On the Realm of Bathys
Nial Thorne

WELCOME TO BATHYS These notes give a description of Bathys, and what you may find there.

This isn't really a story as such, but a response to many enquiries. It's really just my working notes, slightly tidied up and put into HTML (and with some bits missed out).

Usual warnings. Reading further constitutes an unambiguous gesture of assent to the statement: I am not a minor person, nor in the company of a minor person. The Bathys scenario is copyright © 2002 Nial Thorne. You may copy this for your own private use; all other rights reserved.

Comments very welcome at



These Notes describe very briefly the main aspects of the subterranean colony, Bathys.

The information we have included here has been obtained by questioning the AI system, the King of Bathys, many of the Lords and others, and by consulting various published works, including the principal reference, Lord Christian's A Guide to Bathys, and Animals and Birds of Bathys by Lord Ortan. As far as we can possibly ensure, it is correct.

However, we can make no guarantees of this. Moreover, there is no guarantee either that any fact recorded here will continue to be correct in the future. It is also clear that although these notes may be correct, they certainly are not complete. The reader has been duly warned.


The Bathys capsule is circular in shape, approximately fifty-two miles in diameter, and lens-shaped in cross section, being about 3.5 miles thick at the the thickest point. The upper shell is a little over two miles at its highest point from the plane of greatest diameter, and the lower shell is a little less than 1.5 miles below it at its lowest point. The capsule is constructed of more than a yard thick of high-grade hyper-valency c-steel (HGHVCS), reinforced by multi-modality force fields. It is estimated that the amount of HGHVCS used was the equivalent of more than a hundred years' normal production by the entire world of this very specialised material; a vast increase in productive capacity was carried through to enable this to be done.

The outer surface of the capsule is covered with a six-inch layer of molecular-degenerate coresite; techniques for the industrial production of this were developed as part of the Bathys project. This protects the capsule from twisting and shearing stresses in the surrounding rock, as well as from piezo-electric effects.

Most of the capsule passes through the native rock, so that there is rock both within it and outside it. Immediately within the capsule a network of several thousands of miles of transit tubes permit access by maintenance robots; these are integrated with the 'robot road' network (see below).

The capsule includes a complete network of Morgan-Skorzeny cooling circuits, a technology first used for the Venusian colonies, but extensively enhanced. Waste heat is largely recycled to power the capsule's force fields, a technology developed by the Bathys project. The surplus is disposed of through a large network of dissipation circuits beneath the capsule.

The capsule also includes a Wendham-Maxwell-Cornfeld positive electromagnetic shield/reflector, which effectively prohibits electronic leakage from within. A complex acoustic compensation system, developed as part of the Bathys project, ensures that the capsule is seismographically invisible.

Two satellite pods outside the main capsule are best viewed as extensions of it; each is connected by a mile-long corridor to the capsule, one to the north and the other to the south. Both the pods and the corridors are protected by similar systems to those of the main capsule. They house the colony's power facilities (see below).

At its highest point, the capsule is approximately seven miles below sea level. It lies for the most part beneath the Grampian Mountains.


The colony is powered by two advanced meson-evenescent nucleonic annihilation reactors, each of which is located in one of the satellite pods. The output from one of these is sufficient for the colony's needs; the other acts as backup. Capable of annihilating almost any material to produce power provided the necessary quantum catalysts are present, the reactors will in fact use native granite excavation spoil for this purpose. There is no reason for the reactors not to continue operation for several times the 250,000-year design life of the colony.

Primary power distribution is by meson flux ducts; thereafter, standard laser-optronic distribution is used.


The principal computing resource of the colony, the AI system also known as 'Bathys', is a convoluted optronic processor matrix consisting of a trillion processor units. Inter-processor communications use a cascaded tachyon trigger technology developed as part of the Bathys project. At commencement date it was, by at least six orders of magnitude, the largest computational system in the world. Storage makes use of standard atomic-scale state-transition technology, with multiplexed redundancy coding for security. At commencement, storage had a capacity of around 10^40 bytes, at least five orders of magnitude more than required to register 25,000 people continuously for 500,000 years.

The AI is based on fourth-level reflective neuro-transition network techniques. It is modularised, with quasi-independent networks specialising in the rebirth-registration, robotics and cooling systems, with the rest of the system performing general functions.

The AI system controls more than twenty-five thousand advanced Riebar passive-effector drones (robots). About three thousand of these have specialised functions, including control of the reactors, maintenance of the capsule and the Great Cavern dome, submersible work, etc; the rest are generalised units. As a point of comparison, when the building of Bathys started there were a total of 1,217 similarly advanced units in the entire world.


