Eteno technology combines old traditions and practices with modern technology, giving many parts of their society a deceptively low-tech appearance.
As one of the last few civilizations to use kinetic infantry weapons based on gunpowder, the EIT can, at a glance, appear to be technologically backwards in terms of armaments. However, this is not the case. Eteno gunpowder weapons are built to withstand continual use in damaging environments with no cost to performance. Bullets are built caseless and with explosive capacity and/or enhanced armor-piercing abilities for maxmimum effectiveness. The Eteno enjoy several advantages from issuing gunpowder weapons to their infantry forces. These include not having to worry about a laser or beam being traced back to a shooter and the ability to fire continuously without risking extensive damage to overheating.
Gunpowder weapons aren't the only kinetic-based systems in use. Like many other races, the Eteno extensively use railguns on space vessels and stations as heavy anti-ship guns. On some planets and moons, the Eteno build giant railguns partially underground that can fire into space and inflict terrible damage on anything they hit. Railguns have the drawback of being unable to do much damage to shields on their own, requiring them to be used in tandem with energy-based weapons like laser and plasma.
Missiles and torpedoesEdit
Aircraft, starships, troops, and vehicles all use some kinds of missiles in the Eteno military. Modern Eteno missiles are designed with multiple tracking systems to reduce the chance of losing a target down to near zero. Ground forces or aircraft supporting ground troops are armed with chemical or high-explosive missiles to take out infantry or armored targets, whereas starships and fighters and bombers in space use a mix of EMP and explosive missiles to damage shields or other systems and cause structural damage. Starships armed with missiles tend to fire them in swarms from launcher batteries sometimes consisting of hundreds of missile tubes.
Guided torpedoes are mounted exclusively on starships and strike craft for use against vessels of corvette size or larger. Torpedoes track targets much like missiles, but are much larger and contain a far more devastating warhead. A handful of torpedoes can annihilate a small ship and do punishing damage to a larger vessel, but tend to be slower and easier to intercept than missiles.
Laser and plasma weaponryEdit
Energy weapons are the cornerstone of Eteno starship and fighter armament. Laser weapons are distinguished by power and rate of fire. Beams are slow-firing, powerful weapons most effective against ships or space stations, while regular lasers are quick-firing energy weapons. Energy weapons are capable of doing great physical damage on top of shield damage.
Plasma-based weapons are more powerful but slower-firing than most laser weapons, and require on average three or four seconds to produce a globule of plasma to eject at high speed at a target. Plasma weapons have similar effect on shields and armor as lasers, albiet with higher intensity and sometimes lower accuracy.
Starship and fighter armor is meant to be a last resort for protection if the shields fail. Fighters and bombers boast meager armor, while the largest starships can have up to fifteen layers of highly advanced smart armor perfected at molecular scale. Even then, concentrated fire can break through a ship's outer armor. Eteno ships are split up into bulkheads like a sea vessel would be, and each bulkhead is secured by double electronic doors and layers of armor. Bulkhead armor is the final factor that keeps a ship together if it is heavily damaged in combat.
Shields on starships and strike craft produce an energy field that blocks physical objects and absorbs fire from energy weapons. A large power source is needed to sustain a shield system even outside of combat, and when under fire, shields require enormous power to maintain. Large ships and space stations have one or more dedicated reactors providing power for shield systems at all times, and most have backup generators in case the primary reactor(s) go offline or the shields are under heavy burden.
Starship constructed has been standardized and streamlined with countless advances in industrial techniques, cargo transportation, and mass-production. The price of a single unique vessel is rarely lower than the cost of a ship built in a batch at a large shipyard, even if it is slightly larger or equipped with more features. Ship construction takes place in multiple locations, with the product itself only finally coming together at a construction yard. Hull parts and ship systems, manufactured separately, are transported to a shipyard and installed around a rough framework quickly and efficiently. Welding, painting, and intricate interior work is carried out by workers and robots according to guidelines perfected to efficiency.
