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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Err.. the transit point I talk about is the locations the Raiders ambush travelling freighters?

    "Jump points" maybe?
    Ah, okay. I guess I never really thought about that - a lot of the raider plots are indeed ships being ambushed in normal space in apparently empty systems close to Babylon 5.

    I'm trying and failing to even technobabble that one. It makes sense if the universe has pre-determined jump points like the Wing Commander games or the Lost Fleet books, but since ships of sufficient size can jump in and out freely and the jump gates are never stated to be built around a particular location I can't really come up with a justification. Even Babylon 5 itself isn't located where it is due to proximity to the jumpgate - instead, the jumpgate is located close to where Babylon 5 is and B5 itself is only there because of the handy planet to provide a gravity well.

    ...

    Still got nothin'. Sorry.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    but since ships of sufficient size can jump in and out freely and the jump gates are never stated to be built around a particular location I can't really come up with a justification.
    What makes you think the cargo ships the Raiders attacked were "of sufficient size" to form a jump point? In fact, the Raider ship itself is, I believe, one of the smallest ships we ever see in the series with that capability, and since we know it was capable of overwhelming the cargo ship and nicking its cargo, one assumes it's bigger than they are.

    As for Shadows, their knowledge of hyperspace seems to go beyond that of any other race, even the Vorlons--their ships just phase in and out of hyperspace rather than having to create a visible jump point, and in a future episode we also see that they're capable of collapsing a jump point created by someone else.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    What makes you think the cargo ships the Raiders attacked were "of sufficient size" to form a jump point? In fact, the Raider ship itself is, I believe, one of the smallest ships we ever see in the series with that capability, and since we know it was capable of overwhelming the cargo ship and nicking its cargo, one assumes it's bigger than they are.

    As for Shadows, their knowledge of hyperspace seems to go beyond that of any other race, even the Vorlons--their ships just phase in and out of hyperspace rather than having to create a visible jump point, and in a future episode we also see that they're capable of collapsing a jump point created by someone else.
    I never said they were of sufficient size.

    The implication of ships - any ships - being able to open jump points wherever they want is that jumpgates aren't tethered to any particular spot.

    This then leaves the question of "why have two jumpgates at opposite ends of a solar system?" Especially one in which nobody is living.

    If a ship can only go through hyperspace by following a beacon, and that beacon's distance is limited, I would expect them to arrive at the gate and then turn around and go back in to lock onto the next beacon. If they need to go through a different jumpgate for that, I would expect there to be multiple gates in the same area to spend the smallest amount of time in normal space. Time is money, after all. In dangerous areas with Raiders, you can even build defenses around a jump gate hub.

    However, what we see in the show is gates separated by (relatively) long distances. Ships apparently jump into a system in the middle of nowhere, then slowly trek across it at sublight speeds, then jump back out again. This makes sense under a fixed jump point system - the jump point to Earth from Sector 47 is by planet X, and the jump point to Babylon 5 from Sector 47 is by planet Y. You have to cover that distance or you aren't getting to your destination. With no fixed jump points, that goes out the window - you should be able to enter hyperspace from anywhere, even if you have to build a jump gate to do so. Even for the short distance of traversing a solar system, it has to be more economical for the ships to just pop back into hyperspace. And as Cikomyr originally said, in galactic terms either end of a solar system are just right on top of each other.

    The other hole is merchant ships being as small as they are. If a ship small enough to be unable to jump on its own has to spend days/weeks schlepping through normal space in between destinations, that costs money. If they're losing loads of shipping to piracy, that costs even more money. Since economies of scale suggest that merchant ships should be as big as possible in the first place, the ability to jump on your own should be an added benefit. You're safe from piracy, you save huge amounts of fuel by not traveling in normal space, and you get to ship a lot more cargo at once.
    Last edited by Rodin; 2017-05-18 at 04:54 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    BlackDragon

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    OK, point taken, it doesn't actually make a lot of sense thinking about it. The only thing I can think of is that "off the beacon" isn't a range based thing, but that beacons actually send some sort of tight signal between each other--the episode where the Explorer class ship gets lost by going "off the beacon" would imply that, but then, how do ships go into and out of hyperspace at random locations? Does that maybe only work when they're close to a regular jumpgate? My brain hurts.

