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Hyperspace: How it works
Ironwatsas
I think we need to codify how Hyperspace works (to what extent possible) in the PDS verse, considering how important it is to the story. Now, I won't lie to you, this is going to contain a lot of technobabble and made up physics, and since I am not a Theoretical Physicist you will have to excuse any major inaccuracies. We should try, though, to keep Hyperspace relatively internally consistent.

For the most part, the technology and physics of the PDS-verse is based on things which are known to exist or theoretically possible in the real world. Certain technologies (plasma weapons, space fighters, stealth/cloaking, etc) may be a bit exaggerated, but this can be hand-waved as 'having more technology than we 21st century humans do). The things that we can't easily chalk up to mortal knowledge, stuff like Psychic Powers, Gravity Manipulation, and FTL travel, are tied to Hyperspace. It is our 'verse's "Magic", "The Force", etc. It's existence enables and shapes most of how the technology in the verse is used. The reason trans-galactic commerce, travel, communication, and warfare is possible and feasible as casually as it is is because Hyperspace doesn't require an immense level of technology to use. Were it translated to the real world, it would be entirely feasible for Earth humans to use it with just a few major technological steps from what we are capable of today (Namely Navigation Systems, Power Generation, and Spacecraft Chassis capable of physically supporting a Hyperdrive within them, plus the requisite crew requirements).

--The Basics--

If you consider the Universe as a flat sheet of paper, real-space can be considered ink or paint drawn on that piece of paper. Hyperspace (or 'subspace' as it is properly referred to in this context) would be equivalent to having a piece of paper, specifically one torn from the Necronomicon, sitting underneath. However, physics in hyperspace is completely different than that of real-space; the paradigms of Space, Time, and Numbers are nonsensical in that environment. Distance becomes a trivial thing, with a spaceship limited only by the 'speed' of certain High R-state mathematical algorithms which define it as being 'in hyperspace' rather than 'in realspace'.

A hyper-drive requires five basic components. A Quantum Wavefront generator, a Navigation System, a computer capable of High R-state operations, an extreme amount of energy, and a Spaceship to put all this stuff in. Typically the Navigation System (which defines where you're going), and R-state computer (which does all the Sorcery that make this work), are combined into a single suite; the HSNAV systems one would build ingame a as a subsystem module combine all these elements, although the physical Quantum Wavefront Generator would be built directly into the ship's energy grid and powerplant. The fusion power-plants on most spacecraft are simply not powerful enough to run a Hyperdrive on their own; most common systems use a controlled Matter-Antimatter reaction to generate enough power to run the Hyperspace Generator.

A typical operation sequence runs like this:
  1. Nescessary pre-jump safety checks are performed, internal bulkheads and window blinders are sealed. Non-hardened systems are shut down. Exposed parts of the ship to space are evacuated.
  2. Origin and Target coordinates are fed into the computer systems.
  3. The HSNAV system plots a path, the straightest possible, taking into account the positions of any stars or anomalies in it's way.
  4. The path coordinates are sent into a special supercomputer which elevates them to a high R-state; which conducts mathematical operations in subspace instead of realspace.
  5. Arbitrary high R-state operations cause changes in the state of hyperspace, which make conditions possible to generate and direct a quantum wavefront.
  6. The resultant algorithms, both in Flat and High R-states are fed into the Quantum Wavefront Generator's control systems.
  7. The ship's Antimatter generation systems engage, and sufficient reactant mass is annihilated to generate power for the jump.
  8. The energy passes into the Quantum Wavefront's apparatus, with most of the energy being fed into hyperspace to manifest and shape the wavefront, with the rest used to open the 'window' through which the ship passes into hyperspace.
  9. The window is defined by emitters on the ship's hull which have an 'echo' effect in hyperspace, creating a rectangular portal of sufficient dimensions to accept the ship through it.
  10. The portal moves along the defined length, absorbing a box-shaped area of realspace, containing the ship and any other matter within it.
  11. The ship is then in hyperspace. The quantum wavefront carries the 'box' of realspace along the path defined by the R-state computing to the destination coordinates.
  12. Once the ship arrives, the process is reversed. The HSNAV systems automatically create an exit portal and the ship is disgorged back into realspace.
  13. Radiation scrubbers are released into exposed areas of the ship or the hull to clean up any residual gamma particles picked up in hyperspace.
  14. Post jump checks are initiated, and the ship's systems are re-activated. Coordinates are verified, and the ship is ready to resume normal service.


