Eaglenet
Imagine flying like a bird with outspread arms, or in any other position, enjoying the views. Acrobatics and chases which you can make depend only from your imagination. In many technically advanced worlds, eaglenets can be easily borrowed in clubs or bought in sport shops. Typical flying speed ranges from zero to three hundred kilometers per hour and height from four to six thousand meters above the surface. When a user acts irresponsibly, like trying to fly close to overhead wires, diamondoid microstruts, dense air traffic areas, too high in the stratosphere for the deign limits, e is usually warned and stopped by the built in safety system.

Eaglenets, like any modern household device, can have several designs. Peter Pan is a specialised utility fog covering the user body. This is popular and most advanced type. Other eaglenets look like a collection of small adhesive nanopowered jet gadgets placed on the clothes. These types allow practically unlimited movements.

Eaglenet addicts look down at utility fog as a symbolic of humanity's decadence - superficially free, but powered and protected by ai. Sport Eaglenet is far less complex technically, but more fun. It is a flattened disc or oval about five meters wide. The underside is covered with jets, and upper side with nozzles whose steady air stream support the user about three meters above the eaglenet. Energy is supplied by onboard little fusion reactor. Extra-strong air current at the front acts as a wind-shield. Onboard ai and camera system watch for user instructions and other objects in the vicinity. And the active camouflage of high-resolution screens transmits the view from behind the eaglenet, so the disc is almost invisible for a baseline sight.

When the user jumps up, the eaglenet immediately moves below. During all the flight, it is flying invisibly about three meters below the person, following all eir intended movements. As eaglenet is typically about twice the size of a human body (although varies according to the user's mass and the local gravity), the person does not notice the blowing stream of air pushing er up against the gravity. Usually onboard subturing ai and nonsentient computer systems follow hand instructions and eye movement, but any modern eaglenet will follow body language together with common sense even when these are invisible. The same system works to avoid collisions and annihilates the effect of changing wind by strong air current before the flier face. Even the moment when flier smoothly moves to above the second eaglenet is almost unnoticeable. Eir own eaglenet will normally then follow semi-automatically just along the side, ready to intercept er as soon as necessary. When another object, especially another flier, approaches the jets, the safety system momentarily switches them off and the eaglenet banks to the side. This technical limitation is the main trick used in eaglenet races. See comments under RAISE (Race of Aam - Inner Sphere Eaglenets).

The Disc Eaglenet has a number of limitations. You cannot actually touch the ground or water surface. You cannot make chases between tree crowns, roof aerials, structural latticework, narrow canyons and other very confined spaces. Typical eaglenet allows only to fly just above a single tree branch or structure, or through the flock of migratory birds. You then feel the funny jumping sensation, as a supporting airflow shuts for the fraction of the second. However, there are obvious advantages of having a huge, invisible thing flying always close below you. It is naturally a safety system with additional airbags. There is usually a container to put the picnic basket into. And on charming scenic flies, which tend to be extremely romantic, the secondary camera base is an invisible but firm hook to hang clothes on.




From Galaxy On a Holiday, Wega Press, 10448 (35634 LT).

 
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Development Notes
Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg

Initially published on 07 April 2004.