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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    OK, point taken, it doesn't actually make a lot of sense thinking about it. The only thing I can think of is that "off the beacon" isn't a range based thing, but that beacons actually send some sort of tight signal between each other--the episode where the Explorer class ship gets lost by going "off the beacon" would imply that, but then, how do ships go into and out of hyperspace at random locations? Does that maybe only work when they're close to a regular jumpgate? My brain hurts.
    Hyperspace geography/geometry is the single thing that makes the less sense in B5. But again; its nothing than a glossed-over technobabble FTL method. Its a plot device; and we shouldnt think too much about it since its never really relevant to the plot at hand.

    Now, Hyperspace access/departure is something that is strongly established, explained and relevant to the plot. We have a clear understanding of ship's limitations regarding Jump engines and procedure.

    Its important to understand the difference between what is actually stort-relevant and whats not. We can call bull**** on things the show has previously made a big deal about. Star Trek's example is beaming through the Shields. You CANNOT beam through the shields in Star Trek.

  6. - Top - End - #156
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    PaladinGuy

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    Remember that in hyperspace each ship travels under its own power -- and generally in straight lines -- and that there's no way to determine where you are in hyperspace other than the beacons. So the easiest way for a ship to travel in hyperspace is to take a plot from or lock onto a beacon and head straight towards it, without drifting at all. But your destination might not be on a direct line from the jump gate that you have access to. So then you'd need to "turn", but there's no way to get your bearings in hyperspace (and navigation is odd, to say the least). If you miss catching your next beacon, you're in hyperspace and completely screwed. So it should be safer, then, to travel only between jump gates on routes where when you enter hyperspace you know the next beacon will be available.

    So what about ships that can make their own jump gates? Well, remember that there are no navigation points in hyperspace, but there ARE navigation points in normal space. A ship that can enter and exit hyperspace on its own can plot a course looking at the stars and then travel straight there. If they get lost, they can either try to pick up a beacon or drop out of hyperspace, check the stars, and then enter hyperspace again. Cargo ships simply can't do that, and so need to stick to prescribed routes ... and following prescribed routes that aren't straight lines is difficult in hyperspace, necessitating routes that go through normal space.

    As for the economics of jump gates, jump gates are massively expensive to build and rely on Quantium-40, an EXCEEDINGLY rare resource. You are therefore far more likely to build them connecting major interstellar routes first and THEN potentially build more for local access, especially since for any cargo that really needs that sort of speed you can build jump-capable ships to do it (which are also more expensive, and so again would only be used for the things that really need it).
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Remember that in hyperspace each ship travels under its own power -- and generally in straight lines -- and that there's no way to determine where you are in hyperspace other than the beacons. So the easiest way for a ship to travel in hyperspace is to take a plot from or lock onto a beacon and head straight towards it, without drifting at all. But your destination might not be on a direct line from the jump gate that you have access to. So then you'd need to "turn", but there's no way to get your bearings in hyperspace (and navigation is odd, to say the least). If you miss catching your next beacon, you're in hyperspace and completely screwed. So it should be safer, then, to travel only between jump gates on routes where when you enter hyperspace you know the next beacon will be available.

    So what about ships that can make their own jump gates? Well, remember that there are no navigation points in hyperspace, but there ARE navigation points in normal space. A ship that can enter and exit hyperspace on its own can plot a course looking at the stars and then travel straight there. If they get lost, they can either try to pick up a beacon or drop out of hyperspace, check the stars, and then enter hyperspace again. Cargo ships simply can't do that, and so need to stick to prescribed routes ... and following prescribed routes that aren't straight lines is difficult in hyperspace, necessitating routes that go through normal space.

    As for the economics of jump gates, jump gates are massively expensive to build and rely on Quantium-40, an EXCEEDINGLY rare resource. You are therefore far more likely to build them connecting major interstellar routes first and THEN potentially build more for local access, especially since for any cargo that really needs that sort of speed you can build jump-capable ships to do it (which are also more expensive, and so again would only be used for the things that really need it).
    This necessitates dropping out into normal space periodically, sure. To allow smaller traffic, you then need a jumpgate in the middle of nowhere so they can emerge from hyperspace to get their bearings.

    What doesn't make sense is building a second jumpgate several days sublight travel away from the first. If you can enter a jumpgate and then orient yourself where you need to go, there's no need to build more than one in any star system. If instead each jumpgate only goes to a single specific location, that requires more jumpgates...but does not require them to be built several days away. You just build the necessary number of jumpgates in a central location, stick a trans-shipping station there and be done with it.

