Saving Pandora

Saving Pandora

Postby Tyyr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:53 pm

Having watched Avatar recently the ending leads to me one conclusion, the blue kitties are totally fucked. They won a minor victory at tremendous cost and only with the help of every fuzzy thing in the forest. The next time around they won't be able to count on those surprises to carry the day. In addition, the company isn't going to just give up on Pandora and unobtanium. At $20 million/kg and 300 to 350 tons of it being transported back to Earth every year the Pandora mining operation was grossing $1.2 to $1.4 trillion a year. The company has trillions invested in the hardware to exploit Pandora. Simply put, you do not walk away from that kind of profit and commitment, fuck PR. So while the Na'vi won themselves a victory they can be sure the sky people are coming back and will be ready this time for everything the Na'vi threw at them the last time.

So knowing this you've been hired by a coalition of academic institutions and special interest groups who want the science on Pandora to continue and the Na'vi to not be wiped out. To this end you've been instructed to launch a campaign to see that this happens. You've been given no constraints aside from not doing anything illegal. Additionally Jake Sully, the Na'vi representative to the humans, has agreed to cooperate with your attempts. Assume that the science team on Pandora had at least one of the quantum entanglement radios in their possession with the duplicate terminal in academic hands on Earth. Assume that in 150 years "low bit rate" will include text, audio, and video but none of the incredibly dense transmissions like gene sequencing of the local wild life.

The first deadline you have is nine months, when the next starship will arrive at Pandora. Do your best to ensure that the company doesn't just do something drastic like have one of the shuttles on the ship just power dive the sacred tree or something lke that. The next deadline is seven years, when the ship currently at Earth will arrive back at Pandora potentially bringing heavy weapons and the tools necessary to defeat the Na'vi.

So, what do you do?
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Sionnach Glic » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:17 pm

It's a hopeless scenario, to be quite blunt. It's possible to stop RDN when their first ship lands, but once the second ship comes around in seven years, we're totaly fucked.

The first scenario is winnable through trickery. When the humans arrive, send them a distressed sounding message saying that some sort of diesease has struck the Na'vi, and they're all dying off. Have the Na'vi all hide out of view of orbital surveilence to help this view along. With the Na'vi believed to be dying, the corporate suits are unlikely to ram a ship into the Sacred Tree, or do anything else that would incur heavy financial losses. Most likely they'll just smugly send down their mining teams and troops to resume operations. Once they're down they immediately get Zerg-rushed by everything on Pandora. The landed ships will be captured, and we'll threaten to kamikaze the shuttles into the orbiting vessels if they don't leave immediately.

When the humans come back in seven years, however, the situation is completely fucked. If they're halfway smart they'll come back with shitloads of chemical weapons and well armed troops. Short of creating, testing and distributing tens of thousands of Na'vi-sized gas masks, the locals are screwed.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Tyyr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:26 pm

I agree that militarily it's hopeless. There's nothing the Na'vi can do to stop the humans if the humans decide to stop dicking around. The height of Na'vi technology is a longbow. The height of human technology is a starship capable to attaining 70% of the speed of light as well as weaponized anti-matter orbit to surface bombs. Which is why I was really thinking along the lines of less a straight up battle and more a lobbying effort on the home front.

Oh, and I should have been a bit more exhaustive but the way the starships are set up there are enough that one will arrive at Pandora every single year, like a constant conveyor of troops and supplies. The next one just happens to be 8 to 9 months out. There will be another one the year after that and the year after that, etc. Six or maybe even seven ships are likely in transit on the Earth to Pandora leg with an equal number on the Pandora to Earth leg. The one sitting in Earth orbit is just the first ship they'll actually be able to modify the cargo load to encompass some serious weapons.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Sionnach Glic » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:54 pm

In that case, we're fucked even quicker. We might be able to pull off taking out the first ship in a manner similar to how I outlined above, but other ships won't fall for the same trick, and sure as hell won't send shuttles down to the planet. I think it's quite likely that the shuttles of the next vessel will be packed full of high-yield explosives and set to slam into the planet at full speed.

Trying to lobby will be almost pointless. Earth needs unobtanium to keep going. The vast majority of humans aren't going to accept a (possibly major) change in lifestyle just because some bleeding hearts are getting all teary over the possibility of some primitive aliens dying. And any politicians would just laugh in our faces.
Basicaly, I see us becoming known as the litte blue child of PETA.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Tyyr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:59 pm

I dunno, I think you might be able to make it work, but only with concessions on the part of the Na'vi, specifically they're going to have to accept human mining on Pandora. They might be able to negotiate the how and where but not the if.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Sionnach Glic » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:01 pm

True. It may be possible to get the Na'vi to realise "either the humans come here and mine, or the humans come here and go genocidal" in time. At which point they'd probably choose the more practical of the two options.

