NAVCOM A.I. (handbook)

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Book Wing Commander Confederation Handbook
Previous Pilgrim Powers
Next Inquiry Into the Capture and Subsequent Escape and Return of Commander Taggart
Pages 118-121



| query “navcom” | source=Advanced Theories of Space Navigation; 2651

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[Excerpted from Advanced Theories of Space Navigation, Confederation Academy Publishing (Terra), 5th Edition, San Francisco, 2651.]

As the Akwende Propulsion system was the path to the human race’s freedom, the powerful NAVCOM system is the torch that lights the way.

Prior to the discovery of jump drives in 2588, the human race had been locked within the borders of its own solar system. Hostile Pilgrim forces had taken Terra hostage by use of armed sloships, demanding and receiving all rights to the nearest 300 light-years. They enforced with violence any breach of treaty, regardless of intent. Notable episodes included the Iskander, a diplomatic envoy which attempted to make independent contact with the Pilgrim Alliance, as well as the two damaged ships Roxanne and Twelfth Rose, which were ruthlessly destroyed by Pilgrim patrols. They had demanded space for themselves, and would accept no breach of the contract.

Humans, with little choice in the matter, resigned themselves to either dome colonization or micro- and macro-scale terraforming of Sol system’s hostile worlds.

The bold destiny of the human race to expand and explore had been limited to half a dozen unsuitable planets, and twice that number of inflexible and fragile station colonies. If it were not for the native ingenuity of the humans, such a small place would still be our domain, left only to peer through space at the rest of the galaxy beyond.


The Akwende Propulsion system, otherwise known as the “jump drive,” was developed by the Aerospatiale Afrique Research Laboratory in 2588. Aerospatiale Afrique Laboratories, situated in the Lower African Republic, has been known throughout the Sol System as the premier location for theoretical scientists since its conception in the year 2201. Never truly intended for direct practical application, the Astronomy division was devoted to pure scientific research until the possible results of their work was made clear to the Terran government.


| query “escape, taggart” media=CIS docs, level=TOP SECRET sort=bestmatch | return=1

“Effects and Ramifications of Anti- Graviton Dispersal, Conducted in a Suppressed-Gravity Environment” was the title of Akwende’s original report, written in 2214, which started science down the long path that would eventually lead to the discovery of the millennium. It was the first in a long series of papers that served to document the activity of this highly theoretical, yet intensely useful, ivory tower.


The most recent technology available to navigational computation is Parallel Tonality. This area of science is not a recent discovery, although the practical application of this previously theoretical science is unprecedented.

Theories on Parallel Tonality have existed for centuries. Evidence, in the form of unexplained phenomenon, has existed for millennia. For nearly as long as humankind has existed, the concept of reincarnation has been a prevalent religious concept—the belief that a human lives one life, dies, and then is “reborn” into a new body and a new life. There have been countless cases of people remembering details from past lives, a few verifiable, most not.

Similarly, telepathy—the ability to read another person’s thoughts—is a longestablished concept. Apparitions, or “ghosts,” are also phenomena in the same vein. All have to do with one human somehow sensing what another human has done, with the ordinary five senses somehow bypassed.

At certain points in every century, some form of investigation has been attempted to explain this conundrum. The answer has only recently been made clear: Parallel Tonality.

Through long and painstaking research, it is now clear that the human brain is not, precisely, the organ it was originally —and primitively—assumed to be. It is a neurological computation device, the organ with which all humans “think.” Along with a variety of glands, the brain maintains the daily functions of the body. Emotions and complex reactions originate in this intricate array of tissue and nerves. It is a temporary “way station” for short-term memories. This much has nearly always been assumed, and is true.

It is not, however, where memories are stored. Instead, it is a subtle and marvelous device for recording memories onto an associated field, likened to recording vibrations onto a magnetic surface. This field is similar to but different from a gravitational or magnetic field, inasmuch as it is unique to the object that creates it. Unlike other fields currently understood, when the object which created it (the body/brain of the specific human) is removed, the field remains. In this sense, it acts more like an independently extant field, which is utilized, but not created, by the human brain.

The organ can then, at will, read back the stored information. This accounts for how memories which were lost when


| query “escape, taggart” | source=Confederation Navy Intelligence reports | 2641.350

part of the cerebellum was removed can eventually be remembered. Once the brain regains the ability to read previously stored information, the information is again available. It was never actually stored in the tissue of the body itself.

Under normal circumstances, an individual brain can only access the information which it itself has “scripted.” However, in light of the new theory, crossover experiences can be neatly explained.

When a person attunes to what someone else is actively scripting, telepathy results. When a person accesses memories scripted from previous generations, a “past life memory” is simulated. Apparitions, or “ghosts,” are the same thing, with an unusual degree of selfawareness encoded into the script.


This has been posited for decades. However, the results of experiments were inconclusive, and moreover, were unsupported and ridiculed by the scientific community. Karenne Kiyakova, a graduate student of the Carpathian Protectorate University, first proved the connection between Parallel Tonality and the Pilgrim mutant ability to safely navigate dangerous areas without the benefit of maps. She posited that if they somehow knew what the previous explorers had encountered, they wouldn’t need maps.


Jumping from point to point is dangerous. Flawless data collection, precision calculations and pinpoint maneuvering are all necessary, and there is no room for error. Faulty input from the sensors, a microfraction’s divergence in result, or a less-than-exact placement of the enormous tonnage of the jump ship will result in the annihilation of everyone on board. Any delay in the jump command necessitates recalculation, and rerunning the risk of error.

Any jump point ever used would have at least one accurate record of its precise location and drift, as well as any abnormalities which may only have been perceptible from up close. Unlike the ship’s main systems, P.T. is based on a data system completely separate from the traditional sensor array, and provides accurate information despite any environmental conditions, such as


| query “escape, taggart” | source=Confederation Navy Intelligence reports | 2641.350

extreme gravitational fluctuations.


2648 marked the invention of NAVCOM, an independently operating on-board computational system which is capable of reading the scripted Tonal Fields created by human minds. Currently under a great deal of controversy and highly regulated, the only currently accepted, legal, or in fact possible use of the NAVCOM is for navigational verification. Human rights questions are currently being avoided, the tacit agreement being that the preservation of human life— in light of the genocidal philosophies of the only other known space-faring race—transcends concerns of privacy.

The fields scripted around jump points are read, sifted for useful data, and checked against the ship’s primary system. In practice, it works far better than predicted. So much mental concentration is devoted to the situation prior to a successful jump that the information seems “highlighted” on the resultant field. In cases of unsuccessful jumps, this phenomenon is even more striking, essentially acting as a warning beacon in dangerous territory.

NAVCOM A.I. has raised the jump success rate to nearly 100% on any previously traversed jump lines. It has a permanent data load of every known stable jump point, and a constant scan of all pertinent Tonal Fields. It dovetails with known astronomical phenomena, enabling it to accurately predict even random-seeming equipotential eclipses.

NAVCOM has removed the teeth from the monster that was space navigation. It is imperative that all Confed navigational officers understand how vital it is that this information remains the exclusive domain of mankind


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