td + 18 | loci.theduereturn.com
  








  









  
    

td + 18

Error message

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TD+18

Audio introduction to TD+18


Generally speaking, vortices appear, in their final stages of dissipation, as something resembling television static or random electromagnetic noise. As the Due Return leaves TD+17, there is a curious lingering of this "static." Anticipating its eventual dispersion, the captain orders the crew to hold for several weeks; the effects of venturing off the ship in a vortex have been often speculated on but never empirically determined. Instruments to measure meteorological conditions are cast into the static. They are observed to move in a straight line at a constant velocity, returning no measurements or indications that the static has any physical properties.

During this time period, Chiaroscuro Volpe, descendant of famed cartographer Lorenzi Volpe, spends his idle days on deck, staring into the static. He occasionally finds himself discerning subtle patterns in the static, which he initially disregards as optical illusions. After enough recurrences of this phenomenon, however, he begins to record his observations. He and the navigator quickly begin to recognize meta-patterns and repeating configurations. These configurations suggest currents, as if the static were a body of water. Casting ropes attached to small parachute-like sails into the static currents actually begins to tow the ship, an effect only recognized because the ropes and sails do not continue in a straight line from where they are cast. Over the course of several months, slowly following the current, the static becomes more turbulent and the currents denser; Chiaroscuro predicts the Due Return is approaching the source of the disturbances. Within several days a crew member spots a small sphere "floating" in the static, bobbing slightly up and down. A net is cast, the object is brought aboard, where it is discovered to be a blue bocce ball. Over the next several days, the currents and ripples in the static are observed to slowly settle and disappear, until the static itself dissolves, revealing TD+19.
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