Most of the process between jump initiation and the opening of the hyperspace window takes but a few seconds. Radiation cleanup may take longer then that, as neutron activation of hull surfaces varies between jumps due to a variety of factors.

--R-states, Mathematics, and Physics in Hyperspace.--

While the basic principals of operation, construction, and easily observable information are well known to all Galactic Races, the physics of hyperspace itself, what happens 'outside the blue box', and why much of this works are largely a mystery. Because hyperspace isn't strictly 'part' of the universe, it is impossible to observe directly from within the universe. Information known about it is derived from it's various side effects; hyperspace interacts with both Gravity and Dark Energy, and seems to possess 'eddies' and 'currents' within them, although these are generally too minuscule to physically affect astronomical objects.

The majority of Galactic Society's understanding of hyperspace comes from mathematical algorithms. Key to the understand of these is the concept of the 'R-state'. When a number is drawn on a blackboard, piece of paper, or compter, or conceptualized in (most) humans' brains', it exists in a "Flat" R-state. It is just a number, a symbol, an arbitrary representation of quantity. When in a "High" R-state however, Weird Shit? starts to happen. In Hyperspace, Arbitrary concepts and representations can have physical effects. This is the fundamental reason why hyperspace works, and how it is possible for intelligence within the universe proper to interact with it. Mathematical algorithms become incredibly powerful, since they can, almost like sorcery, affect such things as Quantum Wavefronts, moving star-ships from one place to another, controlling gravity fields, etc. However, there are hard limits to what can be done with the current understanding of R-state physics.

To convert and calculate numbers in High R-states requires advanced quantum supercomputers and AI programs capable of switching between the states, and compensating for the changes in the ways mathematics work. For instance, numbers which would be "Imaginary" (a + bi) in flat R-state algebra, such as w30;-1, are perfectly valid in a high R-state, and vice versa. Quantum Algorithms must be able to translate these changes into usable code, and elevate it into a high R-state. Quantum entanglement allows these two states to exist simultaneously in the same machine, in two phases of reality. Most of what is known of R-state computing is a direct result of Progenitor research, and appeared to be one of the things Sajuuk intended to study when he created the Three Great Cores. Expanding the knowledge of R-state mathematics and creating new things that can be done using these physics is the bleeding edge of mathematical research in the PDS universe. However, as explained below in the 'Hazards and Safety' section, there are a number of seemingly insurmountable obstacles that preclude research beyond what is currently known.

While Hyperspace is technically a different 'dimension' or 'universe' to realspace, it is not entirely detached from reality. Going back to the 'two stacks of paper' analogy, some of the 'ink' of the universe atop the topmost piece of paper can be said to bleed through to the underlying subspace in the form of Gravity. Stars, Black Holes, Planets, and artificial Gravity Wells and other objects with mass in Realspace have an effect on the way Quantum Wavefronts work in hyperspace, potentially collapsing them. This limits the use of Hyperspace Drives to deep space, and also forces travel into 'lanes' of relatively low gravity. For the most part, short-jump hyperdrives are exclusively point to point, due mostly to the complexity of machinery and R-state calculations necessary for any sort of steering. Only the Progenitor Far-jumpers can reliably change course mid-jump, and even they are extremely limited in by how much to the capabilities of the host vessel.

Physical objects in realspace, however, do not interact with objects in hyperspace. Were it not for the Gravitational effects, a starship could hyperspace directly through a star and not be affected.

