Technology in the British Imperial Era

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Considerable advances have been made over the course of the 25th Century in technology, not least, the introduction of compulsory brasswork and the banning of the practice known as "Ringtones". Although the great majority of technology available to citizens of the Space Empire has the usual brass-and-racing-green look popular at present, technology is not actually steam-driven or clockwork, at least outside New Pitcairn. This technology is, of course, completely reliable and made by only the most ethical organisations. Once again Smithileaks has been investigating on our behalf.

Enquires about British Space Empire technology should be directed to Science Department, where it will be carefully studied before being ignored.

HMSC John Pym

Class: Class 4 Sheffield fast transport craft,

Ownership: Valdane Shipping Company and currently co-opted by the Government's [deleted by order of British Colonial Intelligence].

Crew faciltiies: It has a basic crew capacity of two and is equipped to carry two other staff in cabins. Further crew facilities include communal living area with galley kitchen and fully-outfitted hamster cage with water dispenser and squeaky wheel (hamster not included).

Cargo: The hold takes up approximately 1/3 of craft size, and is large enough to be rigged to carry:

  • a five-man exploration vehicle,
  • 42 suspended animation capsules or
  • up to twelve manned assault pods.


  • The John Pym has been recently refitted for high-speed, straight-line haulage and delivery missions. It carries a non-standard Imperial Dynamics Mark 7 Supralux engine, along with twin thrusters for sublight manoeuvring.
  • At maximum realspace velocity a Leighton-Wakazashi Velocipator plotting device adds and decreases mass relative to mass index to regulate Supralux speed: without this, faster than light capacity is severely impaired.
  • At top realspace and FTL speeds, and in a straight line, the John Pym is almost the fastest ship in the quadrant.


- See main article: Robots

Androids serve many purposes, from the sublime to the - quite frankly - unseemly. Although nominally bound by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics (much to Polly Carveth's irritation), some androids have proven capable of breaking their programming DRM and doing a runner. The aforementioned Ms P R Carveth is a case in point, as she clearly did not want anyone managing their digital rights over her. The tendency of androids to do a runner led to the development of the controversial Hoyt Axton Test.

The Dodgson Drive

The Dodgson Drive is a drive used to instantaneously pass matter between two [REDACTED BY ORDER OF HMG] by means of a jump generator powered by [REDACTED]. The drive relies on complex non-Euclidian mathematics. It was pioneered in the 1850s at Cambridge – not exactly in the university, but by associated personnel. The drive was, however, not tested until the 2540s, except for two occasions when a small child [REDACTED BY ORDER OF HMG].

The working of the drive is extremely complicated. In layman’s terms, it operates by [REDACTED] a mirrored surface [REDACTED] quartz rods [REDACTED] to achieve parity along a central spindle. The ultimate effect is [REDACTED] dilation of the surface, forming a gateway into [REDACTED] fast and bulbous so that the user can pass through. In fact, it is correct to assume that [REDACTED] like a writing desk.

Users of the drive are advised to exercise extreme caution. Apart from cats, rabbits and children, the drive has not been extensively tested, with the result that [REDACTED] while one pill makes you larger, and one [REDACTED] angels to some, demons to others [REDACTED] pay close attention. Leakage is also a possibility, resulting in the escape of radiation and [REDACTED] brillig and slithy [REDACTED] trained medical personnel to extract it.

So pretty simple, really.

The Civiliser

Smith's weapon of choice.

Leighton-Wakazashi Corporation

- See main article: Leighton-Wakazashi Incorporated

Over the last decade the Leighton-Wakazashi Corporation has built up a matchless reputation for innovative design, high quality and incomprehensible assembly instructions. Specialising in constructing self-aware computer defence networks, alien-based bioweapons and cyborg police officers, the Company is clearly entirely above board and not to be regarded as suspicious in any way. It also makes TVs and guitars.

Recently, Leighton-Wakazashi bought out Blue Moon, the owners of Funland theme planet. Managing director Lloyd Leighton has stated that he looks forward to reopening Funland as "a swell holiday park for all the family, so long as they're not goddam communists".

Company executives can be recognised by their distinctive red braces, shoulder pads and peculiar dialect. L-W territory is the only part of the Empire where waving one's "wad" in public does not carry a substantial prison sentence.

Military-issue Equipment

Reproduced from the Ensign Armaments catalogue, 2541 edition:

"The Ensign Corporation, in partnership with Imperial Engineering, is delighted to release its collection of elegant high-quality firearms for the 2542 campaign season. This season, emphasis is on a few key pieces that can be easily accessorised for a variety of roles.

The Ensign Mk-4 laser rifle is a name you’ll know and trust. This year, we’ve improved on our popular design for a style that combines simple elegance with timeless practicality. The longer barrel and additional muzzle stabilisers guarantee that you’ll be making your mark from a long way off. The power pack has been restyled for this season with moulded handgrips for that extra ease of use.

The Stanford Modular Assault Weapon is a staple of every commando’s arsenal. Side-loading ammunition ports and underslung connecting clips make it simple to transform the look to take you straight from the great outdoors to some kind of sinister enemy command centre. Just accessorise with a five-shot grenade launcher or underslung incinerator pack and you’re good to go. A collapsible stock makes the Stanford perfect for the ambassador’s reception, too: just pop it into a formal tailcoat or violin case to make a discreet, yet memorable, entrance."

Protective Clothing

Reproduced from an advertisment in Industrial Gusset and Unmentionables, April 2532, Glorious 12th edition:

"Space is a dangerous place. So why go poorly-equipped?

New Action Pants. Keeping the galaxy safe and comfortable. With double seaming, partitional airlocks and optional lead plate attachment for intensive activity, Action Pants are the suits-all option of the spacefaring generation. Whether you’re knife-fighting with a desert messiah, strangling a giant slug, or just trying to have a rest in your escape pod, Action Pants keep you comfortable and protected. Now available in sumptuous plasticrete.

Also, why not try new Battle Pants – the Action Pant that just got an upgrade. Fully proofed against small arms fire, Battle Pants are just ideal for taking on the modern warzone – and making it comfy.

Action Pants. We’ve got it covered."

In previous centuries, space combat tended to turn around wearing the largest amount of armour possible (and then plastering it with skulls and rosettes). By the late 22nd century, the battlefield was dominated by servo-assisted armoured suits.

The rise of EMP technology has meant that smaller suits of powered armour can be knocked out very easily, as they lack the bulky protective systems fitted to larger vehicles and warbots. The technology is effectively outdated, although the Edenites do still plate their Reborn super-soldiers in metal: both to ward off gunfire and to protect them when they get confused and bump into things.

The Space Empire does use a reinforced cuirass as standard, though. This gear, similar in appearance to the sort of armour used by Civil War cavalry, is based off the Bushranger design produced by Kelly Industries of Straalia Prime. Capable of stopping most small-arms fire, it also makes an excellent wok and can be used as a passable sledge.