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Technology in 2600 A.D.



Artwork by Jim Burns
Original Web Site Illustrations by Darrell Curtis
Voidhawks -

Edenist deep space vessels. They are living entities. Their structure cannot tolerate strong gravity fields. Acutely maneuverable, much more so than Adamist reaction-drive ships. They are of lenticular shape measuring 110 meters in diameter, 30 meters deep at center. The hull is tough polyp. Their outer layer boils away into space, replaced by new cells grown from a mitosis layer. 20% of its mass is for internal organs housed at the center of its body. 80% consists of energy cells that generate the spatial distortion field used in propulsion. These cells decay, giving a voidhawk only about 110 years lifespan. Upper and lower hulls are grooved halfway out from the middle. The lower is for cargo pods and is a circle of grooved titanium struts and sealed ancillary systems. The upper holds crew quarters in a chrome-silver toroid. Edenists can withstand a very high G-force acceleration in voidhawks due to a counter-acceleration ability within the voidhawk itself that offsets the perceived thrust for benefit of the crew.

Voidhawks return to Saturn to spawn new voidhawks, and to die. Voidhawks produce eggs within a special space in their hull which houses several orifices. Zygotes are placed into each orifice. Whenever this occurs, voidhawks come to a particular Edenist habitat to share the merging of human infant with infant voidhawk. At this point, the aging voidhawk begins an ever accelerating descent through the rings of Saturn. Faster and faster, it’s formerly occupied human quarters are destroyed from the overwhelming G-force created. As it continues further into the rings it begins to eject eggs. Select voidhawks (and sometimes blackhawks too) follow the decent and retrieve and stabilize the eggs. Finally, the aging voidhawk reaches the inner regions of Saturn and dissipates in a stream of light. The retrieved eggs remain in orbit around the rings of Saturn for 18 years. The eggs take in energy from within the ring structure, developing all the while. After the first five months, two bulbs form within the egg’s structure. One flattens and later becomes the new voidhawk. The other remains globular and contains the zygote. They grow together for one year, creating a singularity of thought and mind through an affinity bond. After a year, the zygote is retrieved, separated from the embryonic voidhawk. Even at this early stage, the voidhawk has developed affinity communication. Its captain, however, is a human newborn and must follow the course of human development while the voidhawk remains in Saturn’s orbit, continuing to mature.

Voidhawk’s are capable of “stealth”. This involves absolutely minimal expenditure of energy, demanding the utmost sacrifice by the crew in terms of comfort. No hot meals, no gravity, no working pumps for human waste. The ship itself is blanketed in heat-duct cables and then covered in thick light-absorbent foam insulation. All heat dissipation from the ship is channeled by the blankets to a single point, opposite the voidhawk’s target to minimize detection from the sensors of whatever the voidhawk’s prey happens to be. Their power and maneuverability make voidhawks the perfect interception craft for the Confederation Navy. They are periodically “recharged” at the habitat in which they were spawned. The voidhawk lands upon the habitat’s ledge and is penetrated in certain orifices by special tentacles on the ledge. A synthetic fluid is released from the habitat, filling the internal bladders of the voidhawk with nourishment. To see a size comparison of voidhawks with Edenist Habitats and human beings click here.

Nanonics -

A form of microscopic technology that may perform any number of functions. Works within the human body to strengthen and control various sensory capabilities, store and recall information, and greatly enhance analytical brain activities.

Blackhawks -

A flattened teardrop shape organic ship similar in many ways to voidhawks, slightly asymmetric with upper and lower dorsal bulges. The upper one is fatter. 130 meters in diameter. They can be of various configurations. The larger size gave them greater power and improved combat performance, but shorter lifespans. They have a life expectancy of 80 years. Unlike voidhawks, they do not have separate crew and cargo hulls. Instead, they have a large single hull with separate crew cabins, cargo holds, and other compartments. Blackhawk captains do not have an affinity band. They may, therefore be Adamists who possess a neuron implant providing a secure link with a companion implant within the blackhawk ONLY. Blackhawks also accelerate at a high G-force. Adamists must compensate for this with nanonic implants to help support their vital organs rather than by relying upon the ship itself to accommodate them. Blackhawks are capable of longer swallow ranges (21 lys) than voidhawks (15 lyr limit). They are fitted with three capsules equally divided across the upper hull section. One is a life support cabin suitable for up to six people, another serves as a hangar for a small spaceplane, and the third is the cargo hold.

