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Eliza’s Notes - 02: Age of Flight

Now seems to be a good point to declare that we are in a new age. We will call this one the age of flight.

Back on Aughylia, flight was possible with magic, but rarely done because of the control it would require over the flow of magic to keep the vessel aloft. Designs for vessels that could actually fly properly were pursued, vessels designed on the flight of birds or of insects, but no serious funding ever was put forth to make a practical and proper vessel. As such, with the death of the first few generations and the stories they were passed down by the colonists, all knowledge of such things were dismissed completely.

It was a Hokeno pursuit, of course. Who else, they are the ones born with birdlike feathers, and they were always the ones most interested in the magic wings that James used. If I had to bet on anyone inventing flight I would have put my money on it being a Hokeno first. But what I wasn’t expecting was the form it would take. I was expecting a birdlike vessel, with wings, instead what they invented was the hot air balloon. A mere party favor in Aughylia days given to children, using the principle of heated air being lighter than regular air. But they have perfected it.

The initial invention just supported one person. A large leather bladder, inflated and heated, with a canopy below it for the person to sit, with a tank for fuel and a geared rowing device to cycle large paddles to go forward or backwards. The initial ship wasn’t much, and it couldn’t get very far on its fuel supply before running out and falling to the ground, but it worked, and for the first time in Vaudios history the people flew in the air. From there the designs were improved, refined, adjusted, and expanded, leading to the advanced state of today. Now we have multi-chambered air vessels, capable of carrying multiple passengers and cargo, capable of traveling up to sixty miles per hour, and capable of flying long distances without having to land and refuel. With this newfound flight, people have expanded out and explored.

From these explorations, we’ve gotten a fair detail of what our current landmass is like now. The continent we are on is consistent of two land masses linked by a small land pass halfway across, the entire length from east to west spanning roughly four thousand miles. We’re on the far western end of this continent, the landmass north to south on this half has a rough average length of about fourteen hundred miles, and on the other half the average north to south length is about seven hundred miles. Another landmass is reportedly to the north, but it’s too far for air travel with current technology, and sea travel isn’t really pursued for any significant distances yet.

Other than expeditions to the eastern half of the continent, there hasn’t been any human influence there. But here on the western half there has been expansion, all along the west coast and inland now multiple settlements have spread and begun growing. With a large enough spread of population now I can freely wander among the populations again without people realizing I shouldn’t belong, as I just fit in as any other old person who appears to be traveling on her own. Crime is on the rise, but of course that’s to be expected as the population gets larger, and so larger, proper police forces have risen from the older volunteer security detail.

As the population grows, and technology expands, new careers are born and no longer is everyone just working in farms, although still much is based on the movement and delivery of food. Vehicles are constructed to aide on farms, or move food from farms. Warehouses are built and staffed with people to sort and transport the food. Roads and corridors laid to support the vehicles transporting the food, and stores and bakeries and restaurants built to distribute food to the people. Water is much the same, as people have carried on the plumbing and water distribution networks quickly established upon arrival on Vaudios in our original colony, so dams divert water, water filtration and treatment makes it clean and safe for consumtion, plumbers and pipefitters move the water through the towns, and sewers carry the waste to be processed and used for fertilizer. Just by matter of course for the population, there’s not much purely academic pursuit yet, or significantly developed sole entertainment industries, but they are slowly emerging and leading to such things as the development of flight we have reached.

I have myself taken a balloon flight just recently. It wasn’t one of the long explorative endeavors, just from the northernmost settlement to the southernmost one, but seeing the land from above it is quite something else. Everything looks so tiny, like a model, and it’s clear to see we’ve touched so little of just the land that we have already spread to, much less the planet. There were never any clear globes of Vaudios that I remember seeing as a child, but from what I do remember of glancing up at it during it’s perigee is most of the middle of the world is covered by a significantly large series of continents, and so I suspect the one we’re on now may be one of the smallest landforms. There’s a long time to go yet before we fully tame this world. So long that I do not myself even expect to see it now, just as a matter of course that some accident will likely take my life before that.

Tue, 02 Feb 2016 02:00:00 -0600