--Hazards & Safety--

While for the most part, Hyperspace is safe to those inside a properly constructed and shielded starship, there are a number of safety considerations that must be made. The environment in Hyperspace is extremely bright and radioactive, due to the interaction of light emitted by the ship interacting with the edges of the 'box' of reality, producing an extremely luminous form of Cherenkov radiation. A substantial amount of Alpha, Beta, and Gamma particles are also present in hyperspace, which are assumed to be a side effect of whatever physics are going on outside of the 'box' interacting with realspace. The radiation levels are usually low enough that passive shielding on starships is sufficient to block them, but it necessitates that exposed areas like hangar bays be evacuated during Hyperjump translations.

Within Hyperspace, the spaceship, specifically it's Quantum Wavefront Generator, acts as the 'tether point' of the 'box' of realspace which it carries with it. Firing it's thrusters while in hyperspace would have no effect, as the box of reality would simply move with it, and the Quantum Wavefront moves independently of events happening in realspace (unrelated to Gravity). However, for example, were a ship to fire a weapon or launch a probe, that object would be able to fly into the side of the 'box'. Due to the phase changes of matter outside the box, it is assumed that the object would instantly be destroyed on contact, although whatever actually happens on the other side of the box is entirely unknown.

The most common danger to ships in Hyperspace is gravitational interaction with the Quantum Wavefront. Gravitational effects from real-space are amplified within Hyperspace, and if sufficiently severe can cause structural damage to the ship in Hyperspace, or at the most extreme end, collapse the Quantum Wavefront entirely. Most starships, therefore, have redundant safety systems which will drop the ship out of hyperspace if a dangerous gravitational anomaly is detected. Simulating a gravity well and hard-tripping these safeties is the main mechanism by which most modern Hyperspace inhibitor systems work (as opposed to the HW1 era GravWells, which physically generate their own localized gravity field).

It is unknown what would happen if someone were to activate a Hyperspace Inhibitor or Gravity Well generator in hyperspace; no one has tried it and lived to tell the tale...

What exists 'in' hyperspace itself and not the 'box' that contains a ship in hyperspace has been called into question. The Techno-organic viral entity commonly known as the Beast is known to have originated within hyperspace, picked up during an intergalactic translation by an ancient Progenitor vessel. This obviously raises a number of questions as to what other entities may lurk in Hyperspace, beyond the detection ability of current technology. Even the most scientifically advanced races of the galaxy have been unable to answer this question.

Part of the reason for this is yet another hazard of Hyperspace, or specifically research thereof. There is a near 100% correlation between empirical study of Hyperspace Phenomena and acquired mental disorders, if not outright insanity in Researchers. Hyperspace is demonstrably proven to exude a memetic hazard to those observing it, or attempting to observe it, directly. Researchers must take great caution and care in the discovery, control, and dissemination of information in order to prevent mass mental contamination. Research of Hyperspace is therefore primarily done by Bentusi-derived "Black Box" artificial intelligence and supercomputers, specially designed and shielded to produce results and information that the human brain is capable of understanding. In short, Hyperspace Research beyond a certain point is extremely dangerous in a Lovecraftean sense, and typically only done by machines or dangerous eccentrics.

--Known Unknowns--

Beyond Hyperspace's easily observable effects and 'safe' empirical research, virtually nothing is known. What happens beyond the 'box' of real-space is seemingly impossible to determine. Researchers have tried everything from Quantum Scanning to Physically sending probes into hyperspace to experiments with Phased Telemetry signaling to overtly Occult Rituals have yielded little in the way of useful results. Mapping and visualizing Hyperspace itself is impossible, as is quantifying distiance, time, and any sort of phenomina therein. R-state computing only seems to work because it is imposing the concept of Numbers (which exists in Realspace but not Hyperspace) forcibly. How this produces any sort of useful effect is, again, unknown.

It now appears that solving these questions was the intention of Sajuuk himself, when he created the Great Hyperspace Cores, which were not only incredibly powerful mechanisms of interstellar transport, but also designed to operate as part of a larger computer system. The foundry ship which forged them was both a factory ship and a massive research vessel; it's immense size and hull geometry due to the equally immense batteries of AI hardware and their necessary support systems. Ultimately, the three cores were transferred to Sajuuk's Flagship to power it, when research gave way to Open Warfare. Whatever the Foundry Ship managed to discover was lost through the ages.

