Moving Sideways

To review, we have already considered the first type of psychokinetic manipulation: the extrinsic manipulation of objects. While largely instinctive in use – unlike the extensive families of techniques built on top of them – reproducing these effects was relatively simple and produced the unifield vector effector, the enabling technology behind the modern tractor, pressor, and torquor beams.

The second type of psychokinesis is the intrinsic manipulation of one’s self. While more difficult to master, most people do acquire proficiency with the basic component effects of in this area, which together form the heart of psychokinetic freerunning: the rejump, in which one bends momentum in mid-air to adjust one’s trajectory and/or velocity; and the longstep, in which one uses a high-intensity pulse of mass-reduction to achieve a burst of speed, appearing to cross a room or otherwise reposition oneself in an instant.

(Body-flying is not considered part of this type, inasmuch as it is impossible to lift oneself, and it depends on extrinsic manipulation of fixed or high-mass objects.)

Work on technological reproduction of these effects led up to the development of the modern vector-control core for vehicles, from skimmers to starships.

The path of inspiration leading from rejump to core is relatively straightforward, as obvious parallels can be seen in the integration of the vector-control core with attitude control systems.

Developments from the longstep are, however, somewhat more obscured. While the work of the Precursors was readily able to support such operations on a single-person scale, it proved impossible for many centuries to build a vector-control core capable of spike operation. However, the traditional vector-control core mode is based on what is, in effect, a low-energy continuous longstep which provides lesser thrust enhancement on an ongoing basis.

This state of affairs persisted until the late 7900s, with the release of Shue Lezíär’s hypertoroid drive core. Fed by a double ring of chained flash accumulators, the hypertoroid core is capable of spiking to power levels orders of magnitude greater than standard cores for brief moments. Timed with exquisite precision to match firings of attitude-control thrusters or even main drives, a vehicle – even the largest of starships – equipped with such a core can appear to blink from one position to another in a matter of moments: a true longstep.

– Histories and Parallels in Vector Control Development

Notable Replies

  1. Oh, man, do I now want a longstep-capable bodyframe and spaceship…

  2. Am I correct in my assumption that longstep looks something like this?

  3. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    It’s close - as long as you bear in mind that it has lots of non-combat uses - but for my money the best representation is the classic Mass Effect vanguard charge.

    The light flares around you, and suddenly you are there, not here.

  4. I have another question regarding vector control - as I understand it it uses paragravity fields, i.e. it simulates the ‘force’ of gravity, so how then do you modify your mass with it?

  5. Avatar for avatar avatar says:

    Vector control is the shared name for an entire family of related technologies, like, well, the eponymous mass effect. Paragravity is one, non-local momentum transfer is another, and yet one more is the ability to uncouple the various sorts of mass.

    (There are, seriously, at least five separate properties which we call “mass”, which we assume to be the same underlying property because we’ve never found them to ever be different, but we haven’t actually proven that they’re really-genuinely-truly the same thing.

    You’ve got mass-energy (as in mass-energy equivalence), quantum mass (which determines various quantum properties), active gravitational mass (how much it bends space-time and thus affects other objects), passive gravitational mass (how much it is affected by space-time being bent), and inertial mass (how resistant it is to acceleration when a force is applied).

    The standard Imperial model of physics assumes that there are three underlying properties: true mass (which determines mass-energy equivalence and quantum properties), gravitic mass (which determines how much it warps space time), and inertial mass (which determines resistance to acceleration, including the special case of acceleration due to bent space-time), and with sufficient ontofuckery done to the vector scalar field you can effectively modify the coupling constants that relate the latter two to the former.)

    tl;dr By altering Kinnexa’s Inertial Constant, you can make yourself mass less for the purposes of things accelerating you, without having to change your energy-equivalent or gravitational field to do so. This is how vector-control enhancement makes drives so efficient, because while the energy required is the same, you need far, far less remass to get the same acceleration.

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