Metaplane

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The Metaplane is the space through which a spaceship may travel at faster-than-light speeds, using an Eicharon particle engine. Since subspace does not exist in this Metaplane, faster-than-light travel using warp fields, and subspace communications, are not possible there. Warp fields will not form, although all systems will appear to function normally. Full impulse speed in the Metaplane would be approximately equal to Warp 7.68 in normal space.

Ships in the metaplane can interact with some aspects of normal space, and thus complicated calculations (usually performed by an astronavigation rolf or a navigation computer) are necessary to avoid a disastrous impact.

There are no stars, planets or other astral bodies in the Metaplane, though the odd stellar phenomenon such as gravimetric distortions, cosmic string "shadows" and quantum filament "echoes" do occasionally appear. Moving too close to a high gravity field known as a mass shadow can remove a ship from the metaplane. This can occur when faulty calculations move the ship too near a star or large planet. This mechanism is exploited by pirates, who have been known to haul large asteroids into a shipping lane for the purpose of bringing a ship out of the metaplane in order to ambush and board it.

Generating a metaplane event horizon has also been a tactic for fleets of ships facing an opponent, as its creation would rip the opposing fleet apart, while leaving the traveling ships intact.