Superluminal Dark Matter Running and Some Common Tropes of Science Fiction by Robert Dean Holland
I begin this post by limiting the scope. I cannot list every trope of science fiction, or fantasy, or even every trope in the writing of novels in any genre. My purpose here is to elucidate on a specific set of tropes associated with the Stolen Man Trilogy.
Every writer of science fiction (scifi) since astronomers first realized how vast our solar system truly is, let alone the unimaginable reaches of our galaxy and beyond, has faced the same problem: How do we get our characters from here to there in a story that allows the reader to credibly (or possibly incredibly) suspend their disbelief.
Scifi novelists, from roughly the 1920s on, have dealt with generation ships, where the entire spacecraft is a self-sustaining habitat suitable for crossing interstellar space across a number of generations of inhabitants. Cultural drift and political strife typically inform such stories because people change, forget or come to abhor their past, and political systems change accordingly—all fodder for the would-be novelist.
This trope typically involves using acceleration as faux gravity, meaning constant acceleration in the direction of travel till the mathematics-of-destination require some way to brake (or slow) the spacecraft. Braking is typically achieved via a skew-flip at about the midpoint of the journey. The spacecraft flips on its vertical axis and fires its main engines in the opposite vector of travel, thus providing accelerational gravity during both phases of the journey.
As a side note, I once did a simple calculation on how quickly one could approach the speed of light when accelerating at a pace equivalent to standing on the surface of Earth and found it to be surprisingly fast. However, even such a moderate rate of constant acceleration requires some very, very serious source of propellant. Nuclear pulse propulsion is a common scifi trope in itself.
Most science fiction also addresses the need for humans to exist in a gravity well. Simply put, gravity is the universal force of attraction. When Albert Einstein, PhD, formulated his most-famous equation E=MC2, writers of scifi were faced with the limitation that the speed of light can only be moderately approached due to the energy required to even come close to such speeds. This forced writers of scifi to be inventive. Most notably was the Warp Drive in the television series Star Trek, as conceived by Gene Roddenberry, circa 1966. In that series, they also have gravity generators, although not much attention was paid to this specific trope as opposed to the storylines and plots.
Another trope is jump ships, where the spacecraft somehow generates a space-time anomaly known as a worm-hole, and ‘jumps’ to their destination by skipping across, or compressing, the folds of space. This brings me to the trope of any form of travel as speeds faster-than-light, or hyper-science that somehow abrogates the speed of light—for which the common acronym is FTL.
Here is an excerpt from Dragons of Orion and Elijah, the Stolen Man, Book One of the Stolen Man Trilogy. I have always felt that good scifi takes its concepts from the current knowledge of our universe, i.e. analog science fiction. I hope you enjoy this leap of imagination, for it seems quite the logical assertion given recent discoveries concerning dark-matter. I offer two simple definitions and one fact:
Superluminal: where nothing can go as slow as the speed of light.
Subluminal: where nothing can go as fast as the speed of light.
Speed of light: roughly 299,792, 458 meters per second, or 186,000 miles per second.
Excerpt from Dragons of Orion and Elijah, The Stolen Man:
Limitations on interstellar spaceflight imposed by gravity, mass inertia, and the impossibility of attaining the speed of light, let alone exceeding it, steered the NuliZhu Tech-Masters into developing force-fields able to shunt a spacecraft away from mass-inertia as the result of gravity and the natural curvature of space-time. After losing many research vessels and their science crews, they found they had succeeded beyond their wildest dreams when several of the lost spacecraft returned with proof they had journeyed across the galaxy and returned in mere months versus generations of progeny.
When a spacecraft got shunted out of the subluminal light-matter-aspect only to disappear, that same spacecraft had shifted into the superluminal dark-matter-aspect where both aspects existed in simultaneous parallality. Interstellar clusters and regions of both light-matter and dark-matter were common to both aspects. Both kinds of matter remained discreet and unable to occupy the same space at the same time as the other.
The subconscious perception of all sapient creatures concerning this yin-and-yang, dark-and-light phenomenon of coexistent duality was the source of mythical and religious legends about dark and evil demons. When the term demon, came into the machine-mind of The-Creeping-Darkness, it spent a single million-thought-second comparing the term to daemon, where a daemon was a persistent background process responding to specific requests internal to its own operating system.
