The heavens are filled with water, and though there are ancient legends of a time when it was not so, all who now live in Nautica can remember only the crystal sky that held suspended above us the eternal ocean.
Our light comes by way of the light generators that dot the Great Domes of Life. By last count there have been created three hundred and sixty domes, with many more planned and at least two in the midst of their creation. Our rich, artificial atmosphere comes by way of the many hydro-conversion units that anchor the Great Domes to the ocean floor.
Those who live near the anchor points speak of an occasional glimpse of life in the dark waters above, luminous creatures that lurk in and out of the inky unknown. There are dreamers who fantasize about exploring the vast unknown above us, but we have come to grips with the reality that this will be the only world we will know.
My mother gave me the name of Ishmael, the Child of God. I am the historian for the project that carries the code name, Discovery.
Our people have lived in the Orbital Colonies, for centuries now, the survivors of the Biological Wars, having escaped the poisoning of Earth by the ever-evolving viruses unleashed in the Era of No Hope. But now after these many generations of life upon the Great Space Factories, we have created a new way of life, the mastery of the Chlorophylistic-Fusion Process that transform the power of the solar into unimaginable sources of energy, enabling the creation of our necessary materials and sustenance from merely the miracle of light.
Our scientists still scan the earth below to see signs of one day returning, but though the conditions have continually changed in that realm beneath us, we have not yet dared to risk the purity of our heavenly realm for the sake of a returning to a now forgotten realm. But still there may come a day. Though we continue to build and set into orbit the Great Globes that make up the orbital Colonies known collectively as Etherea.
I was given the name Isaac at my birth. They say it is an ancient name, referring to a mythological figure who was favored by God. I now serve as the historian for Recovery, a long range mission to resettle the lower realm.