Sirian Everyday Technology

Since "sci-fi" can mean so many things, below is a list of the commonly-encountered technology in Sirian to give folks a starting point for their characters and what they have experience with and access to.

Fabrication - "Remixers"
Given the cut-off nature of both the orbital stations and the fleet, most items are recycled rather than created, using high-tech machines that most people call "remixers." Remixers take matter of one type and fundamentally break it down to refashion it into a new form. Think of them as atomic 3D printers, if that helps.

Remixers honor the law of conservation of mass, so what you get out has to equal what you put in. An old banana peel could be remixed into a glove, for example, but not into a full suit (unless it’s a very tiny suit for a doll).

While dining halls do have remixers available, it's worth noting that food produced from a remixer follows a 'standard' template and frequently lacks the complexities of flavor that real food has. It is arguably cheaper to grow food than to build it - if the space is available with hydroponics and grow lamps. But when you need to feed a lot of people quickly, building out protein bars is the way to go.

For inorganic products, remixers often produce a superior output compared to classic factories or by-hand production, at least where close tolerances are required for interlocking parts. While rare, the remixing process can occasionally produce faults in the end product that make it unreliable in ways not easily detected on sight or first use. Remixers are equipped with sensors that attempt to detect these flaws to help avoid such parts from being used in essential areas.

Engineering workshops make heavy use of remixers, for obvious reasons, since getting new materials can be difficult. Even complex compounds like engine fuel can be remixed given the right components. This leads to regular asteroid mining missions to make up for the mass lost burning said fuel.

Remixers operate at different resolutions depending on the quality. Atomic remixers are especially pricey to operate, while more basic 'dot' remixers are widely available and cheap, but typically can only create things using the same materials that were supplied in scrap form (steel to steel, plastic to plastic, etc.).

Use of the mixers is logged purely for security reasons, and many will not allow usage by anyone under a certain age just to avoid children misusing them. Remixers come in a variety of sizes based on expected need. Many personal rooms aboard the Station have a small remixer for everyday needs, like tissue, band-aids, medicine or other small household uses.

Personal Equipment
Datapads are the standard handheld device in Sirian. They are very powerful computing devices that also send and receive communications, store an incredible amount of data, serve as entertainment devices and also work as universal interfaces when plugged into a variety of equipment, from engineering systems to vehicles and beyond.

Datapads come in several sizes and can be easily synchronized so that a wrist-strap version is synced with a pocket version that also syncs with the large coffee-table version that handles more robust calculations and higher-resolution images and video (or more room for multitasking).

Datapads have both wireless and wired components and durable enough cases that they can be taken into science or combat missions with a reasonable chance of coming back out the other side intact.

Datapads are logged with the Station’s systems and can be tracked to a given location using RFID signals (on the stations or fleet vessels) or GPS (on the planet’s surface).

Other common personal items aboard the Stations and the Fleet include a vacuum suit desired for at least brief exposure to space. The lightweight variety mass-fabricated for Station residents is little more than a high-tech poncho that tucks up into a pocket-sized shape around the hour-long air supply for rapid use in the case of sudden decompression.

Computer Technology
Computer technology in Sirian is not all that different from real-world technology, just more robust. Most devices are wireless and connect to an Internet of connected machines routed through central servers to share data rapidly.

Most computing still requires manual direction through familiar interfaces, much of it touch-based. Weak A.I.s (like Siri) help to predict behaviors and expedite command execution and data delivery based on the user. Quantum computing is available largely through Ancient Sirian tech only, like the Extravia and Kalvania

Two new ‘realities’ exist thanks to Sirian computer tech: Holographic Projection and simspace virtual reality.

Holographic projection comes in two forms: enclosed spaces (the holorooms) that can affect all five senses and include tactile illusions as well as visual, audial and even olfactory. Portable holographic projectors also exist in as small as hand-sized devices, though these can only present visual and audial illusions, albeit full-color and in three dimensions.

Virtual reality or "simspace" requires a special headset that immerses the user in the virtual world. Simspace is also a regular home of digital lifeforms, from strong A.I.s developed in Mecha City to the digitized people looking to escape The Crowned Simspace offers a close proximity of real-world living and helps mitigate the existential depression that can come with being a digital being rather than a flesh-and-blood person.

Mecha City technology has pioneered how to digitize a person: their memories, personality, skills and all other mental qualities. These data files are enormous and require hefty hardware to run.

The digitization process has also unlocked a new option even for those looking to remain in their flesh-and-blood forms: backups can be taken for a sizable fee so that a given person can make a ‘copy’ of themselves as a fallback in case their physical body dies.

Communication technology in Sirian is very similar to real-world technology in many respects. Wireless technology is ubiquitous, and hardy enough to handle large amounts of data in short order. It has all but replaced wired connections for most devices and operation.

