The Fast-Acting Transmission Layer, frequently abbreviated to FATL, is a Norb Network rapid-response protocol that is capable of relaying information across Norb space at great speed. Utilizing relayed information protocols and hardcoded destinations, information can be transmitted much faster than it would take for a single ship to traverse the same distance.


Shortly after the discovery of other nations, it was determined by the Norb kernel that it was imperative to have reduced transmission times for time-sensitive information. One of the largest drawbacks to Superluminal Travel is that Mythril and Eluril drives require regular stops and lengthy periods of inactivity to prepare for the next jump. Because of this, a ship tasked with relaying information between two points in the galaxy must make frequent stops, making the total trip longer than if it were only in Hyperspace. However, if a ship exits FTL, sends a data transmission to a ship in the vicinity that is already prepared, and it jumps in the direction of the target, then the message's transmission time is only minimally delayed.

To take advantage of this principle, Norb ships coordinate their movement across the entirety of Norb space using a protocol referred to as the Fast-Acting Transmission Layer, or FATL. By using a combination of pseudo-random number generation, overlap, redundancy, and long-term planning, thousands of ships are able to have nigh-certainty that there will be a friendly ship at their destination. This results in a "chain" of potential information runners. In the event that a high-importance message must be transmitted, a Norb ship that receives a message and is prepared to go to FTL will postpone its current task, determine the closest link in the chain, and jump to its new destination. Once it has transmitted the message, it will return to its previous task.

FATL is reserved for messages of the highest importance, such as declarations of war, discovery of new species, and summoning aid for natural disasters. If an allied ship has a high-priority message intended for someone on the other side of Norb space, FATL can be employed, allowing the furthest Norb ship in the chain to head to the message's destination well ahead of the original carrier.

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