But then there's always the risk that RDN may decide to Agent Orange the place anyway, just to be sure.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Tyyr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:04 pm

True. However that's where the lobbying comes in. I'll write up my own ideas and expound upon that.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Tyyr » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:24 pm

The first thing I keep in mind is that I am performing an incredibly delicate balancing act. Earth needs unobtanium, it's become a huge part of the economy of the planet and any major disruption in its flow will not be tolerated. I have to accept that human mining on Pandora is going to happen and I'll be counting on Jake Sully (lord help the smurfs) to convince them that its got happen, that if they resist the sky people will just come back with more men and more weapons and if they piss off the skypeople enough they'll come back and start exterminating everyone and no one will be able to stop it. If I can get them on board with that then we can start to really work on this. If not, well see the thread "Killing Pandora," for an idea of their ultimate fate.

Ok, so the Na'vi are on board. Step one is going to be damage control. RDN is undoubtedly going to be spinning the events as hard as they can to make the humans seem totally reasonable and the Na'vi as blood thirsty savages who attacked without provocation. I have the scientists on site go out and video what's left of hometree. Video the tear gas canisters and if they can find it shards of the incendiaries or HE rounds. Then talk to the Na'vi, get them on camera explaining how when they refused to relocate the humans just came in and blew up their home, killing many of them. Frame the Na'vi response as defending themselves and bringing those responsible to justice. Those who'd been responsible for the destruction of their home were kicked off planet.

With that in the can I move on to trying to humanize things as much as possible. One of the first things I do is make a documentary about Dr. Grace. I focus on her interactions with the Na'vi, her inroads with them, how much she'd learned about them and how much they loved her. Really show that its possible for human and Na'vi to find a common ground and work together for the betterment of both species. Jake is going to be key here as he's got to get the Na'vi to play along. They're going to have to get over their hatred of the skypeople in a hell of a hurry to make this work.

After that, ditch the science for a while, focus almost entirely on talking up the Na'vi, their world, their culture, etc. I'm sure most of this has been done before by scientists and RDN but jazz it up this time. You've got to put the Na'vi in front of people and humanize them as much as possible.

Next, you have a representative of the Na'vi preferably Ney'tiri, Jake should not even be brought up in passing the less said about him the better, make an overture towards Earth. Have her communicate that she is willing to enter into negotiations with... shit I dunno, RDN or the UN or someone, for the mineral rights to Pandora. Make it obvious up front that they are willing to allow human mining of the moon. Put the world at ease, no one is looking to cut off their access to unobtanium. Then hit them with the important part, limits on the environmental impacts of mining such as no more strip mining and no more bulldozing large tracks of forest to get where they're going. New mines must be discussed with local tribal leaders to ascertain the significance of the areas and the best way to access the mineralogical riches without disturbing the ecosystem unduly. In other words, allow them access to what they want but in a manner that doesn't piss of Eywa again. Oh, and stop blowing up their fucking homes. Maybe even move for concessions to allow a larger science team presence and limits on the number and type of weapons the humans can have. In other words, we'll let you have what you want provided you don't fuck things up too much or get back to shooting us.

Now you've got things set up. You've shown you're willing to negotiate and allow RDN back to mining. That's the carrot, getting back to mining without bloodshed. All those people currently en-route can be put back to work right away instead of turning them into soldiers or losing them entirely. You might miss a partial load of unobtanium from the previous year but you can limit the damage to just that. To top it off if your PR campaign went well you've got public pressure to agree to the Na'vi's demands not only to get the unobtantium flowing again but do it in such a way as to not fuck up the catgirl's world.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby sunnyside » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:00 am

Two pronged assault.

On one hand rally the usual hippie stuff, and maybe funnel some funds on the side to the "Space Shepard" group. It isn't illegal to buy a ship after all. Not our fault if there happens to be a collision later... This of course is futile, but it should help buy time.

On the other front, the Na'vi already have a "bad cop" to deal with. I need a second company with their own interests and forces to be the "good cop". Cut a deal for some profitable mining in the back room. They might not take it at first. But they will after they take enough casualties. Then group number two drops in with their forces, which should include some tight AA defenses.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Lighthawk » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:26 pm

Well first lets consider what we have to work with, and what we are going to be working against

Assets
Dr. Max Patel: One of the human scientists that stayed behind, he provided technical support and advice on the avatar hardware systems. This is the guy likely keeping the base operational and liviable for the remaining humans, and is probably the most vital guy for any future hope of the Na'vi, as he is the guy with the knowledge of the equipment they'll be needing.

Jake Sully: Obviously important as he has gained a huge amount of influence with the Na'vi and has the most knowledge of human military tactics.

