…It’s where you’re at! (three)
I remember we used to make balls out of elastic bands when we were at school. Get a piece of scrap paper and wrap layer upon layer of elastic bands around it until you ended up with a fist size ball, or bigger. Picture that, but on a planetary scale and you get some idea about the pipes.
The first surveyors into the pipes made the original maps and cross sections in the early days of our settlement on Sako. I believe the schematics still exist somewhere, archived and forgotten. Over time it became apparent that mapping the pipes would be impossible. Whole sections of the system would dead end suddenly. In some sections the pipe diameters shrank until they became impassable. Parts of the network were collapsed. There was no reasoning or sense behind any of it. Just a sprawling network of dark rusty metal pipes that never seemed to lead anywhere or have any purpose.
The whole thing was a nightmarish mess.
The Indies had their own mythology, legends and stories about the pipes. A colleague over at the History Department at UltraSamp University was writing a paper on it – The Religions of the Indigenous people of Sako, or something like that. Mumbo jumbo if you ask me.
Truth is, we didn’t know what they were or where they came from and we sure as hell didn’t know what they were for.
Way back when before the Relic Pact, hostilities with the Indies escalated as we prospected further into the pipes. To avoid an almost certain conflict it was decided that the pipes be sealed in an effort to prevent independent prospectors and scavengers from causing some major incident. Heavy bulkheads were constructed to weld over the main openings into the network. And that should have been that.
But then some random 2nd grade analyst in RCT discovered the unique properties of the Rust Mildew which coated mile upon mile of the pipes interiors.
Then everything changed.