    It's a conflict between two types of FTL travel. Ships that have their own jump engines and can drop out of space anywhere (even right next to an existing jumpgate should they choose) are using Star Trek style Warp drives - get me to my destination. Smaller ships are using fixed jump point traffic in the classic style of Wing Commander - there's fixed jump points, and if you want to jump between systems you have to pick the specific gate you want and the location in real space is pre-determined.

    It's evident that the writers just picked whichever one they wanted to use for that week's plot and talked fast enough that we wouldn't notice...which actually worked, since it never occurred to me until it was brought up in this thread.

  8. - Top - End - #158
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    This necessitates dropping out into normal space periodically, sure. To allow smaller traffic, you then need a jumpgate in the middle of nowhere so they can emerge from hyperspace to get their bearings.

    What doesn't make sense is building a second jumpgate several days sublight travel away from the first. If you can enter a jumpgate and then orient yourself where you need to go, there's no need to build more than one in any star system. If instead each jumpgate only goes to a single specific location, that requires more jumpgates...but does not require them to be built several days away. You just build the necessary number of jumpgates in a central location, stick a trans-shipping station there and be done with it.
    There are two situations you can be in at a specific jump gate: either in hyperspace you can easily and directly pick up the beacon to the next jump gate you'd want to get to, or you can't.

    If you can, then there's no reason to exit at that jump gate at all. You can just keep moving on in hyperspace using the new jump gate's beacon. If you CAN'T, then, sure, you can exit into normal space at that jump gate, take a bearing, and jump in again. But since you don't have that beacon, and there's no way to take bearings in hyperspace, if you try to start out that way and you drift at all or have any navigational error, you might be in deep, deep trouble. If you're a ship with its own jump engine, that's not that much of a risk: drop out of hyperspace, take bearings, and jump in again. But if you can't do that and you miss the beacon -- or even think that you OUGHT to have been able to hit the beacon by now and so MIGHT have lost it -- you're in deep trouble. You have to hope that either you'll hit it or you'll hit some other beacon or gate before you die or are destroyed. And if you wander too far off the beacons, no one will be able to find you.

    So it's far safer to even spend several days in normal space -- where it's really hard for you to get lost -- to get to a jump gate where you can DEFINITELY catch the next beacon if you can't create a jump point on your own. And for most things, the extra delay isn't going to increase the cost THAT much to make the extra risk worth it, and that next gate will presumably be one that was set-up to handle lots of traffic entering and exiting hyperspace, and so essentially pays for itself and isn't just special purpose.

    Admittedly, JMS is pretty explicit that he didn't think this through in detail, because when asked about speeds and distances he essentially said that ships move at the speed of plot.
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  9. - Top - End - #159
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    There are two situations you can be in at a specific jump gate: either in hyperspace you can easily and directly pick up the beacon to the next jump gate you'd want to get to, or you can't.

    If you can, then there's no reason to exit at that jump gate at all. You can just keep moving on in hyperspace using the new jump gate's beacon. If you CAN'T, then, sure, you can exit into normal space at that jump gate, take a bearing, and jump in again. But since you don't have that beacon, and there's no way to take bearings in hyperspace, if you try to start out that way and you drift at all or have any navigational error, you might be in deep, deep trouble. If you're a ship with its own jump engine, that's not that much of a risk: drop out of hyperspace, take bearings, and jump in again. But if you can't do that and you miss the beacon -- or even think that you OUGHT to have been able to hit the beacon by now and so MIGHT have lost it -- you're in deep trouble. You have to hope that either you'll hit it or you'll hit some other beacon or gate before you die or are destroyed. And if you wander too far off the beacons, no one will be able to find you.

    So it's far safer to even spend several days in normal space -- where it's really hard for you to get lost -- to get to a jump gate where you can DEFINITELY catch the next beacon if you can't create a jump point on your own. And for most things, the extra delay isn't going to increase the cost THAT much to make the extra risk worth it, and that next gate will presumably be one that was set-up to handle lots of traffic entering and exiting hyperspace, and so essentially pays for itself and isn't just special purpose.

    Admittedly, JMS is pretty explicit that he didn't think this through in detail, because when asked about speeds and distances he essentially said that ships move at the speed of plot.
    That still doesn't answer the question of why the second gate is so far away (by normal space terms). Or why you would fly between them in normal space instead of doing so in hyperspace.

