The Wound Cycle
Progress always comes at a price, and Nature, with her bizarre sense of humor, likes to exact the fee in the most conspicuous way possible. She gets away with it, I suppose, because her buyers are captive and bound to her. The only thing they can do is notice the fellow up ahead be embarrassed by the transaction and slink away, and then move up in the line and wait one’s turn.
The key to the successful extension of Incudean power has been the Transoptical Flayers, and yet these devices have visited misery after misery on an important Incudean planet at the very heart of the realm, the aptly named Shiver Planet.
The flayers around the Silver Planet are five. Flayer One lies just over 21 million kilometers from the other four, which lie slightly under 19 million kilometers from each other. The five form a pyramid with Flayer One for its apex. But the resulting Flayer Field is not in the form of a pyramid. Instead, the arrangement generates a circumscribing sphere, with a radius somewhat over 14 million kilometers, and it is this sphere that is properly termed Flayer Field. Within it, all 21 worlds become integrated into one. The Silver Planet, encased at the center of this enormous mechanism (20 times the radius of Earth’s sun!) is guaranteed a permanent unification of worlds, with the flayers all moving along Silver's orbit around her sun.
Sabaino, the first planet in the Home System, is safely beyond the grasp of Flayer Field regardless of the season, but Shiver, as the third planet, is not so lucky. The Shiver Planet’s highly eccentric orbit takes it dangerously close to Flayer Field. These meetings often occur at 11-year intervals, though on some occasions, the two pass each other with enough distance to ensure peace, and the period of tranquillity may last around 22 or even 25 years, but never more. When Shiver does enter Flayer Field, she suffers the sudden integration of all its worlds, only to see it all fall apart soon after. In fact, the average Shiver stay within Flayer Field is between 20 and 30 Earth days. The numerous vexations that these short periods, known by the locals as the Wounds, have caused and continue to cause can be found in many a book.
There doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight. The Shiver Planet’s orbit takes her too far at times to even consider increasing the size of Flayer Field to accommodate her permanently. The inverse solution has been posed time and time again, but the Council has adduced over the millennia that there are too many disadvantages, not to mention risks, involved in fiddling with the almighty flayers. In Shiver there is no lack of folks claiming the Silver Sisters couldn’t care less for them, and that this is why nothing will ever get done. Then again, the fact that over 9,000 years have passed and a new set of flayers has not been created anywhere else might give credence to the supposition that maybe they truly do not know how to effect such a change. The core technicians behind the technology did not get to bequeath their knowledge to their successors.
Below is a chronology of the Wounds that have come and gone from the time of Sinduin’s birth until today.
|Wound (Earth Reckoning)||Wound (Flayer Reckoning)||Approx. Length|
|July 2 to August 1, 1796||4 Lu to 8 Loi Tolmarika, 8626||30 days|
|July 26 to September 2, 1807||1 Loi to 6 La Tolmarika, 8637||38 days|
|May 19 to June 20, 1818||7 Lo Banuibel to 1 Lu Tarteika, 8648||33 days|
|June 23 to July 8, 1829||6 La to 8 Le Banuibel, 8659||15 days|
|January 26 to March 5, 1854||2 La to 8 Li Tolmarika, 8683||38 days|
|December 17, 1875 to January 16, 1876||6 Le to 11 Lu Banuibel, 8705||30 days|
|August 6 to August 31, 1900||4 Le to 8 Lo Tolmarika, 8729||25 days|
|August 25 to October 4, 1911||1 Lo to 7 Loi Tolmarika, 8740||40 days|
|June 20 to July 21, 1922||8 Lu Banuibel to 1 Lo Tarteika, 8751||31 days|
|July 21 to August 12, 1933||6 Lo to 9 La Banuibel, 8762||22 days|
|March 1 to April 4, 1958||3 Loi to 8 Loi Tolmarika, 8786||35 days|
|March 30 to April 28, 1969||1 Lo to 5 La Tolmarika, 8797||29 days|
|January 16 to February 18, 1980||7 Li to 11 La Banuibel, 8808||32 days|
|September 9 to September 26, 2004||5 Le to 8 Loi Tolmarika, 8832||17 days|
|September 25 to November 4, 2015||2 Li to 8 Lu Tolmarika, 8843||40 days|
|July 24 to August 17, 2026||5 Lo Banuibel to 1 Loi Tarteika, 8843||24 days|
NOTE - F.R. weekday abbreviations as follows: Li = Light, Lu = Lunaria, Loi = Loiteneva, Lo = Love, La = Lance, Le = Letrigech