Black globe generators are a rudimentary force screen generator producing a characteristic black globe surrounding its mechanism. Matter and energy are unable to penetrate the surface of the screen, and energy impinging on the screen is absorbed within the mechanism. When the screen is dropped, the energy is then radiated away as heat.
Unfortunately, the generator has several disadvantages, primarily being restricted in its ability to maneuver, fire weapons or communicate while the field is in operation. In addition, there is a danger of the field overloading the energy banks; when filled to capacity, this causes massive internal explosions, side-stepping any armor the ship may be outfitted with, leading to the destruction of the vessel.
A route around these disadvantages, and extending the time to overload, is to “flicker” the black globe generator. This flickering, set at any percentage of full absorption, allows limited maneuverability as well as the ability to fire weapons, communicate, and the ability to radiate some of the energy that the generator has absorbed. The drawback, of course, is the black globe armed vessel will take on damage equal to the percentage that the generator is “off.”
This is a high-tech item. Early devices are available at TL 15, but more generally at TL 16-19.
At the same time that the black globe generator is being developed and constructed, optimized black globe packs are also in the development process. The optimized packs can be developed to a later tech level (TL 15-21) as well.