The Gammaverse Group 62 members · 7 stories
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This thread is for, like the title says, technology discussions! Yay! Here's a question about Potion.

So, last night I was trying to fit one of my characters into Gammaverse, Sky Sparkler. A unicorn weather pony in her current incarnation, her special talent is electrically-related magic, of relatively high power levels. I had a few lovely visions of her teleporting from the roof of one vehicle to another in the climax of Option Gamma (see this blog post for more about her power)

One of the side effects is that she and delicate electronics don't get along well; she tends to burn them out accidentally, through simple proximity. In fact, if she was so inclined, she could generate a good sized electromagnetic pulse.

So what happens to that masterpiece of hybrid technology, the Potion, when the nanites are all fried by an EMP? Does it become inert? Or dangerous as the magical component tries to do what it does without those nanites?

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This is a question even i can answer. Logically, if it was that easy to ruin a batch of potion, the HLF would use EMP's to do so. Since they don't, it must have a defense against that.

Oh, potion vaults and shipping containers would have enough metal in them to shield against EMP, at least to the point where 'blow up the crate' is just as hard. I'm thinking that this would only happen under the 'field use' conditions that the PER use potion.

Hmmm... 'nother thought, black market potion use...

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Black market potion use would probably be run by the PER.

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Potion is an extremely special case of 'tech.'

It is made from Equestrian magical potions, spells, earth chemicals, and programmed nano-particles.
When these are properly fused, plus some select generic DNA of the target organism, Potion becomes something more than the sum of its parts. Magitech.

It is the first, last, and only synthesis of these things that is so perfect that it can, in-fact, be taken to Equestria even though it was originally based on human science and materials in-part.

This means that you can not so-easily destroy or modify potion. It takes a very careful feat of science and/or magic to poison, re-purpose, or render-inert a batch of potion. This means direct, careful, time consuming, hyper-specific manipulation. If you hit it with an EMP, for example, the magical components absorb and cancel out the energy like it was never even there.

Poisons for Potion are harder to create the hardier-immune-systemed the species. It is so impossible to add anything to Dragon potion, for example, that the anesthetic has to be administered beforehand.
Dragon potion is so caustic it has to be kept in trinium containers with 4 inch thick transparent titanium 'glass.' Gryphon potion is similarly near-impossible to poison. The PER nearly succeeded once, but only after extensive research; and the process took so long that destroying the poison batch set them back in that effort by decades if not a century or more.

But I digress.

Potion works by stripping a person of the 'species' part of their DNA and replacing it with the payload DNA. The 'personal' part of the DNA is reformatted to work with the new species and then used to fill in the appropriate gaps making you literally a ____ version of you where the blank is the new species.

During this time the subject usually experiences a vivid hallucination referred to as a 'Conversion Dream.' This is a metaphysical event caused by the soul 'uninstalling old drivers' and 'installing new ones' if you will, to smooth the transition to the new form, instincts, and new components being added to one's identity.

Potion contains;

Transformative spells
Transformative potions
Programmed nanoparticles
Earth Anasthetic in most cases
A mitosis accelerator spell
A mitosis accelerating Earth chemical
Earth chemicals that 'unwind' DNA
Targeted chemicals that erode the 'species' part of human DNA
Spells that preserve and re-integrate the 'personal' part of the DNA
The spell that creates the Conversion Dream
Sample of the target specie's 'species DNA'

Group Contributor

734255 Oh, black market potion. Yeah, I can divulge some stuff. Diamond Dogs offer their potion, illegally made, and distribute it. Seeing as how like gryphons and dragons, their potion has certain requirements that the government needs people to meet, but DD potion is easy enough to manufacture through illicit means.

As for other potions, Pony, Buffalo, and Zebra potions are offered at bureaus without conditions and for free. Gryphon potions have stringent control set up by the gryphon kingdoms. While diamond dog and dragon potions have strict control over who is permitted access to them. This is because if someone isn't "strong" enough to deal with the new instincts, they can essentially "break". In Dragons this means going feral, and for diamond dogs this means getting magnetized into a pack or succumbing to their other instincts, hunting for Lupines, greed for Trolls, and deception for Vulpines.

