Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Gravity of Our Situation

Passenger: Glurrrrgh. I can't be space sick! I paid for a first class transit!

Steward: You got it. You're not space sick. you have Downer sickness.

Passenger: But ... Urk ... artificial gravity?

Steward: This is your first exposure to it? Right. No one reads the disclaimer. See mimicking a fundamental universal force without lugging a billion tons of mass around or melting the ship is hard enough. Making it indistinguishable from gravity is a little much to ask for.

Passenger: ...

Steward: See we pulse the field a few hundred times per second to reduce power consumption. The field also obeys the inverse square law like any sensible phenomena. That means your feet experience slightly more 'gravity' than your head. Not a lot but it does affect your blood pressure and circulation. This all raises hell with some people's inner ear and kinetic feedback. Basically your body is telling you you're in motion but your eyes are not. Spacers are used too it and can adapt or they don't stay spacers.

Passenger: Well ... what am I supposed to do?

Steward: We have medicine to help with the nausea. We also have a well we keep in zero gravity if you prefer ... I guess not! We can also put you out and let you hibernate the six weeks till we make orbit.

Passenger: I did not invest in a whole new wardrobe to sleep through my <Bluuuuuurgh> ...

Steward: I didn't even explain how the field ... sometimes acts on the brain and causes hallucination ...

Passenger: My hands are staring at me! My fingers are eyes!

Steward: Medical alert. We have another Downer here! Prep the hibernarium! Next time sweetheart ... book passage on a low continual boost ship. No artificial gravity and you could really get the most out of 10 centimeter heels like the ones you just ruined.

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