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<   No. 1258   2006-07-07   >

Comic #1258

1 Spanners: {showing the new assistant engineer around the ship} The engine room. That's the hyperdrive shunt. There's the manoeuvre engine manifold.
2 Quercus: {spotting a device labelled with "FTL"} The faster-than-light drive?
2 Spanners: The Faraday Turret Lamp. Very important for navigating the grey maze of hyperspace.
3 Spanners: {gesturing at some cubes on a desk} And this here is the most important piece of equipment on the entire ship.
3 Quercus: Oh? What is it?
4 Spanners: My lucky dice for crucial engine repair skill rolls in combat.

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I like the idea of an ultra-modern starship having a piece of equipment called the Faraday Turret Lamp. I envision it as a gas flame beacon hung out on a stick so passing ships can see you and not bump into you in the inky blackness of space.

2015-12-14 Rerun commentary: Unlike some science fiction universes where you need to perform navigational calculations before going into faster-than-light mode (or "hyperspace"), in this setting you can navigate and make course changes while in hyperspace. In fact, it's actually necessary to be on the lookout for potential obstacles in hyperspace and steer around them.

Not that such obstacles are common in any sense - hyperspace is still pretty big and empty. But on common trade routes, it's entirely possible that you could encounter another ship coming in the other direction, and have to manoeuvre to avoid a collision.

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Last Modified: Monday, 14 December 2015; 02:17:53 PST.
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