Infinitum: Warp

Our drives are amazing machines. They can pull a ship though a node, between two points anywhere in the universe.

Not a small ship, like the shuttles and rockets that used to take people and equipment from Earth into orbit - these are ships that dwarf towns. The smallest ships we can fit the drives on are two and a half miles long, 10 billion tons of mass - it’s not something you’d ever want to stand in front of.

But when you look at the fleet, those ships come under the categories ‘small’ and ‘expendable’. Each Arc ship holds hundreds of these, in the hangar bays of numerous larger ships. This fleet is the result of years of the Arc’s factories working from the raw material of a universe.

Many say the Arcs are humanities greatest achievement. And who am I to disagree? I work on the engines of the Callista, the last Arc to leave Sol. It’s jump engine is almost as long as the ship itself, a core running though the heart of the ship. It’s surrounded by fusion plants that cluster round it like cubs to their mother. It’s a drive that pulls 10 trillion tons of metal, plastic, biology, gas and water though two completely separate points in space.

It requires enough power that almost every other major ship system shuts down to achieve it. For a moment, the ship and the space around it plunges into darkness, and when it lights up again the stars around it are completely different, and the secondary engines kick in. Those engines are an achievement in their own right, larger than cites and several miles long, there to push the Arcs though space where there are no jumpnodes to guide us.

Those engines are a beautiful sight to behold. Five perfect blue flames silently roaring into the beyond, shoving a chunk of metal though space.

We’ve only found a few nodes from which we could see the same stars as another. Our ships may be an absurd size and weight - but the universe is able to look down on them and laugh at our feeble attempts. For all we know, it goes on forever.