(OOC: Spoilers below. Do not read before completing Ahnonay.)
Last night, Clyde and I guided Araxia through her Ahnonay journey. Araxia has turned out to be a hell of a quick study, and it took her only a few hours – putting my first time to shame, I must say. And of course, her face and giddy laughter when she finally pressed that last button were beyond priceless. Another day, another convert.
However, we were especially eager to get Araxia’s perspective on the Age because of one of its enduring mysteries: gravity. Where we stand, both inside the mobile structure, and out at the edge, in Kadish’s office, the force of gravity is obviously downward and Earth-like. Yet the raging water column curves away, both above and below, suggesting a torus structure, much like Catherine’s infamous Age. The puzzle was this: at the very center of such a structure, where its mass is pulling equally from all sides, the net gravitational force is supposed to be zero. The water accelerates as it comes in from above, and picks up enough momentum to carry on through the center and out into space. But we, already at the center and standing still, should be more or less weightless.
My first theory was that a larger mass was situated below us, providing direct downward gravity even when the net force of the torus is zero. But this presented all kinds of other problems: how would the water maintain its cycle without being caught in the parent body’s field? Why doesn’t the torus itself fall and collide with it? Is it in some kind of orbit, and if so, why doesn’t its velocity skew the water column to one side? The concept was convoluted at best, and would have been hell to Write. A simpler solution had to exist.
That’s when we realized our obvious mistake. Of course, we must be centered horizontally, which is why we weren’t drifting towards the inner walls of the torus. But there was no reason why we had to be centered vertically. The structure is simply built closer to the top of the inner column – the torus’s center of mass is still below us, and, with the right distribution of volume, produces a normal Earth-like g-force at this spot. Meanwhile, the water column surges on downward (or rather, inward), regardless of the mobile structure’s minor interference.
Some curiosities remain. We still have no idea how to account for Ahnonay’s constant and uniform light source. Clyde is also preoccupied with the water column itself, which seems to display two overlapping spiral currents; a spiral pattern is to be expected with a draining system of this nature, but to have two discrete and opposing layers is extremely peculiar. One day, I suppose, we’ll tackle these challenges. Until then, Ahnonay shall remain the Age that keeps on giving.