System buoys are spattered all over the Known Worlds. There are four types:

1. Secure buoys aligned with a polity
2. Open relay buoys
3. Danger buoys
4. SOS buoys

They are about the size of a grapefruit and are extremely difficult to damage or decouple. They carry their own small, static Kaposi-furnace.

Buoys use the technology of quantum dot entanglement to communicate with other buoys in a daisy chain that stretches across the webwork of space. They are usually planted along spaceways, the narrow lanes charted out by astrographers that are known best courses between the worlds. Exploration ships carry a massive number of them, for they leave them behind like breadcrumbs whenever visiting unexplored areas. Warships have a generous supply as well.

Each buoy has a large memory array that retains message traffic. Some buoys clear themselves after a certain time period, or after a command. Some retain buffer memory until it is overwritten by other information.

Secure buoys are for military traffic only. Most of them will purposefully overload their Kaposi furnace if they are tampered with in any way. The resulting explosion is a very dangerous one. Maritime courts have no pity for those who interfere with secure buoys, regardless of polity.

A danger buoy has two functions: one to broadcast to all QDE receivers in its sphere of influence a danger message, and two to report the incidence of a ship arriving and its IFF information.

An SOS buoy is a type of "black box" buoy that receives a ship's total information network as a rapid dump to its memory core and then ejects, surviving to float in space giving rescuers a potential chance to help, or marking the spot where an accident occured. Warship SOS buoys are heavily encrypted and can be sent a "destroy" code that causes them to wipe their memory buffer, but function the same as ordinary SOS buoys otherwise. All RMK vessels' SOS buoys are connected to BuShips' QDE array so that when they are launched, BuShips is immediately notified.

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