Starburst is a method of propulsion utilized by Mrrshan vessels to cover great distances quickly. It is one of two "modes" utilized by a vessel's propulsion systems. In normal operation, or "Sublight" drive, the vessel moves as a conventional ship does. The second mode of operation for a vessel is Starburst. Starburst opens up a gateway through space-time that allows the Leviathan to exist in and travel through one dimensional space, thus drastically increasing the rate of speed a vessel can achieve without requiring increased amounts of energy output beyond what is needed to maintain Starburst.
How it WorksEdit
Starburst is able to increase the rate at which vast distances are covered by moving the vessel into one dimensional space-time. This changes the vessel's linear three-dimensional speed into an exponential one dimensional speed where by the distance covered during Starburst is a function of the time spent in Starburst. Starburst is extremely inefficient for short movements under a light cycle (the distance a beam of light travels in one cycle). Beyond a light cycle, the distance covered by Starburst increases rapidly. Unfortunately, the more time that is spent in Starburst, the more energy that is used. Most Mrrshan vessels have a reactor that is dedicated to powering the starburst drive, thereby making the starburst sustainable for as long as the ship can sustain power from the reactors. Starburst is also rather becomes more inaccurate with larger vessels, being up to 5 million kilometers off course. However, age of a vessel, and advanced navigational computers can make these inaccuracies effectively nil.
Starburst is relatively safe in that it presents no physical danger to biological life forms. However, because of space-time distortions, most lower order life forms experience disorientation ranging from mild vertigo to severe sensory overload. The dimensional transition is also a critical period. If power to the Starburst systems are lost before full transition is complete, or if Starburst systems are improperly shut down, the Leviathan may not completely exit into three dimensional space-time, remaining partially trapped in a dimensional schism. Also, Starburst is extremely volitile in areas where space-time is not isotropic. This includes wormholes, the event horizons of singularities, and space-time rifts. Lastly, the greatest danger in Starburst occurs when a Leviathan initiates Starburst in confined area, or in close proximity to other large objects. Ships within a Leviathans biomagnetic field are protected from these effects, but should a Leviathan initiate Starburst while in proximity to other objects, the sudden negative displacement of space-time causes severe physical damage to nearby objects.
Measurement of SpeedEdit
Starburst speed is measured in "Hetch" in a descending scale, from Hetch 10, which is one light year a day to hetch .5, which is roughly 21,000 ly/day." Each step is 3 times faster than the last.
Use in WeaponsEdit
Work has also been done to incorperate starburst drives into missiles. Due to the misslile's small size, and the way that starburst works, the resulting products are incredibly accurate missiles that can bypass shields and act directly on the hull or even inside the hull of a ship, granted that the calculations are correct. This type of modification will result in a larger missils however, the normal ones measuring in at about 1.5 times the size of the normal missiles. Also, due to the drain on power sources, a missile equipped with starburst cannot be equipped with shields.