Research into Hyperspace, while exceedingly dangerous to the observer, is increasingly necessary in light of the possible existence of life forms within it. The origin of the Beast is a prime example of this, although the exact circumstances prior to it's encounter with the Naggarok are mere speculation at this point. While Hyperspace travel, accounting for the known hazards, is extremely safe; many millions of starships successfully transit hyperspace, with at most a few hundred a year encountering some manner of problem; the potential for something as dangerous as the Beast existing within it is a severe concern for the primary mechanism of interstellar transport and commerce.

--Psychics & Paraphysics--

There are currently two ways of manipulating and working with Hyperspace; by use of supercomputers, AIs, and machinery, or by what would in an earlier time be called 'sorcery' and 'witchcraft'. "Psychic Abilities" seemingly enabled by Hyperspace itself are demonstrably real; as the old Taiidan Empire, Progenitor Gods, Bentusi, P3, and several other noted cases prove.

Because high R-state computing is not dependent on the medium by which the calculations are made, it is theoretically possible to make such calculations with a mere pen and paper. In practice, this is impossible, because the Pen, Paper, and Ink are all in realspace, and in a flat R-state. There exist, however, a rare few; one in tens of billions, who can manipulate R-states via thought alone. No one can really explain how or why this is the case, and in many cases Psychics go their entire lives without they or anyone else realizing they are anything other than normal. The reason being that the unaltered human mind, for the most part, is not powerful enough to process information fast or in sufficient quantities to do much except perhaps a slight amount of precognition or total recall (considering that Time is nonsensical in Hyperspace), and that working legitimate R-state equations in one's head invites abject madness, as several test cases have shown.

There are a few cases, however, of human individuals with extensive Cybernetic or Genetic modification who are capable of fully utilizing Hyperspace physics to affect the real world. The most famous case, of course, is The Great Maker himself, Sajuuk. While he is now known to not be a god in the divine sense (at least, not until he was actively worshipped as one), he may as well have been in his own era. He was a powerful Psychic, who's abilities were further enhanced by cybernetic augmatics which integrated him with his technologies and creations. His abilities and intelligence must have indeed been truly awe inspiring, compared even with the most powerful psychics of the present time. The other major Progenitor 'Gods', Koshiir-Ra, Qwaar-Jet, and Jakuul, are assumed to have had similar augmentations and abilities within their own niches of the Progenitor Hierarchy.

A more recent (and infamous) case, is the old Taiidan Emperor, Riesstiu IV the Second. While nothing compared to Sajuuk, the Emperor's powers were still fearsome in the extreme. His being lauded as a God-emperor by his followers was less to his cult of personality and propaganda, and more toward his abilities as a heavily gene-altered psychic. Each iteration of Riesstiu's line had been cloned or gene-manipulated specifically to grant him incredible power. This was further enhanced by the machinery in his palaces and his Mothership. He would have been easily capable of telekenetically disabling Karan S'jet from across a Star System, or manipulating gravity in his own vicinity. It is said that the Emperor's fits of rage and madness could easily kill men near him, and that he could levitate objects with a mere thought.

However, this came with a number of drawbacks. The most obvious of this was the Emperor's increasingly deluded mental state. While not a particularly stable individual to begin with, the Emperor's constant exposure to hyperspace, and centuries of drug use (to counteract these effects) caused his policies and edicts to become increasingly anomalous. The second drawback was that the Emperor was permanently entombed within a life support system, built into his Flagship and his Palaces. This enabled him to command the Empire with an iron fist from virtually anywhere, but severely limited his mobility and independence.

It should be noted that neither Karan S'jet nor Makaan are known to be Psychics, although it is unknown how the former will be effected being in possession of the Three Cores and Sajuuk's flagship.

