NEW πŸ“—Story: Radio ❌

A Most Complex Machine, the Autokinotheodolite

Friday, Sep 6, 2019
feature image

Hey everyone, I drew this a little while back after getting back from Woomera, South Australia. Woomera’s a closed government town that tests missiles. Not my finest illustration, but it is what it is.

Deep in the mountains around Montre, above a tangle of submerged forts and ballistic missile silos, there sits a Vekllei Rocketry Corps test facility called the Strawberry Site. From the peaks of the surrounding mountains, should you evade the helicopter patrols and dog teams, you can witness the next thirty years of missile technology unfolding before you.

A variety of missiles, from ship-mounted seaslugs to satellite killers, are prepared and launched from the cold igneous valley. Occasionally, either to test antimissile lasers or flak, national news media are invited to witness the launch of an older declassified missile type and after which the broadcasts extoll the wonders of Vekllei missile technology.

Special footage of all launches at Strawberry are captured using an odd device with a hefty name β€” the National Labs Autokinetheodolite. This machine is capable of recording high-velocity objects from very far away, and are used in civil supersonic aviation also. It sits atop a platform with the rest of the carefully-vetted news media, watching an anti-ship guided missile roar into life and sail in a graceful ark into the air.

Since Vekllei is small, and highly populated, a special prohibited air corridor guides the missiles west of Montre and out into the North Vekllei Sea. The arctic seabed is littered with many prototypes of this kind, and is patrolled regularly by navy ships to discover enemy submersibles seeking to engage in deep-sea espionage.