“But the stars that marked our starting fall away.
We must go deeper into greater pain,
for it is not permitted that we stay.”
Those who have glimpsed the sub-space realm known as “hyperspace” for themselves have not taken the experience well. The earliest experimenters with the technology peered through portholes to see for themselves what the external cameras only revealed as a kaleidoscopic blur, and for their curiosity were afflicted with madness.
“Filled with visions of angels, like peering into Heaven itself.”
Something in the shifting lights of hyperspace with one’s own eyes triggers a reaction in the brain different to that of seeing it through a camera lens, and causes the viewer to see hallucinations and visions of what they describe as angels and demons.
Psychologists are fascinated by the phenomenon but obviously it is a difficult field of study as there aren’t many volunteers willing to risk being permanently afflicted by these hallucinations for a psychological study.
A series of testsusing animal and SI observers showed that it is only organic neural networks that are affected by this and only if looking upon it unfiltered. The current hypothesis is that there is some frequency not being picked up by current sensor technology that may be inducing effects similar to the McCollough Effect but on a much grander scale.
“A mad god’s dream…”
The true wonder of the sub-space dimension is that by travelling a short distance within it, you can travel much further in real-space. The difficult part is getting into and out of hyperspace, and that technology comes from the alien ship that drifted into the Sol system.
There is a lot of technobabble involved in explaining how the hyperspace manipulator works but the lies-to-childrenSee here, here, or here if you don’t recognise the reference version is as follows. The hyperspace drive creates an energy field around the ship, containing the ship and a pocket of real-spaceor at least localised conditions. The frequency of this field is then attenuated until it matches certain conditions at which point the contents of the field enter hyperspace. Motion is carried overincluding the general motion of all objects through space due to gravitational conditions or universal expansion, which caused some headaches in the early maths, so if the ship isn’t moving when it enters hyperspace, it won’t move very far even with the FTL capability.
In order to leave hyperspace again, the reverse is done – attenuating the field in the other direction until the ship re-appears in real-space. Some early tests tried shutting down the field within hyperspace but those test probes have never been recovered – it is believed that the collapse of the field caused hyperspace conditions to destroy the probe.
Travelling between systems via hyperspace still takes time, but it takes far less time than travelling the same distance at sub-light speeds. As your initial velocity is carried with you, the higher your speed the sooner you arrive at your destination, but it does have to be factored into your maths or you’ll overshoot. The next article on hyperspace will discuss some of the other advantages and disadvantages of FTL travel.
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