Confederation Frigates -
Written by Darrell Curtis

After the development team on New Kong discovered the miracle of instantaneous translation in 2115, the need for reliable, standardized intergalactic transport was paramount. The testbed prototype was never intended for handling the various demands of interstellar commerce and colonization. Sixteen years later, the spherical design of the Confederation frigate ushered in the massive colonization explosion with its proven, reliable track record. When Govcentral began the Great Dispersal, the frigate played an integral part in taking colonists to their new homes on the terracompatible planets discovered between 2131 and 2205. Although the colonization effort was later assumed by bulk transports, the frigate has maintained a vital in Adamist transportation and military fleets.

The Clipper-class frigate’s utilitarian design reflects the limitations imposed by Adamist ZTT physics: the ZTT event horizon is perfectly spherical, so the fuselage is round and smooth. Patterning nodes, crucial to Adamist starflight, are mounted within the fuselage. Accurate jumps are determined by the number of nodes a ship carries. If a significant number are damaged, jumps become extremely hazardous if not outright impossible.

Approximately 55 meters (165 feet) in diameter, the ship is designed to rest within a docking cradle while in spaceport. Piston-like latches engage sockets around the hull. Starships can also dock in space with each other, engaging hold-down latches used when landing at a space station or habitat. Umbilical gantries, deployed from the ship’s equatorial ring plug into the spaceport’s coolant and environmental circuits while the cradle descends into the docking bay. The ship is accessible through a circular hatch which opens onto the cylindrical airlock chamber located at the top of the life support section.

There are three circular cargo doors on the forward hemisphere. Dull red thrust tubes fed by silver-foil cloaked cryogenic tanks extend from the stern to permit adequate maneuvering while conforming to the necessary silhouette. Although antimatter is outlawed in Confederation Space, some trader captains have installed A/M drive units on their ships as well as combat wasp racks. An retractable x-ray cannon is used to vaporize space debris. Combat sensor clusters are powerful enough to track anything larger than a snowflake within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of the fuselage. These metallic black spheroids, inset with circular gold-mirror lenses, are also retractable into jump recesses. Thermo-dump panels, common temperature-control devices extended after a jump to rid the ship of excess heat from the fusion generators, form a ruff collar around the equator.

The ship’s communications gear, thermo-dump panels and receiver meshes are extended through hull ports while the ship is operating in real space. A captain who fails to retract his specialized equipment before initiating a jump will find the extension booms neatly sheared by the event horizon, leaving his ship blind and in danger of catastrophic overheating. The ship is effectively stranded since optical and electronic scanners are needed to realign the ship after each jump. This makes Adamist starships less flexible than Edenist bitek starships.

The hull plates protect the ship’s delicate systems from direct exposure to space. For easy access during maintenance and repair, they are detachable from the outside with seam rivets and load pins. Green reactive indicator tabs on the inside of the hexagonal plates measure radiation and vacuum ablation.

Flexible configurations are possible within the characteristic fuselage. However, standard layout consists of four separate life-support capsules grouped in a pyramid at the ship’s heart. Each capsule is 12 meters (36 feet) in diameter. Capsule A houses the bridge, which takes up half of the upper middle deck. Consoles and acceleration couches accommodate six crew members. The couches have built-in zero-tau fields to protect passengers and crew from high-G maneuvers. When the ship is coasting, the acceleration couches tilt down from horizontal, transforming into oversized armchairs. Since neural nanonics interface with the flight computer from anywhere in the ship, the bridge is more of a management office. Control screens AV projectors provide specialist systems displays to back up datavised information.

Capsules B, C and D (the lower spheres), are split into four decks apiece. The middle levels follow a basic layout of cabins, a lounge, galley and sanitary facilities. The remaining decks house storage compartments, maintenance shops, equipment bays and airlock chambers for the spaceplane and MSV hangar.

Most frigates are licensed to carry up to 30 active passengers or 80 in stasis if cabin bunks are replace with zero-tau pods.

Zero-tau -

A kind of suspended animation where the effects of spacetime are nullified. It proves to be highly effective in driving the possessed out of human bodies. The reason is that the suspension aspect of the technology doesn’t work for the possessed. They remain connected with the beyond somehow and are consequently aware of time passing while in zero-tau. “It is the ultimate sensory deprivation, actually worse than the beyond,” according to Loren Skibbow.

