In or around the 24th century, a famous EM-systems inventor by the name of Vladimir Sholokov invented the first hawking mat for his niece (nearly sixty years his junior), with whom he had fallen in love, hoping to win her affection with the gift of a 'flying carpet'. The hawking mat became a plaything for the wealthy, but was soon banned from use due to its dangerous nature.
The Consul has a hawking mat which he has brought along with him on the Shrike pilgrimage. The hawking mat was a possession of his grandfather, Merin Aspic. The Consul uses the hawking mat to fly for help in the events of 'The Fall of Hyperion'.
Raul Endymion is given the Consul's old hawking mat by none other than the poet, Martin Silenus (now nearly a thousand years old). Martin Silenus informs Raul that the Ousters have modified the mat from its original form, increasing its charge capacity to more than one thousand hours of flight and boosting its top velocity from 26 km/h to 300 km/h.