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Alternate routes

I was running late this morning and decided to go ahead and drive in. Unfortunately, traffic was really screwed up on 35W, so instead of sitting in traffic I elected to make a move - got off at Diamond Lake, followed Second Avenue down to the parkway and then headed north on Park. Until I hit more construction on Lake Street, I was doing okay, but I stupidly backtracked to 4th before getting back on Park at 28th, and so I was 20 minutes late. Boss was a little cranky on account of not feeling well (and in fact she left at 11 AM) but she accepted a short lunch as penance for tardiness.

Not that there's a whole lot going on today anyway. Once I finished the monthly memo that tells people when to have their stuff in to us, that was pretty much it for the work of the day. I've fielded a few research requests, taken a few phone calls, and spent the rest of the day surfing the net or working on the background for Blood Red Skies. Fortunately a lot of that looks as if I'm actually doing work-related stuff, since the ship design templates are all on Excel spreadsheets.

In the Official Traveller Universe (OTU) the Imperium extends down into the region of space (Dingir subsector, if you want to look it up here) to spinward of Terra because the next two regions in are just shot full of stars within one or two parsecs of each other. For my purposes, this is a Very Bad Thing, and I've arbitrarily declared a number of systems on the edges of Imperial space to be vacuum worlds with no gas giants. That effectively makes them off-limits to Imperial exploration/settlement/commerce since most Imperial navy ships - and all their merchant ships - can only jump two parsecs before needing to refuel - and if there's no standing water or a convenient gas giant, they can't. Of course, along about the time the Empire realizes we're out on their borders, they start adding more fuel tanks to their ships so that those ships can move 3 parsecs, or in some cases 4.

Now, the same is true of Terran merchant ships, but our military starships (and some of the armed merchants) have a different stardrive than the one the Imperials use. That one stuffs the ship into c-plus space and allows movement up to five parsecs away. In addition, Terran warships use nuclear-electric fuel pods and so don't need to refuel with hydrogen every time they jump. On the other hand, switching out the pods is a major undertaking that requires a first-class starport and its construction yards, and there aren't too many of those.

So I've been spending time this morning puttering around adding tankage to Imperial warships, making notes about which systems have gas giants and which don't, and occasionally thinking about my characters. Mostly I've been working on building alternate routes, though, and doing the equivalent of posting "No Through Traffic" signs at various points around the sector. Good thing I have an awfully big wrench. ;)