Veloxium

Veloxium, also known as AM-0013, warp metal, or warp rock, is a material found in naturally-occurring deposits throughout the Milky Way. In its refined form, it is used to create "bubbles" or "fields" which can travel faster than the speed of light; this is used for FTL travel. While originally discovered in the year 2027 by humans, veloxium had been in use many, many years before by aliens. The Plodii discovered it first in the year 8627 BC, possibly granted it by a now-extinct race of which traces no longer exist. Over the course of the next thousands of years, they, together with the Bhez and now-extinct Qyrax, worked on discovering faster levels. By the time humanity arrived on the galactic scene, Warp 14 had only recently been discovered. Although denied the technology by the older races, humans eventually managed to reverse engineer the technology, and then finally invented Warp 15 for themselves.

Warp levels

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Rather than being a smooth, sliding scale, warp travel is largely confined to a number of points, as described in the chart at right. As a result, warp is typically thought of as being divided into "levels": warp 0, warp 1, warp 2, and so forth.
Warp level speed in c speed by time time to cross galaxy Year of discovery
by humans
Year of discovery
by aliens
0 1 1 ly/year 110000 years 2078 7907 BC: Bhez
1 8 8 ly/year 13750 years 2130 7146 BC: Bhez
2 30 30 ly/year 3667 years 2200 6909 BC: Bhez
3 94 90 ly/year 1195 years 2264 6384 BC: Bhez
4 256 21 ly/month 430 years 2321 8627 BC: Plodus
5 632 12 ly/week 174 years 2383 5268 BC: Bhez
6 1462 27 ly/week 75 years 2458 4671 BC: Qyrax
7 3215 62 ly/week 34 years 2540 4043 BC: Qyrax
8 6784 19 ly/day 16 years 2623 3380 BC: Qyrax
9 13824 37 ly/day 8 years 2700 2672 BC: Bhez
10 27350 75 ly/day 4.5 years 2763 1911 BC: Bhez
11 52743 144 ly/day 2 years 2828 1083 BC: Bhez
12 99447 11 ly/hour 13 months 2901 165 BC: Bhez
13 183792 21 ly/hour 7 months 2966 880 AD: Bhez
14 333628 38 ly/hour 4 months 3039 2127 AD: Fysar
15 595858 68 ly/hour 2 months 3123 unsolved
16 1048576 120 ly/hour 5.5 weeks unsolved
17 1820416 208 ly/hour 3 weeks unsolved
18 3121198 356 ly/hour 2 weeks unsolved
19 beyond theoretical safe limit

Warp level is approximately equal to the following formula:

Where x is warp level: w[x] = √(64x)^√x

Technically, warp 18 is 0.3% beyond the theoretical safe limit (3111696c), but it is commonly accepted that with the use of other anomalous materials it might be bumped up very slightly to permit Warp 18 travel.

Usefulness in crafts

Veloxium is not able, completely by itself, to teleport an object beyond the speed of light. Veloxium takes a craft's rate of acceleration against itself and uses that to create the FTL trajectory. In short: if you aren't accelerating, activating your FTL drives won't do anything at all.

If a shaped Veloxium core is saturated with an oscillating electromagnetic field, it produces a physics bubble that separates itself from the rest of the universe. The precise size, direction, and strength of the field can be controlled via the shape of the core, the oscillation frequency, the field strength, and other factors. If this field is applied to an object that is already accelerating in a particular direction, it sends the bubble and its contents forwards at luminal or superluminal velocities in that same direction. The object in question must meet certain acceleration requirements in order to breach the light barrier; thus, as the warp drive is rather bulky on its own, it is impossible for warp drives to be installed on most smaller craft unless they themselves are under the force of acceleration from a difference source. In the same way, the size of a craft can also limit its maximum self-generated maximum warp.

Fighters themselves cannot be made to go past Warp 0, which in itself is largely useless except for, possibly, escaping combat; this takes a very vast amount of power, however, so it is normally considered to not be worth the effort of installing warp drive on a fighter-sized craft or smaller.

Slightly larger ships, such as corvettes, can easily make it up to warp 5 before the size of the warp engine becomes a problem. The fastest corvette-sized craft (5-20 crew size) managed to reach warp 7, in 3026, setting a new record - however, they were unable to maintain it for more than a minute without serious damage to the engine. Higher than warp 7 requires much larger ships, such as cruisers and carriers. A great number of interstellar "ferries" have made long-distance travel fairly cheap for those in the core or even midworlds. The rimworlds, in many places, still lack such convenient methods of travel.

Table for loosely determining size-to-max-warp
Warp Minimum-sized ship class
0 Lightweight private craft, non-fighter
1-7 Corvettes
8-9 Frigates
10-11 Destroyers
12 Light Cruisers
13 Heavy cruisers and Light carriers
14-15 Battlecarriers and Battlecruisers

The refining process

While refining veloxium to the point that you can make it reach Warp 0 is as simple as removing the impurities, continuing to refine it further takes exponentially more effort and time as the veloxium's maximum warp level increases. As you progress, this process requires different practices such as folding, boiling, precision molding, and cooling at increasingly precise temperatures. Eventually, you need to include traces of other anomalous materials as well, as well as traces of metals such as iridium and platinum. As a result of this complicated process, highly refined veloxium is extremely expensive - especially in the outer worlds.

Origin

The origin of veloxium has been long debated. It wasn't until after the discovery of AM-0012 that veloxium was finally recognized as an anomalous material: while veloxium appears to have generated deposits throughout the galaxy, most anomalous materials are confined to the Northern Exclusion Zone. Different theories have been put forth, including celestial catastrophes, explosions of black holes, dual supernovae and other ideas that many scientists consider utter nonsense. The current theories are related to string theory and quantum physics, where a random chance pulled these materials into our universe from another one, possibly during our universe's Big Bang, as that's thought to have created forces strong enough to break these barriers - provided the "Big Bang" did not happen in all universes simultaneously, of course.

As of yet, veloxium is the only anomalous material known to occur in natural ore deposits.

Fk4Bqy8.png "….Well doc, you could say that, yes. No bloody clue what it's supposed to be."
The following is Forbidden Knowledge: Almost no one within the REKT universe knows these things.
Player characters do not know any of it unless specifically told about it ingame.

The truth is that in fact, it was the Quantums that spread the veloxium throughout our galaxy - and it is unique to our galaxy alone as a result. The Quantums, through their experiments, helped with the evolution of life and attempted to provide us with a faster means of travel by creating these veloxium deposits through their advanced methods of stimulating material growth, mostly on planets around stars where life seemed likely to develop - or was already developing.

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