Kludging - (clue-geeng) - the ancient art of optimizing systems on the fly, often for non-standard tasks. Kludging requires a strong creativity quotient and is assisted by a strong familiarity with local assets, although this latter bit is not a requirement.

Classic examples include several actions taken during the famed "Ambush of the Mareste Clarie", in which a quick-thinking technician was able to use tweaked magnetodynamic thrust diverters to cloak her ship in its drive emanations, wiping out the first boarding party to a sophont. The second wave, after the ship's drive and primary power source were disabled by precision kinetic-kill strikes, was wiped out by massive overcharging of selected ships' systems, causing arcing electricity to parboil the sophonts. Finally, the technician was able to survive the 3 weeks it took rescuers to reach her ship by cannibalizing a refrigerant unit and turning it into a reasonably efficient heating system along with other 'good hacks'.

In some polities, a skilled Kludger is considered something of a celebrity. Others disagree, finding Kludging to be nothing other than recklessly dangerous. There is significant evidence in both cases, but it is notable that the former polities are often found further from the Inner Sphere than the latter.
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Text by John B
Initially published on 27 November 2003.

page uploaded 27 November 2003, last modified 10 June 2007