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The Club

Superfluid is a dance club, transit hub, and social nexus opened recently on the planet Halcyon by Lai. The lighting, motion, and other effects are run by Flume.


The large open club floor appears like it’s in the foundations of what used to be a skyscraper—no walls, but tall concrete pillars around the edges and a few in the middle, all broken off to exposed rebar at various heights. Otherwise the dance floor itself is a very large circle several hundred feet across, strewn with colorful dancers of all shapes and species. One end of the circle sports a DJ booth of modest size, down on the same level as the dancers—definitely not the central focus of the space by any means. Scattered about the rest of the sides are a few bars, tables and chairs, and several gravitic-lift tubes leading downward.

Further out, past the edges of physical dance floor, thick columns of water defy gravity and arc seemingly unsupported up and over the space, enclosing it in multiple overlapping circles. These tend to spin on their own axes independent of each other, though they often intersect and merge in aesthetic ways. More water flows beneath the transparent dancefloor itself, responsive to the footfalls of club patrons with bursts of light and concentric ripples. Meanwhile, up above at the peak of the dome, several huge menhir-like stones float serenely in small circles, electricity continually playing between them and the exposed rebar of the pillars. The rest is open to the sky, at all times and all weather. The overall look is somewhere between Down and Neptunian.

The pillars themselves are covered with softly-glowing Downwarp-style tribal graffiti, and more club lights line the pillar around the top. When the club's lasers fire, they reflect off the inner surface of the sphere itself as if a mirror. The lights tend to be minimal, though, as the real lighting effects are the sky itself. The club moves swiftly enough through the water that it can meet or exceed the planet’s rotational speed. This enables such things as perpetual sunrise, sunset, fixing stars and moon in specific locations for a long period of time, even hunting down storms to ride out. Even in a violent storm, subtle systems dampen out the wind and the rocking on the waves (and the inertia of motion) to a minimum. The rain tends to stay at natural levels—everything in the club is waterproof, and most often the patrons are too—but the dancefloor never gets too slippery to dance on. The outer field of the club also dampens out noise in both directions, so nobody is overwhelmed by the environment, and none of the non-sapient marine life are disturbed by thumping bass echoing through the depths.

The tubes around the edges of the floor lead down past what would be the surface of the water, to the teleport station and chill space.


A large circular room opens up here, exactly the same size as the dance floor above, which you can still hear slight thumping from echoing down the lift tubes. Lining the wall all around the circumference of the room are portals, shimmering with blue glow like looking at the moon from under the water. The portals are wide arches, each with a different label above them for the different regions of the planet that they correspond to.

The floor and ceiling are transparent, and projected above and below is a perfect map of the planet of Halcyon. Islands are marked out among the water, but also major underwater features, both geographical and metropolitan, are marked out. All around the walls, a bright red Line is marked out, with a light that passes along it marking the location of the club itself along the Line.

People (and non-people) are often popping out of one portal another, and not all of them enter one of the club spaces, but instead pass across to another portal and vanish again. The space in fact serves both as nexus for the dance club, but also as a handy quick-transit network across the world. In fact, there’s several clusters of seating arrangements in the very center of the room, since it’s a convenient place to meet.

Inward from the portal wall, but closer to it than the center, four sets of gravitic tubes float guests down from the club above, or raise them upwards--these are marked with signs for “Superfluid”. Two sets also head down from here to the lower level, with signs marked “Submerge”.


At first this seems like an almost infinite space, given how the ceiling seems to recede, and the floor is as black as the benthic depths. It’s divided up differently than expected, which makes it hard to gauge the extent. The walls aren’t exactly walls, but webs and networks of soft material shot through with holes that resembles a coral reef. Openings and tunnels open into larger rooms of varying sizes in a rambling complex--nothing ever quite small enough to be claustrophobic, or large enough to be uncomfortable for small groups. Everywhere there are cushions, beanbags, low couches, padded nooks, places for sitting and standing and lying down and relaxing--scattered in patterns non-random enough to suggest they grew that way. Also ever-present is the music: soft and melodic, changing languidly through many different downtempo genres, smooth and soothing. The volume is always different depending on location--some nooks are almost silent, others have songs full and bright, many are just under conversation level.

Lighting is variable as well--most of the cushions and ‘walls’ glow, especially when being leaned on. The overhead ceiling is a distant dark blue glow, while the floor is utterly jet black, lending the feeling like walking over an abyss. Adding to the soft lighting are holograms of native marine fauna with their own bioluminescence swimming in and among the coral as if living there--which perhaps they do. Microscopic motes of light also fill the air, swept around by nearby motion in a manner more resembling a fluid medium.

The convoluted design of the space might make it hard to navigate, but there are ways to find the lift tubes back to the hub which any regular will happily tell. Notably, small yellow fishes of a color not natively seen in these seas dart about, and it doesn’t take long to notice they always swim in ways that lead one towards the exits.

The Line

The Line is several things: an engineering project, a safety measure, a series of environmental monitors, and a network for fast travel across the planet.

When Lai came up with the entire idea, he realized there was a potential problem with the way he wanted it set up. Gravitics on a small scale are fairly safe in a planetary environment, but while weak planetary-scale gravitics are still used on Halcyon to create the tides, strong fields the size of a small spacecraft continually skimming the surface in an infinite loop might be more hazardous. So the Line was conceived, first as a series of buoys scattered along the path of travel for the club, in order to stabilize the area against its passing through.

The buoys collectively also extend a field between themselves to create a low-power cruise lane the club can travel along, with parameters adjusted to be safe for even the smallest forms of life. The practical application of this is that no marine life near the buoys are especially affected by the passage of Superfluid--anything or anyone in the direct path is slipped safely to one side or the other of the Line itself. This has even led many playful sapients to invent entire games around the slight speed boost one gets from moving back and forth over it.

The pods of the Line are anchored in place with long cables running all the way down to the ocean floor, however deep it might be. In many places around the globe, the floor is shallow enough that the lower parts of the cable house an artificial coral reef to encourage localized growth of flora and fauna.

Due to the nature of the gravitic field bubble surrounding the club, and the speeds at which the club travels, it’s entirely impossible to embark and disembark from it as one would a normal seagoing vessel. Thus, the teleport system was established as the way to join the club--and as a side effect, operates as a fast-travel hub as well. Portals are safely housed in the surface-level portion of the pods, as well as docking for air, sea, and undersea craft. The teleport itself, however, is on a smaller scale, not meant for vehicles or cargo, but for more personal use. From the hub, of course, one can reach any other portal--not just ones the club is traveling near.