Daniel Lepage on 10 Jul 2003 05:02:01 -0000

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[Spoon-business] Grid II Prop

Well, the proposal for the new grid isn't coming along quickly enough, for a variety of reasons (I have a full time job suddenly, I've got this programming project I need to finish, my girlfriend's birthday is coming up, etc.). So I'm gonna go ahead and spit out this one; it doesn't actually do anything useful with the grid, but it at least states that there is, in fact, still a grid, albeit a somewhat smaller one.

Note the use of __Elimination of Boilerplate__; it's legal 'cause I'm explicitly stating that I'm 'proposing multiple rules'.

I propose multiple rules (in accordance with __Elimination of Boilerplate__):
__You'd be surprised__


"Well, sir, the Shivas landed right on schedule."

"So the Grid is destroyed."

"Not exactly, sir."

"Something survived?"

"I don't know if 'survived' is the word I'd use. There is something there, but it's not much. Actually, it sort of reminds me of the time Marty tried to run his lawnmower with one of those liquid oxygen tanks we were using to build the-"

A throat cleared in the shadows behind the desk.

"Would you care to finish your report?"

"Uh. Right. Yessir. Ahem. There isn't much left, but it's something. I'd estimate maybe a quarter of the mass survived the explosion; but it's hard to be sure. There's a lot of rubble floating away, and the halo still makes it hard to see the edges, but-"

"The halo?"

"Yessir. The firestorm, sir."

"The flames are still there?"

"Yessir. They might take a while to fade."

"Any estimates?"

"The engineers say two nweeks, the physicists are for four. The demo squad thinks it'll be over by tomorrow."

"A whole nday, eh?"


"These are the same demolition experts who claimed that the Shivas would be enough to destroy the Grid completely?"


"And the ones who predicted that a unit of entropy in a Can would be just enough energy to make a good firecracker?"


"I see."

The shadows behind the desk thought for a moment.

"Who do you believe?"

"Not my field, sir."

"Of course."

"Anything else, sir?"

The shadow leaned forwards slightly, but not enough to get into the light.

"Yes. Do you have any specifics on this grid remnant?"


The officer put a folder on the desk.



There exist objects called Locations. A Location is an object that can contain other objects. It represents a physical place in some space.

There exist objects called Environments. An Environment is a collection of Locations. No object may exist in more than one Location within the same Environment unless a rule specifically permits it. No Location may be part of more than one Environment unless a rule specifically permits it.
An Environment represents a world with many places in it.

All Environments must be named; Locations need not be named, but there must be some way to distinguish between any two Locations. [[Thus, (row,col) pairs are acceptable within an Environment; the containing Environment may be used to distinguish between Locs in different Envs.]]

The Administrator may force any proposal to be Shelved if that proposal creates a new Environment without also providing for a Ministry to track the state of said Environment.

__Space Objects__

A $ENVIRONMENT object, where $ENVIRONMENT is the name of an extant environment, is an object which may occupy a location in the named environment. An object that is not specified by the rules as being an object of a certain environment is assumed not to be, except for players, which are assumed to be objects of all environment unless the rules say otherwise.

Objects that can be in a given environment may only enter/leave locations in that environment according to the rules.


"What does all this have to do with the Grid?"

"That's what the physicists drew up as an explanation for why the Shivas didn't knock it all away."

"And this goes on for...?"

"Thirty-one pages, sir. The last sheet at the back is the bit about the current Grid."

"Is there any reason why I shouldn't skip to the part that's about what I actually care about?"

"Um.... Scientific curiosity, sir?"

"Right. Moving along, then..."


__The Grid__

There exists an Environment called The Grid. Grid Locations may be referred to as Squares, provided that the context makes it clear what is being referred to.

The Grid contains 121 Squares, arranged in an 11x11 grid. The rows and columns are both numbered from one to eleven, starting with the upper left corner. Each Square is identified by a pair of integers, the Square's x coordinate and its y coordinate; the x coordinate is the number of the square's column, and the y coordinate is the number of its row.

Two Squares are Rectalinearly Consecutive if they have the same x value, and their y values differ by 1, or vice versa. Two Squares are Diagonally Consecutive if both their x and y values differ by 1. Two Squares are Consecutive if they are Rectalinearly and/or Diagonally consecutive.


"That's substantially smaller."

"Didn't you expect the whole thing to be destroyed, sir?"

 "True. So it's larger than we had anticipated."


__Grid Movement__

A Grid Move is a shift from one Square to a consecutive Square of a Grid Object. Such moves take affect at the end of the Checking Period, in the order in which they were performed. If an attempted move is illegal, it does not occur.

Unless otherwise specified by the rules, no Grid Object may make a Grid Move more than once per Checking Period.


"What's this 'end of the Checking Period' stuff? I seem to recall the movement happens immediately."

"The physicists said something about 'nonlinear temporal elasticity' and 'chi diffraction gradients'."

"Which means?"

"I'm not sure. They did a lot of sketches and equations - that's most of pages 8 through 19 - and then they went off and got drunk."

"Ah, drunk physicists. Just what we need. I trust you had them placed in custody before they could split anything that shouldn't have been split?"



He paused.

"I notice that a number of things are missing from this... report."


"Oh, you know, Stationary Objects, Carryables, Throwables... that sort of thing."

"The scientists thought that classification would be meaningless when there was nothing to classify."

The shadow raised an eyebrow.

"I've seen our scientists arguing about how to classify patches of dampness under the urinals, and you're telling me they couldn't find a single thing on this grid worth describing?"

"You and the other players were very thorough, sir."

"But surely, if this... rock... survived, something else must have?"

"Not that we can find, sir."

"Hmmmm. Well, I guess the Shivas did something, at least."


The shadow considered the sheet for another moment.

"I also notice that there's no mention of our ability to place ourselves directly on the Grid...?"

"No, sir."

"May I ask why not?"

"Well, sir, a couple of the other players thought it might be a good idea to send a token player down into orbit, in one of those sunships; they figured it would survive the heat easily, but it'd be safest to make sure they'd only lose ten points or so."


"They sent the Voice down to a high orbit."

"The Voice is not a player."

"Not anymore, no."

There was a pause.

"I see."

There was another pause.

"It seems to me that sending anyone to this... gridlet would be... ill advised, wouldn't you say?"




"It also seems to me that a few thousand tons of, say, liquid nitrogen might be sufficient to render it habitable."

"It might, sir."

"And of course, only the player who did so would know beforehand that the Grid was about to cool, and so e'd be the only one with landing crews prepared..."

"That's true, sir."

"Can you think of any reason why this shouldn't be done?"

The officer scratched his chin in thought.

"Well, the physicists are going to owe the engineers a lot of money."

A hint of a smile appeared in the shadows.

"Those poor physicists."




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