--Derivative Technologies--

Hyperspace technology's main commercial purpose is interstellar transport, it is also the enabling factor for most technologies related to Gravity Manipulation and Faster-Than-Light communication. Most modern starships above what would be considered to be a military corvette, and many civilian passenger ships even smaller than that, contain artificial gravity systems. The physics of these systems is based on those of Hyperspace Technology and R-state computing. Most ArtGrav systems use oppositely charged plates on the 'floor' and 'ceiling' of a vessel, constructed from quantum-enabled materials and fitted with integrated computer circuitry capable of basic high R-state operations. These create a constant quantum acceleration indistinguishable from gravity between the plates, in the desired direction, but without physically affecting the star-ship beyond. For simplicity's sake, most spacecraft have a well defined 'top' and 'bottom', and a building-like stacked deck arrangement, although this may not be the case all of the time. These gravity systems also provide inertia-dampening qualities, as objects within a gravity field are in essence 'isolated' from outside acceleration.

The same principals used in Gravity Plating can be applied on a larger scale to propel a ship. This is primarily a hallmark of advanced races like the Bentusi, P3, and T-MAT. These races are known for propelling their larger ships with highly complicated 'Gravity Undercurrent Translation' (GUT) drives. These systems allow for incredibly efficient maneuvering and inertia-dampening, allowing for the immense acceleration of Bentusi Tradeships. They work on the same principal as gravity plating, but can create far more powerful fields in far more complicated shapes than the 'opposed plates' system. These systems however require substantial alterations in starship engineering, power distribution, and energy generation, as well as exotic materials and extremely complicated high R-state algorithms to effectively control. GUT drives are also extremely vulnerable to military-grade Gravity Well generators, limiting their usefulness on warships. The extremely high energy requirements also restrict GUT drives to very large spacecraft.

Most "Phased Telemetry" FTL systems are based on shunting an electromagnetic signal such as a Radio Transmission partway into hyperspace, allowing it to instantly travel point to point. In theory, this is far easier then moving a starship, since radio waves are effectively massless. The main problem has always been how to ensure the signal gets from point A to B without some manner of internal navigation system. Currently, this is accomplished with a form of Quantum Entanglement in which a 'forked' High R-state algorithm is used on two satellites. These satellites must be simultaneously programmed with the algorithm, and will then be permanently linked (unless destroyed or reformatted). Telemetry received by a satellite is translated by the High R-state algorithm to it's partner instantly, regardless of location, then rebroadcast to it's destination, or through a second pair of satellites. Untold millions of satellite pairs are spread across the galaxy, forming the basis of the Galactic Communications Network. The main limiting factor is the amount of bandwidth the Algorithm can transmit at one time, and 'light lag' from the time the signals have to bounce from satellite to satellite via real-space. Typically, government or military traffic is given the highest priority, with major corporations or wealthy organizations buying priority usage below that. Interstellar e-mail transmissions for the average user can have a transit time of days to weeks, depending on traffic requirements.

The technologies to disrupt hyperspace drives are themselves based on Hyperspace. Hyperspace Inhibitors are categorized as either Passive, Semi-Active, or Active. Passive systems are those which fool a target ship's safety systems into thinking there is an anomaly or point mass in it's path and causing it to fall out of hyperspace. Due to their relatively low cost and simplicity, and their ability to selectively target ships, they are mostly used by law enforcement or criminal enterprises, however they can be easily circumvented by overriding the safety software on the target ship. Semi-active systems project a moderate point-mass which is powerful enough to trip a hyperdrive's safeties or deform it's quantum wave-front, but too minuscule to physically affect starships. Most hyperdrives, such as the modular models used by Hiigaran and Vaygr ships, are of this variety. Active systems are large, point-mass generating gravity wells. These are usually frigate-sized self propelled Gravity well generators, remotely controlled. They can force a ship out of hyperspace even with it's safeties disabled, and cause substantial damage if the safeties are indeed ignored. They are often so powerful they can overwhelm the engines on small craft, as well as interfere with the operation of advanced GUT systems. These types of Gravity wells, however, are very expensive to build and maintain, and their immense gravitational power precludes the fitting of weapons or any sort of extraneous systems to them, and have the side effect of accelerating incoming projectiles toward them, limiting their effectiveness on the modern battlefield to specific niche roles.

