Sketches – Reactor and Assembler

While most civilizations develop a host of similar technologies, some civilizations focus on perfecting and improving certain technologies. Sometimes these are entirely home grown developments, while other times they are a case of taking work already in existence, and advancing them to levels that their original creators never imagined.

For the deWulf, there are two technologies, one in each of those categories.

The first is a home-grown technological development. Cold fusion is at best a technological curiosity, usually overshadowed by full-bore fusion generators once they become technologically feasible. For the deWulf however, the technology received substantial research and development that led to a compact, if somewhat inefficient power plant. While compact and surprisingly durable due to a lack of moving components, it has two problems that prevent it from becoming more widely adopted. The first is that the system relies on a liquid U-238 catalyst that slowly but steadily gets contaminated by other transuranic elements as part of the fusion process, requiring infrequently but regular replacement. The second is that due to certain physics restrictions, the process proved impossible to scale up, and users instead have to deal with multiple cold fusion generators working in parallel.

The second technology is a nanoassembly module. The basic technology was first encountered via a salvaged piece of technology discovered in deep space, but it took several years before the principles underlying the machine were understood. Those base principles lead to the first nanoassembly module. While primitive, it allows for custom assembly of molecules, one at a time. While output remains limited, the process can easily be expanded in parallel to result in reasonable production volumes. It is expected that as this technology matures both speed and volume will increase.

Both of these little technologies are inspired from other games, little ideas that found their home in my own universe. The cold fusion reactor is based on a design concept from Deus Ex, a little bit of window dressing from the end of the first game. The nanoassembler is a concept based on the game Spacechem, where you are responsible for programming various assemblers to make specific compounds.

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