Mundane Technology

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Mobius 1
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Mundane Technology

Post by Mobius 1 » Tue May 27, 2008 11:31 am

An old TE thread I actually liked. Amazing.

***

Retrospective Quarterly
Technologies that changed the universe

Here, I plan a post a catalog of the more mundane, but notable technologies of the TEverse. While some may seem to be a mere attempt to cover the bases, others, I hope, will instill wonder and awe. As such, I will update this thread often with a two page collection of relevant technologies. The items are marked in bold, follow by their relative time of invention or introduction on the human time scale, their main areas of use, and the main user/operator/inventor. Though this first post contains only tech from the two major polities relevant to the TE storyline, I also hope to better explore tech from less featured groups, such as the Frok’tar Corporate Alliance and the Seccarian Imperium. Enjoy.

Compression Cannon- 2216/Law Enforcement/Human

More commonly known as the Concussion Rifle, the Compression Cannon delivers a short-range concussion blast of highly charged, highly compacted air. Though nonlethal, it has been a perennial favorite of Metrocops in chaotic crowd-control circumstances and on patrol in more crime-ridden neighborhoods. Resembling a sawed-off shotgun, the Cannon is powered by a pump-action level which generates a charge, making ammunition and batteries nothing to be concerned about. While a single charge provides a single burst, it is possible to save up power (up to four charges) into one hyper-powered wide-area blast that can level an entire crowd in its tracks.

Wallcrawler Threads- 2309/Novelty, Espionage/Human

If there is one thing professional thieves have done to improve the entertainment of society, it is their invention of Wallcrawler clothing in 2109. WC gear uses millions of tiny suction cups and variable-grip adhesives woven in amongst the threads to greatly improve the user’s ability to cling to surfaces. Since then, WC clothing, boots, and gloves have always had a small market amongst adventurous children, though the garments have implanted chips that have altitude sensors, disabling use after a certain height- the gloves won’t give out, they’ll just give a short electrical jolt and a verbal warning. Not to surprisingly, the second biggest customer of Wallcrawler gear is the government, which finds it very useful in surveillance situations. This has given rise to the invention of wallslicks, special chemical coating used over walls and other structures to discourage the rouge wallcrawler. As such, the early 24th century fad of Wallcrawler clothes has faded away, content to be a children’s toy

Refresh- 2487/Athletics, Military/Human

Though it has its origins as a military experiments, the small white pill known as refresh quickly become a wide-spread phenomenon amongst athletes. The chemical effectives stops exhaustion in its tracks, each dose allows full hour of strenuous activity without breaking so much as a sweat. However, be forewarned- for each dose of Refresh the user takes, they must suffer five times as many hours of complete exhaustion- and taking multiple doses only stacks up the time it takes to recover afterwards. From this, there has arisen the question of what would happen if one kept taking Refresh indefinitely, forever delaying the exhaustion. Alas, one Xavier SaGalle answered that question in 2503 by spontaneously liquefying his body after 10 consecutive doses of Refresh.

Backtrack- 2542/Computer Security/Human

Known as the system smoker amongst users, the program backtrack is a hacker’s worst nightmare- so much so that it gained an even more foreboding nickname- Flatline. A powerful antihacking program, Backtrack effectively backtracks unauthorized users accessing the system to the source and overrides the surge protection on the user’s system, causing a massive electrical jolt. While the charge can be averted by a sufficiently reflexive user, only artificial intelligences have the capability to do so. While the jolt can smoke a subjected computer, it has far more devastating and repulsive effects on those directly uplinked to the system, such that they may not be mentioned here.

Holosol- 2525/ Entertainment, Simulation/Human

Short for holosolid, Holosol is a sensory inducer program that allows one in a holosim the impression of actual physical presence. While the sensation is only imaginary, touching a “holosolid” creates a field of resistance. This allows for much more realistic holosims- perhaps the greatest application of this technology is that of virtual sex, but it also helps in military practice and crime scene reconstruction. There is one curious effect of Holosol- those who know the true nature of the object, that it is a hologram, can push through it with enough force and/or belief. So, as one can surmise, taking part in an effective holosol experience requires a certain suspension of belief.

Digital Storage- 2589/Mass reduction/Ark

Only recently developed, this technology represents the pinnacle of advancement for the Ark at this time, a certain crowning achievement. Digital storage comes in two forms at the moment- digital holsters (or digital scabbard) and digital armor. Basically, the device breaks a weapon down and stores it digitally in the form of a thin metal memory card, about three inches long. The wielder can then tap the card to “draw” the weapon, which appears immediately in his hand. Although each card can only carry one weapon at a time, it is possible to carry more than one card. So far, there is a twenty pound limit on the size of the weapon, other than that, the weapon usually has to be of the size to use in a single hand. Digital armor involves the same technology as the digital holster, this device breaks down armor digitally into a slim metal bracelet. The user can then, just like the holster, tap the bracelet to instantaneously don the armor. While only one suit of armor can be stored at a time, and the armor cannot weigh more than a hundred pounds, there are no limits on the complexity of the armor.

