307 – Gravity Jammer
Editor: Thor’s Stone
Mr. Autumn had a self-satisfied look on his face as he observed our reactions. We quickly exchanged glances silently and turned our attention back to Mr. Autumn.
“Honestly, this is such convenient stuff at such a convenient timing.”
“We definitely don’t wanna take part in any shady deals though.”
“I wonder if they’re planning on proposing some unreasonable exchange conditions?”
“Or maybe this newfangled ship has a big flaw or somethin’?”
“Like exploding all of a sudden?”
“No, that isn’t the case, I assure you. I’m a genuine Ideal Starway sales agent and I’m definitely not trying to deceive you all. I’m proposing an above-board and absolutely legitimate business transaction.”
Mr. Autumn, who received a round of skeptical comments from all of us, hurriedly waved his hand and denied our suspicions.
Are you serious, man? Fine, let’s assume you’re simply an agent who’s pretty confident in your company’s product. But isn’t it way too convenient to offer us a prototype ship with confidential equipment that’s not even officially released in the market yet at this timing?
“Sorry, but I can’t help but feel suspicious about a merchant who suddenly brings what I want exactly when I want it.”
“As expected of a Platinum ranker, how cautious of you.”
After Mr. Autumn displayed a bitter smile, Mei opened her mouth and spoke.
“I’ve finished confirmation. Mr. Autumn is truly someone who belongs to Ideal Starway.”
“I see. I suppose we can trust him to an extent then.”
“It’s not unusual to engage in business deals in this place anyway.”
Mr. Autumn gave out a strained laugh after hearing our exchange.
“I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that we seem to attract trouble often you see, so……”
“Uhuh. We seem to get into troublesome stuff even without us doing anything in particular, so we’ve developed a habit of being really cautious. Sorry.”
“No, no, I don’t mind at all.”
Mr. Autumn quickly changed from a bitter smile to a perfect business smile, as if he really didn’t mind our earlier vigilance. Un, he sure is quick to change gears. Impressive.
“So, Gravity Jammer, right? You said it’s a miniaturized version of the Anti-FTL trap, and it really is impressive that you managed to shrink it to this size. But due to how much energy it needs to operate, I heard you’d require the large-class ship generator of a destroyer at the very least in order to use it properly.”
After hearing Whisker’s question, Mr. Autumn quickly opened his mouth and replied.
“Due to its compact size, its functions are somewhat limited. The FTL trap was basically developed by reapplying the technology used in a type of gravitational wave convergence cannon called Gravity Blast. Simply put, it works by emitting high-powered gravitational waves that enable it to effectively put a stop and hinder the activation of FTL drives. Since it was originally intended for use as a battleship’s main gun, it required a massive energy output, and thus, was difficult to miniaturize.”
“I see. So how exactly is it limited?”
“Gravity Jammers are unable to put a stop to ships whose FTL drives are already active and are navigating at faster-than-light speeds. The FTL trap interferes with the mass of the target directly via emitting powerful gravitational waves, resulting in forcibly deactivating the FTL drive. The Gravity Jammer, however, tricks a ship’s sensors into detecting an object with a large mass in the immediate vicinity, thereby causing the safety system of the FTL drive to malfunction.”
“Ah, I see. Instead of actually changing a ship’s mass, it makes it so the ship’s sensors are tricked into detecting objects like a large asteroid, colony, or ship nearby, and that leads to hindering the activation of the FTL drive. If that’s the case, then it definitely won’t consume that much energy.”
Whisker and Tina kept asking Mr. Autumn some technical questions, but I could only understand about half of what they were talking about. They were even probably dumbing it down so us laymen would be able to follow the conversation as well.
“In short, you can’t stop a ship that’s already traveling at faster-than-light speeds, but you can preemptively stop ships from activating their FTL drives to escape mid-combat.”
“That’s basically it. The effective range is about a radius of 50 km.”
“A radius of about 50 km huh…… It’s not that wide.”
In a general sense, 50 km seemed like a pretty extensive distance, but considering the fact that ships can reach average speeds of 1000 m/s with their thrusters at full blast, and particularly fast ones can even reach up to 5000 m/s, that 50 km doesn’t sound particularly extensive after all. Well, it wasn’t particularly small either.
