The Egg - What's Inside?

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mellonbread mellonbread's picture
The Egg - What's Inside?

So on page 21 of Sunward we have

Quote:
A skyscraper-sized oval floating in high Mercury orbit, no one knows exactly what the “Egg” is or what it does. The Factors left the Egg behind in AF 8 when one of their ships visited Mercury, telling transhumanity only that it belonged to them and we should leave it alone. Though they have hinted that it is not a weapon, they refuse to answer any direct questions regarding the object, along with some veiled threats not to disturb it. Not wanting to risk an incident, the Planetary Consortium has declared the Egg off-limits, despite some vocal factions urging that the mysterious item be destroyed lest it pose some kind of threat. The Consortium has thoroughly studied the Egg from a safe distance, of course, though they aren’t sharing their results. Firewall has learned that the Egg’s physical composition remains a puzzle, and that it may be shaped from some kind of exotic matter.
The leading speculation is that the Egg is some sort of sensing device, though why it was left in Mercury’s orbit is unclear. Others have noted that the Egg has a constant overwatch on Caloris 18, and suspect it may be placed to watch for signs of TITAN activity. This has spurred rumors of the Factors secretly placing other, hidden egg-like devices near other areas of known TITAN presences, though these remain unconfirmed. Still others argue that the Egg may be a long-range surveillance device for monitoring the Vulcanoid Gate. For now, at least, the Consortium keeps the Egg under guard and has already thwarted one attempted attack from an anti-Factor extremist group.

What do you think is inside? How would you use it in an adventure?

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I hate to be a biological determinist, but if the Factors really are ambush predators at heart, I say it's some kind of trap to capture curious transhumans for some unknown, possibly nefarious purpose. The Consortium (or at least Ozma) is aware of this and allows it to continue, ensuring that nobody important goes near it, and that nothing gets through that the Egg's own (considerable) defenses can't handle.

Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?

Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
My bet is that they're

My bet is that they're cooking up something which is not in transhumanity's best interests.

Personally, I'd just as soon launch antimatter at the damn thing until it was a pile of neutrons, and when they show up and go "WTF!?" ask them exactly what they thought they were doing, installing something in our space without an agreement permitting them to do so.

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Leodiensian Leodiensian's picture
I think it's a measure of

I think it's a measure of last resort in some way, shape or form. Possibly to do with the Vulcanoid Gate - but then why haven't they deployed other Eggs near the other Gates? I think it's less about the Gate and more about the Sun. I'm working on a one-shot connected to my main campaign where something shoots off from the Egg towards the Sun and the PC's have to try and investigate - mainly because it's the best way I can think of to get some suryas into the game!

ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Leodiensian wrote:I think it

Leodiensian wrote:
I think it's a measure of last resort in some way, shape or form. Possibly to do with the Vulcanoid Gate - but then why haven't they deployed other Eggs near the other Gates? I think it's less about the Gate and more about the Sun. I'm working on a one-shot connected to my main campaign where something shoots off from the Egg towards the Sun and the PC's have to try and investigate - mainly because it's the best way I can think of to get some suryas into the game!

If it's a measure of last resort and it's in orbit of Mercury, then chances are you're right - it's something to do with the sun. Maybe a way to turn the sun into a toroidal bomb or something.

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Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
If I were a clever ambush

If I were a clever ambush predator (which I can assure you I am not) dealing with creatures suspicious of me, I would put up a lure for them to be suspicious about. Meanwhile, my real trap would not look like a trap. Maybe it would look like just ordinary communications (like helpful/paranoid warnings about gates), trade trinkets or just a boring patch of empty space...

Extropian

Rallan Rallan's picture
It's a test and a trap, and

It's a test and a trap, and basically a lower-tech gimmick of the "presents" the ETI has seeded throughout the galaxy. They want to trade with us because trade is how they acquire the knowledge and technology to stay under the ETI's radar. And they turn a blind eye to our use of the Gates because they hope we'll stumble across some really juicy tech to trade (and because part of their survival strategy involves letting expendable races like us take all the risk of Gate exploration and then fucking off with as much tech as they can buy before we get curbstomped). But trade with us is risky because we haven't learned how to avoid drawing the ETI's attention, so the Factors need an insurance policy.

So they put an artifact in orbit around the sun. An incredibly advanced artifact that we do not have a hope in hell of meaningfully interfering with at the moment. In fact, any civilization that could do anything meaningful to the artifact would be getting very nearly advanced enough to piss off the ETI. So the Factors leave the artifact and wait. And wait. And wait some more. And when we finally do figure out how to crack it open (or power it up or turn it off or whatever we're supposed to do to it), they'll know that it's time to exterminate the human race, get the hell out of dodge, and pretend they've never been here.

On the upside it's also a test to help determine whether we should become real trading partners. If we become advanced enough to do anything meaningful to the artifact and we keep on leaving the damn thing alone, then it's a good sign that we might just be patient and paranoid enough to survive in this crazy ETI-dominated galaxy of ours, and it could well be time for the Factors to help us move on to our new life as interstellar nomads on the run.

nick012000 nick012000's picture
What's inside it? I dunno,

What's inside it? I dunno, but I'm sure that Firewall's got a battery of antimatter missiles pointed right at it, in case it does anything funny.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

lev_lafayette lev_lafayette's picture
Reviving an ancient thread

Reviving an ancient thread (necro is ok here?), in my own game, The Egg is a bomb. After all, as Sunward points out:

"... if some advanced intelligence were able to figure out a method to cause the star’s interior to burn down to a core of iron and nickel, the sun would explode in a supernova, wiping out the entire solar system."

Why would the Factors do such a thing? For self-preservation. They've managed to avoid TITAN-like destruction which has stomped other civilizations, and if possible they want to stop it happening again. They tell transhumanity, time and time again, don't build AGIs, don't go through gates, don't use synthmorphs, but we don't listen to them.

Well, they can use a little insurance pollcy. That's the egg. When transhumanity makes yet another mistake, they'll nuke the entire solar system.

It's the only way to be sure.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
lev_lafayette wrote:

lev_lafayette wrote:

Well, they can use a little insurance pollcy. That's the egg. When transhumanity makes yet another mistake, they'll nuke the entire solar system.

It's the only way to be sure.

I must disagree there. Transhumanity is now in several solar systems, reached through the gates. Firewall has several projects devoted to plant seeds of civilization, with cornucopias and egos ready to come out after a random amount of time. Wiping the solar system won't be enough, and the Factors must have realized the logical conclusions of what happens when you cross forking, nanotechnology building, space travel capabilities in a limited way, and FTL, even if it's a faustian FTL system like the Pandora Gates.

So, if they nuke the solar system and the survivors, of which will there be, realize it was them, a big shit will hit the fan.

It would be much more faster and easier to get out of the system and let the humans kill themselves off, or, if the desired outcome is the destruction of transhumanity, encouragement to the Exurgent virus.

That is, of course, assuming the Factors are real aliens, and not something like a probe/remotely piloted drones.

lev_lafayette lev_lafayette's picture
A mere mop-up operation, the

A mere mop-up operation, the overwhelming majority of transhumanity (and morphs) are in the inner system.

Besides, The Factors told transhumanity not to use the Gates.