Hi. My name is Lee and I’m captain of the appropriately named Shove Off.
12 cycles have passed since the Incident… I’m not really sure what the heck it was, but I do know that it’s left the universe in the hands of several disparate factions. Also, it spawned a huge nebula for several light-years around the Sol system.
An explanation of time for you poor time-travelers, still stuck in the 21st century…
A single cycle, also known as SCU, would be similar to your year, although a bit longer (my chrono tells me it is equal to 579 Earth days, or a year and 7 months). A STP (Standard Time Period for the formalists) would be roughly equal to 2.8 Earth hours. A decaSTP would be very close to your day, cycling in every 27.8 Earth hours.
A single SCU (Standard Cycle Unit, to be formal) equals 5000 STP. One STP equals 10k STU. An STU is what you would call a second and hSTU, alias hectoSTU, is what you would call a minute. My ship chronometer uses it as the smallest unit.
My ship chrono prints out the time as SCU:STP.hSTU on my HUD. As I say these words, the time is 603:3726.36, with the hSTUs slowly zipping past.
803 cycles ago, the first twenty colony ships were sent forth from Earth over the course of fifty Earth years. They depleted the resources of Earth and Mars. I do not think you have yet settled Mars in the 21st century, have you? That would set the First Growth in the 22nd century… am I right? Your old-fashioned time measurements sometimes confuse me a lot…
Two hundred cycles later, the Second Growth began, with the discovery of hyperspace. 200 cycles, for you 21st century people, equal 317,3 Earth years. We count time from the Second Growth… so the current cycle is 603 SCU. 956,5 Earth years have passed since mankind took the greatest leap ever known. According to your archaic calendar, present-day would be year 3373 or thereabouts… making it the 34th century.
It is time to set the chrono and the archives datapad aside. The Em 1 spaceport has finally given me the go-ahead to leave. Em 1, let me tell you, is a little backwater class M world in the Hakoi system, in a corner of Empire space.
You probably wonder what ‘class M’ means? It is a system invented long ago, in the days of the First Growth, and a class M is what they designated old Earth. In other words, it means a terrestrial planet. However, no one actually uses the word ‘terrestrial’ anymore.
I am flying something that is, overly ambitiously in my opinion, designated a yacht-class spaceship. The class itself is named Llama and has been created many years ago, having been one of the first civilian spacecrafts ever. Maybe once it was worth anything, but right now the only ones who use them are those who can’t afford anything better. Alas, the 29,1k credits contained in my account are all that I have left after buying this pile of junk. Hopefully, it won’t fall apart any time soon. It has two front lasers and 22 tonnes of cargo space. That’s all.
I spend 5.0k credits on a local system map. Wandering around blindly is never a good idea, I tell you. The ship radar can only pick up so much and the system is quite large. I could not describe its size in old terms for you Earth-bound people. Suffice it to say it takes around a STP to fly across your average system in your average ship… which the Llama is not.
It takes a STP to arrive in space after getting their leave. They are not particularly quick nor slow on Em 1, it’s a standard amount of time the launch takes.