Timekeeping and Calendar. The Danna

I received a question concerning the length of danna year a few days ago, so I’ve decided to drop a few lines about timekeeping and calendar in their culture.

Danna are not very romantic when it comes to timekeeping and clocks. They are practical folks and time is a very important part of science and economics all over the Commonwealth.

Generally they use quantum-logic clocks (we humans are getting close to something similar), but dive geometry requires at least a Planck scale precision. For that particular matter even more precise clocks exist. I’m not going to discuss the technology behind those here and will get straight to answering the question.

Just to remind you, Falaha is almost six standard years old (Eyuran is nine+).

Danna time standard is CMT, which stands for Commonwealth MAIN Time. Both they and Nua live by this time wherever they are. And even if their local time (planetary, etc.) is different for whatever cultural reasons or gardening plans, they count age and do business according to CMT.

The base of this standard is the second, which is exactly the same second humans know. (The Universe may be big, but physical processes like electron transitions between energy levels are the same everywhere.) Danna use even smaller time intervals than a second. I have specific words for all of their time intervals, because I designed a complete language for them, but I’m going to use second, minute and hour in this story to keep things easier.

In CMT the starting point of the Calendar is considered to be the appearance of the modern danna genome (the interval includes all the time they have been around as fully intelligent species). Of course, this chronometric system is not primordial, but also very old.

The CMT format includes Long and Short count, and looks like this:

[0-Х*.0-399.0-19.0-19.0-19].0-399.0-15.0-8 – 0-31.0-19.0-19.[0-19]

*This is VERY huge interval, so I left it like this for now.

[Long count part].Year.Week.Day – Hours.Minutes.A.[Seconds]; things in square brackets might be omitted in clocks. Numbers from Years to Seconds are referred to as the Short Count.

I’m not going to explain the Long count, just make a brief scaling of the Short Count.

1 A = 20 seconds

1 Minute = 20 A = 400 seconds = 6.66(7) Earth minutes

1 Hour = 20 Minutes = 400 A = 8 000 seconds = 2.22(2) Earth hours

1 Day = 32 Hours = 650 Minutes = 256 000 seconds = 2.963 Earth days

1 Week = 9 Days = 288 Hours = 2 304 000 Seconds = 26.66(7) Earth days

1 Year = 16 Weeks = 144 Days = 36 864 000 Seconds = 1.16815 Earth years

I have written a simple and not so elegant script just to show this thing in action (it ticks with ~20 second intervals; ‘~’ because of repeating decimals, it is tied to the server clock). You can see it here.

So there you have it. In Earth terms Falaha is around 7 years old and Eyuran is ~11 and a half years old.

How do your fictional folks keep their time?

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.

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