Weapons and point defenseEdit
All starships larger than a small fighter or pleasure craft are required by law to have some kind of basic armament. Shipping companies and businesses that operate in space regularly equip their vessels with more armament than is legally required, so as to ward off pirates, patrols by invading forces, and transit hazards such as asteroids and junk. On the lightest of tramp freighters to the largest of Navy battleships, weaponry is closely integrated into ship design.
Weapons designed for use against targets of corvette size or larger are built in mounts or batteries that extend partially from the ship. Usually, less than half of the actual weapon is exposed on the outside of the hull. Whether mounted in a large battery or alone, the majority of an anti-ship weapon is located within the ship for protection. Energy weapons are fed directly by the vessel's power grid, while railguns, torpedo tubes, and missile launchers are fed by ammo belts constructed in the hull that lead to armored central magazines at the heart of the ship.
Point defense weapons are small missile launchers and energy weapons installed to fend off small strike craft, fighters and bombers that pose a threat to the vessel or other nearby vessels. Point defense missile batteries contain many quick, small missiles in multiple racks which can be fired in groups at one or more strike craft. Quick laser guns are highly effective and combating strike craft, and some new Imperial Navy vessels possess coaxial beems that can sweep across entire squadrons. Plasma weapons are rarely used for point defense due to their slow rate of fire, but some weaker modified versions exist in this role, trading firepower for rate of fire.
Power generation and batteriesEdit
As a modern galactic society with a population nearing a quadrillion, the EIT has enormous power demands. Populated systems can be home to tens of billions of individuals and countless space stations, requiring large amounts of power and separate grids for each planet, moon, and station. The Eteno utilize multiple different methods of power generation depending on location and availability. It is extremely uncommon to see an Eteno star system without some sort of solar panel station orbiting a star. These stations produce great quantities of power for relatively low upkeep, which can be either directly transferred to space stations or used to charge massive industrial batteries that can be transported and installed. Planets and very large stations use fusion reactors to generate their power, a technology perfected to the point of being very cheap.
The power requirements of small vessels, colonies, and spaceships are fulfilled by mass-produced, standardized batteries manufactured and charged at orbital or planetary reactor farms or massive partial dyson spheres around stars in planetless or otherwise uninhabited systems. Larger vessels such as immense mining ships, trans-galactic shipping vessels, and destroyer-sized and up naval vessels generally use a mix of batteries and fusion reactors. Very large ships can have multiple reactors, and ships of dreadnought size can have dozens. Reactors can provide a constant stream of power to ship systems or charge batteries which can then be used as a power source. On naval vessels, reactors are heavily armored and can be turned off in battle for safety, leaving the ship's power needs to be fulfilled by the batteries charged by the reactors beforehand.
The basic warp drive, which bends space around a vessel as opposed to moving the vessel itself faster than light, was the first method of FTL travel developed by Eteno researchers. While not as fast as some other methods, such as the Higgsium drive, the Eteno warp drive has been honed and developed over two millenia to the point where its standardization, simple design, and lower power requirements make it the continued standard choice for Eteno-built vessels.
Originally, for communication between distant colonies, the EIT was required to operate a public messenger service of small communication probes with warp drives. Interstellar communication relied on the use of these courier probes, whose core design presented numerous issues and pitfalls for the empire. In time, however, research into long-range instant communication technologies resulted in the development of a basic tachyon-based communication device, allowing expensive and power consuming but instantaneous communication between the far reaches of the empire. In modern times, tachyon communication is cheap and plentiful, allowing for a person or vessel to communicate with someone else halfway across the empire in a few seconds at a near-unnoticable cost.
As the greatest barrier between different races and cultures is language, the Eteno wasted no time developing a solution once they started making contact with other spacefaring civilizations. The Eteno model of universal translator is widely known to consistently have a greater number of minor technical faults than the translators produced by other races, but is also considered to be more convenient. Instead of producing subtitles or delayed audible translations, the main Eteno translator devices actively translate speech and translate it audibly in real time, as if the speaker is already communicating with the user's native language. Visual text is also actively translated, and translated versions are superimposed over a user's vision with the use of a single eyepiece.
