Sometimes I just can’t fathom how I got here. Sometimes it feels like a dream. Sometimes I wonder if I would like to wake up…
As far as I know, I am not dreaming. Two years passed since I left the 4th Orbital and became a cadet of the Royal Moroccan Fleet Academy. One more year – and I will be a soldier, and a first person from the 4th to ever receive a military rank. I will be the first person from the 4th to kill…
How do I feel about it? Every time my Psych M&E Officer Dr. Rama asks me this question, I answer one word: fine. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dr. Rama. She is the only one I can talk to without concealing my identity. See, I am a ‘classified information’.
How do I feel about being objectified to ‘information’, ‘asset’, ‘commodity’, ‘strategic advantage’ and such? I wouldn’t necessarily spill it out to Dr. Rama, because, well, I want my psych evals to be excellent. I want to be fit for duty. But in short – it is complicated.
It has it’s moments though. Every morning I wake up and have something to look forward to. I am living my life on the edge and going places that none of my friends and family from the 4th would even dream of.
Although, if you think about it, I doubt any of them actually dream of being where I am now, on Earth Prime, doing things that no self-respecting 4th would. Things like exercise! And cooking my own meals, and making my own bed, and shopping for clothes and jewelry with the girlfriends on weekends. All of those activities are considered a complete waste of time and intellectual potential, and are better spent for resolving mathematical problems or creating computer models of complex systems, like say, collision of the black holes, or merger of the galaxies.
I used to love those assignments when I was a kid. I remember, my term project in the 6th grade: gravitational interaction of the Sagittarius Dwarf and the Milky Way galaxies. By that time, the Earth Nations declassified a lot of the information they received during the ‘diplomatic era’ with the Unkari, the aliens who showed up on Earth exactly 310 years ago, in 2275, and requested our ‘permission’ to expand their settlements to the Milky Way galaxy. That is why performing my term project, I already had information on the location of the main Unkari worlds in the Sagittarius Dwarf.
Unkari Prime, how we called it, was currently on the outskirts of their small and old galaxy, ripped and shredded by the two primal forces: gravitation of the bigger neighboring Milky Way galaxy, and the dark energy, gravitation’s functional opposite that makes the space between all matter expand.
Not so long ago we found out the real nature of the dark energy and the dark matter, something that our ancestors did not know at the time of the ‘first contact’ with the Unkari. We knew that the space consisted of so called ‘gravitational landscape’ and it is not smooth at all. What we found out not so long ago, was the mystery behind the dark energy. Over the centuries we tried everything: speculated a hypothetical ‘dark energy particle’, attempted to catch the dark energy waves, but nothing gave any results. That was until 70 years ago, the renowned 4th citizen O.V. Sudoma announced his discovery. See, the reason we cannot detect the dark energy is because it is not here. It is in the ‘yoke’ layer of our universe. Sudoma is credited with being the most influential scientist of all times postulating the “Wrinkly Egg Universe” Theory.
According to the theory, at the instance of the Big Ban, the young universe started rapidly forming into roughly a sphere (not actually a sphere in our understanding, but in terms of how the 11 dimensions folded themselves organizing all the matter and energy). Our four-dimensional reality folded itself on the circumference of this proto-universe, another four dimensions folded themselves inside the sphere, and the remainder three serve as the connecting pathways penetrating inner and outer layers of the universe, although they exist only on the string level.
The ‘egg’ analogy would be more accurate if you imagined an egg with millions of wrinkles all over it, like a crumpled sheet of paper. The ‘wrinkled egg universe’ looks something like this:
All, that we know to exist in our four-dimensional reality, is ‘encrypted’ on a two-dimensional visualization of a double-layered paper ball. Gravity attracts chunks of matter to each other allowing to form clusters. It is responsible for the clusters, superclusters, galaxies and star systems in the universe.
‘Dark energy’ is the inflating power of the ‘yoke layer’ of the universe. In a sense, our universe is being uniformly inflated, like a balloon, from the inside. Thus is the illusion of the Hubble expansion, although the effect of expansion is real.
