Friday, May 2, 2014

Page 667

--donation bonus week (day 4/5, post 4/5)--
Voreese nodded. ‘We know it sounds like bullshit to you. You’ve been taught your whole life that the whole world has basically been explored to its fullest. But it hasn’t.

“H-hold on a second,” said Hector. “You’re saying... I don’t... What?”

It would help if you asked a clear question,’ said Garovel.

“Well, but... I mean, isn’t it, like, super hot down there? Molten lava and stuff?”

Sure is,’ said Voreese. ‘They’ve developed a variety of methods for dealing with that. Heatproofing, heat funneling, supercooling--I’m a little curious to see what else they’ve come up with since I’ve been gone. It helps that Sermung and Sai-hee both live down there a lot of the time. From what I hear, those two are like walking safe zones. And the same is supposedly true of a lot of their strongest supporters.

Some of the residents are also flat out immune to the temperatures,’ added Garovel. ‘You should close the hole back up now, by the way.

Their nonchalance was more than a little befuddling. Hector wasn’t sure whether to believe them or not. He returned to the lever and started cranking it back the other way. The slit in the floor slowly scraped shut again. “You guys, ah... I really don’t see how there could be a whole different civilization living that far underground. I mean, if that’s true, then wouldn’t we have discovered them by now?”

It’s too difficult to get there from here,’ said Voreese. ‘That pit right there is almost four hundred kilometers deep. But that kind of vertical distance is difficult to imagine. The tallest mountain in Atreya, for instance, is only about three kilometers high. The tallest mountain in the world is barely ten.

Hector’s brow rose. “Huh...”

And those mountains are sloped, making them a little easier to climb and descend. This pit goes straight down, more or less. Servants can reach the bottom simply enough by falling to their death and then reviving, but how the fuck is a normal person supposed to make the trip? And supposing they did somehow survive the journey, they’d still have to make it all the way back up again, which is even more difficult.


  1. Doing a little math here, don't mind me...

    Terminal velocity of a skydiver in a face-down free fall is 195 km/h. Voreese says Hector would be falling for 2.5 hours, which would make the hole 195 km/h * 2.5 h = 487.5 km deep. There are probably other things going on here (different gravity due to being closer to the core, probably denser air meaning more drag) but I still think that the hole would need to be deeper than 200km.

  2. Updrafts from heated air rising as well.

  3. Ah, yeah, you're right. Think I read 120 mph as 120 kmph. FUCK.

  4. (insert witty remark about measurements here)

  5. "Here. You'll be needing this ruler now that I've taken you to school."

  6. Clearly the answer is to deploy a parachute. Partway down, the updrafts will mess with the fall speed.
    hrm. I've no idea if this would actually work. Part of the problem is knowing when to deploy, of course.

  7. Deploy too early and updrafts will push you back up, and then you'd be stuck. Deploy too late and obviously splat. That's assuming there's enough room in the hole for a parachute and that the force of deploying it doesn't send you horizontally at all and smash you into the wall.

    Also, even if you did make it, a parachute isn't going to help you climb 400 km straight up, haha.

  8. Huh I had the feeling this was a pretty massive hole... *pages back
    spread arms of 3 ppl.. *checks*
    haha about the length of my studio apartment
    Hrm yes possibly not big enough for a parachute, I've never seen one in real life.

  9. 'is a only about three kilometers high': that 'a' looks a bit strange there. And that explains how those servants got that OP, I guess. Time for a training arc?

  10. Hmm 2 Emperors livein the Undercrust. That explains why there's isn't epic battles on planetary destruction scale. The Emperors stay out of each other's way and let their minions fight the war

  11. I gotta wonder might be impossible for people to get up and down a crustshaft, but what about comm lines? We already have several fiber-optic trunks that long running across the oceans (and Eleg probably does too), and putting one in probably wouldn't even take much room in the shaft. And before you say that a 400km dangling cable would break, remember that you can just bolt or glue it to that shaft wall all along its length.