Travel within the Space-Time Vortex is the second stage of space-time travel. While within the Vortex the TARDIS operates in Walrus Mode. This keeps the pranantic waveform properly antifrated and keeps the timeship's reality quotient reduced to 0.9. The reduced reality makes it easier to travel through time. The Spatial Drive will activate automatically when a TARDIS has entered the Vortex. The Wormhole Generator, Stabilizing Devices, and Refractors will induce, generate, and control the wormhole that a TARDIS travels through in the Vortex. While wormholes are extremely difficult to stabilize in Normal (Minkowski) space, due to the space pressures, such pressures are absent within the Vortex. The Light Speed Overdrive is an essential component of the Wormhole Generator and thus is vital to Vortex Travel. Two crystalline jewels are necessary to the continued operation of the hyperbolic laser drive. In an emergency this Overdrive can be patched into a radio transmitter to send radio signals to anywhere in the universe.
The Dynamorphic Generators use revolution-induced gravity to convert the Artron Energy into Orbital Energy. This energy takes the form of energetic Muons, which provide counter-magnetization Thrust for travel in the Space-Time Vortex. The thrust is controlled by the Velocity Override, which regulates and modulates the Time Rotor using a form of Block Transfer maths known as Forced-Matter Calculations. While often described in terms of a ship moving via thrust, it is technically more accurate to say that the wormhole flux is flowing by a stationary time capsule. The gyro dials display the status of the gyro-series which stabilize the TARDIS in the Vortex. Gravity from Normal Space has no effect on TARDIS travel.
In theory, once the coordinates and course are programmed in, a TARDIS will travel to its destination and materialize automatically. And if the Logical and Physical mapping techniques described in Stages 11-275 have been understood and implemented, i-o ambiguities should not normally create difficulties at this stage. In summary, the sentience of the Protyon Core guides the timeship to work with the currents and eddies and tides of the Vortex. Not only does this make for a much smoother trip, it also allows the TARDIS to remain in the Vortex for an indefinite amount of time. Most (if not all) TARDISes prefer the environment of the Vortex to that of Normal Space - however TARDISes have Curiosity Circuits. Without these circuits a TARDIS would never leave the Vortex.
In practice Time Lord supervision is sometimes necessary to avoid dangers in the Space-Time Vortex. For example, collision with other objects in the Vortex can be prevented using the Anti-Collision Control. The anti-collision device is part of the HADS and uses a coordinate override to change location. A level five alarm indicates a temporal collision has in fact occurred. Turbulence while in the Vortex is most often caused by altering the settings of the dimensional stabilizers, a malfunction in the relative drift compensator, or by feedback from the solar comparator.
If a TARDIS's navigational system and velocity regulator are reset incorrectly, the Control Room will accelerate to ultra-warp speed beyond the spatial limits of the noosphere parameters and into frontier of the unknown. In the process the hyper-sonic speed will flood the control room with Time Spillage. Jamming the Dimension Circuits of a TARDIS will prevent it from materializing anywhere. It will continue to fly through the vortex until its power supply is exhausted. Another danger involves the relativity circuit of the temporal balancing governor. If the default temporal recursion algorithms of this circuit and the back-up circuits are disrupted the TARDIS will accelerate backwards in time at a tremendous rate. The TARDIS must be brought under control using the velocity override before the speed exceeds six and a half googol years per metasecond or the ship will collide with Event One and be destroyed.
The vortex wormhole can be displayed on the scanner screen. A red tint is used for travelling forwards in time and a blue tint indicates travel into the relative past. Many people find seeing all of reality spinning by to be a disturbing experience. For this reason the scanner screen is often switched off during vortex travel.
While a TARDIS's transportation of its crew through time and space is usually described as a "Journey" it is just as accurate to say that a TARDIS actually works by recording its crew's biodata and reprocessing/manipulating their future to take into account a different location in space and time.
While travelling in the Vortex the TARDIS always has a faint vibration, which vanishes when the ship materializes. Using the PAST the TARDIS provides almost total protection from the energies of the Vortex, most crew members experience a subconscious sense of disconnection during vortex travel. This is the result of a cellular level awareness of being outside the first four dimensions. During Vortex travel some Time Lords are vulnerable to Temporal Shift Lag due to having 22 different types of temporal senses. Such effects can only be overcome if the Time Lord develops special mental disciplines. Temporal Shift Lag only effects beings with a symbiotic nuclei.
The following color code is used:
- Black: For information from the TV Series, including Dimensions in Time, and 1996 TV Movie.
- Blue: For information from the Novels and Audios including Target, Virgin, BCC, and Big Finish.
- Green: For information from 'licensed' reference sources such as the Technical Manual, Doctor Who Magazine, and the Role Playing Games.
- Red: For information from unofficial sources -The Faction Paradox series, behind the scenes interviews, author's speculation, and popular fan belief.
The TARDIS Technical Index is copyright Will B Swift.