Author’s note –
This is a more refined draft of ‘Creative Destruction’ that was posted earlier on this blog. Nevertheless, the original will be incorporated after some editing and refinement, these parts are meant to be complementary and necessary for the story arc.
I hope you will enjoy this particular draft better than the first.
The amorphous roiling, massive orb had the appearance of a menacing, angry scarlet eye of a god.
Incredible forces were coming into play; gravity, electromagnetism, the twisting, torsion of tortured space-time and quantum energies that Einstein could never have fathomed were combining into an action that could only result in one purpose.
The destruction and transformation of a twelve and a half billion year old G2 type star.
For most of its existence the small, ordinary star which spent most of its life two-thirds of the way toward the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy shone a dazzling, brilliant yellow. It wasn’t a particularly special galactic dezinen, more spectacular things existed in this galaxy such as neutron stars, fast aging brilliant blue giants, bright and dark nebulae, star streams and most of all, a giant dark singularity at its center.
But there was one thing that made the small star kind of special.
At one time a tiny, blue object had orbited it. The insignificant marbled speck had done a very special thing; it spawned a race of creatures that sought knowledge of its surroundings, bred, colonized, mutated into different species as they spread throughout the Galaxy.
This event in of itself wasn’t all that extraordinary, the incident happened five billion years earlier in this galaxy and almost every galaxy in the Universe has its own version (or versions) of things known as “lifeforms”.
As time passed, as the spawn of this race of beings separated into various branches that filled every niche of the Galaxy, the little yellow star witnessed many events. Within two thousand years the race that left the blue globe had adapted to and filled every asteroid, moon and planet of its system. The race was incredibly resilient, intuitive, curious, ingenious and aggressive. The last trait almost wiped out the race a few times during this period, but they were extraordinarily clever, and lucky. But as they spread throughout their System, they re-engineered themselves to fill the various ecological niches so as to take advantage of the local resources. Soon, because they engineered themselves to exploit their particular habitats, they didn’t covet their neighbor’s territory any longer, a trait and habit the race had for over ten thousands of years. Since they no longer desired each others possessions, tensions the race had slowly began to ebb, and finally tamp down to only embers.
That’s not to say there was ever-lasting peace, there were small skirmishes over perceived ‘borders’ and matters of ‘sovereignty’, but all in all, no over-reaching “armageddon” threatened to exterminate the children of the tiny blue orb ever again. There simply was too much real estate and diversity for that to occur.
This situation remained so for another several hundred thousands of years. Soon, small mobile groups of worldlets trawled the Outer Oort Cloud territories for resources. Some of these wordlets contained actual biological beings specially adapted to the cold outer territories. Some contained nano-biological beings, trillions and trillions that lived inside these artificial universes that seemed to fill their perception of all Creation. Yet others sought the bitter cold because of the intelligent, non-biological natures of the beings that inhabited these worldlets required the harsh environment in order to optimize their operation.
Eventually, these mobile worlds wandered into the Oort Cloud territory of the nearest star system, its ancient name meaning “closest”, but the actual name is lost to history. By this time however, the beings inhabiting these worlds had evolved and changed many times over because many thousands of years once again had passed. But one trait still survived, curiousity.
Of course, many attempts at interstellar travel have happened well before this time and several were successful by the various groups. There were even successful attempts at “time” travel, i.e., micro-wormhole pico-tech engineering. These endeavors were very heavily monitored and regulated however because of the very real and dangerous effects of this technology. The effects of creating different branches of reality was an unknown quantity at best and the sheer energies involved in creating the negative matter “cages” required to hold the wormholes open were extremely hazardous. Thus it was deemed that these matters were best handled in the frigid outer zones of the Oort Cloud and heavily guarded by nano-cloud entities capable of forming any shape, weapon and any ordinance required to protect the technology.
The march of history pressed on. Centuries turned into millenia, millenia spanned into the hundreds of thousands. The hundreds of thousands turned into millions, thousands of millions, billions! The ebb and flow of civilization matched the eons, Niven rings and Banks orbitals came and went, habitats resembling spaghetti noodles spiraled from Mercury’s old orbit out into Jupiter’s, Dyson Shells enveloped the little star for a billion years in one eon, then melted away like dandelion seeds blown from the stalk.