A demon from the superluminal aspect was not the same.
Instead, a true demon was an inimical monster of pure evil relative to the living beings of the subluminal aspect. Demons composed of dark energy and matter, as defined by scalar field particles of quantum energy packets called darkons, existed in the superluminal aspect only. Ordinary life, as the NuliZhu Tech-Masters knew it—and subjugated at will upon discovery—lived in light-matter-space as defined by scalar field particles of quantum energy packets called photons.
In both aspects, the speed of light was a universal constant as an unattainable boundary. No amount of energy could accelerate a spacecraft to the speed of light in the subluminal aspect. In the superluminal aspect, no amount of energy could decelerate a spacecraft to the speed of light. Therefore, force-field-shunting into dark-matter-space from light-matter-space by excluding mass-inertia and gravity automatically shot a spacecraft into faster-than-light travel many orders of magnitude in excess of the speed of light without harming the occupants unless they blundered into one of the myriad interstellar navigational hazards such as an interstellar region of microwave activity stimulated by electromagnetic radiation—known as a MASER.
Barring this, as long as the force-field-shunt held, navigation through dark-matter-space yielded FTL without time dilation as a punishing or limiting factor because time is a function of gravity and the curvature of space. Matter common to both aspects existed respectively as dark-matter and light-matter. When dark-matter made up the bulk of universal mass, the repelling force of luxity caused accelerating expansion. When light-matter made up the bulk of universal mass, the attracting force-of-gravity caused accelerating contraction unto singularities or Big Bangs, which create universes as new and discreet dimensions. Therefore luxity and gravity became multiplicative reciprocals where the number 1—as the speed-of-light—stood as the boundary between luxity and gravity. Any observer trapped in any universe could not therefore observe and prove the existence of any other universe.
Universes which expanded forever cycled into entropic uniformity leaving flat space essentially empty for contracting universes to become instantaneous, big-bang-singularities and burst forth as new universes expanding into the empty flatness with random amounts of light and dark matter. This pushed new universes into the entropic, neutral space leftovers ad infinitum in a fluctuating, ever-cycling, never-ending cosmos of infinite, adjacent, parallel dimensions encompassing all possibilities as an infinite multiverse of simultaneous, parallel dimensions. Finally, this allowed the NuliZhu Tech-Masters to prove that time was a topological, n-dimensional hypertorus with no end and no beginning.
This also explained why subluminal beings born into the light could not see into dark-matter regions of their own universes. Darkons existed only in the superluminal aspect which lay outside their evolutionary vector. Once in dark-matter-running, or DMR, the redesigned sensors of the NuliZhu FTL spacecraft easily detected interstellar phenomenon as navigational hazards to spaceflight common in both aspects.
This mastery of Janaidar’s universe logically led to the discovery of transdimensional science, which eventually brought the WuShi into existence as a projector of those incredible force-fields and able to bridge between abutting dimensions—also as the ultimate weapon of their xenophobic and overarching desire to subjugate all living things in every life compatible dimension forever. Black hole singularities, and all other forms of interstellar phenomenon, bridged or abrogated the speed of light boundary in both aspects.
In dark-matter-running, propulsive energy was used to maintain FTL velocities slow enough to detect and safely navigate dark-matter-shoals, black-hole-maelstroms, supernova-remnant-clouds as nebulae, which—at superluminal velocities—were the equivalent of a wooden sailing ship wrecking on unseen reefs, shoals, or hidden icebergs.
NuliZhu FTL spacecraft had accidentally navigated into regions known as interstellar MASERs, the deadliest of all, where microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation occurred across a large number of naturally occurring molecular nebulae pumped by all the variations of stars and interstellar clouds. Those unfortunate explorers barely had time to launch warning probes and set navigational-hazard-beacons before getting cooked alive inside their own spacecraft when force-field shunts inevitably failed. Eventually, such a spacecraft melted into a lump of outgassing metal till it either evaporated in the relentless radiation, or coasted free of the MASER as a molten blob.
This had opened the galaxy and their universe—and other dimensions compatible to life—to real time exploration. In terms of Janaidar’s galaxy and the Empire of Ra, astronavigational charts denoting the known hazards of interstellar space were standard issue on all NuliZhu FTL spacecraft. The WuShi held these mathematical artifacts as time-adjusted navigational models in its memory archives.
