This section is designed for continuity purposes. And will contain articles, rules, and other information regards the universe in which the characters live and operate. This will be the location of one of the few places where a rules lawyer may find sanctuary, as the purpose of the Tech Bible is to ensure that certain aspects of the game universe remain constant. It is also here that the wielder of Techno-Babble may likewise find solace, as the contents herein will be technical, well, as technical as I am willing to make anything for a game that is supposed to be fun, and not a math, physics, astronomy, sociology or any other 'ology class.
The mechanics of this type of propulsion is best described as spatial displacement. What occurs is that the space around the ships location (locus) is swapped first with Super-Dimensional Space or, subspace, then swapping that SD space with the space at the intended destination.
Two factors determine the speed of transition, the first being the distance between loci, and the second, being the size of the locus one wishes to move. The larger the locus the more energy is required to swap loci, this energy requirement is exponential.
Locus size usually encompasses only the object being transported, this is known as a Hull Flush Transition or HFT. This ensures that only the object is transported and uses the least amount of energy required and is standard operating procedure, most fold transitions are of this type. Extended Fold Transitions or EFT’s are used to transport a locus larger than the one initiating the fold. This is accomplished by extending the Fold Bubble or Sphere away from the hull. This is what occurred to the SDF-1 when she accidentally extended her fold sphere to encompass Macross Island.
The Macross Island incident is illustrative of the power issues required to transport large objects. Had the SDF-1 initiated an HFT as was intended, the Fold Drives would not have burned out.
Extended Fold Transitions are used in a few situations. Rescue and recovery; this occurred when the UES Icarus recovered the damaged UES Deucalion. Attack operations, this occurs when wings of fighter craft are carried along in space to save the time to launch them. Logistics operations, this occurs when a larger fold capable vessel called a ferry, carries non fold capable transport vessels to their destination within the ferry’s fold sphere.
Fold space itself is comprised of different planes, or planer layers. The further one translates away from ‘surface’ of subspace the faster the transition of loci occurs. To travel long distances one usually translates as far as one can from the surface, or hyperplane of subspace. Shorter distances usually see transitions near the hyperplane. This is called ‘Skimming the Plane’. During a loci swap, the primary locus, (target object), moves inversely to the secondary locus, (destination), with the primary locus traveling above the hyperplane and the secondary locus traveling beneath it.
Navigational hazards, or as some would term it, Negative Space Wedgie's, to Fold Space come in the form of dislocations within subspace, either above or below the hyperplane. These faults, come in three varieties, edge, screw, and mixed. Edge faults are dislocations either parallel perpendicular to a planer layer, Screw faults are dislocations that twist a layer, and Mixed Faults are a combination of Edge and Screw faults. Edge, Screw and Mixed Faults are commonly referred to as Fold Faults.
For all intents and purposes intersecting a fold fault of any kind will either force the ship out of subspace or slow the ships passage thru them, extending transit time. This can be mitigated if the ships power plant is strong enough to overcome the fault, but only the largest vessels can do this, and even they will be pulled out of subspace by a large enough faults.
Particularly large Fold Faults are often called a Fold Helix. These dislocations usually correct themselves relatively fast, but there have been recorded instances of dislocations lasting decades. Since these dislocations can be rather large, they can at times cut off regions of space by their presence, forcing fold capable ship to plot courses around them, or forcing them into normal space if the destination resides within a particularly large fault. These dislocations aren’t always static and can shift position with time. This is called Fault Creep. Another phenomenon, Fault Climb, occurs when the fault moves up or down over one layer to the next.
Dislocations are usually centered on what is called a Fault Source. These sources are naturally occurring and are caused by disruptions or knots in subspace. Certain events within real-space will cause a dislocation in subspace but they are rare and usually require incredible amounts of energy. Such real-space causes of dislocations include black holes, supernovae, and pulsars. Dislocations associated with such events may as well be permanent, as they last as long as the real-space phenomenon exists.
The good news is that those dislocations prevent one from de-folding into one of these events. These events are considerably less hazardous then a Fold Wave.
The Fold Wave, while dangerous if approached incorrectly, is an energy band that can be used to assist in ascending planer layers. This up-plane movement is colloquially called Fold Surfing, or any other related moniker. The down side to Fold Surfing is twofold. The first hazard is if the wave was unseen and overtakes the vessel. In this case one can either ride the wave and risk overshooting their destination, dive under the wave into a lower planer layer or if the wave occurred while Plane Skimming, perform a crash dive into real-space, otherwise known as a Wipe Out. The second hazard is if the wave was used to translate up-plane into a layer the ship did not have the power to reach on its own. To descend down-plane into a layer that is more manageable requires a crash dive, and if handled incorrectly can result in a particularly nasty Wipe Out as the decent pushes the ship all the way to the hyperplane.
Dislocations in subspace, unlike loci transitions, are not mirrored above and below the hyperplane. However, dislocations beneath the hyperplane will still effect the loci transition if the course intersects them.