    In hyperspace distance, it's negligible. You're covering light years in a matter of days, and anywhere that's in the same system is right next door to each other, galactically speaking. It's highly unlikely that you would be unable to pick up the beacon you need from one side of the star system and not the other.

    Even if that were the case, you now have a different beacon to lock on to - the one belonging to the gate you're traveling to in normal space. Sure, it's like taking a puddle jumper from New York to Newark, but it's still faster and likely safer if you're worried about piracy.

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    That still doesn't answer the question of why the second gate is so far away (by normal space terms). Or why you would fly between them in normal space instead of doing so in hyperspace.
    Far away is simple: jump gates are expensive and rely on very rare materials, so as I said originally you aren't going to start by building the small local ones before you build the big hubs that everyone relies on. So ideally you'd build the next one at another point where ships want to come out. And JMS' inability to be consistent with speed is the same as Star Trek's issues with how fast those sublight ships actually travel.

    You DO have a point about why you wouldn't just pick up its beacon and follow it in hyperspace. I'd agree there's no really good explanation here. About the best one is that hyperspace isn't all that safe itself and can impact the mental health of your crew, so you might need, at certain points in the trip, to drop into normal space for a while to avoid people going insane. But, yeah, that's not all that great an answer.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Far away is simple: jump gates are expensive and rely on very rare materials, so as I said originally you aren't going to start by building the small local ones before you build the big hubs that everyone relies on. So ideally you'd build the next one at another point where ships want to come out. And JMS' inability to be consistent with speed is the same as Star Trek's issues with how fast those sublight ships actually travel.

    You DO have a point about why you wouldn't just pick up its beacon and follow it in hyperspace. I'd agree there's no really good explanation here. About the best one is that hyperspace isn't all that safe itself and can impact the mental health of your crew, so you might need, at certain points in the trip, to drop into normal space for a while to avoid people going insane. But, yeah, that's not all that great an answer.
    You're still missing my point.

    You need jumpgate that's in the middle of nowhere in order to provide the first leg from the populated world (say, Earth). That's fine.

    However, why build a second jumpgate in the middle of nowhere, in the same star system, but at the other end of the system? You still need two jumpgates either way, and both are equally in the middle of nowhere.

    The merchant ships are emerging from hyperspace in the middle of nowhere, trudging through normal space in the middle of nowhwere, and then picking up a fresh jumpgate also in the middle of nowhere. This makes very little sense.

    The only way I've been able to come up with a justification is that hyperspace itself has its own topography and safe lanes that correspond with normal space to a degree. A ship drops out of normal space in nowhereville because that's as far as it can safely go - there's a raging current in the way that will sweep the ship down the gradient and cause it to get lost. The ship then trundles through normal space for a bit to the other side of the current and then re-enters.

    The larger ships then have greater mobility due to superior engines - they can resist the current without dropping out. Even there, they have to emerge periodically to get a bearing or to go around particularly nasty currents.

  12. - Top - End - #162
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    PaladinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post

    However, why build a second jumpgate in the middle of nowhere, in the same star system, but at the other end of the system? You still need two jumpgates either way, and both are equally in the middle of nowhere.

    The merchant ships are emerging from hyperspace in the middle of nowhere, trudging through normal space in the middle of nowhwere, and then picking up a fresh jumpgate also in the middle of nowhere. This makes very little sense.
    Well, this is the inconsistency with speeds. My understanding from the show is that these jump gates AREN'T in the same system, as typically we see jump gates associated with one system itself and don't typically see more than one jump gate in a system (I can't think of a case where there was one, although maybe Earth had it). You'd be right that the implication of them only being able to travel at sublight is that they'd have to be, but the show itself seems to be implying otherwise, at least as far as I can tell.

