Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Land Leave 9

The Lorentz curve, time dilation as speed reaches c (light-speed).

Land Leave 9:

The ship slid through the fourth dimension seamlessly, the organic computer worked overtime to maintain a 3 dimensional frame of reference in the ship while navigating the paradoxical lane of time. Theoretically, by transcending into the 4th dimension it was possible to travel to all points in time and space. That was not feasible yet, the drives had enough trouble breaking back through the linear time barrier. The computers didn't choose a destination in a traditional way, it was less like a point on a map and more like—well, space. It was intuitive more than anything. The first navigators were trained athletes, people keenly in tune with their instinct.

The modern age of wormhole travel started with the advent of organic computers. The computers simulated instinct using the old quantum computers and fusing them with genetically modified nerve clusters. The computing power was magnified by a power of ten for each quantum computer tied to a nerve cell. The Eve had multiple computing cores to work as back-ups as well as several independent quantum computers on board. This gave the ship a huge amount of leeway in using the wormhole system.

What Sorensen had opened was a one-way. It was a wormhole generated by the fusion cores and held in place using huge electro-magnetic fields. Basically, the act of opening it was a major breach of probability, keeping stable only because of the Eve's computers and a ton of energy. The second type of wormhole was a stable post-stellar wormhole. The nearest one was actually man-made, it was an endeavor that took nearly 60 years to complete. A nearby black-hole mass star was dragged from 10 light-years to 3.5 light-years outside Sol and forcibly collapsed into a black hole. The colony ship Endeavor made the first manned jump through the wormhole and arrived in the Ares system. The drawback to post-stellar wormholes was its singular nature. It wove a huge thread through space-time, linking two disparate points. It couldn't tap into the fabric and weave new threads.

The Eve slid out like a long thread pulled from a sweater in reverse. The thread wove itself into the Eve about 10 minutes from Mars. Sorensen called for a status report. Immediately things weren't going well.

“Sir, we are getting a distress call from Phobos. There seems to be an attack.” The communications officer sounded panicked.

“Get the captain, and set a course for intercept. Get me a reading on hostiles now!” Sorensen had beads of sweat immediately form on his forehead. Hearing that Phobos was under attack was a scary notion. It was the core of the AmU's naval research and was heavily guarded. An attack of that magnitude required audacity and firepower. The Eve was only lightly equipped and it was now fighting its second battle in as many days.

The captain raced out of his office. “Status.”

“It appears that there is a large naval contingent of unknown origin engaging with AmU forces. I am reading distress signals from Mons Pavonis, Phobos, and six ships in the fleet. Most of the fleet appears to be moderately to heavily damaged.”

“That's no good. What do we have? Arm all long-range weapons, target what we can. This isn't going to go well. Do a sweeping pass of all weapons, contact all ships that can do a one-way and tell them to meet at the Ares wormhole.” The captain swiftly took charge of the situation.

As they got closer, the battle became more obvious. A surprise attack had split the fleet into several small groups that were cornered. The opposing force seemed decently well-organized and was aided by modified short-range ships similar to the attack at New Alexandria.

They moved at battle speed, .2c, and made a direct pass straight through the largest contingent. “Everyone brace for impact, accelerate to .6c and get us out of here.” The Eve banked hard through a group of ships and shot to the far-side of Mars. Several large explosions rocked the outer shield.

“I read thirty-two ships following, ten are ours. Sir, I don't think we can break a wormhole at this speed.” The navigation officer was well-aware of the risks of relativistic pinhole rupture.

“Push the engines to full-speed, give me pinhole activation,” the captain was shouting, “comm, relay, now.”

“But sir, how are we going to break space?” The nav officer was getting more nervous by the second.

“cut engines when we get to earth's elliptical, flip the stabilizing field and then the pinhole. Stay with me and relay. On my mark.” A laser tore through a ship following behind them, it cleanly cut through three quarters of the ship. One of its fusion cores leaked into the void with dispersed fusion reactions tearing what remained of the ship into pieces. “Mark.”

The Eve made a hard reverse, slowing to .0001c in three and a half seconds. The Eve wasn't the fastest ship but it had the best braking in the solar system. It gave the Eve an extra five seconds to open a pinhole and disappear into it. The AmU fleet was similarly equipped to brake and most pulled through on the other side at the Ares wormhole.

The captain ordered everyone through the Ares wormhole, and the remnants of the AmU Mars fleet disappeared into the Ares system.

The Ares colony was located in a galaxy far, far away. Stellar maps couldn't exactly pinpoint where in relation to the Milky Way due to certain spatial distortions, but it was estimated that it was at least 3 billion light-years away. The Ares colony had been a fledgling colony on the edge for the last 22 years. There were few amenities. It was largely a science outpost aside from the cowboys. Two class M planets resided by the large red giant star. One Jupiter sized planet rotated the star at approximately the distance mercury was from Sol. It created odd weather patterns on the two Ares colonies; mostly beautiful Aurora Borealis effects over the entire surface.

Colonization had been slow largely because only AmU ships could really hold stable fields passing through; everything was centralized through the Navy. That made Ares safe for what remained of the AmU Fleet.