In fiction I’ve posted, I’ve written about eons-old alien relics called hypershards, and there’s been some show of what they are capable of in the Gods of Terra setting from those. I’ve written on this artifact elsewhere, but given little information as to their various functions, purpose, and limits. It’s time here to shine a little more light on them as technology derived from an ancient but still advanced higher-order alien science.
First, what are they made of?
All hypershards are crafted of a material that extends into more than just the usual four dimensions of spacetime. It exists mostly within those extra dimensions and is only more loosely associated with the basic three we use to measure spatial coordinates.
Think of them as made of quasi-solidified hyperspace, partly extruded into our space-time, the bulk of its mass existing in seven other dimensions, giving it ghostlike transparency and near-intangibility, and a very strange appearance to merely 3D creatures’ senses as it rotates with an observer’s shift of perpective. It usually requires technology employing Kurtz-Dunar field generators to physically handle a hypershard. Bare hands tend to pass right through them with a little resistance and a slight tingling sensation.
Hypershards are brain implants. The quasi-matter they are made of can without significant displacement coexist with the much more solid and fluid matter of a conventional organism’s body, including the brain, where contact points on the shard can link with particular areas of the brains of sapient species, locking it into place once there. Some other such artifacts have shown compatible with the brains of some non-hominoid species, like the conservative pseudo-reptiles the Rj’lt’ar and the rapacious pack-driven Dalazinattu.
For artifacts billions of years old, they seem remarkably well-designed for contemporary forms of intelligent life. Odd thing, that.
A hypershard may also be regarded as a very strange sort of symbiotic pseudo-life, as they are capable of growing and reproducing, fully subject to the laws of evolutionary natural selection. This where things get really weird. At least one hypershard, the Mirus’s, can get hungry, and sometimes it feeds, drawing upon nearby matter as fuel when on a binge. Hypershards, most of them, are powered by randomly selecting and tapping the energies of infant universes filled with young or newly-forming stars.
When an adult of any species with a hypershard in its brain sires offspring, the ‘shard generates an odd quantum entity called a hyperseed, potentially a functional hypershard with all of its spatial dimensions curled up, folded so minutely as to render the whole thing smaller than an atomic nucleus.
The hyperseed is then relayed to the reproductive tissues of the host, and like any other quantum object its exact location along with momentum is a matter of statistical probability. It is potentially within every gamete at once, until any given sperm fertilizes any particular egg and the hyperseed’s wavefunction collapses, locating it within the newly developing embryo. It then slowly uncurls its spacetime dimensions, ‘blooming’ into a full hypershard as the embryo grows in the womb, from birth and throughout childhood. It grows as the host’s brain grows until fully developed in young adulthood.
Yes, any theoretical physicists reading this, do feel free to call shenanigans on that one. I suspect that’s not really accurate.
Adolescence is when the hypershard ‘comes online’ in a process known as ‘Prodigy,’ a sort of initial state with some very strange effects on ordinary human brains. Then, the contact points of a hypershard link with the brain architecture and become active. This results in an influx of strange perceptions and cognitive feedback, as the subject experiences its senses extending into more than three spatial dimensions and tries to make sense of them.
In ordinary humans, this can be catastrophic, and the subject can go mad. This is a function of brain architecture, and very few humans have the neuroanatomy to safely and effectively use a ‘shard without severe psychological consequences.
Wavetouched, a human daughter species, have brains particularly well-suited to these relics. This is also odd, and may seem to imply extraordinary foresight by the relics’ builders. Or maybe not.
Prodigy is also the point in time that the other functions of a hypershard initialize, and these are different for each individual. They often seem like remarkable powers and abilities not natural for most sapient beings, but are simply the use of the artifact’s reconfiguring adaptive hardware, the functions and arrangement determined by the relic’s modular, self-organizing software, that in turn written in code that was invented before the rise of multicellular life on Terra.
But what are some of these functions? Let’s take a look at the first four iconic Wavetouched; the Fractus, the Mirus, the Magna, and the Tempest.
The Fractus’ hypershard had as initial capabilities the capacity to irradiate planets, poisoning the sky, ground, and seas and killing even the hardiest forms of life.
Why not just blow the planet up?
Because the shards are not capable of releasing that much energy at once without destroying the host as well, making it a very expensive, very rare, one-shot weapon, and because the planet may be needed for future use, as a strategic outpost following Kurtz-Dunar decontamination procedures.
The Fractus’ hypershard was partly damaged upon implantation, but his talent and skill as a hacker allowed him to rewrite the shard’s code, enabling control over even potential functions that had been initially denied him, for obvious reasons, like the safety of his masters.He can jiggle tiny pockets of quantum vacuum in just the right way, setting in motion a chain of effects that with very little energy results in the birth of a new universe. Also, he has reconfigured his ‘shard’s software to let him personally select the physical laws and constants of that baby universe as it’s created.
For the Mirus, there is enhanced close-combat capability, including a controlled hand-to-hand combat rage, called Saevesis, which when initiated grants enhanced strength, speed, and durability. These functions along with a protective probability field can make the Mirus equal to a modest unit of troops with body armor and conventional weaponry.
But those do not make him invulnerable, just nasty in a close fight. It is possible to kill him with a direct hit from anti-vehicular weapons, plasma and fusion rifles, and especially tactical nuclear weaponry, though conventional anti-personnel arms won’t do much other than get him very cross with you.
The Magna, on the other hand, has the ability to open holes in spacetime leading to a broken universe just bursting with highly energetic particles, which she can tap from orbital distances to release a particle strike to repeatedly batter a planet’s surface into molten slag, after first blasting away the atmosphere. She is still gainfully employed by the Kai’Siri.
Finally, the Tempest, herald of “It who Scratches at the Gates,” has the ability to travel personally anywhere and anywhen in spacetime, into and within any reality, impervious to most hazardous environmental conditions while so doing. The Tempest is the only one of these four “Gods of Terra” with an uncorrupted, unaltered hypershard, one of the four Prime Shards.
What follows is pure technobabble, and I suspect, nonsense to physicists.
A hypershard works by drawing upon the Superforce, curling and uncurling its dimensional axes in such a way as to alter the local geometry of spacetime, affecting and manipulating laws and constants in a very small area.
But those are functions imposed by the Kai’Siris’ monumentally limited understanding of a ‘shard’s hardware and software….and the real function?
I’ll give you a hint: It’s not intended as a weapon, not originally, but as a communication device. That function may have been compromised in two of the known Wavetouched, the Fractus and the Magna, but it lies fully capable in the Mirus and Tempest.