Overall, technology in 2071 is very advanced, but limited by the
complexity barriers: systems cannot become too complex, or they break
down. "Big" technology like antimatter, space travel and terraforming
works well, but organising a trillion nanodevices or writing a good AI
is too complex to be achieved.
Nanotechnology has been around since the 2040's. Due to the complexity
limitations it is rather inflexible, but it is possible to make
nanomachines for different purposes. They are mainly used for chemical
processing, smart materials, nanocomputers and making diamond in
bulk. Terraforming is one of the biggest applications, and worries
about runaway nanodevices are calmed by using them on uninhabited
Optical computers or nano-manufactured computers. Extremely powerful
computer networks and programs, but heavily subdivided and fortified
from evolving viruses. All developed nations are part of a dynamic
Genetic algorithms create dangerous viruses if allowed to develop
freely. Expert systems and neural networks produce reasonably good AI
but not super-intelligent (except for within very narrow areas).
Expansion at first motivated by energy shortages, later by
overpopulation and environmental problems. The orbital habitats
(immense rotating cylinders with internal artificial ecosystems)
provide both clean environment, safety and living space. There are
colonies in orbit and on planets in the solar system as well as
It is possible to create gravitational monopoles (either attracting or
repelling), dipoles (can be used for drives, antigravity or as
engines) and multipoles (usually only of academic interest). Gravitech
requires a lot of energy.
Pulsed gravitech gobbles up huge amounts of energy but can produce
extremely strong fields for a short time; mainly used for FTL.
Soliton transmitter: a way of sending FTL signals. It has low
bandwidth, is very energy demanding, heavy and easily eavesdropped.
Human agrav uses metallic hydrogen in plates held together by diamond
sandwhiches and superconducting coils (Varaiyas-modules). The most
common for are the g-modules, hexagonal prisms 10 cm long and 2 cm
wide, or 10 cm diameter and 2 cm thick. Usually they consist of
massive diamond with coolant vents for superfluid helium.
Based on the Alcubierre warp drive geometry invented in the 20th century, but possible to implement first in 2026 using gravitational technology.
The Guest-Asali drive consists of a fan of "thorns" that are unfolded
when activated or when returning to status geometry. They are
connected to a central reactor using waveguides. In the reactor an
electromagnetic pulse is created, which creates a soliton wave. Around
the reactor there is a thick layer of quantum computers doing the
Warping requires much power for starting, and a gravitational
"short-circuit" for slowing down. Horrible stories circulate about
ships who failed to slow down and ended up stranded light-years from
any star or swept away into infinity.
Antimatter is produced in "amat farms", huge solar cell arrays where
energy powers big destillation units. The antimatter is stored as
frozen antihydrogen kept in place using intense magnetic fields
All amat containers are standardized and have at least three levels of backup.
Missiles: small (50 cm) pen-like systems with a small pellet of
anti-ice as warhead. The destructive power is equal to nuclear
Hellflowers: anti-planet weapons. A charge of antimatter detonates in
the stratosphere and irradiates the surface of the planet with gamma
rays, killing everything within line-of-sight below.
Amat motors: combines water ice with antimatter. The amount of
antimatter needed is quite small, and can be kept in small modules
that can be ejected if they are damaged. Amat motors are easy to
trace from their heat traces and secondary gamma emissions from the
steam/plasma. Antigravity motors are extremely power-hungry but