RAISE (The Race of Aam - Inner Sphere Eaglenets)
Wega's youth raced on their eaglenets around the Aam Taam megastructure for decade or so, before the race became official championships in 10472. It since grew to become one of the Civilized Galaxy's most famous sport events. Originally, mostly nearbaselines and similar clades took part. However, in recent years, increasing number of rianths and provolves enter the race, which was culminated by Lee Hahiin (octopus provolve) won the first prize in 10491.

The race begins and ends on top of Aam Taam spaceport tower, the highest point of the 10 kilometer high Aam Taam moon capital/climate control centre/spaceport. Sportsmen race down the megastructure, along the interesting mix of straight sectors where users can reach maximum spread, special sectors inside the climate control tunnels and free chases around the most picturesque parts of the lattice of beams covered with the city buildings and upside-down forests. The middle point is on the top of the megastructure city Jara Tian, where the golden sphere half meter in diameter awaits. The first flier gets it - and the second part begins. Now flyers race back and later up, trying to wrestle the sphere from the rival. The very final is three rounds round the spaceport, where flyers must pass through the narrow rings. Points are given both by speed and sphere, eaglenets longer than 6m and wider than 3.5m will not fit into the narrowest tunnels.

Contrary to what might be expected, eaglenet race is more a matter of agility, making split second allies and quick decisions, than of reflex and speed. For those not familiar with the sport, eaglenet is usually about three meters below the flier, invisible due to active camouflage. Safety system ensures that no object, especially a living one, will be damaged by the jets, which aim exhaust downwards and backwards. When second flier approaches from below and behind, the nearest jets of the front eaglenet automatically shut down for a moment, and the vehicle ai makes it to bank, reducing eaglenet speed. This often alows the chaser to sneak below and overtake. This brings the race lower and lower, and finally the peleton races just above the ground level, banking and wheeling around each other.

Spectators with minimum experience will notice more subtle tricks, which make the real flavor of the race. The front flier tries to bank or change direction which causes the eaglenet to change the position below er. When not too careful, attacker's own eaglenet crash prevention system switches on and er erself is slowed. And split-second alliances appear - competitiors join to attack one at the front or give way. Naturally, the obstacles on the race path must be observed - the chase takes place above the city and industrial area. Players are sometimes puffed - drive (or are driven) too close to the obstacle in the front, which causes sudden safety braking and automatic airbag explosion together with municipal nano-angelnet intervenion. For these this section is than, generally, lost.

Trying to wrestle the sphere in mid-chase requires opponet to come to the side and pass above the other's eaglenet. Eir own eaglenet than starts operating on automatic, which makes it easy to get it somewhat lost in sudden turns, or even driven somewhat to the side, by the tricky third flier. And presence of different clades, including sucker-tentacled cephalopods, brings new difficulties. Twenty sectors of RAISE last about three hours in total and every millisecond is packed with action.

From "Galaxy On a Holiday", Wega Press, 10448 (35634 LT).
Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Jorge Ditchkenberg
Initially published on 07 April 2004.