Story Update and Theorycraft
I'm going to be digging through a lot of older material that I've had for the purposes of growing mold and collecting dust. I'm going to start going over these pieces, publishing them here and seeing what works for the current project on dreams.
I've started with a short little title called Outer Heaven. I think this was originally going to be straight-up fan fiction for The Matrix. But I'm going to retcon it into fitting with the dream story. What begins as the description of the interior of what can only be a hovercraft, left in the context of the Matrix universe, will be 'modified' to fit the current dream theme.
How will this be done?
Just as Ariel is still learning how to navigate the realm of dream, from a series of geographic safe havens, (the coffee shop, the park, and the crawlspace). There are others who have moved beyond these fixed points in the dream-sphere in a similar manner as those early explorers who traveled the high seas. In a tangible realm where the predictable nature of things like gravity, how things float in water, wind being used as a means of propulsion, etc. etc. etc... the means of travel is far simpler when compared to a realm, like the dream-sphere, which has a system of very flexible rules that are in a constant state of change, manipulation and, at times, utter chaos.
I ramble like this to simply say that traveling the dream in the manner that Ariel has done, (moving from place to place by mere thought) is a simple way for a person to travel between locations within the realm, that they have been given full access to, that have been established by another dreamer. This method of travel is made possible by the creator of the dream-space. In the case of the coffee shop, the creator is Severus. Ariel is the creator of the crawlspace. The park was first created by Severus, but he has allowed others to make their own mark on a work that he originally began. Could a selfish individual build a wall around the park and prevent others from entering? Yes. But Severus, or anyone else could just as easily demolish the wall. This is because places like the coffee shop and park were designed to follow the rules established in the world outside of the dream. Where these rules end exist on the boarders of such places, which is why one can travel to and from them by thought and thought alone.
The unexplored reaches, and the places where their creators have not meant for strangers to find, are only able to be found by creating a means to explore the vast glue that holds all of these realms together. This is the outer space of the dreamworld. Where a place like the coffee shop would be considered its own planet, the stuff beyond its borders is a chaotic space that one cannot simply walk, float or swim through.
So in order to get from Point A to Point B within the space, a mobile reality must be created. This is very similar, in theory, to how Severus created the coffee shop and its surrounding city, with the one exception being that this smaller place must be both mobile and equipped with a means to change with the ever-changing outside environment. The ship cannot simply be a structure of steel or some other solid material one would make a craft out of. It has to have the ability to change with the space around it. Such travel can be dangerous, especially to areas of space that have not yet been explored. The space changes and therefore the ship must be ready for the type of change that will occur.
For explored space, modern vessels are fitted with a Predictability Matrix, a remarkably fast computer that is able to modify the ship in order to continue to exist within space. Assuming the Matrix is functioning correctly, the person inside the ship, does not notices these changes to reality that are constantly going on outside.
Unfortunately, standard Predictability Matrix's can only account for what they know. Any new variants to the dream-space can cause the matrix to find faults and errors, which will compromise the ship and expose its occupants to the outside chaos.
Yet all is not lost. Some vessels have been fitted with a hacked version of the standard matrix known as an APM, (the 'A' is for Anticipatory. I'll let you figure out the rest). This type of matrix is able to adapt to the changes in space and create new subroutines in order to keep the ships reality consistent. However such a system is not without faults, and its major fault is that despite the APMs ability to account for new variants, the chaos outside is able to leak through the integrity of the ship. Keep in mind, that this is at a much slower rate than a ship not fitted with a APM. Therefore the occupants of this type of ship will be prone to hallucinations and anomalies that can be strange, unsettling and dangerous. For this very reason, ships that carry an APM and travel into the vast and unaccountable void of the dream-space are known as Ghost Ships, and are captained by only the bravest or insane souls.
What was added in the story section is the tale of ghost ship Outer Heaven and what has or had befallen its crew. More to be added soon.