The ansible is a device capable of near instantaneous, superluminal communication across vast distances. The earliest such device used in Humanspace was invented by the Pé Chói in the 495th century AD. Since this time, ansibles have come into wide use throughout known space.
Ansible communication is in the form of contra-gravitic inter-dimensional waves. Data is always transmitted between no more than two units and one must be located in a fixed position on a body of a sufficiently great mass, such as a large moon or planet. The second ansible may be located in any situation, such as aboard a starship.
A ship travelling at a rate greater than 0.1 x the speed of light or in inter-planar space cannot transmit or receive due to space-time distortion.
Massive energy output is required to transmit messages with an ansible and a relatively large surface area containing specialized sensor cells is required for reception. An ansible is not portable.
Due to inter-planar mass interference, ansible range is limited to approximately 20 light years; however relay stations are present on most super-scientific worlds.
Although ansible communication is relatively dependable, it is subject to many forms of interference and distortion. One of the strangest forms of distortion is anti-causal contra-temporal displacement. Rarely, messages from the future are received in the past , answers are received prior to the transmission of a question, etc.
It has been reported that the Regulans are developing inter-planar death-waves based on ansible technology that might be capable of killing over vast interstellar distances.
A few ad hoc ansible rules
Asibles of various qualities are rated as Mk 1, Mk 2, etc. Superior models are designated by higher Mk numbers. The Mk number is used as a positive modifier on the skill success table when an operator attempts to transmit with an ansible. If the transmission fails the operator of the receiving unit is allowed a roll on the skill success table, modified by his or her appropriate skill and the Mk number of the receiving ansible. Success indicates that the message was saved.
Random Ansible Failure Results (d20)
1-8 Message garbled, about 50% of transmission received. No signal for d20 minutes.
9-10 Message garbled, about 50% of transmission received. No signal for d100 minutes.
11-12 Message unintelligible, about 10% of transmission received. No signal for d100 minutes.
13-14 Message unintelligible, about 10% of transmission received. No signal for 2d12 hours.
15-18 Data lost. No signal for 2d12 hours.
19 Data lost. No signal for 1d6 x 2d12 hours.
20 Original message lost, Contra-Temporal Message Received. No signal for 1d6 x 2d12 hours.