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Spacehounds Setting


Nina
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This game begins in the last decade of the 21st century. The world hasn’t ended, there isn’t one world government, and most of the problems of today are still around in some form or another.

The world threatening problem of global climate change, once touted as the greatest threat mankind had ever faced, while not gone is receding and relatively under control. Once politics were removed from the equation real science took over and solutions to immediate problems were concocted and now the earth itself is repairing the damage a careless man had inflicted on the planet.

The greatest part of that solution was the moving of much of industry off the planet and into earth orbit. By the middle of the century with new break throughs, led mostly by civilian space concerns such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and even Virgin Galactic, in space and energy technologies, including workable Fusion power, space while not conquered, was being utilized. Factories which once littered the lands were now in orbit and thousands of persons now live and work in space.

Outside of Orbit the conquest of space went slower. The governments of Earth became satisfied with remaining in Earth orbit as the costs to them kept growing and the commercial concerns whose bottom line was profit made space travel more and more affordable. A Permanent presence was placed in Lunar orbit in the late 2020s and within ten years had been joined by several more lunar space stations and the first permanent moon settlement. Within five years of that man finally landed on Mars.

By 2070 humans off world number close to 20,000 persons who live and work in the orbital stations and factories around Earth, in the Lunar Stations and the Lunar Settlement, and on a Station in Mars Orbit and two small Settlements on the surface.

During this time the exploration of the solar system was still conducted via robotic craft due to the vast distances and slow speeds of rocket propelled spacecraft. But all of that changed in 2072. Ever since the discovery of gravity waves in the early years of the 21st century scientist had been hard at work on breaking the secrets of gravity. In the 2060s scientist first learned how to manipulate a gravity field and by 2070 a revolutionary breakthrough led to the development of the Gravity Impeller, a new reaction-less space drive which not only could propel space craft at incredible velocities but could also be used aboard these craft to create an internal gravity filed. The outer solar system was now within reach.

The next two decades saw a surge in industry in orbit and with the construction of several habitats in the asteroid belt industry and population off world grew.

Space travel is easier but still it is in the province of the governments and commercial corporations. Space craft are still too costly and fusion power still regulated there for privately owned spacecraft outside of a few extremely wealthy persons are not a thing.

 

That is the Solar System in a nutshell. The characters are the crew of a small deep space ship owned by one of the major corporations. Their jobs are ostensibly the rather routine and boring transport of important cargo and passengers on express flights generally between Earth Orbit and either Mars, the Asteroids or on Occasion to one of the deep space research stations in the Jovian sub-system. Which is the farthest humans have gone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Gravity Impeller Drive or GID, is the recent (10-15 years) breakthrough in technology which has opened the solar system to further exploration and exploitation. GID equipped craft have only been in use after development and testing for the last 5 years.

It works by capturing the gravity forces which hold attraction over the body in which it operates, collapsing and consolidating those forces into a field around the vessel and using that field to propel said vessel by means of compressing the field in the direction of desired movement.  When in a gravity well the GID is only capable of pushing away or pulling toward the source of a Gravity well. For that reason all craft built to operate in a well are equipped with auxiliary engines (rockets or Jets) for non-vertical movement.

The drive itself is both mechanical and electrical in nature and while the engine is not overly large it does require a large amount of energy to function, which is supplied by Fusion reactors.

Within the last year another technology breakthrough has allowed one corporation, Coriolis Systems, to make great leaps in all aspects of GID driven craft.

The new tech is a small innocuous device called the Gravimetric Transducer. The GMT allows for the transformation of a portion of the collected gravity field into usable electrical energy which in turn allows for a greater power efficiency overall and a reduction in fuel consumption for the fusion reactor.

Less fuel = less mass

Less mass = more power freed for use

More power = greater gravity field concentration

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  • 1 year later...

The return of the Polaris with it’s new drive, and the wealth of data collected by her crew as well as the astonishing tales of their adventure shocked the solar system and ushered in a new round of technological and social change.

 

The Technology of the Langlois-Todd Star Drive and the Eisley Steller Deformation Algorithm, along with the new math created to explain the phenomena, birthed not only new mechanisms for space travel, but also led to new tech in a wide variety of fields.

