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stories:technology_of_the_ah.com_series

Technology of AH.com The Series

Although the tech AH.com The Series is jokey and often pseudoscientific (given the comedic nature of the series), some consistencies of technology have been worked out over the years.

Drive systems

Most ships featured in AH.com The Series are equipped with Shift Drives. The one on the AH.com takes the form of a central power core maintained by Dave Howery, which uses unobtanium for fuel. A key part is a seven-sided cog made out of obsidian and various rare elements.

Shuttles are not equipped with shift drives as standard, but both the AH.commers and CF.netters have experimentally tried it on a few prototypes (see Mynx).

Shift drives are usually shown as projecting a red or blue vortex into which the ship then dives; sometimes the vortex is shown being projected as a coloured beam of laser-like light. The Machine can generate its own small shift vortices for personal travel, as can the CTT.net Ship and the Hub.

Sublight drives appear to be conventional fusion drives. There appears to be no FTL in the conventional sense, as expansion and exploration is between the alternate Earths of various timelines rather than across space.

Time travel is usually either impossible or too dangerous to attempt with a Shift drive, but under extraordinary circumstances can happen by accident (e.g. in AH.COM THE SORTA-KINDA-MAYBE NEXT GENERATION).

Robots and Mechs

A wide variety of robots and mechs have been seen in the Series… 90% of which were built by Dave Howery, apparently. Although he can barely keep the AH.COM's engines running, he seems to have a knack for robotics built on the fly. Twice, he built crude steam powered mechs on timelines without industry or technology. However, most are built in his Robotics Lab on the ship. Things he's built include a Canadian-hating war-mech named Grover, a horde of tiny robot tanks armed with potato guns, a giant mechanical centipede, a 'pet' robot monkey that nearly took over the ship, and a robot kitten for Keira. Dave also has a knack for making humanoid robots that are almost indistinguishable from ordinary humans. He currently has three (at least, three the crew knows about); Bill and Hillary (a pair of incredibly sexy and lethal seducer/killer bots), and the What-bot, a copy of the captain himself.

The Grover design has appeared again with gradually more refined Canada-destroying mechs, with the running joke of all being named after Sesame Street characters.

Two of the junior engineers, Psychomeltdown and G.Bone, seem to have very basic skills in robotics. PSYCHOMELTDOWN tried to make a robot copy of Alyson Hannigan, but the head blew up within seconds. G.Bone made the infamous F-Bot, a very crude pleasure bot made with lots of duct tape and a wig.

Probably the most fearsome mechanical creature encountered in the Series was the Mechahamster, from the Inquisition timeline. These huge robots were made of burnished steel and stood 40' tall.

The episode CITATION NEEDED introduced several other types, including the Slime Mould Mecha used by the Wikimasters of the WikiWorld, which are huge humanoid mecha with glass spheres filled with glowing orange slime mould where their heads should be.

Teleporters

The teleporters on the AH.com ship, worked erratically by G.Bone, essentially function in the same plot-device-y way to the transporters in Star Trek. Notably, a person when teleported usually disappears immediately with a 'pop' sound, presumably caused by the air rushing in to fill the vacuum where their body was.

On at least three occasions (for the third of which, see Mosquito) the teleporter has managed to alter animals by growing them to superhuman size and strength and imbuing them with intelligence.

Unobtainium

An integral part of the workings of the intertimeline ship AH.COM, little is known about how it works, but it can be found in many forms, such as Mike Collins' gauntlets, the powers of which are little documented.

Snarky Definition: Commonly used as a mcguffin by the poorer writers who can't think of an original idea. (j/k)

Weaponry

MES Ship Armaments

The AH.com Ship and similar craft are primarily armed with particle beam weapons and missiles. The CF.net Ship also has an unusually powerful 'main cannon'. The shuttles are inconsistently sometimes shown with weapons and sometimes without, but more commonly the latter.

Small Arms

The standard personal armament of the crew is the BFG (Big Effin' Gun), while simpler plasma rifles are also used, and sold by the CF.netters as a trade commodity. Ward also used a plasma Gatling gun at one point. The exact nature of the plasma weapons depends on the writer of the episode - Thande-penned episodes show discrete balls of golden plasma (inspired by the plasma weapons from the game Total Annihilation) whereas MerryPrankster-penned ones rather suggest jets of white-hot flame, more like flamethowers. The episode CITATION NEEDED eventually clarified this by having Matt demonstrate the BFG to the PoleTrolls and say that it has multiple modes, capable of firing plasma shots, flamethrower blasts, bullets, arrows/darts, or ALL OF THEM AT ONCE.

On the AH.com, there is a dedicated armory that is run by Weapon M and Matt, which holds a large assortment of conventional weaponry. Though in most episode the two characters are portrayed as carrying BFGs into any fight.

Exotic Weapons

Many crewmembers have unusual personal weapons - Dave Howery has an adamantium chainsaw, IronYuppie has an electrified Chinese yo-yo of death, and so forth.

Weapons of Other Factions

Justin Pickard's Hairplane was equipped with powerful technobabblyon particle weapons, trios of cannons that fire balls of green energy which drain power from whatever they hit. This technology was later reverse-engineered and used by his enemies The Germans on their Kapitan Steffen. Technobabblyon energy can be somewhat counteracted by armouring the ship's key power systems with a mineral called Blue Schwaedshuess.

Warhammer 40K-inspired bolters were also seen in the episodes featuring the Vendetta. The Vendetta and her sister ships use a variety of ship-to-ship weapons, primarily cannons which fire “energy shells”.

The Mappist Cabal's Mercator has been shown using powerful weapons that look like continuous green ribbons of energy, and are probably tapped straight from the Map Thread.

Occasionally mentioned are the powerful superweapons A.S.S.H.A.T.s and crosstime bombs. The A.S.S.H.A.T. is a very powerful timed missile which is capable of destroying all life on a planet: defusing one formed the basis of the episode GIVE ME A TALL SHIP. Crosstime bombs (also called ISOT warheads) are essentially weapons which cause everything in their vicinity to be randomly exchanged with another timeline. They appeared in THE RETURN OF MIKE COLLINS AND MOLOBO and were mentioned in A PRESENT FROM THE FUTURE.


See Also

stories/technology_of_the_ah.com_series.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:14 (external edit)