?

Are they?

  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No, too much.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    Are my super soldiers feasible?

    Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Veltman, Nov 5, 2018.

    I am creating a novel where humans have managed to terraform Mars and that drove the Earth's nations to a colonization race similar to the scramble for Africa, and the new and old nations are fighting a drawn-out war and trying to upset the stalemate.

    In this universe, in the decade of 2110, the USA manages to deploy the first augmented super soldiers, genetically engineered to be strong, tall and resistant to diseases, and to receive augmentations when reaching adulthood that increase their combat potential and eliminate the aging process so they do not get old and can serve the armed forces indefinitely. (the second gen ones only live longer than normal humans)

    Here's where I need your help, my idea is to make these soldiers have an unique powered armor suit only they can use that is "connected" to them by two "ports" on the neck and lower spine, something similar to the connection ports on the matrix trilogy. Could this be scientifically plausible? Could the genetic engineering mean that they are naturally born with these connections?

    Also, I want to make them sufficiently rare, where 1 in 10.000 go through the augmentation procedure and the rest reject them or suffer complications and die, and then a second batch of weaker, but more viable augmentation program is created, how can I justify that?

    I'm really perfectionistic on the science aspect so thoughts would be appreciate it so I can better develop and alter things as I need to.
     
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  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    If being a perfectionist means you want the science to be 100% accurate, you're going to be disappointed. This is beyond the realm of our capabilities in science, and thus there is no way to ensure it is 100% accurate. In my view, all you need to do is make is consistent with what we already know of science. Yes, you could have people genetically engineering to be born with these connections. That kind of engineering is way beyond what we can do now, but the idea of engineering specialized structures isn't impossible in light of what we do know. Same goes with the idea of a connected suit itself--we can't do that now, but it doesn't go against any laws of science that we have, it's just far advanced from where we are now.

    I think the main question to ask is "why?" What's the advantage of connecting a suit to someone this way that justifies the scientific effort involved in doing this, and the risk to individuals who try it? That's where you're more likely to run into plausibility issues than in hand-waving the science of how this all works.
     
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  3. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    So the integration with the body is seamless and movement and control of the suit functions would be natural and fast.
     
  4. Artifacs

    Artifacs Senior Member

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    What's the purpose of the suit?
    If it's a hevy armor that needs power to move its limbs, why a sensor in the soldiers arms would be slower to react that a sensor in his nerve system?
    For example, the sensors inside the armor can pick the intented soldier's arm motion and go along with it to lift a heavy armored arm.
    There's no need to a electric connection between the armor and the soldier.
     
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  5. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    Medium armor. Strong as a tank but small and nimble to provide good mobility.
     
  6. Artifacs

    Artifacs Senior Member

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    Do really think an electric link between the armor and the soldier will increase meaningfully the reaction time?
    Wouldn't be easer an external biometrical system?
     
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  7. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with @Artifacs on this one. All you want is for the suit to respond faster than hand controls, or at the speed of thought.

    I don't know how it will look, but Elon Musk is talking about having something like this, soon.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/07/elon-musk-discusses-neurolink-on-joe-rogan-podcast.html

    Also, the idea of a port is kinda old fashion in science fiction. By the time it shows up in cartoons, it is already old in literature, and it has been in cartoons for a while.

     
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  8. Veltman

    Veltman Active Member

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    With that out of the way, what you you guys think about the other elements?
     
  9. 18-Till-I-Die

    18-Till-I-Die Banned

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    Another option, in my opinion, is a kind of genetically engineered armor. Like living armor, like the shell of a turtle, organisms bred to connect to and live off of the super soldiers like parasites so the armor depends on them and they depend on it. They become one being, in a sense. I know that's a bit more in the realm of "biopunk" than the space opera feel, but I always thought the idea was kinda cool--like, when not in the armor, the armor exists as individual entities onto itself which obey their master almost like pets. But when armored, they become a single being, a consciousness that encompasses both the armor and the warrior, with like maybe an extra brain for a greater degree of intelligence and external muscle layers for greater strength and speed, ablative shells for armor, bio-electrical generating organs as a kind of weapon, and so on.

    Anyway, I think it sounds cool, sue me :p
     
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  10. 18-Till-I-Die

    18-Till-I-Die Banned

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    Also thanks for the ExoSquad reference...

    God I miss the 90's!
     
  11. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    Hmmm, how do I make your super soldiers feasible without giving away mine?
    Alright, If you know the demands on them, and their rarity, then the expense and secrecy of their development is plausible. In that case, go minimal. So, it's like the force. It controls your reactions, but obeys your commands. If it's to be an artificial symbiosis, then it grows with the soldier, and grows from the soldier, requiring some sustenance from modified food or chemical bath. That would keep them dependent on their commanders, but make them vulnerable=drama. If it's a biologic or artificial mechanism, it needs to bond or grow alongside the soldier, like a dog. It would share or seek it's own sustenance, and be more independent. So you either have a onetime, or continuing process=drama. Would the smart-armor communicate with other armor, like a pack. How about a mother-armored GSU that keeps packs bonded so they cooperate? Can armors touch mother to repair? Your idea brings two nervous systems together, basically. Your geneticly enhanced soldier would withstand a one-time intrusion of 'bio-module' or the armor itself, and his brain stem would 'heal' to permanently bond with it (Vindrisi - Babylon5).
     