Communications within the Great Cavern use standard radio technology. A central node is located on the summit of Mt Padan. Elsewhere electromagnetic loop technology is used.

At commencement, voice communications between the AI system and citizens, and between citizens, made use of circuits embedded in each citizen's permanent collar; in later rebirth cycles, the skull implant has been used instead. Citizens may also use personal consoles for data and text transmission.

The registration system, however, uses a dedicated laser-optronic network incorporating its own multiplexed redundancy system. The network is installed in every cavern roof, and, in the Great Cavern, beneath the topology layer as well; this ensures transmission continuity.


A silver/plaston intensor web extends from the capsule to a distance of half a mile in every direction. This is used to monitor communications traffic on the surface. Transmission is not possible.


Air circulation throughout the colony is effected using remote molecular resonance impulsion (remori), a technology developed as part of the Bathys project. The same technology generates air movement within the Great Cavern, simulating wind and ensuring air circulation. Air passes into ducts within the dome and elsewhere in the colony, is filtered and returned to circulation. Filtered material is conveyed to the recycling units.

The composition of the air is kept close to a normal atmosphere, largely by the ecology. When necessary, corrections are made in the short term by making use of stored gasses, and in the longer term by ecological adjustment. The colony is effectively airtight and loss is slight. However, the oxygen level can be maintained by extracting it from the stocks of native granite spoil. A large quantity of nitrogen is held in store; nevertheless, a shortage of nitrogen is the main expected limit on the lifetime of the colony, unless nucleonic synthesis techniques can be perfected.


Within the capsule are a number of caverns, of which by far the largest is the Great Cavern. This is circular and fifty miles in diameter. The ellipsoidal upper surface (the dome) is formed of native granite injected with a reinforcement grid of HGHVCS rods, and descends at the circumference to the lower shell of the capsule, which forms the foundation of the topology of the Cavern. The topological datum level of the Cavern - the surface of Lake Paul - corresponds to the level of greatest diameter of the capsule, and the highest point of the dome is two miles above this level; the lower shell of the capsule is a little less than 1.5 miles beneath it.


The topology layer within the Great Cavern rests directly upon the lower shell of the Bathys capsule, and is contructed principally of granite recovered from the colony excavations, reinforced where necessary by HGHVCS rods. The base level of the topology layer is convex, following earth curvature and causing a horizon effect. The principal features of the topology are:

Below the surface of the topology layer there is an extensive network of caves and caverns. Some of these are used by the maintenance and manufacturing function; details of many of the others are currently unclear.

At commencement, most topological features were either not named, or were given only the mostly descriptive names shown above. It was expected that more interesting names would emerge in due course.


The principal source of radiant energy in the Great Cavern is an array of more than one thousand reversed meson-flux radiant furnaces embedded in the dome. Each furnace is some five orders of magnitude more powerful than any built before, and the array as a whole has an output sufficient to maintain the ecologies beneath.

The apparent location of the sun in the apparent sky at any time is the same in all parts of the cavern, thus imitating the natural sun. This false image, from which the heat and light of the sun appear to an observer to come, is created using photonic divergence holography (PDH).

Radiance is not uniform over the whole cavern, but varies to create differing climatic conditions, as required for the various ecological systems on the cavern floor. In general, the northern parts of the cavern are colder than the south.

The image of the sun moves across the sky alternately from east to west and from west to east, following a path somewhat to the south of the zenith; during winter, its path is lower, and in addition, the radiant level of the furnaces is reduced.


The image of the moon is created using PDH (see above). Other sky effects are projected onto the internal surface of the Great Cavern dome from a station located on the summit of Mt Padan. The dome itself is rendered in sky blue, graduating to grey towards the circumference. Towards the circumference of the cavern, the propagation of the images is assisted by a network of air-compression lenses produced by specialised remori units embedded in the dome. Images include stars, the planets, the Milky Way, comets, shooting stars and the aurora, as well as sunset and sunrise displays.


The weather systems within the Great Cavern, in conjunction with the sun, aim to maintain a climate in general somewhat warmer than the south of England. However, the simulated climate varies depending on the ecological requirements of each area, with the northern parts of the cavern being in general colder and wetter. Precipitation is sufficient to maintain the ecology, but is in general confined to short, intense periods every two or three days, apart from occasional damp days in spring and autumn. Temperatures in winter occasionally dip below freezing for periods of a few days and are accompanied by intense falls of snow; in summer there are occasional heat waves and droughts.