Quantum entanglement (or QE) Communicators that allow for faster-than-light information delivery have been recovered from Ancient Sirian technology. Only a few are in working order and reside upon the Kalvania, Extravia, and Station Prime

Ground and air vehicles are very familiar to real-world technology. Most space-faring vessels operate using ion propulsion and thrusters for maneuverability and minor course adjustments. Atmospheric vehicles (like shuttles) make use of thermal turbojets that superheat and eject atmosphere in transit, reducing the need for fuel storage. In orbit, they make use of the same ionic propulsion as larger vessels. Most ground vehicles rely on solar energy and electric engines or biodiesel, depending on the expected terrain and hauling capacity.

Ancient Sirian vessels also have means of faster-than-light travel through a variety of means for different distances. For details, see the Starship Engines page.

Most defensive capabilities for starships and stations involve simply reinforced industrial hulls capable of taking heavy impact, coupled with defensive flak batteries designed to auto-target and shoot down incoming projectiles (whether they be asteroids or missiles).

"Shielding" technology instead involves creating a magnetically-bound wall of durable metal filings some distance from the ship so that projectiles with warheads trigger too far away to deal significant damage. These shields are useful in ship-to-ship combat, but are largely ineffective against natural dangers like asteroids or other large projectiles with no warhead to trigger and detonate.

Air, water and food aboard the stations and the fleet vessels are all set up on hydroponic recycling systems: plants to cleanse the air, filter the water, and provide some food. Waste products collected via life support filters are often uses as fuel for the remixers to create other needed supplies.

The largest difference between Sirian industrial technology and modern real-life tech is the presence of extremely clean and efficient fuels. As a terraformed planet Sirian had no mass extinction event to provide a baseline of fossil fuels. As a result, technology on the planet emphasizes 'green' or renewable energies: Solar, wind, nuclear, chemical batteries, and plant (usually algae) based diesel fuels.

In addition there are synthetic materials that allow for micro-sizing most industrial equipment. This has been essential in the limited environment of the stations to continue fabricating and constructing everything from military tech to expansions to the stations themselves.

Discovery of the Tamara station by the Fleet introduced nanofabrication on a far more robust scale than the remixers, though this technology is not yet widely available when it comes to large-scale industrial construction.

Forms of entertainment in Sirian are very familiar, from music and dancing to cinema and reading. Though most of it is now electronic and independently produced, there are still many throwbacks to ‘analog’ means, whether it be wooden, stringed instruments or stage plays.

Lack of access to resources and cramped space definitely advantage the virtual forms of entertainment, but that hasn’t stopped those with a yen for ‘traditional’ entertainment from keeping old forms alive however they’re able.

Most TV, movies, music, art and games are designed and developed by independent teams with little universal oversight, especially since The Inferno. Creators largely work on patronage system, asking payment in advance based on a pitch and then producing their art based on the tangible interest.

Combat Equipment
Combat weaponry still takes the form of handheld ballistic devices (pistols, rifles, shotguns, etc.). In addition to physical slugs, many weapons can also fire rounds of concentrated energy that cause a reverberating impact similar to a fired slug. These energy rounds leave no physical casing behind and require a charged battery rather than a physical ammo clip, but are otherwise indistinguishable from physical projectiles.

Explosives come in the usual forms, from shaped mines and fragmentation grenades to flashbangs and incendiary explosives. Portable EMP grenades are also available, typically frying electronics but leaving organic matter intact.

Armor exists, although it’s largely made from compact synthetic textiles that helps it blend in with ordinary clothes or a vacuum suit. Armor textiles are very flexible and can help reduce all kinds of damage, whether it be from physical slugs or energy.

Medical Technology
Medicine, surgery and first aid still largely resemble their real-world equivalents. Casts and splints are customized to the particular patient and crafted by remixers to the doctor's specifications. Cybernetic prosthetics that sync up with the wearer's own neural interfaces for direct manipulation are affordable and, given the dangerous nature of the planet, fairly commonplace.

Genetic research has allowed for more accurate predictions of patient health trends, and while genetic engineering has improved in terms of addressing conditions and illness, the ethical questions surrounding genetic manipulation and the "fixing" of certain conditions has kept the technology from being ubiquitous.

Assistive technology has also leapt forward, and adapted to the confined, low-gravity environments of life in space. Magnetic implants can aid in direction sense as well as offering new avenues for interfacing with electronic devices. Voice and gesture-driven computer interfaces are standard on all devices, including datapads and remixers. Mobility technology includes microthruster attachments for wheelchairs for low-gravity (or sudden loss of gravity) situations, though some who are able forego the chair altogether in such environments when they can.