Worlds only barely hospitable, full of resources, or too strategically important to be inhabited only by a small protected population are commonly terraformed by private companies to create an environment most welcoming to Eteno and imported flora and fauna. The process of terraforming varies from planet to planet based on the unique properties of each world, but the main issues of crust content, atmospheric content, and temperature are handled first before the investigation of other, more difficult problems. Substances that are too common in the crust and atmosphere can be harvested to be used in some manner of industry elsewhere. Substances not common enough can be supplemented by materials brought in from other uninhabited worlds, gas giants, or astronomical entities like nebula.
Planets can also be seeded with basic life forms to create a balanced ecosystem and convert a hostile atmosphere into once capable of playing host to Eteno and other similar species. Terraforming companies will often produce their own protists and bacteria in labaratories that are geared towards reproducing and replacing the atmosphere as quickly as possible and grow them in contained farms on the surface of a world to be terraformed before letting them out to breed naturally. If a planet has no native life, more and more developed and complex species will be introduced over time until another planet's ecosystem, usually similar to Malisk II's, is reproduced. If a planet already has some kind of native life, efforts will be made to introduce species and terraform the world in such a way so as to preserve them as much as possible, though many species go extinct due to terraforming regardless.
Manufacturing and constructionEdit
To meet the needs of one of the largest economies in the known universe, the EIT's industrial base requires not only sheer size, but advanced methods of production at every stage from surveying to final assembly of a finished product.
As a nation existing in a region of the galaxy where minerals and other resources are more scarce than in other locations, resource extraction must be as efficient as possible with as close to zero waste as possible. A wide range of sources are tapped for the vital resources needed to fuel the Empire, including the cores and crusts of planets drilled for metal, the massive clouds of gas giants and nebulae for gasses, asteroids blown apart for whatever minerals are inside, and space debris from damaged or destroyed ships, to name a few.
In extraction, as much waste and straggling bits and pieces are collected as possible using intuitive capture systems, such as magnetic 'nets' around large asteroids or planetoids. Space junk collected by trawlers is all melted down and separated by the layers of material that result after cooling. A common theme in waste collection and recycling at all stages of extraction and production is the forming of bricks of materials of very specific weight and size. In the manufacturing of all types of items, from hull plates to electronics, nearly 100% of waste is collected and then melted down into bricks to be reused or sold off.
Production itself is also a precise and streamlined process. Anything that isn't meant to be unique is produced in massive batches on custom-built machinery for maximum quality and speed. Additional machines and inspection staff ensure there are no hiccups in production and that waste is kept to a minimum, and what waste does exist gets collected expediently.
For larger products, such as starships, assembly is a quick process. Individual pieces are built to fit and integrate with as many other parts as possible so that workers and robots can conduct physical assembly as quickly as can be done. Testing that must be done is carried out by complex computer scanning which can simulate a complex product like a hovercar and test its systems and how they would perform in reality with near-perfect accuracy.
Only the most complex, quick, and subtle pathogens continue to cause illness in Eteno, and even these most developed killers can often be destroyed or held off enough to become harmless. Development of miniaturized robots sparked the interest of Eteno medical scientists early on, and medical research became synonymous with robotics research early on. The majority of robotic advancements in Eteno history have been towards superior medical treatment and the production of smaller and better nanobots with a superior ability to seek out injuries, infections, or disorders and intimately treat them.
Modern medical nanorobots can be administered through an orifice in a spray or in a liquid, or injected directly with a small syringe. These nanorobots are equipped with a basic toolkit and an extensive library of knowledge on injury and infection. Medical nanobots inside an individual can locate, close, and heal injuries such as gunshot wounds within minutes and destroy cancerous cells almost as soon as they appear. New or enhanced pathogens can take time to deal with, but nanobots can actively gather information on and defeat these threats in time. Major injuries may still require some manner of surgery, and most brain injuries still require some sort of basic therapy, but Eteno medical nanobots have all but eradicated the threat of dying from some of the greatest threats of all life's history.