The technology of the future has given us many more ways of almost dying, resulting in whole new categories of extreme sports and activities. These are particulally popular among the Earth Empire Nobility, but it turns out the near-suicidal stupidity transcends the boundaries of culture, species and biological/synthetic composition.

For the nobles of the empire the general premise being that it is a good way to show your adventurousness and bravery in court by doing the most reckless and stupid stunt, and when doing them, being the one that pushed it closest to actually dying.

Things that are technically illegal are fair game, and the noble can expect to bribe their way out of trouble (read: be convicted but punishment be a large fine) in a “no harm, no foul” situation. Unless they manage to actually harm a bystander from the common classes doing it. This is a massive faux pas. The nobility are responsible for the peasantry and harming one in the pursuit of your sport and gratification results in both massive legal ramifications (read: you will be made an example of) and destruction of your reputation at court.

Big Game Hunting

An old classic. Commune with the beasts: going to a barely developed planet, find some exotic terrain or jungle and hunt the biggest, nastiest or weirdest species you can.

Base Jumping

With personal forcefields and effective micro-shutes you can free fall for a long time before having to arrest your descent. To really qualify you have to jump off something famous and illegal. The Empire State Building on Earth is particularly popular, to the extent that “beware of falling nobles” is in the New York tourist guide.

Orbital Base Jumping

Because everything is made cooler by making it happen in space. Works exactly like base jumping except you start from low orbit. Companies do experience packages for this on many of the classic worlds of the Empire.

Combined with wing suiting (below) there is a guinness book of imperial records for “longest unpowered wingsuit flight” as thrill seekers attempt to circumnavigate the earth using nothing more than the terminal velocity of an unladen human.


“You just don’t appreciate Earth until you’ve flown over it yourself.” Inspired by the wingsuits employed by thrill seekers on old earth, using a forcefield similar to a field suit but with an aerodynamic shape and a lightweight backpack with a mini drive unit to provide a degree of forward propulsion it is possible to remain airborne for hours. It is generally believed this is the closest thing to natural flight in gravity a human can do so it is immensely popular as a leisure activity with all sections of society. Field suits do at least reduce the annual fatalities when people get overconfident and lose control. For noble bragging rights of course it depends just what you flew over - nobody has managed the imperial palace yet (and still been alive to brag afterwards).

Grav Diving

Only possible on older space stations that use a rotating outer ring around a hub. Specifically you need one where the connecting arm is hollow, or at least honeycombed. You start in the middle, in zero G and launch yourselves down the connecting arm in EVA maneuver harnesses. The goal is to race down to the outer ring, with “gravity” increasing as you go down, dodging all the various internal structure (and picking up angular velocity to match the arm). Then you need to decelerate before you impact the bulkhead at the end. Very few stations remain where this is possible and all of them ban it as stupidly dangerous. More than one noble has “suffered a tragic accident” when for some reason they failed to make a maneuver and plowed straight into a support strut.

Small Craft Racing

Take a small transport craft, rig much too big engines on it and then put it in dangerous terrain: asteroid fields, canyons, minimal altitude and race. This ranges in officialdom and safety, the upper end being like F1 today where there are televised leagues with official courses and minimal fatalities, to the equivalent of street races. While most nobles limit themselves to sponsoring a racer or team, a few have the racing bug and pilot themselves.

Perhaps the most (in)famous are the “Rocketz” races where the craft are deliberately as ancient as possible, still burning chemical propellant with the engines as tricked out as 27th century science can make something that works by belching an explosion out of one end. (Bonus points if the craft is actually from pre-ardanium space travel). Unsurprisingly they are death traps the entire thing is illegal, and pilots life expectancy is further shortened by the fact that many mount primitive weapons.

Most nobles are absolutely forbidden by their families from taking part in a Rocketz race (normal chance of death of the race + those nobles that have raced have found the commoners gang up on them and have their own bragging rights for having scragged a noble pilot), but many are known to follow them on the sly.

Asteroid Hopping

A bizarre sport taking advantage of field suits. You need a reasonably dense patch of asteroids. Some arbitrary point is marked as the start, another a few km away is labelled the end. Contestants have to navigate from one to the other with no equipment but a standard civilian fieldsuit, jumping between the asteroids thanks to the asteroids negligible gravity. Not overly dangerous but dignity should be left at the door and a well timed collision can leave contestants spinning out for considerable distances before they impact something to change their direction. High stakes noble version: Same deal, except the courses are ancient space battles: littered with debris, unexploded munitions and frequently a gravity well from a nearby planet that everything is orbiting.

Even higher stakes illegal version: Add energy weapons (projectile weapons spoil the fun due to being an effective means of propulsion).

extreme_sports.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/21 16:48 by drac
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