Topic: Life with The Horizon

This thread describes the regular life in the ring The Horizon. It doesn't reveal any secrets so it's a relatively safe read even to the non Horizon members. I'm posting it here instead of secretly so everyone can get a bit of a better picture of Tower life. Most things described here are generally common knowledge in the Tower, but some of the details may not have reached everyone's ears, and additionally, many misconceptions also circulate around the tower.


The Horizon is shaped closely around its former and leader Sebastian, one of the Legendary Six, the first colonists to have walked the corridors of the Tower. An achiever and an a visionary, he guides his people both in the chores of today and the visions of a greater future.

Most of the time, Sebastian resides on his pedestal, or "throne" as his opponents call it. He communicates through direct necklink channels to his handlers and other members in command positions, giving them orders whenever needed. Some of these links also include visual feeds, allowing him to observe the situation in several locations at once. Due to his extraordinary brain capacity, he can control several tasks like this, simultaneously - some say he can process tens at once. In addition, Sebastian also listens to the mundane ring channel, but he rarely speaks there.

Even though Sebastian is involved with the ring in such an active way, he remains a rather distant figure to most in The Horizon. He seldom speaks to anyone but his handlers. He's always accompanied by one or both of two Senior Members: Amas and Ilieth. Rumors about their function range from personal doctors to bodyguards.

The members are expected to show great respect for the man. The initiation ritual for new members involves bowing down to him below his pedestal and asking his permission to join the ring. During the ritual, Sebastian doesn't reply, only later to convey his acceptance or refusal through one of the handlers.

To others, Sebastian might appear power-hungry, arrogant, or even obnoxious. No one denies the depth of his intelligence and experience, though, and he remains one of the most powerful, if not most powerful, people in the Tower.

Re: Life with The Horizon

Everyday Ring Activities

Large quantities of minerals and power are delivered to Canyon C at a constant rate, making it a perfect place for factories, especially those producing tools, spare parts, and other mineral products. Thus, it's no wonder that factory observation, maintenance, recalibration, and manual assembly of rarer components are familiar activities to most members of the ring. The Horizon also maintains a visible presense in the Canyon area, repairing and maintaining Tower infrastructure.

The observation of the factories is performed from the Canyon C Observation Den, located below the ground level. Here, a handful of specialists observe the diagnostic data from all the factories. (There are also necklink interfaces, allowing this kind of things to be done remotely, but many functions still haven't been converted to those.) Often, when there's a problem with some factory or the diagnostics system is malfunctioning, members may have to stand by the factory and observe it with plain eye.

Factory maintenance, as well as repairs on Tower infrastructure, are performed by teams of three to five people. Each team has an area of expertice (such as robotics, factory control protocols, structural engineering etc). In addition, at least one person, preferably two, in each team is required to have training in first aid.

The general protocol is that whenever an observer notices a problem he can't fix, he reports to the ring channel to request help. Then either Nanto, Tino, or Bengu assigns a team to the task. With bigger problems, several teams may be sent.

Factory recalibrations are larger jobs, lasting from a few hours to several days and often requiring tens of people to help it out. Often, to enable producing new kinds of things, you need to rearrange large sets of machinery, build unique components to the product line by hand, modify the controlling software... generally a lot of work for lots of different people. Thus, the leadership often turns these projects into great ring efforts to improve team spirit.

(This kind of large efforts aren't always needed to change what's being produced, though. The factories are relatively versatile and modular, allowing many recalibrations with minimal effort. Many factories shift regularly between products in order to produce a greater variety of items. It often seems like a matter of pure luck when this works and when it doesn't.)

Last but not least, many colonists specialize in manual assembly, meaning they build by hand those things that can't be built automatically at the given moment. The reason for this need is usually that the production would need a very specific kind of factory but the product isn't needed in large quantities.

In addition to all this, many members of The Horizon work full or part time in projects led by other rings but approved by The Horizon leadership.

Re: Life with The Horizon

The Vision

The vision of Sebastian - and by extension, The Horizon - is ambitious, grand, and appealing. In his view, the entire Da Vinci will be colonized via terraforming, in a joint effort of all the colonists. The projected end result of the colonization is frequently illustrated on the holographic walls of the Dawn Club.

The "Future of Da Vinci", as they call the scenery, is a combination of the most beautiful elements of both Earth and Da Vinci. Chrystalline glaziers and snow-covered mountains cover half of both hemispheres, with coniferous and broad-leaved forests growing on the mointainsides and in the valleys, populated by the genetic descendants of the arctic animals of Earth. Humans live in communities ranging in size from a few great cities to small villages. They move around in the environment without protective gear other than warm clothing, working on their hydroponic farms and playing with their children. In the polar regions, where temperatures are still below -70, they use special heat suits and live in domed communities.

The equatorian region is warm enough to melt the snow, giving way to lush vegetation with a climate close to the old Earth Mediterranean. This is the most populate area, with people living amongst the nature, swimming in the lakes and the ocean, walking in magnificent parks in the middle of majestetic edifices reaching towards the sky.

The oceans will be filled with plankton in order to produce the necessary oxygen, as well as a variety of fish and other marine fauna. Spherically domed underwater cities similar to New Atlantis on old Earth drift slowly in the currents.

No one knows for sure how detailed a plan Sebastian has for reaching this. It is known, though, that it involves a traditional terraforming process similar in many ways to that on Mars but improved and adjusted to Da Vinci conditions. The atmosphere will be Earth-like in thickness and composition but due to Da Vinci's greater distance to its star the temperature will be lower, from -90 to +30 degrees Celcius ((FEASIBLE WITH ALL THE PLANTS???)). The biosphere will be genetically modified as needed in order to survive in the lower temperature, as well as the microbiological conditions of Da Vinci, but it'll retain its Eartly appearance.

To questions about genetic manipulation of humans, Sebastian's only reply is: "Our humanity will not be compromised."

Re: Life with The Horizon

The Political Views and Attitudes

Here are some relationships and attitudes between The Horizon and some of the other rings:

- The Watch doesn't generally believe in such far-reaching plans as are constantly advertised by The Horizon. Sara, for instance, often says the "plan" is nothing but a popularity trick to lure in all the new colonists full of energy and hope, by filling their heads with promises of great achievements in the distant future. Others say The Watch is merely jealous of the power of The Horizon.

- The Association of Scholars is the most prominent rival of The Horizon. The Horizon was always opposed to granting Mohale and his "team of experts" the exclusive administrative rights to the scientific equipment and simulators. They blame the Scholars for favoring their own projects at the expense of others, especially ones suggested by The Horizon.

- Of the midsized rings, Society of Free Colonists has made it clear they don't approve of the authoritarian methods of The Horizon. Their nominal leader, Hansila, has described The Horizon "a glorified cult of personality of the fanatical kind". This view is shared by many other equalitarian rings, such as three of the Collectives (The Tubelift Central Collective has a more moderate view). The Horizon considers the Society of Free Colonists a group of anarchists incapable of the cooperation needed for the survival of the colony.

- One of the most prominent supporters of The Horizon are Da Vinci Prospectors. They admire attitude of looking forward displayed by The Horizon. Members of The Horizon often work in the support team of the explorations of the Prospectors.

- Dreamers of Gaia support The Horizon due to their optimistic attitude on terraforming.

- The relations to The Da Vinci Collaboration has been strained on several occasions, when the decicions of the Ringleader Meetings have conflicted with Sebastian's plans. More often than not, The Horizon has disregarded the decicions of the meeting and gone their own way, eating at the influence of the Collaboration.