The Heirotus-built Quantum Analogue Relay (QAR) is a highly advanced piece of real-time telecommunications hardware made possible by a combination of mass abstraction, crystal twinning, and classified advances derived from Judas Lang‘s “patent dump” of MBO-2.
Due to mass abstraction requirements the QAR can only be safely operated in space. The core of the device is a sphere removed from external mass influence, with its own gravity plane and atmosphere. The QAR operates by essentially creating the same environment in two places at once, allowing for realtime communication and interaction. Objects in two separate QAR spheres are – to human perception – effectively in the same QAR sphere. Individuals at the other end of a QAR session create a local Holt-Rischmann Variance.
The device is massive, fragile, and maintenance intensive, requiring a suite of specialized hardware and an enormous amount of power to operate. While not yet explicitly stated in the story, the synchronizer banks of all deployed QAR spheres are “paired” with a switchboard on the Helios orbital platform. This makes it possible for Heirotus command and control to coordinate capital assets across the galaxy in real time, though said assets cannot open QAR sessions with each other without additional sets of paired communication crystals.
QAR alignment and session operation is handled locally by a carbon computing cluster outside of the QAR sphere.
The device exists solely due to Heirotus founder Brandon James insisting that he be able to see and “read” whoever he’s talking to.
Development Notes: The QAR was built in November and December of 2005. Lighting was tweaked a bit in 2008 for the second edition of The Dualist, and lighting and textures were overhauled for a full re-render of every appearance of the environment in the summer of 2016.