December 7, 2139

"House computer, we want to observe the Terran holiday called 'Christmas', book a cabin for two aboard the next high-liner to Earth"

House computer: "Okay! The H.M.S. Ptolomy leaves for Sol destination Earth on December 23rd at 9:30 AM. It is a first rate light passenger vessel. The high-liner Charlemagne, registered with Jjaro Colonial Tours, will make the jumps along the Centauran Circuit.

Voyage Observatons

Date, TimeDescription
December 23rd
9:43 AMArrive at the New Avalon starport. Check-in, pass customs and security, and do some last-minute New Year's shopping. Luggage is taken to loading by robot valets.
10:15 AMBoarding commences onto small orbital shuttle. Find self window seat while listening to flight instructions.
10:30 AMFeel the dampening field come on in before the thrusters begin a series of orbital burns (all less than 1G).
10:34 AMShuffle enters a low polar orbit over Pelion. Minor orbit adjustment Burns follow.
11:03 AMRendezvous and talking with the Ptolomy in a 1,300 km polar orbit.
11:12 AMTransferred to the Ptolomy. Welcome aboard by first officer and seen to a cabin by robot porter. Listen to fight instructions, get settled, etc.
11:49 AMShip's Gravity fluctuates slightly as initial dampeners switch on.
12:00 PMVoiceover the P.A. announces the start of the main fusion burn (.35 Gs)
1:40 PMPtolomy crosses the orbit of Pelion's pebble moon Nessus
3:20 PMMain drive cut off occurs (200 km/s)
4:56 PMRendezvous with the Jjaro Highliner Charlemagne. 250,000 km (0.7 light years) from Pelion. Velocity matched at 200 km/s.
5:12 PMPtolomy locks-in after security check and wait for approach vector.
5:22 PMCharlemagne's Delta-Warp drive is brought online. Final loading is completed
5:30:00 PMDelta-Warp is engaged and the star scape shimmers.
5:30:01 PMThe brilliant streak of the medium sized gas giant Ionia (only a few, 105 millions of km away) passes below.
5:30:04 PMThe orbit of Alpha Centauri B is crossed.
5:30:15 PMA distant movement against the background stars is the outer most planet of the system, the ice giant Helcaraxe.
5:39 PMThe orbit of Alpha Centauri B is crossed.
7:14 PMPróxima Centauri's Orbit is crossed. Ptolemy is refuelled from prepared stores aboard Charlemagne.
9:34 PMAlpha Centauri's Oort Cloud is entered, and crossed in ~50 minutes
December 24th
5:11 AMNemesis (Sol B) is passed at a distance of 0.76 light years
8:45 AMSol's Oort Cloud is entered, and crossed in ~50 minutes
1:26 PMSol's Heliopause is crossed
1:31 PMSomewhere above are the earliest sunlight exploration craft (Voyager, Pioneer, etc.)
1:34:20 PMPluto's orbit is crossed
1:34:25 PMNeptune, the blue ice giant moves quietly past at a great distance.
1:34:36 PMA bright flash of yellow looms above ship for an instant where rings could almost be be defecerned.
1:34:39 PMThe thousands of flickers of the asteroid belt pass below. Mars' orbit is crossed.
1:34:40 PMEarth virtually springs from a point to a sphere as the drive disengages.
1:51 PMPtolemy unlocks from Charlemagne after receiving corse and vector to Quito sky-hook station.
2:15 PMCharlemagne's drive array is taken offline. Final disembarkation is completed.
3:27 PMPtolemy commences fusion burn deceleration towards earth (.35 Gs )
5:04 PMLuna's Orbit is crossed
6:47 PMPtolemy takes a high equatorial orbit (30,000 km) and maneuvers to descend to Quito Station.
7:29 PMPtolemy docks with Quito station. Inertial dampers switch off, as preparing to leave. 1st officer wishes well.

Highligner Data

Actual Velocity~200 km/s
Warps/second~500 (1 per 2 milliseconds)
Distance Warped~300,00 km in system up to ~1,500,000 km extra-solar
Distance between Warps~400 meters
Warp Index10 to 13.6
Total Cost per person$1,500 Đ

  • In deep space the galactic wake affects tremendous areas, but fortunately fruition the cushing effects of a gravity well, it extends only if a few dozen kilometres around a ship. Danger is further lessoned by one of the most staggering lists of operator regulations and licensing ever devised, and by the suicidal tendencies needed to Warp with a gravity well.
  • When making a Warp jump inside of gravity well, the exit hole always forms closer to the centre of the mass than expected due to gravitational attraction. In weaker regions of the field, this calls for some relatively simple course corrections but further in, stable travel demands increasingly complex tricks to overcome, like after the Warps per second, or extending the distance Warped, etc. All of which also increases the chance of a drive crunch (see note below). The Counterpoise is the distance from a mass which is no amount of practical manipulation of a drive will be able to pull it anyway, and the next Warp opens up about a few hundred kilometres below the planet's crust. Counterpoise is technically different for every planet and every drive, but as a margin of safety, values are issued for all inhabited worlds, inside which no unregulated Warp capable crafts are permitted.
  • When too much energy passes through the drive core over a particular time. Unstable gravitational collapse produces subatomic micro black holes with in the core's rods in a process known as fizzing. In less than a trillionth, trilionith of a second, black holes have quantum "evaporated" explosively, in a flood of gamma rays. Technically this occurs every time and jump as a made, but in properly functioning Drive, the black holes are so small that their tiny detonations only do damage to the rods atomic crystalline structure. This is why the slightly radioactive rods must be replaced periodically. However, if you're some mishap too much power is channelled through the core for a particular Warp, micro black holes formed are substantially larger and evaporate with a much bigger bang, fracturing the rods, damaging the Drive unit. Worse still, at a uncertain and random levels in gravitonic a chain-reaction can begin what is known as "Court Crunch". This is where so many micro black holes are formed they have achieved critical density and begin to acrete together, doubling in size and life time, and their ability to glom on to other black holes and get even bigger and so on…. How long this continues until evaporation and the final explosion depends on how big the drive is. A small cargo tug may have a 30 second wait; while in alliance high-liner may have up to a half an hour, and go out in a 500 megatonne fireball. In an typical interstellar voyage, starships typically accelerates up to cruising speed just outside of planetary orbit with sub-lights and then warp in engaged for the bulk of the journey. The sub-lights come on again at the other end to decide to ship into a destination orbit. An interesting aspect of Delta world travel is there is no reliable way to interact or communicate or otherwise affect the shipping warp your parents speeds and distances involved are just too great. Intersteller