Its not just about power. Its about control. The dimensional reactor pulled humanity from the brink of despair in the Second Dark Age, it got the lights back on, and humanity reaching again for the stars. But the D-engine, the D-reactor, it is starting to show its age. Instead of one, now we have to build banks of them, cascading networks, and pushing the envelope on how large of a reactor we can build. The parts are expensive, the maintenance is high, and newer iterations of the basic concept reactor increase exponentially in complexity and only gradually in power output. There are multi-port Dimensional engines, they provide the most power. Most military mecha have twin port D-engines, and the warships used by the Federation have quad port engines. They tried to build as large as a sixteen port engine in Michigan, thing blew a hole in reality, left a crater in an island a half mile wide, and it took eleven days to seal the breach it made.
Of course there is something coming, the next generation of power plants.
The Dimensional Tap Reactor
The Dimensional Engine accesses an alternate dimension, and utilizes arcane vibrations and cosmic radiation to generate electricity. The output of the Dimensional engine is limited, and most D-engines utilize capacitors and dimensional batteries to store the power for later use. Arcologies and other large power consumers will utilize larger D-engines networked together into a cascade system. These reactor networks pool their output into banks of batteries and capacitors which is depleted over peak uses but recharged during resting hours. Attempts to create higher outputs from D-engines generally ends with safety systems kicking in and shutting down the reactor or catastrophic failure resulting in cosmic irradiation.
The Dimensional Tap Reactor operates on a similar theory, but a different principle. The reactor has to be physically located in a specific location, and by default is required to be a stationary object, and be connected to existing buildings and cities through infrastructure. The theory is based out of the ancient theory of ley lines and dragon nests, and geomantic principles, some of which have been found to have some grounding in arcanotech science.
The problem with building the new Dimensional Tap Reactors is finding the right place to put them. They won't run just anywhere, dimensional technology doesn't work that way. You have to factor in local conditions, gravitational variability, elevation (or distance from the earth's core to be more accurate) and a hundred other factors that don't matter to anyone but an arcanotech. The problem is tsoukalocity, the dimensionaless of a specific location. Some areas are more dimensional, other places are much less dimensional. It doesn't make sense, I know, I know.
There are special places around the world where the dimensional... saturation... for lack of a better common layman term, is better. One of the reasons that places like MIT fell off the map after the Second Renaissance in the tsoukalocity of their location. It's high and dense, the reactors have to work harder to get that sweet spot, and have to work harder to hold it. Those breakthroughs just don't happen there because it's not in the cards for them.
The Toyama Theorem
The Toyama Theorem states that the ancient tradition of geomancy is based out of an innate and unconscious perception of multi-dimensional spaces. Once considered nothing more than a pointless bit of arcano-mathematical fluffery, the Toyama theorem came back into light once it was discovered that some pieces of arcanotech gear worked better in some places, and less so in others. This fluctuation of performance and efficiency was puzzling, but plugging in the equations of the Toyama theorem started making sense.
Like air volume, water density, and other variables, dimensional barriers are not constant, these barriers change in density, thickness, resistance, and tsoukalosity (a characteristic of hyperdimensional materials). In certain places around the world, the tsoukalosity of the dimensional membranes is decidedly lower, and fixed in this attribute. The efficiency and performance of devices such as AISCs, and arcanotech based power plants is increased to the point that it is simply foolish to not have those types of devices in those locations.
There are three known arcanotech facilities in the Bermuda Triangle. New Miami is host to a major facility for the North American Institute of Arcanotechnologies and Science (NAIAS-Miami) as well as the CSS Southern Command. The Confederate warship CSS Lee (formerly the USS Missouri) is at anchor at the Miami seaport and seacology. It is a rail gun equipped museum piece. Given the work done at NAIAS-Miami and the proximity of the Miami Seacoplex and arco, there is a strong rapid response force present to prevent dimensional rifts or dimensional vagrancy (the appearance of extra-dimensional entities (EDs pronounced ee-dee).
Mayaguana is a tiny almost unknown island between the Bahamas and Puerto Rico and it is host to an arcanotech testing facility. Given the relative isolation of the island and the low tsoukalosity of the area, this is one of the places where the Atlantic Federation deliberately causes dimensional rifts to test out arcanotech equipment, stress testing, and how to best use countermeasures. There have been joint exercises with the Pacific Rim Coalition, and the Kingdom of Scandinavia in handling breaches.
Somers Isle, also known as Bermuda is an Area 51 of the Cosmic Era, and is the host for some of the Atlantic Federations top level black budget operations, and it's most infamous SCP Archive. While Roswell and Area 51 had the distinction of being rumored to house alien bodies and crashed alien craft, Somers Isle has the Cosmic Era equivalent. When strange artefacts and monoliths are found on the Moon or Mars, or Titan and they are returned to earth for study, they typically are delivered to the Somers Isle Arco/Seaco facility. With security fitting for a triple max prison, a strong military presence, and government funded and backed research and development corporations most conspiracy theories are drawn to the remote island. Submarines have since learned to avoid the island, especially the deep sea dreadnaughts fitted by the Eurasian Alliance. The last submarine to snoop the island, TK-404 disappeared from the Atlantic Ocean and was later discovered in lake Baikal. The crew was rescued, and after a sixteen month logistical herculean feat, TK-404 was lifted from the lake and returned to oceanic water.
