Any sentient species in the galaxy can sum up the major transportation systems by one word: resourceful. When you can’t use one method for space travel, others are available, for a price.
Simpler species, like the humans of Terra Firma, could assume there is one method just by calculating the vast distances between worlds, their current physics mathematics, their technology, and scores of science fiction stories most species fall asleep over. And stick with it.
Such narrow-minded reality thinking is not tolerated. It’s best to remind them what’s available, starting with the cheapest.
Cryogenics is still active, as intravenous fluid engineered to create an artificial state of hibernation, or the cryo tube for full-body deep freeze. Scores of people in one ship traveling in deep space on a designated course. Although this is the cheapest and is limited to traveling between planets, this is frowned upon when associated with alleged smuggling, kidnappings, slavery, non-sanctioned medical practices, and high-level prisons. Not to mention the high loss of time.
Faster than Light or FTL, Subspace, Warp – whatever comes first, these are called the “bedrock methods.” Most of the time they raise their first contact changes. But not limited to technological means. The crystal-born Soleren species for example master the form of solar sailing, riding the solar winds from one system to another. They are also the most popular in price and convenience, but limited to time as it takes years to cover the Galactic Republic’s jurisdiction.
Wormholes cover the longer distances. This can be on the same level as Slipspace, but non-Slipspace wormholes and folded space is still limited to our universe’s laws of physics and the magic they’re created from. The loss of time is reduced, but still not as close to being near instantaneous, and sometimes unstable to keep alive. Even for basic way gates and rituals.
Knowing these methods is useful if you can’t afford a Slipspace crystal for a round trip. If you don’t mind the time loss, that’s okay. But when it comes to the government itself in military, economic, and political power, time is essential. Slipspace crystals are expensive, especially how they are produced.
Crystals in our universe are either chemically or magically grown in rich mineral deposits, or certain elements combined with high pressure and heat. Days, years, centuries to grow, depending on the ion matrix. Magic crystals have ion matrixes to flow and store magical energies for spells, and that include the crystal-made species.
Yet Slipspace crystals are magically grown, but grown by force.
They are grown in special nurseries; several locations among major trade sectors and smaller establishments in lesser traveled sectors. The Gamel Group is the current farmer. The planet-based underground facilities are heavily guarded with military troops and spacecraft, surface defense batteries, drones, and sometimes a Titan Spire, making these establishments as secure as the Council Chambers. It is a maze of corridors, machines, labs, magic, and vessel docks, surrounding a massive open cylinder 1,000km into the planet.
The cylinder’s top is an advanced black hole generator with a copper ring etched with ancient arcane glyphs. The first set of glyphs are designed to negate the black holes distortion effects of time, space, and gravity. The second set is used to rip the hole’s event horizon. And the third set is Slipspace’s dimensional frequency, injected into the event horizon to create fissures into Slipspace. It’s difficult to keep these fissures open.
Once active, wizards and witches employed by Gamel Group use an intense magic ritual and psychic power to “pull” the Slipspace energy through the fissures into our universe.
A second copper ring, energized by a second set of wizards and witches, hovers over the energy where it transmute, crystalize, and clusters the fresh Slipspace crystal into an ever-flowing tube of raw material.
The magic users can’t continue the process; they must rotate every hour to keep the crystal growing and mitigate health issues. The Gamel Group’s hiring campaigns are an extent of their force, empowering fresh recruits that the work is for the greater good of the Republic. By honest truth, their healthcare program is well funded. The most common injuries is brain fatigue, sometimes damaged if breaks don’t occur. They are employed for one Creos year, and they choose whether to continue or not. Five years is the maximum limit when retirement benefits start.
And this operation never stops.
Many have tried to replicate the process in smaller scales, mostly to sell unstable crystals in the market at a cheaper price, but really they are enchanted bombs to the gullible. Cracking down these “dummy crystals” is an unending fight, resulting in immediate execution and destruction.
The crystal grows down toward the planet’s core. The chamber’s walls are stacked with mining machines to carve the standard sizes for portables and ships, then shipped out across the Republic, heavily tracked to limit black market trade. Revenue is collected to maintain the nurseries, healthcare, and security.
Entering Slipspace by Drive or waygate is straightforward. It uses separate wormholes, temporarily made with magic barriers, electromagnetic forcefields, and gravity to let our universe’s matter travel through. Without the reinforcement, the matter is vaporized. To create these wormholes, it starts with a cannon attachment to the Slipspace Drive, designed with the same principles as the nursery’s glyphs but without wizards to transmute crystals. The energy is pulled and builds with the necessary protection and entry/exit coordinates until shot out. Then the energy explodes into a wormhole rift toward the destination, where the ship is pulled through by gravity before it closes behind the ship.
But still, Slipspace travel is not perfect. There is the matter of navigation.
What people need to realize is that our place in the universe, or a house on the hill, or a single empty spot in space, nothing ever stops moving. And so does Slipspace. For example, when a wormhole is made, where is the exit point in Slipspace? Choosing where to exit without a map will either put you several yards from your entry point, in another system, in another government, or uncharted space, lightyears from civilization.
The SCN is but a helping hand to Slipspace’s transportation network. Using the communication towers, a millennia of curated star charts, and echolocation and triangulation of tower rifts inside space, cartographers generate coordinates of every place in the Republic, and update those coordinates in the main Slipspace maps database whenever our universes “shift” and have to recalculate them every few hundred years. The goal is to find the entry/exit coordinates with the least amount of travel time at possible chance.
For example, the entry point outside Creos’s moon’s orbit and exit point between Terra Firma and its single moon have travel times between ten to fifteen minutes, give or take by wormhole path and ship speed.
With single ship travel that can’t afford crystals, waygates are utilized. These gates use drive arrays to make the massive wormholes for larger ships and ship fleets. This can also reduce the Slipspace crystal use on ships and the cost per ship per use is higher on the long term, but convenient.
This system has been stable and somewhat reliable for a long time, beyond the Republic’s existence, and does not see any sign of letting up.