Black globes typify the incomprehensible artifacts of the Ancients. Each is a shiny metallic cube measuring 300 cm on a side. Two minor discolorations on the surface are the on/off switches. When activated, the generator projects a force field that absorbs all forms of energy (including light, hence the characteristic black color of the field) in a sphere around the device. Applying energy expands the sphere.
Black globe generators have been converted into rudimentary force screens for some select Imperial Navy vessels. Matter cannot penetrate the screen, and energy impinging on the screen is absorbed within the ship's energy capacitors (giving a measure of control over the device) and the mechanism itself. When the screen is dropped, the energy radiates away as heat.
The generator has several disadvantages. First, there is a lack of any contact through the screen, which prevents maneuver drive from working and calls for inertial navigation. Second, fields big enough to encompass typical larger fighting craft have proved inherently unstable; there is a danger that the capacitors will overload with absorbed energy. The result is an explosion, caused by a transfer of the absorbed energy to the interior of the ship.
Crude duplicates have been produced, but scientists are still a long way from understanding how they work. Neither the copies nor the original artifacts are available outside of the Navy.
(ADV-1, 1105; BOOK-5, 1107)
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