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Project 17 was a top secret military project initiated after the end of the Porcyal War in the Culldrome Isles. Initiated by the CSRA, the aim of the project was to research, design and develop weapons and technology that utilises Porcyals. The program has since helped to create several Porcyal based weapons, ranging from hand-held rifles to weapons of mass destruction. Its existence is heavily denied by both the CSRA and the Culldrome government itself; many conspiracy theories created by the public surround it in mystery. In addition, it was one of the largest military and scientific undertakings of the country, costing an estimated 50 billion Coins over its five years.
In late 1996, after the end of the Porcyal War the Culldrom government scrambled to build up its military and scientific capabilities. As a result the CSRA was founded. The CSRA decided that they had to develop and research weaponry involving Porcyals, which was used a lot in the recent war. At the time, Culldrome was a tiny country with very little military might. Porcyal based weapons would also allow Culldrome to become a military power and give it an edge in future wars against even more powerful countries. Thus, Project 17 was initiated, which aimed to develop Porcyal based weaponry.
By 1997, Project 17 aimed to meet several goals:
- Research and develop a bomb-style weapon of mass destruction, using Porcyals.
- Develop other heavy Porcyal weapons, to be carried and deployed from aircraft or seacraft.
- Design small Porcyal-weapons, to be carried by infantry.
- Ensure that Culldrome has the adequate weaponry and technology to defend itself and its interests, For the Good of All.
The Porcyal Trio
The CSRA quickly built up a team of it's most knowledgeable scientists in the country. About 1000 scientists were secretly sworn into the project, in addition to 4000 engineers, builders, workers and other employees. On top of this, Project 17 had around a dozen expert scientists from many different countries, with others arriving over the years. The foreign scientists greatly aided with research and development on such a large scale project. Their loyalty to the Project was secured through large bribes by the government, which it denies even today.
The most notable penguins of Project 17 were the Porcyal Trio. The Porcyal Trio consisted of three penguins, Aaron von Atom, Richard Mac and Roberto Paoloti. The three penguins of the Porcyal Trio were one of the smartest penguins of the country and all contributed to the project a lot. Aron von Atom was the only actual scientist of the trio and was the most intelligent. Richard Mac was a general in the Culldrom Army and helped with the military aspect of the project. Roberto Paloti was a shady but wealthy penguin and helped to finance the project. The Porcyal Trio were the driving force behind Project 17 and helped tremendously with it.
The lead scientist Aaron von Atom proposed several theoretical ways to release energy from Porcyals by mechanical means. He theorised that provided a precursor energy source a Porcyal could explode and produce energy and could be achieved several ways:
- Large Scale Kinetic Energy - Given two Porcyal crystals impacting each other at a very fast speed (near light speed), they would both fuse together before being completely obliterated and release large amounts of light, heat and sound energy, similar to a nuclear fission reaction. This was the most complex proposal, requiring Porcyal accelerators.
- Medium Scale Kinetic Energy - Two Porcyals are encased in a sealed cannon-like structure with conventional explosives on either end. The explosives detonate, delivering kinetic energy (ie. movement) and heat energy to the Porcyals. The two Porcyals impact each other in the centre and, given enough force, obliterate each other and release more energy. This is very similar to the Large Scale Kinetic Energy proposal, but forces Porcyals together at a much slower velocity.
- Small Scale Kinetic Energy - A single Porcyal is surrounded by a ball of conventional explosives, which is then detonated. The explosives directly deliver energy into the Porcyal, resulting in an even larger release of energy.
- Electrical Energy - A small current is run through a sheet containing Porcyal fragments. This produces a larger current which is run back into the sheet, creating an infinite loop similar to a perpetual motion machine and breaking the laws of thermodynamics. Given enough electricity, the Porcyal would gradually release heat energy before exploding. The harmless version of this is used to create electricity for heavy equipment, such as the Exclamator-Class Space Cruiser.
- Electromagnetic Energy - A high powered laser is shone through a Porcyal, amplifying it and releasing massive amounts of light and heat energy. Given a more intense laser, the Porcyal would explode and release even more energy.
The second and third proposals were most suitable for large weaponry and the fourth and fifth proposals were most suitable for smaller weapons.
The first major operation of Project 17 was Operation Omega. The Operation involved the construction of a Porcyal bomb, similar in power to a 1 kiloton conventional bomb. After its success, the Operation would work its way up, eventually constructing a large Porcyal bomb. The final bomb was to be as powerful as a 150 kiloton nuclear bomb. The Operation was expected to take 3 years and most of Project 17's money and support.
The first bomb of Operation Omega was built by June 1997. Codenamed Alpha, the test bomb was detonated on board an old abandoned ship, docked near Toxic Island. Alpha was a failure, only managing to destroy half of the abandoned ship, not even sinking it. Alpha was classified as a fizzle.
