basic introduction to Engineering, Science and Technology
A negatively charged proton that reacts explosively when
it contacts a proton (found in the nucleus of any atom).
AP is the basic fuel source of Commonwealth civilization,
lighting cities and powering spaceship from star to star.
A versatile technology, which harnesses exotic matter concentrations
to alter and manipulate gravitational fields for various
purposes. For example, in a spaceship, artificial gravity
is used to reduce effective mass for thrust, to prevent
items from being squashed by the ship's acceleration and
to allow the crew to operate throughout the ship. Also,
when artificial gravity is concentrated on an area outside
of the ship away from a gravity source (like a planet or
sun) it can be used to generate a rip in the fabric of space,
allowing the ship to enter the slipstream (see Slipstream).
A flexible plastic computer sheet which is one of the most
ubiquitous technologies in known space. Seeing a Commonwealth
mentor or All Systems University researcher scribbling notes
onto a flexi is a familiar sight to nearly every sentient
in known space. It's no wonder. Once written on, the flexi-writer's
handwriting is automatically transposed from sloppy handwriting
to neat and easy-to-read text. Variations of the flexi are
used by nearly every species in the Commonwealth for purposes
ranging from instruction to literary composition to gaming.
Many methods have been attempted over the centuries to communicate
between worlds at faster-than-light speeds -- from inducing
forced tachyon beams to quantum entanglement to slipstream
radio. Regrettably, none have yet succeeded.
Instead, millions of tiny courier ships, each with a single
pilot, ply the starlanes for the Commonwealth Courier Network
(CCN), relaying messages, news and information to nearly
every inhabited point in known space. At regularly scheduled
intervals, an information-laden CCN ship flies from one
system to another, sends its messages by encoded laser,
receives outgoing transmissions, then speeds along to the
next stop on its route. The High Guard also maintains its
own dedicated courier system, as do several private concerns,
but none are a fraction as vast as the CCN.
A widespread technology in the Known Worlds, nanotech is
the creation and use of microscopic machines. Virtually
every appliance, building, and vehicle in the Commonwealth
has nanotech components deployed for a variety of purposes.
For example, when a High Guard ship needs replacement parts,
small nano-machines can be used to assemble them molecule
by molecule. More nano-machines continuously maintain and
repair systems, minimizing failures and breakdowns. Still
others defend against attacks by hostile nanomachines, which
have a long history of use as weapons in modern warfare.
Commonwealth citizens even carry nano-machines inside their
bodies, providing protection from disease and infection,
as well as repairing and maintaining organs to keep them
in top condition.
OF THE SPEED OF LIGHT (PSL):
basic Commonwealth measurement unit for spaceships travelling
at sublight speed. Cargo ships move 20-30 PSL, warships
move at 30-50 PSL, fighters at 40-75 PSL, defensive missiles
at 60-70 PSL and offensive missiles at 85-95 PSL.
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