In 1965 the writer Frank Herbert created a universe of a huge Empires military oppression, Great House’s scrabbling for positions and power and a way of travelling through space and time without actually moving. This was the world of Dune. In the book vast space containers would receive ships of the houses and guilds seeking the chance to move around the universe. They could be there in a few seconds, thanks to the mysterious Space guild, much like travelling through an interstellar Spiral Duct. Of course we are still a few hundreds of years away from teleportation. How did the Spacing guild do it?
Getting through the vastness of Space is a pain especially when you have got loads of people and equipment to move. In the year 10,000 this isn’t a problem as the Spacing guild Navigators will happily move you about using their high level telekinetic powers to “fold space”. They use the spice melange, a drug that enhances natural abilities, that can only be found on the planet Arrakis or Dune as it is better known. Dune is a desert planet; there is absolutely no water on it at all and every one lives at the mountainous Polar Regions. They have a very good reason to do that. Dune is the only place you can get the spice and there is a huge mining presence on the planet. Getting it out of the ground isn’t too hard except for one very important consideration; the planet is home to some enormous worms that protect the spice. Mining involves vibrations and the worms come as soon as they feel it destroying everything and generally making the miners life a misery. They can’t get through solid rock though, and this is why people live in the mountains of the poles.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, taking the spice has certain detrimental effects on your body and mind. To be a really top navigator you don’t just consume it you also have to spend time breathing it in (all the van drivers have to do is take the standard driving test thankfully). This basically turns you into a huge brained slug monster with tentacles for a mouth. It’s not reversible and you can’t retire from the role plus you get to spend all of your time in a tank of the gas being dragged around by other guild members who still have the use of their legs and arms. Hope it pays well.