Greetings, Sexy sci-fi fans...
This is an idea based loosely on author C.J. Cherryh's "Downbelow" universe.
Before the discovery of Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel, mankind headed for the stars the slow way.
The crew of a slower-than-light space craft, destined to spend the rest of their lives together. What relationships will form? What tensions will appear? Will they be able to work together as a crew or will internal bickering result in disaster? RP is to go in NC Human Freeform small groups. (And maybe I can get my first RP in big groups?)
This story assumes that certain advances in science have occurred but that we have not yet discovered FTL. Space ships travel through normal space and take years to get to their destinations. However due to something called "time dilation", the crew don't take that long to get there...
If you're reading this you're either a scientist, a serious nerd (like me), or you are really interested in the RP. (Possibly all three?) If you're the former and you spot a glaring error in what follows, please PM me and we can discuss it!
So. A ship accelerates at 10 m/s2 - which is as near one Earth-normal gravity as makes no odds.
The speed of light in a vacuum (c) is 299,792,458 m/s. So to reach that speed will take 29,979,246 seconds. That is 499,654 minutes. Which is 8,327 hours. That's 346 days, which is just under a year.
So, the ship takes a year to reach c. Due to E=Mc2 (As an object nears the speed of light, as it's energy increases, so it's mass also increases, thus requiring more energy to keep it accelerating...) the ship can never actually reach the speed of light, but it can get close. As soon as the ship reaches optimum velocity (i.e. the point at which the fuel burned to increase the velocity is no longer worth the velocity gained), it would shut the engines off to save fuel and coast.
When it gets to a pre-calculated distance from it's destination, the ship would "roll over" - turn so it is flying backwards - and decelerate at the same rate. This deceleration should take exactly the same time as the acceleration.
Now, there is definitely a formula for calculating how far the ship will have travelled while accelerating, but it involves integral calculus and I can't remember how to do it, so I'm going to oversimplify it and say that in the year it is accelerating smoothly to c it has travelled half a light year, and it travels the same distance while decelerating. So, a journey of (say) 4 ly to Alpha Centauri would take just over five years. (A light year being the distance light travels in a year).
However, Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity states that the faster you travel, the slower time seems to go. As you approach c, so the passage of time approaches zero. Thus for the crew of the spaceship the three years spent almost at the speed of light would pass in an instant - possibly hours at most. The acceleration and deceleration would seem to take longer, but (again, using the same over-simplification) we can say that the year spent accelerating would pass in approximately six months, and the same for the year spent decelerating.
So, although the return journey takes ten years for everyone at home waiting, for the crew, it takes two years.
Interestingly, the same is true no matter the length of the journey. Regardless of whether it is two light years or a hundred light years, the crew perceive it as taking the same amount of time, because the time spent at near c does not pass for them.
That concludes the science bit...
To summarise all that for those not interested in the science behind it: whatever the distance between the start and end of the journey is in light years, the ship takes that many years plus one to get there, but the crew think it only took a year, regardless of how long it is!
Now to the plot:
We are not the first. There are a number of space stations in orbit around various stars. No planets have yet been discovered. And there is a flourishing interstellar trade in goods and services between the various colonies. The number of colonies is actually growing, and more ships are required to maintain the trade routes.
We are the crew of one of those new ships. The trade has been going for about a hundred and fifty years now. Long enough for ships to get to and from places fifty light years distant. So we know what to expect. We are leaving behind everyone we knew. By the time we get back, they will be old, or possibly dead, and we will be a few years older.
The ship is, (boringly enough) a merchant ship. Sure it has weapons, but they are minimal. The crew is civilian.
This RP will cover the first few days of the journey, as the ship accelerates out of the solar system I would love to think it was able to cover the whole year, but I'm more realistic that that....
People starting after the game starts will be assumed to have just come from somewhere else on the ship where they were alone - possibly their cabins. People leaving the game (hopefully there won't be any, but again, I'm realistic) will be NPCed until they can be removed from the "action" and replaced.
Crew list:Character SheetPlayer Name:Character Name:Gender:Age (Actual):Age (Subjective):
if character has previous experience aboard a star ship - not required!Position wanted:Personality:History:Appearance:
Please replace the URL of the generic face with the URL of your character's image.
[b]Player Name:[/b]A note on pictures:
[b]Age (Subjective):[/b] if character has previous experience aboard a star ship - not required!
This game is NOT Star Trek The tech level would be closer to that of FireFly. (It is NOT FireFly, though). I'm not going to dictate people's characters, but I would prefer a slightly seedier sci-fi. If you want to be crisp and clean, that's up to you, but expect your crisp clean clothes to very quickly get covered in oil!
PLEASE PM character sheets to me for approval.