An encyclopedia of Earth after The Exile

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Report 50.SWF.1089.5.a
Swift Station

To understand the necessity of SWIFT STATIONS you have to know a little bit about the interspace of The Core.

The Core is a deathtrap. Not the stations and inside bits and all that, where the well-to-do live and work and sip faux champagne (it’s pretty much always fake, considering what happened to Europe, but the obscenely wealthy do love to play pretend).

But in between all the hastily constructed and connected pods and stations and systems and ships and platforms is a loose, haphazard, semi-rigid latticework that holds all the little bits of civilization that make up our grandest city-state together and much more importantly: apart. In the early days, we lost entire nationalities to bumps and scrapes between desperately constructed and barely space-worthy arks (42.ATE).

One could, in theory, traverse most of The Core by walking through the various interconnected tubes and walkways, but it would take hours to get from district to district and you’d probably have to pass through some not-quite-airlocks being maintained by nobody.

We go through the middle. Except the middle is a metal and composite spider web of pure chaos and humans are terrible pilots in three dimensions. Enter SWIFT STATIONS. Precision, computer-piloted shuttles on an immutable schedule shooting at terrifying speeds through the innards of what remains of human civilization.

SWIFT shuttles are never late. Ever. If they were late to the station they would be late leaving the station and if they are late leaving the station they would upset the delicately crafted algorithm that keeps them from smashing into each other or the trestle system as they zip by one another at horrifying speeds. As a result there are rarely any accidents (unless humans get themselves involved) and so SWIFT STATIONS are one of the few amenities shared and beloved by everyone from beggars to the people who can almost but not quite afford fake wine.

Since SWIFT STATIONS by necessity are used by the upper crust as well as the uncooked doughy center of society, the shuttles are quite nice. Cushioned seats, accurate time tables, all that. If the wealthy could segregate themselves and create their own system I’m sure they would, but the fundamental facts of the interspace require a monopoly to function safely and thus we have a true melting pot of public transportation. Sure, you could hire a ship to take you around the outside of The Core to pop from district to district, but it would take four times as long and cost quite a lot, so even the best of us just have to grin, bear it, and hope that our fellow passengers can tell how deeply rich we are by how high we hold our noses.

The dark magic at the heart of the new world is engineering.
 Report 42.ATE.1098.1.a

Swift Group, the public-private organization that operates the SWIFT STATIONS.
Signage onboard shuttles and core interspace station map.
SWIFT STATION digi-paper reusable tickets.