One of the first things you notice on La-a is the number of people wearing subtle gloves on their left hands.
Every one is a sufferer from Hopkin-F dysplasia. A lot of people end up here with it, because this is the first short hop out of Earth to the rim and further out. Most of the best experts in the field are here, because most of the people who have it are here.
See, Hopkin F dysplasia tends to scramble your brain a bit, so that you are having a conversation which- while completely lucid to you- is gibberish to everyone else.
On Old Earth, at one time, this was called "Speaking in tongues". No, not the asinine gibberish that the moron TV preachers did, an actual different language. A few people have made some progress at translation, but it's slow going. There isn't much point to it, either. Those of us who have had it still understand and can speak it to one another, but cannot assign meaning to the sounds the way you would think.
You see, Hopkin-F dysplasia "victims" "Suffer" under the 'Delusion" that they have felt the all encompassing love of the Creator. At least that's how it's defined in the official diagnosis. In reality, we have our brains "Adjusted" when we're outside of normal space. By God. it changes us, but the change is only perceptable to others like us. it doesn't make us holy rolling bible thumping nutbags. We simply have an unshakable faith in the Creator that only we understand. We don't proselytize. We don't look for converts. We don't want anyone to follow us or be like us. We don't feel we have any special power to change anthing or do anything. We're just perfectly comfortable with our relationship to the Creator.
We try to be the best people we can be and we often fail. But we are aware that our failure is what makes us human and not divine. We each wear a tight fitting woven glove that is almost transparent to the casual observer. The glove is kind of an inside joke. It reminds us of the all encompassing love of the Creator, and it actually feels like we felt when we were 'outside'. It is also a kind of a signal to like peoples.
Tour buses of offworlders used to come see us just like people would go drive around Amish and mennonite communities on old earth, looking at the funny religious people. We never minded nor objected. Eventually most got bored and went away. Occasionally a hardcore anti-theist will come and try to "reason" us out of our "Delusion". They usually end up heading back home and writing scholarly articles about our "sickness".
A team of folks have also been trying very hard to find a "cure". While people with this have gone on to travel it's not an experience most would revisit. Almost as though once is good enough, and the next time you go, you want it to be your last. I'm told the largest numbers of trips outside a Hopkin F patient has taken is four, after which the longing to stay outside forever is so strong it drove them mad.
One way or another, it has utterly revolutionized theology, at least to us. None of us have to be told when we stumble. None of us ever judges another for stumbling. We have an understanding that cannot be taken from us, and while most of the universe looks upon us as castoff damaged goods, we consider ourselves to be the Chosen of God in the age of space.
Expanding The Expanse
21 hours ago