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  12. Azuresun

    Azuresun Senior Member

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    This might not be the sort of answer you want, but I'd say to just go with what your story needs--you can base into current possibilities in cybernetics and neural control for a veneer of plausibility, but don't feel chained to them. Don't cut yourself off from good ideas because they're not possible or practical with our current understanding of science. Our predictions about the future have been reliably wrong for all of history, after all. :) In the future you're depicting, this technology exists, so clearly it turned out to be possible.

    If in doubt, just go with:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bolu Kai

    Bolu Kai Member

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    If you're looking at "feasibility," you should think about whether your story is a soft science fiction or hard science fiction story. If you want them to be realistic (i.e. based on real world information) then you will need to back up your super soldiers description with facts that make your possible future a practical future. I am by no means a big hard science fiction type of person, but the facts you choose will really define the future of 2110. For example, I could say that FTL travel is the fastest way to travel, or I could say that the best method for travel is teleportation through quantum entanglement. I can't say for certain, but I suspect there isn't much evidence of FTL travel whereas I know they are doing a lot of studies with small scale proof of quantum entanglement. The former is just a timey wimey stuff whereas the latter is based in facts that you can use to bolster your stories credibility. Of course, if you're looking at soft science fiction, feasibility is going to look a lot different. I would think about what kind of science fiction story you want your story to be and go from there when it comes to checking if your super soldiers are feasible. my view of this topic is that with soft scifi, anything is possible. With hard scifi, you have to use real world data to make it possible. Hopefully this opinion helps; Here's a link that might be helpful too:

    https://www.tor.com/2017/02/20/ten-authors-on-the-hard-vs-soft-science-fiction-debate/
     
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  14. Manuforti

    Manuforti Active Member

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    We are going to have augmented soldiers well before that far in the future. They were talking about FIST back when I was a kid.

    You could have the "port" be made of some sort of organic material. The augmentation could be subject to immunity system not rejecting it. This could require exposure of babies to the system with a strong fatality rate. That gives you your small percentage of the population.

    This could require continued immune system treatment, the expense justifies why so few others take it up ( many have ak47s but few have ICBMs) it also introduces limits on these super beings which the story will require sooner or later
     
  15. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I certainly prefer feasibility in my science fiction, but that's because in addition to writing, I have a strong background in the sciences, and the concepts themselves are worth exploring. However, in terms of telling a story, a more important metric is, "Can I sell the idea to the reader?"

    Sometimes that comes down to how much nitty-gritty detail did I put in? If it's too much, you can write yourself into a credibility corner. Can your story survive with less specificity?

    In the case of your soldiers, I'd just postulate a "bonding" phase that has a high probability of killing the human if certain pre-qualifications aren't met, and that, say, 80% of the soldiers don't pass, so onl;y 20% are "suitable", if you'll forgive the pun. Of the other 20%, most are successful, but there is still a percentage that die in the bonding attempt. This makes the successfully bonded soldiers even more of an elite fraternity.
     
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  16. Left

    Left New Member

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    All believable especially for that far in the future. I love the suit part and offer this solution: They could be born with the connections IF the suits had biological propeties themselves. So some sort of orafice on their body and some kind of nerve ending tentacle on the suit. The suit and the user would be a symbiotic relationship. Anyway, great concept! Keep us updated.
     
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  17. Glen Barrington

    Glen Barrington Senior Member

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    I don't think you need to be scientifically true to what is known in today's technology, so long as you are logically consistent in the implementation of your "Science"
     
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  18. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    If you are into realism, I would avoid the idea of soldiers altogether. They will be about as pointless as horses in combat soon enough.

    Augmented spies might make some sort of sense.
     
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  19. J.D. Ray

    J.D. Ray Member Supporter Contributor

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    You should read "Emerald Eyes" by Daniel Keys Moran. In it, his "super soldiers" are "PKF Elite". The story is set after a militarily-driven unification of Earth into a single world-spanning government. The U.N. Peacekeeping Force (PKF) found the need to develop some super soldiers similar to what you describe, except without the connected armor. Transform viruses hardened their skin, made their muscles stronger and faster, and did some other things. Then electronic mods are installed. The primary villain has what amounts to a laser canon between the knuckles of his right fist. The PKF Elite are a selective bunch, and only take the absolute best out of the general PKF army, which is itself an elite fighting force. So they're special by selection, not by biology. And, as you imagine, the transformation, surgeries, and training are hard. Not everyone makes it. He also addresses the issues of technology advances. Newer soldiers get things like softer skin that's still bulletproof, higher-resolution vision, etc. The older Elites are jealous.
     
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  20. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    For biological ports idea, watch a movie titled existenz.
     
  21. Derek Eberhardt

    Derek Eberhardt New Member

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    Another way to go with it. Instead of ports for attaching. When your soldier was genetically modified he was spliced with some sort of bio technology. Has some sort of living fibers inside to pass energy. Only needs some sort of compact power source. These ports are where the energy is released from to form their armor from pure energy. Personalized force field or something. Maybe they can customize it a little by will. It also opens up other possibilities for the soldiers too. I did something similar to this for a character I had in something I wrote. I know that completely changes your shit up though. And I completely agree with Azuresun. Your writing fiction. Don’t kill a good idea and your creativity over it.
     
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  22. blurred-lines

    blurred-lines New Member

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    If they already have augmentations I don't see why it would be a problem for them to have a connection (like the Matrix).

    After all, who knows what CRISPR projects will be undertaken in the way of designing human beings?
     

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