Through all those years, I never quite recognized that our ability to freely fly was an exotic gift unknown to other humans.
Instead; disdaining the familiar, I yearned for the novelty of setting feet to floor, owning proof of strength tested against the pull of an entire planet. All of us who were space weaned were giddy with excitement at the culmination of a mission that was our special destiny.
Not until many years later did it occur to me to wonder, who among the mentors were sorry to lose the magic power of flight; and which were relieved to return to a more natural state, in surrender to the forces of gravity.
Wormcraft is a living machine with biology and technology unified.
Unus, Duo and Tres are three worms, typically entwined to form a single craft inhabited by humankind.
In space, the epidermises, of all three, desiccate into hardcase transparent shells. Traveling as one, the worms only separate when the time comes for them to penetrate a planetary target.
In atmosphere, their epidermises reconstitute, becoming pliable, fleshy and opaque; providing a protective bulwark, conducive to survival in a moisture laden environment. Unus, Duo and Tres seek out large bodies of water where they may re-entwine.
The wormcraft morphs between two alternate interior configurations in response to the presence or lack of gravity.
In zero G, the river is contained and a gap opens to facilitate human flight style circumnavigation.
Under the influence of gravity, the river is exposed, and the gap closed to provide safe, surface based, navigation.
The relationship between the wormcraft and humans is one of symbiotic mutualism.
As host, the wormcraft provides shelter and nourishment to the human residents. In return, human symbionts nourish their hosts with their bodily waste.
The relationship between humankind and second skin is also one of symbiotic mutualism; but in this case the humans are the host.
Second skin was developed to preserve human health in zero gravity. The skin feeds on toxins and other waste released through the skin of the host. Dependent on the host, second skin monitors and protects human vitality. Bone density and muscle strength are maintained via strategic application of a low-grade electrical current. The natural pulse of second skin acts as a gentle massage that supports full body blood circulation and lymphatic health for the human host. Second skin is an ideal habitat for healthy human skin flora while also protecting the host skin from injury.