Praetorian Training Academy
Have you ever wondered why all the neat gadgets in comic books haven’t changed the world? Well, in the PTA world, they have. The problem with most ‘super’ technology is that is either non-reproducible (alien/ancient tech that no one has the foggiest idea how it works) or it actually depends on the unique powers of the super that owns it for it to function properly.
But for other tech, the kind made by old fashioned brain sweat, some nice products have come onto the scene starting from the twentieth century. People argue that if the Nazi technology seen in WWII hadn’t vanished suddenly, the world might have even been a century further along.
The chief proponents for pushing technology into the public sphere have been Nikolai Tesla III and Elon Musk. Elon approached Nikolai to use his famous grandfather’s name for a new company dedicated to making private commercial rocketry and electric cars a reality. What he found was a genius that equalled and possibly exceeded that of his progenitor. Elon’s money, vision and organizational skills combined with Nikolai’s intellect have advanced certain areas of technology by a seventy years or more, in the space of less than a decade.
Other ‘super’ geniuses have been less forthcoming but, still, the products have trickled out from time to time (including some aforementioned Nazi tech). The world didn’t have flying cars at 2000, but no one would be surprised if it happened soon.
The primary focus of this group has been power generation, storage and transmission. High efficiency solar cells are everywhere (including some ‘solar roads’ that are paved with them). As of 2014, solar shingles are the standard in more than 70% of the houses built in the US and the acceptance rate is even higher in some countries.
Power Satellite X-1 is planned for launch in less than a year to beam power from space down to an energy-hungry world. The plan is to have a string of them over the US at first and then in other places that want it.
On the storage front, they catapulted past batteries, capacitors and fuel cells into Energy Matrices that are like standing waves of power caught in a superconduting loop… but without the superconductors. Recharging and usage are basically 100% efficient and take practically no time. The NY to Miami solar road is geared to automatically charge cars with the appropriate receivers but larger vehicles have to pull off on side roads to ‘refuel’. They don’t even have to stop, but the stations have more power available than just the regular road.
Power lines remain but the Tesla Wires transmit without losses (again much like superconductors) which resulted in an almost overnight doubling of the available energy without producing a single watt more in the system. There is a persistent rumor that Tesla III will achieve what his grandfather never did reliably: wireless energy transmission. If so, no reports have been made on it.
Light high strength materials designed for the automotive industry also are making private commercial spaceflight a reality. Price per pound to Low Earth Orbit has dropped to 1% of the best twentieth century prices. Tours to space for the merely affluent are common and the prices drop every year. Both a moonbase and a journey to Mars are in the offing.
No specific company likes to admit that their products are based even in part on the advances that the Third Reich invented… but they still use them. Wehrner Von Braun brought over his rocket technology, of course, but other things were gleaned from the ruins of the Nazi Empire. Rumor has it that certain superweapons and other advancements were never recovered, though, and still exist somewhere.
Medicine: investigations into certain treatments and medicines (and treatment of victims of gas attacks) were quite useful and the allies made the move of claiming the copyrights and opening them to the world. The aerosol injected drugs and blood-brain barrier penetrating drug delivery systems were decades in advance of the rest of the world.
Materials: At least one team of researchers was obsessed with lighter, stronger metals and alloys, most likely for their armored vehicles. Scraps combined with bits and pieces of burnt notes were quite useful in reverse engineering these substances. These days, there’s hardly a car or plane that doesn’t benefit from this tech.
Computers: Large installations show that the Nazi regime was on the verge of creating their own ‘thinking machines’ but the Allies ironically beat them to the punch when Ultra trumped their Enigma coding machines and ended the war early.
The online culture of sharing has advanced computing by at least an order of magnitude. The actual hardware is only somewhat better (though there are some fun things on the horizon), but the software has really taken off in terms of reliability, security and efficiency. Yes, there are still black hat hackers out there, but ‘script kiddies’ don’t exist because the environment requires real skill to penetrate modern systems. Unfortunately, there have been ‘super battles’ between supergenius level programmers on the internet.
3-D printing has really taken off and both inexpensive consumer goods and replacement parts are a part of most people’s lives. While still not common inside of homes, almost everyone has stopped by a local store that prints on demand. At least one manufacturer is making a printer large enough to produce an entire car (at least the body sections if not the fancy electronics… for now.
Targeted medicines are making short work of major illnesses (but not for rapidly mutating ones like the common cold). Still a bit too expensive to be used ‘over the counter’, but becoming more commonplace every day. Low level regeneration (skin, blood, bone) is commonplace and prosthetics are quite good if not perfect.