Family atomics

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Anathema
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Family atomics

Postby Anathema » 04 Nov 2009 17:17

Hey guys, long time no see etc.

The other day I saw a discussing about ballistic missiles on another forum wich lead me to wonder about atomics in the Duniverse.
Cut & paste from a thread I made at Fed2k:
I forgot if it was Dune or CoD, but it's mentioned in one of these books that a typical Landsraad family had enough atomic weapons to destroy 50 or so other families.
The Tupile planets mentioned in Messiah are carefully hidden by the Guild so that defeated families can have a safe sanctuary, presumably to prevent them from lashing out in a blaze of glory.

But here's the deal: how would one House attack another House's planet with these weapons? They'd have to rely on Guild transportation. But they're always aware of what they're transporting and presumably wouldn't cooperate with such a flagrant violation.

The only conceivable way left to use them against rival Houses would be as a quasi-defensive weapons, i.e. blow invading armies to oblivion once they set foot on your soil.

Am I missing something?

http://forum.dune2k.com/index.php?topic=22136.0

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Idahopotato » 04 Nov 2009 17:46

Also in regards to the topic of atomics, how did Paul get his back to blow the shield wall? I can't seem to recall how that happened. I would think that the Baron would have confiscated them.

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Idahopotato » 04 Nov 2009 17:54

Anathema wrote:Hey guys, long time no see etc.

The other day I saw a discussing about ballistic missiles on another forum wich lead me to wonder about atomics in the Duniverse.
Cut & paste from a thread I made at Fed2k:
I forgot if it was Dune or CoD, but it's mentioned in one of these books that a typical Landsraad family had enough atomic weapons to destroy 50 or so other families.
The Tupile planets mentioned in Messiah are carefully hidden by the Guild so that defeated families can have a safe sanctuary, presumably to prevent them from lashing out in a blaze of glory.

But here's the deal: how would one House attack another House's planet with these weapons? They'd have to rely on Guild transportation. But they're always aware of what they're transporting and presumably wouldn't cooperate with such a flagrant violation.

The only conceivable way left to use them against rival Houses would be as a quasi-defensive weapons, i.e. blow invading armies to oblivion once they set foot on your soil.

Am I missing something?

http://forum.dune2k.com/index.php?topic=22136.0


That could be why it is never done. I mean the threat of a retaliation is bad enough, but then having to go through all the logistics of it and still keep it a secret is probably more than anyone would be willing to risk. One minute you are loading up your nukes, the next you find yourself transported to salusa secundas surrounded by saudakar. And you nukes are now property of his majesty.

There is a scene in Dune where Piter and the Baron are discussing their plans and they make mention that the likelihood of Leto going rogue is slim since they hadn't packed up their family nukes or something like that. The exact wording alludes me atm without the book in front of me.

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Lisan Al-Gaib » 04 Nov 2009 19:08

Idahopotato wrote:Also in regards to the topic of atomics, how did Paul get his back to blow the shield wall? I can't seem to recall how that happened. I would think that the Baron would have confiscated them.


The atreides hid the atomics in a safe place in Arrakis, before the Duke's death, if I remenber well.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Lundse » 05 Nov 2009 03:58

Lisan Al-Gaib wrote:The atreides hid the atomics in a safe place in Arrakis, before the Duke's death, if I remenber well.


You do:

Frank Herbert, in Dune wrote:"We will depend upon ourselves," he said. "Our immediate concern is our family atomics. We must get them before the Harkonnens can search them out."
"Not likely they'll be found," she said, "the way they were hidden."
"It must not be left to chance."
And she thought: Blackmail with the family atomics as a threat to the planet and its spice--that's what he has in mind. But all he can hope for then is escape into renegade anonymity.


That's all we hear about the atomics in Dune, except explanations about the convention, their (non-)use and blowing the shield wall.


And on the 50 planets (it might be more than that, if a House holds more than one planet - although I presume that's pretty rare).

