Void Ships

Reactionless craft developed and used by the Highest Archailects; the vessel is apparently entirely enclosed within a Void Bubble

Void Ship
Image from Steve Bowers
Void ships are apparently invisible within their bubble of curved space; but on occasion the space-time disturbance which they create can be observed when it passes in front of a celestial object such as a star

At the level of the greatest Archailects, Singularity Level 6, void bubbles reach their highest state of advancement. The three key breakthroughs are: First, that bubbles can be taken down so gracefully that even a cargo of living biological tissue can be retrieved without harm. Second, the exterior dimensions and interior volume, and thus the total mass that can be placed inside the bubble, are much greater than what can be achieved by S5 technology, increasing the carrying capacity and life-span of the system. Third, and most importantly, it becomes possible to pass smaller void bubbles back and forth through the intensely warped space-time that makes up the boundary of a larger void bubble while leaving both bubbles, and their interior contents, intact.

These three breakthroughs allow the space-time ship to reach its ultimate expression. In essence, the conventional hull is eliminated, as are the separate drive bubbles. Instead, the entire ship consists of a vast swarm of nested void bubbles all contained within a single 'giant' enclosing warp bubble. Since such vessels are functionally constructed of nothing but engineered space-time, they are widely and romantically referred to as Void Ships. Since the interior of the Void Ship occupies its own frame of reference, at rest with respect to the universe outside its outermost void bubble, it is no longer subject to relativistic effects and (apparent) accelerations can be astronomical. The maximum speed is a high fraction of the speed of light; sometimes within meters per second of c, and operational lifetimes and ranges are measured in thousands of years and light-years.

Of all the transapient created reactionless drives, the Void Drive is by far the rarest and most elusive, and perhaps the most capable. Even in this author's experience, despite extensive and exhaustive exploration and research, as well as numerous interviews with various high level transapient powers; actually observing the rumored 'Void Drive' in operation has not been possible. However, the substantial body of anecdotal evidence, including reports dating from both the Consolidation and Version Wars, interviews with known credible witnesses, and most importantly a one-time flyby visit of an associated agent to a so-called 'Valhalla Cluster' transapient manufacturing center five centuries ago lead us to conclude that such a drive (and its associated technologies) both exists and likely operates on the principles outlined below.

Void drives appear to operate on the same basic principle of the generation and manipulation of void bubble warps as is employed by the Displacement and Halo drive systems. However, the void bubbles involved are at least an order of magnitude larger in their internal volume. In the case of a Void Drive, it appears that, rather than being propelled by a swarm of Void bubbles external to itself, a vessel, group of vessels, or some other combination of matter and technology (each enclosed in one or more additional void bubbles operating together or nested within each other) is instead completely enclosed in a single large Void bubble which is then manipulated to accelerate itself and everything within it up to a high percentage of the speed of light in a matter of seconds or less. When the bubble and its enclosed cargo reach its destination, the outermost bubble is generally not deactivated, but rather some number of the interior bubbles are ejected from it in a controlled manner and the associated vessels or devices carried within them are then released into space at the destination point. Due to the flat space nature of the metric within the warp boundary, objects carried within the Void bubble experience neither acceleration forces nor time dilation and Lorentz contraction effects (which may be seen as a limitation on the technology of Void bubbles as a whole).

The phenomena of Metric Ghosts and Interferometric Ghosts have certain characteristics in common with the observed characteristics of Void Ships; however, the most intriguing set of Metric Ghost sightings have occurred deep in the Perseus arm, far from the sphere of activities of any known S:6 Archailects. This may mean that the Metric Ghosts are in fact xenosophont in origin.

As a final note, I wish to personally corroborate recent sightings of so-called Black Angels, which appear to exist as a direct instrument of Transapient authority. My observations of Black Angels suggest that they employ tens of thousands or millions of Void bubble nodes, which would give them reactionless, relativistic capability, and imply that the bulk of a Black Angel is invisible except to gravitational instrumentation. Their military capabilities are correspondingly +++

corrupted data, Node45E21/MGMU DateTime2.345E6/10499, transmission truncated
Black Angel Attack 2
Image from Operapoints

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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner and Adam Getchell
Mark McAmuk and Chris Shaeffer
Initially published on 09 December 2008.

Black Angel Image by Operapoints added July 18, 2023