Technology of the Perry Rhodan Universe
an Introduction and Interpolation
(C) 1997 by Dansen T. Stahl
Perry Rhodan and the alien races described here
are trademarked products of VPM
Table of Contents
Go to the Perry Rhodan English Homesite FAQ
When comparing the information presented here with information presented elsewhere in this web-site remember that it is a personal extrapolation of the information presented in the series and that it is written from the viewpoint of the series before the Twenty-Fourth Century (i.e., the time-period and events depicted in the first 149 or so issues). As such statements are made that show an ignorance of information presented later in the series.
Although not usually thought of as technology, language can be a powerful tool for shaping cultures. Its use binds us, divides us, and allows us to communicate our technology to others. As the widest spoken language group among humanoids in the galaxy Arkonide is also one of the galaxy's most powerful pieces of technology. With its origins lost well over 25,000 years in the past Arkonide (as well as Akonide) has proven a remarkably stable element in galactic history.
Officially, there are four levels of Arkonide: high, standard, commercial, and scientific. Unofficially, there are also many forms of low Arkonide, especially among lost arkonide colonies. Despite this the various dialects of Arkonide are remarkably uniform. Few lost arkonide colonies have been found which do not speak a recognizable form of Arkonide even after 20,000 years of isolation and/or racial mutation almost beyond recognition. Of those colonies which have lost Arkonide as their language most of them have adopted an alien language rather than speaking a dialect of Arkonide that it too changed to recognize. This has suggested to many terran scientists that the original A(r)konides were genetically altered for a linguistic potentiation for the Arkonide language. The closest analogy to this are the songs of terran birds which are not actually born singing their own species' song but which are potentiated to those songs.
As an example of the effect, note that Arkonide was the language of Atlantis (an arkonide colony on Terra 10,000 years ago). It has now been shown to be the basis of Sanskrit which, in turn, is the root of nearly every terran language yet no terran language is understandable to an Arkonide. On the other hand, arkonide colonies that have been isolated for far longer than 10,000 years still speak a recognizable and almost world-wide form of Arkonide. Other explainations have been put forward to explain this effect but computer simulations agree closely with the language potentiation theory.
As useful as Arkonide is among the humans of the galaxy it is, at best, an imprecise language for communicating between races of different biological backgrounds. To remedy this problem the Arkonides (presumably) invented Intercosmos. Although based on Arkonide it was modified, through mathematical analysis, to be as precise a language as possible. It is a difficult language to learn in its entirety and is not very useful for expressing abstract ideas but it can be modified for almost any racial background and it has formed the basis of much intra-galactic communications. Most translating devices us an Intercosmos filter and, in fact, many races have adopted many of the grammatical features of Intercosmos, including scientific Arkonide.
The downsides of Intercosmos are its clarity and lack of abstract character. Both aspects make the expression of creative ideas rather difficult. This tends to introduce a lack of creativity in the races using the language. It is now generally believed that the use of Intercosmos (as well as Arkonide, to a lesser extent) has been a major contributing factor to the scientific and cultural stasis of the Arkon Empire and the Akon Coallition.
An extraordinarily useful invention of the A(r)konides is the force field. It is the basis of much of the defensive technology of the ships of the galaxy and an important component of their weapon and power technology as well. A force fields is produced by a generator as a spherical field (though some small, flat shields can be generated within the frame of a generator (such as a doorway)). Once generated the force field is resistant to matter and absorbs most forms of energy. Interestingly, the field is a static energy field, i.e., the energy it is charged with dissapates only very slowly (much like electricity in a super-conducting material).
Like super-conducting materials force fields can only absorb so much energy before they lose their cohesiveness and collapse. To remedy this force fields are linked to energy taps which draw off the excess energy which is stored in capacitors for later use by the ship.
Force fields can also be tuned to absorbe or not absorb various forms of energy. This is why spaceships are able to use defense field which are transparent to sensors and visible light yet utilize black sphere force fields on their engines which absorb nearly all forms of energy.
Standard force fields are resistant to sub-atomic particles, which behave much like energy, and to macroatomic matter but can be made permeable to single atoms and small molecules. Thus, most defense fields are ineffective against proton and neutron beam weaponry. However, most ships have other defenses agains these weapons and they are considered ineffective combat weapons when their other flaws are taken into account.
Normally, force fields are transparent to hyper-dimensional effects (such as teleportation and transformation cannons) but several types of hyper-dimensional force fields have been developed. Their construction is top secret but their use only at vital governmental facilities (at least outside the Akon Coallition) suggests that their constuction is both highly complex and prohibitively expensive.
Black Sphere Power Generator
At the heart of nearly all arkonide power generators lies a black pearl of great power. The "pearl" is a force field set to absorb nearly all forms of energy and sub-atomic particles. As such, it appears black and very cold to the touch (it absorbs thermal energy). The other three components are the field energy taps, the anti-gluon projector(s), and the hydrogen source.
Individual hydrogen atoms are shot into the sphere where the anti-gluon (i.e., disintigrator) source hits it scattering the hydrogen into its component energies, quarks, and other sub-atomic particles. These are, then, absorbed by the full spectrum force field (the black sphere force field) and converted into more conventional energy by the field which is then drawn off by the field energy taps to be distributed to whatever requires it.
The power pack of an arkonide battle suit (or a typical air car) can fit into a box the size of ones hand. On the other hand, the power plant of a Titan-class (1,500 meter diameter) spaceship or a small city may be as large as 200 meters in diameter.
Conceptually, a disintegrator is very simple: an anti-gluon generator, an anti-gluon accelerator (to focus and accelerate the anti-gluons, usually an energy beam that also clears away air from the path of the anti-gluons), and force field in front of the weapon to absorb some of the radiation backlash. Practically, a disintegrator is much more difficult to create. One of the two favorite weapons of the Arkon Empire, it was adopted by the Solar Alliance as well. Although most often found as a rifle, disintegrator pistols are also somewhat common in the Empire and Alliance. Because of the radiation backlash from the disintegration of nuclear bonds, disintegrators are not allowed in the Solar Alliance for civilian use except for specially liscensed construction use and highly controlled in their military use.
The Arkonide thermobeamer is very similar to the old Terran MASER. Like the maser, the thermobeamer produces collimated microwave radiation which impart considerable energy to its target. Unlike a maser, however, the thermobeamer projects energy at several frequencies increasing its destructive capabilities. Because its effects can be tuned for moderately specific application (such as cutting metals) and power ranges without mutating radiation the thermobeamer is the most popular weapon in the known galaxy. Thermobeamers range in size from short-ranged micro-beamers (about 5cm x 0.3cm diameter) to planetary defense beamers (about 100m x 8m diameter). While Terrans are well-known for using special-purpose thermobeamers it is the Akonides who have the most impressive thermobeamer technology. In some way that even Terran scientists have not yet managed to discern, Akonide thermobeamers do not heat the intervening atmosphere. This results in an invisible, soundless beam that delivers slightly more energy to its target.
In recent decades specially-designed sniping versions of the Akonide thermobeamer have been filtering into the Solar Alliance and the Arkon Empire from the Akon Coallition. These highly illegal weapons have become highly sought-after as assassination weapons. It is believed that the Energy Command and the Baalols are involved in smuggling these weapons.
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