Nanotech weapons archive/assembler.

Image from Steve Bowers
The warchives left behind on Spinosa after the Second Consolidation War were unusually large and eccentric

A relative of the Encyclopaedia Everythingiana or the more capable (or limited depending on one's point of view) Santa Claus/Genie machines: the warchive is an assembler complex equipped with an AI of sufficient capability to design and build anything you ask for (given the restrictions and personal inclinations of the AI).

A standard warchive includes a virtual interface, computronium data storage banks holding the templates for literally trillions of weapons - everything from a crude stone axe to a man-portable tandem plasma cannon/fractal gauss gun/amat rifle - and a wide spectrum nanofab unit. The user inputs the choices and usually waits about an hour for the gun to assemble.

Amat weapons require the user to acquire the amat separately, although the more advanced warchives come with their own amat supplies.

Almost all warchives have some capacity for autonomous self-defence; warchives which are capable of creating the most dangerous weapons tend to have the best defences, so these devices should always be approached with care. Any defences may be well hidden, or form an ostentatious display around the device.

Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
additions by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 12 December 2001.