Space is incomprehensibly big. But shortcuts through space exist. This is not the science fiction invention of faster-than-light travel, but done through the ritual casting of a hyperspace travel magic spell. The aliens that practice this space-time magic manipulate paths through space to create routes and roads for quick access to other planets. Curiously, no matter the actual distance between two stars or planets, transit time is always 16.67 minutes for travel between planets, 2.78 hours for travel between solar systems, and 27.78 hours for travel between galaxies; one cannot cancel the spell once cast and exit hyperspace any sooner.
As trade routes become contested, battles to secure them erupted. Hence space dogfighting, and the mass manufacture (and subsequent destruction) of tiny agile starfighters. Pilots train for years to become experts at controlling a craft remotely from the safety of a command ship; master pilots can command multiple ships at once using only their thoughts.
All of space is populated by colonies and planets inhabited by a single species. This fractious empire is of humanoid aliens, purple-skinned, universally female in appearance, and with swept-back pliable protrusions on their head, like four soft horns. They have only recently made contact with the humans of Earth, who have yet to figure out the alien’s spell-casting magic, and thus achieve hyperspace travel on their own.
The interiors of starships are built spaciously; the alien’s space-time magic allows for gravity manipulation, and so achieving orbit (or hovering in midair on even a giant-sized planet) is not impeded by a ship’s size. The aliens like volumetric display hologram touch screens, particularly in their combat command centers (incorrectly called the ship’s “bridge”).
(I do not own the images in the above collage, and all copyrights belong to their respective owners.)
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