Thursday, February 18, 2010

High Holy Days

As I write this, I'm lying on the beach, looking out across a wine-dark sea domed by a brilliant pink-orange sky. Way off in the distance, where sea and sky meet to form something that reminds me of a stellar nursery, the last light of Khanid Prime's sun is slowly sinking below the horizon.

Incidentally, the terra firma beneath my ass is anything but. I'm on one of the floating ice islands that form a part of our family estates on Khanid Prime IV (known to us locals as Ahambra). It was one of my forebears who had the brilliant idea to float the first ice islands here on KP IV.  About a century ago, he noticed a few things about life in the Khanid Kingdom:
1) High-sec real estate commands a high price.
2) Members of the Royal Khanid Family and noble houses aren't getting any fewer, and their estates aren't getting any bigger.
3) Khanid Prime IV is a oceanic world in high-sec space.
4) When water gets cold, it gets hard. And it floats.
From these points, it was only a simple matter of engineering to get where we are today. Thousands upon thousands of icebergs with refrigeration units at their cores and living quarters fit for a King on their surfaces. Oh, and just enough insulation between the two to push the otherwise sultry Ahambra days to this side of paradise.

It's damn strange I don't come here more often. The combination of Sotiyo-Urbaata Drive technology and Jump Gates means that any of New Eden's tens of thousands of planets and moons is less than an hour away by shuttlecraft. In fact, more than ninety percent of the travel time in almost every trip comes in its first and last stages—namely, getting to and from orbit.

Ah, but there's the rub: On fast-paced planets like those in Amarr Prime, Dodixie, or Jita, there are entire industries devoted to getting passengers from point A to point B, planetside. They've got high-speed maglev trains running through vacuum tubes, sub-orbital spaceplanes, you name it. Here, in sleepy Ahambra, however, luxury is the name of the game, and everyone travels by Airship. Sure, it means a significantly longer wait in order to get around, but're on Ahambra! Why are you in such a damn hurry anyway?

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