Water within the Great Cavern topology drains into two basins centred on Lake Paul and Lake Fosca. Within Lake Paul, ducts draw water though filtration units. The water passes through the main water tanks and returns to the Lake; filtered material is conveyed to the recycling units. Water in Lake Fosca is withdrawn through an underground duct or river and impelled by remori units to a location high in the Ufimi Mountains, where it emerges and runs as a river for about five miles, after which it falls approximately one mile down the south side of Mt Padan into Lake Paul, forming the Great Waterfall.

The main water tanks included in the circulation cycle act as an auxiliary reserve. The largest reservoir is Lake Paul itself.

The rain system projects water from the main water tanks through ducts in the Great Cavern dome, following distribution patterns appropriate for the ecology in each area. Even distribution of precipitation within each area is ensured using remori technology. Precipitation timing is controlled by the AI, and is randomised. When required, the same system can distribute water in the form of snow. The dome is sufficiently high for clouds of water droplets to form; movement of these is guided by the same remori units which control air movement.

Lightning is simulated by the discharge of static electric charges. These are generated by specialised Holtzman circuits.

Main water for the inhabitants of the colony and for all other purposes is drawn from the main tanks. Sewage is processed in the recycling units.

Water loss is in general minimal, but in the long term the oxygen and hydrogen necessary to synthesise more can be recovered from the granite spoil.


Personal transport within the cavern is provided primarily by extremely small but conventional rotationally-compensated gyrocopters (flitters). Their controls are mediated through the AI system, which can compensate to some degree for pilot errors; this also allows the units to be moved without a pilot by the AI. Top speed with a pilot is limited to fifty miles an hour; when under direct AI control, they can move at up to two hundred miles an hour. When not in use, flitters are stowed in parks in the manufacturing and maintenance caverns; their design allows large numbers of them to be held in a relatively small space.

Conventional aerial transports are also used both for freight and passengers; these are supported by standard Holtzman graviton-impeller circuits. The largest of them are capable of moving up to one hundred tons. Ground transport units are also available.


An extensive network of tunnels, known as the robot roads, connects all parts of the colony, running under the surface of the topology of the Great Cavern, around the inside of the capsule and the outside of the Great Cavern dome, and out to the satellite pods. The tunnels also include ducts using remori technology for the transport of materials. There are large numbers of openings between the robot roads and the colony proper, known as robot ports, although most of these are placed inconspicuously. Only certain designated citizens are permitted to pass through a robot port. Many robot ports have just within them a storage facility for flitters.

Maintenance of the entire colony is carried out by robots, some of which are specialised for various purposes. Products and equipment required by the colony are manufactured in extensive automated factories and workshops controlled by the AI system and linked to the robot roads. Many of these are located in caverns below the surface of the Great Cavern topology, and some in other caverns within the capsule. When not in use, robots are stowed in storage areas linked to the robot roads.


Material is brought to the recycling units from various sources, inluding the water and air filtration units, the sewage system, and the remori ducts of the robot roads. Material and objects recovered by robots, including the results of cleaning and scavenging, are carried to the recycling units. Dual-purpose recovery/dispersal units (drifters), working on a programme which covers the entire surface of the Great Cavern over a period of one thousand years, sift the soil and other surface material and remove recyleable objects, materials and pollutants while at the same time depositing recycled ecologically-appropriate nutrients, micro-organisms and other material. Similar units operate on the floors of lakes and rivers.

Recycling is performed at four levels.

  1. Items which simply require repair and reuse are isolated and transferred to the maintenance workshops;
  2. Complex materials (paper, cloth, wood, certain plastics, soil, etc) are extracted using microhandling techniques and cleansed and reformed for reuse;
  3. Molecular isolation techniques sort the remaining material molecule by molecule, and the various purified compounds are then reurned to storage;
  4. Compounds which are not required are disassembled using molecular disintegration techniques, and the isolated elements are returned to storage.

In addition to recycling procedures the colony can rely on a large store of necessary materials supplied at commencement. It is estimated that gradual wastage will not give rise to significant shortages of any required elements for at least the colony's design life of 250,000 years; if current investigations into nucleonic synthesis techniques bear fruit, this could be indefinitely extended, provided the necessary power is available.


