It’s the far future, not that that’s any excuse.

MEET ME AT THE JUMPGATE is an episodic, sci fi, webcomic set in the far future with Max as the main protagonist. It is executed in watercolour by mu and written by rp. For further detail go to ABOUT

Follow Max in MEET ME AT THE JUMPGATE weekly, here – AT THE JUMPGATE. It updates Saturdays 1800 GMT

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Holding Pattern Theta

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Holding Pattern Theta

We’re currently in holding pattern Theta. This is quite normal as we have entered a space bubble.

“A space bubble? What’s that?”

Ah, I’m glad you asked. Space bubbles exist randomly in space (hence the name) and are an encapsulation of the space-time continuum. In such a bubble, space-time doesn’t ‘happen’ in the same way it does outside of one. You would think that just powering through would enable a speedy exit but not so. Speeding, slows and massively impedes progress whereas slowing and waiting has the opposite effect. This was found by trail and error and so, Holding Pattern Theta was developed to navigate space bubbles.

Space Bubble Detection – negative

So far, no method of of detection of space bubbles has been found. People on much higher pay grades than mine still ponder the theoretical physics but as yet have come up with nothing of note.

It is what it is. Annoying? yes. Insurmountable? No.

Please stay tuned while we flap the inertial dampers, as much for something to do as a requirement.

Normal service will be resumed imminently.

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Webcomic P0012 – She Was Max’s Ship

She Was Max’s Ship

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Max ‘acquired’ his ship on planet Sammarka in Centrale System. Not exactly a planet bristling with spaceship showrooms. Oh, I’m not saying there is anything dodgy or underhand about obtaining a shuttle from here but people would come here for a more ‘private’ transaction, if you know what I mean.

As we know, XTC-3323-1 is a Delta Class Aphelion spaceship but as can be seen above, Max loaded her with  ‘equipment’ so she’s become something special. The ‘Tech’ he installed made her something special. Max likes nothing more than being prepared – for any event.

Sammarka is a beautiful planet in its own way. A desert planet, several indigenous species of animal, adapted to life in harsher environs nearer the equator. The poles have more in the way of vegetation and a greater diversity of fauna. The Dreffa spaceport, where Max ‘picked up’ the Ecstasy was based just north of the equator. Although it all started here for Max, he has never been back.

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Webcomic P0011 – Acquisition of Ecstasy

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Acquisition of Ecstacy

An exotic title but all is revealed. This is how Max obtained his spaceship, or so it’s said.

so. it is the far future – but there are still playing cards 😉

There is a precedence for this; Chris Wooding‘s Retribution Falls features cards, even a unique card game so I feel I’m in good company. When it comes to how Max actually did acquire his shuttle, he keeps his cards close to his chest. Maybe they should have been a digital deck or a quantum Queen of Hearts or even nanotech etched numbers but the old school pieces of thick, stiff card will suffice for the purposes of this story.

As to whether six is lucky, it seems to be for Max. For the Japanese, 8 is a lucky number, like-wise in Chinese culture and for the Chinese, six is considered, if not lucky, then positive.

There’s something rakish about green baize and pristine white cards laid out across its expanse and even though I’m no gambling man, I’d lay good odds that Max’s fair hand will win the day.

She’s called the Ecstasy, Max’s ship that is. XTC – Ecstasy. Geddit? We’ve been making plans for a long time and our senses have been working overtime. It’s not easy making Science Friction.

Thank you XTC

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Webcomic P0010 – A Course is Set

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A Course is Set

The Confederation oversees the ‘known’ universe from Coro at its centre, right out to the edge of Extero system. Beyond here, out into the Perdio system, you are on your own. Known simply as ‘The Black’ by most, Perdio is populated with renegades, freebooters and other unsavoury, lawless characters. From time to time, they make their way into Confederation space and wreak havoc but always return to The Black. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, a punishment worse than death would be being cast into The Black.

Max is headed out only as far as the Intero system, he has the buffer of Extero before coming anywhere near ‘The Black’. However, as with many a best laid plan; fate, the Gods or just plain luck might have a say in what lies ahead for him.

