A few sketches I can conclusively point “this is where this idea came from!” This is one of them. At least, I’m pretty sure I remember where this was from. Way back when they did an Honor Harrington comic book, and I remember looking through the first edition (I got a copy of it from a USB key giveaway, I think). I’ll be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with a lot of the designs on first glance. Or second, really. It was pretty clear that the artist was… taking some liberties with the universe’s designs. Some of the stuff didn’t have a concrete description, and it worked. But other stuff had been rather specifically described, like how the ships looked. And the artist’s own designs were just… wrong.
But I digress.
The issue I saw covered On Basilisk Station, the first of the Harrington novels (the first written), and it had a few bits of interesting “stuff” in a couple scenes. One of those scenes was a off-world drug lab and it had some very weird bits of technology. This multi-purpose “science orb” is one of them. It had no discernable purpose or use, but it looked very cool. Too cool to just abandon it. So I sketched out my own version into my sketchbook. Admittedly, I have no idea where it could fit in, or even if it’d get used. It really looks like some kind of complex reaction vessel, which makes a certain amount of sense.
If I do get to use this, it’ll undoubtedly get some more modifications to better fit into whatever machinery it would be a part of. The various drain feed and output pipes would change, and the external modules likely would as well. Some electronic control and processing systems for sure, but exactly how it would go together depends on just what kind of actual task it’s doing.
Or I might not use it at all. But, better to have the idea on hand and not use it than the other way around.