Month: March 1999

On The Scarcity Of Unobtainium

The Science Of Planets: What Is The Ship Limit, Really?

My office has fielded so very many inquiries from you on the subject of the Ship Limit that, for once, I intend to violate a long-standing rule of mine and explain in detail.  If this session can decrease the amount of message traffic I have to deal with, it may even be worth it to add to the curriculum.

Do you see this glass vial I’m holding?  This is large enough that it could encompass the Echo Cluster’s entire supply of Unobtainium and still (more…)


The Science Of Planets: Time And Population Growth

The Science Of Planets: Of Turns, Colonists, And Colonist Growth

Some of you are doubtless wondering, “How long is a ‘Turn’?”  It does seem an arbitrary unit of time, especially considering the wide variety of choices we have available to us: cycles, quelnars, microns, months, et cetera.

Those few of you familiar with celestial mathematics and temporal relativity may be able to pose an educated guess as to the reason, that given the interactions between (more…)

The Science Of Planets: The Flat Map

The Science Of Planets:  Why Is The Map Cluster Flat?

Greetings, students.  In case you missed the previous lesson, I am Elder Kh’preng, Servant of the Web, former envoy of the Crystal Confederation, and your instructor in this series of introductory classes on the science of the Nu Era.  Again, I’d like to remind you of my policy, that questions are not permitted during class.  If you wish to ask me something in private, just pass through the web outside my office door during the posted hours.

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of warfare in the Echo Cluster, at least to atmospheric pilots, is that interplanetary travel is represented two-dimensionally (more…)

The Science Of Planets: 19 Fighters

The Science Of Planets:  On Fighter Lanes

One of the most difficult things for new commanders is learning to fight within the constraints that have been established over the years, the limitations that make for efficient warfare.  It never fails but that warriors are disappointed to learn that neither carrier nor starbase can control more than nineteen fighters at any given moment.  And, more often than not, they rage against this apparently arbitrary limit without stopping to consider that this limit and, indeed, every limit exists for a purpose, that there’s always at least one logical reason. (more…)

The Science Of Planets, Episode 1

The Science Of Planets:  Introduction

Greetings, students, and welcome to this introductory course.  I am Elder Kh’preng, Servant of the Web, former envoy of the Crystal Confederation, and your teacher here today.

First and foremost:  Questions will NOT be permitted during this session.  This policy always causes some unrest, so I shall explain.  As candidates for Command School, you are among the (more…)