The Taj Gumbad

May 30, 3011: So I finally made it out to Apollodorus. Everyone has to visit the famed Taj Gumbad some time in their life, right? And with any luck, after their life as well…

With a design inspired by the Taj Mahal on Earth, the dome itself shelters a variety of houses of worship, each an architectural marvel in its own right. But the real magic happens underground!

Back in the 23rd Century, a wealthy CEO's wife was dying from a rare form cancer inoperable even by nanobots. He used then-experimental uploading technology to preserve her mind, and he built a vast underground complex to store it and run it.  Today, beneath the Taj Gumbad lies the Solar System's most exclusive data center for uploaded minds. This server farm runs with the latest technology to allow its residents to live many years in virtual space for each realtime day!

As you can imagine, security was extremely tight. We had to leave behind all our possessions at the ticket station 10 km away. They even ran bioweapon scans on us, and provided us each with a suit. They didn't even trust us to supply our own water. Oddly, they did allow us to bring our own holocams, and I didn't ask them how they knew we weren't carrying weapons in our cams...

I took a snap during our shuttle's approach, and used it as a reference for this sketch. It really doesn't remotely capture the majesty of the dome, especially the way the sunlight was glinting off of the panels...  We got to visit inside the dome (no holos allowed there), but of course they didn't let us go underground to see the upload center.

Oh, yeah, you've probably heard the rumors, but it's said that 98% of the System's financial wealth belongs to the old souls running on these machines…

OMD Violet

May 25, 3011: My first stop at Mercury was to the derelict Orbital Mass Driver Violet, a defense platform left over from the System Wars.  Its massive cannon was so imposing that no one ever attempted to attack the planet.  Now, it's a tourist attraction!

I quite liked wandering around the space station. Its winding, claustrophobic corridors reminded me of a the levels from a shooter holo. But the best part darted past me suddenly when I rounded a corner:


There were dozens of them, twisting knobs and punching buttons.  I guess they run the place now?

(The monkeys' suits seemed to be based on an old 21st Century design.) 

(photo ref)

The Plumes of Enceladus

May 14, 3011: This was Enceladus during the revolution, when clashes between protestors and government forces shattered some of the habitat domes, causing the air to vent violently into space, taking thousands of unfortunate souls with it.

I hope their sacrifices were not in vain. It's only been a few months, and I feel that most of us in the rest of the System have already forgotten these images, while achieving real and lasting reform remains a daily struggle.  Revolutions don't finish overnight.


April 10, 3011: Everyone here looks at me funny and asks, "You from?" And I say "Earth", and they're really confused. One guy did follow with "You look Venusian." :p

On my way

April 8, 3011: Just boarded the Macapá Skyhook. Ride's full, so they forced me to digitize my carry-on. I hope they don't have trouble rematerializing it when I get to Mercury. :(
Update: Now the ride's delayed because of some sort of Van Allen storm. Really hope I don't miss my connection...


April 1, 3011: I'm going on my first ever business trip!  I'll be dropping by a coworker's wedding in Caloris and then visiting SomniCorp's Mercury offices in Tolstoj and Beethoven.

I just spent all night trying to plan my days in the Caloris area.  Right now I'm thinking of flying into KertĂ©sz first.  I have to drop by Apollodorus of course to see the Taj Gumbad, and then I'll make my way to Caloris City to attend an authentic Mercurian wedding! :D Trip planning is so stressful!  I finally have my train and shuttle tickets booked, but I still have to find hotels...

It's taking me a while to draw my second comic.  I'll try to get it out before my trip, but I also hope to draw some during my trip itself.  It should be fun!  .... Though I'm not sure I'm looking forward to that 300°C+ heat... =o

More long term planning

Feb 23, 3011: So I program people's dreams all day, but I seem to have left my own behind. I'm going to try doing some retro textual blogging here, through this portal I found to the primordial Internet.  Maybe even draw some "webcomix".  Dreams are nothing without reality to back it up.  (The above statements are mine and do not necessarily represent the opinions of my employer, SomniCorp.)

Long term planning

Feb 23, 3011: First Titan, then Enceladus. Looks like revolution might be spreading to the Jovian moons soon.  The Consortium's been so slow to react!  The status quo of supporting dictators in the Outer Planets isn't going to last. We need to figure out how not to be afraid of democracy and actually befriend the people of the gas giant worlds.  It doesn't have to be so us vs. them.

Also, I can't believe it's been almost 10 years, and we've still barely started to rebuild the Moon. :\

Test Post

Feb 23, 3011: I wonder if this time-travel-blogging doohickey works?