A Matter of Gravity

Dr Kincaid on technology:

“I cannot understate the importance of technology to the League. It’s research and development is critical, but more important is its availability, universally, to every citizen. While some would argue that the Merchant’s Guild is the most important and pervasive of the four, I disagree both on personal terms – as a member in good standing of the Artisans’ Guild – and from objective terms as a League historian.

“Take, for instance, linkspace and linkdrive. Everyone inside the League and most people outside take for granted the ease with which we travel from star to star. We board a ship, loft into space, microjump a few times and link in. A few days later the ship exits linkspace in another star system entirely! It may be a few parsecs or a few hundred, in either case it’s just an L-shot away. But what makes that possible?

“In a similar vein, we can communicate from anywhere to anywhere in a matter of hours, or at most days. We compose the message, send it to the LINC queue and pay a few credits. Then, an appropriate time later we receive an acknowledgement of delivery. These are two examples of the technology underpinning not just the League but every government that has developed since their discovery. Of course it happens that these two technologies are related. If you think a moment you’ll realize why: L.I.N.C. stands for Linkspace Interstellar Network Communicator.

“I mention these technologies for the simple reason that without them there would be no League!

“In the earliest days of the League, when it first came into conflict with what would become the Consortium, interstellar travel was limited to Quantum Phase hyperdrive. The Imperium developed it and used it extensively. Its civilian vessels employed QPH Level 1 or monophase, while its military had the exclusive rights to the far superior Level 2 (biphase) hyperdrive.

“After the Collapse, this meant that the pre-Consortium systems had a distinct advantage over their opposition and could expand, attack and react more quickly. Things were dire for the majority of systems, including Sector Prime, limited to monophase drive. That was when the Aspire Academy of Science re-discovered gravity. Rather, they remembered that every single particle in the universe exerts gravity on every other particle.

“Intense specific research led to navigational, or astrogational, hardware that used gravity for positional information rather than light or some light-related technology. The subsequent discovery that simple gravitics could induce a slight modulation on this gravity led to LinkNav beacons, which eventually became LINC beacons. That allowed deeper insertion into hyperspace and less deviation at the destination. That meant the Metropole forces could react and concentrate even more quickly, which allowed the League to expand and both handle pirates and keep the Consortium at bay.

“Elementary scientific history, I realize that. What is important is how the nascent League treated its new technological toys. It could have classified them as its military secret, clamped down on civilian development and kept linkdrive as its own exclusive property, but it didn’t. Instead, our forefathers elected, once they had beaten back the Consortium, to open up almost all of the technology to anyone who wanted to develop it.

“As a result, anyone who wanted it could have new, fast interstellar travel. Even the League’s enemies! That leveled the gravball grid for everyone and set a precedent critical to the League’s overall attitude: Universal Access! That isn’t just the motto of the Unified Guilds. Whether they realize it or not, it resonates through the soul of every League citizen.”

-F. R. Kincaid, PhD, ArG

The preceding is an excerpt from Dr. Kincaid’s series League History and Politics, A Primer. He insisted I present it as-is and at length, citing the importance of understanding the complex but necessary relationship between League technology, development and history. If you’re interested in the League, check out my books on it. You don’t need a hyper-phase communicator to get them, just a web browser:

Amazon:  http://amazon.com/author/jamescoxjr
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JamesMattCox

I’m currently working on new writing in the Stone Blade series and I’m thinking about splitting off a new series dedicated to Robin Macy (Double Bait). I’m still planning on starting the SB05 rewrite sometime after Christmas. Stay tuned for furhter developments.

-matt
http://moldyripegrape.wix.com/newstarstradeleague

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