734296 Is it possible for a conversion dream to involve a conversation? I know some other TCB stories involve the convert frequently conversing with Celestia. I'm not necessarily asking that every conversion dream would have a conversational component, but it'd be an interesting avenue to leave open.

734255 734284 On the subject of black market products. Cybernetic augmentations are heavily regulated, so those would be something that could be driven into the black market.

Although, I would find it interesting for what kinds of uses crime groups could use the different potions for if they ever got their hands on some.

Different technology question, I already have extensive knowledge of rail-gun technology, but plasma/laser rifles, and in particular, potion rifles, still elude me as to their finer details.

Group Admin

Great summaries! :pinkiehappy:

As to conversations; they can definitely happen on rare occasions, but they're essentially a conversation with a magical construct representing the basic identity of the species, not the actual entity of Celestia or Luna or anyone else specificly.

Hmmm... May as well ask it in here, What exactly does it take to develop a new type of Potion? (To avoid any spoilers of things that are bound to be written down the line in Threshold or other fics, I will use a random sample I have sitting around from past projects) For example, what would it take in order to go from concept all the way through a first test batch for Phoenix Potion, assuming that is even possible?

P.S. If you are really wondering where the random example came from, I still have a random outline for a potential play test session from my failed attempt at making a TCB Gammaverse RPG, which involved a raid on a PER potion development operation, a mad scientist afraid of death, a batch of Phoenix Potion, and chasing a bird around a military base. On a random note, I did have a breakthrough finally and have restarted development of the aforementioned RPG.

Group Contributor

736136 Thank you, but what about laser/plasma/potion rifles? How do those work?

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Hey that's great news! I'd be happy to help with ideas on balance and traits if you like, since I've had some time, as a result of Threshold, to put serious thought into physical mental emotional and spiritual balancing and mechanics for the species beyond what I initially had.

Anyways; strap in folks this is a long one.
Potion first, rifles next.

Ok, so lets assume Phoenix are fully sentient (Potion can only be developed for a fully sentient race).

Stage one is DNA sampling. Lots of it. The genome must be fully mapped and understood, which takes some serious work for Equestrian species. Next, a synthetic copy of the 'species' part of the DNA must be made, which usually has to be done with magic in Equestria since science can't quite manage it.

After that, it becomes very very complex trial an error on what chemicals, instructions for the nano-particles, and spells allow the Conversion to work properly. Tests are done on cell cultures to avoid casualties and ethical issues.

Many of the initial mixtures won't even combine, and many of the initial working recombitatns will fail.
It can take years to fully work out a stable mixture.

It takes scientists of every discipline as well as mages, and biologists, and doctors, and representatives of the species in question.

Once that is done, they ship test batches to a Bureau, and if initial Conversions go well, it gets produced mainstream.

Pony Potion is easiest to produce, Gryphon and Dragon the hardest.
The PER can, for example, make Pony potion illicitly, but no one outside Earthgov can manage Dragon or Gryphon potion since its so much more difficult by orders of magnitude.

As for rifles;

A Laser rifle is what it says on the tin; high powered laser blast focused through a series of lenses, based on capacitor discharge. The capacitors for laser rifles are much bigger than the ones for railgun weapons of the same size, since there is no other ammo in a laser weapon and it takes more oomph per shot of discharge than a rail-weapon.

Plasma weapons are not much of a thing at present. Too bulky, not enough power generation.

*Particle* weapons exist, and, are insanely powerful, but so high-tech that they are prone to near-constant breakdowns. All a particle weapon is, is a railgun that fires particles rather than rods, and at speeds so high they become a particle stream rather than a projectile.

As a result, their number-of-shots to capacitor-size ratio is atrocious; they run out very swiftly.

