Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.
The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!
The twenty-first question comes from clare_dragonfly and is for Vas' World
Well, you could tell me more about how the lost colony got there and came to be lost... :D
Hattip and thanks to thnidu for this comment from which I got much of the answer.
This was first detailed in The Sea And Sky: ...when a computer failure (meters and yards were not the same thing, and why had it taken this long for someone to notice the problem?) had sent it off course... Which isn't so much "detailed" as "handwaved."
The surviving members of the ship's crew and colony ship definitely thought that the computer had malfunctioned, and, in the moments between it finding the planet later known as Vas' World/MacAllister-5 and it crashing, it certainly did.
It will take longer than the story has reached yet to determine the potential causes of the malfunction, but what Vas' team can guess at, given the information they have, is something like the following:
There are areas in space which are fairly "clean;" that is, they are safe to use sub-light or FTL travel in with no ill effects; you generally go from point A to point B with no interruptions, as long as your plot doesn't take you too close to a sun, a planet, an asteroid belt, etc.
And then they are places - the first "discovered" was en route to the planet the team was actually trying to colonize - where naturally occurring "flash warp" nexuses act as pivot points, altering the velocity of a ship in as-of-yet unpredictable ways.
The ship that accidentally colonized MacAllister-5 was not the only ship to go missing; it was simply the first one to be found. Until it was discovered (and until Vas et al realize the MacAliens' origins), the main population's assumption is that all those ships lost to the flash warp nodes were destroyed.
It'll be interesting to find out exactly how wrong they were.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/676581.html. You can comment here or there.