Hyperspace generators need not be mounted onto a starship to send objects from point A to B. Standalone hyperspace gates are ubiquitous across the galaxy, as most major star-faring nations have established networks of hypergates to allow for interstellar commerce. While most commercial vessels, like their military counterparts, possess hyperdrives, most companies will avoid the costs of reactant mass and hyperdrive maintenance if it can be avoided. Fixed hypergates also have the benefit of allowing ships without hyperdrives (like small craft and fighters) to jump between their points. Most hyperspace gates are large, bulky, space-station sized affairs designed to allow many ships to transit at once. They are typically built in heavily built-up areas near major planets, and have other infrastructure such as cargo switching stations, customs checkpoints, and orbital colonies nearby, to simplify logistics. Military use of Hyperspace Gates varies situationally; because Civilian Hypergates are major choke-points, they are typically avoided unless both ends are well secured. In most cases, the flexibility of being able to jump anywhere is more valuable to a Space Navy. It is this reason why the Hiigaran Navy never adopted similar hyperspace gates to the portable models used by the Vaygr.

Civilian Hyperspace gate networks, however, have their limitations. Most standards which govern their design and use vary between whatever nation developed them, and they are typically only practical to maintain in heavily built up areas. Long distance travel between star nations typically takes weeks or even months, and requires dozens or hundreds of short jumps to avoid obstacles such as gravity wells or areas of high pirate activity. Even then, stellar drift or unforeseen celestial phenomena can throw a commercial gate network into chaos. It is therefore considered a major, if not the major civic infrastructure achievement of those star empires that build them.
 
Ironwatsas
--Slipgates and Crystals--

While for the most part, the only interaction between Hyperspace and Real-space comes from occasional eddies of Gravitational Interference, a few other curious natural phenomena have been observed. Slipgates are, essentially, wormholes created by an unusual interaction between Hyperspace and Realspace. They function as natural hyperspace gates. Before the discovery of the Great hyperspace cores by the Bentusi, these were essentially the only means of faster than light interstellar travel.

Their formation remains a mystery; none have been observed to form. It is hypothesized that they are created out of extremely high-energy events such as Supernovae or collapsing black holes. Others suspect they may be a relict of a Progenitor or even pre-progenitor civilization's transport network. Like hyperspace gates, Slipgates can be used for transportation, but being natural phenomena, and subject to cycles of destabilization, are potentially much more hazardous to transit. Certain technologies exist which can stabilize and control Slipgates, which has allowed them to be used as a cheap alternative to manufactured hypergates where their location is convenient. The modern Yomi hyperspace network is itself based partly on stabilized slipgates which were used during the Pre-imperial period prior to their first contact with the outside world.

Functionally, a slipgate differs from a hyperdrive, in that rather than being a 'box' of realspace carried along within a quantum wavefront, a slipgate is a 'string' connected by semi-permanent portals at either end. In it's relaxed state, the string is microscopic in width, and the portals are 'relaxed', appearing as glowing spheres (due to Cherenkov radiation interacting with the boundary between Hyperspace and Realspace). To allow macroscopic objects to pass through a slipgate must be propped open, typically by the energy of a starship approaching it, to allow it to become physically large enough to accept the ship. In a stable slipgate, the ship passes through in a similar process to a normal hyperspace jump. Because slipgates come in all shapes and sizes, some are not physically large or energetic enough to accept large craft.



A byproduct of Slipgates, and hyperspace in general, are what are known as Markamite crystals (named for their discoverer), which appear as large, unstable, purple-colored crystalline asteroids. It's first known discovery by Hiigarans occurred by Kiith Somtaaw in the Koreth's Rift sector, while the Somtaaw at the time were unable to perform the necessary research to determine their origin, they were able to adapt their PDA technology to process the volatile crystals, which have an extremely high energy and mineral density. Subsequent research has shown that Markamite consists of a variety of chemical elements, but who's subatomic structure has been jumbled beyond recognition.

The primary theory is that Markamite is the result of what happens when normal matter is trapped in hyperspace, either asteroids caught in unstable slipgates or, more disturbingly, spaceships which were lost due to hyperspace malfunctions. The anomalous physics within Hyperspace are believed to rearrange matter into a homogenous crystallized structure, with electrons translocated into positions which would otherwise be impossible under the laws of conventional chemistry. The Purple coloration comes from the fact that near-violet is the color primarily reflected by the crystalline lattice.

