Technology in the Twenty-Second Century

Headphones

In the early 2100’s when the US Military began developing the modern modified soldier, the very first technological modification they implanted in men and women was a basic communications device. At first little more than a transponder, the device grew in scope into a full-fledged two-way encrypted radio suitable for battlefield use. In those days, many in the Pentagon’s upper echelons still envisioned soldiers fighting as they have for millennia, and not in the sort of battlefield found today: as covert spy-cum-black-ops agents capable of a wide range of operations. As the soldiers’ mission changed, so did their implanted equipment. What began as a simple transponder soon gained video as well as audio support, and within a decade had sufficient bandwidth to transmit and receive large amounts of data.
However, these early communicators, while useful, were still crippled by the need to utilize radio frequencies as a communications medium. Powerful radio broadcasts were impractical due to the proximity of, and possible damage to, human brain tissue. This severely limited the range of the device, requiring the presence of an external re-transmitter, negating much of the device’s utility as a covert comm device. Not only were more powerful radio waves found to be harmful, but the electronics required for that additional power generated far too much heat to be easily dissipated inside the human skull. It wasn’t until the late 2140’s that quantum entangled electronics truly brought the headphone (a mobile telephone implanted in the back of the skull) into the modern era. Entanglement eliminated the radio transmitter altogether, allowing the electronics to be smaller and run cooler. It also provided the option of moving much of the electronics to the other end of the “Tangled” link. But the biggest advantage provided by these “Tangled Chips” was providing the soldier with full access to remote database servers, where information of any sort could be instantly downloaded to the brain anywhere in the world.
The first commercial-grade headphones were made available in the early 2150’s by KuraKonsum LLC under contract with the military. The military allowed the company to manufacture and install a very basic model for civilian use, while providing a far more advanced model to the military.
Headphones contain a Tangled Chip that is linked to one and only one matching Tangled Chip in a telecommunications service provider’s switching facility. While the communications provided by a headphone cannot be detected, intercepted, or blocked, people often forget that this switching facility is a potential weak-point in both privacy and security. It is for this reason that the Pentagon maintains its own secure switching facility at an undisclosed location.

How Readoc Crystals Work

Readoc crystals store data in specially-manufactured glass cylinders using five dimensions: the traditional length, width and height plus the axis orientation of the crystal and an optical property called birefringence, which refers to the way the material refracts light. By using so many dimensions, each “spot” on the glass can store three different “bits” of information. Modern Readoc crystals can hold anywhere from 500 to 1,000 Terabytes of information, depending on their size. Using compact, ultra-fast lasers, reading and writing even a large Readoc crystal has about the same response time as a twenty-first-century Blue-ray disk.

Origin of the Name “Readoc”

The first-generation of “readoc” crystals were created in 2038 by Phillip Ying at Dowron Chemicals in response to that company’s growing data storage needs. Legend has it that the “readoc”name was intended as an inside joke, referring to the fact that information was being “reduced” to computer bits (the name being a play on “redox”, a contraction of “reduction/oxidation”), but that explanation has never been confirmed.

A Consideration of Relativistic Inertial Frames and the Implications for Retrograde Causation (A.K.A., “The Franklin Report”)

Originally written in 1965 by Dr. R. C. Franklin as part of a doctoral thesis from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the  Franklin Report is a reworking of Einstein’s special relativity, providing the mathematical basis for what Franklin called a “Tachyon Inversion Drive”, or T-Drive. Franklin describes, in general terms, how an object composed of normal matter — such as a spaceship — could have its mass altered such that it behaves like an equivalent quantity of tachyons. Tachyons travel faster than light, and are unable to travel slower. A pre-requisite of mass conversion (in either direction) is that the object be travelling within 14 percent of the speed of light.

While allowing a vehicle to travel faster than the speed of light, there are several considerations to keep in mind.

1. While traveling faster than light, a vehicle travels backwards in time. For example, a ship travelling at five times the speed of light would experience the passage of one second for every negative twenty-four Earth seconds.

2. While traveling faster than light, a vehicle needs to accelerate to slow down. Decreases in kinetic energy will cause the vehicle to move faster, running the risk of finding itself unable to return to the light-speed-plus-fourteen-percent required to convert back to normal mass and slower-than-light speeds.

Note: Buried in Franklin’s equations is the mathematical basis for the KASU (Kontinuaja Aliigant Stira Unuo) gravity drive used in modern spaceflight for sublight travel.

KASU

The KASU (full name: Kontinuaja Aliigant Stira Unuo, which is Esper for “Continuum-altering steering unit”) is basically a gravity drive. The space-time continuum in front of the spacecraft is deliberately distorted, creating a small-scale gravity well. This pulls the ship and its contents forward. Before the “singularity” (a misnomer popularized by the media) can be reached, it’s allowed to “evaporate” (again, a technically inaccurate term used by the popular press). At that point, a new gravity well is generated farther down the line. Because the ship’s passengers are “falling” at the same rate as the ship, g-forces aren’t an issue, and very high accelerations become feasible. Not only is the KASU used to accelerate a vessel to light-speed, it’s also used in conjunction with Franklin’s T-Drive to control FTL flight.

The KASU is also used to generate one-Gee of artificial gravity inside the passenger compartment of a spaceship.