Superspatial Inner Curve Transformational Inflation Ring Intersect Alteration Distortion is a process used as an alternative to Wormholes as a form of Faster than Light travel. The devices which use this process are mega-structures require the output of a giant star to function. This technology was first widely used in Via Sagittaria in 84,071 CE as a project promoting inter-connectivity to areas where large gravity wells disrupted wormhole-generators. Governments across the galaxy constructed hundreds to thousands of the devices. While originally only for military use, the government eventually allowed civilians to use the technology, greatly increasing the ability of the average person to travel across the galaxy.
Currently, SICTIRIAD technology is rapidly replacing wormholes for intra-galactic travel. As energy-cost increases with the exponentially with distance, travel between somewhat distant galaxies is predicted to never be practical. It is estimated that by 101000, most infrastructure designed for intra-galactic travel would use the SICTIRIAD process.
The SICTIRIAD Process
The universe can be thought of as a very large bubble. This bubble has five dimensions to it (at least as far as SICTIRIAD is concerned). Three of which are spatial and two of which are temporal (although this second one, much like higher spatial dimensions, is "scrunched up"). One can imagine our universe as a circle for simplicity. Everything that lies within our universe can be thought of as being on the surface of this bubble.
When a large amount of exotic matter is gathered in one place, that is, matter with a negative mass, and oriented in a specific way, space time warps enough to pinch a small amount of it off of the main universe. This pinched-off mass forms what is called a Surface Travel Bubble. A helpful analogy is how a cell splits during mitosis, the only difference being that the volume of a Surface Travel Bubble is often infinitesimally small compared to the main universe.
When the Surface Travel Bubble first comes to be, it undergoes a period of rapid expansion caused by a white hole in its center. A white hole is the opposite of a black hole; it is a region of space nothing can enter. White holes have a functionally negative mass, rather than slowing down time as black holes do, they accelerate time. From the perspective of the main universe, this STB expands to larger than our own in a matter of minutes. However, were someone somehow within this universe, it would have been experienced almost a googol years.
What creates this white hole is the exotic matter used to created the STB itself. The technology for creating an STB requires for a large amount of exotic matter to be put into it. The negative mass of the white hole causes the the STB is become far larger than the regular universe. Once it has expanded, a ship will enter it. Usually these ships are specially equipped to handle the stresses caused by crossing into another universe and reemerging into the main one. The bubble analogy is particularly useful when picturing how one could travel between out own universe and the STB universe. Essentially, exactly like how two bubbles can clump together and form a ring, a region of thin space separates these two universes. This region of space is called a Membrane Intersect Ring, or MIR. The MIR, in our three dimensional universe also appears to be a sphere.
The ship will travel in a straight line in the STB, but over a large distance in our own universe, the same principal as a wormhole but with a wildly different procedure. It creates a short-cut in space-time.
The Leftover STB
By the time the ship exits the Surface Travel Bubble, this bubble is already destabilizing. The STB continues expansion for a while, however, it has been destabilized by the white hole. The constant outward pressure of the temporary white hole stabilized the STB, without it, much like the ever changing shape of a bubble, the STB starts shifting and warping. They are designed to last about as long as it takes the ship to fly through before, afterwards, they "pop." This popping causes all matter within the STB to invert, becoming antimatter with a negative mass, while all exotic matter within the STB during the pop will be re-inverted back to standard matter. This matter would be flung back into the main universe, as it seems that existing within a universe gives the matter a lower energy state than existing outside of one.
This exotic matter can then be harvested and used for further STB's.
Using this Process
A machine able to create an STB is a very advanced, out of reach for all but Kardeshev III civilizations. A group of black holes are made to surround a large mass of Exotic Matter. Exotic matter behaves as a white hole when in large clumps. These black holes serve to bend space, while the white hole expands space, like a growth. Space very quickly pinches off to form an STB. The black holes are usually carefully controlled Kugelblitz black holes, that is, a black hole created by shining a ludicrously large amount of light into a single area.
The energy required to generate these black holes as well as keeping the exotic matter in place is immense. The typical Dyson Swarm cannot power such a device, it takes a giant star to generate enough energy. Typically, a single generator will allow ten to twelve ships enter per standard day, compared to the millions that can flow through a wormhole gate. The difference is how massive these ten to twelve ships are. These ships can hold trillions of people and quintillions of kilograms of cargo. Considering the large lines that build up around wormholes, as ships need to enter single-file, this makes SICTIRIAD more efficient overall. This is not even taking into account the risky nature of wormholes as well as their equally voracious appetites for energy. Overall, SICTIRIAD is safer and more efficient across most metrics. SICTIRIAD-capable devices are unable to be mounted on ships; they simply require too much energy for even the densest fuel source, antimatter, to supply.
