A subspace fissure, or ‘subspace trench’ as it is sometimes known, is similar in nature to a wormhole, but has some very important differences. While a wormhole can be described as a subspace bridge, or tunnel, between two points in ‘normal’ space-time, subspace fissures act more like a trench or canal than they do a tunnel.
A wormhole can only be accessed from one of its terminus points. Fissures, on the other hand, can be accessed at any point along its continuum. Wormholes are also normally unstable, meaning their endpoints fluctuate wildly across space-time. According to records uncovered by Starfleet personnel at the Jarbaron Library on Prelion, these subspace fissures have remained stable since their discovery over 1,000 years ago. There is some question, though, as to whether these Fissures are naturally occurring or were artificially created. This phenomenon has only been observed in the T’burad Expanse region, leading many to believe that they are artificial – yet no proof of this has been uncovered.
While researching subspace tunneling phenomena at the Jarbaron Library, Starfleet personnel discovered incomplete records left by the now extinct Braemar civilization, mentioning ‘starry rivers, whose swift waters take us where they will’. Like modern-day treasure hunters, they pieced together clues left in various documents, and theorized the existence of subspace fissures. Practical investigation found the first of seven trenches in the T’burad Expanse. Eventually the seven were found, though some believe from the records that more remain undiscovered. The shortest fissure traverses just under 10 lightyears, while the longest is just over 13 lightyears. Regardless of the length, however, the trenches can take a vehicle from one end to the other in a matter of minutes (approximately 3.6 minutes).
The illustration of a trench is appropriate. A vessel can enter the subspace fissure at any point along its course. Alternately, a vessel traveling along the fissure can exit from the trench at any point. And although the fissures are relatively straight, they do twist and turn, with peaks and valleys within the fissure, so piloting while in the trenches is a must. Finally, if a ship wishes to exit a fissure in ‘mid-stream’, the helm must calculate the correct duration within the fissure to exit at the desired point in real space.
Located in the Alpha Rintani system, within the lethal Theta radiation-producing Rintani Nebula in the T’burad Expanse region of the Alpha Quadrant, is a unique anomoly that scientists have named the ‘Subspace Tether’.
On an exploration mission into the Nebula, a Starfleet vessel encountered a single-star system in an inexplicable pocket, Alpha Rintani; apparently the Nebula surrounds the system but does not penetrate it. In that system is a single red giant, glowing very dimly, and seemingly on its final stretch towards burning itself out. Around that star is a single planet, with a single moon. That planet, composed almost entirely of water and orbiting a sun that can barely shine, was named Darkwater. Occupying the same orbit of Alpha Rintani as Darkwater, but on the opposite side (180-degrees) of the star, is the Subspace Tether.
This is the only existing example of this phenomenon ever discovered, which leads some scientists to postulate an artificial origin. Regardless of the nature of its origins, the Tether truly is unique. A hole in space, the Tether would remind most people of a wormhole, though technically speaking they are unrelated phenomena. Approximately 100,000 meters in diameter, the aperture acts as a sinkhole, or whirlpool, drawing in anything that is close enough to become caught in its pull – but to where?
FGC-9473 was theorized to exist, but because of its location in relation to Federation space, was blocked from view. Once Federation scientists had access to the Gamma Quadrant via the Bajoran Wormhole, the new perspective proved that FGC-9473 was exactly where it was supposed to be: FGC-9473 is one of the several hundred globular star clusters located in intergalactic space, or concentrated near the galactic core. FGC-9473 just happens to be a ‘tramp’ cluster roughly 5465 lightyears below the Galactic ecliptic, and well outside the Galactic Barrier. Like all globular star clusters, it is composed of Population II stars, but FGC-9473 is relatively small – one of the smallest, in fact. Only about 60,000 lightyears in diameter, it has roughly 10,000 stars; it also has the other end of the Tether.
Both ends act in similar manners, ‘swallowing’ anything within its gravitational pull, and shooting it through the Tether and out the opposite end, usually distant enough that the object would not get sucked back in again by the other end. The Tether is also not a straight line; it contains so many twists and turns in every direction imaginable, that physically it is probably at least two- to three-times longer than the distance separating FGC-9473 from the Galaxy proper. But time does not seem to move in the same way as it does here: the entire trip takes only about 30-40 seconds.
Speculation is rampant among scientists as to what lies undiscovered in FGC-9473. The current political situation in the T’burad Expanse has put exploration of FGC-9473 on hold for the time being.
Throughout every galaxy there are hidden eddies of hyperspace where time and distance are compressed and movement through Hyperspace is greatly accelerated. Hyperspace Rivers come in five varieties each moving at a different relative speed.
These Hyperspace Rivers are greatly sought after and control of them can make or break a nation with hyperspace technology. Within the Alpha and Beta Quadrants three such rivers are now known to exist with a Type IV River running through Sector 1 coreward through the Uncharted Territories. It was this Hyperspace River that the Executor used when it attacked Alpha Centauri during the Empire War.
|Type||Time Divider||Difficulty to Navigate|
Failure on the Navigation test will result in a ship being expelled from the River at some unknown point and often includes damage to the hyperdive.
Within the event horizon of singularities, distortions may be detected from time to time. They appear as often as solar flares on certain suns and they have very unique properties. These puddles act as wormholes to various parts of the galaxy. The USS Nomad reported that one such singularity in Sector 214 had a shimmering haze that would come and go. When a probe was sent into the haze, the probe vanished – but three days later signals from the probe were detected in Sector 17. Further study revealed that, based on direction of entry and speed that the destinations would vary greatly. The famous USS Hiromito vanished into a singularity in 2307, only to be rediscovered in 2372 over 400 lights years away, and long abandoned. The ship’s log revealed that the ship ran out of fuel and that the journey had destroyed communications.
Scientist are only now begining to work out the potential of such puddles, and Starfleet Intelligence is working on a gate system that will be able to turn these puddles into shortcuts for extended space travel.