A Light in the Void
“Dark? No no no. Hyperspace is not dark. It’s wondrous! There are no words to describe it. If only you could see.” ~ Navigator Vrillan
Hyperspace technology allows space-faring races to travel at the universe at faster-than-light speeds by travelling through a parallel dimension with altered physics. Hyperspace is a close approximation of the primary dimension in layout. However, locations do not seem to be “fixed.” Because of this, trip lengths are given in a range of average lengths in days.
The strange physics in hyperspace cause all movement to occur at faster than light speeds. Since hyperspace mirrors the primary dimension relatively close, this allows travelers to cut a trip of generations into one of days. However, moving faster than light has an interesting side effect, blindness. Those without Star-Sight are completely blind in hyperspace and must rely on their computers for navigation.
To transition to hyperspace, a ship needs to open a hyperspace rift. Rifts can be created by larger ships with rift engines, or by stationary hyperspace gates that smaller ships can use to enter and exit hyperspace.
Opening a rift is an energy intensive task, draining a decent portion of a ships fuel. If a ship instead uses a gate, they save their fuel, but usually pay a fee to the gate’s owner. Once a ship is in hyperspace, it operates and uses fuel as normal.
Because of the fuel cost and the reliance on computer navigation, most hyperspace travel occurs along established hyperspace lanes that make use of beacons and gates. Travel outside of these lanes is extremely hazardous without Star-Sight. Opening a rift out of hyperspace to an unknown region of the primary dimension could result in depositing the ship in the middle of a planet or star with disastrous results for the ship. Even opening a rift too far inside a star system can tear a ship apart from the sudden gravitational forces it’s subjected to.