The Limits of Nanites

Jul 10, 2018

“I never worry about nanites; they have an innate weakness to massive fireballs. Then again, so do most things…” -Meltdown

Nanites are tiny robots, too small to see, that are programmed to work together and complete various tasks. Nanotechnology is a well-established field in the 25th century, and is used for many purposes. However, Nanites do have weaknesses. They are slow-moving on a human scale, and very energy-inefficient; it is almost always cheaper to build objects like lampposts and houses using larger machines, or even with manual labor.

Aboard the Justice, it is possible to work around these problems. The ship’s Unobtanium engines generate a lot of power. Nanites can connect to the power grid and use the excess capacity during off-hours, like when the main guns aren’t firing. They can also draw on the ambient energy from the Unobtanium dust in the air.

Repair nanites cover most of Apotheosis city, silently fixing small problems like scratches and graffiti. These nanites are usually programmed to give off visible light signals so they can be easily identified while working. Human-sized robots handle tasks that are simple but too big for nanites, like replacing entire benches or structural supports when they are damaged; this work is primarily done at night to avoid inconveniencing the ship’s citizens. And anything too complex or important to trust to a simplistic machine is repaired by the engineering staff. The whole system works smoothly, resulting in a beautiful city.

Urban renewal is quick and efficient in Apotheosis City

Nanites are also useful for combat, though not as much as one might think. They are completely ineffective for offensive purposes, because everyone carries standardized counter-nanites for personal defense in their bodies. Counter-nanites have been around and standardized for more than a century, and the common models are rugged, reliable, and simple enough to be unhackable. The Justice requires immigrants to get counter-nanites as part of the citizenship process if they don’t already have them, and children get them from their parents. The ship itself also has counter-nanites in case of any attempt to attack its systems.

A hero casts an AOE healing nanites power onto Sword Blossom in Heroic Plaza.

Counter-nanites can easily draw on a person’s energy reserves – or even the ship’s generators – to strengthen their defense, so it is also impractical to try to overpower them. They scan and identify all other nanites, and shut down unknown ones unless the person being affected gives permission; usually only healing and buffing effects are allowed, and even those cannot be used too much without straining a person’s systems. Those who apply such beneficial nanites in combat often end up eating more than three meals a day to supply extra energy to them, which some find to be a pleasant side-effect.

Adrenal Stimulant is a self-buff from the Restorative Nanites powerset.

The next Ship of Heroes Alpha activity will be a login test for supporters, likely in early August of 2018. Following that, several other Alphas are expected with a first Beta test at the end of 2018. Launch is expected in 2019. Ship of Heroes is being developed by a small team, and appreciates your donations and support. Donations can be given here:

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