The Log of the Beowulf
The discovery of the principles of gravitational induction in 2044 paved the way for another burst of technical innovation in the same fashion as the industrial and information revolutions of the 19th and 21st centuries. By redirecting and funnelling gravitons in specific ways, gravitational forces in localised areas can be negated, reversed or even created, although precision in targeting has so far proved impossible.
Progress was slow at first, being focussed on the obvious applications of artificial gravity and contragravity, but in the late 2060s, Tatsura Industries demonstrated a prototype for a reactionless drive system using the technology. The effect on off-earth operations was impressive, as exploratory missions were launched across the solar system. Within thirty years, a permanent base was established on Mars, asteroid mining became a mainstay industry and manned missions were being sent to the outer worlds. In addition, a number of sublight colony ships began their multi-generation journeys to other systems.
The second great leap came a century later as Adoyo and Kennedy demonstrated the ability of the Tatsura drive to generate a wormhole large enough and stable enough for a medium-sized vessel to pass through, although the basic principles had been known for some time. The AK drive allowed nearly instantaneous travel to nearby star systems and within a couple of decades the exploration and colonisation of the stars had begun.
GI systems give off a lot of exotic radiation which, while harmless to humans, has a detrimental effect on silicon-based systems. Shielding is available but requires expensive compounds, making its use impractical to most private starship operators. This rules out the use of computers and other such technology, so a seemingly-primitive parallel technology of electromechanical parts, valves and resistors has developed quite a degree of sophistication. Dedicated analogue computers are used in conjunction with detailed charts to calculate jumps and mechanical replacements for other important tasks also exist.
The AK drive is basically a reconfiguration of the standard Tatsura drive; it takes anything from 3 to 12 hours to reconfigure and test a drive before and after a jump.