Echoes in Darkness
The development of the Jump Drive is the pivotal moment in the birth of the Imperium. In the seven thousand years since its development, the Jump Drive has developed, shifting from the initial units which could only move a ship one parsec in a week’s time to the most modern units, capable of moving ships a full three parsecs in a week.
Jump Drives come in three major variants:
The Jump Sphere is the cheapest, and most common, form of Jump Drive available in the Imperium. Basically, the drive apparatus is entirely contained within the ship, and generates a sphere of energy upon activation, and anything within is carried into jump space with the ship.
The Jump Grid is a grid of tiny antennae which generate and hold the charge for the jump field. The field is actually a huge number of tiny, spherical fields which merge, carrying everything contained within the overall enclosed volume into jumpspace.
The Jump Plating works as does the Jump Grid, but with even tighter specifications for the jump field generated. One jump field is generated, but with a non-spherical shape (generally).
When a ship enters jumpspace, there is generally a small window of time where the ship is shedding energy, in the form of various EM radiations including visible light, building rapidly up to a brief but blinding flash as the ship transitions into jumpspace. After that, there is a period of time where the energy is still visible as a “waning glow” after the ship has departed. When a ship is about to precipitate from jumpspace, the “landing zone” begins to emit the same radiation pattern, but in reverse – a slow build of light to a blinding flash as the ship arrives, with a quick dropoff in the EM field thereafter.