Technology: Applied Gravitonics

“What goes up . . . better doggone well stay up!”

— Morgan Gravitonics, Company Slogan

Applied Gravitonics is labeled by the game as a fourteenth-tier exploration technology. The prerequisites claim that it represents the extension of Graviton Theory with the help of Digital Sentiences. But its only immediate application is to allow the creation of units with the twenty-strength Graviton Gun, which is odd. It seems as if this designation and the associated quote were created with the expectation that a mobility power like either the Gravship chassis or the Antigrav Struts would go here.

None of those quibbles change the fact that I still love this quote, though. For one, it’s definitely clever in that way we’ve come to associate with CEO Morgan. But it’s the juxtaposition of the cheesy folksiness and the ultra-futuristic content that does it for me. To the people who are running Morgan Gravitonics, if they’ve done their job right, they really have denied the old truism that “what goes up must come down”.

They’ve gone even further than that by making it the vision statement for their business. The inversion of the player’s expectations in the slogan is now normal for them. The imagined SMAC future becomes about ten times more crazy and wonderful of a place once the player starts adding in what must be routine exercises of antigravity. Do they have floating castles in the sky? Hoverboards that can cruise into the air as easily as they can skim along the ground? Bungee jumping without the need for any ropes? The sky’s the limit at this point.

It’s also worth mentioning that this is the last quote delivered by a Morganite. Its very normality – especially in contrast with Sister Miriam’s most recent quotes – is evidence in favor of the proposition that the CEO’s experiment did not canonically end in fire and tears. Which is kind of weird if you think about the Economic Victory rules. The absence of any sign that Morgan Industries was plundered by a coalition of rival forces can be seen as something akin to the dog that didn’t bark.

Now consider how late on the tree we have to go before encountering Applied Gravitonics. The Morganites must have remained on the cutting-edge in research all the way through the game. This is true even with the University as one of their main rivals. And after they spent many thousands of energy credits on their bid to corner the planetary energy market. The Morganite economy at the end of the canon game could very likely have been amazing.

The other possibility is that CEO Morgan had a strong working relationship with either or both of the University or the Gaians. There’s some pretty good evidence that he was able to maintain trade treaties with all the other powers, so it’s possible that instead of doing all his research himself, he managed to procure many of the needed technologies on the foreign market. If so, and if his rivals did not highly value these late-game technologies in energy terms, then it’s possible he could have been able to skate by with a strong energy focus and some clever dealmaking. In any event, the very fact that Morgan Gravitonics existed in canon is sufficient to safely conclude that the Morganites were a Great Power until the end of the game.

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2 thoughts on “Technology: Applied Gravitonics

  1. CCC

    It’s worth bearing in mind, here, that Morgan had built the Network Backbone. That +1 research from every network node on Planet, regardless of owner – which I interpret to mean that Morgan’s bundled “MorganNet” software included a spyware addition – would mean that his researchers are able to leverage some of the University’s strength without the University’s permission or even knowledge. Added to that, the Morgan AI does like messing around with probe teams and doesn’t seem likely to shy away from a little corporate espionage; he could easily be outright stealing tech from his allies and putting the blame on (say) Sister Miriam.

    He doesn’t *have* to have been above-board in his technology acquisition.

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  2. Nick Stipanovich Post author

    That’s true! I’m certain Morgan made good use of his espionage efforts all throughout the canonical mid-game. But, by the end, chances are one of the other two top teams have the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm. And techs are coming really fast at this point – the transit time for Probe Teams to target is considerable, given the fact that much of this happens within the last 20 years of the game. So I figured exchange/self-research were more likely than continued successful espionage.

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