The Great Cavern hosts a complex ecology, including a variety of ecosystems, and the sun and weather systems ensure the appropriate weather conditions for these. They include:

An area to the east of Southwall is the planned location for a warmer mediterranean-type ecosystem, but this is still under construction. Bathys contains no marine ecosystems.

Some twenty thousand species of flora and five thousand of fauna, including invertebrates, are present, and appropriate microorganism communities. In many cases, species have been genetically modified to ensure their compatibility with Bathys conditions. Some species have been genetically reconstructed from extinct types, and a few are entirely new.

Because of the small size and variation of the ecosystems, assistance is needed to sustain them, and this is provided by the AI system using robots. Nutrients and appropriate drainage are ensured. When necessary, vegetation is removed or encouraged, and fauna are, if this cannot be avoided, culled. If species numbers cannot be appropriately maintained naturally, individuals are produced by the biogeneration units (vats). Before commencement, very large numbers of trees and other plants were produced in this way. In addition, isolated individuals of species not normally maintained in the ecosystems are occasionally introduced.


The fauna of Bathys are for the most part those of north-west Europe, with many additions. Among the species of vertebrate present are those listed in this section. As noted above, many of these species have been genetically modified to ensure that they will thrive in Bathys conditions.

The basis of the following list is Lord Ortan's admirable Animals and Birds of Bathys, supplemented by reports and observations by others. Regrettably, the AI system has been unable to help us greatly here, since questions of the form "What birds/dinosaurs/therapods/parrots are there in Bathys?" are always rejected. It might be possible to ask about the presence of every single species one by one, but regrettably your compilers lack the patience for this. Accordingly one must assume that this list is substantially incomplete.


Insectivora hedgehog, northern mole, common shrew, water shrew, Pyrenean desman
Rodentia red squirrel, western chipmunk, chinchilla, American flying squirrel, alpine marmot, common dormouse, fat dormouse, European beaver, north African porcupine, house mouse, harvest mouse, field mouse, wood mouse, birch mouse, common hamster, golden hamster, mole rat, wood lemming, bank vole, field vole, water vole, guinea pig, tamarisk gerbil, agouti
Lagomorpha rabbit, mountain hare, brown hare
Chiroptera noctule, serotine bat, pipistrelle, Daubenton's bat, Natterer's bat, whiskered bat, Bechstein's bat, long-eared bat, greater horseshoe bat, lesser horseshoe bat, greater mouse-eared bat
Carnivora European wolf, red fox, dog, racoon dog, weasel, striped skunk, pine marten, otter, badger, genet, Egyptian mongoose, lesser panda, racoon, wild cat, domestic cat, kinkajou, water civet, Baikal seal
Ungulata pig, wild boar, red deer, roe deer, muntjac, elk, fallow deer, sika deer, cow, American bison, sheep, goat, horse, zebra, donkey, giraffe, llama
Proboscidea African elephant
Cetacea Amazon finless dolphin (porpoise)
Primates mouse lemur, ring-tailed lemur, bushbaby, aye-aye, pigmy marmoset, golden marmoset, golden lion tamarin, green monkey, diana monkey, macaque, chimpanzee, pigmy chimpanzee, orang-utan
Marsupialia koala, red-necked wallaby, common opossum, common wombat, Tasmanian wolf


Struthioniformes ostrich
Dinornithiformes common kiwi
Podicipediformes red-necked grebe, dabchick, Slavonian grebe
Gaviiformes red-throated diver
Pelicaniformes pygmy cormorant, white pelican
Anseriformes mallard, common teal, Eurasian widgeon, common shelduck, ferruginous duck, goosander, Canada goose, greylag goose, mute swan
Ciconiiformes night heron, squacco heron, great bittern, white stork
Falconiformes golden eagle, Eurasian sparrowhawk, northern goshawk, black kite, hen harrier, common buzzard, red kite, peregrin, common kestrel, merlin, osprey
Galliformes red grouse, ptarmigan, capercailie, rock partridge, common pheasant, common quail, chicken, common turkey, guinea fowl, peacock
Gruiformes common crane, little crake, moorhen, common coot
Charadriiformes golden plover, jack snipe, common sandpiper, green sandpiper, Eurasian curlew, common greeshank, woodcock, ruff, stone curlew, black tern
Columbiformes turtle dove, woodpigeon, rock dove, dodo
Psittaciformes hyacinth macaw, African grey parrot, Carolina parakeet, budgerigar, rosey-faced lovebird, kakapo, blue-fronted Amazon parrot
Cuculiformes common cuckoo
Strigiformes barn owl, scops owl, tawny owl
Caprimulgiformes European nightjar
Apodiformes alpine swift, rufous hummingbird
Coraciiformes kingfisher, European bee-eater, hoopoe
Piciformes grey-headed woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker
Passeriformes skylark, barn swallow, sand martin, golden oriole, rook, nutcracker, jay, great tit, blue tit, long-tailed tit, wood nuthatch, wren, song thrush, rock thrush, blackbird, northern wheatear, common redstart, rufous nightingale, bluethroat, robin, reed warbler, garden warbler, chiffchaff, wood warbler, pied flycatcher, goldcrest, alpine accentor, meadow pipit, grey wagtail, red-backed shrike, greenfich, goldfinch, linnet, bullfinch, chaffinch, yellowhammer, ortolan bunting, corn bunting, house sparrow