 

The Polaris was taken apart, put back together and tested numerous times. It made the first trip back to Alpha Centauri a year and a half after her return and then returned once again to the earth proving that the process was not a fluke. A year later the very first refit starship, a larger vessel belonging to the United States Military, under UN commission, carried a full blown scientific/exploration to establish a permanent research outpost. It wasn’t long after that, that more ships were refit with the Drive and soon small settlements and colonies had sprung up on all three of the Centauri worlds.

 

The proof of alien life, that there were others out there more advanced than we, the sudden increase in livable pristine land on three not so distant planets and the desire to expand the frontier caused concern and turmoil. The Earth and solar system were still divided along nationalistic lines, the UN existed but had never been a functioning or realistic world government and most nations paid it lip service at best. So how were the new worlds to be proportioned? Who would be allowed to colonize?

 

 

On Easter Sunday 2097, terrorists attempted to set off a homemade nuclear device in Vatican City during the Pope’s Easter Mass. The nuclear reaction failed but still over three thousand persons were killed in the bomb blast and subsequent panic and over a hundred thousand were exposed to dangerous levels of radioactive contamination which would lead to even more deaths in the years to follow. The terrorist, who were killed in the suicide bombing had released a video denouncing the usual subjects, America, the West, the Church but most predominantly the Space exploration and colonization programs.

 

This act against a target regarded as off limits that struck not only at one religion but at over fifty nations who had citizens killed and poisoned, pushed the worlds governments to finally once and for all condemn extremism in all its forms and set in motion the move toward a true one world government which would become a reality in the second decade of the next century.

 

The technologies that was to allow the eventual conquest of the stars was even then being refined and improved. The original drive used o refit the already existing ships was not perfect. And so work continued and construction was begun on the very first true starship, the Polaris II. This vessel conceived and built from the ground up incorporating all the new technologies in the design process was to be the pathfinder for the future.

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Birth of The Solarian Council of Science

 

When the Polaris was whisked away on her initial journey there existed in the solar system over one hundred and eighty five individual organizations dedicated to Science, with a capital S. The most powerful, with far reaching influence on world and off-world affairs, were those belonging to several first rate nations, such as the United States, Russia, The European Union and others. And as always the interests of those nations came first. However the vast majority of these organizations were not government controlled and while wielding far less influence, still contributed greatly to the scientific knowledge of the solar system as a whole.

 

In the early 21st century the foremost of these was The International Science Council (ISC) a non-governmental organization with a unique global membership that brought together 40 international scientific Unions and Associations and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations including Academies and Research Councils. 

 

Created in 2018 as the result of a merger between the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). It was the only international non-governmental organization bringing together the natural and social sciences and it was the largest global science organization of its type. That distinction made it the best possible choice of organizations to shepherd the growth of a new desire to understand and share the knowledge brought back by the Polaris and to usher in a new golden age of discovery.

 

In 2095 the ISC was granted a specific UN charter, placing it as an independent Scientific Advisory Body.  Originally it was intended only to help the governments of Earth and the Solar System ,as well as the new extra-solar colonies, on matters of Scientific and Social importance, where only trained scientists could have sufficient information to make intelligent decisions. With in a decade it had become the defacto scientific leader of the world with more and more nations joining the organization and merging their own scientific bodies with the ISC.

 

When the United Nations became the new world government in the beginning of 22nd century the ISC was renamed the Council of Science and became a co-branch of the new  World Government. 

 

more to come...

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Piracy and the policing of the Solar System

 

Even as late as 2090 private ownership of spacecraft, outside of a few extremely wealthy individuals with corporate or governmental ties, was rare, at least legal ownership.

 

Before the 2070s and the advent of the GID, man was limited to Earth orbit, Lunar orbit and surface installations, and mars orbit and surface installations. There were some 20,000 persons living and working at or on these locations and as is human nature there was crime. Policing before the GID was handled at the location by the governing authority, in house so to speak.