Frank Herbert, in Dune Messiah wrote:The advent of the Field Process shield and the lasgun with their explosive interaction, deadly to attacker and attacked, placed the current determinatives, on weapons technology. We need not go into the special role of atomics. The fact that any Family in my Empire could so deploy its atomics as to destroy the planetary bases of fifty or more other Families causes some nervousness, true. But all of us possess precautionary plans for devastating retaliation. Guild and Landsraad contain the keys which hold this force in check, No, my concern goes to the development of humans as special weapons. Here is a virtually unlimited field which a few powers are developing.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby inhuien » 06 Nov 2009 05:50

The wording of the quote from Messiah above makes it clear that only 50 planetary bases not the planets themselves would be destroyed, we're not talking about a carpet bombing scenario here. So as a minimum 50 devises would suffice.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Nov 2009 08:01

What's the difference between a planetary base and a planet?
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Re: Family atomics

Postby SandChigger » 06 Nov 2009 08:51

Planet = big hard thing floating in space.

Planetary base = military installation on surface of above.

:D

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Lundse » 06 Nov 2009 09:17

I think your interpretations is the most likely, but when I read it, I thought of "planetary bases" to mean "a base, which is planetary in nature" - ie. a planet which is a base.

So this is not "base" as in "military base", but "base of operations". Like the "fleet base" of Scientology (SeaOrg), where the entire fleet is the base.

But I am basing (haha) all this more on the assumption that a Major House of the Dune universe will have the power and industry behind them to amass enough nukes to take out numerous planets, than the wording above...

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Nov 2009 09:30

The only way to retaliate from a planetary attack would be to have bases off that planet, in my opinion. Like US nuclear subs ensure us retaliation capability.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby SandChigger » 06 Nov 2009 12:01

Just posted this over at FED2k:

FH in CoD wrote:(19:74) Duncan felt his mentat awareness coruscate as it shot through memory data of itself, completely impervious to the passage of time. Arriving at the conviction that House Corrino would not risk an illegal atomic attack, he did this in flash-computation, the main decisional pathway, but he was perfectly aware of the elements which went into this conviction: The Imperium commanded as many nuclear and allied weapons as all the Great Houses combined. At least half the Great Houses would react without thinking if House Corrino broke the Convention. The Atreides off-planet retaliation system would be joined by overwhelming force, and no need to summon any of them. Fear would do the calling. Salusa Secundus and its allies would vanish in hot clouds. House Corrino would not risk such a holocaust. They were undoubtedly sincere in subscribing to the argument that nuclear weapons were a reserve held for one purpose: defense of humankind should a threatening "other intelligence" ever be encountered.


(Also noted this over there: the Great Houses still have their family atomics in CoD. So much for Alia confiscating them in WoD. Hey, Kevin! Better remember to retcon their return in ToD or LoD! ... Oh, well, maybe not the last ... because Leto just confiscates them again! :lol: )
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Nov 2009 14:36

Easy... for a professional hack. None of his fans would notice, anyway.
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lotek
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Re: Family atomics

Postby lotek » 06 Nov 2009 18:04

yup they wouldn't know a family atomic even if it hit them in the face :)
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Slugger » 06 Nov 2009 21:44

Where do they get atomics? Do you think that anyone can purchase them, or is it restricted to members of the Landraad? Does Ix or Richese sell the devices, or does each House have to build the devices themselves?

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Re: Family atomics

Postby inhuien » 07 Nov 2009 05:03

Not sure where they originated. I've always felt that they were ancient though, handed down from generation to generation along this the Silver.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Redstar » 07 Nov 2009 05:21

inhuien wrote:Not sure where they originated. I've always felt that they were ancient though, handed down from generation to generation along this the Silver.

Wouldn't a bomb (atomic or otherwise) become a dud over time with the various components decaying?

They probably buy them. That's what Ix is for, after all.

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Freakzilla » 07 Nov 2009 13:18

Duncan (Hayt) mentions in CoD that Ix and the Tleilaxu are tolerated because they supply the tools of mechanized warfare.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Idahopotato » 13 Nov 2009 14:41

Freakzilla wrote:The only way to retaliate from a planetary attack would be to have bases off that planet, in my opinion. Like US nuclear subs ensure us retaliation capability.


Just found this quote in CoD:

"All planets were vulnerable to attack from space; ergo: retaliation/revenge facilities were set up off-planet by every House Major."

