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Other Superluminal Drives

Advances in the propulsion sciences during the latter half of the 24th century have made it possible to build other faster-than-light drives (dubbed ‘faster-than-warp’ [FTW]) which exceed the capabilities of standard Starfleet warp drives.

The highest rated conventional engine design allows vessels to travel at warp 9.992 maximum. When entering speeds exceeding this ratio, Starfleet rates these speeds beyond warp 9.992 as a point fraction of speeds approaching Warp 10 (For example, Warp 9.992 is Transwarp 0.20, Warp 9.9999 is Transwarp 0.58, the maximum conventional subspace radio speed). Speeds in access of Warp 9.9999+ have reached Transwarp 0.98 as the limit of Starfleet’s achievements thus far in this advanced technological arena.

Coaxial Warp Drive

Coaxial warp drive systems operate on different principles than standard warp drives. Instead of creating a warp field and manipulating that to create propulsion, a coaxial warp drive creates a warp field and then ‘folds’ space (in a manner similar to the folded-space transporter by the Elway Theorem). This allows a ship to travel immense distances instantly. Furthermore, due to the technique used, a ship runs no danger of accidentally colliding with space objects, since it’s not actually traversing normal space.

(Coaxial Warp drives can only be equipped to vessels size 5 (Defiant-class) and below, and if the drive catastrophically fails it destroys the ship, everyone aboard, and collapses space in an area with a billion kilometer radius around the ship. Vessels must be equipped with an Interphase generator and para-dynamic systems, otherwise the drive is unstable and prone to overload. Starfleet has only been able to create drives of up to Type 3 thus far. See below chart).

Coaxial Warp Drive Systems Table

Type        SU        Power per round    LY per minute    Available?
Type 1      75                 40                                2                    Yes
Type2     100                 80                                3                    Yes
Type 3    125                120                               4                    Yes
Type 4    175                160                               5                    No
Type 5    225                200                               6                    No

Quantum Slipstream Drive

Quantum slipstream drive (QSD), like a coaxial warp drive, allows a ship to move at velocities far exceeding standard warp drives—approaching the upper Warp 9.999 range (Transwarp 0.82 maximum). The systems routes energy from the quantum drive to the main deflector, which creates a ‘slipstream’ in subspace through which a ship travels. Due to the slipstreams size, a ship without a QSD can enter it and travel along behind the vessel generating the ‘tunnel’. The instabilities created by a quantum slipstream pose significant dangers to a ship, in that it places enormous pressure on the ship’s SIF and hull, and can rupture the latter. Furthermore, maintaining a slipstream is difficult, and, if it collapses, it can damage or destroy a ship.

Though Starfleet has tested and fielded vessels with QSD capabilities, they have been unable to master the affects of navigating a slipstream without causing extreme risk of catastrophic damage to the ship unless the vessel is striped and outfitted exclusively for slipstream travel. This has made the technology impractical for Starships to utilize this technology, though, has made it possible for Starfleet to send large automated probes or long-range research vessels specifically designed for slipstream flight to use this technology for exploration.

Transphasic Warp Drive

When tests proceeded in the early 2370’s to break the transwarp barrier, and, partially failed, Starfleet engineers proceeded in designing a warp of traveling at sub transwarp velocities safely, efficiently, and easily applicable to nearly any ship design. This research resulted in the breakthrough into Transphasic warp drives in 2378 aboard the USS Yorktown-D. Commander Arix, a field engineer testing the para-dynamic technologies and tetryon plasma M/ARA systems pioneered on the Yorktown, and formerly a part of the teams that broke the Transwarp barrier in the early 2370’s and was a part of the Excelsior design team in the 2270’s a century earlier which failed, was able with the assistance of the brilliant and eclectic minds of ASDB and the Yorktown’s crew to manipulate the unique properties of the para-dynamic energy systems, originally designed for convincing holo-graphic ‘chameleon’ sheaths and sensor fooling holo-graphic projection technology on the starship level for purposes of warfare and stealth applications to exceed the maximum warp speed of warp 9.982 in 2377. By utilizing an Interphase generator, pioneered technology aboard the ill-fated USS Pegasus, and directly combining it’s meta-phasic flux abilities to create superluminal overlapping subspace fields in the form of advanced beta-tachyon meta-phasic shielding, allowed for the ship to be protected from the effects of transwarp ‘deformations’. Though, humanoids were not effected unless they breached the warp 10 barrier, the Transphasic fields created allowed the ship to utilize the advanced form of dilithium applied in earlier transwarp flights to be used to generate meta-phasic flux fields unique to tetryon radiation, manipulating the subspace domain in a way to exceed the warp 9.9999+ barrier. This opened the door per se to further advances in hyperspace communications in the pathfinder project, and thus allowed Starfleet to equip it’s most advanced starships with a viable faster-than-warp option to use in practice.

