Torei is a great mystery: a far-distant world run by AIs that resist outside inspection, with a human culture that is separated from ours by hundreds of millennia. The study of Torei by off-world scholars has a stigma attached, which only adds to the difficulties in studying this remote and alien world.

People often ask me why Toreology even matters. Surely it must just put an erudite face on whoring and carousing! I wish I could claim innocence on that part, but there is much more to be learned from Torei than fancy biotech and sexual practices.

One thing that makes Torei unique is its status as a time capsule of human society back when we were still confined to just the one galaxy. The AIs raised the humans with materials from the Laminate Culture’s archives, and much of the art and craft still retains something of their fingerprint.

We don’t have any surviving samples of written or spoken works from the era of the Laminate People, but the language spoken on Torei is almost certainly an unmodified form of their common tongue. Our research on Torei shows almost no change in dialect during its entire recorded history, no doubt due to the influence of the AIs on reasserting “High Torean” when local drifts occur. We often see local subcultures branching off, but they quickly become historical curiosities or caricatures as the population aspires to rejoin everyone else.

The clothing, in particular, is produced in almost exactly the same manner as that found in Laminate Culture rubbish mounds dating back ca. 100,000 years. The resulting garments are flattering to all figures, form-fitting, glossy and eye-catching, and resistant to the elements while breathing well for dermal health. I’ve taken to wearing Torean small-clothes beneath my professional attire when I return home for conferences, just because I’ve come to love the feel of it. These clothes also make me feel something of a connection with my own ancient Milky Way ancestors when I run my fingers over their smooth surface.