"Warp Theory 101 Through 301"
[Previous Post Dawn's "Friendly Chat"]
<<You think I want to go to the stars? I don't even like to fly - I take trains.>>
-Dr. Zefram Cochrane

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Main Engineering
Stardate: 63071.1700
The pulsating sound of the warp core in the background had been a pleasing and soothing melody to the Oltharian Engineer who once again inwardly acknowledged that this had been where he truly belonged.  Some had been destined to lead and have their names remembered for all time, others would see their fame insured through acts of courage in the field of battle, but Elan sought no fame nor glory, he had been more than happy to be who he was - the Chief Engineering Officer of the USS ANUBIS.
With masterful dexterity the Engineer's imposing fingers flew over the controls of the central control island as the Oltharian reviewed the core concepts of FTL travel in search for something, anything that would give the ANUBIS the extra speed it needed to arrive at the GUMBARA Nebula ahead of the unknown threat.  It may have appeared strange to some that Lt. Fairborn had been in the midst of a review of the basic concepts of Faster-Than-Light travel, but the CEO believed that all research needed to start at the beginning.
According the Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, any particle possessing mass requires infinite energy to reach a speed matching that of light.  The base concept here is that as a particle is made to increase in speed, so does its mass.  The higher the mass, the more energy is requires to make it go faster, and the faster it goes, the more mass it gains.  According to this principle a particle, with the exceptions of tachyons and other unique particles, would achieve near infinite mass as it neared the speed of light making FTL impossible.
Enter Zefram Cochrane and his theory that the creation of a stable field, which would later be referred to as a warp bubble, would enable a ship to not only reach but surpass the speed of light.  The general idea was that regardless of speed, the mass of any item within this generated field, would remain constant.
Once this concept had been perfected FTL, or warp speed, became easily possible and allowed for the Federation to expand in ways that it had never before imagined.  As the years passed the technology became more efficient at reaching speeds that were thought to be impossible which forced the scientific community to agree to change the Warp Speed scale, keeping the theoretical *Warp 10* out of reach.
When it was discovered that wormholes could be creates to bridge specific locations in the fabric of space, a new Warp Speed scale had to be created - Transwarp.  Although much faster than the previous Warp Speed scale, Transwarp proved to have very defined limits as wormholes could only be created to known locations in space and maintained for a specific period of time.  Again with the advancements in technology Transwarp soon managed to close in on the elusive barrier that had been set by the general scientific community - Transwarp 10.
Many races had begun work on the next step of FTL travel, including the Oltharians, who turned their attention to the creation of a Quantum Drive or the creation of a Quantum Sliptream, either of which would enable a vessel to reach speeds never before imagined and pushing the boundaries of space travels even more than they had previously been.
Alas even with the advancements made by the technological exchange with the Cytherians, Quantum speed still proved to be only a dream at this time, one that the Oltharian Chief Engineer had tried and failed on many occasion to make a reality.
Since time had been against them, and that the Oltharian had no access to the level of research laboratories required, the Chief Engineering Officer had instead opted to focus on altering the geometry of the Warp Field.  Changing the shape of the bubble which surrounded the ANUBIS, along with some additional modifications, had the potential to increase the ANUBIS' ability to remain at Transwarp velocity for longer than technically possible, or so the imposing Engineer hoped.
"Attempting to alter the warp field geometry while the ship is already exceeding Transwarp safety protocols is imprudent at best," Annie, the ANUBIS' Avatar and the creation of the Oltharian himself offered as the female formed Android made her way to the opposing side of the Engineering Control island.
Although possessing all of the knowledge contained within the ship's computer, Annie still managed to sound more Vulcan than Human in her dealings with the crew.  The Avatar had never been meant to be anything more than a physical extension of the ship, but Elan still held the hope that one day Annie and her sisters onboard the SEKHMET and HORUS would one day be more, far more.
"I was working on implementing these changes gradually," the Oltharian calmly explained, his gaze still on the controls he had been working on.  "If the modifications are made slowly enough we should be able to keep the impact to the ship's infrastructure to a minimum while increasing the speed.  We may need to divert some additional power to the Structural Integrity Field generators to insure everyone's safety."
"Agreed," Annie confirmed as she reviewed the CEO's work.  "Unfortunately since all available power is currently being channelled through the propulsion system, there is nowhere to draw the additional required energy from."
Elan shifted his gaze to the Avatar for a moment as he processed her words.  Annie had of course been correct, but her cold and calculating method of processing information to arrive at possible solutions still lacked what some would have referred to as the *Human element.*
"Engineering to Captain Rikar," the Olthairan said after having opened a comm channel to the ANUBIS's control deck.
=/\= Go ahead, =/\= the CO replied, a clear tone of hope having laced her few words.
"We can increase our current ability to stay at transwarp speed," the Olthairan explained while being very careful not to have his voice sound more enthusiastic than it should.  "Unfortunately, to be able to accomplish this we will need to divert power from life support systems and any areas of the ship currently not being used."
The pause in the Captain's reply indicated that she had taken the time to deliberate the impact of the CEO's plan on the ship, but after only a few more seconds the CO offered her answer.  =/\= Do it, and please let Ensign Thomas know which sections of the ship will need to be evacuated. =/\=
Having received the go ahead for his plan, Elan immediately went to work under the puzzled stare of the Avatar, the simple idea which had been presented by the CEO having been beyond her abilities to imagine.

DISCLAIMER - This post is meant to explain my understanding of FTL (Faster-Than-Light) travel, AKA Warp and Transwarp, and is in no way meant to discredit or counter any theory out there pertaining to FTL, be them actual or fictional.  Even in the Star Trek universe, I was able to find several "explanations" as to how FTL is made possible, I selected one which may or may not be the reality for *this* universe.
Francois Charette {f_charette@hotmail.com}
Lieutenant Elan Talak Fairborn
Chief Engineering Officer
Robotics Engineering Officer