Written in 365 Parts: 25: Smooth Ride

Drick let out an audible sigh as the robot parking service delivered the car that Krennar had chosen for them from the parking bay. It was done with little fanfare, a hatch opened in the smooth highway surface and a lift brought up the desired vehicle.

In Drick’s case it was an executive hover vehicle that was presented. A sleek silver saloon that was large enough to hold a small team of players from one of the sports leagues but would probably only have four seats. It was powered by a fusion reactor that would probably last half a millennia and had full gravitonic plate control.

Drick wondered just how much this was pulling on their credit flow as the vehicle drifted gently to them guided by a small tugger bot. It was likely to be a bloody expensive smooth ride.

Normal hover vehicles used the much cheaper gravity nullifiers to resist gravitational forces. This was a technology built on the interaction between gravity and electromagnetic repulsion.

Essentially nullifiers used a series of charged electromagnetic plates that put out enough of a field to cause a resistance, more a repulsion, of gravitonic fields. Hence them being named nullifiers as the effect was to nullify some of the attractive force of gravity and not actually resist. Often having standard octane jets or air manipulation thrusters to accompany the effort.

Gravitonic plates worked much more efficiently and actually repulsed and ejected the elementary particles of gravity by means of a quantum interface that utilised and interacted with gravitons. This system allowed the plates to affect the stress-energy-tensor quality, manipulating energy and fundamental particles directly to create motion. It was a highly effective manner in which one could move in any direction ignoring the effects of the relative gravity. It did not, however, ignore inertia and gravitonic plates would allow you to smear yourself at high force if used badly.

The technology was not new but it was used sparingly because of the high energy costs to manipulate quantum particles and the many patented pieces of equipment needed to run a vehicle fitted with competing systems. To Drick’s recollection no one mega corporation owned all the relevant pieces of technology and software required to build and safely use gravitonic plates, they had to be licenced individually. The cost was high in both hardware and software as each of the plates needed an artificial intelligence to operate the manipulation of quantum relationships.

The net result would still be the same. Drick would have a hole in a credit account that you could pilot a small planet through.

Drick got into the vehicle thanking again that Krennar had implanted Drick’s ident into the ship’s main computer. The ship did a very fast connection to Drick’s implants as they got into the vehicle and reset the screens and driving preferences to those stored on Drick’s systems.

Drick did a cursory check of the vehicle’s capabilities and would have emitted a low whistle had they been perusing it in a showroom. Fitted with a wealth of standard communication systems with very secure privacy modes; a top speed that would make some jets blush; several intelligences, low age, to manipulate many of the systems like navigation and driving and flight sensors; an auto-pilot with a significant number of actual flight hours; full repulsive plating in case of collision which loosely translated was state of the art armour. The only missing element for Drick was a weapon’s array. But that could always be compensated for, if one knew what one was doing.

Drick registered themselves on the traffic grids and set in a group of locations and allowed the computer a moment to assess routes and traffic flows. While it chewed through its own data Drick opened up a link to the central traffic systems and pulled regional and historical data and fed that in so that the system could do a full probability test. The company that leased this model did not spare any expense on any of the systems and the mapping system was capable of spaceflight astrogation. Might as well use all the processing power that hard earned credits was paying for and choose the best possible time to visit all the places on the quick list they had made.

Drick got their answers in a few moments and gunned the drive systems. There was an almost, inaudible to most, whine that Drick heard clearly and likened to sweet music. It was as the plates charged and converted electrical energy into an electromagnetic manipulation of quantum gravitons with the end result being the vehicle lifted smoothly into the air.

Drick cast an eye on the outside screens and forward mapping and sensors. There was a small knot of people admiring the vehicle, might as well give them a small display.

Drick let it look as if it was drifting backwards. It was not drifting. Drick was purposefully making it look like a drift, this vehicle had perfect geo-stationary capabilities on autopilot.

Drick waited until it looked as if they had everyone’s attention then gunned the power to fifty percent along the pre-programmed path. Drick smiled with satisfaction as several Gs pushed them into the adaptive cushions and the spaceport disappeared in a blur of concrete and steel.

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