Slush Pile

Main Cafeteria
New Concepts Division
Research Co-Ordination
Fenris, deWulf Corporate Democracy
“So, there I was going through the slush pile…”

“You pulled that rotation again? Is Karbov out to get you, or did you steal his favorite chair a second time?”

“I only did that once. Jokes lose their impact the second time around. And if I tried to go for the repeat effect, I’d definitely be getting a visit from HR.”

“But you’re still on slush pile duty.”

“I may have reset his audio settings to play DataKrieg Live and Uncut first thing in the morning.”

“You do realize that HR’s going to be visiting sooner or later.”

“Yeah.”

“So what new gem did you find in the slush pile this time?”

“That’s the thing… this actually might be a good idea. It’s kind of a stupid one… but stupid like a Wäalender kind of stupid.”

“Okay, give me the lift pitch on it”

“Alright, we’ve been having difficulty attacking heavily defended planets, right?”

“Yeah. News at dinner. Everyone and their poto know this.”

“Our solution’s been to strap torpedoes onto drones, and use them as disposable MIRVs. Great fire density, but it’s the Breaker’s own billing to sustain. Setting money on fire is actually less efficient, right?”

He nodded in agreement.

“Okay, so what if we instead fit a complete launcher on the drone, have it fly just out of the planet’s extended defense range, and then have it open fire for a few minutes, and then drive right back out of the engagement envelope?”

“Well, that’s a great idea, except for three problems. One, we can’t fit a torpedo launcher onto a drone. Too much launcher for too little drone. Two, drone sensor systems are comically short sighted. Three, the drone won’t have enough endurance to make that whole attack without fitting an ER pack, which smacks right into problem one.”

“Exactly what I was thinking when I was reading the slush pile. But I think he might have got those issues beat. Second problem first. He proposes using that drone datalink technology we developed a year or so back. One command drone with targeting sensors and the command unit. That’ll give it enough targeting ability to engage outside of the planet’s defense envelope. And we have a solution for the first problem out at Y-12.”

“The test yards? What’s there that we could use?”

“Feather of Duty.”

He paused a moment. Feather of Duty was an Elysian battlecruiser that had been stolen and brought back to the deWulf Navy for research and testing. While broadly similar, many of its systems were more advanced than the deWulf could manufacture. Some were different in subtle ways, while others were different to be almost, well, alien. But not impossible to understand. In the end, all technology obeyed the same laws of physics.

He continued. “Feather of Duty was equipped with two different missile batteries. The larger, ‘capital’ missiles are too large, but the smaller batteries are just small enough to fit onto a drone. A single drone equipped with a missile battery, even a more primitive version, will be able to do more damage than one of our bombardment drones. And what’s even better, we can recover the drones, repair them, and use them again. Not in the same day, but multiple times per month.”

“That. That is insane. I mean, kissing the drive torus mad. And brilliant. We’d have to do some crash research to be able to build the missile launchers, but they could just be a more primitive version, yes?”

“MUCH more primitive.”

“Send the letter.”


 

To:
deWulf Central Command
Research Co-Ordination Main Office
PackMaster Brand, Chief of Research

From:
Research Co-Ordination
New Concepts Division
Ken Lahm, Researcher
Packmaster Brand,

I generally don’t bother you with random ideas from the slush pile, but I feel that we’ve gotten one that may actually be worth looking at…

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