Section 00: The Core

Article by: Elsie Lamarr

Every single citizen aboard our massive World Ship has the same first memory.

The White Room. The Black Hallway. The Core.

Johnathan Davis wakes up in the Core.

In a way, we know a great deal about the Core. We know it’s general size, location, and purpose. We know that it is made out an incredibly dense material that is dull and black in color. We know that we have no tools aboard this vessel that are capable of doing any damage to that material, including surface scratches!

So, we understand that the Core was clearly of great importance to the World Ship’s original designers. It’s quite clear that even if the majority of the World Ship were utterly obliterated by some catastrophe, the Core itself would survive the devastation.

Separately, we know that the Core was designed with a delivery system, the white room where each citizen wakes, which is then docked to a hallway allowing them to exit the Core. That room, once vacated, seals shut and appears to lower back into the internal depths of the Core itself. No citizen has ever been able to see inside the Core, though a few have tried before.

In fact, one of the earliest Explorer Missions was also one of its most dangerous. The black hallway that citizens travel through when they arrive, actually has two directions.

For the safety of new arrivals, the Explorers have barricaded one of the two directions.

Johnathan Davis witnesses the barricade in the Core.

We know very little about what lies beyond the barricades, but what we do know is a terrifying mess of tunnel systems and automated machinery that appears to have no interest in visitors.

In the early days of new arrivals, Olivia Sun and a few of others from the Explorers group attempted to make their way down this pathway. The hallway appeared to angle downward, ever so slightly, and eventually they reached an area of compartments, none of them lit, and none of them showing any activity outside of whirring mechanical clicks.

The real panic began when they attempted to double back, fearing low batteries on their flashlights, but soon discovered that the path had seemingly changed. The hallway no longer slanted, and they quickly determined they were on the wrong path all together.

The group ended up wandering in the dark for dozens of hours, and all but one flashlight had died by the time they reached a long stretch of hallway that once again led them out of the Core.

The path was barricaded soon after, and no further exploration missions were sent to the Core.

Outside of our observable science, many have tried to make educated guesses about our origin. The Core is assumed by some to be a cloning facility, creating us and growing us, before finally delivering a grown body to the World Ship population. Another theory is that some kind of teleportation portal might exist within the dense black square, such as a contained black hole or worm hole where citizens are transported here from another larger base of operations. The dense material surrounding the Core then acts as a protective barrier from the large gravitational distortions that would come with harboring something like a black hole. Still, another popular theory is that the Core is just a large cryogenic storage unit, like a massive fridge, holding unconscious passengers in stasis until they are retrieved for introduction to the population. This scenario is the opposite of the black hole theory, in that this scenario means the dense material is designed to keep dangerous solar radiation and other deadly cosmic rays away from our slumbering bodies.

As Explorers, we seek the truth. Our theories might sound crazy, and many of them have little ground to stand on at first, but it is our responsibility to continue deciphering information as it comes to us so that we can figure out the truth, and help everyone on this World Ship to grow smarter each day.

Our most recent discovery about the Core, however, came within the last year when we learned that there is another area of the World Ship that also connects to the Core. Like the Core itself, this area is made of the same dense material, contains a black hallway, and the citizens that have arrived through it woke in the same white room. Their experience is in no way different from our own, which highlights many questions of the original intent behind the Core. Perhaps it was determined by the original designers that seeding two separate population groups would increase the prosperity gained from farming lands and building trade?

It’s unclear, but it’s something that draws all of our attention.

The Core is our first, our biggest, and our most challenging mystery to solve. As we continue to gain a better understanding of the World Ship, her systems, and her purpose, we hope that more light will be shed on the origin of the Core too.

Next week…

The Grid is a pretty significant part of the World Ship, and most citizens in town have heard it being discussed in one fashion or another. In my next article, we’ll cover the Grid a little better, explaining what it really means to our citizens, our survival, and why we are all so drawn to the glossy black walkways of this strange computerized location.

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