‘I must escape from this world. You can give a private citizen like me something only a sovereign government can. I want the jump drive.’… ‘The device will be put in your spacer. Use it only in deep space.’
‘I have killed the jump control so we can’t get to another star. However, there’s nothing wrong with our space drive, so we can make a landing on one of the planets—you saw for yourself that there is at least one suitable for habitation.’ ‘Where I will fix the jump drive and continue the voyage to Cassylia. You will have gained nothing.’
She reached for drive control, uncapped switches. ‘Stand by. Going to throw our navigation all to blazes; I'll keep Alijuun off our nose when we cycle back.’ She pulsed the jump drive, once, twice, three times, microsecond flarings of the vanes.
In functional terms, the Pilot is the human component of the Jump Circuit, the organic element of our star drive, who, cyborged to the Jump Drive by the Harmonizer, and activated by the Primer Circuit, navigates the ship through the space-time discontinuity of the Jump and out the other side the requisite number of light-years in the right direction.
The body of the jump drive, as the pilot and his viral control circuitry was its nervous system, was the pair of Necklin field generator rods that ran from one end of the ship to the other.
The jump drive was, to say the least, more reliable, barring a few quirks. A spaceship equipped with it would accelerate out from the nearest star’s gravity well. Identifying a point of equipotential flat space-time near the target star, the ship would light up the drive field generator, and the entire spaceship could then tunnel between the two points without ever actually being between them. (Assuming, of course, that the target star was more or less in the same place and the same state that it appeared to be when the starship lit off its drive field—if it wasn’t, nobody would ever see that ship again.)
Jim Harmon, "Baker's Dozens", in If
Last modified 2020-12-16 04:08:47
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.