Two identical bombs, Bravo and Charlie, were detonated. Bravo, tested on August 4 1997, was also a fizzle. Charlie, tested on August 19, however, was a successful test. Charlie managed to sink the abandoned ship that carried it, as well as creating a wave which destroyed some equipment on Toxic Island. After this incident, testing was relocated to the Collwall Plain, a large icy and desolate expanse on the southern tip of Culldrome Island.
In November, the tests restarted. The first test occurred on November 7th, with the detonation of Alpha Mk II. The Porcyal-bomb had a power of 25 kilotons. The test was successful, destroying large icy portions of the landscape. Three days later, on November 10th, Bravo Mk II was detonated. It was also successful and had a power of 40 kilotons. The detonation sent out shockwaves that were detected from the Skulldrome Isles. The Culldrome government denied all allegations of weapon testing, but were impressed by the power of the new technology.
The tests continued and were being ramped up in power. Four more bombs were tested through the rest of November, December and January 1998. Charlie Mk II (45 kt of power), Alpha-Bravo (45 kt), Decimator (50 kt) and Destruction (65 kt) were all tested. Out of the four, only Charlie Mk II was a failure, only managing to create a small crater. A massive amount of money and production was dedicated to the test detonations, but after budget cuts in March 1998, the rate of testing decreased.
The next test occurred on May 5 1998, which tested Porcyal and had a power of 100 kilotons. Porcyal was a massive step in power and used vastly different equipment, such as a newly programmed detonation computer. The scientists were still unsure of the technology that was required, but testing continued anyway. The detonation was an astounding success, but was too powerful. The blast completely destroyed the Project 17 outpost, 5 kilometers away. Operation Omega was hit by another setback.
Operation Omega testing resumed in August. This time, smaller and much less powerful bombs were created and tested. The smaller bombs only had a power of half a kiloton, but were powerful in larger numbers. The smaller Porcyal bombs were dropped from bombers and onto the uninhabited outskirts of the Treshurr Islands. Dozens of tests occurred, which involved Porcyal bombs destroying small, fake towns. Large scale testing resumed in December 1998, with the successful detonation of a 110 kiloton bomb, Superpower, dropped from a bomber.
The bomber dropped bomb testing continued until July 1999, with the detonation of Omega, a 150 kiloton Porcyal bomb. Omega met the final goal of Operation Omega. The operation ended soon after, with a total of 16 large scale Porcyal bombs and 120 kg of Porcyals.
Operation Pioneer aimed to meet the second goal of Project 17, which was to develop heavy Porcyal weapons for aircraft and ship use.
Operation Civilization aimed to meet the third goal of the Project and create small infantry-sized weapons that utilise Porcyals.
Future and Disbandment
Project 17 was a massive drain on the then small country of Culldrome. With the post-Porcyal War clean up still progressing and the country's transition into a more modern society occurring, military funding was becoming less of a primary concern. Project 17's funding went under the Culldrome Military budget, which was swelling to 10 Billion Coins per year. Project 17 was a massive drain on the country's treasury, especially given a small country like Culldrome. Citizens were distasteful towards this, especially those from Bluetower Castle who supported pacifistic movements. Demonstrations protested against military funding and in 2001 the government was forced to reduce funding and terminate Project 17. Major research and development was gradually halted from March to June 2001 and any remaining assets were transferred to either the military or the CSRA.
After the disbandment of Project 17, most, if not all, of the Porcyal weapons continued to be manufactured, albeit at a much lower production. Research was also continued, but with limited funding. The terms of the Treaty of Treshurr prohibit the manufacturing and use of Porcyal-based weapons, so Project 17 and any other related developments were all illegal. However with no-one to enforce the treaty, Culldrome continued anyway.
Most of these weapons were stockpiled away in top secret military installations around the country. Several breaches of these occurred in the 2000s, resulting in Porcyal technology falling into unwanted hands. During the Nightmare of Culldrome, small handheld Porcyal weapons were used by the invading Ninjas. In the Culldrome Civil War, Porcyal-bomb technology was fully revealed to the public after the capital was bombed. Many nations began to see Culldrome as a potentially dangerous force and its allies took interest in the technology.
Culldrome gained free reigns to use Porcyal weapon technology, with the backing of Shops Island and The Axle Powers. The UAN could not restrict Culldrome's usage of these weapons, citing that they are not nuclear based. Nevertheless, the Culldrom government still denies the existence of Porcyal weapons and states that the incident in the Civil War was the result of a very powerful conventional bomb.
- This is slightly based off the Manhattan Project.
- Project 17 was estimated to have used around 200 kg of Porcyals.
- This amount was about 20 years worth of mining.
- The name of Project 17 suggests that there may have been 16 other military projects prior to it. Whether this is true or not remains unknown.