Thursday, November 25, 2010
Guide to the Ladybugs
The world of the Ladybugs differs from ours due at least as much to a divergence of technology as to a divergence of history. Most technology is based on the works of Nikola Tesla, including the transmission of energy, wireless telephone, radio, and radio-vid. Electricity is produced by steam generators. In the United States, northern cities like New York and Chicago are under huge clouds of pollution. The mid-west is a wasteland caused by acid rain. Many smaller cities lie under large domes to protect their inhabitants. Much the same is true in northern Europe.
Giant airships or dirigibles are common in the skies, scores of times larger and many times faster than those known from our own world.
Rain beat against the wide windows of the promenade deck as the massive form of the S.S. Lady of Angels descended through the clouds. The dirigible, one of the largest in the air, had made the trip from Los Angeles to New York in just over twenty six hours, almost two full hours ahead of schedule. In a few minutes, the mooring team would have it fastened to the ground at LaGuardia, and its passengers would be debarking. The great golden craft was one of the latest generation of airships. Massive, as if someone had turned the Empire State Building on its side and launched it through the air; Fast, propelled by six huge steam powered propellers; but unlike the other two dozen gigantic vessels at the airport, the Lady of Angels had only a few passengers—the four members of the rock band the Ladybugs, their managers, staff, and crew.
Aeroplanes are known, but have largely been replaced by the small aircraft known as the airflivvers. Airflivvers are about as wide and tall as a good sized car though about two and a half times as long, and feature large dragonfly wings which flap at its side to provide lift and control. Airflivvers came into use in the early days of the Science War. Afterwards they became common for commercial use.
Communication around the world is made possible by a series of massive complexes where radio-vid, radio, telephone, and energy are all transmitted and received. Satellite communication is unheard of and spaceflight itself remains science fiction.