Imperial Packet Service

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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:59 pm

Imperial Packet Service

Postby Redclift » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:57 pm

Communication between the planets ? How'es it done ? Yes if you have more then one inhabited planet/ moon you can talk to them on radio or possibly a communications laser . But what about sending a letter to B2 from severus say ? So do you give it to a random Charioteer going in that general direction or now that the Emperor has been established for over 20 years has he got a slightly more regular method ? I would say yes . Lets face it the emperor wars strained everyone's finances and one of the first things governments do when the war is over is sell off a hell of a lot of military surplus . So what happens to all the explorers the houses built and used for scouting and over fun stuff ? Perfectly good ship just not very useful for pirate hunting , now along comes someone who is littary making the money , has a need for reliable communications . Sounds like a match made in heaven . So is born the Imperial packet service because yes the government is making the money but starships aren't cheap to buy or run , so offset some of the running costs by opening the service to the guilds , the church , noble houses and freeman of other stripes . The service would be faster then what a tramp freighter could offer , would provide valuable flight time for young low rank charioteers and if you had tons of cash and a desperate need to get somewhere may be you could hire a cabin for the route .

Leviathan of Maddoc
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:59 pm

Re: Imperial Packet Service

Postby Leviathan of Maddoc » Thu May 10, 2018 5:41 pm

The fastest way to get a message from one world to another is laser transmission from planet to ship at the gate, then transferred through the gate by a ship, then beamed to planet. The only ships at the gate with the hardware to receive that broadcast would be military so only in very rare cases would the Empire have control of those transmission. In almost every case it would be house military. Because planetary transmitters would orbit there would be a limited window every day to transmit. If you miss the window it will be 20 hour before you can send and the transmission takes up to 6 hours. So you can basically get message to the gate within a day.

I would guess the Charioteers approve couriers to transfer courier packages through the gate since the charioteers are about the only fleet going through every gate every jump. If you're a charioteer of decent rank there's a chance you'll get to the gate with cargo and find out that the local Noble House will offer you 100 FB to courier an encrypted think machine (And perhaps transport another one back) across the jumpgate to the military vessel on the other side. These courier think machines aren't easy to hack, they have specialized inputs, physical security and the data is highly encrypted, all made for a key that the ship on the other side of the gate uses. These jumps can be unpredictable depending on how long the gate cycle is so it can add up to two days to the time to transmit. The receiving ship will wait until the last second before they flag a courier ship so that if a message comes in as the gate is cycling it will go out in that jump. This messes with the jump queue but everyone understands the priority of courier ships and they just tough it out.

On the other end is the military vessel of the local system. They receive the think machine, plug it into their com-center and transmit the data straight from the think machine's spool, the think machine is disconnected and put in a storage so that the next vessel going back to that system can return it to the military there to use again. The message reaches planet side in about 6 hours, again timed to precision it a receiver when it's within rotation, so on average about a day.

Overall it takes 2-5 days for a message to travel planet-to-planet plus 2 days for each additional jump. Each laser transmission fires multiple times in that orbital window so if something obstructs the sequence and corrupts the transmission there will be a chance one of the other attempts will connect, however there are just some times sending and receiving where an eclipse or a meteor storm adds an additional day to the transmission. The planet or vessel responds with a confirmation signal when the transmission is received entirely, but again there's a 6 hour transmission time and a limited orbital window so most often if there's a problem sending it will add a day's delay. The infrastructure of being able to transmit Lightspeed Radio between worlds is massive, between expensive high tech hardware, knowledge of astrophysics to hit the receiver, paying the Charioteers, and just the extreme expense of parking a destroyer at the Gate all of the time. But it is necessary. A world that needs a several weeks to send a message to their neighboring worlds cannot survive economically. Part of the expense is carried by Lightspeed Radio public transmission. Each transmission between worlds carries political and military correspondence swimming in hundreds of messages from powerful factions and private citizens. For about a dozen firebirds you can send a lengthy message, perhaps a bit more on worlds with fewer jumproads, quite a bit more for additional jumps. Each faction has a secure line to the Noble-House's transmitter in any substantial operation they have, Agora's, Spaceports, Cathedrals, guildhalls, embassies. Additionally any major city would have a public Lightspeed Radio telegraph desk (Usually run by the Engineers guild hall) where anyone can walk up off the street and send a message between worlds.

Even very talented hackers would have a difficult time cracking the courier think machine before it had to be delivered, but it's possible. The military ships on either side of the gate on the other hand have custody of the data for a long time and you should assume anything you send between worlds on Lightspeed Radio is read by intelligentsia of both worlds.

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