*Catchy news jingle plays*
From the very depths of space to the lowest streets of Fenris, deWulf State News brings the facts of the galaxy to your desk!
Good evening, I’m Janeth deVries
BioMed Nano announced a breakthrough in material engineering. Based on already existing chemical assembly technologies, this new application uses nano-scale grippers already in widespread use to guide a stream of atoms into precise shapes. Conceptually similar to larger macro-scale 3d sinter printing, this technique miniaturizes the concept to the level of individual molecules. While manufacturing at this scale is slow, it can also be easily done in parallel. Multiple micro sintering arrays built smaller subcomponents that are then provided to similar arrays that fuse the individual components together.
This breakthrough in assembly technology has made several previously theoretical designs possible. One of the first applications has been a new generation of more efficient power converters. These new converters are an order of magnitude more efficient, and are finding use in a broad spectrum of military and civilian applications.
With the recently announced naval build-down already being felt in multiple sectors, this kind of technological advancement is a welcome respite to industries looking at fuse least one quarter of missed profit margins.
In related news, deWulf Heavy Industries announced a profit warning, citing the cancellation of several long-term naval contracts…
Sa Caleta Township
Foedus, Moon of Puerto Pollo
deWulf Corporate Democracy
“So, I trust the facilities are to your liking?”
“I wish I could say so. The facilities are… austere.”
“A diplomatic response if I ever heard one, Herr Durante. You have been learning.”
Durante snorted most un-diplomatically. “You have given me more than a few reasons to do so. I never thought I would attend so many meetings. I blame you, naturally.”
“That is the bane of our existence I am afraid. We don’t get our hands dirty, but in exchange we spend our days in meetings so that some of our colleagues can say they have a social life.”
“Breaker don’t remind me…” Durante paused as he noticed he was using Fenren idioms “… and I’ve just realized that I have to send a report back to Royal Magnetics on what has been decided…”
Baumer chuckled “and you’ve just realized that you haven’t been paying attention-“
“-all day, yes.” finished Durante.
“So, the thin copy?”
Durante stepped up from his seat in the meeting room, crossing to the refreshment counter on the adjoining wall, selecting an Ibizan roast. “Please, I don’t think I can survive another day.”
Baumer had joined him, selecting an extra-bitter mug of chilled pfen for himself. “Certainly. As per the original agreement, we have-“
“We?” injected Durante.
“Yes. We. As in Geiger-Voss Industries and the Corporate Council.”
“Thank you. I don’t want to start remembering the wrong things, you see.”
Baumer chuckled again, his voice growing dry as the pfen dried out his vocal cords.
“Understood, understood. Always awkward to have the facts wrong. Especially when you think otherwise.”
“Quite-” replied Durante. “So, the thin copy?”
“Ah, yes. As part of the new long-term contractual retainer that Royal Magnetics has signed with Research Co-ordination, a facility has to be set up in deWulf Corporate space. We of course understand that the farther away from home and family the more likely this will be seen as a ‘hardship post’, with the resulting loss in productivity and long-term stability that entails” another sip of pfen followed, dragging a pleasured wince from Herr Baumer.
“The Caribbean system is the closest to Ibizan space, and not just on a major trade route but one with significant communications infrastructure. Not quite home, but at least it’s within easy reach. The initial habitation and fabrication space is being provided by a surplus deWulf prefabricated military base-“
“Where comfort is something you see scratched onto the wall, at best.” Durante couldn’t help but interject. The quality of the accommodations were spartan, at their most charitable. Acceptable for the military, especially in wartime. For civilian long-term habitation, it was survivable… if one was willing to accept a steadily increasing amount of stress as elbows found themselves in ribs on an ongoing basis.
“Fortunately, a temporary problem. Construction teams are already working on the first dome, and it should be structurally complete by the end of the year. Once the main structure is completed, that will take a lot of pressure off the current prefab accommodations. Foundations for the second dome are already being laid, with expected completion for sometime mid-next year.”
“But once the first dome is completed, we can expect to see some industrial production starting up…”
Durante continued the thought “just not much, as it will require more machinery to get proper production lines set up. It’ll be slow artisanal production initially. I didn’t miss the whole briefing.”
“So what else did you remember?”
“Well, there’s the matter of intellectual property access…”
Main Boardroom, 120th Floor
Hans-Roland Office Tower
deWulf Capital City of Lowell
“So where is this peace dividend that Rollen promised? I’m not going to complain that he’s burning through a few years of overdue vacation time; the farther he is from Fenris the better. But the budget hasn’t even begun to shift. We’re still seeing substantial spending going towards new yards, ship upgrades, and I’m even hearing some rumblings about new construction!”
The mood after 3rd Elysium had been a high note, though for different reasons. The average citizen in the street was happy that justice had been done, or was about to be done, and elated that major combat operations were coming to an end. Middle management was just happy their schedules weren’t going to be rearranged for some inscrutable reason. And the c-levels were happy to see the end of the State of Threat which would send the corporate boogeyman of Naval Intelligence back into its box. Of course, now that it was slated to be happening soon meant that it wasn’t happening soon enough for some.
“Like most investments, it can take a bit of time for dividends to start paying out. Yes, we are looking at some new fleet construction, but this is happening for two reasons. Firstly, even a temporary production halt would cause a matching temporary and devastating recession. Most of our corporations have fairly substantial supply contracts, with a fair amount of capital tied up in long-lead items. We can’t sell new torpedo launchers on the street corner after all!”
Soft laughter filled the room. A little humor did wonders to soften the pain.
“Secondly, the majority of new production is concentrated in the smaller classes of ships. Smaller ships are cheaper to operate compared to larger warships, and more hulls can be in more places. I know that you-” the older Fenren’s eyes fixed on the representative from Datawings Interstellar “have been seeing an increase in vandalism in the New Colony Sector as well as out in the Elysian hinterlands. A frigate can easily run down a converted freighter, and it’ll have more than enough firepower to deal with smaller issues.”
The Datawings representative shifted some in his seat. Vandalism was one way to describe it; theft and destruction would have been better. Several Datawings communications stations had been shut down and mothballed due to the war, left to drift out in the black away from their assigned warp points as a security measure. More than one had been visited while in cold shutdown; parts removed, electronics salvaged. Never anything critical or crippling, but that was only a matter of time before even less principled ‘salvagers’ moved in.
“So when can we expect to see this dividend arriving?” The SuSag Representative enquired. “It’s all well and good to know it’ll be coming, but it’s hard to plan with that little information.”
SuSag represented one of the largest metals conglomerates in deWulf space. Deeply invested in colony construction, the halt in exploration and the colonies that followed had badly stagnated the corporation’s economic growth.
“It depends on sector” the first representative said. “Research and development are already seeing bouncebacks in funding, and we expect that to continue, shifting to more theoretical research as immediate projects are resolved. Exploration should be starting in a month or two as the survey fleets are put back into service. Battle Fleet is expected to return to Fenris in three months, so that will slow reinvestment as warships are updated and mothballed-“
“You mean more money is wasted on them.”
“It’s all waste until its needed. Then it’s foresight.”
They continued speaking.
“As ships are cycled out of the yards and into mothballs, we can then expect more money being spent on colonial ventures and industrial expansion. By the time that’s done, the survey fleets will have found some new potential sites.”
Muted grumbling filled the room. It wasn’t what any of them had wanted to hear, but it was the situation they found themselves in. Fortunately, patience in hunting was something Fenren all knew well.