Page Number: 64

Old Swimmin' Hole

April 26th, 2004

PAGE FOOTNOTES: A P-Layer lies buried, and sandwitched, in the center of ever rectilinear, flying continent of the universe of Pastel. The P-Layer, or Proxikinesial Layer, naturally projects a force (Proxikinesion) which serves an analogous (from a human standpoint) function as gravity does in our own universe. Proxikinesion defininately does not operate like gravity at all with regard to the physical dynamics of the cosmology of Pastel, however.

Earlier in the story, we have visited a Low-P park, where people enjoy what amounts to a zero-gravity experience, for fun, and for the play of sports. Such parks are carved from within the P-Layer, and as such are cave-like affairs, dank and sometimes moldering, lit only by artificed light fixtures. The air tends to be stale, and while a safe environment to float within, in that a person will not drift away and be lost, the experience is less like flying and more like being stuck in a rock-lined terrestrial space platform.

It is certainly possible to enjoy the completely zero-P environment of the atmospheric void that fills all of the universe of Pastel, but the problem with that experience is that it is ultimately empty, and a bit intimidating, being lost among the clouds and sky, with nothing around but the airocar that brought one, and a nice, safe cable tether to it. This too is not the flight of butterflies and birds, over land, over structure and land. It is a lonely thing to do.

Thus, perhaps, we can see the joy that Cerul must feel, to imagine being able to fly at will, to go from walking or running on hard ground, in the light, in the fresh air, and then to but step away and fly, not into empty, lonely clouds, but instead back to safe ground, to grass and land and life, once again.

By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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