In article <34579712.B255A...@pitt.edu>, Dan Cannata <drcs...@pitt.edu> writes:
Do ships have to transit to the lowest Alpha band subwave and start working up from there, or can they pop into hyper higher up? I'm guessing, from the way some of the examples and illustrations were worded, that ships can, in fact, transit directly to the higher bands.
Actually, you do have to start at the "bottom" and work your way "up" or (conversely) start at the "top" and work your way "down." The term "crash translation" is similar to the wet-navy term "crash dive" in that it simply refers to the rate at which you cross the intervening hyper bands. Regardless of what you do, you will pay at least some "time penalty" for each band you cross, which is what gives someone in pursuit any chance to keep up with you and track you "up" or "down" the bands.
The primary factor governing the additional speed at which you can cross the bands is the degree of stress and wear you put on the components of your propulsive system--nodes & hyper generator--and the brute power of the generator. In Honor Among Enemies, Hauptman's liner Artemis would *normally* have been able to make a military-rate "crash translation" because she was equipped with military-grade Warshawski sails, hyper generator, particle shielding, and inertial compensators. A vessel with commercial grade propulsion could still execute a crash translation, but it would be a much slower "crash," if you see what I mean. All other things being equal, the advantage between two ships with similar propulsive systems would go to the one whose systems were in the better state of overhaul. A skipper with unreliable equipment would think long and hard before trying anything along these lines. In addition, merchant ships (especially) are very leery of putting the extra wear and tear on their equipment because of the way it drives up maintenance costs, and the same is true of most navies in peacetime, at least.