This page serves to summarize the exotic technobab- I mean technologies employed by the United Solarian Sovereignty of the 35th century, grouped by relevant category.
Sub-Meson Brain CoresEdit
The foundation of modern computational intelligence technology in the Sovereignty, sub-meson computers or 'brains' use subatomic particle based computation and fundamental force data transmission methods which are much more efficient than older photon and quantum based designs. The technology itself was developed by older CompInts as part of the effort to move their minds from the massive networks of linked nanocomputers that initially housed them into more efficient substrates. Modern CIs typically use multiple submeson cores networked through the Datasphere.
Large parts of submeson cores are 'submerged' in hyperspace. By exploiting exotic realspace/hyperspace dimensional interactions through the fabric of reality itself the core can perform computations faster than the speed of light, allowing the CompInt to out-think the classical laws of physics, a feat that is clearly quite useful when one has the interactions of a few billion mortal sentients to keep track of. Submesonic cores also have another advantage: their unique multi-dimensional nature facilitates instant communication between parts of the core over any distance. Although this requires vast amounts of power, it has allowed the Sovereignty to construct its Datasphere, across which information can be accessed instantly even if it is located on datacores many light years away. And of course another advantage is that the instant point-to-point nature of submesonic communications means these messages cannot be intercepted like traditional hyperwave communications.
Generally speaking the term computational ('artificial') intelligence applies to any non-organic lifeform including uploads, sub-sentient programs and A or B-level simulations. Commonly however it is taken to refer specifically to those digital awarenesses of human or greater level intelligence residing inside the Datasphere, the ubiquitous, instantaneously accessible virtual network covering the whole of the Sovereignty. The creation of CIs involves a large number of interrelated fields, including fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms, neural networks, pattern recognition algorithms, natural language processing, and speech and datalink recognition. There are several tens of thousands of superhuman-level CompInts in the Sovereignty. CIs have the same basic rights as all sentients.
Black Ice FirewallEdit
Black Ice (Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics) firewalls are sub-sentient but highly aggressive security programs which protect computerized data from being accessed by hackers and other unauthorized access. Unlike regular firewalls, black ice will follow the intruder back to their computer, and completely destroy it. There are several variants of Black Ice; the more benign versions 'merely' destroy the computer attempting the unauthorized access. The most aggressive military black ice on the other hand utilizes a combination of virus programming and cognotechnology to induce not just the destruction of the computer, but also the individual steering it by inducing mutually inconsistent beliefs or recursive loops that cause either the brain to shut down or outright cortical electrocution. Naturally the use of black ice is highly regulated. Officially only highly sensitive government data, military mainframes and the brain-cores of select VIP CompInts are protected by black ice. Unofficially it is used illegally by many megacorporations in order to trap and kill off annoying hackers trying to break through their multi-billion dollar firewalls.
Dark Energy ReactorEdit
Dark Energy is a form of energy that naturally permeates all of space throughout the universe, and on large scales it opposes the force of gravity as it has strong negative pressure. Dark Energy reactors convert this ambient energy into particles; dark energy's negative pressure means that the plasma that results from the conversion is a form of exotic matter. The exotic high-energy plasma is also sometimes referred to as dark energy for the sake of convenience. This technology, which is employed by virtually all interstellar starships in the Sovereignty, is therefore powered by the natural energy of space itself. A Dark Energy reactor locally increases the intensity of time-energy uncertainty fluctuations, creating a sphere of volatile space-time in the reactor core that has a high concentration of dark energy. An anti-mass condenser field converts the dark energy into particles of exotic matter, which are emitted from the poles of the sphere as beams of plasma. Although the initial start-up process requires an immense amount of power, the exotic properties of the dark energy plasma further amplify the quantum fluctuations and cause a chain reaction within the core that makes the reactor self-sustaining and capable of producing near-astronomical amounts of power. Containment systems are required to ensure the intensity of the dark energy reaction stays within safe limits in a vacuum. If this system fails, the reactor can develop an exponentially accelerating positive feedback loop, absorbing all dark energy from the surrounding space-time into the reaction and converting it into a destructive burst of exotic particles, known as a dark energy flare, which can completely annihilate the ship and everything in its immediate surroundings. Typically a single Dark Energy reactor is sufficient to satisfy the power demands of a starship (and then some); however for the sake of redundancy most warships carry a at least a secondary reactor core, and the very largest warships in fact carry several more in order to generate truly suprastellar levels of weapon energy output.