When disgorged from hyperspace, Markamite's constituent minerals remain frozen in whatever state they were in until exposed to a sufficient energy spike to cause the electrons to violently rearrange themselves back to their proper form. This process invariably causes collisions between atoms, due to the chaotic and impossible nature of the formation, which causes what is effectively a nuclear explosion. Because of the unique conditions required for the crystals' formation, and their extreme volitility, they are extremely rare and difficult to process. Eventually, crystals will become unstable due to asteroid impacts or exposure to starlight, and will detonate under natural circumstances.

Because of the extremely high mass and energy density of these crystals, they are exceptionally valuable to miners, but their anomalous nature requires special handling techniques. Excess energy or contact with other matter can cause the atomic 'snap back' and detonate the crystals, making them challenging to handle. As well, special Phased Disassembler Arrays are required to process the crystals back to their original makeup in a controlled manner without causing detonation. Most of the handling and processing techniques for these crystals were originated by Kiith Somtaaw, who developed special 'low energy' PDAs, and gravi-magnetic handling apparatus for it's Worker vessels specifically to harvest the valuable minerals. Similar systems are now in use by most other galactic races.

Because of their volatility, Crystals have occasionally been used as weapons, most often simply by using a Gravity well generator to slingshot them into an unstable orbital path toward a target, or simply shooting them when a target is nearby.
 
Typhoone
My main question about hyperspace lore in the PDS universe is how to do we integrate the rarity of the "hyperspace core" from the HW2 series (the three cores of the Bentusi, Hiigarans, and the one Makaan found) into the lore. I have a reality disconnect between the fact that 'all ships can hyperspace' and it is commonplace for interstellar trade and commerce, with the fact that HS waves can only be derived from these extremely rare cores. If the HS technology has proliferated from the cores in the post-HW2 storyline, that's one possibility. But HS ability in the base game was considered a very rare feature that required investment in both research, building a module, and using RU cost to take advantage of HS jumps. In essence it was almost building a 'cheat' mechanism into the game at such a high cost. You can teleport your ships around/above/behind enemy lines - that is *very* powerful! How do we keep HS prestigious using in the cannon of HW - how are RUs used, and what is inside a "HS module" or if a ship enters HS via a sphere-of-influence mechanic since it doesn't have an onboard HS computer, what is creating the exit portal when it returns to real-space without the presence of a nearby HSNAV system?

Typh.
 
Ironwatsas
The difference in rarity between the 'mundane' hyperdrives used by most races, and the 'Big Three' far jumpers is severalfold. Hyperspace tech would have existed before the Three Cores were created, case in point; the Naggarok. However, that would have been the equivalent of the mundane hyperspace tech used in the galaxy today.

What Sajuuk was doing was he created three 'Super Cores' to "unlock the mysteries of hyperspace". Essentially, they were excessively big, excessively powerful research tools. Once his research was to be completed, he would have distributed the other two cores to Koshiir-Ra and Qwaar Jet respectively (his three-core trinity flagship wasn't created until later). The significance of the three cores is threefold.

Firstly: They are simply far more powerful, accurate, efficient, and capable than anything that any other race can produce. A mundane hyperspace core can maybe go a few hundred lightyears per jump. It would take multiple jumps and a lot of time to cross the galaxy, leading to transit times measured in months or years. A Far jumper can, if so inclined, go from one end of the galaxy to the other in less than a week. Nothing was really stopping Makaan from jumping all the way to Hiigara with his entire fleet (from a technical standpoint), save the fact that he would have probably been Zerg rushed by the HGN.

