|Description:||Rapid communication ships which were designed to make optimum use of jump technology in communicating information within the Imperium. Because the Imperium was so large, ordinary communication had to depend on ships travelling along established trade routes, making Regina nearly 4 years out from the Imperial Core.|
The express boat (abbreviated Xboat) system, established originally in 6093 and expanded to cover the entire Imperium by 6187, cut this communication time by nearly 75 percent. Selected locations along major trade routes were established as sites for express stations, which were orbital facilities which serviced and refueled the Xboats on their communications runs.
As an Xboat arrived in a system, it beamed its recorded data to the express station, which then retransmitted it to an Xboat standing by for a jump outsystem. Time between jumps was almost always less than four hours and had been recorded at under seven minutes, making the speed of communication nearly the speed of jump (since Xboats carry jump-4 drives, speeds near four parsecs per week). In practice, this speed was somewhat reduced by the fact that trade routes did not follow straight lines and that not all jumps were made at jump-4. Nonetheless, the system achieved approximately jump-2.6 per week.
With the advent of FTL communications, the Xboat system was no longer required to facilitate speedy communications to the far flung empire. However, the system still exists to deliver mail and government correspondence and packages, including low-level government employees whose job requires them to travel.