The ETAK device, short for Etemnanki, was a Shivan communication technology developed in secret by Admiral Aken Bosch. The device was held aboard Bosch's command ship, the NTF Iceni, where he oversaw the project.
Bosch's research was based on a defunct GTI (Galactic Terran Intelligence) project that involved captured Shivan specimen, which had been terminated after the Hades Rebellion in 2335. Bosch believed that the future of humanity depended on an alliance with the Shivans, claiming that they had no future with the Vasudans. His vision of Neo-Terra, as well as the many Terrans who still harbored deep hatreds for the Vasudans, led him to incite a war with the Galactic Terran-Vasudan Alliance and a faction of rebel compatriots called the Neo-Terran Front.
The ETAK device is the first successful attempt at developing a means of communicating with the Shivans. The device sends messages by transmitting and modulating quantum pulses. Although it is not perfect, ETAK allows Terrans to coherently communicate with the Shivans. Only one example of ETAK technology ever existed, the one held aboard the Iceni, which was destroyed when Bosch scuttled the ship after making contact with the Shivans a second time. However, the GTVA had acquired the specifications of the ETAK device, so a replication of the technology might be developed some time in the future.
ETAK is short for Etemnanki, the ziggurat that may have inspired the Story of Babel.