The most fascinating part of this theory is the reason why the ‘yoke-verse’ is inflating. It goes back to the Big Bang moment, when the vacuum energy oscillated to spew equal parts of matter and anti-matter. For centuries, the scientists grappled with the mysterious missing anti-matter in the universe that we inherited. Where did it go? Well, it rapidly drained to the ‘yoke-verse’ through the tiny three-dimensional portals. This is how it would look like if you could pull the ‘yoke-verse’ out of it’s shell. You would ‘see’ the vessels penetrating both layers, with anti-matter moving inside them.
This discovery also explains the phenomenon of the ‘dark matter’, another illusive substance that we were not able to detect, but which gravitational effects we can experience, and particularly in the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, the Unkari home, where it is dozens of times stronger, then in the Milky Way. The reason why we could not detect those hypothetical WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) of dark matter, is that because it is simply not here. Dark matter is the anti-matter clustered in the ‘yoke-verse’ that interacts the same way through gravitation with the ordinary matter, but is prevented from self-annihilation, trapped in the inner layer of the universe.
What we are not sure about, is why we are observing that this expansion is accelerating in our layer. Some hypothesize, that the ‘yoke-verse’ contains the dimension of anti-time, or time that moves backward, and while the rate of anti-matter draining to the yoke-verse is considerably slowed down since the inflation period of the baby universe, we experience it as the opposite effect. Well, it also could be something entirely different. Some unknown process may be unfolding in the inner layer of the universe, and we simply have no way of accessing and studying it.
Anyway, I remember working on my 6th grade project and thinking about the time in the distant future, when the fabric of our layer of the universe will be stretched too thin, and the anti-matter will usher in causing an instant and brilliantly explosive death to all the reality as we know it.
While at it, I created a model of the past and the future collision course of the Sagittarius Dwarf and the Milky Way galaxies. It was bad news for the Unkari, as their home was slowly but surely sliding into our vicinity.
This deadly dance is mesmerizing, to say the least. Evidently, the Unkari cared about the future of their home that far ahead, and I wondered why. Adding the information of the Unkari home worlds to the simulation, I calculated that in about 5 billion years, their civilization will entirely wind up in the close neighborhood of humanity. That would matter to some future humans, if any humans are left around at all.
I wondered how this land dispute would be settled. I imagined humans and Unkari in a courtroom quibbling over the particular systems and quadrants of the galaxy. And what if at that point Unkari and humans still don’t have decent diplomatic relations? Things could go really bad for our ambitious races.
I got carried away. Dr Rama insisted that in my diary, I reflected on my feelings. So here is how I feel about these things:
A. How do I feel about the future of our universe burning to the crisp from the anti-matter reaction? Let me see. It doesn’t scare me, for sure. For one thing, I will not be around to see it. And even if I were, I am sure the reaction would be so rapid, that nobody would have time to process it. Sure, it’s kind of a pity. Humanity learned how to avoid extinction by hopping around the universe. But where do you escape the universe itself?
B. How do I feel about Unkari someday moving into our galaxy? I think I would’t mind. I hope the politicians won’t ruin everything again, but statistically speaking, they tend to ruin things mote often then not. So, doom and gloom again.
C. How do I feel to be an accessory to the military machine, against the beliefs and better judgment of my people? Being completely honest, I don’t feel good about it. Just as I don’t feel good about being a unicorn and a prized commodity. I also don’t feel good about knowing that my decision to nonetheless join the military was driven by completely selfish, self-serving motives. I wanted to get out! I wanted to see the world! I wanted to feel something! And the military was my only way out. I used the military just as shamelessly, as they are using me.
But Dr. Rama doesn’t need to know about the last one.
[To be continued]
You were reading the diary of Ensign Ebony River, that predates the events in the “Million Deaths of Lt. Mazula” mini-series. Two years later, in 2587, Ebony would be assigned to the classified mission on the home world of alien species with the designs on the Milky Way galaxy. The mission, authorized by the Earth Nations, was supposed to investigate the intelligence, according to which Unkari were testing powerful weapon in their home galaxy, Sagittarius Dwarf. The mission failed, and the entire Galactica class military vessel was obliterated. The only survivors, Lt. Mazula and En. River, struggle to stay alive, captured by the enemy. This diary reveals the mysteries of Ebony River, a citizen of an outcast human race that secluded themselves to the life of intellectualism through genetic engineering, drugs and radical robotic enhancements.
Copyright (2016) Ellie Maloney