It seems I missed a week here somehow. Apparently, I felt working on the books was easier to focus on than talking about working on the books last week. My inner procrastinator is so disappointed.
So, two weeks’ progress? Sorta.
Bombast Icilise and the Relativity-Shield Development Cycle
Bombast Icilise was, at first conception, a very simple place. A completely sexually liberated society, with not much more to it than that aside from the specifics of the station itself. “A world turned inside out.”
In letting that concept sit for several months without being touched, details have started to fill in. Details that rely on the technology that relativity-shields make viable, a technology that has been used extensively in the development of new worlds and stations. Relativity-shields allow manipulation of the flow of time. It’s how the Brigadier and other relativity-smashing ships remain anchored to real-time as they travel. The development of relativity-shields and faster-than-light thrusters has remained very shrouded in mystery in the books themselves thus far. Suffice it to say that the development cycle already exists in a working document. It involves another species of creatures that we haven’t met in-universe yet, but should tickle a lot of old fantasy fans when they show up down the line.
(More on the seemingly over-rapid expansion of humanity, and how the other species we interact with remain hidden in our current time, will be explored in future articles.)
Relativity-shields are how populated places can experience rapid development cycles. Entire families sacrifice their place in the current universe to make a better place for tomorrow. Worlds and stations with long ramp-up times are built within relativity-shields with time sped up inside them. Some are only sped up a little, ten years to one—some more, a hundred to one, a thousand to one, or even more.
Bombast Icilise? Oh, so many things went wrong on Bombast Icilise. It’s humanity’s deepest station, so far removed from humanity’s main base of operations that it takes months to reach it with anything short of magical or non-natural enhanced travel. And for relativity-shielded places during a development cycle, the interaction is kept minimal intentionally. Every crossing of the shields holds the potential for losing everything on the other side for the person crossing. And messaging is tricky when time is mismatched so thoroughly.
Imagine you’re assigned a crossover mission. Time inside the shield is unknown, even if you have the code to match the shield and not be destroyed by the time difference. Inside the shield is a 100:1 speed-up. You step in for a few minutes, but for each minute you’re inside the shield, you lose one hundred minutes of ‘real’ time. And how many missions are short enough that you don’t lose days, weeks, months, or even years? If the ratio is high enough, you cross the shield knowing you’ll never see another human being you’ve known your entire life when you come back out.
It’s a sacrifice few sign up for, and few are asked.
The original plan for Bombast Icilise was an engineering haven for the development of still deeper stations far in the future. They were to be granted a five-hundred-year span internal to the relativity-shielding, with a twenty-year external time span. There was a set breeding program to keep the small population viable during the development cycle. The development cycle itself was mostly performed by automated systems and robotics. The humans were there in a supervisory and repair capacity.
Now, there are a lot of details yet to fill out. However, a lot of them have roots already, but in the end, a span of nearly fourteen thousand years has passed within the relativity-shields in that twenty-year external time span. The initial population shattered into different groups. Leaders became rulers became dictators in some groups, while others took to “the wilds,” deciding it better to live poorer in modern eyes, but richer in experience and connectedness to the world they live within.
A tyrant that some call genius, and some call madman, took over the technological supervision in the early stages of development. Through a series of incidents I’m still working on naming, the relativity-shield control module was modified to speed them up. And the shattered society inside the shield diversified still further.
There was a very long period of sexual repression, founded on the principles taught by the founding families as loose guidelines to prevent cross-contamination within the breeding program. These founding guidelines became law, and law became a tool for the ruling family to hold down the rest.
When it was discovered that the leading family of the anti-sex movement was filled with self-indulgent frauds, there was an understandably huge backlash. Within that backlash was the founding of the civilization that would become the technological leader on the station and the completely sexually liberated society of the original draft. The sexual oppression remains among some of those groups considered “native” among the technologically advanced parts of society. The tensions among the various groups inhabiting the station cause a lot of conflicts. And the sexually free and “open-minded” part of their world finds themselves the oppressors as most believe, “Those savages need to be wiped out, for the good of all.”
As Captain Hollander prepares her crew for their landing at Bombast Icilise, very little of this is known to them beyond a briefing that contains a very compressed version of this history. They are in for a lot of shocks when they begin interacting with people there, as well as a lot of fun.
Since no one knows this little secret, as the Brigadier has yet to visit any world or station, nearly everywhere the Brigadier goes, some form of prophecy seems to surround our captain and her crew. Bombast Icilise will be our first opportunity to see how they react to these prophecies. And this first one is a big one, involving the character I’ve had the most fun developing out of any character I’ve ever written. She’s a big personality and a bigger power. I really can not wait to start sharing her with people.
If I go too much deeper here, I fear I’ll be spilling book secrets. Suffice it to say; there’s a ton of fun coming with Bombast Icilise. Along with an old companion of the captain’s that will add a lot of tension to the proceedings while she’s there.
I can’t wait to get our faithful crew to that station.
Until next week, I hope to see some of you back here when the next article goes up. Later, all.