In the Span, many colonies, provinces, and even sectors have their own cultural celebrations. The Inanis Vox, as the most popular religion, has its own holidays that it observes, but there is only one festivity that is celebrated universally among all people: The Silence Check.
As the year draws to a close, the communications mediums that connect all beings in the Span becomes fraught with “noise”, which can lead to signal disturbances over long distances. To clear this noise, every person in the Span is required, by law, to undergo a “Silence Check”, a degaussing protocol that involves turning off their nano-web system, leaving it off for a few hours, and then restarting it.
In Quiet Repose
The Seven Hours of Silence is a unique time of year. With one’s nano-web deactivated, it becomes impossible to discern the Sympathy of others. This can lead to many different reactions from different colonies: in some, this is a time of treating everyone as equals; in others, it is a time of mistrusting everyone around them. It is known that for this seven hours it is impossible for one to lose Sympathy; for this reason it is rumored the Nihilistium makes good use of this time to proselytize unpunished. It is worth noting, of course, that law enforcement that wishes to enforce the Laws of Order, or local ordinances, can of course choose to do so.
Because so much of society is based on Sympathy, the Span comes to a relative stop. Gold Men close their shops. Judex enjoy the short time the have with their families who exist outside of their realm of duty. The Blue Hand, even, simply enjoy a day of rest from their labors. The Knights, tend to keep a watchful eye over the stillness of the Span.
After the seven hours are finished, every person in the span is required to perform a maintenance reboot on their nano-web. Doing so is a harrowing experience, and results in hallucinations as if the person has been mentally assaulted and their mind’s defenses depleted.
This reboot is filled with visions and dreams–but more often nightmares that burrow in the deepest caverns of the subconscious. Some of these visions seem to last far longer than the ten minutes or so required to reboot a Nano-Web, and psychologists take great interest in studying the phenomenon.
Worse, however, is that a percentage of the population will not successfully reboot. These poor souls remain trapped in their own fearful hallucinations until family or friends mercifully intervene and manually restart them. While usually safe to do so, it further reinforces the need for togetherness, for the fear that a person left unattended during their reboot might become stuck and unable to extract themselves, leaving them to suffer until found…if they ever are.
Although only the Seven Hours and the reboot are required by law, it has becomes a universal tradition to celebrate this passage of time. It is common for colonies to hold festivals, dances, feasts, and other events to cement togetherness and unity and give regards to the passing year. AFter that, the Span returns to its usual routines, and the Span continues on into another year.
During the seven hours of Silence, no Abilities may be activated and characters are unable to make sympathy rolls. If the character should commit an Atrocity during that time, their Sympathy roll is negated and they suffer no loss of Sympathy.
At the end of the Seven Hours of Silence, citizens are required to reboot their Nano-Web. This conscious decision reduces every citizen to 0 Mental Health Points and they suffer the same penalties, including the hallucinations brought on by a reboot of the system.
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