Most folks from Tau thought of Photonics as an advanced sort of electronics. Faster computing, better data speeds… the works. But while the results were similar (though certainly higher performing), Electronics relied on electricity, which was a flow of electrons; Photonics relied on flows of photons. For convenience sake, the standard usage of Photonics still relied upon electricity as a power source, converted to light with whatever devices such as beam emitters or even specialized light bulbs. Storing actual photonic energy wasn’t something efficiently done by any Class 4 Star Civilization. The lowest level of photonics usage was as temporary mediums. That is, most of the components of a device would remain electronic, while only a bit of it involved photonics to do the things photons did much better than electrons. Often, this would be data transmission or energy transmission. The next step would be photonic computing, and that’s where most societ
In the late morning of the 5th Day of Starbright’s operations, the Utility Drone Carrier Test Type 01 was completed. To be honest, it didn’t look like much. Like Sam said, it was pretty much just a flying bar. It had a slanted front for a face, and maneuvering thrusters on all sides, including the nose, but beyond that, it really just appeared to be a longish rectangle. Without ceremony, Ermine set a squad of inspectors and an army of Drones to examine it inside out, test it, and even run a few functions while it was still docked in the Shipyard. “This better work.” Amber said, crossing her fingers. “We now owe the Lynxmice 300,000 Clira, plus the 800,000 clira payment for the robots is due in two days. Let’s not even talking about the rental of the Robotic Assembly Plant and the 3D Megaprinter. After the cost of the materials we bought for the test type, Starbright currently doesn’t have the money to pay it all.” “I think we can ask Ermine
Eight hundred thousand Clira was deposited into Starbright’s account for Test Type 01, soon renamed UDC 01. This brought their account balance up to 1970000 Clira.300,000 Clira was paid to the Lunar Lynxmice for the equivalent of 600 man workdays. The 800,000 Clira bill for the robots was also fully paid for and cleared early. The bill for the rental of the Robot Assembly Bay came up to 30,000, with another 300,000 for the 3D Megaprinter. Then Amber bought materials for UDC 02, costing them the same price of 250,000 Clira.Right now, each UDC cost 580,000 Clira in materials and labor, but Amber expected those costs to drop once the Lunar Lynxmice had their materials business going. When that happened, their profits should rise accordingly.“We should have sold at a higher price.” Sam grouched. “The UDC Galleon has ten times the capacity that Ermine’s requested Frigate should have had. Her price should reflect that.”Am
Based on the price list Mindy brought back the last time she was around, a brand new Tau 3D Megaprinter would cost upwards of 120 million Tau credits. At the current exchange rates, that meant around 60 million Clira. Ermine got hers second-hand from a relative, and it had cost her 20 million Clira back then.As for Nanoline sets... the lowest price listed was 500 million Tau credits. No second-hand offers.“Don’t import them from Tau. Give me some time and enough materials. I’ll build those for you.” Ermine offered. “20 million for the Megaprinter, 90 million for the Nano set.”“How much time are we talking about?” Benny queried.“I’m thinking... a few years. Six years, at most. We should be ready by then.”Six years before they could churn out Cruisers. But with that gear, they’d only need 80 months to build 800 Cruisers, each capable of hosting 5000 Draconian servants. That
At that time, Mindy was three days out on her trip to Tau. It was a 3 week journey overall, and 3 days meant she was just starting out, still pretty much at the edges of Draconian space.Over the years, she had made this journey many, many times. This time, however, she was attacked before the end of the first week. That had to be a record.But it wasn’t too worrisome. Mindy’s escorts were Class 5 starships, while the local pirates were mainly Class 4 criminal groups. The main cannon of the Black Fang alone outgunned pretty much every pirate ship on her scope. Besides that, half her escorts and Mindy’s own ten Bricks were all armed with Tau Pulse Lasers, while the rest were armed with Woofer Heavy Railguns and Sonics. In terms of firepower, any of Mindy’s ships would be more than a match for even the fiercest of the bandit ships on a one-on-one basis.As if that wasn’t enough, they even outnumbered the enemy two-to-one.
By that time, Starbright had been in operation for 10 days.As per Ermine’s request, the ‘official’ UDCs were equipped with light armor plating, more internal logistics infrastructure such as elevators and conveyors, a small armory, living quarters for an expected crew of 20, and reduced life support requirements more suited to a month’s trip rather than a year’s. This seemed enough for her to pay a full million Clira per UDC.Gary and Xiao Yan agreed with that price. Whether for his satellites or for her repair ship, the UDC fulfilled their needs. All the UDCs were essentially the same; the only thing they needed to do to fit different functions was to load different Drones and Drone Ops Modules.Since then the Lynxmice had been churning out UDCs and grown quite good at it. Added to the RAPs rolling out warp drives and fusion reactors, they only needed some 300 man day’s work equivalent to finish one. Since Ri’ka bought
The bandit lord was clear. “You have three days to surrender! Otherwise, you and all your people are dead! You understand? DEAD!”“Anything?” A older man asked the guy at the comms station.“No response to our calls for help. I don’t know. Is there really anyone out there?” he asked, despairing.“These bandits had to come from somewhere! If they’re out there, there could be others too. Someone, somewhere...” the older man’s face was all but gray.Then, there was beeping.“What’s that?” the older man asked.“It’s... a response!” the younger guy yelped, scrambling, pressing buttons, turning on speakers.George’s voice came in. “Hello? Star System Toah? We got your message. We’re coming. Hang tight, we’re almost there.”“Not like that!” Grace’s voice reprimanded. “Toah Comms St
“Uber States, huh.” George eyed the miners. “What’s so special about this company?” “Nothing specific, sir. They dabble in a bit of everything. Supposedly that helps them keep balance.” “Incoming comms from the outpost.” “Put it on audio.” A younger guy’s voice came in. “Thank you so much! We thought we were done for!” “Well, it’s what we do.” George hesitated. An older man coughed. “We’d like to repay you, but we don’t have much. We do have tons of raw ores, if you’re interested.” “We are interested indeed.” George paused. “But we didn’t come to rob you. Perhaps a trade? Is there something you need?” “Food and medicine.” The reply was immediate. “Fresh water, if you can spare some.” George glanced over the sensor readings, identifying a few farming domes, eyeing the atmospheric readouts. It seems the air here wasn’t breathable, and those domes were the only sources of food they had. “I have a feeling that meat would be popular here.” There was a gasp on the other side. “I h