PER potion rifles are a special subversion that fires liquid potion as the particle stream. This allows it to pass right through armor and even a thin wall, and impact a person internally to deliver itself as it reconstitutes.

Particle weapons are stupidly expensive and difficult to maintain. the military very very rarely uses heavy ones, and almost no one else has the know-how, cash, and connections to get them besides the PER.

More notes on weapons;

Scatter-weapons/Shotguns/flak guns are a very very cheap low class of weapon. They have zero use in military or advanced gang situations, since modern armor is designed to deflect insane amounts of force, and they can't even begin to scratch it. They are almost never seen or used outside of the poorest-of-the-poor.

Chemical-based (like modern gunpowder) weapons *are* still used by gangs, the HLF, and as backup pieces in the military.

Laser weapons, due to the way they work, are almost never used as a primary military weapon (except for some usage as a light sniper weapon), but get a TON of use as backup weapons (pistols especially) and favorite weapons of assassins and high-end-gangs (since they leave 0 ballistic trace, in exchange for their abysmal armor penetration).

Rail-weapons are the mainstay and can be found nearly everywhere in some capacity as Pistols, SMGs, assault weapons, DRM rifles, sniper rifles, and other assorted guns big and small of all shapes and sizes.

Missiles still have some use on ships and aircraft, but dumbfire ones almost never exist anymore since any confrontation with missiles hinges on the AI in the missile versus any deployed ocuntermeasur systems and their AI.

Since flak is mostly useless (missiles are armored too, and usually highly hardened against EMPs) most anti-missile measures depend on targeting it and killing it with the rail-equivalent of a sea-whizz, or defeating the AI with Electronic Countermeasures and prematurely detonating the warhead.

Sounds like Sky would have better luck using an EMP to kill the potion rifles than the potion. If they're that fault prone, even a relatively weak EMP could disable them.

What of Magitech. The potion might be the current example of it. What if other types could be created? For example, computing technology that utilizes thaumic energy and physics.

Group Contributor

737800 Personally, I'm touching upon that subject in "The First Choice".

Producing electricity is possible, you just need a turbine generator, and magically manufacturing magnets is possible. The problem is that electricity goes berserk in the magic saturated environment of Equestria.

Here's the relevant rough draft for the scene.

Willard went over to the block and shoved it into place with ease. He walked around it and found the wire Twilight had mentioned. Before grabbing it in his mouth, Willard asked, “This generator doesn’t have any remaining charge does it?”

“No!” Twilight yelled. When Willard looked back he noticed she was standing behind a shield she had created.

“Is this thing going to blow up when I plug it in?”

“If it does, it won’t harm you as badly as it would me. Earth pony durability, you could survive a train hitting you provided you got medical treatment to prevent complications.”

The earth pony had an uncomfortable flashback of his first train ride in Equestria. Sighing, Willard picked up the wire and inserted it into the hole in the block. He trotted away from the assembly until he stood by Twilight. The mare’s horn began to spark as she cast a second spell, rotating the turbine to produce electricity.

The generator groaned for a moment before shaking violently. The light bulb shot away from the pedestal and shattered on the ceiling before all the fragments burst into multiple flashes of light that arced back down to the ground. Willard made to move before a purple hoof shot out in front of him.

“Give it a minute...” Twilight said.

“Dr. Sparkle, the light bulb was disintegrated. I think that—”

The stone pedestal shot away from the generator, sailing across the room at a speed some pegasi would envy, before burying itself in a wall.

Essentially, thaumic/magic computers are still a long ways off. That said, we went from shoe-sized cellphones to the iPhone in a few decades, so maybe basic computing technology for data storage will be possible in time to save, as Spike will soon say, "everything everyone ever wrote."

Group Admin

Potion is really the only example of materials that actually come *from* Earth being fused successfully enough to take them over.

As for examples of designs and concepts of technology being produced in Equestria, with Equestrian materials, to create magitech? Oh yes. Plenty of that on the horizon; just expect a slow start because of the way magic and electricity play so poorly together.

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