 

All of that changed after 2074 when the first act of space piracy occurred. The GID opened up the solar system and made space travel cheaper than ever before and more importantly easier. The GID eliminated the reliance on rockets for heavy lifting and made traveling the enormous distances across the solar system much much more timely. What one took years would now take only weeks and what took months now became days. Within a few years of its invention, GID spacecraft filled the solar system, any company that could lease a fusion reactor  and buy a GID cold build a ship, still costly but well within reach of small corporations. Space Industry soared and more and more people moved off planet and by 2074 over 100,000 persons lived off planet.

 

In the middle of 2074, the exact date is not known, a ship belong to a mining consortium went missing. Accident were not unknown and the ship was presumed lost with all hands. A few months later however that ship reappeared when it waylaid a FEDX Shipper making a supply run to the Ceres facility, at that time the only habitat in the Belt. Several of the FEDX crew were killed but there were survivors who escapes in a work pod and were rescued. They reported the barbaric act of piracy and a new, albeit sordid,  hazard was added to list of dangers in the solar system.

 

To this point, crime in space had been individualistic, but with the wealth of the solar system being moved around by spaceship relatively unprotected the temptations was too much. More ships mutinied or were hijacked and turned to piracy, formerly earthbound criminal organizations began to send representation off world and even supposedly funded some of this burgeoning piracy outbreak. In response several of the governments of earth did what they had sworn not to do, arm spacecraft with weapons of war.

 

America and China were the first to put small armed vessels into service, basically these ships operated as a sort of coast guard in space. Soon other space faring nations did likewise. By mutual agreement these policing nations agreed to respond to any distress call regardless of origin while still maintaining autonomous national control of these resources.

 

Piracy and crime was now a problem for the whole of the solar system, this was the first small step toward a solution.

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Summation concerning the Langlois Sub-Space Compression Engine* and the Eisley Stellar Mass Collation Sub-Space Interface*

 

 

To begin we must stress that neither of these incredible and essential inventions have yet to be fully explored and further breakthroughs and enhancements are expected. We must also not the neither of the inventors of these two subjects are actually research theorists and that both inventions were accomplished under duress and great need.

 

We shall begin with the Sub-space Compression Mechanism. This invention has allowed humans for the first time to bypass the general theory of relativity's speed limit placed upon the universe. By utilizing this engine a spacecraft is able to travel the vast distances between stars in relatively short periods of time.

 

However calling it a space drive is misleading the engine does not in fact move anything. What it does do is, taking data provided by the Collation program spoken of below, creates a mirror of the stellar mass that it is locked upon at it's location. It accomplishes this by converting energy into a Psudo-Mass that seems to display all the properties of the actual mass but is not in fact real. It is not yet understood completely how the mechanism accomplishes this conversion, and the explanation derived so far have required rethinking a great deal of established math and Physics theory (see addendums X-1 through X- 6), but the effect has been proven, replicated and it works. This Psudo-mass once created is linked by an empty space, which we have named a Sub-space Bubble, which lies below the normal time-space continuum. A vehicle utilizing the mechanism is injected into the bubble leaving the normal space-time continuum. Once the vehicle is in the bubble, the bubble begins to compress toward the real mass, once the two masses, the real one and the psudo one occupy the same space the vehicle emerges from the sub-space bubble which ceases to exist and it is now at the same location as the target mass.

 

Below are points concerning the Mechanisms function;

  • The Mechanism will not function within one hundred diameters of a significant gravity well, such as a star, planet or a moon or large asteroid. All tests within that range either failed to produce the psudo-mass or led to catastrophic failure of the mechanism and occasionally the destruction of the test vehicle.

  • The psudo-mass produced by the mechanism does not seem to effect the actual normal space-time continuum. The psudo-mass can be detected by outside sources but it does not produce attractive gravity. We have no explanation for this phenomena.

  • Once injected into Subspace the mechanism must continue to operate during compression. Failure of the mechanism eliminates the sub-space bubble and whatever is inside is lost. We do not know if it is ejected in to normal space or if it is destroyed.

  • Compression of the Sub-space bubble takes a variable amount of time. A vehicle with all things being equal will take up to 6 weeks to compress a bubble. This is regardless of distance compressed. It is possible to reduce this time by making more precise adjustments to the shape of the bubble thru use of the collation program. By making the shape of the bubble deeper instead of flatter, the time of compression is reduced. While it reduces time spent in sub-space it also requires additional power. The shape of the bubble is called the Sub-space Catenary, due to it graphical representation in the collation algorithm.