Distortion Field -

The means by which a spaceship can suck energy directly from empty space itself. Voidhawks accomplish this through the flow of energy inside their honeycombed patterning cells.

ZTT Jump -

Technique for moving over vast distances of space via wormholes. Requires a uniform spherical hull design in astroengineering

Programmable Amorphous Silicon Spacesuit -

An insulated suit designed for exposure to space. They feature skin-tight fits, allowing for sweat transpiration, full freedom of motion, while affording protection from relatively high levels of radiation. It consists of a thick collar, seven centimeters high, with a built-in respirator tube and clear globe as a helmet.

Arcologies -

Fully-enclosed areas housing large populations of humans on Earth. The environment on Earth has been rendered unsafe by centuries of industrial-ecological abuse. Each arcology protects humans from the poisonous atmospheric conditions outside while providing a complete and self-contained "world" inside. Most earthlings grow, mature, and die on their planet without ever having seen what used to be known as "the sky".

Jovian Bank Credit Disk -

An electronic card containing a credit amount of fuseodollars that can only be accessed by the right thumb imprint of the person to which it is assigned.

Fuseodollars –

The universal currency of the Confederation. Usually handled in the form of a personalized Jovian Bank credit disk.

Biolectric Pattern-Mimic Nanonic Clusters -

Implanted nanonics that copy someone's biolectric pattern for use by another person. Some of its most illegal applications include allowing the activation and use of stolen credit disks. The bioelectric pattern copying requires that the victim be alive and not overly traumatized in order to duplicate properly. It is activated while the right thumb is pressed against that of another person's.

Initial Development of a Stage One Colony Settlement -

Cargo starships send conical craft known as "dumpers" to the surface. Dumpers are 30 meters high with a 15 meter base and weight over 150 tons fully loaded. They contain everything needed to build environment-proof housing, clear and move large sections of land, and construct a runway for other craft to land. The dumpers are unloaded and the initial work is performed by construction crews landing in small VTOL spaceplanes. When the runway is completed, McBoeing's start bringing in additional workers with more equipment. At this point, a few buildings and dwellings are assembled and the space is ready for the arrival of a group of colonists.

ELINT sensor satellites -

Used in great numbers by the Confederation to monitor star system activity in between visits and routine inspections by the Navy.

Combat Wasps -

Comparatively small attack spacecraft controlled by sophisticated artificial intelligence guidance systems. Wasps get their name from how they are constructed and deployed. They are usually released in great numbers by larger ships. They swarm at their target, are difficult to evade or destroy because of their sheer numbers, and are deadly when they strike, even in small quantities.

Serjents –

Tranquillity’s robotic police. Hamilton describes them as “hulking exoskeleton-clad humanoids.” Strong, fearless, rigidly methodical in their execution of programmed technique. Serjents are affinity-bonded to the Tranquillity habitat. They stand some two meters tall with a reddish-brown exoskeleton and leathery skin for hands. Each carries a laser pistol and a cortical jammer along with restraint cuffs.

Marsupium Shells -

Organic encasements for a variety of live-born animals. Used to transport calves, goats, lambs, etc. to the savanna region beyond Aberdale. The shells are opened as desired, when the settlers had established living quarters for themselves and prepped the proper fencing. The shells contain all females which are artificially inseminated to begin the growth of the herds.

Sensevised programming -

Allowing communication channels to open via nanonic implants so that the receiver can actual see, smell, hear, etc. whatever is being communicated, usually via retinal implants. This is an especially appealing technology for experiencing news events as it literally places the consciousness of the “viewer” directly at the event as if they were in attendance.

Sensenviron -

A technology of data stored in neural nanonics that can create the illusion of an alternate environment (a room usually) for the enjoyment of those using it. Joshua transforms the sparse apartment of one of his brief sexual liaisons into an arabian quarters filled with silks, brass urns, etc. for their physical pleasure. Joshua says that it is a reproduction of one of Lawrence of Arabia’s accommodations, but it is obvious that he doesn’t know his history very well. He thinks Lawrence fought the Roman Empire in the 1700’s.

