A workroom and corridor in a city under the Lunar crust. Cibolla’s dome collapses and the hyperthread reservoir disappears in the Fishman attack. Everyone left behind was dead.
Not one of the larger ships in the fleet, two gravrings connect to the hull by spokes. On the hull a hologram of a man walking on the moon in an old fashioned bulky space suit, with an oversized spherical helmet. Spacers, engineer, Captain, bridge, passageways, hatches, bulkheads, decks, pipes, spoke elevators, viewports and viewscreens, claxons. The pit was the central core of the ship, lined by a spiral ladder during acceleration which changed from 2 or 3g to something other than weightlessness. ibblebox 322z5, ibblebox 322a5.
Chillip is partitioned by a ridge of tall mountains and volcanoes rising out of the ocean and circling the planet like a necklace. One hemisphere was dominated by a large dry continent with central highlands from which a dozen or more rivers once flowed. They all seemed to have dried up, making the interior of the land mass arid. But along the boundary between the sand and the sea the Airclimber’s civilization had built a green fringe in which it set its cities like jewels. The other hemisphere was a mass of small islands either rising up out of the sea (U1) or settling back under it (U2). The shallow waters exhibited every shade of light blue on one side of the terminator, while the island cities sparkled like stars in the darkness of the other.
“The city was on one of the smaller volcanic islands just south of the equator. The ... volcano ... was belching immense rolling clouds of steam ... but there were no signs of lava ... and the city resting on its slopes did not seem worried ... the spaceport rested on a wide plain that stretched all the way to the sea. But in the direction of the volcano the ground rose in terraces of shining black glass arranged like overlapping waves on the seashore. On the middle levels of the terraces the city rose ... surrounded by fountains ... Far up the slope a river began in a large waterfall from the lake) that repeated itself in smaller steps snaking its way through the city and out onto the plain.
Each terrace of Leap was covered with black dust and dirt that had accumulated over an immense period of time as the lava crumbled. Only the constant moisture from the sea kept the particles out of the air.”
Fuffaloff (Water on Fire, Fire and Water, the Extinguisher) ... cold water (provides the mist) ... Faloongfuffaloff (tears of Fuffaloff, source of the oceans) ... north branch splits on UB and flows past Church of Constant Truth ... south branch splits near Falls and flows to Prison Pools Fog happens whenever the air reaches a point of extremely high humidity. Most commonly, it happens when the air rapidly cools, causing condensation to form.
Fountains are a big architectural feature. They take impossible shapes and colors ... little water falls etc in all the Airclimber homes ...The city may have grown up around the old water spouts and turned them into fountains.
Leap has many layers. They are named: Lakeside, the Upper Balcony, Midleap Shelf (Central City), the Platform (with the arena), the Kalanian Step, North Terrace and South Terrace. It is a city of about 10 million? ... like New York City on Hawaii ... Most of the city is down on the plains ...
The square kilometer of Humantown, its habitations distinctly different in style from those surrounding it, was down on the plains, in the areas set aside for aliens and their special architectural needs. ... “Stavinci didn’t live in Humantown anymore even though the colonists had greatly improved the facilities over the years. He didn’t fit with those hyper-achieving goody goodies. Now he had a small place closer to the first cliff” ... Stephen likes Humantown. It had a great view of the city and Fuffalloff. At sunset the glass cliffs sparkled like ... black diamonds ... If the wind came from the west, as it did in the spring, you could smell the ocean. The towers of the ... inner city ... were colorful stripes.”
... in a parking lot in front of a large stone wall twenty meters high and stretching several hundred meters in either direction. Astride the center of the front wall was a taller square fortress with a single large arched opening ... Other vehicles were parked nearby and several delivered supplies through that gate. He would have called it the main gate, but it didn’t seem that there were any others, so it would be the only gate. The area around had been stripped of all vegetation (not lush like the rest of the steps) ... only a yellow dusty ... The sun was up now but its light did not make this place pretty.
“...these are the Prison Pools #23 ... We keep the captured Bubloo filth inside ...”
...through the entrance, past armed guards, and several smaller locked gates. The walls were more than ten meters thick.
Inside the walls, below swirling clouds of mist, were six columns of large pools, stretching row after row into the distance. He counted them. Ten. Ten rows. The back wall was half a kilometer away, barely visible from here in the fog. ... Distributed regularly among them were stone structures with domes and four arched entryways ... The top of the wall around the complex was covered in shards of volcanic glass. It began to sparkle in the rising sun. In the middle of each of the side walls, and, he looked around behind him to be sure, in the four corners were guard towers. That wasn’t much ... protection ... but there must be significant technological devices enclosing the prisoners as well. The pools were still dark ...
Throughout the Empire of the Foreverones prisoners were dealt with by putting them into gladiator battles, sometimes one on one, at other times larger battles were presented. Gambling on the gladiator sport was illegal, but happened anyway. When Bubloo war prisoners were involved the arena was filled with water.
