#atozchallenge: L is for Lightwalking

wenders_end_dream_1
Still from Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World

Lightwalking is usually one of the first things most recently awakened Mendaihu and Shenaihu learn.  It is the process of moving from one fixed point to another by ‘stepping into Light’ — the term for allowing one’s spirit to take hold and control the movements of the physical body.  The spirit will transport itself and the body to the desired location and both will step back out of the Light again.  As the spirit is not bound by physical restraint, this travel method is much faster than even FTL.  In essence one is stepping into an advanced level of reality.

The same theory applies to commercial travel on a grander scale.  Each province has its own Nullport, where shuttles will send travelers up to a geosynchronous orbital satellite (in the case of Bridgetown, this would be Tigua Bay Station), where they would then enter nullflight ships.  These ships will slingshot a safe distance from Earth and then enter Light on a much larger scale, sending the ship to its intended destination.

The large-scale Light-travel is called nullflight, due to the early First Contacters misunderstanding the term for the Meraladian technology used in Light-Travel, called ajyinul [ah-ZHYEE-nool], thinking it referred to ‘null’, or an idea that this kind of travel took place in non-space.  The term stuck, and is still used to this day.

One’s vision while moving in Light can cause concern and confusion, depending on what you’re doing within it.  If you’re in a fixed place and not moving too much, everything you see will be in incredibly sharp focus, regardless of how near or far it is from you.  This can be rather discomforting for first-timers, but one eventually gets used to it.  The trick is to focus only on the person or thing you need to focus on and filter out everything else.  On the other hand, if you’re in motion, your surroundings will still be sharp but discolored and sometimes stretched out.  [The above still from Until the End of the World is pretty much the closest to what it looks like.]

 

I’d come up with this kind of travel early on, basing it on various things such as astral travel, as I wanted the characters to be able to visit other worlds such as Trisanda (and in effect, Meraladh and other CNF planets) in a relatively quick amount of time.  It went through quite a number of different terms over the years, but once I figured out my science behind it, relating it to all the other Light events in the Mendaihu Universe, it all fell into place.

There are, of course, a number of rules whenever I use Lightwalking.  First, exit and reentry will always cause a ‘snap’ of air and sometimes even a brief white flash.  There is no chance of reentry into an already occupied position; the movement of the spirit and its ability to sense other beings and objects makes this possible.  [However, if one isn’t quite used to Lightwalking, one may reenter at the wrong altitude and reappear a few feet up in the air.  It’s a common rookie mistake.]  A Lightwalker can take one or two people along with them with little problem, though the distance is usually shorter than intended.

And most importantly, Lightwalking is the only way to reach Trisanda at this time.

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