Generic Babylon Five Hyperspace Jumpgate:
This is a standard jumpgate design from Babylon 5. With only small cosmetic differences similar gates are constructed by all of the races from Babylon 5, with exception of the First Ones who no longer have a need for them. The basic structure of all jumpgates consists of 3 or 4 rod like generators that are stationary in space. The generators are positioned at equal distances from each other. Power for each generator is supplied by a combination of fusion and solar energy, which explains the rows of high efficiency solar panels attached to each generator. Even with this addition it takes several minutes of recharging the gates capacitor before a gate can be opened, and this for only limited amounts of time. None of the younger races have a power source which is strong enough to permanently open a gate.
The gates are excessively expensive to build, due to the active component of the generators: Quantium-40. This material is present only in star systems whose sun has gone nova, or are closely situated to old novae. Even the raw mineral is easily the most expensive material in the B-5 universe, and it is regarded as a highly strategic resource by all younger races. Large quantities of the ore have been detected in the crust of the lonely planet orbiting Sigma-957, but none have dared to try and collect it: One of the elder races is said to occupy that place, and they value their privacy highly.....
When a gate opens a energy discharge races simultaneously along all the generators. It starts on one end and flows towards the other, picking up intensity. When it has reached the end of the generators it leaps from the generators and converges towards the center of the construction. At that moment the gate opens: A swirling vortex of energy that fills the entire length of the jumpgate. Any waiting ship can now enter the vortex and be transferred into hyperspace.
Model: Stationary Hyperspace jumpgate
Crew: None, fully automated
M.D.C. by location (per generator):
| Generator main body:||9,000|
| Thrusters (8):||500|
| Solar panels (12):||300 each|
| Fusion reactor||2,000|
 Destroying the main body of the generator will shut it down and the entire jumpgate with it. The generator will be a valuable wreck. There is a 5% chance of a explosion which will do 2D6x1000 M.D.C. in a 4 mile radius and which utterly destroys the exploding generator with no chance to recover the Quantium-40
 Destroying the Thrusters means that the generator cannot change position any more. 10 % chance that any ship using the gate will impact the generator.
 Destroying a Solar panel means that recharging will take one round longer between being able to be activated
 Destroying the fusion reactor doubles recharge time to 32 melees
Driving on the Ground: Not Possible.
Sublight: Combined use of thrusters can propel the generator at 0.05 G.
Atmospheric Propulsion: Not possible, will crash when entering a atmosphere.
Stardrive: Not applicable.
Maximum Range: Not applicable.
The jumpgate is always located close to a station from which maintenance and resupply of reaction mass is carried out.
Statistical Data (per generator):
Length: 2 Miles (3.2 kilometer)
Height: 200 feet ( 60 meters)
Width: 600 feet (180 meters )
Weight/Mass: 10 million tons (9.1 metric tons)
Power System: combination fusion and solar with 15 year lifespan before fusion reactor runs out of fuel
Market Cost: 40 billion credits per generator or 160 billion for a complete jumpgate.
- Weapons: None. Use AS a weapon, see Extra notes, "Bonehead maneuver"
- Jumpgate: upon receiving the activation code the gate takes one melee to fully open the vortex. The gate stays open for 4 rounds and then takes another round to close. The gate cannot be traversed during the opening and closing stages. Attempting to do so leads to destruction of the offending ship due to the immense dimensional shear encountered in the still unstable gate. It takes craft smaller than a cruiser 1 full round to traverse the gate. Craft larger than cruisers take 2 rounds to traverse the gate. Small craft such as shuttles and fighters may transverse the gate in groups of up to 12 at a time. This transfer takes 1 round. Any additional cruiser sized and larger craft which enter the vortex give a danger of actually impacting the "walls" of the vortex. Since these consist of fast moving hyperspace particles this means destruction of the offending craft. The danger per additional unit is a cumulative 5%. This applies to ALL ships attempting transfer at that time!!
- Recharging: normal recharge time between activations is 16 rounds or 4 minutes. The gate simply cannot be opened before the capacitors have fully charged. Doubling the recharge time allows the gate to stay open for 3 extra rounds, but there is a 10% chance that one of the generators will overload, resulting in a explosion which will do 2D6x1000 M.D.C. in a 4 mile radius and which utterly destroys the exploding generator with no chance to recover the Quantium-40.
- Activation codes: Because jumpgates are so incredibly expensive
to build, only governments and large corporations build them. In order
to win back part of the costs, shipping firms, independent contractors
and alien governments buy transfer quota from the party which owns the
jumpgate. Included with these quota are activation codes which are used
to activate a jumpgate. Every time a code is used, it is logged and after
a certain amount of uses the code is rendered useless, forcing the user
to buy or upgrade a quota. The owners (most often governments) have access
to special codes that allow unlimited use of the gates.
Of course it is very interesting for pirates and enemy governments to know such unlimited codes and who has bought the access codes to which jumpgate. This has made data theft a even more lucrative business than it already was.
- Hyperspace beacon: Every jumpgate emits a constant signal in hyperspace. The signal is encoded, and someone who has bought access time to a jumpgate can find the jumpgate through this code. The beacons are also used as a general navigation aid in hyperspace. Because the beacon is a part of the jumpgate, it is also the receiver through which the signal to open the gate from hyperspace into normal space is received.
