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The Gravitational Singularity
Of the most feared anomalies in this universe, the Gravitational Singularity is the most terrifying. When at its full potential, it will consume all matter, abiotic and organic. However, it has been discovered that the radiation produced from these singularities can be harvested and converted in power via plasma. This has spawned the invention of the Singularity Engine.
This Guide serves as a how-to for setting up your very own Singularity engine. It includes the step-by-step construction process, what to order, what equipment to wear, and pointers on how to prevent it from consuming your station!
The singularity comes in levels, growing with the more energy it collects. It collects energy with the Particle Accelorator, which sends waves of energy into the singularity. After reaching a specific amount of energy, it will grow in size up until stage 5, which needs to consume a Supermatter Crystal to progress to stage 6. With higher levels comes more power, but that means more pull and more radiation. If it progresses to stage 4, it is not unlikely that it could pull up the catwalk of wiring which is powering containment.
In order to be safe around the new lord, meson goggles must be worn at all times, anti-radiation clothing must be worn, and having any robotic organs won't be fun. If the mesons are skipped, it can stun you, if you skip the radiation clothes you will soon turn bald (and start to die of radiation poisoning), any robotic organs will be subjected to EMPs and soon shut down, and if you're an IPC, good luck. Magboots, while not essential, can also be helpful if going into the containment room is necessary after the engine is turned on.
For the safest setup, a Singularity engine requires three layers of containment to ensure that the singularity stays safely within a confined space. On the innermost layer, a required 9x9 energy containment field will keep the Singularity from eating the setup. On the middle layer is a large solid container constructed out of reinforced walls to keep out intruders/meteors as well as house all the equipment needed to run the engine. The outermost layer (optional) is a soft barrier constructed out of lattices and grilles to sop up meteors.
An energy field is the only thing a singularity cannot travel through. If this fails, the singularity will breach containment. In other words, don't fuck up this step. You will need:
All of this equipment can be acquired from either R&D or Cargo. From Cargo, this is 2 emitter crates and 2 field generator crates, the energy source can be a PACMAN generator, or it could be connected to a Solar Array.
Begin by placing plating down in an open space, this is where your Singularity generator will go. Follow this by building four tiles of lattice out in each direction. Place lattice to make a box out of each of these. Make plating on each corner. Place a field generator on each of the external plating. Make sure that they are properly secured by wrenching and welding them to the plating. Once secured, place 2 tiles of lattice out in any direction from the corner field generators and add plating on the ends. This is where the emitters will go after wiring.
Before attaching the emitters, you will need to build a perimeter out of either catwalks or plating so that you can lay cable all the way around. Make nodes (cable endpoints or dots) in each of the places for the emitters. Ensure that the emitters are facing the field generators and secure them in the same way which the field generators were secured. You will turn them on later once everything is set up.
Whenever making an engine that is susceptible to being tampered with or fragile to high-speed space rocks you will likely need a barrier from space. Build walls or reinforced walls around your current constructions. You can build your wires around the interior perimeter of this containment too. Ensure that there is an airlock leading in and out that is accessible only by engineering.
Along the outer walls, build 2x8 sections of grilles to absorb the impact of the damage caused by meteors and further impede the incursion of intruders into the engine area. Alternatively, station shields could be deployed around hard containment if that is the station goal for that shift or CentCom is generous enough to accept a request for some.
Next, you will need to order a Particle Accelerator (PA) kit from cargo. Don't open it until you have it where you want to install it. The Particle Accelerator is T-shaped and it fires in the direction of flat side of the T. Each piece will need to be properly oriented, wrenched down, wired with cable coil, and screwed closed. It has 3 main power levels, each sending a different amount of energy into the engine, which can increase the size, sustain the current size, or let it shrink. It could also be hacked, allowing for a higher power output, though it is not recommended for this engine.
The singularity engine works by generating radiation, which the radiation collectors will soak up and convert into energy. As long as there is at least one collector, it will produce energy, thuogh having more is better if power generation is important in this engine instead of fun.
These can be ordered from cargo, coming with 3 collecters per crate. Place radiation collectors near or on the perimiter of catwalk or plating which was made before, on plating with a node. Secure them with a wrench and fill with plasma tanks before turning them on.
You will needs at least two SMES units to manage the power your engine and to power your engine. See here for a guide on construction. Both SMES should be hooked directly into the engine wire network (which is separate from the station). However the output of one SMES (SMES 1) will feed directly back into the engine wire network and the other SMES (SMES 2) will output into the target network, whether it is the station power net or a Bluespace Harvester line.
Before starting the engine, SMES 1 will need to have its output set to max and SMES 2 will need to have its Input and Output set to 0.
Turning on the engine
Before doing anything else, ensure that everybody is following the correct safety measures
Once everything has been constructed fill SMES 1 with at least 50k watts before attempting to turn the engine on (containment may fail otherwise). This can be done by using a P.A.C.M.A.N generator on the engine network for a bit of time, or using a Solar Array network to collect power. Once SMES 1 has reached at least 50k watts stored, set its charge to off and set its output to max. Go to each emitter and turn them on, you will also need to turn on each field generator until a blue containment field completely encompasses inner containment.
Once containment is up, walk over to the Particle Accelerator and turn it on to power level 2. Wait for the singularity to reach size 3 and then set the PA to 0 and leave it running. It will not grow in size, unless it gets more energy from somewhere.
Turning off the Engine
Occasionally, bad stuff happens. Sometimes it is necessary to deactivate the engine as safely as possible because nobody can maintain it. Other times meteor showers and bombs endanger containment machinery. Whatever the crisis, if the steps above have been followed it should be safe to simply turn the accelerator off. The engine will continue to generate power as the singularity loses energy and shrinks, so containment SHOULDN'T fail until the singularity is sufficiently small enough that it cannot move and pull stuff into it. However, the fickle baby singularity will take a long time to die completely, leaving it exposed to potential suicidals jumping into it, giving the singularity energy to expand again. (Cool fact: Engineers provide a singularity with a lot more energy than you'd expect).
Sometimes it's a good idea to charge the SMES quickly (using the optional techniques above) and then turn off the engine safely until you need power again. This means that poor solo-engie can actually go do other stuff and leave engineering for a bit without inadvertently destroying the station.