Abyss gateThe Abyss Gate is a huge, circular airlock coupled to a supersized subharmonic resonator. Once the airlock is sealed and the submarine vessel is suspended in place, the resonator activates and slowly phase-shifts the part of the dome that is inside the airlock's circumference. This lets abyssian water seep through the dome and fill the airlock. Once the airlock is filled, the passage into the Abyss is open and the submarine can leave. The gate is located to the east-northeast at enough distance from the periapsis of the sun to allow for safe operation.
GeographyThe Abyss does not have gravity and most submarines built for Abyss exploration are built with this in mind. The Abyss is mostly empty "water". The abyssian waters exhibit different properties than Dunian water.
Abyssian WaterOne does not go swimming in the Abyss and live to tell the tale. While the Abyss, peculiarly, have little water pressure (equivalent to about 15-20 meters depth throughout, with slightly higher pressure near large islands), it is freezing. Depending on location, temperatures range from -5 to -60 degrees, yet the abyssian water doesn’t freeze solid unless it comes into contact with air and settles. Horror stories of colonies that have experienced a breach tell of people freezing to death in icy water that solidifies as soon as it comes to rest, turning the base into an eerie tomb enclosed in ice. Abyssian water has a teal tint and a weak bitter taste. It lacks all the beneficial minerals and nutrients that Dunian water has and while it can be drunk, it does more harm than good. With its lack of beneficial chemicals, it will pull nutrients, salt and minerals out of the body through osmosis, leaving it in a dangerously unbalanced state. It contains a plethora of foreign substances, likely from abyssian volcano eruptions, that can be harmful to ingest. In some locations on certain floating islands, heavy volcanic activity heats the water to high temperatures instead, causing strong currents when the hot and cold waters meet. No bottom or surface has been found in the Abyss and the lack of an increasing pressure shows that the Abyss lacks gravity to compress the water. There are currents and bubbles left in the water drift with the currents rather than rising towards a surface. The bubbles will eventually destabilise and dilute with the water.
The Drifting IslandsThese floating islands are often rich in rare resources and several corporations have begun prospecting and establishing mining bases throughout the Abyss. These islands appear to all have the same gravity as the world, pointing roughly perpendicular to the island's surface, giving the Abyss an absolute horizontal plane of reference, but with the lack of gravity away from the islands, maintaining this orientation becomes difficult. The vast majority of floating islands are very small, barely larger than a few kilometers across. These small islands are called islets. Worse yet, science has discovered that the floating islands that dot the Abyss are all free-floating in the inky blackness, which means they will drift with currents and change location. On the macro scale, these movements are perhaps small, but they are enough to put colonies in danger of drifting out of supply and communication range. Worse yet; the constitute a fatal navigation challenge for those traversing the Abyss.
Lost ColoniesColonisation and exploitation of the Abyss has been ongoing for almost two centuries with hundreds of established colonies throughout the ever-expanding influence of Dunia in the Abyss. However, with The Cataclysm, the vast majority of governments and corporations managing these colonies were destroyed. Suddenly without either communication with or supplies from Dunia they found themselves isolated and left to survive on their own.
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The Arcom Nixie is a popular personnel and cargo carrier for use in the Abyss.
HyperSonar is a data-transfer technology that uses hyper-focused rays of soundwaves to transmit data across great distances in dense mediums, like the waters of the Abyss.