    And again my original comment stood: you can't get the beacon from the jump gate that you want to end up with from the first jump gate, and only from the second, hence why you can't just jump out, take a reading, and jump back in. As for their placement, remember that a number of them are older as well and so were there before people started exploring, and jump gate construction is slow and expensive, so a lot of the time they'd be reusing the existing ones. But it does leave a gap where if they can't get the beacon for their endpoint or next hop, anything they could reach at ANY sublight speed ought to be a gate they could catch a beacon for, excluding things like direction or your idea of currents or interference, but both mean that it shouldn't be as common as it seems to be. While there are currents in hyperspace, they don't seem to have that great an impact since, for the most part, nothing ever talks about that being that serious an issue.
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    BlackDragon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    Well, this is the inconsistency with speeds. My understanding from the show is that these jump gates AREN'T in the same system, as typically we see jump gates associated with one system itself and don't typically see more than one jump gate in a system (I can't think of a case where there was one, although maybe Earth had it).
    I think the point he's making is that the cargo vessels being attacked by the Raiders are explicitly in normal space at the time, but far enough from any jump gate that it takes hours for a response to come from B5 or other enforcement agencies, by which time it's too late--the ships have been robbed and the raiders departed. The question is, why are those ships so far from a jumpgate? They can't possibly be trying to travel from one system to the next in normal space because that would take years even at near lightspeed. If they're either at their destination or the system they came from you would expect local law enforcement to be more capable. So, why are they dropping out of hyperspace in the middle of nowhere, flying a long distance from the jumpgate, and then presumably re-entering hyperspace to finish their journey?

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I think the point he's making is that the cargo vessels being attacked by the Raiders are explicitly in normal space at the time, but far enough from any jump gate that it takes hours for a response to come from B5 or other enforcement agencies
    Most Jumpates are placed far away from inhabited places for security. You don't want a gate in orbit of your homeworld, as someone could just send a fleet through and blow up your homeworld.

    Earth's Jumpgate is way out at Io, so a ship would come through there and still have to travel hours in normal space to Earth.

    Also space is big....like really, really big. A Jumpgate in a solar system still leaves huge distances to travel, even if it is in the ''middle'' of the system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Most Jumpates are placed far away from inhabited places for security. You don't want a gate in orbit of your homeworld, as someone could just send a fleet through and blow up your homeworld.

    Earth's Jumpgate is way out at Io, so a ship would come through there and still have to travel hours in normal space to Earth.

    Also space is big....like really, really big. A Jumpgate in a solar system still leaves huge distances to travel, even if it is in the ''middle'' of the system.
    It still doesnt make sensr why a ship getting to B5 would spend hours/days in normal space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    Most Jumpates are placed far away from inhabited places for security. You don't want a gate in orbit of your homeworld, as someone could just send a fleet through and blow up your homeworld.
    But like I said, you would expect the local law enforcement to be better if the cargo ship was at its destination. Why would they be sending out fighters from B5 to assist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But like I said, you would expect the local law enforcement to be better if the cargo ship was at its destination. Why would they be sending out fighters from B5 to assist?
    My guess would be that it was a largely uninhabited system and B5 was the closest.

    Another thing that could be going on is that certain areas of Hyperspace may not be traversable, similar to a Warp Storm in 40k, and as such you need to travel the distance in real space. I know this isnt mentioned anywhere, but its a thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    My guess would be that it was a largely uninhabited system and B5 was the closest.
    That just brings us back to the question of why a cargo vessel is traversing a largely uninhabited system, though. You would think any cargo being taken to such a place would be building supplies and food for a new colony, neither of which are going to fetch much money on the open market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I think the point he's making is that the cargo vessels being attacked by the Raiders are explicitly in normal space at the time, but far enough from any jump gate that it takes hours for a response to come from B5 or other enforcement agencies, by which time it's too late--the ships have been robbed and the raiders departed. The question is, why are those ships so far from a jumpgate? They can't possibly be trying to travel from one system to the next in normal space because that would take years even at near lightspeed. If they're either at their destination or the system they came from you would expect local law enforcement to be more capable. So, why are they dropping out of hyperspace in the middle of nowhere, flying a long distance from the jumpgate, and then presumably re-entering hyperspace to finish their journey?
    There's a known and explicit inconsistency in travel times. Starfury speeds, in particular, aren't consistent and essentially are, as JMS said, "The speed of plot". Given that, it is entirely possible that Starfuries flying across THE SAME AREA OF SPACE will take hours in one instance and much less time in another. So that's something that we pretty much have to ignore; it's an inconsistency, but one that's admitted. And the same thing would apply to cargo ships: they're out there for hours or days because the plot needs them to.

    As I said, the implication for me is that JMS indeed has the ships flying between systems. We don't ever see more than one jumpgate in a system. Yes, that's completely and totally unrealistic and makes no sense given that they'd be travelling at sublight speeds, but it really looks like JMS just forgot or didn't care about that.

    As for why the jumpgates are in isolated systems, note that many of the jumpgates were built by previous -- and now vanished -- civilizations. When they were originally built, those systems aren't isolated, but they are now. Markab's jumpgate turns into one of these in the series itself. So they're using them as transits, and not heading directly there for a specific purpose, and thus there's no local law enforcement to speak of.