The nearby portion of the Galaxy changed and morphed as well during this time. The tiny beings, by any way they could spread from the tiny yellow star and within the time it took for the star to finally show its age, had filled almost every niche of the galaxy the same way it initially spread into its home solar system. Of course the creatures had long ceased to resemble its original form in most areas of the galaxy, but in some instances it retained the base hominid, bipedal form where it suited. After all, it was the base template for the species for its first two-hundred fifty thousand years for a good reason, it worked.
One thing occupied the thought of the race in its various incarnations over the eons, where did the elders go?
Within the first few thousand years of its spreading culture, the beings discovered radio waves, rocketry, electronics and all the things necessary to explore and possibly communicate with beings superior to themselves. There were several legends and stories concerning visitors to the small, blue world during the infancy of the race, but that in of itself is another part of this tale. For all intents and purposes of this part however, the human race and its disparate appendages discovered they were alone, to their great surprise and grief (and to some, relief).
There were signs of earlier habitations on the worlds and solar systems the children of humanity discovered in their many travels. There were once great cities, world-cities and planetary sized objects that matched the Childrens many constructions in sophistication (sometimes more) and grace. But they were all corpses, shells and fossils. No sign of life of any variety was found on any of them. All were vacated and empty. It would be like finding a city the size of 21st century New York, Moscow, Mexico City or Shanghi completely emptied of people, pets, furniture, plants and anything that would give an indication of habitation.
And nobody could figure out why. Until a chance discovery by entities whose natures were both biological and what would have been called “quantum computers” , of a very ancient, alien and abandoned artificial structure floating leisurely on the outer edge of the Orion Spiral Arm, in the great empty expanse of pre-intergalactic space. The discoverers (their names would equal “The Nostrodame”) found that the structure was internally similar to their own; great hollow spaces where traces of silicon-based biology once occurred and strata where faint traces of qubit activity could be measured. They originally theorized that they had happened across an abandoned polis of a branch of their own kind, but when the first analysis results were checked, the sheer shock of the findings were to unbelievable to bear.
The structure was almost nine billion years old. Far older than the known civilizations whose remains so far discovered by mankinds’ various descendents and older than their own by at least six billion years. But that wasn’t the big shocker, oh no. When the internal environment of the fossil was deemed safe to explore, the polis sent expeditions of quantum beings to search for records or archives of any kind that would give a clue as to why these great structures of a previous galactic culture were left to the ravages of Eternity. Eventually, much to the dismay of the polis, the investigators did find the Archive they desperately searched for. And they managed to find an algorithm to unlock it and translate the storeroom of knowledge.
Then they wished they hadn’t done it. But they had and the information they obtained would forever direct the course of Humanity’s Children for the next two billion years.
For the Ancient First Ones had the capability to look forward into Time and view all possible Eternities at once. And the outcomes were the same in all of them. The Universe was expanding at an incredible rate, even billions and billions of years ago when the First Ones existed, and soon they discovered the Universe, and space-time itself was accelerating toward the speed of light and possibly beyond that. That meant the great spaces between the stars and all the myriad galaxies that made up the Universe would keep increasing and increasing exponentially.
Forever and ever.
Eventually there would be nothing but immense, cold, vacant areas where life and sprawling galactic metropoli once were.
Heat Death. Entropy.
Sometime, towards Eternity’s End, the space-time fabric could reach the breaking point of this Cosmic rubberband stretching and a bounce back effect could happen, but that was pure speculation at best and it might require a ‘helping hand’ to help trigger it.
But that was theory and the First Ones decided it wasn’t their job to see this through.
So they took the easy way out. They simply “bored” a hole in the Universe and uplifted themselves as pure “information” and escaped into a tenth dimension Universe just one Planck level below the eleventh “M-brane” that oversaw all.
And it wasn’t just this fossil where this happened, it happened to all Ancient habitations at the same time. It was a coordinated effort.
And they left the amoeba of Earth holding the bag.
The little star was alone. The children of the blue ball had moved on. The great structures they had created over the eons were themselves fossil remains. Changes were occurring to the star, the hydrogen it had fused to produce its energy for the previous nine billion years had run out. Soon it was fusing heavier elements like helium, iridium and boron, leaving heavy iron and carbon atoms. The expanding gases took on an orange, then scarlet hue as the star expanded out to the orbit where the planet Saturn once was. Fortunately, all planetary matter had either been used in construction projects, moved to the Outer Oort Cloud for projects there, or converted into mobile planets and left the Solar System all together. The expanding, dying star had nothing to destroy other than scrap to sweep up in its death throes.
