Maurice is floating near the big bay window, Maxwell is closer to the entrance to the lab. “Talked the the A.I. about that, might take a while and what we find might not all that bright.” He grins. 

Maxwell chuckles “No telling what we’ll find, certainly. Smart cockroaches, dumb ferns, rabbit riflemen… who knows!” 

Raynaldus floats into the lab compartment and looks around to see if anyone is present. “Hello gentlemen. How are things today?” he asks. 

“I would love ta see rabbit riflemen. Yummy NRA members. God Bless Texas.” Maurice chuckles slightly. As Raynaldus enters the Texan looks over his shoulder. “Howdy there mister.” 

Tilsworth floats in shortly after Raynaldus, a clipboard tucked under his arm. “My my…. quite the crowd today.” he says with a chuckle as he heads over towards the simulator terminal. 

Maxwell pulls himself into the lab station chair he was holding onto, and nods to Tilsworth. “Afternoon. What’s on the agenda today?” 

Maurice turns to face the room and gives everyone a lazt salute. “Howdy there second mister.” He adds with a grin. “Come to enjoy the view as well?” 

“Hello there.” Raynaldus replies to Maurice then he flies over to Tilsworth and Maxwell. “Anything I can help out with today or should I continue with the design for the test probe?” 

“Simply running through another round of simulations for the propulsion field.” Tilsworth says as he settles into the chair. “Although I must say, the view here is quite spectacular. I hope that I live long enough to perhaps see the view of a world that is not our own.” he says as he brings up the simulation program. 

Maxwell chuckles “Looking forward to that myself. Any interesting changes to the field, or just more tests on current parameters?” 

“Tests? Ah, well there explains some. I am the dumber than dirt yokel they hired to strap into yer fancy Roman Candle. Please tell me ya are planning to leave somethin in my control.. Hate to be spam in a can like the ole Mercurys.” The Texan grins as he pushes off to float near the trio. 

Raynaldus nods and takes seat as well to watch the Simulations. “Any ideas on how much force the system will apply to the structure of the ship? Or is that a bit to early to tell?” Raynaldus asks. 

Tilsworth chuckles. “Once the FTL engine has engaged, you will retain full control of the vehicle according to the parameters. However, I wouldn’t expect to be able to maneuver it like a fighter jet at full speed.” he says, entering in some additional parameters, looking to Maxwell. “Indeed, I have been experimenting with the math to shape the field and ‘streamline’ the field effect, making normal space ‘flow’ around the field more efficiently. Much like modern vehicle designers strive to reduce drag on their vehicles by increasing air flow around the vehicle. If my estimates are correct, this configuration should provide up to a 50% improvement in top speed.” 

Maxwell nods “Nice. Considered a golf ball kind of dimpling, or would that be more effort than its worth?” 

“At that speed I’d assume we aint in the business of dodgin shit. A degree here or there is gonna fuck yer day and leave ya in the wrong system.. if ya are lucky.” Maurice replies with a grin. “A speck of sand or someshit is gonna have the force of Fat Man. Figure y’all got some shields or something… or we aint travel in real space right?” 

Raynaldus Nods listening to Tilsworth and maxwell. “I see. So… since we might have so little manouvering capabilities, we might also need a system that will help us plan the trip in advance.” 

“Yes.. astrogation is not going to be as simple as driving to Pittsburgh.” Tilsworth says with a chuckle. “It will require complex calculations.” he says to Raynaldus before looking back to Maurice. “Unfortunately the field will not prevent objects from the outside from penetrating the field and impacting the vehicle. Armor plating will help against small objects but modification of existing anti-grav fields may be an option for a ‘deflector’ of some sort that would push offending debris out of the way of the travelling vessel.” Finally to Maxwell, “That is one possibility but it increases the number of field generators to a large number to achieve the proper field texture.” 

Maxwell nods “Yeah, figured it wouldn’t be an easy thing. Toss that idea on the back burner in case we get some epiphany on how to do it efficiently.” 

“I’m ready ta strap in and test whatever. My little talk with the station A.I. confirmed we gotta git out there to survive and if i can be a part of it why the hell not… But space is all sorts of empty until it aint. Just want ya’ll to remember that is all. Light plus 2 aint gonna make a comet any less icy is all.” 

Raynaldus nods to tilsworth awsner. “I thought as much. Sadly I am not much of a programmer myself. I’m more into the building of ships and other vehicles.” He says. 

“May be some time before we have a working prototype, young man.” Tilsworth says. “Still, we are well on our way.” 

Maxwell nods “Indeed, indeed. Even if we get nowhere, we’ve got a hell of a view until we get kicked off the project! …Which I am not hoping for, mind.” 

