The nights. That’s what everyone says is their first memory. The sky never gets dark, at least not in the way one thinks of ‘dark’. It’s more like the atmosphere vanishes into the depths of the void and the stars, the moons, everything, become not only crystal clear but magnified to the point of being surreal. The clarity can be overwhelming for those not used to it, Lucidian’s Dream they all it.
On a clear night it’s like being on the inside of a crystal ball looking out, a view that never gets boring, certainly not something you ever quite get used to. Of course, no one quite ever gets used to the multi coloured clouds, or a sky dome that colour shifts during the day, or the rain, or… Scamander is just not the sort of place one gets used to.
The scientists thought they had everything worked out long ago, that the Universe behaved according to rules. But then came the Rip and after that, Scamander. Like everything since, no one knows exactly how or why things do what they do, but the thought is the position of the planet in relation to the Rip has something to do with the nights. At least that’s the current thinking, when people actually stop to think.
The nights are one thing but Scamander is also one of the only known places where one can watch ships exit the Rip with the naked eye.
At the start ships free-fell through the Rip, their Expansion Drives useless as the magnetic and energy field distortions played havoc with the fragile plasma containers; it was long speculated that the DSS Nagano met it’s end because they tried to power their way through. Eventually, after decades of trying and failing, Coil Drives delivered the solution. Finally able to provide thrust within the Rift, Coil Drives cut travel from one week to one day; coming to Scamander seemed no different than a quick trip to the Peripheral from ‘soil side’; only it wasn’t and you needed to get to P96 first.
A radical departure from the long established Expansion Drives which had been pushing humanity around the Void for close to a hundred years, Coil Drives harnessed the energy fields within the Rift itself to provide thrust; some liken it to the reverse of a rail gun. Coil driven ships are also easy to identify, surrounded by a plasma halo as bright as a star while they are under power…
A pinhole of light, that’s the best way to describe it.
From the surface it appears as a bright pop, almost as if someone poked a hole in the fabric of space. It lasts for only a few seconds but the ‘flash’ one sees coming from the direction of the Rip signifies a ship having exited; that point where the Coil Drive is active and then it’s not.
And just as pin holes in your suit can be the start of bigger problems, it could be said that these pin holes are much the same…
Looking for Gods in Maschines:
Spans of the known:
A collection of hard science fiction tales written and illustrated by Gerard Thomas.