The Calming Shelters
The places where Those Who Know retreat to in order to rest their bodies.
Purpose / Function
The Calming Shelters house various forms of easy entertainment that allow the bodies of The Hive to relax and let their atoms settle back into place. The outer halls are designed for light physical activity, such as strolling through artificial parks, dancing or swinging on a swing. Further inward there are rooms dedicated to various forms of art, such as sculpting clay, painting or playing musical instruments. The innermost rooms are intended for passive relaxation. They are well shielded, letting in just enough energy to keep the bodies responsive and allow for communication with the rest of The Hive. Bodies which retreat there lie down comfortably, doing nothing but telepathically sharing the experiences of the more active ones.
The wide, multi-story buildings are mostly shaped from the same random rock types as The Caverns themselves. The walls show rounded corners, and wide ceilings are additionally supported with gently curved columns. The same columns are also found as decorative elements on doorways. Light and warmth inside are kept at a comfortable level with Energy Spheres, specialized storage crystals that are attached to the walls with delicate silvery fittings. Metallic accents in general are found all over these buildings, either to reflect harmful amounts of radiation, for purely decorative purposes, or anywhere in between. Other notable features are the sculptures of alien flora and fauna which adorn the outer halls. Examples include golden trees with dark red velvet leaves, flowers of colorful glass, butterflies of polished wood with emerald inlays or rodents of silky fabric and mother-of-pearl. They are products of the artistic pursuits within the Calming Shelters, and they are likely to be picked apart and repurposed for new artworks after some time.
The first Calming Shelters were formed soon after the discovery of The Recombination, to counter the added strain that this power put on The Hive's bodies. Those first retreats were rather plain shielded rooms for passive resting. Starting from the Year 41173, when Those Who Know began to manifest bodies on the system's other planets and moons, both their architecture and their repertoire of leisurely activities became more varied. New areas for art and sports were added, and the alien ecosystems and budding younger cultures became a major inspiration for The Hive's own hobbies. The number of Calming Shelters remains mostly constant, since Those Who Know actively protect the surrounding caves from the transformative effects of That Which Changes. The buildings are spread out over all of The Caverns so that there is one within walking distance of every Focus Site.