    So the big question -- which is the one I was addressing -- is why they need to travel in normal space AT ALL. My guess is that it's only at the other jumpgate that they can catch the beacon to their destination, or next hop, but as I said that doesn't explain why they can't catch the beacon to THAT jumpgate instead from the one they exit from. That being said, the geometry in hyperspace is odd, which might impact beacon signals in odd ways, and so there might be a few places where those oddities occur, necessitating the return to normal space, and one of those just happens to be where B5 is, which can drive the plot drama. This isn't even all that contrived because you can reason backwards on it: there are raider problems in that sector BECAUSE of the condition combined with the importance of B5 as a trading hub; if the condition existed elsewhere then that's where you'd get raider activity.

    So, yes, it's wonky, but some of the issues aren't really and are explained, and for most of the rest JMS is explicitly and directly ignoring them for the sake of plot, which makes trying to explain them ... difficult [grin].
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  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    It still doesnt make sensr why a ship getting to B5 would spend hours/days in normal space.
    If your just talking about the ship we see ''around'' B5....I don't think they are just coming and going to B5. If they were just going from Planet X to B5, they would come out of the jumpgate right next to the station.

    What we are seeing are ships across Sector Epsilon. And a sector of space is huge, with lots of planets and places that are inhabited. So it's like an ship would go from Earth to B5 and then go from B5 to say the Qulizoxia spaceport of Qunilitiopa on the planet of Qua in the solar system of Q. That is where the raiders are attacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But like I said, you would expect the local law enforcement to be better if the cargo ship was at its destination. Why would they be sending out fighters from B5 to assist?
    It is a lot like the Caribbean in history. Pirates are not really ''local law enforcement'', as the Coast Guard (in the USA anyway) is semi-military at least. But even worse and on top of that....well a lot of governments don't care, don't see protecting others as there job, are too weak to do anything and/or are in league with the pirates.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    That just brings us back to the question of why a cargo vessel is traversing a largely uninhabited system, though. You would think any cargo being taken to such a place would be building supplies and food for a new colony, neither of which are going to fetch much money on the open market.
    This is true as most of a cargo will be ''stuff''....but not all of it. There are plenty of things of value in ''common stuff''. Gold, silver, copper and other such metals. High tech items. Anything radioactive. Lots of medical stuff.

    Plus, remember that most places ''way out in space'' don't have regular shipments of anything from anywhere...again a lot like Earth before the 20th century. So ''one ship'' has to carry everything and anything that is needed/wanted/or ordered. Even a busy place might only get a ship a week...or month.

    Though ''value'' does depend on the buyer a lot too. And B5 makes it clear that lots of places either lack ''basic Earth things'' or have ''limited supplies'' or ''are very expensive''. So if someone on New New York really wants some red delicious apples to celebrate they will be willing to pay a high price and deal with pirates to get them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    If your just talking about the ship we see ''around'' B5....I don't think they are just coming and going to B5. If they were just going from Planet X to B5, they would come out of the jumpgate right next to the station.

    What we are seeing are ships across Sector Epsilon. And a sector of space is huge, with lots of planets and places that are inhabited. So it's like an ship would go from Earth to B5 and then go from B5 to say the Qulizoxia spaceport of Qunilitiopa on the planet of Qua in the solar system of Q. That is where the raiders are attacking.
    Except this is not what we are seeing. There are transports coming directly from Earth that are exposed in Normal Space on their way to B5

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    Concerning cargo ships in uninhabited systems... a single mining instalation in an otherwise uninhabited system would have plenty of reason for regular cargo runs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakaydos View Post
    Concerning cargo ships in uninhabited systems... a single mining instalation in an otherwise uninhabited system would have plenty of reason for regular cargo runs.
    Agreed. But why would passenger ships transit there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Agreed. But why would passenger ships transit there?
    Depends on the passangers... local sightseeing?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daimbert View Post
    There's a known and explicit inconsistency in travel times. Starfury speeds, in particular, aren't consistent and essentially are, as JMS said, "The speed of plot". Given that, it is entirely possible that Starfuries flying across THE SAME AREA OF SPACE will take hours in one instance and much less time in another. So that's something that we pretty much have to ignore; it's an inconsistency, but one that's admitted. And the same thing would apply to cargo ships: they're out there for hours or days because the plot needs them to.