“Hell I am just luggage until there is a test bed. I can do outside repair sure but I aint reckonin on us needin that on a fancy new station. This aint the Mir 3.” Maurice grins. “If ya smarty pants don’t mind me askin, what kind of FTL drive are we lookin at? I don’t mean the engine specs.. I mean how are we gonna break the unbreakable law like a bunch of teens with a bottle of shine on prom night?” 

“I also hope we won’t be kicked of this project. But I don’t see it happening yet thought.” Raynaldus says. 

“The short answer is we are creating a field that will be a barrier between the ship, and the universe around it. In essence ‘detaching’ it from normal space and creating a ‘bubble’ that the ship’s normal engines can propel at potentially limitless speed depending on how much power is put into the field and the power of the ship’s engines.” Tilsworth explains. “Think of it as coating the ship with oil to reduce friction.” 

Maxwell nods with a bit of a wink “And hey, if we create a new universe in the process, we’re obviously going to be in charge there.” 

“Ya could have just said Star Trek Warp but that’d demean the science right partner?” Maurice’s ‘stach twitches with that comment. The Texan offers all around a pearly white smile. 

Raynaldus grins a bit. “You make it sound easier then it probably is.” He says to Maxwell with a smile. 

Tilsworth chuckles. “I must admit it gave me the inspiration.” he says, bringing up the next simulation sequence. A suspiciously familiar vessel with two nacelles and a saucer appears as the test vehicle, and around it a field forms. Tilsworth watches the parameters as he initiates the simulated drive. It begins to accelerate quite rapidly, breaking the speed of light but it doesn’t stop. The velocity gauge goes up so fast the numbers are a blur, until it finally stops at about 10C. 

Maxwell blinks a couple times before nodding “Yeah… that’s a bit closer to something useful there. What’s the power outlay going to be like for that?” 

Maurice watches the sim, his eyes grow slightly big. “Rescue Voyager at that speed.” The Texan grumbles to himself. “… Speed like that I’d like a ummm cut off switch and a chase craft of some sort. Red line there…. Any temporal fuck ups too? If I test that, is it gonna be Planet of the fucking Apes?” 

Raynaldus watches the simulation and as maxwell asks the power question Raynaldus takes out his pda to write down some notes. “What does that 10C Stand for? 10 times the speed of light?” he asks. 

“Indeed… a bit better than I expected. 10C is indeed 10 times the speed of light.” Tilsworth says, resetting the simulation. “The current simulated input is from two compact fusion reactors rated at 25 gigawatts each. Propulsion is from four fusion rockets powered from a third reactor.” 

Maxwell nods “Not exactly gassing up the jalopy for a sunday drive, then.”

“It aint?” Maurice asks Maxwell. “Aint 25 gigs nuffin? What we need? Ta good 88 mph and a flux capacitor?” The Texan’s ‘stach twitches. “Science don’t seem so hard.” 

Raynaldus thinks a bit. “hmmm…. so …. 3 compact fusion reactors producing 25gigawatt each and 3 backup versions just in case.” He says as he makes a note of it on his pda. “Sounds to me like that might become a big ship.” 

“It is well within the design parameters of our current reactor technology…” Tilsworth says. “However the fuel to power them will be much of the weight of the final product. I doubt our prototype will go quite that fast given that with limited construction materials in orbit it will be rather small and not have the power input simulated here.”

Maxwell nods “Well, quite. We don’t need a 10C output on the proof of concept, really.” 

“Sling me the Oort Clould and back under an hour and I am sure we’ll get fundin from everyone.” Maurice adds. 

Raynaldus nods. “Indeed maxwell. No need to go all out when doing the test to proof the concept. I’m just making notes to help me with designing the ships that will contain this system.” 

“If we exceed the light barrier, then we’ve accomplished our task.” Tilsworth says. 

Maxwell nods “Well, accomplished an important step, yes. But intersteller distances being what they are, the farther we can leave light speed behind us the better.” 

“Well shit… I gotta do just that. With a little vac and everything. Its a small station, see ya all later.” Maurice grumbles as he floats out of tje room. 

Raynaldus nods. “indeed, a verry important step and Worth taking it one step at a time if you ask me.” 

Tilsworth nods. “Small steps, much like Armstrong himself said.” Tilsworth says with a grin. “Now then… these old bones need a rest. I am going to lay down for a while before returning to my calculations.” he says, floating up out of the seat. 

Maxwell nods “Rest well. It’s been a good afternoon’s work.” 

Raynaldus waves. “rest well sir. I’ll finish my notes and then I’ll find a quiet place to work on some ship designs, Basic designs mind you. Not yet going in to many details.” 

Maxwell stretches a bit as he gets out of his chair “Think I’ll get a bit of rest myself.” 

Raynaldus nods. “alright. See you next time then and have a good rest.”

By Colchek

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