Tag Archive | SF

Gods of Terra | In Hiding


The Fractus held his hand to his forehead, feeling the pain of an oncoming stress headache.

In his world at the edge of the universe, closed off from conventional spacetime, he sat at his workspace, ready to do his task of creating a new universe from a tiny fraction of the old.

He was anxious at the danger posed by his actions, not in themselves, but in the attention they would draw.

The Kai’Siri were still looking for him, as their most dangerous foe, for the death of the starship’s crew on the vessel where he was deployed for his first and last mission on their behalf.

He was afraid that they would gain control of him once again. He feared enslavement. He meant to avoid it at all cost, save that of the death of his universe of birth.

So he hid, and to this day, he hides still. And he waits.

Advertisements

Lyapunov’s Children | Hope


I was there when the end came, seeing the carnage firsthand as a soldier on the battlefield when my squad met its fate, and only I survived to tell of it.

As terrible as things were, I was lucky, so perhaps I’ll make it through the month with enough food to wait out the arrival of the rescue drones, as long as I conserve my rations and avoid the Corporation’s mechadacoits that this planet is crawling with.

I’ll also need to evade their cyber-hounds, but there’s a good chance of succeeding in that with the proper scent masking. I’ve the right vegetation to do it with, and plenty of time. I’ll stink like hell, but I’ll get through this in one piece.

At least that’s the plan, so I can make this work. Here’s hoping the rescue drones find me soon.

Lyapunov’s Children | On The Wind From The Sun


The ship raised its sails, gossamer expanses of fabric, molecule thin, stretching outward from the tiny hull for kilometers in every direction as the masts deployed. The sun shone bright behind it in the sea of stars as its crew prepared for the maiden flight of the newly christened vessel. Countless motes of light, electrons, protons, and atomic nuclei in the void struck the vast web, once the sails, now hundreds of kilometers wide, stretched outward like the petals of a lotus. Slowly, the ship gained speed from the subtle but relentless pressure, on its journey to the outer system. The crew within finished launch protocols, then went to the view ports to see their home one last time before departure. Ever further away, the planet receded in the distance as the ship made its journey,

…As it travelled on the wind from the sun*.

*paraphrase from Carl Sagan

Lyapunov’s Children | The Impactor


It happened in a newly colonized, barely surveyed system near the rim of the galactic habitable zone.

I saw everything when then end came, screaming out of the sky to those below like the shriek of a banshee having her arms ripped off by a murderous giant. What happened next was the worst, when the impactor hit, causing massive seismic disruption and tsunamis across the face of the tiny planet.

Billions of tonnes of dust were kicked up into the atmosphere as a shockwave rippled across the world. Where it touched, outposts fell, forests burned, and the oceans boiled from the spread of the accompanying fireball of superheated dust, air, and steam.

Where was I in all this?

I was in an orbital station, monitoring satellite traffic and planetary weather patterns when the strike happened, watching it all with horror as ninety-percent of everything on the planet died, unable to even so much as warn those below…

Lyapunov’s Children | Solitude


   He stood, in silence, taking in the solitude, and without a hint of loneliness. Yet that is what he felt, alone, however he failed to show it. Such displays of emotion were beneath one of his posthuman status.
   He grinned slightly as he saw the lights above in the sky; not just stars, of course, but also the ship above which kept him under surveillance, kept him from trying to escape this dead world. It alone, without crew, kept him company. Far above, its sensors watched his every move.
   Perhaps he could go back below the surface, to his subterranean living chambers, with all the accommodations of home, but no company to give solace in his punishment, for the crime of regicide.
   It would be a long, long time before his sentence would come under review by the Judges of the Hierate of Five Suns.
   He held the thought in mind just long enough to dismiss it. He looked,  this time downward, toward the toxic forests marking the horizon, sighed, and returned to the chambers below, away from the sight of his sole companion in orbit.

Gods of Terra | Lethal Emissions: Anti-Hypershard Countermeasures


gods_of_terra_1

Gods of Terra as a setting is more of a cycle than a saga, as far as fiction goes. The stories taking place in it are only loosely connected, and one need not think that any particular story ‘really’ happened as part of any ‘official’ narrative or metaplot. In this sense, the setting is sort of a backdrop of a mythology, a mythology of the far future in a universe of powerful, threatening, and often horrific alien forces.

One element of that setting is a species of humanity, newly evolved, only now establishing their place in the universe, the Wavetouched, the Children of the Galactic Ripple.

After the one of the Wavetouched, the Mirus, escaped servitude at the hands of the Kai’Siri, he revealed to the Local Galaxy the nature, and a crude understanding of the physics, of hypershards, ancient relics of tremendous power. This allowed effective countermeasures to be developed for the technology. They’ve prevented the success of radicalized Wavetouched with these devices seeking to supplant or dominate the majority population of baseline humans through violent revolution or terror.

Hypershards are alien technology, sort of like cybernetic brain implants, originally created by a now-dead civilization, and exist mostly in the fourth and higher dimensions of eleven-dimensional spacetime.

Hypershards exploit features of certain interpretations of Superstring theory, and are composed of hyperspatial matter. They’re created, or rather, grown, to generate powerful effects mimicking supernormal abilities by curling and uncurling, folding and unfolding their constituent spacetime dimensions.

This process alters local spacetime geometries, momentarily adjusting physical laws and constants and  exploiting loopholes in those same laws and constants. All of this is done, however, in complete obedience to fundamental conservation laws observed in all Worlds across the multiverse.

They bend, and sometimes fold, spindle, twist, or mutilate, rather than break, physical laws.

They have a real but tenuous existence in the first three dimensions of spacetime, and thus are nearly intangible to ordinary matter, but not quite. They interact slightly on the electromagnetic spectrum in these three dimensions. When functions are active, these implants radiate brightly in the terahertz band, non-ionizing radiation in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and infrared.

This near-ghostly existence in three-dimensional space lets them pass with minimal resistance through the skull and brain of those implanted with them. They lock into position once in place by low-energy electrical fields generated at contact points on the device that link them to specific brain regions, from which they receive commands for their functions.

An active hypershard radiates strongly in the terahertz band, and they are easily detectable by technology picking up this band. Thus they may be tracked by the conventional technology of the setting.

Understanding of the basic hypershard technology using even badly reverse-engineered knockoffs has allowed the development of a sort of cloaking device. This permits hiding from the extended sensory functions of a hypershard, the extension of the user’s perceptions into higher dimensions of spacetime. This means that any such augmented Wavetouched is now limited to their basic perceptions as defined by their senses and unaugmented central nervous system, and gains no sensory advantages over baseline humans.

The technology is limited from a combination of the energy needs of the system and current engineering constraints. But it is effective, and used for special operations teams in anti-insurgent actions involving rogue Wavetouched. As standard operating procedure, this is combined with terahertz-wavelength tracking and targeting systems.

So hypershards have their uses. As weapons they are unparalleled, but they may be tracked and blinded. So their users can be thus vulnerable to conventional weapons that evade their own detection and tactical systems, while rendering them obvious targets for sensors operated by the squads equiped to handle them.

Wavetouched can be powerful, but they are hardly invincible. That’s a lesson to us all, especially the mighty.