Tuesday, February 3, 2015

34. Neumann

The pride and joy of the Interstellar Club are its Neumanns, prototype morphs capable of interstellar travel. There are as yet only two that are functional, and neither of them have traveled farther than necessary for testing. Interstellar Club researchers are optimistic however, as the latest versions have passed all tests and the time may be approaching for their journeys to begin.

The Neumann has two possible means of propulsion. The most powerful thrust comes from the Bussard ramjet, using an electromagnetic scoop to gather hydrogen as fuel for its fusion rocket. The secondary means tunes the electromagnetic scoop for use as a magnetic sail. The fusion rocket is designed to be used for interstellar travel, while the sail is for interplanetary maneuvering.

In order to weather the decades or centuries of interstellar travel, the Neumann is designed to incorporate redundancies as well as self-repair and self-maintenance systems wherever possible. There are two backups to almost every system, multiple redundant repair swarm hives and as much is made of self-repairing smart materials as possible. Radiation sensitive objects, such as the cyberbrain, are placed near the core of the morph, well shielded and also multiply redundant.

The ultimate goal of the Neumann is to act as a von Neumann machine, replicating itself at each destination so as to explore en mass with minimal impact from individual failures. To this end, a Neumann carries massive stores of fabrication blueprints, protean and engineering swarms, sol archives and potentially, cortical stacks. Upon reaching a new world, the Neumann can replicate itself, seed the world with automated probes, or even begin a new outpost of transhumanity.


Although the Neumann is a morph, it has the scale and capabilities of a ship, and is best treated as such. It therefore has no stats.

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