Unknown to most, Wormholes are naturally occurring tunnels through space. They allow, through the use of sophisticated detection and navigation equipment, travel from one end of the wormhole to the other and may conceivably be of any length. The problem that they must be discovered not created lends a peculiar topology to the universe.
Mapped wormholes are known to be fixed in length but do not necessarily take the shortest route available. If a craft takes seven hours to travel Rozkosny’s Deep (The Sol-Altair Wormhole) then it will always take seven hours to make that journey – a journey of over 16 light years. On the other hand, the trip from Sol – Rist is further than our current technology can detect but the wormhole would take that same craft 17 hours to navigate.
The first anyone knew of wormholes was two years after the first contact with the Traders. Human Unity had already begun negotiations for the theoretical design specifications of the FTL wormholes but hadn’t yet witnessed the formation of a wormhole. When a wormhole opens it is accompanied by a burst of visible light which is wormhole energies translating into a transferable medium. When a ship emerges from a wormhole, it appears after the pinpoint of light dulls. Likewise when entering a wormhole the ship is enveloped in the light and is gone by the time it dulls.
Multiple ships can use the same wormhole at the same time and sometimes, on busy trade routes, this can lead to some rather spectacular pyrotechnics which is and has always been a popular tourist attraction.
The interior of wormholes is described as ever-darkening shades of blackness. Its contours are mapped using Trader technology which seems to measure a form of energy density gradient. This technology remains ‘black box’ within human space.
Within a wormhole is a pocket universe of unknown dimensions filled with energies of unknown properties. Within this pocket universe this energy forms currents which seem to lead from one wormhole to another. What are perceived as the edges of the wormhole tunnel are, in reality, areas where the energy flow is either less or more energetic or perhaps is ‘flowing’ in a different direction. Contact with this ‘energy wall’ is similar to the effect of bumping into a stream of fast moving water while swimming. At best the craft can expect to be bounced about, at worst vessels have been lost. Sometimes we even get the debris at the other end. It is known that the strength of these energy currents determines the relative speed of travel within the wormhole.
Wormhole Travel History
Originally travel in wormholes was ‘blind’ consisting of calculations provided by the extremely complex formulae which operated on information fed to them via the Trader-supplied navigation equipment. Travel was hazardous and slow as the bends and twists of the wormhole had to be mapped and then anticipated as plotted vectors. A mistake meant that the craft would plow into a wall with likely fatal results.
With the advent of further trade and the technological developments of Human Unity scientists the basic navigation equipment and formulae have been incorporated into a very powerful graphical imaging computer which can plot the information received into a visual display thus providing a method of travel which is no longer ‘blind’. This system is not however infallible and every starcraft licensed under the laws of Human Unity must be equipped with secondary Blind navigation. All navigation is handled by Experts though there are trained natural human astrogators on board every craft.
There are two known wormhole nexuses. One is located along the Rigel wormhole and the other is yet being investigated (sic). Nexuses are when a wormhole intersects another for some reason. Possible reasons for this might be the dynamics of the energy flows within the wormhole, the tunnel taking the easiest route. Another reason might be that most wormholes possess nexuses but most of these connections are too small to be detected by standard navigation equipment. It is known that there are Explorer craft investigating this phenomenon with static wormhole investigations (using engines to maintain a slow pace through the wormhole, resisting the natural flow of energy, thus permitting more accurate detection of the interior of the wormhole walls.)
Many systems have more than one wormhole within a reasonably traversable distance though the possibility of finding wormhole nexuses is very enticing. The reason being that in-system transit between wormhole interfaces can take weeks or months which is a considerable detour. A nexus within a wormhole would reduce this considerably.
Wormholes are generally large enough to allow the easy access of several craft without danger of collision but collisions have taken place. As craft represent a solid medium rather than the fluid dynamics of the interiors they can be detected easily and thus avoided.
Although it not known how exactly this device operates, theorists maintain that it must prevent the opening of a wormhole exit point. What is known is that if travel to a closed system is attempted then the entry wormhole forms but soon after entry the energy flows become unstable and the craft is released from the wormhole close to the entry point.
The Traders provides the theory to access Wormholes and to navigate through them. We provided the derivations from that theory. It is thought the Traders also possess the secrets to tunnelling wormholes. We believe their craft are capable of building wormholes where they want them and also collapsing them if they wish to keep something secret. A group of Human Unity scientists is working on a theory that basically exposes this concept. Proof is, of course, lacking.
The wormholes also may progress through time as well as space. Wormhole theory allows for this. Arguably traveling 17 light years in 7 hours is time traveling as the light from Sol will not have reached you for another 17 years. The light from Sol you can see will therefore be 17 years old. There are few abuses of this phenomenon.
Trader ships are theorised as being capable of almost instantaneous travel as they dig their own wormholes. What is the optimum travel time? Why did they leave some stars without wormholes? Why did they dig holes to others? Are Wormholes naturally created as well? Why do they dig “long travel time” wormholes? Perhaps as an early warning device?