Miscellanous Technology


- Does it work?
It better work, we have already begun to sell it.


This is the secret of Pi3 Orionis; while the other colonies know about their existence they have not yet managed to get a sample. They are based on very advanced micromachinery, developed by the Minskians. The factory is seeded from a decimetre-sized cubical seed. The seed slowly grows underground, absorbing nutrients and building drone microbots to supply it with material. Thin feelers are sent out to parasitise on surrounding trees for energy. Within a few weeks to a few months the factory has grown to a black cube around a meter large, producing the products it had been programmed for. When given the right signal it will open (otherwise it will explode; boobytraps are extremely common on Pi3) and release its contents. While in principle it could be re-used indefinitely, it tends to stunt the growth around the site and become easy to find. Usually microfactories are instead put into a dormant mode and left fallow for a year or two, possibly baited for the enemy.



A squid is a device for measuring the current brain state and reporting it. Originally based on Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs, hence the name), but now usually built from Werner spin detectors in a headband, hairpin, scalp net, laurel wreath or collar. Using the squid the overall brain activity can be monitored in real-time to the same precision as a PET scan of the 1990ís (large, immobile versions in hospitals or psychodesign labs have a much higher resolution but are mainly used for medical treatment). On Atlantis, people have squids integrated in their wearables and project a standard visualisation of their current brain state. Anybody can view it, although by convention the highest resolution is only sent to people actually talking to the person. It makes it possible to see not just the current state, but some indices regarding overall brain chemistry and cognitive style. This can be interpreted with a Psychology roll (Atlanteans use Awareness) and helps determine the real mood of the other person, his or her reactions and overall personality. It is of course possible to send faked or edited data (inking), but this is regarded as extremely impolite. To prevent it, Atlanteans sometimes make sudden emotional, unexpected questions just to check that the squid is not inking: if it is the response will not look right.