Autoport- 619/Personal Teleportation/Ark

While cross-system teleportation has existed for many millennia within the Ark, they usually take the form of large portals comparable to 21st century human train stations. The autoport is a large device, shaped like a tall trapezoid comprising about a cubic foot, with two grips extending outward. Whereas the portals can take one over distances of up to twenty AU, autoports are meant more for planetary excursions. While models differ in size, cost, distance, recharge time, and cargo capablity, the average unit on the civilian market has a range on one kilometer, weigh five pounds, can carry a half ton, and has a recharge time of a minute. Most units are voice commanded- for example, “900 feet below”, or “upward northwest, 30-degree angle, 20 feet”, and the results are instantaneous. Over the years, there has been the situation in which someone would be teleported into a space which is automatically occupied, resulting in ghastly stomach-churning fusions. There has long since been put in place emergency sensor systems, which shunt the user to a random open space on a suitable space with 100 feet and render him unconscious. While most autoports are single user, there are models that can transit up to ten people at a time, though with greater recharge times. And whilst autoports may seem a good idea for covert operations, the rifts the devices create by operation can easily be detected by the most rudimentary of equipment, sometimes even by the alert observer.

Equalize- 2455/Espionage/Human

Expressly developed for the military, this chemical stabilizes the subject’s body heat, creating equilibrium with the environment. Obviously, this is quite useful for fully bypassing any sort of infrared sensor, as there is no heat to track. A single dose, injected through syringe, will last about four hours. Scientists are currently seeking a way to prolong the life of the dose or at least make it more exact, as the dose time is approximate and the user has no way of knowing when exactly the dose will fail. Due to the sickly fact that taking more than one dose at a time, even when the first dose is seconds from wearing off, results instant death, users need to know when it is safe to take a new dose. It would do no good for the user to be too zealous in avoiding the combination that they go for too long without a dose, potentially revealing their position.

Render Rifle- 2574/Firearm/Human

Equal only to the chainsword and the BOB in gruesomeness, the Render Rifle’s effects are so stomach-churning that even most in the military refuse to use the weapon. The rifle operates by locking in on a target and rapidly cycling gravitational forces between repulsion and attraction until the subject is literally torn apart. Limb from limb, in bloody chunks- whatever descriptor you pick; this weapon has very nasty results. As the tractions the weapon creates are very draining, the weapon gets anywhere from four to ten shots per battery, depending on mass and armor of the target. The weapons, while large and somewhat bulky for those not in power armor, ignores all personal energy shielding, delivering a very nasty surprise to those who fancy themselves invincible.

Hydromolecular Medium- 2590/Information Storage/Human

Truly the next step in high tech, the hydromolecular medium is the latest advancement in data storage: information encoded onto water molecules. As the technology is still in its infancy, the true implications and potential applications for this item have not been worked out yet- only what is represented here is what is currently in use: Anyone who drinks the water temporarily gains the benefit of the data stored in it. This single revolutionary fact means many things: what is now fantasy is now reality. A child who drinks water with a full pilot’s manual on it instantly gains the ability to fly any vehicle the information covers. Confused as to what wire to cut to defuse the bomb? Take a drink of water- it’ll calm your nerves and give you the answers. Unfortunately, the effects of the water only last five minutes per each eight ounce glass the person drinks, after which it is as though the person had no accessed the information for fifty years- it remains a distant memory that can be recalled as though it were a rough outline. On the plus side, there are no lasting side effects whatsoever, and the information manifests itself nearly instantly. Encoders for this medium, after two years of improvements, have placed the machine at no larger than a hardcover book. Designers theorize, that one, day, the hydromolecular medium will replace the printed word as a recreational activity. Tremendous amounts of data storage will be no more expensive than a glass of water; a database could be contained in rows of small water bottles.

Psychic Conveter- 2487/Power Generation.Human

Another revolutionary technology, the psionic converter converts raw psionic energy into electricity, powering ordinary items with only the power of the mind. The process is a closely guarded secret, although this machine creates billions of jobs for even the weakest psions all across the alliance, those who go in, hook up, and sit for a couple minutes, concentrating. The average workshift then follows with several hours of pampered relaxation and much food- stocking the psion up for his next drain. It came as no surprise that the job of “Converter” has been listed on Olympia Quarterly’s best jobs in the galaxy a hundred years running.

Grav-Glob Gun- 904/Crowd Control/Frok’tar

The Frok’tar’s idea of crowd control, the grav-glob gun fires high-density blobs made of magnetized, adhesive metal alloy. When charged, these “Grav-globs” quickly increase in size, simultaneously becoming heavier. A single grav-glob initially weighs one pound, but can go to sixteen five seconds. Because a hit with a grav-glob merely encumbers a target, these popular crowd control guns require two to four shots to take a single target down. The weight of the combined blobs combined with the adhesiveness will stick any victim to the ground in seconds, stickily keeping him there. A grav-glob gun, a minorly bulky, made of high impact plastic, and can hold twenty shots per magazine.

