, we also have a reason for it being manufactured using EM fields.

that's all for now, if you want clarification ask. Take what you like, drop what you don't.

-Mav

#40 RustedSoul

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 07:27 AM

looks done didilly 2 me ^_^

#41 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 19 January 2005 - 08:19 PM

ALIEN COMPOSITES
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Alien/Craft/Components/Composites

The mystery of the unusual composite our operatives have brought back from their missions has at last been solved. It seems it is not a true composite at all, but rather a number of discrete layers of metal, ceramic, and unusual hydrocarbons, each just under .15 picometers, or approximately 600 molecules thick. All but the outermost layer have a fine network of Alien organic tissue spread throughout, almost like a circulatory system. These 'capillaries' seem to center on uneven indentations on the interior of the material.

While many of the Alien devices are made of this substance, our analysis has focused on the scavenged hulls of captured Alien craft.
Our early studies indicated that the outer shell of a hull made of this substance is manufactured to extremely fine tolerances, but minute variances in the internal layers show a more organic look. The outer-most layer is a complex compound made up of Niobium, Osmium, Tungsten and Molybdenum mixed with traces of Platinum. The proportions must be precise, or the composite will not form. Within this composite is a complex molecular mesh of what appear to be reinforced silicon picotubes supporting and surrounding cellules of buckminsterfullerene.

This combination gives the shell an incredible strength, unmatched by any earthly armor, as well as a distinctive oily sheen. Amazingly, the external surface of this husk is virtually frictionless, a side effect of the closely spaced buckminsterfullerene. The internal metal layers are formed of the same composite, but with simpler reinforcing, a hexagonal network of carbon picotubes gives it both strength and flexibility. While complex in both makeup and design, this composite is well within our engineers' capabilities.

The second layer is an unusual ceramic compound that exhibits superconductive properties even at room temperature. The effect of this layer is to disperse the blast of any energy attack throughout the entire skin of the device, allowing the heat of a laser or plasma burst to radiate away. It also serves to thoroughly insulate a craft from electromagnetic radiation. At extremely high temperatures the ceramic begins to break down at a molecular level, losing its superconductive properties. Oddly enough, samples that have been tested to destruction seem to regain their superconductivity after a few days, with the damaged ceramic being completely re-integrated. With access to our new low pressure calcination chamber, replicating this layer is child's play.

The third layer closely resembles terrestrial plastic, being hydrocarbon based. However, it contains several unusual molecular structures and a number of previously unknown enzymes. These enzymes are definitely organic in origin, and can be reproduced in our labs. This plastic layer gives the entire structure a high level of resiliency, allowing it to flex and absorb kinetic energy quite effectively.

This combination of layers is repeated hundreds to thousands of times, depending on the item in question. Whether it is the thin wall of a plasma reaction chamber, or the impenetrable hull of a UFO, it's simply a matter of how many layers are added.
The most intriguing part of the Alien Composite is the organic portion. The tissue itself seems to be silicon based, and altered immensely at the genetic level. The capillaries infiltrate each layer completely, with the outermost shell alone immune to its spread.

Incredibly, the organic segment seems to direct the placement and bonding of the other layers, with each layer somehow absorbed from a reservoir into the organic layer, transported molecule by molecule to the proper place, to be bonded with the existing region. Amazingly, this allows anything made from these composites to be essentially self-repairing as long as the external husk is intact, and a sufficient source of the appropriate material is available. A controllable culture of this organic component is obviously the key to replicating this substance.

While early experiments to reproduce the Alien Composites had disastrous results (See “Medal of Honor, Posthumous Recommendations, Research Division”), we have managed to control the Alien tissue to the point of effective usage. With Composites manufactured by X-Corps’ engineers, there is no limit to what we can create.