Good call Freak

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Re: Family atomics

Postby inhuien » 13 Nov 2009 15:13

Idahopotato wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:The only way to retaliate from a planetary attack would be to have bases off that planet, in my opinion. Like US nuclear subs ensure us retaliation capability.


Just found this quote in CoD:

"All planets were vulnerable to attack from space; ergo: retaliation/revenge facilities were set up off-planet by every House Major."

Good call Freak
Teg waxes lyrical on the very same theme.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby The_Kat » 22 Nov 2009 16:08

With regards, to how would they deploy the atomics. Isn't it said that the Emperor has an interest in the smugglers as they are beyond his control "how else would spies and assassins be moved within the empire."

I always took this to mean that the smugglers had other methods of moving goods around not involving the guild.

The guilds monopoly on interstellar travel is because they are the only way to move things over interstellar distances safely, however the profits involved would make the use of a holtzmen generator without a navigator or using sublight methods and taking many years to move from one world to another worth the risk. In the scattering don't people take the risk of using space folding drives without guild navigators.

Surely a Great house would have an off planet base from which to launch a counter strike that would be statistically very likely to succeed without the need for navigators. Say launch 200 frigates each packed with nukes even if the chance of completing the jump is 1 in 100, 2 ships should get through.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Serkanner » 22 Nov 2009 16:30

The_Kat wrote:
I always took this to mean that the smugglers had other methods of moving goods around not involving the guild.



As I understand it, part of the Guild policy of business is to not get involved in what is transported. In other words: if you can get it to a heighliner you can "just" buy passage, no questions asked. This is part of the neutrality the Guild promises to its clientèle. That way a Harkonnen freighter can be parked beside an Atreides one and be perfectly safe.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby Hunchback Jack » 22 Nov 2009 16:51

With a maddening air of complacency, Edric said: "Let us presume that
our wise Sardaukar commander, knowing the need for speed, immediately
sent the preserved flesh of Idaho to the Bene Tleilaxu. Let us suppose
further that the commander and his men died before conveying this
information to your father -- who couldn't have made much use of it
anyway. There would remain then a physical fact, a bit of flesh which had
been sent off to the Tleilaxu. There was only one way for it to be sent, of
course, on a heighliner. We of the Guild naturally know every cargo we
transport.
Learning of this one, would we not think it additional wisdom to
purchase the ghola as a gift befitting an Emperor?"


I think they know of everything they carry, but agree that they choose not to disclose it to maintain neutrality.

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Re: Family atomics

Postby Freakzilla » 22 Nov 2009 17:13

Their rates depend on the sensitivity of the cargo, though. Transporting troops, for example, costs more.
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Re: Family atomics

Postby The_Kat » 22 Nov 2009 17:16

Hunchback Jack wrote:
With a maddening air of complacency, Edric said: "Let us presume that
our wise Sardaukar commander, knowing the need for speed, immediately
sent the preserved flesh of Idaho to the Bene Tleilaxu. Let us suppose
further that the commander and his men died before conveying this
information to your father -- who couldn't have made much use of it
anyway. There would remain then a physical fact, a bit of flesh which had
been sent off to the Tleilaxu. There was only one way for it to be sent, of
course, on a heighliner. We of the Guild naturally know every cargo we
transport.
Learning of this one, would we not think it additional wisdom to
purchase the ghola as a gift befitting an Emperor?"


I think they know of everything they carry, but agree that they choose not to disclose it to maintain neutrality.

HBJ


Damn beaten to it. Does anyone have any info on the smugglers? Did they just pay the guild in spice to look the other way? or did they risk the folding drive without Guildsmen?
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Re: Family atomics

Postby SandChigger » 22 Nov 2009 20:29

The_Kat wrote:or did they risk the folding drive without Guildsmen?

Those would be the ones who answer "no" to the lady's question...

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Seriously, maybe there would have been too many hurdles to clear to be able to do it on their own?

- They would need to get ahold of or build their own Holtzmann engines & ships.
- They would need a Mentat with reliable & ultra-precise data on the star system(s) they planned to travel to.

And even then the odds of them eventually colliding with something soon after arrival would be so high as to make it suicidal.

(One thing no amount of system data could protect against but which a Navigator could foresee and avoid would be another ship folding into the same space at the same instant.)


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