Suddenly, a minute speck appeared in the star’s photosphere. Slowly, but steadily the speck began to orbit the red orb. After a time, imperceptively at first, but becoming obvious to an attentive observer, the speck gained speed and was spiralling inward toward the center of the star. Not only was it gaining speed, it was getting more massive as well. Soon, the speck grew so massive that to the outside observer, the layer of gases surrounding the red giant were noticibly thinning. A great cyclonic storm resembling an ancient hurricane appeared near the center of the sphere, streams of gasses and matter were visibly being drawn into the ‘eye’ of the growing cosmic typhoon. The scarlet orb began to distort its shape, becoming indented on one side like a rapidly deflating beach ball that was punched by an enormous galactic giant, while at the same time shrinking in size. Smaller and smaller the red giant shrank, reversing billions of years of stellar aging it seemed, only happening in one-ten trillionth of the time.
Not only was the star shrinking and growing more massive, the color spectrum was reversing as well. Red to red-orange, then orange and back further to yellow-orange. Eventually, the original yellow returned, but only briefly. Further up the other side of the spectrum now as the star’s mass, induced by the object, increased exponentially. Fusion increased as the matter was squeezed into a tighter and tighter ball. The fusion reaction served a purpose however, it powered great femto-tech and pico-tech machinery at the nano-scale level, converting the energy and the mass of the old star into negative matter buttresses that will hold open the throat of the growing wormhole that started the process rolling.
The space-time wormhole, once belonging to one of humanity’s many Solar System civilizations and was safely ensconced in the outer Oort Cloud became the tool necessary to start this overwhelming stellar engineering feat. For eons it sat in the frigid outer zone of Sol, silently witnessing the passing of great civilizations and the complete emptying of the Oort Cloud, becoming a lonely hermit in the great dark.
The great energies were growing furiously, almost maddeningly now as the star took on a white hot, almost blue incandescence as the mass of a star as large as the orbit of old Saturn was crushed down to a spherical object the size of a softball. Just then, a scalding, brilliant flash of light that blinded optical equipment of varying types as far as 12 light-years away (when the light arrived there) and left over radiation (gamma-rays) as far as one hundred light-years, shot in all directions at once. Then, nothingness. An expanding ring of waste gas, speeding along at one-quarter lights at a distance of 200 AU was all that was visible. In the center of the growing nebular ring was an object the size of a large grape-fruit, perfectly spherical. If one ventured close enough to it, and looked at it at a certain angle, one could see what would appear to be a bright sprinkling of diamond dust inside of it.
But the stuff isn’t diamond dust and it certainly wasn’t inside of the sphere, literally speaking anyway.
The “dust” were stars and galaxies on the other side of the wormhole.
Not only that, but the stars and galaxies were not on the other side of the Universe, or the other side of the Milky Way Galaxy for that matter, nor in the present epoch either.
They were tens of billions of years in the past!
Just then, an arrow straight beam of energy appeared out of the darkness, from the inner edge of the expanding nebula, glowing a deep violet. At the head of the beam, a femto-tech Bucky-ball fullerite shell surrounding a google-plex of sub-qubits of information sped headlong at 98% light speed toward the wormhole throat. The aim had to be perfect in order for the femto-tech object to reach its destination, if it wasn’t, all of this work would be for nothing.
But the aim was true and the violet beam pierced the hard, ebony sphere straight through the center of a buttressed cage of negative matter, sending nary a ripple through space-time. Then, something strange occurred. Pico-seconds after the Fullerite shell shot through, the negative matter buttresses that comprised the cage started to disintegrate. As the non-existent matter disappeared, the wormhole collapsed in upon itself, ending in another brilliant, but short lived flash of light lasting nano-seconds. It was as if a tornado swept up a house and exiting through a gigantic door, slamming it shut and then leaving nothing behind, door and all.
That was why the aim had to be right the first time, there no second chances to be had.
You see, there simply was not enough mass in old Sol to create the negative matter buttresses to hold open a wormhole the size of a grapefruit for any great length of time. The extra space was required in order to create the time-gate portion of the cage. As the ancient saying went, “one well aimed shot is all an experienced hunter needs”.
Then a great silence befell the spaces where a solar system once existed. The only testament was an expanding nebular ring of thin gas surrounding a monumentous emptiness, a curiousity for future descendents of Humanity, or the next cycle of intelligent creatures to ponder.