"Gregor was working on that stuff all night. He just kept saying that the aliens would be unstoppable if we couldn't find a weakness in their equipment. 'They put all their eggs in one basket,' he kept saying, 'we only have to find a way to destroy these composites, and we can halt the invasion in its tracks!' We were already worried about him, but we came in the next morning, and...I dunno, he must have fallen asleep. It was like the stuff knew, or something, like it knew he was trying to destroy it. I still can't get that image out of my mind. It's in my dreams now. His face..."
- James Sanchez, PhD

#42 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 28 February 2005 - 12:50 PM

ROUND 1

ALIEN COMPOSITES
X-Net://Pegasus.net/Alien/Craft/Components/Composites

The mystery of the unusual composite our operatives have brought back from the field has at last been solved. It seems it is not a true composite at all, but rather a number of discrete layers of metal, ceramic, and unusual hydrocarbons, each layer being just under 0.15 picometers thick. All but the outermost layer have a fine network of Alien organic tissue spread throughout, almost like a circulatory system. These 'capillaries' seem to center on uneven indentations on the interior of the material.

While many of the Alien devices are made of this substance, our analysis has focused on the scavenged hulls of captured Alien craft.
Early studies indicated that the outer shell of an Alien Composite-hull is manufactured to extremely fine tolerances, but minute variances in the internal layers show a more organic look. The external layer is a complex compound made up of Niobium, Osmium, Tungsten and Molybdenum mixed with traces of Platinum. The proportions must be precise, or the composite will not form. Within this composite is a complex molecular mesh of what appear to be reinforced silicon picotubes, supporting and surrounding molecules of buckminsterfullerene.

This combination gives the shell an incredible strength, unmatched by any earthly armor, as well as a distinctive oily sheen. Amazingly, the external surface of this husk is virtually frictionless, a side effect of the closely spaced buckminsterfullerene molecules. The internal metallic layers are made of the same compound, but with simpler reinforcement; a hexagonal network of carbon picotubes provides it both with strength and flexibility. While complex in both makeup and design, this layer is well within our engineers' capabilities.

The second layer is an unusual ceramic compound that exhibits superconductive properties even at room temperature. The effect of this layer on the Alien Composites is to enable them to disperse the blast of any energy attack throughout the entire skin of the device, allowing the heat of a laser or plasma burst to radiate away. It also serves to thoroughly insulate a craft from electromagnetic radiation. At extremely high temperatures, the ceramic begins to break down to a molecular level, losing its superconductive properties. Oddly enough, samples that have been tested to destruction seem to regain their superconductivity after a few days, with the damaged ceramic being completely regenerated. With access to our new low pressure calcination chamber, replicating this layer is child's play.

The third layer closely resembles terrestrial plastic, being hydrocarbon based. However, it contains several unusual molecular structures and a number of previously unknown enzymes, which can be easily reproduced in our laboratories. This plastic layer gives the entire structure a high level of resiliency, allowing it to flex and absorb kinetic energy quite effectively.

This sequence of layers is repeated hundreds to thousands of times, depending on the item in question. Whether it is the thin wall of a plasma-reaction chamber, or the impenetrable hull of an UFO, it is simply a matter of how many layers are added.

The most intriguing part of the Alien Composites is its organic portion. The tissue itself seems to be silicon-based, but altered immensely at the genetic level. The capillaries infiltrate each layer completely, with the outermost shell alone immune to its spread.

Incredibly, the organic segment seems to direct the placement and bonding of the other layers, with each layer somehow absorbed from a reservoir into the organic layer, transported molecule by molecule to the proper place, to be bonded with the existing region. Amazingly, this allows anything made of these composites to be essentially self-repairing as long as the external husk is intact and a sufficient source of the appropriate material is available. A controllable culture of this organic component is obviously the key to replicating this substance.

While early experiments to reproduce the Alien Composites had disastrous results, we have managed to control the Alien tissue to the point of effective usage. With Composites manufactured by X-Corps’ engineers, there is no limit to what we can create.

"Gregor was working on that stuff all night. He just kept saying that the Aliens would be unstoppable if we couldn't find a weakness in their equipment. "They put all their eggs in one basket", he kept saying, "we only have to find a way to destroy these Composites, and we can halt the invasion in its tracks!" We were already worried about him, but we came in the next morning, and...I dunno, he must have fallen asleep. It was like the stuff knew, or something, like it knew he was trying to destroy it. I still can't get that image out of my mind. It's in my dreams now. His face..."
- James Sanchez, PhD