Chameleon Camouflage Suit -

A jump suit that, when fully zipped-up with hood up, blends dynamically with the background such that the person wearing it may move around while remaining invisible to anyone viewing from any given angle. Takpads are sewn into the suit, allowing its wearer to climb all sorts things.

TIP Carbine -

A weapon used by specialist forces that connects directly with neural nanonics for enhanced targeting capability. It is an area fire weapon, literally spraying ammunition over a certain field at the rate of 250 shots per second. Rather than regular projectiles, however, TIP’s fire “induction pulses” that more or less stab the target area. These weapons prove practically useless against the possessed. First of all, as with virtually all electronic gear, their power supply is drained tremendously. Secondly, the possessed prove to be impervious to major injury. They heal almost instantaneously. Only massive destruction of their bodies (as in the case of explosive rounds) has any effect.

Gaussgun -

A heavy-duty tactical assault weapon. Its barrel is about one and a half meters long and is fed ammo through a feed tube. Neural nanonics programs a mixture of fragmentation and electron-explosive rounds at the gunner’s specifications. They fire at 10 rounds per second. The recoil is quite strong.

Proteanic Virus -

The term used by Edenist scientists to describe the force unleashed by Laton in the Jantrit disaster. They believed it to be “affinity-programmable organic molecules.” Secretly, a research project was undertaken to determine the workings of the virus in hopes of finding a cure or a warning system should such an event ever occur again. Unbeknownst to them, Laton, in his hiding place on Lalonde, was also spending considerable effort in developing the virus. The updated version, when activated by an affinity command small DNA loops known as “plasmids” along with certain proteins began a mitosis process. Cells reproduced by division, creating new plasmids which eventually resulted in “a drastic mutation.” Laton had developed some 400 plasmids, each designed to perform a specific biological task. The process created new neuron cells almost identical to the old ones they replaced.

Aerovette –

Stealthy, disc-shaped aerial combat robots about a meter and a half wide. Used for scouting and decoy purposes.

Sleep Cocoon –

Used to sleep in when traveling in deep space. It is basically and envelope for the person’s body made of lightweight spongy fabric big enough not to be restrictive.

Kulu Navy Flyer -

A spaceplane measuring some 50 by 15 meters designed to carry passengers from frigates to planetary surfaces. It is powered like most starships albeit on a smaller scale, with ion thrusters and a fusion drive.

Assault Mechanoids -

Used by Ombey's Armed Tactical (AT) Squads for extreme security infringement situations. Each stands three meters high with seven tentacles-like legs and hoofed feet enabling them to rapidly negotiate a wide variety of terrain circumstances. Their barrel-like body operates with serpentine flexibility and accommodates eight specialist tools ranging from climbing gear to gaussrifles. They function by either pre-programmed or direct datavised control. One of their designed operations is to use whip cords to attach to objects and blow them up. AT Squads usually follow-up behind the mechanoids and secure the area concerned.

15 mechanoids are used to assault the Moyce's of Pesto building in an attempt to flush out the two surviving possessed Lalonde embassy employees before the possession can spread. They begin to malfunction, firing ordnance and deploying other equipment in a wildly chaotic dance that send the AT squads following behind them rushing for cover.

Utility Mechanoids -

The less sophisticated cousins of the armored mechs. These take care of a variety of tasks like cleaning city streets and general automated maintenance functions.

Kulu Corporation SCV-659 -

A civilian utility aircraft that can travel at supersonic speed for long global distances. This and less sophisticated aircraft are the only one's allowed on Norfolk. It seats 10 passengers and is the craft that take the Kavanagh sisters and Fletcher Christian out of Bytham just as the town falls to possession.

Hellhawks -

Blackhawks whose personalities have become possessed by first taking over their captains and then being assaulted over their affinity band with the possessed captains.

Holomorph sticker –

A holographic surface with an adhesive backing capable of sticking anywhere and delivering fully animated messages.

Antimatter Station Neural Nanonics –

A special set of neural nanonics that is implanted in anyone who knows the location of an antimatter station. It is the price for such knowledge. The black cartel supplies them free of charge. They are first-rate components with one modification. If the owner is subjected to any form of interrogation (debrief nanonics, drugs or torture) they automatically self-destruct, instantly killing the person in which they are implanted. Thus, the only way antimatter station locations can be communicated is voluntarily.

Bradfields –

The weapon of choice among Confederation Marine troops.