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Kaye and Pho have been given unrestricted access by the Port Authority. It means just that. No cargo searches, no confirmations of identity, origin splay, or purpose, no limitations on travel or commerce.

Basically, the equivalent of citizenship. You can stay as long as you want, even permanently.

Port Authority screening is a very important part of splayport functioning.

When a civilization builds it's first splayport, it is usually after a lot of Movers start piling up as more and more travellers arrive. This occurs shortly after the first successful Mover launch. Soon, similar variants of the original Mover pilot and crew arrive, then really odd variants, then completely new visitors. It's like the paradox of the Infinity Hotel, with all rooms filled, and then a party arrives and wants rooms, so they just move the guy in room 1 into room 2, bump the guy in room 2 to room 3, and so on and so on, freeing up any insane number of rooms you could want. Once travel begins, the nearby alternate splays do the same thing, because they are close alternate variations with the same idea in mind...and pretty soon it's chaos.

And then the dangerous visitors arrive. The old 'Evil Alternate Universe With Evil Goatees' thing. And that is when a splayport starts to have a security force, lockdown proceedures, and a Port Authority to screen every visitor.

Eventually Movers arrive from really advanced splays who have been dealing with splayports for a long time. The travellers offer admission, of a sort, into a kind of federation, of a sort, of alternate universe travel. There are common standards, spread by a kind of evangelism. Over time, these standards spread and average out into a fairly common mutual way of doing things. And since all Mover technology in all splays comes from one Krawlni, it is all the same, because it is all based on a singular thing.

This is because the Krawlni naturally live spread out through alternate universes at the same time, all the time. That is what they are, and what is normal for them. One Krawlni seen in one splay is just a slice of one Krawlni, who is spread over every other splay that meets a Krawlni. It's the same Krawlni, not alternate versions or anything. Krawlni Multiversal Movers are also likewise always in a state of massive spread across alternates as a natural state, so the technology the humans and Jellese get to try to duplicate is always exactly the same.

This is why the Splayport 'holosphere' works perfectly. The same plans, the same technology was reverse engineered the same way, under the guidance of the same Krawlni, across every splay that ever develops Mover technology at all. Same Krawlni, same Multiversal Mover, same sub-component Mover 'Elevator' gets reverse engineered the same exact way, no matter how different the splay itself is.

Krawlni are not limited to one alternate universe. They walk through all alternate spaces of themselves as one entity. They perceive a universe as all the overlapping alternate universes simultaneously, as a cloud of probable realities, and this is what is normal life for their species.

Wild, huh? A Krawlni house is a cluster of pocket universes 'glued' together at the seams...a pocket for a 'bathroom', a pocket for a 'kitchen', a 'bedroom', and so on. And each pocket is composed of an infinite number of splays, through which a given Krawlni moves, simultaneously.

So, every (Tryslmaistan) Mover (really just a Krawlni elevator like thing) will be identical. Perfectly identical, by the way, because the Krawlni itself assisted the humans, the humans and Jellese, or whatever combination worked out, to make it. It had to do this, to get the splays to build the right infrastructure to manufacture the parts the Krawlni needed to repair it's true, Multiversal ship, and escape Tryslmaistan. It had to repair every alternate splay cross-section of its own Mover consistantly.

But there is another reason; the Multiversal Movers of Tryslmaistan are only called that pretentiously, they are not capable of multiversal travel. The Krawlni very carefully saw to that, to prevent the little animals that helped it to fix it's true Multiversal craft from following it home. Every Tryslmaistan Mover is really a stripped down, carefully limited reconstruction of what amounts to an 'elevator' inside of a true Krawlni Mover. A 'simple' machine, just enough to satisfy the humans and jellese, but not enough to make them a threat. This is the real reason the Krawlni made sure all Movers are identical in every way.

Anyway, splayports eventually reach a level where they all screen visitors, all have security, all have scanning and summoning and a means to lock ships down. By that time, they have all seen some very weird, and not all nice, crap of every kind and shape imaginable. Slavers, evil alternates, overly good alternates, strange genetically altered visitors, cyborg travellers, Jellese extermination squads, Human extermination squads, dangerous drug and other product traders, invasions, plagues, and the ever popular scam artists, runaway criminals, and stories of forbidden love escaping their home splays.

It becomes routine after a while. Like an airport, or a bus terminal. Any given day could feature a contingent of deposed dictators, common splay traders, paradise seekers, religious freaks, an attack of some kind, smugglers, and of course, vanity hoppers. The Port Authority commitee becomes bored...send in security, let them pass, lock down that Mover, force that Mover to leave, no, you can't bring that in here.

Eventually the job is given to less and less qualified people, perhaps appointed, perhaps whoever shows up for the job. It changes from the exciting center of interest to the bad part of town where losers go to try to escape to a better world (shyeh, right!), or traders offer inferior goods from lower tech splays.

However, there is always one common medium of commerce; information. Information is money at a splayport.

When a Mover lands, and contact is made, information from its storage is downloaded and rated. Based on various parameters, such as significance to science, industry, education, commerce, and general research, the information is given what amounts to a credit value in whatever the local currency is. This is what a Mover traveller uses after they leave the ship - a kind of credit card of local currency based on the value of the information their ship has collected over its entire existence, and every trip, under every crew, it has ever taken. It's usually a moderate amount...not enough to be 'rich', but enough to travel around, see the sights, try the local food, get lodging for a few months, that sort of thing.

A Mover pilot can request to keep the Mover they arrived in, or release it to the Mover pool. If they release it to the pool, they gain value for anything of interest or value found within its cargo hold. This can sometimes be worth a fortune. Sometimes its not worth crap. Movers tend to collect all kinds of forgotten stuff in their cargo holds.

Most splays duplicate the stuff from the hold, and then put it back. They have found that the more splays that do this, the better for everyone, because it means Movers are always full of stuff when they arrive, and this increases the chance of that stuff maybe having something new inside it. They don't just empty a cargo hold and put the Mover into the pool. If every splayport did that, the new stuff would dry up. Putting stuff back is part of the rules splayports learn to adopt. Everyone benefits.

Kaye has chosen, by the way, to reserve her Mover and not release it. She doesn't intend to settle here.

Now you may be wondering what it means to get stuck with restricted access?

It means that the crew of a Mover may not be allowed to disembark, or may only visit the Splayport alone, or may have to have security devices clamped onto them, or may even be taken into custody. Or they may be allowed only into specific parts of the city around the Splayport, or may have to have a guide or security officer attached to them. Or they may be limited in how long they can stay.

TO SAVE HER     A Unicorn Jelly Story

By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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