Norm Spellman: One of the remaining humans, and probably the least important. The guy is certainly determined to be helpful and perhaps has more guts than brains, but seeing as his avatar got killed and his field of expertice is anthropology, he's really nothing more than a set of hands in this situation.

Possibly the other avatar drivers: At least one avatar is shown at the end of the movie holding a gun while watching the humans being loaded into the remaining shuttle, so we have at least one no name extra set of hands. The avatar camp showed somewhere around a dozen avatars, so there is the possiblity of having them left behind as extra help.

Quatum radio: Two top uses of this device will be in "humanizing" the Na'vi as Tyyr suggested, and in having whatever allies they have on earth sending over any and all details they can get their hands on as to the plans of the RDA. Also any weapons or hardware blueprints for the stereolithography plant would be useful. The humanizing efforts might be well given over to Norm, as after Jake he's probably the human the na'vi are most likely to trust, as he did take part in the actual fighting to save their world.

Hells gate: The mining base, the following stats ripped from the avatar wiki: A pentagonal perimeter fence (each side 2.3382 km or 11.69 km--7.264 miles--total) encloses 9.406 sq km (approx. 3.6317 sq miles).[2] Major weapon towers at each apex provide heavy munitions defense against surface and air intrusions by large hostile Pandoran wildlife, while four smaller towers spaced 250 meters apart along each side handle intrusions by smaller life forms, including burrowing attacks. A cleared, thirty-meter-wide strip surrounds the base, which is regularly patrolled by automatic plant-clearing machinery that keeps the jungle at bay through regular administration of acidic mining byproducts.[3] Slightly more than a third of the site is taken up by the shuttle runway, VTOL pads, hangars, equipment storage areas, and garage structures. A similar area is occupied by the armor bay, vehicle storage sheds, and a light industrial plant mainly used for fabricating parts for mining equipment and ammunition for base defense. The unobtainium refinery complex takes up the western side of the facility. The remainder of Hell's Gate is composed of administrative structures, a barracks for Sec-Ops staff, studio-style apartments for technicians and mine workers, and an airtight condominium for senior staff, as well as Sci Mod that is part of the utilitdor-connected Hab Mod, OPS Center structures. Recreational facilities such as the base commissary (popularly known as Hell's Kitchen) are shared, except for an unpressurised section between the research labs and the landing zone mainly used by members of the avatar program for athletic training.

Stereolithography plant: (also from the wiki) Every piece of human machinery used on Pandora must be made at the Stereolithography plant. Stereolithography is a form of 3D printing which allows the humans to construct practically anything they want as long as they have raw materials. The limited ability of the plant to construct advanced computers is one of the reasons why the humans were not able to use up-to-date technology in their vehicles. If machinery is in need of an update, the blueprints must be brought on an ISV so the plant has a template for the construction. Another thing that must be brought on a starship is some of the more advanced materials used to make the objects, most raw materials are however collected on Pandora.[4]

Threats

The immediately incoming ships: Over all threat level is likely pretty low really. Each ship carries up to 100 passangers and 25 crew. Even if half that number is security personel, they're not likely to be much of a threat as they are unarmed. Remember that weapons and other hardware are produced on Pandora by the stereolithography plant, only things like nano-processors, certain drugs, and other materials that can not be made or produced on the moon are shipped.

So the only proper threat the next handful of ships have to offer is in using their shuttles as self guided bombs, which is a gamble, as they use the shuttles to refuel the ship for return trip by skimming through Polyphemus's (the planet pandora orbits around) upper atmosphere to obtain hydrogen and deuterium which they convert into anti-matter. Use these as weapons and fail to reclaim the moon, and you're screwed.

The dedicated military ship coming in 7 years: This is the real threat, all 100 passangers will be fighting men, and all 350 tons of cargo will be military hardware. Aside from conventional tactics, said vessel might also be able to field chemical or nuclear weapons, and possibily from orbit depending on just how much power the RDA really has.

Solutions

1) The RDA will go bankrupt when their next handful of ships return empty handed, thus making a dedicated military mission impossible to fund.

2) Public pressure from the humanizing efforts results in pandora being legally recognized, with the na'vi as the governing body, forcing the RDA to treat their dealings with them as they would any other government. While possible, not too likely. And even if, the distance and cost will make properly policing such virtually impossible.

3) The fighting option.
a) Start arming and training the na'vi with guns. We saw both Norm and Jake's avatars using heavy machine guns like assualt rifles, so the Stereolithography plant has at least one weapon design it can make that the na'vi can use. Any other weapons that the na'vi can use, or which can be adapted for their use, and which the materials and designs are avalible (either on site already or that can be sent over the Q radio) to produce.

