A drive that should not be tampered with

Undisclosed location in Essence region,
POS owned by Aideron Technologies

Research log, 23rd of December, YC115. I will be attempting to disassemble external compression dishes of new Sisters of EVE warp drive. Both armor and external hull have been stripped. Dishes are made of unknown, possibly fullerene material and are consisting of two 120 degree arcs on both sides of the hull. Arcs are fitted with a grid of graviton emitters and are bearing the logo of Propel Dynamics. Power coupling which connects compression dishes to ships powergrid is of Caldari origin as well and is based on graviton technology. There is an electronic interface on the bottom of the starboard arc.

astero-drydockRox was still amazed how Sisters of EVE were able to convince several companies around New Eden, from all four factions that are currently at war with each other, to cooperate and provide components for the new ships. Astero was half disassembled already, and only vaguely reminded of it’s original shape. With the armor plates removed, most of the ship was made of light grey tritanium alloy, full of sticking I-beams, wires and tubes interconnecting all the ships systems. The drydock assembly array was normally used by Aideron Technologies to produce tech II ships, but it was just as useful to disassemble them and analyze their inner workings. Powerful stasis field kept the ship in place, while robotic arms removed components part by part, like a surgeon operating on a beating heart. Lukas was just outside the structure in a small Gallente shuttle. It was curious how the Sisters managed to move one of the crucial warp drive components from the inside of the ship to the external, ringlike structures outside of the ships hull. This mechnism is what made these ships able to use covert-ops cloaks, without the need for advanced quantum computers and huge cooling systems normally required to keep them operational.

Now attempting to remove the compression dish control electronics.

Robotic arm reached for a small piece of electronics attached to the bottom of the right arc. Reverse engineering these chips would probably yield insights into how exactly the drive operates. Just after the device was removed, the grid on both arcs began to glow. It was a dim blue light at first, but it was becoming brighter and more intense with every second.

Graviton levels are off the scale, removing the control circuitry from the drive has caused some kind of runaway reaction. Aura, signal the CEO, we might have to evacuate…

Rox did not finish his command. Half-disassembled Astero collapsed violently as if sucked by a black hole. The surrounding assembly array followed the implosion, pulling all the robotics, then the dry dock, and the assembly array hangar inside. Rox willed his shuttle away from the structure, but it was too late. The implosion suddenly reversed, releasing bright white light that enveloped the tiny craft, obliterating it instantly. The capsule, even though well shielded, crumbled under the intense pressure and heat. The ectoplasmic gel, which normally fills the capsule began to heat and then boil, making Rox twitch in pain. The pain was so intense, that he wanted to scream, but the tracheal tube would not allow it. You see, in space, no one can hear you scream. The blast damaged the surrounding Mobile Laboratories disabling half a dozen of them immediately, and it made the POS shield flicker for a several seconds. And then everything went dark. At least as far as Rox was concerned.


Lukas was expecting to see white light; it’s normal, because new clones never used their eyes before, making them very sensitive for the first couple of minutes.

Instead, his body was still in dull pain. But pain meant he was alive. The capsule did not feed anything into his brain socket, so it must have been seriously damaged.

– Lukas, can you hear me? – a voice said – Are you all right? Listen, we’ve received a notification that POS is under attack. Are you ok?

– I will live – Rox willed his thoughts through the barely operational FTL radio. – Lukas realized it was Razeu, who came to check up on the explosion.

– I am repairing your pod, it caught fire. You should be able to fly back to station… right now.

Rox was weak, and couldn’t feel his limbs, but willed the capsule into warp. Medical personel was waiting on the docking ramp already.


Undisclosed station in Essence region
Poteque Pharmaceuticals property

– We are sorry – said a doctor in a white robe – but we were unable to save your left arm.

– It’s all right – Rox replied – it will only have to do until next time I die.

– Well, technically yes. But until then, you have been given a Phanca arm prosthesis. We were also able to treat all 12 broken bones and severe burns that you’ve survived. We did what we could about the scars, but I’m afraid they will still be visible. Of course since you are an empyrean, all these are permanent, but for this clone only.

– How long until I can get back to work? – Rox inquired

– You should rest at least a week before going back into capsule. We will monitor your vitals, but they should remain stable. – doctor replied

– I would probably be more lucky if the pod blew. – Rox said

– Not quite – the doctor said – You will have to ask your technicians, because I don’t know the details, but it seems the explosion disabled all FTL comms for a moment. That would include brain scan from your capsule.

A shiver went down Rox’s spine. That was close!

– It seems I should’ve listened to that note and not tamper with it. – Rox said to himself.

– Excuse me? – asked the doctor

8 thoughts on “A drive that should not be tampered with

  • December 30, 2013 at 19:41

    Was this just the way the drive operates, or was it an engineered failsafe self destruct? I’ll have to find out!

  • December 31, 2013 at 17:39

    hehe, Perhaps you should bring something bigger than a shuttle next time 😀

    • December 31, 2013 at 20:19

      I seriously didn’t expect the Astero to go boom in a big fireball like that!

  • January 6, 2014 at 17:05

    Wait, why were you in a shuttle that close to the ship? I guess you wanted to observe closely. Good thing you didn’t put the Astero in the POS hangar for this… “inspection”. 🙂 I guess that if disassembling causes it to go boom, then maybe you need some gentle touch. Like Hacking Mini-Drones, equipped with special nanites, made to inspect all sorts of machinery, hardware and software. These gadgets are still in the early prototype phase. Long time I last fiddled with them, but if you’re curious to try, I may send you some. Just call.

    • January 7, 2014 at 12:42

      The drive structure is macroscopic, so I’ve decided against using nanites to analyze it (I’d end up with lots of data that I don’t need). Instead I opted for removing the ECU and using nanites on it, because it’s the firmware that makes the necessary calibrations and allows the drive to work. Plus nanites work best on unpowered devices. Unfortunately removing the ECU created some positive feedback loop in the emitter array and overdrived the graviton emitters.

      • January 7, 2014 at 18:06

        Yes, using nanites would not seem necessary before disassembling this thing, but I would still try it since triggering hidden defense systems would likely be less possible. But keeping in mind that it explodes the entire ship when you try to tamper with it, it seems that they may have set multiple defenses, energetic membranes and who knows what else. Looks like the best way to feed your curiosity over this piece of technology is to play nice with SOE, maybe become friends with some of their scientists and get some internal data. Either way they will appreciate that someone cares to keep this thing from being in the wrong hands, heh, at least for now, and they may cooperate. Hmm… I wonder what does Sister Alitura know about this… surely she must know someone who can give guidance. 🙂

        • January 7, 2014 at 21:21

          I used to work with Mekamireki Fedas from Apanake, I might ask next time I see her.

          These nanites, do you still want to get rid of them?

          • January 8, 2014 at 13:34

            I really want to see how they perform on actual tasks, since they have been tested only in controlled environments so far. That said – it would be still very risky to use them, I have to warn you.

            I’m currently having some trouble with my Pilot License, so I’m forced to stay on the ground. If you’re curious about these things we can meet in my lab and I’ll give them to you. Just don’t tell that I made them if someone asks.

            If you want to know more about this stuff (for roleplaying and beyond), I can send you some mails.

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