Invented by Alexander Ducant
's chief rival, [Xerxes Smith]?
, the Bartleby Drive allows ships to travel at a maximum speed of roughly 6.5 AUph (ninety percent light speed) and provided double the acceleration of previous drives. In theory it was capable of much greater acceleration, but Union law limited maximum acceleration soon after the Bartleby Drive's invention to prevent incidents like the one during the drive's first test flight that resulted in the death of Smith's close friend and the drive's namesake, Bartleby Scriven.
Smith received much praise for his invention and was even awarded a Golden Owl by the Darrow Foundation, but after the [Qirel Encounter]? he was shunned by a society who realized that the Bartleby Drive made interstellar war a true possibility for the first time. Though it still took great lengths of time to reach other systems, it was now possible to reach most nearby systems in just over three years, greatly reducing the Belated History Effect, and making travel through the Grey Zone possible.