“Well, the effective range will move together with the ship anyway, so it’s plenty usable.”
“Yeah. The next problem is about the ship’s specs.”
Just like Elma said, even if the Gravity Jammer was a pretty useful piece of equipment, it wouldn’t do us any good if the mobility, firepower, and defensive strength of the ship it’s equipped on weren’t up to par. If that’s the case, then it would be better if we equipped the Gravity Jammer on the Black Lotus instead.
“Of course, we haven’t made compromises on the overall performance of the ship. It’s equipped with a state-of-the-art large generator and energy capacitors to power the Gravity Jammers, but due to that, livability and cargo capacity were a bit compromised instead.”
As far as I could confirm by checking out the model on the tablet terminal, the ship’s living space was certainly small, and the cargo space was also set to the minimum. However, the generator certainly was pretty large and seemed to have more than enough power output, and since it was equipped with large capacitors as well, it was possible to fire high-output energy weapons instantaneously. Well, since the capacitors were mainly meant to be used to operate the Gravity Jammers, using them to power energy weapons will affect the run time of the Jammers.
“The large generator, capacitors, and Gravity Jammers are all stuffed in the rear block. If that’s the case, can the front block be freely replaced?”
Ideal makes use of their patented Ideal Block System that divides their ships into front blocks and rear blocks, enabling you to mix and match blocks freely.
The power generator, shield generator, thrusters, cargo space, and such were mainly located in the rear block. There were many variations of combinations of generator size, the number of main and sub thrusters, cargo space, living space, cargo space, and equipment storage space depending on the size of the rear block. There was also a varied selection of front blocks with different sets of hardpoints for weapons and equipment such as laser cannons, missile pods, torpedo tubes, sensors, and so on.
The main advantage of this block system is that if the ship gets damaged, the blocks themselves can be easily replaced. If the front block gets damaged, it was possible to just quickly replace it with a new one and immediately return to the fray during combat. The overall durability of the hull does suffer a bit as a consequence, but starships mainly tank attacks using their energy shields anyway. Hence, the hull durability tends to be a secondary concern.
“We’ll keep the rear block. As for the front block…… the current configuration has six Class II cannon slots and two missile pod slots for a total of eight weapon slots.”
“The overall firepower is just so-so. How about this block? This seems better.”
“Ah, yeah, you’re right. Two Class III and two Class II slots do seem better overall. We can also equip two seeker missile pods as well.”
By the way, you can just think of Class I weapons as small arms, Class II as medium guns, and Class III as large guns.
Class I guns are usually used by small high-speed recon ships and are usually sufficient to deal with civilian ships. However, they can be considered practically useless in battles between proper combat ships. Pirates often employed such guns on their ships.
Class II weapons are your standard cannons and are the most popular armaments employed by most starships. Therefore, there is a very extensive selection and you can easily choose something according to your needs.
Lastly, Class III guns were the largest caliber cannons for starships available on the market. Due to their large size, their power was quite high. However, they also consumed plenty of energy. But since they had high firepower, it also meant that they were capable of saturating the energy shields of starships in a short amount of time. Hence, as long as the energy reserve holds up, Class III guns were pretty devastating weapons.
There was a lot of debate in SOL regarding whether it was better to equip many Class II weapons or just a few high-power Class III weapons on combat ships, and I was on the side of Class III fans who loved them for their excellent power and range. I was all for high burst power instead of sustained damage.
After all, in dogfights, you wouldn’t be able to constantly keep a lock on your enemies to take full advantage of that sustained barrage. I think it’s advantageous to have sustained firepower against stationary targets, but against mobile ones, you definitely needed to be able to destroy them instantly with punchy high-powered weapons.
“According to the data here, the overall mobility isn’t bad at all. It also has enough leeway to stuff an additional two shield generators.”
“In terms of firepower, it’s in a good place among medium-class ships. If you combine its mobility with the Gravity Jammers, its overall performance is quite high. In other words–”
“”It’s a very ideal starship!””
Elma and I were totally in sync as we raised our voices together. Aside from the Gravity Jammer, its other performance specs were just okay. It didn’t particularly excel at anything, but it had an overall balanced performance coupled with the Ideal Block System.
“Now it all depends on the price.”
Will it fit our budget? That is the question.