Few things are more feared, black listed, and banned than research and development of Singularity Technology. This is a fundamental tech that involves the smallest of subatomic particles, the most massive of those particles, and manipulates them for power and profit. This is not a new frontier in arcanotech, but rather traces it's roots back to the early to middle portion of the Petrol Era where European and American scientists worked together to create the Large Hadron Collider. This immense machine only had a fraction of the potential of a true singularity plant, but the groundwork was there, complete with the fear of creating earth destroying black holes. There was no danger of this then, and even in the Cosmic Era, even the most advanced singularity plant lacks the ability to create anything close to a stable enough singularity to threaten the Earth.
The Bighorn Incident - The Bighorn Research Center was operated by the Barakku Horu G15 Corporation, a joint Amero-Nipponese operation invested in bleeding edge arcanotech and power generation. Their flagship reactor, Prometheus, powered up, ran without incident for close to thirteen hours before there was a catastrophic explosion, resulting in a dimensional fatigue event in the Jovian system that was nearly 13,000 kilometers wide. The entire station was destroyed, along with several ships that were nearby. The gravitational spike was such that several minor moons were destabilized, some falling into Jupiter, and several being ejected from their stable orbits. The Bighorn Dark Field persisted for almost a year before Jupiter was visible again to the naked eye.
The heart of a Singularity plant is a multi-tiered magnetic jar that is used to contain the singularity that is generated by the coiled particle accelerators. Unlike the traditional Dimensional Engine, the inner workings of a Singularity in operation are visible to the eye, and in most instances, are not shielded.
There is a quote about staring into the Abyss, and the Abyss staring back into you, and that's what happens. The singularity engines can't run blind, someone has to watch them, someone has to sit with a hand on the controls. Even if it is remote, through a monitor, or remote piloting an android. Doesn't matter, they lose it, they look into the Abyss and their minds break. The only therapies that work are those that suppress whatever they saw. Personally I think Hell is on the other side of that sphere of perfect darkness. I think about it, and I can feel my hands clench, and my bowels get that watery feeling.
That's why I gave up a six figure a year job to dispose of garbage in a waste refinery.
The Lab and the Control Room
Outside of the heart of the plant, a Singularity Plant looks little different than any other scientific lab or power plant, there are banks of computers, monitors, and layers of security. Most of the interior compartments of a Singularity lab are, however, reinforced above what is expected, and are magnetically reinforced. Singularity plants are no more or less prone to accidents and dimensional fatigue events than any other arcanotech application. They are very consistent with the sort of disasters they have, with the most common issue being implosion. By magnetically reinforcing everything, an unshielded singularity event can be survived, especially if it is a short duration.
Security Protocols - mag shielding, mag locks, and gravitational manipulation devices are common. Aside from the nagging danger of going mad, such facilities are often radioactive, isolated from outside radio and wireless signals, and claustrophobic.
The Fallout of Barakku Horu
The disaster at Bighorn was impressive enough that it drew the attention of the world powers, and was one of the headline issues at the next Tycho Convention. Given the massive amount of damage done, thankfully in a remote location, it was deemed that the technology was too dangerous to continue exploring with existing technology. There was a minor outrage, as there were dozens of technologies banned by the Conventions that everyone turned a blind eye to, and the corporations and groups involved in singularity technology were expecting the same loophole treatment. They didn't get it.
The problem with Singularity tech compared to human cloning and the creation of subhumans and superhumans is that an accident at a cloning facility isn't going to destroy a significant part of a biosphere or habitat. No one wanted the bill for destroying a city, or evaporating a space habitat. Rather than fear, or concern for human life, the Singularity trusts were broken up over financial and insurance based concerns.
Singularity tech exists in the Cosmic Era, but it remains in it's infancy, and is likely to stay there for a long time. In the realm of hypertechnology and arcanotechnology amazing things have been done, but there is no doubt to those in the know, that only the surface of it has been scratched. The dimension engine is closer to the Promethean ape swinging a club than it is to viable singularity and black hole technology.
Because I could.
bTech Update/b: The Singularity Plant had some positive outcomes as well. The initial goal of the project was to create a sustainable power source with a higher power generation level than dimensional engines and fusion engines, and in that respect, it failed. What it did succeed in was pioneering major advances in the study of gravity and gravity manipulation. While the engineers and technicians were busy trying to get power out of an artificial black hole, their failsafes and safety precautions were laying the groundwork for gravitronics. This field of study remains highly regulated by international concerns and the guidelines of the Tycho Conventions, but it is advancing.
In common parlance, the Higgs-Boson is called the graviton. The world wasn't going to let a few scientists overturn centuries of science fiction writers, and like photons, gravitons are strange little field/wave/particle structures. The most prominent application of this tech is the A-Pod. The graviton manipulator inside the spherical engine allows for a limited amount of gravity to be adjusted, which can dramatically decrease the weight of it's carrier, or increase it. This small scale manipulation allows for creating hover vehicles that aren't based around air cushions, rotors, or vectored thrusting. On larger scale, it allows for aircraft carriers, cargo ships, and cruise liners to fly. The limitation of this type of power is that the vessel can float or it can fall. As such, the faster a vehicle goes, the faster it has to fall, and falling faster means more gravity which means more power. The large ships have abundant power, but there is a structural limit to how fast they can fall, fighters and small craft have less mass, and less plentiful power sources, and likewise have their own limitations.
Gravitronics have been experimented on a weaponized basis, but there are still significant tech hurdles to clear before there are ships and mecha armed with gravity manipulation weapons. The two biggest problems faced by the military industrial complex is that gravitronic failures typically result in catastrophic 'gravity sinks' that pull everything into them, making a god-awful mess, and gravity echoes. For some unforeseen reason, gravity manipulation will keep randomly occurring even after a graviton device is powered down. This is why aerial ships are tethered when they land, because sometimes, the ship will try to launch just from echoes in the a-pods. Likewise, detonating gravity bombs will see repeat 'blasts' minutes, hours, and even years, after the test.
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? Responses (1)
Ignoring the physics, this is a fun little rehash of the pre-manhattan project nuclear fear, only much more realized. Well done.