Reptiles and Amphibians

Testudines common tortoise, stripe-necked terrapin
Squamata sand boa, viper, grass snake, leopard snake; common (viviparous) lizard, sand lizard, moorish gecko, slow-worm, three-toed skink
Anura common toad, widwife toad, natterjack, common tree frog, common frog, edible frog
Caudata crested newt, smooth newt, alpine newt, fire salamander, spectacled salamander, alpine salamander

Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs

For further discussion of these reconstructed species, see below. The names given here are those which the citizens began to use for these species shortly after commencement.

Ornithiscia bigeye, tigger, beaky
Theropoda longneck, tallguy, nipper
Pterosauria flysnap, fishwing, furwing, fright


Salmonidae brown trout, rainbow trout
Coregonidae powan
Thymallidae grayling
Escocidae pike
Cyprinidae roach, dace, asp, chub, rudd, minnow, tench, gudgeon, carp, crucian carp, bitterling, bleak, silver bream, common bream
Cobitidae stone loach
Anguillidae eel
Gadidae burbot
Percidae perch
Gasterosteidae nine-spined stickleback


The reconstructed species mentioned here are those present at commencement. Further developments were planned.

Birds and mammals The dodo, Carolina parakeet and Tazmanian wolf were reconstructed on the basis of surviving DNA, although in all cases this was not complete and required repair.

Dinosaurs and pterosaurs For these, no DNA had survived, and the species were reconstructed starting from scratch. The reconstructed species are therefore certainly not identical to their original models, and the genus names are given the prefix batheos (of Bathys).

Longneck Batheos-pelicanimimus polyodon

A biped around 7 feet tall, its long neck has a pouch like a pelican. It has dozens of small pointed teeth. Its forelimbs have long 'hands' and its feet resemble those of a large bird; it is mostly brown, with white flecks. Its food is mostly small animals, fruit and some fish; sometimes it wades to catch these. It swallows its food whole into its pouch, then returns to its nest, where it regurgitates it for its young. It lives mostly in the Grasslands and Marshes, solitarily or in pairs, and its strange honking cry can often be heard over long distances. For short bursts, it is capable of running at up to 30 miles an hour. If disturbed it can be aggressive, especially near its young, and it can inflict horrible wounds with its bite.

Tallguy Batheos-Gallimimus bullatus

The tallguy suits its name: it is a biped, up to twenty feet from head to tail, and generally ostrich-like, with forelimbs and capable hands. It is mostly herbivorous, but also eats small animals, insects, etc, and some carrion; it has no teeth. Its colouring is brown with black stripes on the back, with a greyish neck. It lives in groups of around twenty in the Grasslands and Downs, and can run at 20-30 miles an hour for longish stretches. If forced to fight it will grab its enemy with its front limbs and attack, usually fatally, with its rear feet and mouth.

Nipper Batheos-compsognathus longipes

The nipper is a small bipedal carnivore, no more than four feet long, including its slender tail, weighing up to six or seven pounds. Its colouring is basically grey, fading to white underneath, and with greenish stripes. It lives in small groups in the Northern Forest and other woods, searching the litter for insects, small mammals and lizards, etc. It has a large variety of social squeaks, whistles and grunting noises. Tameable.

Bigeye Batheos-Leaellynasaura amicagraphica

This bipedal herbivore lives mostly in the northern parts of the Northern Forest, and is resistant to the cold. Up to eleven feet long, it is nocturnal, generally rather slow moving and keeps itself hidden; it is well camoflaged with a pattern of greenish and brownish splotches, which turn to grey and white in winter. The huge eyes give it its name. It lives in groups of four to six, making a communal nest deep in the undergrowth where the whole group sleeps, rolled up together.