    As I said, the implication for me is that JMS indeed has the ships flying between systems. We don't ever see more than one jumpgate in a system. Yes, that's completely and totally unrealistic and makes no sense given that they'd be travelling at sublight speeds, but it really looks like JMS just forgot or didn't care about that.

    As for why the jumpgates are in isolated systems, note that many of the jumpgates were built by previous -- and now vanished -- civilizations. When they were originally built, those systems aren't isolated, but they are now. Markab's jumpgate turns into one of these in the series itself. So they're using them as transits, and not heading directly there for a specific purpose, and thus there's no local law enforcement to speak of.

    So the big question -- which is the one I was addressing -- is why they need to travel in normal space AT ALL. My guess is that it's only at the other jumpgate that they can catch the beacon to their destination, or next hop, but as I said that doesn't explain why they can't catch the beacon to THAT jumpgate instead from the one they exit from. That being said, the geometry in hyperspace is odd, which might impact beacon signals in odd ways, and so there might be a few places where those oddities occur, necessitating the return to normal space, and one of those just happens to be where B5 is, which can drive the plot drama. This isn't even all that contrived because you can reason backwards on it: there are raider problems in that sector BECAUSE of the condition combined with the importance of B5 as a trading hub; if the condition existed elsewhere then that's where you'd get raider activity.

    So, yes, it's wonky, but some of the issues aren't really and are explained, and for most of the rest JMS is explicitly and directly ignoring them for the sake of plot, which makes trying to explain them ... difficult [grin].
    It's not clear exactly what kind of wait period there is for a jump recharge, and presumably there is some system of deciding when the jump gate opens to what system in what order.

    If the ship was going to have to wait at the gate for a significant period of time before being able to get a jump (or were going to have to make many small jumps with wait time in between), it may actually be faster to travel to a close gate that they can use instantly for their next long-distance jump.

    Think of it like current air travel. I used to live in a relatively small town with a tiny airport. When I needed to catch a sudden flight it was significantly faster to jump in my car and drive 3 hours to a major city with a major hub airport than waiting for a flight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Except this is not what we are seeing. There are transports coming directly from Earth that are exposed in Normal Space on their way to B5
    I'm not so sure every ship we see is only going to B5. Ships would go logically all over known space. It's not like every thing is in one solar system. And even ''close'' solar systems are far away...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cikomyr View Post
    Agreed. But why would passenger ships transit there?
    The raiders do mostly attack the cargo ships, but then a lot of ships are both passenger/cargo ships too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post

    Think of it like current air travel. I used to live in a relatively small town with a tiny airport. When I needed to catch a sudden flight it was significantly faster to jump in my car and drive 3 hours to a major city with a major hub airport than waiting for a flight.
    I used to live in a small town....and we had very little ''traffic'' with the world. Except that Friday morning UPS truck. It brought nearly everything to the town. One full box truck, all for all the people and businesses in town.

    It was even my high school job: to call all everyone who got an order and let them know to come pick it up.

    I'm sure this is a lot like the colonies and outposts of B5's universe

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    TKO

    Alien ultimate fighting and Susan morns her dad. Ugh. Talk about a filler, bottle show.

    Things that Don't Make Sense

    *No humans-Why can't humans fight again?

    *The Mutai-Is like boxing, ultimate fighting and some martial arts....but oddly does not feel very ''alien''. Guess every alien race has all them sports....just another universal mystery.

    Final Thoughts- F. This episode is quite a let-down after the previous one that was so significant. The two plots in the episode are completely disconnected, without even any thematic elements in common. They are also rather jarring when interleaved, especially the fight with the shiva ceremony. Sometimes mixing very different plots is effective, but here it was annoying.

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    Default Grail, Eyes, Legacies

    This week, we'll be discussing:
    • Grail
    • Eyes
    • Legacies


    Feel free to discuss anything from the Babylon 5 series without using spoiler tags if you so choose. Please continue to use spoiler tags for things unrelated to Babylon 5 as you would in any other media thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olinser View Post
    It's not clear exactly what kind of wait period there is for a jump recharge, and presumably there is some system of deciding when the jump gate opens to what system in what order.
    The jump gates don't open to links between specific systems. They open into hyperspace, and the ships themselves travel along beacons to the next or their desired gate. So the only reason to have to wait is because someone else is exiting or entering the gate ahead of you.
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