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The Seldar Worlds Corporation recently announced field tests with the Teardrop, a high-speed light scout with a pair of oversized MagnaWave™ drives that give it excellent acceleration in both atmospheric and vacuum environments. It was being test marketed for civilian police forces, which explains why the initial prototypes are but lightly armed.
This simple craft employs a degrav unit for maneuvering and for hovering when it is close to a planetary surface. The landing gear are mounted and shaped such that they can be used for tight maneuvering in atmosphere as well. When folded, they don't retract inside, but hug the hull very closely.
During theoretical analysis of the new engine design on the teardrop, Seldar's engineers observed that localized magnetic anomalies could occur if the harmonics of the energy constrictors weren't kept closely calibrated between distinct engines in close proximity. But their analysis had some flaws, and they dramatically underestimated its maximum potential effect.
Under most circumstances, the effect isn't significant- but as the Space Corps discovered during field testing, two ships with carefully varied harmonics that maneuvered in certain ways could generate an extremely intense field that can tear apart even fairly large masses of heterogenous density. It does not appear that this effect can be utilized to any great extent by a single ship or by larger ships, as the two independently moving fields need to be roughly 500 to 1000 meters in proximity and the average density in the surrounding 2000 meters (including both field sources) needs to be very low.
The Space Corps has in their possession these two scout craft plus a number of critical MagnaWave™ spare parts. They have already transferred the ships from a planetary light patrol unit to an elite unit of galactic law enforcers, and are now trying to find something in their testing contract that allows them to legally keep them in their hands permanently without having to shell out the huge cost that Seldar is now trying to extract.
Seldar has halted production of this technology pending new experimentation and profit analysis, and heightened the already-tight security around their engine R&D center. And although they are keeping quiet as to whom else was involved in the field testing, it is rumored that there was at least one other participating organization.
MagnaWave is a trademark of the Seldar Worlds Corporation. All rights reserved.
© 1999-2004 Tony Hafner