Now obviously, to produce anything, some mining is going to have to be done. For this to happen Jake is going to have to convince the na'vi that a bit of damage now is going to prevent a horrific amount of damage down the line. As to how much mining is done is a matter of how many people have been left behind. I have no way to calculate either a high or low end for how much raw materials can be dug up within the time frame outlined by Tyyr on this, there just isn't the info availible for it.

b) See if it's possible to get someone on earth to send over the plans for missiles and a launch system that could threaten the incoming ships, and see if it could be built. I give this one low odds all around, but it wouldn't hurt to try.

2b) Start producing another shuttle. Whether or not this is doable is up for some debate. We do have Max on hand for some technical expertise, though whether he has any technical knowledge in the right fields for this is unknown. I would say it's largely a matter of just how automated the stereolithography plant is, and if they have the proper electronics on hand. Without a shuttle, the na'vi chances are going to be pretty slim, as the shuttle is the only defense they'll have against orbital attacks, either as the means to get a defensive system in place, or to be used as a threat against the incoming ships. Threatening to set the shuttle auto-pilot on a ramming course against any ship that tries to approach the moon would be a fair deterent, especially against the next handful of ships, as I consider the odds they have any anti-ship weapons on board to be very very low.

Results

Total victory: Bankrupting the RDA, or having the material and manpower on hand to put an orbital defensive system in place. Moderate odds for the first, fairly low for the second, and even if accomplished, the possibility exists for the military fitted ship to have the means to defeat it.

Partial victory: Heavily outfitting and training the na'vi with human weapons and equipment. Against the handful of regular ships coming in, this should be a fair solution, especially if they can get some surface to air stuff put in around the base and the holy tree. Trying to fight a physically superior enemy on their home turf who has a vast numbers advantage and who is more or less equally armed is a losing fight all around. As for the military ship, they likely would be bringing in more advanced weapons than what could be produced on pandora, but they will still be at a disadvantage. If the na'vi were armed with human weapons, even if a bit outdated, it would basically turn any ground war into vietnam, only with the "US side" outragiously outnumbered with backup 6 years away. 100 soliders would not hold out long against thousands of na'vi if the technological gap was closed that much.

Compremise: If the resources, technical knowledge, and/or manpower just aren't availible to acomplish either of the above, then it's time to try making some deals, along the lines of what Tyyr suggested in his post.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Tholian_Avenger » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:28 pm

Radio back to Earth that the RDA has been cruel, here is the evidence. Revoke their license and transfer it to the Commonwealth of Pandora, who is willing to mine unobtanium for Humanity on the cheap. Oh yes, we would like to apply for membership into the x (EU, UN, AU, USA, PROC, or whoever is running the show now) and would be more than happy to pay taxes from the sale of all the unobtanium we will be producing for you.

Try to capitalize on someone else's greed.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Monroe » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:52 am

Couple interesting things in this thread. I look forward to Killing Pandora's thread. First welcome back Thollian Avenger. I didn't see that coming :O

I see Avatar 1 as Littlebighorn. It'll just spell the doom of the natives. Pretty much everyone has nailed their only hope on the head with PR. I don't see the ships already on the way being a big issue as they'll probably refuel and retreat as soon as possible. Like others have said, they really don't have any equipment when they arrive at Pandora.

And one thing no one has said in this thread, which I'm sure has been brought up in the other, is who's to say they'll only send one warship. They have a fleet of 12 of them. They're bound to send as many as possible loaded with military equipment and soldiers hell they might even wait until their ships all return and send all 12 out at once.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Tyyr » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:57 pm

Couple problems Monroe.

1) We have no idea where their anti-matter refueling set up is. If it's automated and in orbit they can refuel and depart, probably. Even if they can refuel and depart normally we don't know about this freezing process and whether or not you can sustain someone for nearly 15 years in it. Of course if the refueling station is on the ground then you'll be dependent upon the Na'vi letting it operate to refuel them. Of course, even if it is in orbit you've still got to maintain it and therefore you have to hope the guys who know how didn't get sent home.

2) They have a fleet of about 14 or 15 of these ships. The problem is that they aren't all in one place. Five to seven of them are inbound to Pandora. One is in orbit of Earth, and five to seven are inbound to earth, all a year apart. Assembling the full "fleet" will take nearly fifteen years to do. RDA is about to have (probably) a 1.2 to 1.4 trillion dollar a year hole poked in their bottom line. They can't afford to sit still, with no profit from Pandora for over a decade and a half. They need it back ASAP.
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Re: Saving Pandora

Postby Monroe » Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:53 pm

I think I read on the wiki they refuel at one of the other moons. And you're right a 15 year hole in profits would bankrupt just about any corporation. Their only hope is to get government assistance (which I don't see as unrealistic in Avatar's universe).
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