First FTL test pilot announced

CAPE CANAVERAL, EARTH – The first pilot scheduled to test the new Tilsworth-Cooke faster-than-light drive is a man named Tolliver Grange.

Grange, with more than a decade of experience working for Spark and other aerotech companies, will try a new prototype vessel launching from an undisclosed location beyond Earth’s orbit.

The test is expected to take place sometime during the next two weeks, but officials aren’t giving more specifics due to concerns about terrorism and sabotage.


VATICAN CITY, EARTH – Pope Regis I, who has overseen the Catholic church since 2537, died today at the age of 86.

The man who was born Orrin Cavini in Sicily became the most beloved pontiff of this age through a progressive agenda that pushed to end poverty and hunger, urged tolerance for other belief systems, and celebrated the prospect of discovering alien life among the stars.

Cardinals are expected to gather for a Papal conclave as the selection process starts for a new church leader.

Informal Presentation

Busby wanders into the lab wearing wrap-around pink shades and a plaid bathrobe over shorts, flip-flops, and a T-shirt that reads “MA HUMPS.” He finds a chair at one of the holotables and settles into it with a happy sigh.

Tilsworth is meanwhile standing near the holotable, a large sheaf of papers on a clipboard beside him, the last few pages of which he is scanning into the table’s interface.

Maxwell comes strolling in, with a friendly nod to Busby and the good doc. “Evening. Scanner’s free of gremlins today, I hope?”

“Got a memo from Omar, man,” Busby says, lacing his fingers together as he kicks a leg over an arm of his chair. “You’ve got good news, right? Lay it on me, man.”

Tilsworth chuckles to Maxwell. “I haven’t seen any cute furry animals or scaly green monsters, so I believe we are gremlin free.” he says, the last page scanned in as he starts up the holo-presentation. “I do hope it is good news in your eyes, Mr. Busby. Although we do not have a physical product yet, the theoretical components are well tested and proven at this point.”

Maxwell stretches a bit. “Good, good. Be a lousy time for normally reliable tech to go pear shaped.”

Busby smiles lazily. “Cool, man, cool. Okay, so explain the theory, man. But, y’know, pretend you’re explaining it to a dude who may or may not be tripping on a tasty batch of Lunar City hydro-chronic.”

Tilsworth adjusts his glasses a bit. “I’ll do my best, young man, but do please stop me if I start to ramble.” he says with a smile, and brings up the first page of the presentation. “The basic theory is that the energy field the unit generates serves the purpose of ‘detaching’ the ship and the space contained within the field from the rest of the universe. It is best envisioned as a ‘frictionless barrier’ that becomes a self-contained entity. Once this ‘bubble’ is floating free of the universe, the standard propulsion units of the ship can push this bubble as fast as the available power to the engines and the field permits. The more power to the field, the greater the ‘detachment’, and thus the less ‘friction’ encountered.”

Maxwell nods. “Some of the more religious folks are going to think we’re playing god by creating tiny universes at will.”

“Okay, okay,” the Spark CEO replies. “I don’t mind pissing off the zealots, man. I’ll eat that free advertising for breakfast. And a snack. Although what I really want is a fluffy meringue pie. Anyway. How can we fuck it up? Where does it go wrong? What’s the downside, man?”

“There is a potential, rather slim, that the newly created universe begins to exponentially increase in size to potentially replace this one. However as my young friend here has pointed out, at least we would be in charge of the new one.” Tilsworth says with a chuckle. “However, I must stress this is a very remote theoretical possibility and with sufficient auxillary systems and redundacies, it could likely be eliminated completely from the prototype unit.”

Maxwell nods. “It’s not an in charge situation I particularly want, really. Just an outside chance that we need to keep an eye on while figuring out the hardware.”

Busby nods. “So what do you need for testing?”

Tilsworth switches to the next page of the presentation. “Here are the basic components of the system. Power for the system is generated from a pair of fusion reactors. My current parameters utilize a pair of GE HydroGen Mark II fusion reactors with an output of 25 gigawatts each. The resulting high energy plasma generated by the reaction is fed into a Siemens CP-135 power conversion relay. The resulting focused plasma stream is fed through a pair of GE Magnafeed magnetic wave guides that feed two arrays each consisting of 25 Siemens RD-250 Radial Generator coils. With these physical components in the simulation, the drive can achieve 10 times the speed of light. I propose to construct the prototype unit we acquire these components as soon as possible for assembly into a test vehicle.”

