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Crystal drive

Garden of Athena is a far future realm of Suzerain, part of the Catalyst family of realms. Central to the power of the Athenian Hegemony was the ability to cross the vastness of space.

See also pulse drive.

Crystal Drives

Athenian space ships used the mysterious crystal drive to propel them through the void at speeds faster than light. Exactly how and why the crystal drives work was not known, even to the engineers who constructed them. They constructed them according to the specifications laid down by the Oracle, and as long as they did not deviate from the instructions they worked.

     A crystal drive looked like a huge green or blue-green crystal ball when it was finished, hence the name. This crystal was then encased in a highly conductive shell of metal alloys which was connected to a series of Helios packs. The encased crystal is then put in a frame similar to what you would use to hold a globe or a gyroscope. Finally this whole arrangement is then placed somewhere within the volume of the ship (often close to the bridge, but not always) where the Logician-navigator have easy access to it.

     From the crystal drive a delicate lace of conductive material (the Athenians used gold) was laid out throughout the entire hull of the vessel, almost like blood vessels in a human body. And as with blood vessels, this lace was often well protected inside the bio-ceramic walls rather than out in the open.

     To use the crystal drive the Logician-navigator had to calculate the distance and position of his goal, turn the crystal within its casing to the corresponding position and calculate the amount of energy to be released into the crystal.
     Once the calculations over, the crystal drive was energized and the ship was propelled towards its destination at speeds faster than light.

     There was no acceleration when using a crystal drive, it instantly moved at the speed decided by the Logician. Instead the ship began decelerating towards whatever sub-light speeds (and direction) the ship had been flying with at the moment the crystal drive was ignited.
     The time between the ignition of the crystal drive to the time it again moves at its original speed was commonly known as a “drop” or “jump” among the Athenians.

     Even the tiniest impurities in the crystal can result in great variations in speed and direction when the finished drive is fitted to a ship. As a result most drives are tested on smaller ships, before being refitted in their intended vessel. Wonky but functional crystal drives are often sold to smaller city-states who use them for Crystal Pigeons or other smaller crafts.

     While it was quite possible to ignite a crystal drive anywhere, it was exceedingly dangerous to do so when close to a gravitational pull of more than 0.01G. The ship would move to super light speeds instantly, but anything within; passengers, cargo and furniture would be held back a tiny fraction of a nano-second, and be smashed against walls at phenomenal speeds.
The same was true during a drop, which was why really big stars or black holes needed to be navigated around carefully by the Athenians.

Realms > Mortal Realms > Catalyst > Garden Of Athena
Features Of Realms > Technology

Created by: Last Modification: Thursday 26 of November, 2009 18:50:49 UTC by magnus.

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