The Yorktown-D broke the warp 9.9999 barrier, exceeding to speeds now dubbed Transwarp 0.61 and paved the way for implementation of this technology for fleet-wide use. The most advanced design thus far on the USS Ascendant can sustain a velocity of Transwarp 0.75 for indefinite periods of time with only a fraction of the power required for such speeds using conventional warp drives, and further eliminating the inherent subspace stresses of such velocities in it’s trans-phase mode.

(Transphasic warp drive (TPD) requires a vessel to be equipped with a T-M/ARA warp drive, Para-dynamic hull holo-projection system and an Interphase generator to operate effectively. The maximum rated speed depends on the class of vessel the system is equipped to and the quality in the systems installed, but does not translate into game terms. A vessel using this drive can move at Transwarp 0.75 for a nigh-infinite amount of time provided all the systems required are working perfectly.)

Transwarp Drive/Hypergate Hub Conduit

Used by some, among others, the Borg, transwarp drives allow a ship to create a ‘corridor’ in space-time from one place to another. A ship using the corridor travels at Warp 10, a velocity unattainable with standard warp drives. A transwarp drive does this by emitting tachyons, which breach the subspace barrier and allow the ship to create a transwarp corridor (similar in many ways to a wormhole) by ‘folding’ subspace.

The Federation began experimenting with transwarp drives in the 2280’s, with the USS Excelsior serving as a test bed for the prototype. Unfortunately, the trials were a failure, in that Starfleet could not determine how to exit a transwarp corridor at a predefined point (the desired destination). Theories also posit that transwarp travel could cause disfiguring mutations in humanoids. However, encounters with the Borg beginning in 2369 showed that they had solved these problems and developed a transwarp drive at least 20 times faster than conventional warp drives.

Since that time, the Federation has fought the Borg on several more occasions, and has had the opportunity to capture and examine a fully operation Borg sphere, allowing them to access many of the Borg’s secrets, including their assimilation methods and technologies to figure ways to defend against them, nano-probes, beam weaponry, and so on. They were also able to examine and test their transwarp abilities by extracting the vessels transwarp coils. The Federation learned much about the technology in their time testing it, but found they were unable to reproduce the coils in a form that would be capable for use on their starships to their disappointment. But, this did open up the possibility for Starfleet to create Transwarp Hypergates, in essence, artificial wormholes with the help of Dr. Lenara Kahn of Trill. Since that time, the Federation has constructed several Transwarp Hypergates at strategic points throughout the Federation; assisting vital Starfleet movements and mass transit for Federation civilian fleets.

The Hypergates are massive constructs, an overlapping octagonal structure five kilometers in diameter, made of advanced para-metallic materials, a station control center and lined with Federation created transwarp coils nearly 300 meters in diameter within an expanding interspatial manifold structure that extends its overlapping form out three kilometers from it’s X axis, the coils generate a massive transwarp corridor to allow nigh-instantaneous travel across the galaxy similar to the Borg lattice work employed in their astonishing transwarp hub creation in the delta quadrant. The Federation has created up to six of these massive gates, losing one to a Cimothian attack in 2378.

Once the gate is deactivated, the transwarp conduit remains active for at least two minutes, allowing other ships or objects to enter it during that time and make use of its properties even though they lack a transwarp drive—but when the corridor shuts, they’re stuck at the other end. The Cyth made use of this vulnerability to destroy a Hypergate by deploying ordinance into the conduit and allowing it to detonate on the gate side, causing a chain reaction that obliterated the gate. Starfleet has prepared with this type of attack in the future, however, by equipping the gate station housing with Photonic shock emitters, Type VI photon Torpedoes, Orbital MDP weapon sphere’s and self-replication mines on it’s side, with the ability to implode the conduit for at least a light-year, in essence, destroying whatever is coming through the conduit to their side.