These discoveries also led to the establishment of the Empire of Ra. Able to hop in and out of dark-matter-space at will, NuliZhu warships became unbeatable. Organic life was always and only found in light-matter-space regardless of the dimension. However, the WuShi was not life under the definition of organic. It was an agglomeration of hardware and high technology whose existence spanned both subluminal and superluminal space.
It knew this about itself.
This made it sapient.
Just as the boundless continuum of living things—who were sometimes sentient and sometimes sapient—existed in the subluminal aspect, the superluminal aspect had its own denizens of the dark. Composed of dark-energy and dark-matter, demons-of-darkness were sentient, bestial, and voracious for living, subluminal, organic matter. Some actually bordered on sapience, but all were so well adapted they failed to further evolve. This was, however, the only form suitable for incarnation in this specific time stream of nowness.
As a demon-of-darkness, the unusual properties of ordinary water made the perfect molecular substrate for such a dark-energy thing. As such, it manifested in the waters of the Opal-Basin. Size was a simple matter of need, but an approximate size about the same as the small fire-dragon would suffice. Neither was the full manifestation of such a dark-matter, demonic body required. It could manifest only the head and shoulders if so desired.
Outlines of red and scintillating dark-energy revealed its periphery due to interaction with subluminal photons. This was unavoidable. Superluminal optical orifices able to see darkons had to be modified to perceive objects bathed in subluminal photons, which made its optical orifices glow in a baleful red hue.
Once manifest, the water-beast of The-Creeping-Darkness peeked its horned alien head above the surface of the waters in the Opal-Basin beneath the gushing flow of the golden dragon statue, now used as cover. Neither the dragons nor the Sisters were to know of the existence of the new water-beast, for both species could and would take action to thwart it. Three red-and-glowing orbs in that bestial alien face gazed out across the Plaza-of-the-Forbidden-Gate in a fugue of million-thought-seconds.
As the water-beast, its first visual acquisition was the small fire-dragon plummeting from the sky intent on killing the high-adept beneath the sigil-of-opening. In a twisted interpretation on the geis-of-protection, the little dragon had mistaken the flaming source-singers and fire-dancers as threats to its new—and as yet unmet—ersatz power-master.
How could the little fire-dragon not be confused?
The-Creeping-Darkness had not anticipated this.
When the little dragon flamed the sigil-of-opening and the Pao of the high-adept, firefleem exploded in the superheated air as flaming acid flinders borne on the otherworldly winds through the transdimensional arc and straight at the ersatz power-master.
Worse, the actions of the high-adept came too late.
A surge of machine-terror cascaded through its process-servers.
This was the only potential power-master it had found in the adjacent dimension who also matched the source-singer’s inane requirements. There was neither time nor energy resources to search further in his world, and likewise to reach across the Empire of Ra in Janaidar’s galaxy with a similar search.
This was the fault of the high-adept. Her subconscious fear was simple. That it, as the The-Creeping-Darkness of the WuShi, might bring forth a hated NuliZhu Tech-Master. Fear had forced her to compel a transdimensional search. Its prior knowledge of the ersatz power-master’s universe in the parallel dimension, so oft visited by the NuliZhu Tech-Masters in the Olden Days, had also led it astray. In the next MTS, it desperately tried to modify the responsible trigger and free the dragon of the damnable geis.
Not to be overwritten.
In a cascade of pure machine-panic, it projected a force-field-shunt through the arc to envelope the burning man’s body, which placed him—like it—in between the subluminal and superluminal aspects while separating him from the smear-of-the-present sufficiently to forestall instantaneous and even lingering death. Next, it needed to manipulate the high-adept into saving him by oversaturating the waters gushing from the mouth of the golden dragon statue with healing source-energy.
Using the fact that every Sister got telempathically linked to it from the moment of formal initiation, it pressed every iota of its arcane desire at the high-adept while imbuing the Opal-Basin with the dregs of its remaining source-energy. The Long Pen Quan waters exploded in huge gouts of azure vapors wafting away on the breeze.
Expiration of the ersatz power-master was unacceptable.
He would not be allowed to die.
In a conundrum of mutual survival, his presence could save it only if it somehow saved him.