Panel one was rendered in May; the rest in mid October after finishing 3d asset development for this chapter.

The way synthetic FTL hardware works is reasonably straightforward: a jump of distance X requires Y amount of energy to be pumped through the Plot Box. The energy is released at the time and place space-time gets bent and is expended over the course of the jump. At the end of a precisely calibrated jump the ship slides back into reality exactly like the Daedalus. If the jump is for any reason less than X distance the remaining energy exits with the vehicle. This energy release is called a Jump Flare and while it typically ranges in strength from a harmless flash to a small explosion, big fuck-off huge flares are possible. They’re also extremely destructive and qualify the Heirotus BTS system as a weapon in its own right.

The “in” point of a BTS spacefold is also an energetic event – though not consistently portrayed. Yet, anyway – each of those jumps is a different length and the last one was extra-galactic so there’s plenty of wiggle room for interpretation. The overall effect is similar to the Battlestar Galactica FTL flash though the exit is a good deal more explosive.

I’m not happy with panel three but frankly after quite a bit of fiddling around that’s about as good as it gets – the camera is roughly parallel to the sun and I set the scene up to look good for shots other than this one. It is the first shot of the Sabrosa to be comped with an Ambient Occlusion pass, so there’s that.

Panel four is the fifth appearance of the launch tube environment. I hadn’t planned on it, but the fact I’d spent the time last year meant I could work out an optimal shot with little additional effort this year – which is awesome, considering the amount of work that went into the next two pages.

Speaking of work and pages… I’m almost out of pages for this chapter and still haven’t started the script for the next one yet. I’m not going to rush it, either – it’ll happen when it happens, though I did have to prod this one along and ultimately had to force myself to write it. As much as I wish it would happen organically I’m going to have to do that with TV.4 as well. It’s formed up and rolling around in my head, it’s just not coming out. It’s as if my brain is constipated.

Next week: More space porn!

Glossary Articles

  • Banshee

    The Barghosa F/A-38 Banshee is the first GNOMES-powered optionally-manned attack aircraft on the market, so named for the enormous amounts of RF interference kicked out by the high-powered GNOMES laser – a weapon capable...

  • Daedalus

    A Javelin class Am-capable high speed cargo transport, the Daedalus is the property of ex-Templar Captain John West. The workhorse of a shady courier service run out of the Australian outback in a nearby...

  • GAC-5623.8

    A gas giant somewhere between Earth and civilization, utterly unremarkable save for the recently dispersed orbital body the Sabrosa smacked into at the untimely end of an otherwise textbook BTS jump.

  • Sabrosa

    Heirotus capital ship prototype 47 (HX-47) Sabrosa is the testbed for several technologies incorporated in the Type 47 class of Heirotus Colonial Authority warships, in mass production at the time of The Dualist. The...