Visiting Jupiter presented no obstacles other than
the need to practice getting there daily during a
period of several weeks. Often in my
contemplations I would receive glimpses or
impressions of the planet, noting that it was mostly
covered by multicolored clouds and boasted
continents and cities of unimaginable size. Like all
outer planets, I experienced Jupiter not as a gas
giant at its inhabited frequency level but as a solid,
huge planet, with vast oceans and landmasses. I
believe it appears to us on earth as insubstantial
gas because its molecules are less densely packed
than ours. Nevertheless, it is solid to the people
who exist there at its own frequency level.
One day I managed to penetrate
Jupiter's heavy atmosphere and
found myself hovering over a
brightly lit megacity that
sprawled across low hills as far
as I could see. The city sat by an
expansive sea so dark the water
looked almost black. Part of it
may have been shadows thrown
by the lowering cloud cover, but
it seemed to me the waves had
an oily, sludgy consistency. It
made me wonder if anything
lived beneath them.
The coastline of the megacity, whose name I learned was Zaiya on the continent of
Kohs, formed multiple promontories reaching into the murky waters like fingers of a
giant hand. Each peninsula was heavily overbuilt down to the very shores with
gleaming high-rises of a hundred floors or more. Farther inland many of the buildings
soared to three or four times that height, dwarfing even the hills over which the city
sprawled like an immense, glittering hive. A huge arc of some pearlescent material
spanned the city center like a gigantic, half-buried ring. Another building resembled
the superstructure of a warship, only 100 times bigger. A third edifice was a
convoluted tangle of huge, crystalline tubes, all inhabited. The impressive skyline left
me with the notion this was a society that worshipped science and technology.
Drawing closer, I was given the
information that in the center of
the buildings thick cables of
matter conversion conduits ran
down to the ground level.
There they connected with the
main transportation grids of
Zaiya and the rest of the planet.
People would dial a destination
like making a long distance or
local phone call; a square touch
plate with color coded and
textured buttons served as
There were terminals installed next to matter conversion stations on each floor.
Inside the station the passengers stepped onto a converter platform where their
bodies were disassembled and fed into the transport system. At the destination the
bodies would be reassembled and expelled onto something like a big conveyor belt. I
also learned that only people and certain high value goods were transported via
matter transmission - an expensive technology developed only on Jupiter. Mostly,
regular goods and bulk commodities were shipped in the large air barges I could see
flying in multi-layered traffic patterns throughout the thick atmosphere of the city.
The population density was mind-boggling. Most likely more people inhabited the City
of Zaiya than make up the populace of most countries on earth. I was told the
residents lived on food stuffs created by matter converters drawing on vast oil and
natural gas reserves deep underground.
I understood agriculture as we know it
is obsolete on this world, including
ranches for livestock. Indeed, I saw
very few farmlands, forests or
wilderness areas anywhere on Jupiter
due to high population density, vast
wastelands, and extensive military and
industrial installations. Maybe to make
up for the lack of natural wilderness,
the residents were afforded the use of
generous parks scattered throughout
the many megacities. I guessed thanks
to matter transmission, most people
traveling from city to city never had to
see the land in between.
On Eirrem, as Jupiter is officially known, I
observed large areas, larger than continents
on earth, that were empty and uninhabitable.
Poisonous gases seeped from the ground,
adding to the blight of the war-blasted and
polluted soil. The wastelands I knew were a
testament to monumental high-tech wars
fought on Jupiter in the past, either between
its own countries or with other planets.
Natural gas seemed to supply much of the
energy on the planet. I witnessed power
plants burning gas and methane sitting at the
edges of the wastelands, with pipelines
leading to rich gas fields farther inland. Huge,
busy shipyards in other parts of the planet
The Jovians themselves, or Eirr as they’re called,
were mostly chunky and dark skinned, with straight
black hair over square faces -- at least the ones I
encountered looked like that. The smiling sample
picture here notwithstanding, the Eirr I met struck
me as fairly aggressive in demeanor, energetic and
innovative, yet somewhat rude and insensitive.
However, given the vastness of their planet, I
wouldn't be surprised if there were races of
different genotypes and temperaments in other
regions I wasn't able to visit in detail.
Politically, Jupiter exuded the over regulated
paranoia of a police state; I imagined the world
government to be perhaps a technocracy supported
by pervasive security forces. That's what it felt like.
attested to the fact that Jupiter is the hub for space flight into and out of our solar
system. It plays the role of our system's technology and trade center, I was to learn,
because Saturn, equal to Jupiter in technological achievement, is much more reclusive
and protective about who they allow onto their planet.