... sits like an island in the river, diverting its flow into an octagonal maze of water channels that surround the structure like an Islamic pattern ... where the mist grew up like moss and mold nothing was visible.
The cathedral walls were alternating columns of black and white, but the black stripes were cut by a wavy gash making them look more like jagged teeth in an open mouth instead of the bars in a jail cell. The plan of the cathedral was in the shape of a four leaved rose ... two interlocking figure eights, with a central spire supported by four immense stone bear heads nestled between the leaves at ground level. In the middle of each leaf was a large crystal window making a pattern; an infinity symbol enclosing two eyes. (It) overlooked the city as if to remind it of who was in charge.
... (it) is constructed from the obsidian blocks carved out of the maze and cemented by the flowstone. The windows are the artistic offerings of grateful citizens ... a footbridge of dull brass over the river, above the maze, along one of the main axes between two petals
... The area outside the water gardens had parking for luxury vehicles and autobuses and A large rental booth consumed smaller vehicles as they arrived ... the morning reminder that all must follow their destinies as written by their Omniscient Eternal Father. Not exactly a call to prayer, but definitely a call to duty. The rolling, gonging, organ tones ... as constant as sunrise greeted the citizens of the Empire each day. At the tip of the western leaf a Weanu perched holding a small instrument that reminded him of bagpipes.
... Black stone paths separated by transparent water. The rising mist in some places formed a gray hedge that forced walkers to keep to solid ground. Scattered along the paths were iron bridges connecting paths, but reaching out to span a channel or falling below the surface and cutting off the route. In the water channels, gates opened and closed in a similar manner, allowing the water to flow through but forcing any that chose that route to turn back. Weanus perched on platforms throughout the maze; a pair swooped down, picked up the lost soul, and carried him up to the bridge where he continued to approach the Cathedral. ... The gates and bridges opened and closed, rose and fell, like the mechanism of a giant water clock. “It teaches citizens humility. Their individual choices are not capable of carrying them through the maze of life. Only the Emperor can prophesy a successful path. But, still they try” ... “It seems random, like life sometimes, but the Emperor wouldn’t trick his people. It can be proven mathematically that there are paths that lead through.” “The entire area is shielded against electronic devices. Pilgrims must travel through it on faith.”
They entered through the glowing mouth of the giant stone bear head. “the scanning won’t hurt you. It just takes attendance,” The immense central chamber, beneath the spire and between the bears, was roofed with a star studded dome and floored with a tiled Escher pattern of images of the Emperor. The openings to the leaves were flanked with giant holograms of the most important memoryclones ...
One wing was a hospital ... ornate interior ... The ceiling reached high above them, its center consumed with the inside of the crystal eye ... Rralf stepped on an intricately carved stone disk and thrust his arms out into well worn openings in a pedestal. The machine hummed and a light around Rralf’s hip turned reddish. “If you want immortality, you have to start here”
A Weanu approached. “What have you to confess today, Rralf?” ... other meetings were taking place between Weanus and the worshippers. Crow priests approached supplicants who stood on colored stones into which were carved the image of a creature whispering into a bear’s ear. ... the solid pattern changed shape magically to match the species confessing. “If you sin against the Emperor, you must pay. If you pay, you are forgiven.” ... the offering plate ... place credit bracelet onto the platter ... rotates out of sight but returns quickly ... the colonnade of pillars supporting the ceiling, as if they were significant. Stephen wondered what devices were hidden inside them ... the Oracle, an automatonic clone of a Foreverone, much larger than Rralf ... several more scattered around, but this one seemed reserved for important personages. The Oracle was obviously a robot, an artistic representation of the rulers of the Empire. It wore a purple cape with silver runes and designs. ... the automaton moved mechanically and spoke to them.
The fourth leaf ... groups kneeling before screens; business people listening to economic forecasts, military personnel families hearing war news, local weather and politics. ... Weanu priests interpreted the messages and answered questions. “I come here to keep abreast of what the Emperor expects to happen.”
The Pearl was the original source that filled the oceans of Kakakafaloong, an Angel terraforming object. It is shrinking as the water levels on K reach the optimum. So long ago that everyone has forgotten, the Foreverones tried to extinguish it by tossing it into the volcano because it was an Angel object. It was damaged but not destroyed, so it is singed and cloudy on one side and the water from that side is gray.
“In the Bonedancer holes in the deserts of Rattakac my luck was the same. I heard a story from some of the ancient ones about a giant pearl gushing water, a river source filling the dried ocean beds. But they remembered a purple sky, not the azure of Rattakac, so it couldn’t have been actual history. It must have been a creation myth. The underground nests were busy and the culture was magnificent but I could not find proof of the existence of the pearl. However, although they knew nothing of the keystone, some were willing to join me in my quest. I left them with several clusters of sympathizers to continue the search. I wonder if they still exist?"