Most space worthy vessels are not as sleek of shiny as crafts from Star Wars or Star Trek. Most ships are large hulking vessels that, while they do look cool to a certain extent, really aren't as pretty as humanity would like to believe. All registered ships (excepting Standard-class) are officially (and legally) referred to as SSV (Sanctioned Space-fairing Vessel) followed by the name of the ship and the ships ID code. Example: SSV Hope Diamond D-345-A (a Martian Defence Fleet supply ship pictured right). Please note, ship names are normally printed in italic text.
List of Ship Classification
(Ship class names are ranked from largest to smallest)
1. Venerable-class Vessel
2. Solstice-class Vessel
3. Harrier-class Vessel
4. Astral-class Vessel
5. Standard-class Vessel
1. Venerable-class – Largest vessel (anything larger is considered an orbiter) in the ‘Verse. Usually considered floating cities. Crews of 2000+ bodies. Usually greater than 1000ft in size. E.g: World ships, Largest military vessels, and Deep Space (inter-galactic exploration) Research vessels.
2. Solstice-class – Standard military warship size and large inter-planetary/inter-galactic freighters. Crews of 750-1,999 bodies approx. Size is variable, however usually over 400ft and under 1000ft. E.g: Battleships, Military Capital ships/Command vessels, Terraforming vessels, Colonization vessels, and LARGE (and less common) civilian cruise ships.
3. Harrier-class – Most common, non-personal-use spacecraft in the ‘Verse (though there are some rather vain billionaires who own private, Harrier-class yachts). Crews range from a few to around 700 bodies. Sizes vary, though usually over 200ft and usually under 600ft. E.g: Military frigate, Standard inter-planetary freighters, Civilian cruise ships, Science Research vessels, local planetary enforcement.
4. Astral-class – Smallest ‘slipstream’ capable class of spaceship. Often used by the rich and famous to traverse the stars (inter-stellar private tour buses). Crew is usually no more than 100-200 bodies. Sized no smaller than 100ft and no larger than 300ft. Smallest class of vessel legally allowed to be armed with weapons (ONLY except is military fighters). E.g: Military invasion ships, local planetary enforcement, Military support vessel, private yachts, and smaller Science vessel
5. Standard-class – All non-‘slipstream’ vessels. Anything below 100ft in length with a variable number of crew members. E.g: Short range rangers/transports, Military dropships, personal craft (private yachts, limos, taxis, etc.), Raiding ships
Note on Ships Larger than Venerable-class: Ships larger than Venerable-class are usually semi-stationary orbiters that spend very little time traversing the galaxy, circling planets instead. When an orbiter is moved it is usually a very big deal with military involvement.
All slipstream-capable vessels have two different types of propulsion systems built into them. The slipstream (or Faster Than Light) systems are discussed later on. In terms of sublight travel as well as general power generation, ships are equipped with an HSPC…or Harnessed Singularity Power Core. A micro-singularity is contained at the centre of a power core system, and the violent bursts of radiation basically power the ship. HSPCs last about 20 years before they need to be replaced.
Some ship designers also opt for an additional propulsion system called Solar Sails. Theres are retractable solar panels that convert the rapidly absorbed light into controlled solar winds, propelling the ship forward. These lack the mobility of thrusters powered by an HSPC, and are usually an auxiliary system on commercial starliners for added speed.
The idea of slipstream or faster-than-light travel has been toyed with since the very early days of human civilization on Earth-I (pre-travelling among the stars). It was first developed when a multi-national governmental body realized that Earth-I was filling up rather quickly. Thus, Slipstream went from dream to reality…rather quickly. It cut down the travel times between systems from years and months to days and weeks.
Slipstream travel and the technology powering is not like conventional faster-than-light travel in fiction. It is comparable to Light Speed in Star Wars and Warp Speed from Star Trek. While it accomplishes the same thing as these graceful examples, Slipstream is a rather dangerous process. In summary, travelling by Slipstream involves punching a hole in the fabric of reality, being propelled through said hole, and appearing in a new location via second hole in the skein of reality after some complex mathematics. The process is outlined in greater detail below:
Stage One: Preparation
The ship's Slipstream drive is powered up and begins calculating 'Jump' specifics when given the ships present location and intended destination. At this stage the Slipstream drive is also storing energy for the sub-Reality pulse that is required for travel.
Stage Two: Safety
Calculations are completed at this point. Spacial Distortion Shield (SDS) is activated. This is force field is designed to protect the vessel during the Slipstream jump. Without this shield (or should this shield fail), the force of a slipstream jump, regardless of the distance covered, will undoubtedly destroy the vessel.
Stage Three: Ignition
Providing there haven't been computational malfunctions or errors with the SDS, the vessel is ready to jump. The Slipstream drive emits a sub-Reality pulse, ripping a hole in the very surface of reality. The vessel accelerates into the rift and is hurled a speeds faster than the speed of light towards their location. They are allowed to do this as a result of moving outside of reality. The space inside the SDS is normal, and unaffected by the total absence of reality, thus keeping the crew and the vessel safe.
Stage Four: Arrival
After a brief trip inside what is effectively the void, a second sub-Reality pulse is emitted, tearing a second hole at the destination, allowing the Slipstream vessel to return to normality. The SDS is deactivated, and the Slipstream drive powers off.