- Hyperspace travel: Hyperspace is a separate layer of reality,
separated from ours, yet congruent with it. The best way to think of the
relation of hyperspace with real space is if you think of real space as
a soccer ball with a tennis ball which represents hyperspace in the center
of the soccer ball. When transferring to hyperspace one is placed from
the surface of the soccer ball onto the surface of the tennis ball. If
we now wish to travel to the opposite side of the tennis ball we have a
much smaller distance to travel than if we have to move over the surface
of the soccer ball. A relatively small amount of travel on the tennis ball
translates into a much greater distance traveled on the surface of the
soccer ball. In effect a ship from B-5 is never actually traveling faster
than light. It is just that with moving (for example) a million miles in
hyperspace, this translates into light-years in real space. Hyperspace
is in fact a shortcut, allowing you to 'cut' corners. However, hyperspace
is not totally congruent with real space. In other words, the "shortcut"
is more efficient in some places than others.
It can be a very dangerous shortcut though.....For hyperspace has gravitational currents which require a large amount of engine power to be used for steering. If one loses main engine power you get sucked into deeper layers of hyperspace, where normal physics no longer apply. This means that ships that have greater engine power have a greater survivability in hyperspace, although this is not proportional. Also the range of sensors in hyperspace is severely curtailed. All sensors have only 10 % of their normal range and are at a -2 penalty to detect. This is not the case with the sensors of the First Ones. This means that only ships with powerful sensors, engines and the best "maps" can travel without the use of hyperspace beacons (The Military. Of course).
- Speed in Hyperspace: As has been noted, the speed of a ship in hyperspace is the result of many factors, such as: Real space speed, engine power, navigation, local conditions etc. The speed given for any B-5 ship is a combination of these factors. Ships that do not use hyperspace as their standard FTL propulsion (e.g. most civilizations not from the B-5t universe such as in from Phase world and the Three Galaxies) will find hyperspace travel very difficult. First of all, they have to get through a jumpgate. Not a easy task without the right codes. In hyperspace they will find that many of their sensors will not function properly, and that there are dangerous gravitational currents. In general all ships that are new to the B-5 universe will only be able to travel between close lying jumpgates by following the beacons. In addition to that the unknown conditions limit their relative speed to about 5 light-years per hour maximum.
- Fighting in hyperspace: Possible, but extremely dangerous. Because
of the limited sensor abilities in hyperspace finding your opponent is
going to be difficult. Also, because of the short range, one usually gets
to use even the most short ranged weapons on one another. If engine damage
occurs to one of the parties that ship is doomed. When unable to engage
main engines for maneuvering one is quickly sucked into the deeper layers
If one or both of the fighting parties uses beacons for navigational aids there is a cumulative chance of 5 % per round of fighting that the beacon lock is lost. And then YOU are lost. .
- The "Bonehead maneuver": Perhaps the most dangerous thing to
do with a jumpgate is to open another gate INSIDE a already active jumpgate.
This results in a extremely violently expanding space/time distortion.
The effect is similar to that of the Shadow Dimensional Disruptor, but
on a much larger scale. The only way to escape huge damage is to outrun
the expanding distortion. The maneuver received this name by the humans
because when they experimented with the idea they had no vessels capable
of outrunning the wave front. All ships which they used to perform this
maneuver were destroyed, thus you had to be a bonehead to try it. The first
successful attempt at using this maneuver as a weapon was by (then) captain
Sheridan, who used it to successfully destroy a Shadow warship. The Whitestar
class ship that the captain piloted WAS capable of outrunning the wave
front. Not only were the captain and his crew the first to survive a bonehead
maneuver, they also survived a encounter with a Shadow Battlecruiser and
destroyed it, the first persons to do so in a thousand years.
- Mega Damage: The disruption effects the entire ship. The damage
is a percentage of the damage the main body of the ship has if the ship
is undamaged. This damage is then applied to the ships shields first and
all remaining damage is passed to the main body. If the ship has no shields
it takes full damage. If the damage exceeds the main body, which is very
likely, the ship is destroyed. If the ship survives, damage is applied
to all hit locations on the ship.This is done by taking the damage to the
main body and dividing it by the undamaged main body of the ship. This
is the percentage that all hit locations will loose in damage*. The initial
damage is lessened if the ship is trying to outrun the wavefront: ships
that can exceed 1.0% of light per turn take 1/2 damage, above 1.5% of light
per turn take 1/4 damage, and ships that can exceed 2.0% of light per turn
can escape undamaged.
For example, A Shadow battlecruiser gets caught in the disruption, and figures out what is happening. Two of its spines have been blown off and its acceleration is reduced to 1,35 % of light per turn. At full acceleration it is hit by the wavefront, and the effect does 144 % of Main body damage. This is 374,400 M.D.C. Because of its acceleration damage is halved, leaving 187,200 M.D.C. The shield protection is then substracted from the damage ( 187,200 - 90,000 = 97,200) The battlecruiser receives 97,200 M.D.C. to the main body. All other locations will then be reduced by 37 % of their original values ( 97,200 / 260,000 = 37% ) The cruiser is badly damaged but still in fighting shape.
Percentage of Damage Taken:
- Below 1.0 % of light per turn acceleration away from disruption: 3D6
x 12 %
Between 1.0 % and 1.5 % of light per turn acceleration away from disruption: 3D6 x 6%
Between 1.5 % and 2.0 % of light per turn acceleration away from disruption: 3D6 x 3%
Above 2 % of light per turn acceleration away from away from the disruption: no damage.
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Technical information sourced partially from Babylon 5 Technical Manual!
Writeup by Mischa (E-Mail Mischa).
Formatting and minor revisions by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, Mischa. All rights reserved.