There were people on Phílae who had a sense of caution in the face of nature.

That was amply evident from the architecture of Lower Landing, which was all in the classical style of the first colonists; long, low, heavy buildings of stone and vitredur, aligned from sea to land, hunched and buttressed to withstand even the winds of a tropical Phílae hypercane, much less the mere megastorms that made landfall on polar Rokírvess, and able to be sealed with doubled doors and valved vents against their burial a hundred feet below the accompanying storm surge.

There are also people on Phílae with no discernable sense of caution at all.

This, in turn, is made amply evident by the citizen-shareholders of Lower Landing, who – under a storm-blackened sky lit only by the blue glow of the city’s kinetic barriers, lashed into incandescence by 200-knot winds and the coruscation of Éjavóné‘s best lightning without end, to the muffled sound of thunder and the syncopation of deep drainage pumps forcing seepage back out against the pressure of an ocean humped twenty, thirty feet high against the shimmering wall, filling the air with faint, salty mist – chose to throw a party on the beach.

Black sand, good food, excellent wine, a brief stretch of calm water – and the prospect of a watery grave should… well, should enough components of a triple-triple redundant system fail, and yet.

Sometimes, we can be a bloody stupid people. But, to our credit, at least it’s a glorious kind of stupidity.

– Cíënne Cassel, My Voyage Diaries


6 thoughts on “Storm

    • If you want to surf a Philae hypercane, you don’t do it at the pole, that being the one place on the planet where there’s a continent for you to crash into at terminal, heh, velocity.

      That said, riding a hypercane is the sort of extreme sport that’s in the same survivability category as naked re-entry, with the additional flaw that you’re going to be in it for much longer, ’cause there ain’t no way to quickly and safely dismount a hypercane – and on Philae, with no land to bump into, they can last for months or more, just circling around and around the planet.

      Bring snacks. A watertight bag is suggested.

  1. This would involve being a) outside the barrier, and b) briefly being a smear on the barrier.

    • You don’t think they would try to engineer their way around that? “Applications of Ontotechnology to High Risk Wave/Board Riding: A Survey”

      • I’ve always been of the opinion that, given the Associated Worlds’s existing tech base and attitudes towards continuity of personal identity and such, there must be a “small” subculture of thrill-seekers who deliberately expose themselves to lethal danger purely out of curiosity as to what death actually feels like — and more than a few probably get hooked enough on the “rush” to try it again.

        Whether one would be eligible for Imperial citizen-shareholdership while maintaining such a hobby is, perhaps, an interesting question…

      • You’d have to balance between ‘feeling the environment’ and ‘surviving the environment’.

Comments are closed.