Maxwell nods. “Should be a fun start, certainly.”

“All right, man,” Busby says. “Won’t be cheap, but, shit, nothin’ worth it ever is.”

Tilsworth nods. “In addition we would need four Honeywell MX-427 fusion rocket engines for the standard propulsion system of the vehicle. In addition to the standard construction materials to build the frame in which these components will be installed.” the old scientist says. “Once the vehicle is complete, we can transport it to a spot near Mercury’s orbit to be as far away from prying eyes as possible to the initial live tests. I have already met our test pilot and he appears quite capable, perhaps even eager.”

Busby headtilts. “Oh, yeah, well, man, we’re gonna need more than one test pilot, don’t ya think, man? I mean, seriously. Shit’s gonna go sideways.”

Maxwell nods. “Interesting fellow. Definitely eager for his part to come.”

“It is my sincere hope that we do not encounter serious adversity during the initial tests.” Tilsworth says. “However, planning for such an occurrence is a necessity, and I have some ideas for safety factors.”

“Okay, man,” Busby says, getting to his feet. He runs a hand through his hair, rubs the other on his stomach, and then says, “Good work. Let’s do this again when you’re ready to fling the monkey. I want pie, man.” He smacks his lips and wanders out of the lab. Apparently, the meeting is over.

Maxwell stretches a bit more. “Alright. Let’s get back upstairs soon as we can. Getting tired of all this pesky gravity.”

Tilsworth gathers up his papers. “Pie does sound rather good.” he observes. “YEs… I find I am leaning a bit too much on this cane now…”

Patreon RP Stats Update – 11/15/14

On our Patreon page, Santiago has participated in three scenes so far in his personal story arc. The scenes total 2,094 words.

RP Stats Report – 11/15/14

Here’s a rundown on where players active in the last 24 hours stand in their roleplaying stats:

  • Alastair Hall has written 29 poses containing 1624 words and 9451 characters since 2013-06-23. He averaged 56.0 words per pose and 5.82 characters per word.
  • Chirc has written 179 poses containing 11374 words and 64550 characters since 2013-06-17. She averaged 63.54 words per pose and 5.68 characters per word.
  • Newt has written 256 poses containing 4753 words and 25946 characters since 2013-05-18. He averaged 18.57 words per pose and 5.46 characters per word.
  • Frn’Zxk’Fkg has written 1 poses containing 63 words and 396 characters since 2013-12-23. He averaged 63.0 words per pose and 6.29 characters per word.
  • Jasra has written 6 poses containing 270 words and 1490 characters since 2013-06-03. She averaged 45.0 words per pose and 5.52 characters per word.
  • Leucohyle has written 251 poses containing 23231 words and 138385 characters since 2013-06-05. She averaged 92.55 words per pose and 5.96 characters per word.
  • Dizzy has written 19 poses containing 1066 words and 5828 characters since 2013-06-26. She averaged 56.11 words per pose and 5.47 characters per word.
  • Clankritich has written 10 poses containing 553 words and 3025 characters since 2014-08-16. It averaged 55.3 words per pose and 5.47 characters per word.
  • Kethren has written 1566 poses containing 45372 words and 253992 characters since 2013-05-18. He averaged 28.97 words per pose and 5.6 characters per word.
  • Rachael has written 28 poses containing 1189 words and 6868 characters since 2014-08-18. She averaged 42.46 words per pose and 5.78 characters per word.
  • Fritz has written 88 poses containing 6755 words and 36645 characters since 2013-06-23. He averaged 76.76 words per pose and 5.42 characters per word.
  • Xanya has written 479 poses containing 18050 words and 94661 characters since 2013-05-25. She averaged 37.68 words per pose and 5.24 characters per word.
  • Jocaira has written 1289 poses containing 104116 words and 564284 characters since 2013-05-20. She averaged 80.77 words per pose and 5.42 characters per word.
  • Aina has written 446 poses containing 16222 words and 86753 characters since 2013-05-20. She averaged 36.37 words per pose and 5.35 characters per word.
  • James Sterling has written 1348 poses containing 69427 words and 400376 characters since 2013-05-20. He averaged 51.5 words per pose and 5.77 characters per word.
  • Alhambra has written 323 poses containing 27571 words and 153506 characters since 2013-05-18. She averaged 85.36 words per pose and 5.57 characters per word.

These statistics are for real-time RP activities only. They do not account for asynchronous posts on Patreon. A separate report is forthcoming for those scenes.