by Max Barry

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The United Systems of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

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Republic FTL, Space Travel, Communications

FTL within the Republic

Republic FTL is in short a hyperdrive, as it requires a set of coordinates to calculate a safe jumping ‘lane’ then it will fold space and poke a hole in the fabric of folded space, allowing it to safely travel over vast distances. However, during the jump, the drive will build up excessive heat which is stored in capacitors and when the ship jumps out of FTL it can expel this built-up heat and cool off. Which, can be used around the ship for different functions, for example, one of them could be to burn the Fenvarium fuel source or to heat the ship. But after some time the ship will need to come out of FTL and safely vent the built-up heat in order to keep the crew safe. As for speed, the drive is slightly faster than average, however, the general trade-off is that the faster you go the more heat you build up and the more stops you have to take. The drive also allows you to tactically jump within the system, however, this maneuver is only recommended to be done once due to the high levels of stress that you would put on the drive from popping in and out constantly.

The drives are decently temperamental and do need a fair bit of service. As pushing the drive further than what it is rated will damage it and can lead to many disasters, like the ship exploding, radiation leaks, capacitors failing and venting the heat inside of the ship, and so on. However, mounting the drive improperly can also have the same effects plus the added benefit of ‘misfiring’ your drive. During a misfire, one of three things can happen; the first one is that nothing happens and the drive just-auto shuts down but burns out the entire unit causing you to get a new one. The second option is that nothing happens and then the drive explodes. Finally, the third option and the most dangerous, is that the ship will be ripped in half with one half of it teleporting to some sort of other dimension or into dark space, instantly killing you from the radiation exposure. While the other half stays in its current location and you die or have to buy a completely new ship.

But, the drive does have a rather outstanding safety record despite its rather temperamental nature and often violent effects for improper installation. If you take care of the drive, it will get you from point A to point B. The drive is known to be rather easy to take care of even if it is a bit temperamental to deal with, parts are quite common and the drive lasts for a very long time, thus the drive is mounted on pretty much every starship within the Republic. Unless you manage to do the things mentioned before that could damage the drive. However, the drive tends to also take a lot of fenvarium to power and with the plasma engines of the ship, this requires the need for supply points along starlanes and other transportation networks.

When traveling inside of the Republic, the Thalduhmians travel along pre-planned routes that span a large part of their nation. A majority of the major systems and planets within the Republic fall along these starlanes as they offer places to; rest, resupply, and refuel. With shipyards, dry docks, and massive refueling depots to refuel the never-ending stream of ships and supplies. They also serve as major trading hubs for goods and materials that are going from the core to the frontier or vice versa. The planets and systems along these starlanes are often well developed and defended, having their own considerable Home Guard formations as well as support from frequent Republic Naval patrols and Republic Army garrisons.

There are several major starlanes within the Republic there is the;
WIP: Needs reworking

As for secondary starlanes there is the;
WIP: Needs reworking

For the Republic patrolling these starlanes are considerably important as the lanes are the lifeblood of the nation; allowing goods, material, and military forces to be transported from one part of the nation to the other. Thus patrolling is a top priority for the navy, albeit a boring one. While each colonized system has its own Home Guard fleets to patrol the colonized systems, naval ships still patrol those systems as well as uncolonized systems to take on pirates, raiders, and other threats to the lane.

A normal patrol fleet would consist of three ships, usually, a cruiser followed up by two destroyers or two cruisers and a light carrier, and so on. Battlecruisers, battleships, dreadnoughts, and so on do not take part in a majority of the patrols due to their slow speed and expensive nature. Instead, these ships usually patrol the core systems where there is not that much in the way of pirates or are conducting training operations within the core region.

How are they formed?
Forming a trade lane is a daunting task that goes through several stages of development. At first FTL capable probes are launched to determine relatively stable paths to the next system or to the targeted system. After that the data from the probes is gathered, compiled, analyzed to determine the safest route from the data. Then this route is given a number code and coordinates that will be used for shipping and transportation, at this time it is known as a Starpath.

Overtime and with increased use, the starpath will be given a name that will be used by local shippers and merchants as a way to easily identify it from the others in the region. This naming will elevate it to another rung on the ladder, a star-corridor. It is not until there is a massive amount of traffic and use that a star corridor will be called a starlane, the final stage in the life cycle. However it is possible for a starlane to degress backwards, this is usually done when other lanes have become more popular. Or a space storm has rendered the lane unusable for however long, and new paths have to be established.

Space location and projection network (SLPN)
SLPN or Space location and projection network are the Republic’s ‘GPS’ for traveling starships; this network is built into almost every system within the Republic whether it be settled or not. This system allows ships to accurately plot their travel routes, give real-time updates on system traffic and it gives the captains and ship computers ‘weather reports’. Weather reports are just system-wide reports that lookout for any sort of cosmic storms, like asteroid storms, comets, and other space debris that would make travel difficult or could seriously damage the ship.

How does it work?
The SPLN system is used by both military and civilian ships in order to safely travel around the Republic and the surrounding systems. Let's start at the system level, SPLN works on the backbone of the Republic’s system-wide sensor network that is used to detect incoming ships and objects. Remote or manned sensor stations would pick up the object and send off a report, this report is then fed to a relay station which compiles the data and makes a report. This relay station would often be buried deep within a moon or barren planet to protect it from stray space debris. After the relay station picks it up and makes a report, it is then fed to a nearby space traffic control center that would be orbiting a gas giant or that has been established on a colonized planet. After the space traffic control center receives the report, it is then fed to the ships in the system where they get their approach paths and times.

This data could also be fed to the greater Republic as well after the space traffic control center gets the report it is then sent through another relay and transmitted to the Center of Interplanetary Travel in Roon Husila who compiles the data. Once the data has been compiled, it is then sent to other systems for other ships to get an idea of what their travel plans would look like. The Center then provides constant updates every so often so they are informed of what sort of dangers are ahead.

For being a space-faring nation, communication across the Republic is one of the most pressing issues, as information has to be delivered and received between systems and individuals. Due to this, the Republic has developed an odd but complex network of communications; it uses a telegram system to relay written messages across the nation. How this system works is by the following, if a person wanted to send a message to a different planetoid they would go to a telegram office and hand over the transmission that they would like to be delivered. A trained operator would then take a telegraph machine and telegraph the message. The message then is delivered to a relay station, which works similarly to the sensor grid; which is buried deep into a barren planet or moon. The message is then coded by the recipient's address before being sent to the targeted system. Once it reaches the desired system, it is picked up by the relay station there and read by the station's systems. Once the station reads the telegram, it then is transmitted to the desired planet's telegram station. Once at the station, the operator will look at the message and the address to see who it is for. Once the telegram system on the desired planet has received the message, they will call the recipient and inform them they have a message. Then the recipient will head over to the station and look over the message and decide what to do with it.

Another option is video messaging which is also popular within the Republic, however, this is more so used for government or corporate officials for immediate information. It essentially runs off the same system as the telegram but it is video-based. By this, the call request is sent to a relay, compounded, and sent to the other relay before sent to the recipient.