SC.2023.11. Undana-Ré atoll

Born in the last fifteen arnds, from the mix of coral growing from the heat and chemical mixing due to the volano's lava and ashes falling into the sea, Undana-Ré is very much an extreme environment.

Belonging to no nation, as of yet, since the paperwork hasn't cleared, and it's so far from most nations, Undana-Ré stands alone, it's people unique in many ways.

The first distinction is its ethnic mix, being composed of representatives of all subcontinents of Arnd. Equally unusual is its diet, unusually heavy in meat and fish, and composing almost no plant matter, except for one dish. The reason is very simple: the sulfur gases from the volcano under the atoll, both underwater and underground, permeate all plant matter, and make it toxic to humans. Animals dwelling on the island have devised various tactics to deal with them, but most of them make them functionally immune, and filter them out of their bloodstream.

There are no rivers, nor indeed, any freshwater except for the odd captured rain, on the atoll at all. That means all fish caught near the island are all oceanic fish, but one fish, a maritime version of a river fish, is especially notable. The sea gaigang is only found in the artificially warm waters around the island, having adapted to the volcanic heating of the sea around the atoll, and unable to function in colder sea waters.

— My travels as a planetologist: Undana-Ré atoll, proceedings of the Royal Tsou Oceanographical institute, New Tsou City Press, 814AK.

"What's that?"

"No idea. No idea where we are, even, any ideas?"

"Halfway, give or take, between Lai Dang and wait, that can't be right, Says we're half way to Minao Island, Empire of Kagomei."

"Please tell me you didn't just enter 'Nearest Kagomei' in the navsystem."

"What if I did?"

"There's an Island off the coast of Moniq that'd like a word."

"We're halfway to Moniq?" There was some panic in her voice.

"If I remember correctly, we're in the Tsou Air Identification Zone, right now. Please tell me you didn't rebuff any IFF signals?"

"No, but this is a civilian model, does it even have IFF?"

"Oh, no. Oh NO."

"Kagomine civilian aircar bearing one-niner-niner, this is a courtesy call, you are about to enter restricted Tsou airspace, please identify."

"This is Kagomei-State-08-Lambda-Omicron-maturing-tiptoeing-choosy-retrial-armoire-blurred-wungli."

"Kagomine state official, please state the nature of your business."

"This is Kagomine-State-Niner, I am in-transit to Minao Island, but I need to effect repairs to my navsystem, please advise."

"No way you're all the way down to niner. Kagomine-state-official. Niner doesn't leave Kagomei without a minder."

"That's where you're wrong, Tsou Airspace, but with Lai Dang happening, you can check who I am with Orange Prince, Furuken Tsimori and get back to me."

"What was that about?" Shibue whispered.

"Every state official is handed one-time only codes, to prevent... incidents."

"And they'll call Prince Tsimori?"

"Not a chance, but even that I know his name shows I'm legit, he was installed not even four weeks ago."

"As an ambassador?"

"No, as a prince and ambassador, he was a Marquis in their military before."

"How do you know that?"

"The tsou are some of our closest and most contentious neighbours, we know more about their procedures than most. If Meihomei had rejected his documents, he'd have been busted back to Marquis."

"And this place is safe for us to make this claim in?"

"We're still in the DMZ, head for that beach down there, we should be safe there."

"A beach?"

"Looks almost cozy, white sand for kilometers. And from this angle, the sun don't stop."

"No, we're almost at the equator, it's gotta be scorching there."

"Please tell me you brought freshwater stores."

"Enough for four people for eight days."

"There's just two of us, but we may be more than 16."


"This aircar is only rated for 1000kms between refuelings, we got 1200 before we hit Veneer. I hope we don't need to turn the aircar into a raft, that'd be risky."


"The closest 'mainland' Kagomei. Also, 'home' in the Navsystem, for many, many reasons."

"Name one?"

"Your brother-in-law programmed it in, and I trust his math?"

"Oh, back when this was Amarat's?"

"Wouldn't surprise me if Responsible Disclosure counts as an authorized dealership at this point, no way Nellun is buying unauthorized parts."

"Wait, you knew about Nellun?"

"He did help raise me, the tricky part isn't Nellun, is that you don't advertise him marrying your half sister."

"Me and her don't get along 'that well', although we do get along, but it's almost a generational gap, she's got kids barely younger than me."

"Senya Frangibald, Lenya Frangibald, Nenya Frangibald and Telya Frangibald right."

"How do you know so much about my family?"

"Your folks are famous. Your dad is the single most famous person in Kagomei who never wore a last name of Kagome."

"Wait, Amarat?"

"Wore Kagome, and wears it again, now that he's Bameimeito, being the good cousin that I am, I hear him gripe about it a lot."

"Sigh, more stationary to replace. Now I know why dad said to keep the old one."

"You're deflecting."

"Ok, a little."

"You're better than this. Who chooses 'nearest kagomei'?"

"Not everyone remembers Minao in the heat of the moment?"

"What heat of the moment? We were piling up luggage, certainly no urgency there..."

"Ok, ok, I goofed, ok?"

"You're my lifeguard, hearing you say: 'I goofed' isn't reassuring."

"I'm only human, I'm afraid."

"Yes, you are."

"What do you want from me?"

"How about you check with me, before inputing the itinerary? I am not totally useless at geography, I can help, or at least, give you a fresh pair of eyes to prevent some mistake."

"And this place is in the DMZ, you feel safe here?"

"The atoll is so new, it hasn't been claimed yet, for now, so it' s neutral ground, in the DMZ. We will be fine until the paperwork clears in a few weeks. The airspace around it is legally unowned, they can't shoot us, which is why we got a 'courtesy call'."

"Who'll claim it?"

"The locals asked Escor to claim them, I doubt it'll work, but it'll spend months in court before it's settled, they'll be fine."

"Escor? The pirate realm?"

"The same."

"Why them?"

"They've handled a similar situation in Escor, was a no-man's land, became it's own thing.. That builds trust."

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