Displacement Round- 20,400 BC/Secarian Imperium

With a wide variety of uses, the displacement round also finds itself in a wide variety of forms- from baton to bullets and from dart to grenade. In its simplest form, however, the displacement round kicks its target with a jolt of chronometric energy-y setting him in a new universe and putting him anywhere from ten seconds to a minute into the future at the same spot. To the target, the transition seems instantaneous, but the intervening time allows the shooter to reorient his weapon and get a clean shot, uninhibited to the target’s movement. One must note, though that if the spot where the target disappeared is occupied, the target will randomly appear in the closest unoccupied space. Another application of this technology is that of damage avoidance, the user can simply jump anywhere from a half second to two minutes into the future, allowing him to avoid a passing bullet or the effects of a grenade. Two possibilities has arisen from these parameters- could a Secarian keep jumping into the future, to see what would happen? Yes, although he has no way of getting back (the tech can only go forward in its universal hopping, not back) and is simply popping more and more divergent universes off his own. Also, could a user keep the field left on with a dilation of a millisecond, allowing him to be impervious? Theorists have currently determined that if the backpack armor version cannot sustain the massive drain, all the universes it has created will collapse on themselves, violently. It came as no surprise that the many mind-numbing affects and implications of displacement rounds caused them to be banned around 11,200 BC.

Universal Cannon- 5,430 BC/Firearms/Secarian

The standard weapon for the Imperium for over seven millennia, the universal cannon is a terrifying weapon, at least to those it has made its prey. The weapons operates as such: it acquires its target using extremely advanced pin-point software, and then enfolds a pocket universe around the target, effectively trapping the target in his own glowing white ten by ten universe, more of a cell than everything else. The target is now trapped from ever returning to his home universe- neither can see the other; the target simply ceases to exist in a flash of light to observers. This entrapment would be bad enough if the universe did not contract and collapse upon itself at a snail’s rate, literally crushing its occupant(s) to a pulp before disappearing from the multiverse forever. There is no way to escape from a generated pocket universe, and the experience of collapse is purported to be extremely painful. This weapon manifests itself in a wide variety of forms: from moon-sized blasters that can delete entire worlds to pistol-sized guns that can delete anywhere from a single grain of sand to a five-by-five area. No matter what its form, enemies of the Imperium have come to rightfully fear this dreadful weapon.
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Booted Vulture
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Re: Mundane Technology

Post by Booted Vulture » Tue May 27, 2008 4:20 pm

You need to stick the digital mass storage, in gun magazines. For infinite ammo!
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Re: Mundane Technology

Post by Magister Militum » Wed May 28, 2008 1:20 am

You would think that the cure is worse than the disease in the case of Refresh, considering the fact that it has a heavy price in terms of down time.
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Re: Mundane Technology

Post by Ford Prefect » Wed May 28, 2008 1:40 am

Sometimes, being exhausted for a ten hours is better than being dead forever. You just better hope you can capitalise on those two hours. ;)
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Re: Mundane Technology

Post by Destructionator » Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:16 pm

Magister Militum wrote:You would think that the cure is worse than the disease in the case of Refresh, considering the fact that it has a heavy price in terms of down time.
One of the things I haven't written up yet about my A'millians is that they can have very short periods (up to dozens of seconds in athletes) of intense output followed by literally collapsing unable to make many movements at all for several minutes.

This is of course based on sprinting in real life: I can make pretty good speed when running away from something, but afterward my legs and lungs aren't happy about it. I just took this to the next level for them.

Anyway, in nature, one of the useful aspects of this is fleeing from a predator, who also is doing his own short range sprint hoping to catch you before bonking. Make a run for the village where your tribe can scare off the animal - if you don't make it, you're screwed, so might as well run like hell. It is also good for hunting in pairs: one partner sprints and tackles the prey to slow it down, then while he lies on the ground wheezing and recovering (using his dead weight to keep the animal from running away), his partner, running at a more modest pace, catches up and finishes the job.



I could see the Refresh pill used in similar, though longer term, situations. Running away from a hunter can be directly applied to fleeing enemy soldiers or the police as you make a mad dash (or calculated withdrawl which requires top notch alertness for a short time) for a friendly border.

It also works for being a hunter: suppose Solid Snake is in the disposal facility trying to stop the terrorists from launching a nuke - sleeping there isn't much of an option, but once the job is done, he can nap all he wants on the sub ride home.



As to the rest of the list, the Digital Storage reminds me of the capsules from Dragon Ball... I always thought those would be cool. And knowledge from drinking water - oh that has uses!

But, I have a criticism of the list too: I think there are too many weapons. None of them really seem like they would actually change the world. They all basically do the same thing as regular guns, so I'd imagine they would be used in similar places and similar ways. Whether you're trapped in a pocket universe or just blown to bits, you're still pretty dead.
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Re: Mundane Technology

Post by Mobius 1 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:46 am

:) Perhaps the thread title is a bit misleading- a good portion of the techs presented will be more along the lines of 'gee-whiz' than 'whoa, you changed the world, dude'. Things like wall-crawler threads and equalize don't really change the verse- they're just rather neat and add flavor. Guns, therefore would fall under the 'flavor' category- and especially if the verse has lots of gunplay and set-piece battles and 'ak-shun', it would make sense to describe a bit further beyond 'hey guys it's a gun'.
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