The scientists of the Sovereignty have developed powerful abilities to manipulate the fundamental forces themselves, and the USSF uses these abilities both offensively and defensively. Warships can create action-at-a-distance -- the fine manipulation of matter and energy: pushing, pulling, cutting, and even the generation of forcefields for protection, visual display or plain destructive ability.Such 'hyperfields' can be used defensively, as a series of overlapping force shields that protect starships from dangers like micro-meteoroid impacts, collisions with other physical objects, and weapons fire, but also offensively by directly manipulating targets that come within range of the ship, typically by simply smashing them or cutting them apart with invisible force beams, or more subtly by influencing electronics or brain-states within the approaching target. The common perception of the hyperfield as a 'bubble' enveloping a ship is wrong, and probably the product of the baseline human's inability to grasp the complexitites of multi-dimensional space-time: a starship's hyperfields consist of dozens of layered force barriers, each extending into several dimensions and indeed into hyperspace itself. A starship with its hyperfields raised is impervious to harm until those fields are battered down or otherwise penetrated. Sovereignty warships can generate hyperfield effects at distances sufficiently great that a warship in high orbit over a planet can affect groundside targets with its fields.
All warcraft of the USS, from the smallest Shrike unmanned drone fighter to the largest Genocide class dreadstar, move through space by means of a phased gravitonic progression or frictionless drive. Reverse-engineered from highly advanced Apexai technology with the help of Apexai engineers (just one of many sacrifices the Apexai race had to make in exchange for sanctuary in the Sovereignty), the frictionless drive is not as powerful (or fast) as high-end reaction thruster drives, but it does have the advantage of allowing a ship to move up, down or sideways just as easily as forward, something which thrusters do not allow (barring truly bizarre and decidedly upoptimal for battle ship configurations). As a result, Sovereignty warcraft are generally slower, but more three-dimensionally manoeuverable than thruster-based counterparts. The technology of the Frictionless Drive is intimately tied into a craft's ability to generate its own hyperfields - both rely on fundamental force control - and these two capabilities are indeed intimately linked: a ship needs to be able to generate hyperfields to operate its drive, and requires an operational drive to generate hyperfields. When used at maximum capacity, the Frictionless Drive generates a gravitational field 'wake' that is extremely dangerous for smaller vessels, which can be instantly obliterated by the ripples of force.
The primary weapons of capital ships, Autolasers are quick-recharging, heavy-hitting particle beam weapons. They are powered by exotic matter that is channeled from the dark energy reactor into large banks of capacitors, and from there to the Autolasers themselves. Main battery autolasers fire huge, glowing energy beams of this exotic matter, any single one of which can completely incinerate a fully shielded starfighter and deal massive damage enemy warships or planetary targets alike. USSF warcraft typically carry several types of autolaser batteries, from the very large anticapital cannons that are the pride and joy of the Star Force to smaller, rapid-firing batteries designed to engage and annihilate swarms of starfighters in withering hails of full-auto fire. The vast amounts of energy involved in discharging an Autolaser however means there is a very real risk of overheating. Autolasers are typically protected by complex cryosystems and powerful cooling sleeves to prevent such overheating, and are mounted in batteries which fire in turn to further reduce cooling issues.
The missile is the red-headed stepchild of all weapons systems carried by USSF warcraft. Because missiles are vastly slower than light, unreplenishable by the ship itself and considered ancient relics by most Solarian strategists, Star Force commanders typically prefer to rely on their batteries of energy weapons. However, all warships are still equipped with missile pods as a matter of course, to be used in those few situations that call for their use. U.S.S. missiles are universally very large anticapital (or, in a pinch, antiplanetary) weapons. They are equipped with gravitonic progression drives much like capital ships and parasite craft, as well as a small hyperfield generator that acts both as a shielding device and an ECM suite. Power is generated by a dark energy reactor which doubles as a warhead: as soon as the missile's sensors determine a target is within the weapon's zone of damage the onboard computer will disable all safety features on the reactor, causing a positive feedback loop to develop followed shortly thereafter by a highly destructive burst of exotic particles - a dark energy flare - which will damage or destroy anything in its vicinity. Certain very large warships carry dedicated long-range missiles equipped with their own hyperdrives, turning them into essentially small kamikaze craft piloted by CI.
The "gun of the end of the universe", also occasionally called "the Saint Elmo", the Line Cannon is the Sovereignty's ultimate weapon, mounted only on the very largest of USSF warships. The Line Cannon generates a single narrow-line hyperspace intrusion area wherein real-space is submerged in massive amounts of energy plucked from hyperspace. The intrusion has a glittering, blindingly white appearance and can effortlessly slice through any matter in the known universe, but each Line Cannon discharge costs cosmic amounts of energy to generate. As such these weapons are used only very sparingly--also because the Sovereignty fears this technology falling into the hands of its enemies.