Stars large enough to become SICTIRIAD generators have become hubs for commerce. Most stars are within a short flying distance to a SICTIRIAD gate via Hyperlanes. Due to how these devices actually work, one could enter the device in one part of the galaxy and end up anywhere else in the galaxy within minutes. The convenience of not requiring extensive infrastructure at the definition is unmatched by any other form of travel.
Approaching one of these gates one would see what is most commonly a blue star almost entirely shrouded in trillions of energy-gathering panels. These panels will beam their energy to an accompanying mega-structure. This mega-structure is the SICTIRIAD generator itself. The device itself is a large half-sphere the size of a planet in its own right. In this device is the generator, described above. It is normally shielded from view due to the sheer amount of light produced by this generator rivals some of the smallest stars. Around this device would be large numbers of truly massive ships, often almost ten kilometers long. These ships would have millions to billions of smaller ones accompanying them, piloted by computers to minimize the chance of collision.
A ship seeking to use the generator will wait in queue depending on where they want to go, normally docking with a the large ships which will be traversing the STB. The longest one would normally wait for a popular destination is twelve hours from arrival, however, obscure destinations, while serviced, typically only have a handful trips taken to them. These destinations are usually faster to use hyperlanes with or time travels so that the arrival time closely matches the departure to the less-popular location.
As mentioned before, the process is incredibly energy-hungry. Even travel from one side of Via Sagittaria to the other is more than many generators can handle. While power methods using supermassive black holes or controlled novae can greatly extend the distance, even these methods of power cannot allow even travel from Aylothn to Via Sagittaria, to galaxies within the same galaxy group. It is estimated that, without improvements to efficiency, it would take the mass energy of every star in the Local Universe to allow for travel from one galaxy-group to another.
Hypothetically, one could create an entirely stable STB, such a universe would be called a Seed Universe, a universe that is capable of remaining stable throughout the entirety of its existence. For these universes to be useful, time would need to pass by at a similar rate. Otherwise, communication or travel between the two may be impossible. Of course, a universe where time passes by at a slower or faster rate could have uses, such as isolating a civilization forever or acting as some sort of containment space. Currently, such universes are theorized to be possible, however, doubt remains as to what the practicality of such a universe would be.
The devices seem to have been used by most major civilizations throughout history, from the oldest civilization known, Sedrua, to modern ones such as the United Federation of Star Systems or The Lewis Nations. However, the technology took quite a while for modern nations to develop.
The modern nations of the Via Sagittaria first developed this technology in 56,000, however, the amount of energy was too much for most forms of power generation to supply, making only small-scale tests possible. This is where the technology remained until 71,000 when recent advances in kugelblitz technology allowed for the energy demand of the device to fall into the range of what a Supergiant Star could provide. The rarity of supergiant stars inhibited the technology and kept its use confined to regions of space where wormholes could not function, such as the area immediately around a black hole.
During the War of the Ancients, the Quintet Puontari Federation held extensive use of SICTIRIAD technology, which was mostly ignored by major nations for a fairly simple reason, which was that is was too expensive to usefully update the network at the moment. This caused a glaring and severe lack of SICTIRIAD infrastructure. This changed when militaries could no longer rely on wormholes to travel, due to their relative fragility and easy ability to be sabotaged (as seen extensively in the War of the Ancients by the QPF). Huge sums of money went into developing the technology, what would have taken the Confederacy another millennia to develop and implement only took two centuries. They were able to create a sufficient network of SICTIRIAD devices quickly enough to create a stalemate in the War.
After the war, many took note of the increased safety and efficiency and soon, the government began creating thousands of these devices. Travel to almost anywhere one desired was possible. Even so, few were quick to leave the galaxy to some far-off point on the other side of space. These devices were one-way trips, in order to have a round trip, one would need to go to the nearest generator. Using this technology to colonize a far-off galaxy is undesirable, as anyone that tried would be stuck in that galaxy until they gained the means to create one of these devices, something that is no small feat.
|Strelka STB Station||Located around Albedo, also serves New Alexandria.||10-20 quadrillion individuals per day|
|Reltzet Station||Near to Hathia and D'Naevium.||1-5 Quadrillion Individuals per day|
|Ljusblå Station||Orbiting Otonatic, in the Quintuplet Cluster in the Via Sagittaria||3 Quadrillion individuals per day|
|Kaiser Isla II SICTIRIAD Station||Another station in the Via Sagittaria, serves Thalsiedeln.||1 Quadrillion individuals per day|
|Holo-Lawrence Station||Located near to Lowa in the Ventemir Galaxy||0.9 Quadtillion Individuals per day|
|Raea SICTIRIAD Station||Surrounding the star Raea in the Flower Galaxy, servicing planets such as Carlea and Darvikus.||2.1 quadrillion individuals per day|
|Våldsam Stations||5 SICTIRIAD stations that orbit Caphitis from a distance of exactly 5,000 AU||combined = 30 trillion individuals per day|