  • Increasing the Catenary by more than 80% begins to have deleterious effects on both living organisms and the vehicles themselves.

  • Exiting Sub-space places the vessel approximately one hundred diameters away from the target mass, moving at 20% of the velocity the vehicle had upon entering sub-space in the same direction. It is believed that the action of injection into, and ejection from Sub-space bleeds off the gained momentum, but what happens to that energy is not known at this time.

 

There is more here to discover and more refinement to come. While we at the ISC would like to take the time to make full research, to truly understand the way this machine works, we know that that is not possible. The genie as they say is out of the bag. The Engine is not difficult to construct, requires no super rare components or substances and is not comparatively large. Any engineer with a good education and a complete work center, with adequate funding and access to a fusion reactor can build a Sub-space engine there are plans already available leaked onto the net that will work and many that won't. Understanding the science behind it is not necessary it is after all a machine. Build it right and it should work.

 

While it was the return of the Polaris and it's incredible encounter with an alien artifact that has given us this technology, it needs to be pointed out that Dr Langlois was already on the track to making these discoveries on her own or at least paving the way. Her invention of the Gravitic Transducer was the first step, and indeed it was the knowledge she had of the transducer which gave her the insight into working out the problems and constructing the prototype engine which brought them home. It is the Councils belief that had Dr Langlois remained a researcher and that the Polaris incident had never happened , she would have made inroads and discoveries on her own that could have led us to constructing an original engine within fifty years.

 

 

The Eisley Stellar Mass Collation Sub-Space Interface is being called a more significant invention with far more importance than even the engine it was designed to work with. Without the Sub-space interface the engine would not do anything at all. First of all the interface is not a navigation or astrogation computer, even though that is what it and its derivatives are being called popularly. The interface collects all the data from a vessels library and the real time observation of long range sensors and telescopes of a distant stellar mass, collates that data into a complex multilayered algorithm which in turn through a programming language Ms Eisley created for the express purpose tells the Sub-space engine the parameters of the mass and conditions it need to create to establish the Sub-space bubble which will allow the ship to travel to a distant star.

 

However it is the programming language she created that will have far reaching and lasting value to programmers all through out the solar system and eventually beyond. Already the use of the language is allowing for increased data refinement in communications and data recovery from sensor suites that have before now been written off as unreadable due to long range degradation.

 

 

* in the original summation reports Dr. Todd was given co- credit on the invention of both subjects. At his request his name has been removed as co-inventor as he claims that he did nothing more than assist Dr. Langlois and Ms. Eisley and that all credit belongs to them.

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  • 5 weeks later...

 Special Announcement

 

In the last five years since the remarkable and historic return of the Polaris spacecraft bearing news that we are not alone and that there are new habitual worlds within our reach we the Human race have begun to reach for the stars which are now within our grasp. The first extra solar colonies have been started on all three of the planets found at Alpha and Proxima Centauri, but still as humans ever have we look outward.

 

New ships, designed especial to travel the vast spaces to new stars are being built and the first of those vessels, the Polaris II will begin mans first planned intersteller mission at the turn of the century.

 

It is with honor and pleasure that we announce the crew of what will be mans first steps into the greater galaxy.

 

Crew of the Polaris II

Captain Ayato Nishima*

First Officer and Military Advisor  Liv Olsen

Diplomatic Advisor Dr Joseph Greigg

Pilot Luke Travis

Electronics and Navigation Officer  Rachel Eisley*

Space Sciences Officer Yseult Langlois*

Physical Science Officer Suzanne Herbert

Chief Surgeon Dr Berrol Kintati

Medical Officer Dr. Carrie Dawes*

Medical Technician Yong Wu

Chief of the Boat Karen McKenna*

Specialist Technician David Cooper

Engineer and Drive Specialist Calvin Reno

 

* denotes original crew of the Polaris spacecraft

 

ISC BIOGRAPHIES ATTACHED CLICK LINK BELOW

 

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