First Appearance: Surreptitious Machinations (Chapter 5: Random Threads) (April 19, 2002)
"Project Velociraptor", or simply "Velociraptor", is the name of a "free energy" device created by Nick during his employment at JCN. It played a pivotal role in Trudy's Surreptitious Machinations to conquer the world and has since become an integral component in the MUTEX/Velociraptor inter-dimensional transport device central to To Thine Own Self....
After the employees of GPF Software became scattered when the company's building burned to the ground, both Nick and Trudy eventually came into the employment of JCN, a major technology corporation. During this time, Nick was assigned to "Project Velociraptor", a secret internal research project. While the exact nature of the original project is unknown, we do know that Nick eventually became lead programmer of the project and ultimately its chief architect. It was during this time that Nick's Inventor's Gene expressed itself and Velociraptor became something entirely different than originally specified. Whatever its initial intent, it eventually became an experiment in energy generation. Trudy, under the guidance of her future self, planned to use the device to engineer her bid for world domination by using the device to power C.R.U.D.E.'s weapons during the Battle of Manhattan. However, with the help of Ki, the time-traveling Todd, and the rest of the GPF crew, the U.G.A. managed to thwart C.R.U.D.E. after Nick powered down Velociraptor and made C.R.U.D.E.'s weapons useless. In the aftermath, the U.G.A. confiscated Velociraptor, eventually handing back over to Nick (perhaps through Fooker's influence). Nick vowed to destroy the device and all plans associated with it, stating it was far too dangerous for any single individual or organization to control.
After the creation of his MUTEX virtual reality system, Nick became frustrated with the new creation's massive power requirements. He rebuilt Velociraptor from memory and eliminated its external power dampening aspects (see below). When hooked up to the virtually limitless resources of Velociraptor, the MUTEX morphed from a virtual reality simulator to an inter-dimensional transport. His further experiments in dimensional travel eventually caught the attention of his analog in an alternate universe, ultimately leading to the events of To Thine Own Self.... A gifted scientist possessing the Inventor's Gene himself, Emperor Nicholas the Puissant built his own MUTEX as a torture device and later discovered its universe hopping potential. However, the Emperor was never able to build a comparable Velociraptor, making his own inter-dimensional exploration limited at best. He resorted to kidnapping Nick and forcing him to repair his faulty copy of Velociraptor, a feat Nick was never able to accomplish. Eventually, the two Nicks formed a bridge between the two MUTEXes to allow the travelers to return home and escape the interstellar battle raging overhead. When the Emperor attempted to escape, Nick removed the guidance circuit from the MUTEX, causing the Emperor to dematerialize with no clear destination set.
The MUTEX and Velociraptor played a small but pivotal role in Scylla and Charybdis. After Fooker, Sharon, and Justin discovered that Nick had been aboard a Grey ship for over a month and Ki helped revive his memories, Nick had a drone beam the MUTEX and Velociraptor aboard the ship as a "last ditch idea" to stop the impending Grey/Physaric conflict over the Earth. When negotiations failed and war between the two alien fleets seemed imminent, Nick powered up the MUTEX/Velociraptor combo and seemingly destroyed the Earth to prevent it from falling into either invader's hands. In reality, Nick used the devices to hide the Earth in an alternate universe, but promptly "lost" it in the sea of infinite realities, stranding himself, his friends, and about a hundred other humans in space among the two orbiting fleets.
In the aftermath of Scylla and Charybdis, Nick called for volunteers among the human "survivors" to help search alternate realities via the MUTEX and Velociraptor for the missing Earth. Aside from himself and his friends, twelve others volunteered. After numerous tweaks and updates to integrate Grey technology into the two devices, the volunteers have begun the daunting task of trying to find the planet among its infinite possible hiding places.
Physically, Velociraptor appears to comprise of several units, the primary one being a tall vertical cylinder that glows when activated, surrounded by evenly-spaced rings of unknown composition and connected to a rectangular metallic base. Another more extended view can be seen here. The device is apparently light enough that two grown men can carry it, even when activated. Its internal composition is unknown.
Mysteriously, Velociraptor seems to produce more energy than it consumes, fitting the loose definition of a "free energy" or "perpetual motion" device. Being a proper scientist, Nick readily admits that he does not believe in "free" energy, theorizing that perhaps Velociraptor draws energy from another universe. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen. We know that Velociraptor works incredibly well within GPF's own universe, but that it fails to work within the confines of the "Negaverse" of Emperor Nicholas. Nick theorized that perhaps the true power source had been tapped out—a fact eventually proven to be untrue, as the crew returned home safely under its power—or that it was somehow unreachable from the "Negaverse" while attainable from GPF's home universe.
One initial side effect to the Velociraptor's functionality was an energy dampening field that negated all other electromagnetic power sources within a significant radius. This proved to be a powerful secondary defense for C.R.U.D.E. during the Battle of Manhattan, making the U.G.A.'s job much more difficult. When Nick rebuilt Velociraptor to power the MUTEX, he managed to solve this "problem" with "quite an ingenious twist on interdimensional physics".