The seas have always held a special fascination for Viktor Archeville: their bounty, their mystery, their power. "We know more about the moon than we do about the deep sea," Greenpeace says. Archeville had advised and worked on assorted oceanographic missions before -- designing sensors and propulsion units, going over data, examining new sea life, and so on -- but he knew he could do better. So he decided to build a gigantic submarine, one capable of going faster, deeper, and staying under longer than any other, and which would have less of a "footprint" that would disturb the native life. The result, launched in April of 2010, was Fjölnirskraft, at the time the largest submarine in world history.
During the ArchEvil event (20011 June), Fjölnirskraft was boarded by Deep Ones and used to invade Freedom; Gabriel & Ironclad fought them off. What remained of the vessel, along with the rest of ArcheTech, was given to Miss Americana and the Scarab.
Fjölnirskraft roams the Pacific Ocean. She'll dock wherever she's allowed, but Archeville also has a private shipyard on a small, barren island east of the Marquesas capable of handling most routine repairs and refueling.
The Archeneum hull plating and skeletal structure of the kraft allow it to cruise at deeper average depths than most submarines. A Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine can dive to depth of 1,480 feet (450 meters) before beginning to risk hull collapse from the pressure; Fjölnirskraft can dive to depths of up to 2,460 feet (750 meters) without undue strain.
Manufactured primarily of Archeneum (a metal with approximately the weight of aluminum but a hardness & durability ten times that of osmium steel), the hull of Fjölnirskraft is, like other submarines, primarily tube-shaped, though the kraft is somewhat wider aft (rear) than fore (front), giving it shape like an elongated egg... or a turkey baster. However, when the eight manipulatory tentacles from the bow & the two from the sides all emerge and extend to their full length, it takes on the appearance of a gargantuan eyeless squid.
The front third of the Fjölnirskraft is taken up by laboratories and workshops dedicated primarily to oceanography/the marine sciences.
The middle third is the habitation area, including the galley and infirmary. Between the habitation area and the laboratories is the command deck, and below the command deck is Archeville's personal quarters.
The rear third contains the "cold fusion" power plant (see below) and the life support systems.
Archeville decided to keep the tradition of naming vessels after deities of the sea. According to Norse mythology, Fjölnir is the son of Freyr (son of the sea god Njörðr) and Gerðr (daughter of Ægir, a jötunn [nature spirit/giant] and king/personification of the seas), and thus the grandson of two sea-deities. Fjölnir is also another name for Odin (the chief god of the Norse pantheon), found in Grímnismál when the god revealed himself to Geirröðr, and in Reginsmál when he was standing on a mountain addressing Sigurd and Regin; Snorri also mentions it as an Odinic name in Gylfaginning.
The Fjölnirskraft generates power through a ultra-efficient "cold fusion" reactor that can pump out twice the power of a conventional fusion reactor but requires almost no shielding (which helps lighten the sub considerably). The power plant generates more than enough powers to meet the kraft's day-to-day needs, which, combined with its mostly robotic crew (see below), means it can stay underwater for approximately six months without having to even approach the surface.
The Fjölnirskraft uses a magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion system, a major advantage compared to propellers or pumpjet propulsion. The MHD engine uses magnetic energy to force water through tubes, an effect sometimes described as an "underwater jet engine." There are six MHD "jets" total, three each on the port (left) and starboard (right) sides, along the rear 2/3rds of the kraft. The MHD system allows the Fjölnirskraft to attain speeds far beyond those of standard submarines; conventional submarines typically run at 20 knots and max out at around 35 knots, but the Fjölnirskraft can reach over double that.
Additionally, the MHD engine makes almost no noise, rendering it nigh-unnoticeable by wildlife (and modern sonar systems). To improve the kraft's stealth profile, Archeville has covered the hull with an anechoic radar absorbent coating, and has acoustically isolated machinery and other noise-causing objects inside the hull by mounting them on vibration-dampening platforms.
The Fjölnirskraft contains ultra-advanced communications and sensory gear. It uses powerful active and passive sonars, including a spherical array in the bow, a conformal sonar array mounted around the bow, and several types of towed sonar arrays built into tubular shrouds around the hull. The Fjölnirskraft's communications equipment can receive and broadcast over the full frequency spectrum, from ultra-high frequency (UHF) to extremely low frequency (ELF). Unlike virtually every other sub in the world, the kraft doesn't need to approach or break the surface to use its communications systems (which would be too disruptive for long-term deep sea projects); they work just as well hundreds of feet below the surface as the do on top of it.
After careful consideration, Archeville did decide to give the Fjölnirskraft some weaponry. Torpedoes were right out, though: too "low-tech", too unreliable. Instead, he went with 16 energy beam projectors, spaced evenly around the hull, specifically designed and tuned by him to fire underwater with minimal loss of energy. They can also be set to "paralyze" or "stun" mode. Similar projectors are mounted on the inside of the ship, to deal with any intruders or unruly specimens.
Also usable as a weapon -- but primarily intended for specimen retrieval -- are the Fjölnirskraft's tentacles, eight at the bow and two along the sides. When retracted the bow tentacles form a spiral cover over the front of the kraft, and the two at the sides lie flat against the hull, so when not in use the super-sub is as streamlined as any other submarine.
The super-submarine also contains a dock/hangar for other, smaller vehicles.
The Fjölnirskraft has a crew of a couple hundred at most, and often runs with just a few dozen, not the thousands which would be expected for a ship of this size and complexity. This is possible for two reasons. One, the kraft is highly automated, and Archeville's technology rarely breaks down under standard use. Second, basic tasks that can't be automated -- everything from keeping the ship clean to routine maintenance -- are performed by robots. Human personnel only have to perform tasks that Archeville isn't willing to relegate to robots. This of course does not include the "guest" scientists who make use of the kraft's facilities for their own research.
Due to its relatively small crew, the Fjölnirskraft requires less in the way of life support systems. These systems include carbon dioxide "scrubbers" to remove that gas from the air, and carbon monoxide "burners" which do the same for that gas. Another system breaks water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen to replenish the air supply; filters, dehumidifiers, and similar equipment keep the air fresh. The sub also has a water distillation facility to produce all the water it needs. The kraft typically carries enough food and other supplies to travel for 180 days in comfort without surfacing.
See here for stats.