Tigger Batheos-Heterodontosaurus tucki

The tigger is a bouncey, scampering little bipedal herbivore, around 3.5 feet in length. The female has light sandy colouring and is somewhat smaller and less robust that the male, who is generally greyish. It lives solitarily in the hills, Grasslands and Downs, but pairs in the spring to mate and care for its young. The male has an elaborate courtship display, dancing and running round its intended mate.

Beaky Batheos-protoceratops andrewsi

This tetrapodal herbivore is up to seven or eight feet long and three or four feet high, with a strong, beaked face and a boney frill around the neck. The male is somwhat larger and more robust than the female, with a larger frill and a boney bump on the nose, used for contests with other males during the spring mating season. It is generally brownish in colour. It lives in groups of six or seven in the Grasslands and Downs, one male with several females and juveniles; there are also solitary males.

Flysnap Batheos-anurognathus ammoni

The flysnap is a small pterosaur, its body no longer than four inches, although the delicate wings stretch to around twenty inches. Its colouring is greyish brown, with white on the underside. It lives on insects which it catches on the wing. Some sit on the backs of elephants, beakies, bison, etc, in order to catch the insects round them. Tameable.

Fishwing Batheos-dzungaripterus weii

The fishwing has a wingspan of up to eleven feet. There is one colony of several dozen on the south face of Mount Padan, from which it flies to take fish from Lake Paul on the wing by dipping its long toothed jaw into the water. Its colouring is principally white. Colony members have a variety of social hisses and whistles. Taking off from flat ground is hard for the fishwing; it prefers to drop off a height.

Furwing Batheos-sordes pilosus

The furwing's wingspan is about two feet, and it is distingished by the brown fur which covers the body (not the wings). It has a long tail which it uses to balance its flight - it is a superb flier. It lives mostly on insects caught on the wing, but will also pounce onto insects, lizards etc on the ground. It roosts in small flocks in trees on the edge of woods, in gardens, etc, and is seen mostly in the evening and early mornings.

Fright or screecher Batheos-pterodactylus kochi

The fright roosts mostly in rocky areas. It has a wingspan of about 3.5 feet and lives on fish which it catches either on the wing with its mouth, or standing on rocks by the water's edge. It also takes insects on the wing, and on the ground insects and small animals. It has substantial claws on its wings which help it to clamber over the rocks. It pairs for life. The name comes from its terrifying screeching alarm call; it will dive at an intruder or even attack when its nest is approached.


The bulk of the food and other natural materials required by the citizens are produced by hydroponic techniques. However, agricultural production of a number of kinds is carried out in the Farmlands; this includes staple crops, vegetables, fruit trees, dairy and meat production and poultry, as well as a number of other crops, including hops, hemp, flax, honey and tobacco.

A portion of the Western Hills near Hillside is planted with timber trees, and sheep graze the hills. A number of fishing boats are based at Lakeport.


The population of the colony at commencement was 12,284, divided into four Orders, as follows:

The King:   1
The Order of Lords:   27
The Order of Knights and Ladies: Knights: 1,813
  Ladies: 207
The Order of Boys:   10,236

The constitution and the initial legal provisions of the colony are embodied in the Statute of Bathys, which defines the Realm of Bathys. The Statute lays down that the regulation of the Realm is primarily in the hands of the King, who must work in consultation with the Council, which includes all the Lords. The Council may, by a simple majority, overrule the King, although there are certain limitations to this. Certain matters, including revision of the Statute, are reserved to the Plenary Council, which includes the Knights and Ladies as well; however, any resolution of the Plenary Council may be vetoed by a single Lord. The Order of Boys has no place at all in the government of the Realm, although the Plenary Council at its first meeting designated one particular Boy to speak on their behalf.

Observance of the Statute was enforced at commencement by the AI system through an electrobolt mechanism installed in the immovable registration collar of each citizen, not excluding the King; after a citizen's rebirth, the same function was performed by his or her skull implant. In addition, the members of each Order may enforce the obedience of members of inferior Orders by the use of an authorised implement for corporal punishment (strap) or by invoking an electrobolt from the AI system (zapping). The AI system will prohibit this process from going as far as to injure the subject.

The Statute prohibits any person from employing violence against any member of their Order, or a superior Order; this includes coercing them into any sexual act.

