Appendix Two: Metric Standards:

Angular:  The 360 degree angular scale has been replaced by a decimal system.  A circle is now comprised of 100 degrees; each degree made up of 100 minutes; each minute made up of 100 seconds; each second made up of 100 ticks.


Distance:  At the signing of the FTF charter, the official length of the meter was increased by +0.000692286 its current value, bringing the speed of light to an even 300,000,000 meters per second.  Oddly, this same adjustment had already been made by the inhabitance of the early Rogue Stars decades earlier, having decided 299,792,458 to be an unwieldy and obnoxious number.  The following units of distance are commonly used in space travel:

            Kee:  1,000 kilometers

            Hector:  100,000 kilometers

            Naut:  One million kilometers

League:  One billion kilometers; the league has replaced the Astronomical Unit (AU) as the standard measure for interplanetary distances.

            Lee:  One lightyear, roughly 9.6 trillion kilometers or 6 trillion miles.  This is the distance that light will travel in one year through a perfect vacuum, and the standard unit for measuring interstellar distances.  When measuring larger distances, lee is commonly prefixed with H’ for hundreds, K’ for thousands, M’ for millions and G’ for billions.


Time:  Since the length of a local day or year can vary widely between worlds, a standardized system of date keeping was established at the signing of the FTF charter.  A decimal timekeeping system was implemented, using only two official units:  the year and the second.  One year is 31.6 megaseconds long; the timer then resetting to zero.  The exact start point marks the final signature of the Federation charter.


Metric Time Units:

            Kilosecond:  1,000 seconds; 16.7 minutes

Megasecond:  1 million seconds; 11.6 days

            Gigasecond:  1 billion seconds; 32 years

Terasecond: 1 trillion seconds; 32,000 years

            Petasecond:  1 quadrillion seconds: 32,000,000 years


Terran to Metric Conversions:

 1 Hour = 3.5 kiloseconds;        1 Day = 84.5 kiloseconds;      1 Week = 605 kiloseconds;

            1 Month = 2.5 megaseconds;   1 Year = 31.6 megaseconds;   1 Century = 3.2 gigaseconds


The Antiguan Calendar:  The Riftward Marches, a space faring culture, uses a similar system to keep common time.  Theirs, however, is based on the beautifully regular year of Nova Antigua with its almost perfectly circular orbit.

The Day:  The day is 25 hours long.  No unit of time smaller than a day is changed from its Old Era value.

The Week:  Each week is made-up of 10 days. (Firstday, Seconday, Thirday, etc)  On corsair vessels, work shifts are normally 25 hours long (half on duty and half as first call stand-by) followed by a full day off-duty.  For this reason, days of the week are often divided into “odd” and “even” days.

The Month:  One month is made up of 4 weeks.  Every 12 years the month of January has 1 less day to keep the calendar in sync.

The Year:  The year is 10 months long:  January, March, April, May, June, August, September, October, November, and December.


By these standards, an Antiguan year is 51.4 Old Era days longer then an Old Era year.  Events in the main narrative of Iceni Queen begin in the Antiguan year 199; 513 of the Federation’s New Era.  The equivalent Old Era date (then called the “Common Era”) is not known with any certainty but most estimates place it between 2,950 and 3,000 C.E.


Volume:  The cubic meter is simply called a cube, remaining unchanged in the plural and abbreviated Cb.


A Note on Imperial Measures:  In the Riftward Marches, official and technical measurements are always given in metric units, though in practice, old English Imperial units are employed conversationally.  The Rift is unique in this, the use of Imperial measurements now extinct elsewhere in the colonized galaxy.  On Earth, in the British Isles and central North America, the terms mile and inch survive, denoting especially “long” or “short” distances generically.


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