The primary method of travel utilised by the Hegemony is the Slingshot Array. Made up of three key elements (a slingshot platform, antenna, and power core) the array allows virtually instantaneous travel across huge distances. Each element in an array is linked for maximum performance, however the platform and the antenna can operate independently if required, with the power core enhancing the systems of each rather than being an integral part of the array. Unlike jump points that are used primarily by the USFP, the Slingshot Array is not dependent on any other phenomenon, however it does still have it’s drawbacks.
The platform is the most essential part of the array and comprises a complex system of accelerators that rapidly propel a ship across space. Within the platform are targeting systems that calculate the required energy and direction that ships are sent, as well as inertial guidence systems that allow it to self-align. As a result, the platform is able to send small numbers of ships to various locations rapidly, taking only a relatively short period of time to realign and recalculate for new target coordinates.
The range of a platform is limited due to practical implications. Over longer distances, the slingshot becomes less accurate, with only fractional alterations in angle resulting in hugly different target locations. As a result, slingshots are mostly employed to send groups of ships to neighbouring systems and longer ranges can result in ships being sent in to deep space and effectively being lost. Although this does not necessarily cause issue for Kralien crews, which are able to enter a state of suspended animation due to their physiology, for other races of the hegemony, the inaccuracies aare too great a risk.
The accuracy and range of a platform can be greatly improved with the use of an antenna, as well as a power core, with known slingshots being able to cross distances far greater than any other race.
The Slingshot Antenna is effectively a beacon that a platform is able to lock on to as a target. It provides significantly more accurate slingshots, and over the shorter distances, such as neighbouring systems, can be used to place ships with exceptional accuracy.
Alone, as the distance between the antenna and the platform increases, the accuracy of slingshot travel decreases. This is due to degredation of the antenna signal. Othr phenomena can also cause signal degredation, for example if the antenna is located in high radiation areas. Coupled with a power core, most local interference can be countered, and in conjunction with the enhancing the output signal, the antenna can be highly effective over vast distances. Multiple antennas can also be combined in a system, allowing the platform to use them to triangulate a target location and opening the way for ships to be send anywhere within a much wider area with incredible accuracy.
Slingshot Power Core
The Slingshot Power Cores are primarly used by the Hegemony to enhance the functions of both the Antennas and the Platforms. Multiple power cores have a diminishing effect, and so often arrays only have one or two within the whole array.
When coupled with either, the addional power enhances the accuracy of a platform, stabilising it to eliminate any drift that occurs between slingshots. It also provides additional power to computational systems, as well as the ‘rails’, to send ships even greater distances.
Linked to an antenna, the power core acts to boost the output signal, allowing it to be detected form a much greater range by a platform.