Then in wanders a character who isn't quite right. This is not the main character. Sidekick at best, if that. Ze looks a bit off, doesn't quite seem like the underclass person the clothing suggests, has an accent that's almost spot on, but only almost.
It comes out that this character is "a secret keeper who knows the paths between worlds".
Main character is incredulous, especially as the more the secret keeper opens up, the more clear it is that the secret keeper believes in magic and thinks science is nothing more than tracing the patterns on the surface of a much deeper and more complex entity.
But main character follows the secret keeper on one of the paths between worlds (semi-futuristic looking, but no more so than, say, the international space station) for some reason or another and in a certain room the friction they've been having over magic/not magic lights into an argument culminating in:
"You think you know everything just because you can repeat it in a lab; well if you're so smart tell me this: what's keeping us on the ground right now?"
*sort of "ptpht" sound* "Gravity."
"Right, your precious high and mighty theory of gravity. Objects attract, so for us to be pulled down enough to walk there must be some pretty big object beneath us, right?"
"The planet," *pause* "obviously."
Secret keeper opens the room's windows. They're on a space station with a multitude of habitation areas, from shallow domes to full spheres. Some are opaque, some allow you to see inside. Below them is a bit more station (it's not like they're on the very bottom level) and a total lack of planet.
It's not a spinning space station. Centripetal force will not explain why they can walk in normal earth gravity.
"What planet?" The secret keeper asks.
* * *
The idea for the setting has a total lack of answers. Whoever built the space station left it on automatic and did not leave a log or an owner's manual. Well, for the owners manual, there was sort of something like that as it was designed to be easy to work with and to guide inexperienced people through whatever process is being done.
The secret keepers have been around for a very long time, maintain the station, and understand it better than anyone. They're also completely convinced it's magic.
Everything that they use would seem to our eyes to be something recognizable as belonging in a sci-fi setting. Their ritual cleansing after going to unclean areas is decontamination. Their invocations are voice commands. Their talismans are sci-fi gizmos. Their ...
But, at the same time, even as you're tempted to look at them and feel superior because you know what they're doing is sci fi and they think it's fantasy, they know what they're doing.
They're very astute, very knowledgeable, fluent in the cultures of the various habitation pods, aware of the benefits of the scientific method, and running the entire space station as smoothly as can be expected given its diverse and difficult to manage population and the total lack of outside resources, and doing it all on a system that's strongly rooted in a worldview dominated by animism with various other religious and magical ideas assimilated into it.
Besides, when you're walking in the lower observation deck, nothing but very thick glass (well, probably some sort of plastic, maybe transparent aluminum) and a cobweb of metal structural supports under you, whom are you going to trust, the person who says, "There's clearly technology behind this, even though I have no idea what it is and thought it impossible three hours ago," or the one who can describe in detail the process needed to create and maintain a space like this and is telling you that said process is magic?
Plus, some of the habitation areas have dragons in them. No, the math doesn't say that wings that size can support an animal that size. The secret keepers have a simple explanation: Magic. Dragons want to fly and so they've convinced the beckoning honeycomb to beckon them less.
Any sufficiently reliable magic would be as subject to the scientific method as mundane phenomenon, and without the ability to figure out if there are some graviton emitters (when you don't even know if there is such a thing as a graviton (we haven't found one yet)) in the "beckoning honeycomb", how do you know that it isn't working through sheer force of wanting things to come towards it?