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Chapter 15 - I used to Dream[]

Snark Labs
Kowloon System
Lyran Commonwealth July, 3087

[Entry of Patrick Ngo's private journal]

The first series of experiments has proven successful.  We are now the proud owners of roughly ten kilograms of Fullerined antihydrogen matrix.

That's right, antimatter in a containment that, for the most part, works.

You just REALLY don't want to let that black dust catch fire.

We started with trying to make an alternative drive, and wound up with a highly dangerous explosive.

Not ideal.

[Another entry of Patrick Ngo's private journal]

Our next project expands off what we learned with the Snark project. ...and....

It's going to be expensive as hell.

What do you do when you've had to idle eleven core forges?  The reason we've had to do that, is that they're technically not suitable for commercial Jumpship production, due to having too many features, and the Archon's signed a treaty limiting warship production.

Which leaves a lot of forge-foundry operations without customers.

I mean, designing compact-core transports isn't outside the realm of do-able.  Finding a shipping line willing to pay for the extras isn't.

So how do you retain the skilled workers and knowledge base, when you've got state inspectors showing up to shut you down?


Our next trick is a building project.  It just happens to require the use of five forges and foundries on this end, and five co-located somewhere else. We're not saying where.  It's a matter of when the Commonwealth comes in (and they will) to seize the yards, (which is, at this point, close to inevitable) they're not going to be finding all the tooling.

Oops.  We misplaced them.

So not-sorry.

Considering we're breaking the Archon's orders already by planning to withhold facilities from inspection and probable seizure, breaking another rule isn't a big deal.

Bonus points because Boojum Yards will have at most two of the foundry structures in place when he comes calling. It's great, because the drawings and theory are almost completed, and we've got the workforce to make it happen.

I'm still giggling about this.

Take a jump core, and instead of making it as straight as you can mathematically, you braid the strands of germanium so it forms a curve.

Now, curve it back in on itself. Yes, they blew up Phobos doing this.  It's hilarious what you find in historical archives.

Ours is supercooled with a selenium backing and moderators in the curve-the result being that the stranding on the inner side of the ring is the same length as the outer by dint of using a coiled layout in the forging process, so the outer layer is straight like your standard commercial stick-and-balls jumpship, while the inner curve is coiled like a compact core.  The result is that the electrical passage is consistent all the way through the structure, the way it wasn't with the Phobos project.

Then run superconducting magnets around the whole thing to tune and adjust the flow once it's active, and bury the whole thing in a jacket of liquid hydrogen to handle the heat stress, with a series of radiators extending out about a kilometer, and power it with jumpsails.


We'll be finished building it by 3091.  The other ones will finish the same time.  Then, we'll switch it on and if it doesn't go blammo like the one the Terran Alliance was ****** with in the 2200s?  Well...

In theory, it should open a portal from gate to gate.

Total cost?  A quarter trillion Kroner for the project in materials and labor.

I based it on my sister's personal project notes and two papers she submitted for peer review to the University. Same ones that were rejected as 'untestable hypotheses'.

Yes, I'm grinning like a damn maniac.

Penelope's wild for this.  She rechecked my notes and revisions, and she's totally on-board with this after the 'explosive black dust' situation.  (really, antimatter doesn't work as a power source, it's too damned unstable. I worked out how to contain the stuff, but you can't do much with it once it's safe to handle.)

Speaking of our extremely dangerous black dust?

One of the Rokkajakkah figured out what to do with our collection of incredibly dangerous toxic waste. It seems that it's more compact than the standard nuclear mining charges. If you suspend it in carbon-neutral resin, you can make shaped charges with kiloton to multimegaton yeilds. The kind suitable for breaking up really sizeable rocks...or mounting on an eight kilo LRM round for a cheaper anti-shipping nuclear weapons.

Needless to say, mom's not sharing that one with the Commonwealth government after the fiasco with the Republic Uniform Naval Treaty.

Some things, you just don't share.

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