Lions of Judah: Hyperspace

A cropped map. Yay!
A cropped view of human space, showing the area of the Southern Marches and some of the neighboring alien powers.

As I have said before:

“Hyperspace… does not follow the contours of normal space the way that it was originally expected… meaning that traveling… [in hyperspace] might not take you to the star that is closest in that direction to your start point in normal space.”

The consequence of that is that all travel is measured according to its hyperspatial directions and distance (which are named after the planetary cardinal directions), rather than normal space. Some stars that are hundreds of light years apart in normal space are neighbors by way of hyperspace, while stars that are dozen light years apart might be months apart by way of hyperspace. This makes reliable expansion outside of hyperspace virtually impossible, especially considering the times involved in normal space travel.

Hyperspace is an energetic place, requiring special waves be emitted from the drive to keep the ship from being annihilated upon entry, creating a kind of shield against the environment (but a different kind of shield entirely than the gravitic shields used in normal space).

The hyperdrive is composed of three intertwined devices: a dimensional phase-shifter, a wave emitter, and a reactionless drive. Many larger ships also have another part to their drive: a hyperspatial frequency-draw, which can draw basically free energy from the hyperspatial dimension(s).

Combat in hyperspace–yes, there is combat in hyperspace; there is potential combat anywhere there are people–involves disrupting one part of the hyperdrive; namely, the wave-emitter that protects the ship from the environment of the other dimensions. For this purpose, larger warships (mostly cruisers, but some destroyers mount a few) carry relatively short-ranged beams that cause fluctuations in a hyperdrive’s wave emissions, eventually popping the ‘bubble’ and destroying the enemy vessel.

Hyperspatial forts, on the other hand, mount not only these beams, but also huge homing-missile launchers. These missiles are large enough (about half the size of a corvette) that they can mount a partial hyperdrive of their own, and can thus ram into the bubble of a ship’s hyperdrive and destabilize it that way. These weapons are useless if a hyperspatial fort is, say, caught in normal space, but that is why most systems with hyperspatial forts also boast at least one normal space fort, guarding the weak point in space-time where ships can enter or exit hyperspace. This way hyperspatial forts are still somewhat protected when they exit hyperspace and load supplies and rotate crew in and out.

 As one might imagine, forts and ships capable of doing this are tremendously expensive. The Knights and Sisters, with one of the largest budgets in human-settled space, field a hyper-capable fleet of a little less than a thousand ships. The Swarm make it over a thousand hyper-capable ship only because they rely heavily on the cheaper corvette classes, and field relatively few cruisers.

To put a definite figure to this, a carrier costs 4.75-6.5 billion New Hong-Kong Dollars (NHD). Compare this to the table below:

To anyone who thinks the Knights and Sisters’ gross per capita income seems low: “GPDP” stands for “Gross Private Domestic Product”; because so much of the Twin Orders’ funding is of unknown origin, but is also so large, government spending by the orders is disproportionately high, even in comparison to the socialist Federation.

Even in the very wealthy Old Sol Network, the average person earns NHD80 a year. This means that hyperspatial travel is very expensive, and usually for the rich, the powerful, or the well-trained. Your average citizen of Nezahualcoyotl, is only rarely going to meet their neighbors from, say, Merida. Unless a colony is being founded (in which case it is usually sponsored by a single nation), most people are content with one entire star-system to explore. There will, of course, always be exceptions, but in general this is the case. Even within the overarching fabric of, say, the Empire of the Stars only military personnel and a few traders, nobility, administrators, and the military will see many different systems.

Anyway, I am back onto Lions of Judah. I have resumed writing daily, so expect occasional posts like this one. I will still work on Rozal and SaSS:R, mostly when I want to watch something and need something to keep myself occupied, but this is going to be the biggest thing on my mind for now. Let me know what you think below!

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