Technology Overview


General Scientific Advancements

Power Generation: Microfusion power generators can now be fit into a power pack as small as 3'x2'x1'. These packs use hot fusion contained by a small gravity generator. The standard portable pack (used in powered armor and small vehicles) has an output of up to 5 Mega watts.

Power Storage: Battery efficiency has also been updated, allowing battries powerful enough to run older powered armor and energy weapons.

Medicine: The science of medicine has reached an incredible state. Organs or limbs that are removed can be re-grown inside the patient. Special Trauma Bags can flash-freeze a person for transport to a medical facility. Specially tailored viruses hunto down and kill diseases. Any trauma that does not destroy the brain or spinal column can be repaired in a matter of days. The standard first aid kit heald up to 10 points of damage.

Gravity Generators: Machines exist which can create a gravity field without a corresponding mass. These generators are used as reactionless thrusters, to produce artifical gravity and allow a ship to thrust at high Gs, and to create the artificial event horizon that pushes a ship into s-space.

Things that do not exist:


FTL Travel

The theory of s-space travel works like this: You take two large gravity generators. Use one to create a very powerful spherical field pulling inward toward the engine. Use the other to create a very powerful spherical field pushing outward from the engine. Since these two fields overlap, the total force applied to any matter within that field is zero, but the opposing forces, if strong enough, will create an artificial event horizon around the pair of generators. To anyone outside the sphere (which is usually several millions of miles across) the area becomes a black hole, a sphere of empitness in the universe. From inside, the ship is in a different dimension, known by scientists as Singularity Space, or "s-space". Most people call this state "hyperspace".

The primary difference between normal space and s-space is the reversal of electromagnetism and gravity. In s-space, electromagnetism is a weak force. A laser that would destroy cities is no more dangerous than a flashlight in s-space. Meanwhile, a thruster that gives a 1G acceleration in normal space will give an acceleration of thousands of Gs in s-space. Also, in s-space, the laws of relativity do not apply. A fast ship in s-space can move at up to 900 times the speed of light! (Most can not exceed 300c)

The most dangerous thing for a ship in s-space is mass. Any significant external gravity will tend to disrupt the s-space bubble. If this bubble collapses, the ship will reappear in normal space, where the laws of relativity apply. An s-space bubble can not be maintained within a significant natural gravity field. An earth-mass planet can not be approached closer than .5AU (50,000,000 miles) Gas giants may require a distance of up to 3 or 4 AU.

If a ship is moving faster than the speed of light when the s-space bubble collpases, it will appear in normal space moving at 0.99c. Any momentum lost will backlash into the s-space drives. This backlash would destroy the ship except for Overload Dampers, which operate something like fuses. The dampers explode into space, converting the energy of the backlash into heat, light and radiation. It is rare that the dampers fully protect the ship. Usually the ship takes some damage, but is not completely destroyed.

Only one company has successfully created s-space drives. This company, 4D Enterprises, produces FTL drives, sensors and thrusters for all the companies that build starships.


Starships

The UP has strict design limitations for starships, in addition to the restrictions imposed by the 4D corporation to protect their invention of the FTL drive. No starship has windows, since no transparent material is strong enough to withstand the rigors of s-space travel. 4D Enterprises supplies every FTL ship above a certain size with an engineer who maintains the drive. No one else may work directly on the mechanisms of the drive. This allows 4D to protect their trade secrets.

Smaller starships do not have a 4D engineer. Starships range to as small as a one-man ship, the size of a 20th-century tractor-trailer.


Personal Weapons

The primary sidearms used on starships are blast weapons (aka "blasters"). These weapons vaporize iron into a plasma, which they magnetically accelerate at the target. These weapons are very deadly, but do not penetrate metals, which makes them perfect for use on starships. However, they have a low rate of fire and do not penetrate armor well. For use on planet, where a stray shot will not blow out the hull, the primary weapons are pulsed lasers. These have good penetration, excellent damage, and high rates of fire.

Common greandes are concussion, plasma burst and fragmentation. Most artillery uses plasma burst warheads, depleted uranium flecheettes, or focused plasma armor piercing rounds.

Armor ranges from the standard monomolecular fiber uniform to infantry combat armor to fully powered suits.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Nov 10 10:42:20 2002