The Obliteratrix was never seriously considered for production, but rather was developed as a proof of concept for a number of advanced technologies plus exploring the feasibility of megascale spaceframes. The fact that some people thought that any nation would embark on building a bonafide planet killer demonstrates a lack of common sense and a shortfall of imagination.
The World Devourer
The idea for the Obliteratrix started as a brainstorming session about high efficiency space mining. Corporations like Chalopin-Barkin had been building space mining ships and mobile foundries for decades, but each machine was large, slow, dependent on military protection, and had to deal with keeping a human crew supplied and fed and required a steady stream of supplies to keep it up and running. These ships were massively expensive to build, and only the most powerful nations or megacorps could afford to field them. The Maw Think Tank drew up the initial plan for the Obliteratrix as a very large mobile mining/foundry/factory ship. The ship had internal automation and manufacturing facilities that would produce the replacement parts it needed as well as building robots to function as it's crew. Old and broken robots, damaged components and other materials would be fed into the ship, slagged into new metal, and then reforged into new components and machines.
After the schematics were drawn up for Phase I, the plans were sent to a classified Federation research center where they were weaponized. The Obliteratrix was clad in dense armor, and studded with turrets mounting capital weaponry, and the factory templates were updated to build military robots, drone fighters, and drone mecha to protect the Obliteratrix. The biggest and most profound alterations to the design was the inclusion of arcanotech 'Molecular Disruptors'. These devices superficially resemble large bore lasers, but generate a field that overcomes weak nuclear force, causing complex molecules to let go of their bonds. The result is an explosion generated from the sudden energy released, and a cloud of elementally pure materials.
The center removed the conventional laser forges and dimensional printers and replaced them with hypothetical 'NanoForges' which used the clarified matter created by the molecular disruptors to build new things. Nanoforges do exist in the Cosmic Era, but these machines are finicky creatures, and only work in small contained areas, under tightly controlled conditions and the few that are used to build things spend most of their time constructing computer chips the size of pin heads.
The Phase II plans for the Obliteratrix were accidentally leaked to the public, and there was a hue and cry like hasn't been seen in years. The implications of such a vessel were obvious. A warship that could lay waste to a region, and then could park on top of it and devour the wreckage to build a new army to fight for it? The potential enemies of the Federation made their grievances known at the Tycho Convention while the citizens of the Federation found the machine offensive, and it's projected cost insane. By the most conservative estimate, a single Obliteratrix would cost the same as building an entire second squadron of Federation Class battlestars. This became a sensitive subject as the Battlestars were already prohibitively expensive, and were seen as more than was actually needed.
The Obliteratrix existed only as the conceptual wet dream of the Federation war hawks. There was no chance the machine would be built, as there were entirely too many problems that had to be engineered through or overcome between the concept schematics and the actual ship.
The Obliteratrix would mass an estimated half a million tons, a simply stunning amount of raw materials. Arcologies weigh this much, but they are made of cheap and readily available concrete, glass, and carbon based building materials. The most conservative estimate would put just the structural steel, and armor plating at over a quarter billion Federation credits ($9.5 trillion modern currency)
1 Federation Credit = $38.50 American
The Drive system for the Obliteratrix would be the largest ion engines ever built, with each individual drive unit massing as much as a space capable Destroyer. In simulation, the proposed OBX-9000 engines had a 94% failure rate when run above 50% power output. Attempts to build 'engine clusters' proved as unreliable, as the vibration and interference from the large clusters of engines caused more than half of the feasibly smaller engines to power down, short out, or explode. The most ambitious engine performance would give the massive ship the same acceleration and handling as an industrial space station.
The Power required to run the automation, light up the engines, and power the weapons systems was astronomical. The proposed plan would require manufacturing 40 of the power cores used in the Federation class (each Federation mounting 3 such cores) and this would allow the ship to move at half power and use half of it's weapons at a given time, or run the automation systems.
The proposed Molecular Disruptor only exists in conceptual phase. The basic idea is to create a weapon that emulates the effect of a specific dimensional fatigue event. The Dykstra-Dorney Array, located near the Jovian moon system was devoured by a DFE that reduced the relay, several small craft, and it's crew into a cloud of atoms. Nothing more complicated than water and silicon dioxide survived.
The NanoForge required to provide the ship with replacement droids would have to be able to create a 120 kg utility droid, where the largest functioning nanoforges on Earth struggle with anything weighing more than 500 grams. This doesn't count producing replacement parts for the ship, segments of damaged hull, or space fighters that weigh several dozen tons.
The damage was done. No amount of spin or walking it back could undo the train wreck that was the Obliteratrix program. The head of the program stepped down and half a dozen military industrial politicians lost their jobs over the fiasco. It didn't matter that the machine was completely implausible, what mattered was that the government had drawn up it's plans, and had laid out how it would consign resources to build it.~ Biggest Blunders of Military, 3rd Edition, CognoCersa Streaming Service
It isn't sure if the leak was intentional or an actual accident. While the Obliteratrix was a pipe dream, the amount of time and energy put into frightened a number of nations. These indecisive nations decided it was better to be on the Atlantic Federation's good side, rather than on the losing side. In the game of power between the Federation, the Alliance, and the ACPS, the Obliteratrix demonstrated that the Federation was running a long game and was looking at building wildly ambitious war machines. There was nothing in the think tanks and warworks of the other nations that could rival the imaginary power of the Obliteratrix. ~ Federation War Gazette
The Obliteratrix was a dark day for the Eurasian Alliance. The unveiling of the Federation's wonder weapon, no matter how ridiculous, dwarfed the launch of the Alliance's newest ship, the Zmei class submersible battleship. They had planned on selling the warship to the Indians, and the South African United Republics and the United States of South America. Industrial projection had planned on building at least twenty to thirty Zmeis. Only three would be built, and all of them for Russia.
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? Responses (3)
Good night! A self sustaining planet eater. Your destruction will be assimilated.
A bit of recursion here - a fictional planet killer inside of a fictional world :) A nice piece of lore for the Cosmic Era world.
Perhaps it was leaked on purpose just to scare nations?