Thursday, May 27, 2010

Moons of Riskail, Part One: Duleeb

Riskail has two moons.  Voj is a cometary core sheathed in an artificial ocean, while Duleeb is an asteroid that was dragged out of its native orbit, melted into a mass of molten nickle-iron by solar mirrors and then a mass of cometary ice was slammed into the middle of the molten mass which was then spun very, very fast in a tightly controlled elctromagnetic field until the original lumpy potato-shaped chunk of space rock was converted into a shiny new hollow sphere.  Then the nanoprocessors and moleditors got involved.

Duleeb was sculpted into a more naturalistic-looking lunar body, all the while the interior was developed into a peculiar, almost amniotic sea of a habitat that received sunlight via translucent sections of the armor-like shell. 

Four gates were situated at equidistant points around the equator of Duleeb, each one nestled deep inside a heavily shielded and armored Fuller dome in the center of some crater or atop a artfully raised ridge.  They allow access to the surface for anyone equipped for operating in a vacuum environment, but none of them have any direct connection to the interior of Duleeb.  That's probably a good thing.

Rooted at the very center of this massive metal ball filled with sloshing amniotic seas of exotic minerals and strange compounds is a quasi-crystalline pseudo-coral colony-structure of living filamentous tendrils that extend outwards across multiple planar and phase levels simultaneously, creating a growing, self-repairing, network of mostly invisible filaments which girds the world of Riskail and acts as a defense against stray bits of cosmic debris, meteroites or asteroids and the like.  Any body striking the network of filaments is quickly disassembled and converted into feedstocks for the thing that is anchored deep within the heart of Duleeb.  The kinetic energy of the impact is completely absorbed by the net and used to spur further growth farther and farther out from its current orbit.

On particularly clear nights, and under the right circumstances, you can look up and see the very faintest hints of the tendril-like filaments as they shift across phase states, those trunks closest to the very surface of the moon becoming the most visible and looking something like a slowly waving bed of sea grass of kelp deep underwater, only far, far overhead.  The effect is a bit unnerving.  Many people complain that it gives them nightmares or that they become fearful that the thing within Duleeb will one day turn its attentions to Riskail and begin to devour the world, but that is only so much apocalyptic nonsense and no one takes it very seriously, except a few cranks and the odd cultist.

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