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  1. #3

    Re: A matter of perspective

    still does not feel very 40k, right? Patience. Wait for part 4 - but you already know the end.

    Part 2 - Odyssey

    Something else was going on as well that the colonists were not aware of. The 5 years of acceleration had been determined in earth time. On the ships, the high velocity interfered with the passing of time and the situation was different. At that time only 4 years had passed so far. Now that both were traveling at 0.6c, time dilatation would mean that 2 years on earth would equal mere 15 months on the ships. An increase of speed also increases the dilatation factor. That factor was increased significantly 50 years later, when the ship KI awakened the „Daedalus“-crew. Nothing apparent had changed - no damage to the ship, no imminent danger. What had changed was the velocity. No one ever found out why and how, but the situation was that velocity had increased to 2.4c. Which meant that Trapist-1 would not be reached.

    First, because „Daedalus“ fuel reserves would not allow the ship to reduce speed sufficiently.

    Second, because even if fuel would suffice, „Daedalus“ would be far beyond Trapist-1 once velocity even went below 1c. Approximately 220 light years too far.

    Third, the fusion drive would not even work at all to slow the ship down. A fusion drive emits particles at light speed. Firing it in driving direction would usually work to slow it down… but not when traveling above light speed. To make the drive work, it would require particles to be emitted faster than the ships own speed.

    The only thing that could be done was to utilize the drive to make amendments to the course.
    But where to go?
    Only a degree away from the current course and 610 lightyears ahead shone the Helix Nebula - also known as the eye of god. Hope was to find 2 powers there that might at least reduce the dire situation:

    1. inertia
    Nebula often feature a comparatively high density of Helium and Hydrogen particles. Besides an opportunity to refill the fuel depots there with the particle collectors that each of the fusion driven ships was equipped with, it might also help to slow down the ship. Particle collectors are basically circular sails of molecular-thin, self healing tissue with a diameter of 5 km. Provided that particle density would not exceed a critical degree and not too many particles larger and heavier that Helium, the continuous impact on the ship might eventually slow it down.
    2. gravity
    Back in the solar system, the slingshot maneuver allowed „Daedalus“ to build up speed. The same principle could be used to slow down the ship. However, the high velocity required something stronger than a planets gravity field. Something strong enough to have an effect on something as fast as light or faster - in theory.
    Something like the black hole in the center of the nebula.
    It is difficult to say how long „Daedalus“ and „Ranger“ spent circling around the center of the eye of god in a close, but safe distance to the event horizon. Ship time indicated 124 years, but the effects of speed-induced time dilatation now were multiplied by an unknown factor with the effects of the massive gravity field.
    The „Daedalus“ crew was awakened again when velocity finally fell below 1c. At this point, all the crew could do was guessing in which direction to continue. The nebula itself was uninhabitable. Due to radiation across the whole spectrum, everything outside was invisible, so all they could hope for was to exit the nebula in a direction that did not deviate too far away from a system with an inhabitable planet.
    They had an amount of good luck that happens only in stories. The course that spat them out of the nebula needed some adjustment, but eventually after additional 180 years of ship time took them to a system they otherwise would never had chosen, but provided everything they needed. First, 2 planets in the comfortable zone of a star resembling the sun at home. The other 5 planets had no features worth mentioning. What WAS worth mentioning was the fact that not only the planets circled around the star - the star featured a circular movement as well. A movement around an invisible spot in a far distance. In cosmic terms, a very fast movement that indicated that that spot can only be another singularity.
    But without any other choice, „Daedalus“ made use of the gravitational circumstances and began exploration of the two possible planets. Eventually „Ranger“ arrived as well and took a waiting and observing position in a safe distance outside the system. 15 years. That long would „Ranger“ wait and give „Daedalus“ time to explore, to set up a working colony and to overcome the expected early difficulties. Then they would take over.
    Last edited by Ravengrove; 25-11-2018 at 12:43.

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