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Overview

The multicolored tunnels of the Ascension Plane.

The Ascension Plane, alternatively called Hyperspace is an alternate plane of space-time that can only be accessible through deeply altering Phantom Energy, causing ripples in space-time. This process can be achieved with the Quantum Shift Drive. The Ascension Plane is technically a subplane of the Palioxis Starfield, only being able to be accessed from the latter plane. In some ways, the Ascension Plane is identical to the Palioxis Starfield, with each unique place in the Palioxis Starfield providing a distinct point on the Ascension Plane.

While several aspects of the Ascension Plane remain a mystery to astrophysicists and navigation experts, it is clear that it decreases travel times, allowing starships equipped with quantum shift drives to travel light-years in minutes or even seconds. As a result, the galactic community, commerce and trade, politics, and conflict of the Palioxis Starfield all rely on Ascension Plane travel.

Usage

The distorted stars seen when accessing the Ascension Plane.

The Ascension Plane is primarily utilized for short-term travel between the vast distances between stars. The spacecraft would travel to the direction that matched the path indicated in the Navigational Computer and engage the Quantum Shift Drive. During the leap to the Ascension Plane, the spacecraft appears to speed so quickly that people on board may see the stars spread out in parallel lines.

A ship leaping to the Ascension Plane would appear to suffer a sudden, tremendous burst of speed and disappear from the physical world, and this apparent acceleration is also visible from outside the vessel.

Ascension Plane routes are frequently plotted using the mass of an average-sized planet as a backstop, with the Quantum Shift Drive's safety mechanisms halting the vessel when it approaches the furthest point of feasible passage. Gravitational Field Generators can be used to create an artificial interdiction field that hinders Ascension Plane travel inside a specific area by replicating the outer edges of a celestial body's gravitational attraction, which is useful for both pulling ships out of Ascension Plane en route and preventing enemies from jumping during combat.

Nature & Hazards

When Ascension Plane is entered, the starship has left the Palioxis Starfield. The whole visible universe seems to be a multicolored tunnel of mottled high-speed blur, reflecting the plane's other-dimensional existence. A ship is effectively blocked off from all regular scanning and detecting procedures in the Ascension Plane.

Surprisingly, the Ascension Plane parallels Palioxis Starfield in several aspects. The reason for this is that a point in the Ascension Plane and a point in Palioxis Starfield are identical. In the Ascension Plane, this results in mass shadows of existing objects. If a spaceship approaches too closely, mass shadows can block Ascension Plane jumps and potentially drag a ship out of the Ascension Plane. Mass shadows, by their very nature, can put a ship in danger of colliding. Navigational Computers integrated with Quantum Shift Drives are designed to compute paths that purposefully avoid such occurrences. Natural mass shadows are created by the gravity wells of massive celestial bodies like planets, stars, and gas giants. Smaller bodies, such as comets, might potentially be to blame, albeit they appear to have little influence on the ship.

There are numerous hazards while traveling at velocities far exceeding the speed of light. While any collision or disturbance at this point may well be catastrophic, the effects of gravitational influence on a spacecraft could be particularly damaging, therefore a trajectory must be plotted outside of the "mass shadow" or gravity well of huge celestial bodies. Strangely, collision with the shadows of small-mass bodies that are under a hundred kilometers in size do not seem to affect the travelling ship in any way, as if they were not there.

The Ascension Plane is a deadly environment for all living beings beyond the confines of a ship's protection. Absolutely any living organism subjected to the environment of Ascension Plane would start suffocating and freezing, from the lack of air and no sources of heat. Even with protection, the Ascension Plane possesses numerous dangers, as one will begin to show signs of various mental issues such as extreme schizophrenia, when being in the Ascension Plane for many hours at a time. An individual could survive in an Ascension Plane-ejected escape pod, but reentry to Palioxis Starfield would be impossible if the capsule lacks its own quantum shift drive. Matter from Palioxis Starfield will also start to deteriorate after extended stays of over 2 hours in the Ascension Plane.

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