Any Boy who voluntarily engages in a sexual act with another person without displaying significant distress is recorded by the AI system as being available for that act, and this fact is indicated by a permament tag installed on his collar. Any member of a superior Order may require a Boy who is available for a sexual act to perform that act, and may employ their strap to ensure this; however, should the Boy be seriously distressed, the AI system will prohibit the transaction. The AI system will also protect a Boy from being obliged to engage in an excessive number of sexual acts.

If he consents, a Boy may be claimed by any member of another Order. While claimed, a Boy need not consent to a sexual act desired by any person. A claim may last for a maximum of six months. After a claim, a Boy may not be claimed again until a period of time equal to the length of the claim has passed.

No boy may be coerced into a sexual act before the age of ten. The King, the Lords and the Knights and Ladies do not acquire their privileges until the age of fourteen. Before that age, they are treated in all respects as members of the Order of Boys.

Particular rules are in force in the Castle area. Here it is possible for any citizen to give an irrevocable consent to a number of things, including sexual acts, a variety of pain-producing procedures and to enslavement. Such consents are time limited; it is also possible, with certain safeguards, to give such consents for the whole or part of one's next cycle.


Initial processing of citizens included the total registration of their psyches and memories to date (see below). In addition, a number of other adjustments were made.

Each citizen received an immovable collar, to be used for subsequent continuous registration, for communications and, if necessary, to administer the electrobolt.

The sexuality of each citizen was adjusted by means of neuroinductive programming to match the social system outlined above. Boys were to be bisexual, but with a bias towards attraction to adult males. Nearly all Knights and Lords were adjusted to an entirely homosexual orientation; in certain cases, the age range to which they were attracted was adjusted to include adult males. A total of eight Knights, all of whom were in relationships with Ladies, retained their attraction to females, while being also attracted by boys. The sexuality of the Ladies was not changed. These adjustments constitute by far the most radical use of neuroinductive programming so far attempted.

A number organic changes took place, using a variety of bionic techniques, many of them novel. These included those necessary for the rebirth cycle (see below). Chronic viral and bacterial infections were neutralised. In the case of Ladies, their ability to conceive was placed under the control of the AI system.

Boys were sprayed with a standard permanent depilatory, except on their scalps, eyebrows and eyelashes. All citizens also received a shower including a solution of fungicides and pesticides, aimed at removing external parasites. It is notable that despite these precautions a total of nine different species of flea and louse established themselves in the colony and were only extirpated after efforts by the AI system lasting more than two hundred years.


Registration is the process whereby the changing state of the psyche and the memories of each citizen are recorded by the AI system, using a global commutative devolution technique; although this was not invented by the Bathys project, it was greatly developed, enhanced and miniaturised.

During initial processing, a preliminary registration of the current state of each citizen and his or her memories was performed. This provided a base upon which a recursive differential devolution could be performed, a far more economical solution that the iterative global techniques hitherto used. Thereafter, each citizen has been registered continuously; a dedicated laser-optronic communication network is used to support this (see above).

As repeated rebirth cycles build up, the cumulative memories become too large and complex for them all to be held reliably in the brain. Citizens can therefore access their memories directly from the AI system's storage, giving a 'total recall' effect. The citizen has no conscious awareness that this is taking place.


At initial processing, the ageing profile of the citizens was adjusted using advanced bionic techniques. All citizens change far less as age advances than in their natural state. In the case of Boys, natural changes slow, and then, at the age of sixteen, largely halt. However, the maximum age of the body is artificially limited; in the case of Boys to around twenty-five years, and for the other Orders, to around sixty.

At this point, the registered identity of the citizen is transferred to a new body. This has an apparent age of about six years, and is identical to the citizen's original body, with certain exceptions.

The citizen temporarily loses access to most of his or her memories, retaining certain basic skills, including the ability to speak their native language and such fluency in other languages as they had at age six. Access to memories returns gradually until, by the age of about fourteen, the citizen's identity is completely integrated.

There is no need for rebirth to take place immediately; the personality and memories of the citizen can be held in the AI system's storage indefinitely. However, it was decided that for the first thousand years rebirth would take place at once. Since then, delays of a few years have been randomly inserted, so as to perturbate the relative ages of a citizen and his or her acquaintances.

Normally, this rebirth process takes place at the location known as Igoni. As the personality is removed from the discarded body, it dies and is thereafter cremated and then recycled. Should the citizen die by chance away from Igoni, rebirth will still take place in the usual way.


The AI system permits the birth of around ten babies every century. About 99.5% of these are male. The new citizen undergoes total registration and initial processing at the age of six; this takes place at Aster, under the direction of Lord Darren. All males are registered as Boys; the females as Ladies.