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Webcomic P0009 – A Line from A to B

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A Line from A to B

Plotting a course is a fairly simple task using the NAVICOMPUTER, especially with Schrodinger (the Artificial Intelligence) overseeing Max’s initial work. With an expedited exit from Space Station Brompton 1, Max has to think on his feet paws and plot a path to transport his load of biscuits to the Bissell Sector. There’s a planet here eagerly awaiting his delivery.

The Bissell Sector is located in the Intero System which is quite some distance from Coro system; the centre of the Confederacy. Max is heading to Min-Alpha-1, an average sized planet that supports an extensive mining colony. It’s affectionately known as ‘The Red Planet’ because – it’s red.

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Christmas – it’s not very Sci Fi!

We are in the throes of Christmas, a time we love even though it falls short of the snow scenes with holly, robins, churches with choirs and warm lights emanating from picturesque cottages. The nearest we get to snow here is opening the fridge (must defrost that).

It’s that

“I’m not going to the sales, there’s never anything worth looking at, never mind buying. It’s all the leftover rubbish but we’ll go anyway, just in case”

time of year. It’s not very sci fi tho’.

However, there is ‘A Spaceman Came Travelling’

Now this is Christmassy and it is sci fi so we can take heart from this.

It’s also the time when the New Year is almost upon us and we are looking forward to 2020, not least because it has a sci fi feel about it – 2020! The future! Two Zero Two Zero! It has a very call sign-like feel to it. It is in this new year we are hoping that MEET ME AT THE JUMPGATE moves on apace and we can get to some of the ‘vegetarian’ meat of the subject.

Now although you might be forgiven for thinking that life is all very pedestrian with Christmas, New Year and that it’s not very sci fi, (apart from a couple of things mentioned) it is the very mundane nature of life that feeds into JUMPGATE and makes it what it is. The future maybe futuristic but it will still be populated with boring stuff (err, don’t quote me on that).

There is still a little way to go with Chapter 1 and its introduction of the spaceship XTC-3323-1 but Chapter 2 will introduce cleaning! Yes, actual crumb removal!

You don’t get much more sci fi than that!

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Webcomic P0008 – Navicomputing

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Ah, the NAVICOMPUTER – a mainstay in any spaceship’s technological array.

The Bloors Rempton Inopta is fairly standard offering throughout the universe but as with most things these days, its the software updates that keep it current. By current, I mean ahead of any competition.

The Bloors is just one of many machine/software devices or interfaces that come under the jurisdiction of ‘The Ship’s Computer’. ‘The Ship’s Computer’ in our case is Schrödinger. Schrödinger is an Artificial Intelligence or AI. Schrödinger is also a cat.

It is cats that have tended toward this line of business as their evolution as a superior being lends itself perfectly to this. I mean, could you imagine a dog running things? Exactly, they may well think they are but that’s as far as it goes…

Max has chosen a blue contrast ‘skin’ to the NAVICOMPUTER as he plots he way through space but he could change it at the touch of a screen. There are an infinite variety of options but Max likes to keep things simple.

Astrogation never seemed so easy! But that’s AI for you. Or more precisely; cats…

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Webcomic P0006-7 – Fall or Push?

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Ah Max, you are so cool…

That jump into snapspeed* and the infinitesimal lag before the artificial gravity kicks in and you’re floating in space. Your ears take on a life of their own, your stomach performs somersaults and the snacks redistribute themselves throughout the cockpit. All this, just before the floating stops, as quickly as it began and you drop back into your seat and hurtling through space.

Is it a feeling you ever get used to?

Is there some inertial dampener you haven’t installed yet or even deployed Max?

Did you fall or where you pushed?

The real question remains, however – why is Max running from the authorities?

*Snapspeed is fast. It allows space travel across the Sectors and since its invention, has been used by everyone in known space. Montgomery Harrington III is credited with its discovery but it was soon quickly taken over, developed and incorporated into the snapspeed-capable craft we see across the universe of MEET ME AT THE JUMPGATE.

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