Elsewhere Society Deep Probe One.
En route to Greater Ancíël Whirl.
Velocity: 0.9 light.
Mission Elapsed Time (empire-time frame): 1 kiloyear.
The stargate cruised onward through the empty void, its linelayer’s drive shut down after its last major vector change, leaving the galactic disk and acquiring its destination. Against the stars, its motion was imperceptible, with only a few high-energy photons as particles impacted the bow shield to indicate its true speed, a far cry from the foreshock of a lighthugger within the galaxy out here in the dustless halo.
A few lights sporadically glimmered on the habitat modules clamped to the side of the linelayer, populated by occasional astronomers, physicists, a few tourists, and mystics mindcast in for the experience of the void and the view.
No one visited except by ‘casting; while the stargates did compensate for relative velocities, the near-luminal speeds and relativistic distortion this one had achieved while en route already were well beyond their capacity to cope with for transporting mass.
So for the most part, the stargate cruised on alone.
1,000 years elapsed. 200,000 years to run.