The population of the Realm will therefore double over the next 120,000 years or so. Thereafter, although new citizens will continue to be born, the AI system will ensure that the active population of the Realm does not excede 25,000 by delaying rebirths after the end of a cycle.


The following settlements and other notable places were in existence or planned at the commencement of the Realm.

Southwall The largest settlement, it is situated at the southernmost point of the Great Cavern. The village itself contains room to house about 3000 people; most members of the adult Orders have a residence there, although not all are in use at any time; a number of boys live there as well. The middle of the village is an area of narrow streets and urban-style terraced housing, small squares, shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, etc; there is also more suburban-style housing. Accommodated in the cavern wall adjacent to the village is the Southwall Centre, which includes shops, entertainment facilities, restaurants, the Realm's library of books and disks, a polyclinic, an advice centre and the Realm's administrative offices. The nearby Southwall Flats are five-person accommodation units designed for the use of Boys; there are around two thousand of them, embedded in the wall of the cavern, arranged in two blocks, one on either side of the village, in four tiers, the lowest being about thirty feet from the ground. Access is provided by steps, and each pair of Flats shares a common balcony. About a mile north of the village in the countryside lies the Realm's main hospital.

Easton is the centre of the Farmlands, located in a shallow valley, on a river. It provides accommodation for around one thousand people in about three hundred houses. The style is of an English village, with a green and a small selection of shops and other facilities, including pubs. Most Knights and Ladies there are concerned with agricultural activities and related food production, such as cheesemaking, brewing, etc. They also provide care and shelter for the youngest Boys.

Hillside is located in the Western Hills and can accommodate about five hundred people. Most houses are dug into a hill. Hillside is the centre of forestry, sheep-rearing and handicrafts.

Lakeport stands on the south-west shore of Lake Paul, at the mouth of a river. It provides accommodation for around four hundred people, many of whom are concerned with fishing, boating and other activities relating to the Lake.

The Castle The residence of Lord Michael, the Castle stands at the most northerly point of the Realm. It is built of stone in medieval style, and is large enough to accommodate around one hundred people in a variety of different ways. The significance of the Castle is described above; little more is known about it at present.

Torc The settlement of Lord Ian in the Eastern Hills. Little is known of this at present.

Igoni, where rebirth takes place, is located in the wood of Creetossu in the grasslands. The building is also the residence of Lord Chang and Lord Juan. In front of the building lies the Chamber of Vaults, where citizens may leave belongings before rebirth.

The Tower, at the summit of Mt Padan, contains the communications hub of the Great Cavern, the projectors for the sky effects and remori units for controlling air and precipitation movement. It is at the geometric centre of the Cavern and is also the residence of Lord Ben.

Aster is the name given to the former Reception Centre by Lord Darren, Doorkeeper of Bathys, who remodelled it to make his own residence. Formerly it was the lower terminal of the only remaining transit to Bathys after the building of the colony was complete. There is a facility there to perform total registration and processing of six-year-old new citizens.


The twenty-seven Lords are listed below, together with their areas of expertise and the location of their principal houses.

Harry geology; Great Cavern topology Somewhere in the Downs
Derek engineering, Great Cavern Hillside
Tolan engineering, sun Ufimi Mountains
Yuexing engineering, caverns and services Cave in Western Hills
Ido materials Deep in the Northern Forest
Danosh power, nucleonics plant Underground, near entrance to southern satellite pod
Rajan power, distribution Large raft on Lake Paul
Ben systems, central computer Tower on Mt Padan
Darren grid and systems, communications Aster, the former Reception Centre
Peter robotics, manufacturing Near large robot port close to Southwall
Chang bionics, registration Igoni
Juan bionics, rebirth Igoni
Ortan ecology Treehouse on edge of Northern Forest
Terry ecology, water Island on Lake Paul
Emek genetics Restaurant in Lakeport
Hamid hydroponics and nutrition Easton
Anton medicine Hospital near Southwall
Igor psychology, children Near the beach
Michael psychology, general The Catle
Artur psychometrics, registration Temple in wood north of Southwall
Christian sociology, public relations, literature Southwall
Dan design, landscape gardening East of Southwall
Dmitri music Southwall
Komo visual arts, sky display Gallery near Southwall
Loro entertainment Southwall Centre
Ian philosophy, anthropology Torc, in Eastern Hills
Andrew administration, accounts, economics Farm near Easton