Skip Warp (Tech 3)
Also variously referred to as Warp drive,
Skip Drive, Tunnel Warp, and Wave Ryder
object with mass can accelerate past the speed of light, the "space
time continuum" itself, having no mass, can if properly
motivated. The Skip Drive
essentially isolates a chunk of space around a starship and
imposes upon it a controlled, quantum-tunneling effect. The ship and
anything within the functional space of the quantum field is essentially
transported forward a short distance. By repeating the tiny jumps in
rapid secession, a ship can be carried through space at incredible
speeds. The actual travel process is
somewhat linear and uncontrolled. The actual precise destination
is subject to uncertainty principles, the deviation being greater in
First, externally mounted "nav field generators", or "pocks" create a complicated shell of
gravitational and quantum fields around the ship. The combined fields, or "skip capsule"
need to be somewhat larger than the ship, as it is the actual
space around the ship being propelled, and anything within the field will be carried with
the ship. A gravitational sweep ("push") is often done with the navigational grav-field generators to clear the area
around the ship as the fields form. Before each microjump, a ship
carries out a rapid series
of sensor sweeps ("pings") in which the relative positions of nearby matter are databased and calculations are run to avoid collision.
"Forward emitters" then create a quantum beam or tunnel. One emitter creates a beam, more than one create a wider tunnel. When energized,
large Attractor Pods at the edges of the ship are Vaguely attracted to the quantum tunnel. Turum entanglers (or Turum grids)
are manually engaged that sync the Attractor Pods to the specific state of the quantum beam or tunnel and cause the ship and captured space-time
continuum to "skip" rapidly from desireable point to desirable point along the quantum tunnel.
The ship is essentially in real space during the entire Skip Warp
travel, as the quantum displacements are practically instantaneous
relative to the time spend scanning and calculating the next jump; as a
result, technologies have been developed to grab ships out of warp.
This technology is probably the most common method of
traveling interstellar distances quickly, being used in some shape
or form by every major starfaring race and empire. The drive can be used
in-system but its efficiency drops considerably due to extended
calculation time to avoid hazards. External gravity
fields make it impossible to maintain an effective warp field around
the ship. The amount of random matter and debris within a system
increase exponentially over that found in open space. Extremely short
jumps and extremely long scans need to be made to minimize the possibility of collision or
gravitational interference with the warp bubble.