Over 8000 words this week! Whoohoo!
Ah, the big action scene is in the can. Now, to pick through the rubble for survivors.
Here are a few worldbuilding snippets, the headers to the chapters that give you a little extra flavor without having big data-dumps in the middle of the text...
“The SunPulse line of microfusion turbines from New Jovian Industries sets the standard in mobile power generation, ready to supply even the most demanding of mech combat requirements. Our rugged and modular design can be overhauled in the pits or the field. All you need are simple hand tools, some readily-available deuterium, and our convenient (and proprietary) point ignition kits!
“Whether you're conquering worlds or climbing the tournament brackets, depend on SunPulse.”
“SunPulse: We Bring The Heat.”
-Advertising Copy From The InterWorld Mercenary
Guild's Monthly Journal 'Highest Bidder'
“Knowing what we know about the universi, we can reasonably theorize that this place is not natural in its formation. In all likelihood, it is a construct, an edifice, a place with an intent.”
“So, why was this place built, and by whom? Was it a private kingdom? A refuge or bolt-hole? A conduit for conquest, or discovery, or trade? Or all of the above?”
“What kind of technology does it take to create a pocket dimension from whole cloth, and then establish eight fixed, stable portals that can access an unlimited number of different worlds and realities?”
“More immediate in concern, what makes the Gatekeepers think they can maintain their hold on it? They, themselves, have only possessed it for a handful of centuries. What happens when the original creators, or forces that are even stronger than those sentients, come back through the gates and find these supposed 'overbeings' squatting on their territory?”
“Even more important to the average being reading this: what do you think they'll do to the rest of us? After all, what would you do if you found a colony of octorats infesting your habitat after returning from a long trip? You'd break out the plasma torch and nerve gas, is what you'd do.”
-Excerpt from “Wanderings: My Travels Through The Gates,”
by Professor Gallium Stronjh
"You may squawk and fuss, dear underbeings, but, dead or alive, you shall comply. Nothing grows here. Nothing can be mined. There is no naturally-occurring water or rain. These things must pass through our WorldGates. Everything must be imported, traded for, managed, apportioned, and regulated.”
“That requires infrastructure. Infrastructure requires skilled labor, materials, bots, and Nines. These costs require remittance. Fees, levies, taxes, call them what you will, but they shall be paid, and paid in full.”
“Some among you originate from places and times where the life-debt is considered abhorrent. While your naivete is charming, you should be reminded that your continued existence is a direct result of our benevolent intervention in your unfortunate and otherwise-terminal circumstances. There is an accounting, and by merely existing, you are in our debt.”
“Are you interested in continuing your existence? Then produce, repay your obligations, and contribute your fair share. We shall tell you what is fair, naturally. If this is not satisfactory, if you do not wish to share in our collective splendor, we shall happily reassign you a new purpose in life, or assist you into the hereafter.”
“Selfishness, sedition, ingratitude, and insurrection, these things you mislabel as 'freedom' and 'self-determination,' will be met with one singular response: annihilation.”
-Gatekeeper Polomius, Third GateLord, Proverbs of Power
Book's about done. Look for it this week, editing and format willing. Sleep, as always, is overrated.