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Wonder in Beyond Earth
|Requires|| 2 Geothermal|
|Effect|| +5 Diplomatic Capital|
+25% City Strike Strength
|Notes||City Strike +1 Range and +25% Strength at this City.|
The Mass Driver will permanently tie up 2 Geothermal resources.
"Where possible, the opponent's advantage of ground must be negated. If you cannot see down on your enemy, you should knock the enemy off his pedestal." - Rejinaldo Leonardo Pedro Bolivar de Alencar-Araripe, Principles of Modern War
Electromagnetic linear accelerators are known as early as pre-Mistake Earth, and were likely developed for military applications. The power limitations of pre-fusion civilization limited their use, and one of the few known operational examples is a machine known as the GDR-1, built by a Mesoamerican nation-state in the mid-21st Century.
The linear accelerator earned a new life as a propulsion tool for the first lunar and asteroid miners. With lower escape gravities, linear accelerators offered an easy way to get cargo packages into orbit and on their way back to Earth. These were all large-bore, relatively low-velocity affairs, attaining merely hypersonic speeds.
The Mass Driver operated on the same principles as those ancient railguns, but on a much greater scale. The massive capacitor banks were buried deep beneath the ground, their power feeds rising like tendrils to merge with the long racks of electromagnets in the barrel. The long barrel was housed inside the gunspire, while nearby high-energy microwave phased radar arrays painted potential targets as they passed overhead.
The rounds themselves were a shell of copper encompassing a ferro-nickel casing containing a gyroscopic steering mechanism. When the gun fired, the speed of the projectile passing through the atmosphere, liquefied the copper, and the gyroscope "aimed" the round with surprising accuracy to strike satellites passing near the city where it was installed. A satellite subjected to a direct hit could be atomized. A satellite indirectly hit (and these near-misses were rare) frequently fell out of orbit.
Restoration work on the Mass Driver revealed two fascinating inscriptions made by the engineers who built it. The exterior of the munition cradle inspection hatch was inscribed with "Ultima Ratio Regis." The interior of the same hatch was inscribed with "Vade Retro, Cucule."