Darkness Within (15): Expensive

These tactical observation platforms are covered in multiple sensory modules, priced at something over a million esteyn each. That’s not even counting the ones that are too classified to have anything resembling a market price. This I know very well, as they’re part of the ship’s hardware I used to be responsible for.  Still am, in a sense.

So, naturally, I’m just ripping them off the truss by chopping through their bolts with the hullcutter, then tossing them into a catch-net. But then, my air supply is already uncomfortably low – except the travelling oxygen – and diminishing, and for that matter, so is my brain. My medichines may not be able to fix the problem, but they can read the symptoms well enough to give me a read on how fast my cognition’s deteriorating, and when they’ll no longer be able to compensate. Ugly methods will have to suffice.

Anyway. I am working on the forward section now, which is basically the central truss of the tactical platform with stuff mounted to it. Most importantly, the piece that’s there already: the platform’s stabilization gyros are built into a navigational unit that’s fixed within the truss.

Problem: these gyros are too small, by the book, for this candle – it’s got too much mass and thrust.  The gyros won’t provide big enough correctional forces.

Solution: That’s easy. Overriding the safeties will let me run the gyros much faster, providing higher correctional forces. It’s not going to be a rock-solid ride, but my calculations show that a little less than triple-running them should provide barely adequate moments.

Problem with Solution: Isn’t that pretty far inside the amber degradation zone?

Solution to Problem with Solution: Yes, but it’s not like it has to last the full operational lifespan.  It just has to last long enough.

Further Problem: Isn’t that also a short whisker underneath the explosive delamination threshold, exceeding which would cause the gyros to leap out of their casings in a million razor-sharp laminate shards and punch holes in the propellant tank, disembowel you, and not incidentally open your suit to space?

Further Solution: Well, I’m told they calculate these things – and inspect the products – very carefully.

Further Problem: And if they didn’t?

Further Solution: Well, it’s not like it can kill me any deader than sitting here with both thumbs up my ass, can it?


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