Express Boats

Rapid communication ships which are designed to make optimum use of jump technology in communicating information within the Imperium.  Because the Imperium is so large, ordinary communication must depend on ships travelling along established trade routes, making Regina nearly 4 years out from the Imperial Core.

The primary means of interstellar communication within the Imperium is the express boat - a small, fast, information carrying ship.  Outlying worlds of the Imperium stand nearly four years from Capital, and express boat links have been established to insure the rapid transmission of messages (governmental, commercial, and private) with a maximum of efficiency.

The express boat (abbreviated xboat) system, established originally in 624 and expanded to cover the entire Imperium by 718, cuts this communication time by nearly 75 percent.  Selected locations along major trade routes are established as sites for express stations, which are orbital facilities which service and refuel the xboats on their communications runs.

As an xboat arrives in a system, it beams its recorded data to the express station, which then retransmits it to an xboat standing by for a jump outsystem.  Time between jumps is almost always less than four hours and has been recorded at under seven minutes, making the speed of communication nearly the speed of jump (since xboats carry jump-4 drives, speeds near four parsecs per week).  In practice, this speed is somewhat reduced by the fact that trade routes do not follow straight lines and that not all jumps are made at jump-4.  Nonetheless, the system achieves approximately jump-2.6 per week.

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