The Devil's Sea
Located on the island of Chichijima, between the Iwo islands and mainland Nippon, the Umi no Akuma seacology is the PRC's primary arcanotech testing ground, and has functions mirroring Somers Isle but nowhere near the size, and security. The island chain is owned by the Red Sun megacorp and while the large island of Chichijima has sizeable government facilities, the sister islands of Anijima, Ototojima, and Nishijima are leased to respective PRC megacorps for their own operations and research. While this merger of state and corporate interests has let the PRC gain many advances in technology, the decreased security factor has allowed the islands and their CogNet nodes be snooped by spy craft from the ACPS, EA, and AtFed.
The Devil's Sea is far less developed than the Bermuda Triangle, and while there is a move to built more installations in the Iwo Islands, there is not funding or manpower available to make this happen. It is slated that more facilities will be built, but only after existing projects are completed. The PRC is currently bogged down in dealing with the ACPS, Python Patrol, and massive criminal syndicates in Polynesia, and Indonesia, as well as trying to play catch up to the Atlantic Federation's large craft program, spacecraft program, and the Alliance submarine fleet.
One of the things that has allowed India to flourish as a free country in an era of the New Earth Governments is the presence of a massive low tsoukalocity zone across a large portion of the country. The presence of this zone has certainly caused a large number of dimensional incidents, but they have remained highly contained due to the diligence and enthusiasm of the Ghatak, Garud, and Tiger Commando companies.
The Indian zone has also caused the nation some problems, as the zone is smaller than the country, and once their arcanotech devices leave the zone, their peak performance falls to its more normal zone. This has hampered Indian offensive operations as their baseline equipment is not fully on par with its rivals in the ACPS. On the western frontier, while in better shape and better supplied, the Indian military doesn't enjoy as massive technological advantage over the raiders and mutants that frequent the ghostlands of the middle east.
Located in Mozambique, SAUR, Ieeberg is a massive sprawling facility that is the largest arcantotech development proving ground in Africa, and second only the Jo-Burg in importance to the SAUR. Ieeburg houses the SAUR's ship building program, and is the home base for the SAUR air fleet. The USS George Washington, under the command of Amerikka Command and on lease to the SAUR, calls Ieeberg home when it isn't on station along the Angola/Congo border or Jo-Burg itself.
The Tip of the Iceberg
The Dimensional Engine is just one of the first steps along the path of arcanotechnology. The next evolution of the arcanotech powerplant is the Dimensional Tap Reactor. There are a few of these devices functional in the Cosmic era,and the amount of power they can generate is currently low. As the bugs are worked out of the devices, it is expected that the amount of power the machines can generate will be simply stupendous. Scientists, tech researchers and arcanotechnologists are excited about the ability of the DTR to replace cascade and network D-engines for providing power to arcology complexes and to produce the power needed to start tackling the problems presented in space travel. If a functional high power DTR can be produced, it is postulated that intrasolar travel can be reduced from days and weeks to hours, and true stellar exploration can begin for humanity.
The function of the DTR and its quantum tunneling has opened hundreds of doors speculation. Scientists are now looking at the application of teleportation and creating permanent gates between locations. With the power generated by a DTR, and the functionality of a permanent gate, then it would be nothing but a single step to travel from New Nuyork to Armstrong City, Luna.
The list of new technologies and applications for the DTR can go on ad nauseum.
Dimensional Tap reactors are to the Cosmic Era what fusion reactors are to the Petroleum Era. They are something that a few people know about, but are largely relegated to science fiction and speculative fiction. Most people don't expect to see one in their lifetime, but they know that there are prototypes out there, and that eventually the really smart people will figure out how to make them work, and it will be a game changer for the world.
The Dimension Tap Reactor is a really bad idea, and should the reactors become fully operational it will not be a good thing. The reactor creates a gateway between the physical world and alternate dimensions, such as the source of arcanotech's power and dark inspiration, the River of Sorrow which is mathematically barren, but is actually inhabited by 'things' that are hostile.
For every safe application of this new tech, there will be a slew of Brundleflies, Philadelphia Experiments gone wrong, and untold lives ruined and crushed under the feet of the elite of the society pushing for the new tech. The push for repopulation, and colonization will increase the number of humanity, but as conditions for many will exist in squalor or a constant state of conflict, the arcanotech will keep working better and better.
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? Responses (6)
Interesting description, interesting setting info, high hopes for the future, then the GM note which explains the unseen dangers. This seems solid, but applying it seems a bit difficult outside the classic 'the reactor is melting down, onoes!' and 'the experiment went horribly, horribly wrong' plots.
30 Ways Arcanotech Fails Horribly and Spectacular
You are really ramping up on this setting. So much material, and done well.
I truly envy your energy :)