Secondly: The Great Hyperspace Cores have substantiation cultural and mythical significance, They were considered to be Sajuuk's magnum opus. While Hyperspace was common at the time that he made the cores, his discoveries during the process certainly made it cheaper and more efficient. But the big kicker is that after the Progenitor empire collapsed, hyperspace itself was disrupted due to some advanced weapons technology used at the end of their civil war. FTL travel was impossible for almost a million years, so few cultures from that timeframe ever expanded beyond a few star systems. It wasn't until the Bentusi (who are a deeply spiritual people prone to interpreting things in a mythical context) came across the first core that Hyperspace tech was once more feasable. Bentusi derived drive tech became the basis of all galactic trade (since they couldn't match the Progenitors' mastery of hyperspace, even with their advanced science).

Thirdly: Sajuuk decided to use the three cores as a key to unlock the various caches of advanced technology he left scattered around the galaxy when the Progenitor empire collapsed, as a security measure. Possibly he wanted either someone 'worthy' to collect all three cores and take them to Balcora to awaken his flagship (This is what lead to the 'Sajuuk-khar' prophecy in all likelyhood) or perhaps more altruistically, he hoped that whatever races of the galaxy evolved later would interpret the prophecies as a message of peace an unity, to join together and use their three cores to unlock the Eye of Arran and Progenitor Hypergate network (which would have dramatically increased the viability of galactic, and possibly inter-galactic trade). In the end, things didn't quite work out that way, and the cores wound up dropped into (and were the cause of) a politically unstable galaxy.


As for the 'what is in a Hyperspace Module' thing; mostly it's Navigational equipment. Ships frigate class and above (and a rare few corvettes like the Khopesh) have integrated hyperspace drives. However, these compact hyperdrives are relatively weak compared to larger ships, due to limited power available on their parent ships, and moreover, are less accurate. HSNAV system modules essentially make it practical to jump ships over very short distances, and allow tactical-level flanking maneuvers or otherwise coordinate jumps. Otherwise, it wouldn't be possible to jump ships over such short distances accurately or probably at all. Smaller ships have hyperspace nav systems sufficient for interstellar jumps, but simply lack the fidelity for close-range tactical level jumps. Carriers have redundant beaconing and targeting systems separate from the HSNAV modules specifically to allow accurate jumps to their position.

The other thing is, hyperspace modules have 'wake generators', although they're less 'generators' and more 'using a big ship's combined quantum wavefront to drag smaller, shorter ranged ships with it. Essentially the ships combine their respective quantum wavefronts together into a single one, although each ship resides in it's own 'bubble' of realspace. To spare the technobabble, a bigger ship 'tows' smaller ships. A carrier with a 500+ lightyear hyperdrive hauling along frigates with ~75 lightyear range hyperdrives. This is a reason why mobile Shipyards and Motherships are so important; they're so large that they can support a hyperdrive and drag a substantial fleet along with them. The same principal applies with a Far Jumper, except scaled up by several orders of magnitude: this is exactly what Makaan did when he invaded the Taiidan Republic and Hiigara, dropping shipyards and carrier groups deep behind enemy lines to tear the enemy out from within.

The flipside of this is the wide-scale proliferation of Gravity wells and Hyperspace inhibitors. Since Hyperspace on a mundane level is as cheap as it is, it is necessary for carrier groups to have some form of inhibitor technology available to simply prevent the enemy from jumping a battleship right ontop of them and obliterating them. This has substantial implications for fleet deployment, tactics, strategy, and technology development. There would be a continual arms race going on to develop better inhibitors and hyperdrives capable of circumventing them. This is the tactical hyperdrive's main limiting factor.
 
mrWHO
A side note for technical rather than background part of HS script.

It looks like Freespace mod for HW2 classic has a working solution for jumpdrive recharge cooldown...with working GUI (on tactical map there is a counter from 0% to 100% where 100% is that ship can jump).

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=399059073&searchtext=freespace

I'm not sure, but I feel that smaler ships can recharge their drives faster than bigger one so diffrent recharge time could be possible (e.g. more modern or specialy build sprint-jump ships).

IMO it would be greate to have free HS jump, but limited by the cooldown. Current HW2 hyperspace system is inballanced to the point where you're either filthy right and jump hundreds of ships all across the map or you're broken as shit and don't jump at all.

In the other side Vaygr HS gate could be connected with RU price, but offer no-cooldown jumps between connected gates.
 
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