The Sun Eaters
The Rahnian Sphere encompasses immense distances. The entire space governed by the Sphere is roughly the size of Earth’s local galactic cluster. Even on the actual Sphere itself, the relativistic time differences are extreme.
For example, the actual Sphere revolves around the central galaxy mass black hole. The momentum of this orbit is slight at the “poles” of the Sphere, but at the “equator” the Sphere turns at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Thus time speeds by at the poles, but at the equator time slows to a crawl.
Breathable atmosphere extends out from the Sphere for approximately one light year. Rocks, globes and even castles hang in the sky. Eventually they would all crash into the Sphere below, but that would take thousands of years and the inhabitants could either move or “fly” their world to a higher “orbit” long before then. It is quite possible to harness your geese to your chariot and fly to a neighbor’s world!
Above one light year out, things rapidly disperse into vacuum and real space vehicles are needed.
Space Travel from Fastest to Slowest
Gates: The most common form of travel in the “civilized” regions of the Rahnian Sphere. They allow for instantaneous travel between gate structures. Gate travel is limited in that physical gate structures are required at both the departure and arrival points.
Slipstream/Wormholes: Huge distances can be covered by traveling in the Slipstream; one can cover half the galaxy in a month, or travel between stars in mere days. The main drawback is that such travel is nearly universally detected – everyone can know where you are going, where you came from, and when you will arrive.
“Deep Warp:” Average speed of one LightYear per day. Deep Warp is stable, but tricky in certain areas; it is particularly dangerous around large masses. Mainly used in very well mapped regions of space.
“Mid Warp:” Average speed of one LightYear per 10 days. This method is stable but fuel costly. Also, a few ships traveling at Mid-Warp speeds have simply disappeared. Such instances have been rare, but they have also give Mid-Warp travel a very bad reputation.
“Shallow Warp:” Average speed of one LightYear per month. This method is both stable and fuel efficient. Ships traveling at Shallow Warp can travel between planets in a matter of days. This is the most common method for hauling freight.
When a ship travels in warp, it actually is inside an artificially created pocket universe. The only input from outside is gravity. The current Rahnian AIs can interpret gravity data very well, but it is still very much like using sonar to “see” where you are going.
Other Travel Mechanisms
The Rahnian Sphere also has “beaming” or transporter technology. However, its range is limited unless huge amounts of power are used, and the thing being transported must be completely scanned and recorded down to the subatomic level so that it can be properly replicated at its destination. This is also how the Rahnian forces reconstitute their troops. It is a “rez” of sorts, based on the last complete scan of an individual.
But now we’re getting into space combat, which is another topic altogether…