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Deep Space Refueling Explanation
by Franklin W. Cain

When I first got Path of Tears , I copied the star maps for Aubaine and Oriflamme subsectors and cut-and-pasted them together. (I added the four additional subsectors from Smash and Grab when I got that.) I also included the 17xx column for So Skire subsector (based on an old issue of the Keith Brothers' High Passage magazine), for reasons that will become apparent below.

A cursory analysis of the astrography and Tech Levels of the RC will lead one to the assumption that jump-2 (not jump-1) is the default capability of starships in the RC, for the following reasons:

With this assumption in mind, I took a copy of my cut-and-pasted map, and I used a yellow highlighter to trace every J-1 and J-2 connection possible for every star system on the map. I then colored in with blue highlighter the "gulfs" or "voids" that were left behind. The resulting colorized map vividly illustrated the weakness inherent to the astrography of the RC; namely, that even with J-2, a ship could take an enormous number of jumps to go from one system in the RC to another, regardless of the true distance between the systems.

I also mentioned this weakness in a paper I posted to the TML GAIL0001 In this paper, I came to the following conclusions:

My reasoning for the location of these deep space sites was based on the "gulfs" I discovered by my colored map. For a campaign *not* using the deep space sites, these gulfs would force starships to make a longer circuit around the perimeter of a gulf, depending on where the captain was and where he wanted to go. In other words, these gulfs *cannot* be crossed by J-2 ships; they can only be *circumnavigated*.

The first gulf is circuited as follows: Helios connects to L'steich (1333) which connects to Junak (1432) which connects to Nimz (1633) which connects to Lamnath (1735/So Skire) which connects to Tuer (1636) which connects to Teldora (1437) which connects to Spencer which connects to Shenandoah which connects to Lucifer which connects to Conner (0840) which connects to Seliga (0640) which connects to Schall which connects to Aubaine and/or Phoebus; Phoebus connects to Spires which connects to Zloga which connects to Oriflamme and/or Helios.

The second of the two large gulfs is circuited as follows: Helios connects to L'steich (1333) which connects to Corrig (1331) which connects to Bestor (1131) which connects to Ra, Enkidu, and/or Baldur; both Ra and Enkidu connect to Nike Nimbus which connects to Eos which connects to Adrian (0432) which connects to Fija which connects to Aurora which connects to Kruyter which connects to Spires which connects to Zlogha which connects to Oriflamme and/or Helios.

There is a third, smaller gulf circuited by Aurora, Kruyter, Phoebus, Aubaine, Schall, Vezina, and Apollo; however, as any system on this circuit is three jumps away or less from any other, this isn't nearly as serious a problem.

The deep space sites at 0833 and 1034 take care of the first gulf, and the deep space sites at 0938 and 1137 take care of the second gulf. The deep space sites at 1034 and 1137 are so important to Oriflamme that the Oriflamme system navy has a squadron of its own to give additional support to these sites (and to help cover up their support of the secret deep space sites some Oriflammen technarchs have built at 1434, 1435, and 1535, but that's another story.

Even with the deep space sites, Adrian (0432) is still the best (i.e., shortest) path for traffic between Fija and either Eos or Nike Nimbus. Thus, Adrian is the site a small facility that makes some of its money refueling these ships. (Most of its money is made from scavenging the TL-14 relic equipment.)

Also, some crazy misanthrope of a belter (i.e., a retired PC) discovered a cometary body in deep space at 0636 which he's converted into a deep space site to expedite high-priority traffic between Aurora (HQ RCN) and Aubaine (RC capital). As the character in question is already filthy rich and a loner besides, this suits him just fine (it takes all kinds, I guess...). This takes care of any high-priority traffic around the third gulf wanting to trim one or two weeks off their transit time.

For more details see:
Oasis Deep Space Refueling
Comet Singh

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