The Ring Drive, or Circle's End, is the most featured faster-than-light transporting technology in this comic, albeit not the only one. It consists of the Singularity Ring, which propels the rest of the ship forwards by creating a naked singularity to power the Ring, as well as the parts Hope and Fear, which serve unknown functions. Drive ships can travel faster than light and remain matter and not be affected by special relativity.
The Ring Drive was invented by the Makers. It was either the first Spirit or the first one recorded by the Makers. They maintained a monopoly over the technology until 2258, when Conrado Cruz discovered a crash-landed ship with said technology, reverse-engineered it and used the technology to construct an empire of which he is the ruler.
Due to the philosophy of Continuum society, their discovery of this prompts them to go to war with the Empire.
In the Continuum, the Ring Drive is known as The Circle's End, the very first Spirit of the first Maker Shen, and it is implied it provides the basis of their para-religious culture and their executive and legal system of the Colegium.
How it works
Exactly how it works is unknown. Unless you are a Maker or certain Fillipods. No-one else, not even one member of La Familia really knows how it actually works - but only very few people know that.
- The ship itself seems to move slowly.
- Localized space is pinched around the ship, then the ship is presumably driven through folds of space.
- Moebius-class Maker ships can pinch "more than localised space" with double Rings, making them even faster.
However, the Alcubierre warp drive does not
- need to create a naked singularity like the Ring Drive does.
It is also known that the Ring permits faster-than-light communication.
Dangers and limitations
- Using the Ring Drive without a member of the Pilot Species has a rather high chance of high-speed collision with an object in space.
- Using the Ring Drive without a member of the Pilot Species has an artificial limit of speed as a consequence. The Ring Drive cannot reach infinite speed, there is a theoretical limit.
- Using the Ring Drive inside El Imperio without the empire's permission (by letting a La Familia member supervise all of the Ring alone) results in death and destruction.
- Using the Ring Drive without the Continuum's permission will (probably) make them hunt you down and bring war to your puny little empire.
Use as a weapon
The Ring Drive should not be used close to any celestial objects, such as Planets. Doing so will result in intense seismic activities or - if powerful enough - in the destruction of the planet.