Perpendicular Push


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    Perpendicular Push

    Post by Trevlac on Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:50 am

    The room shook with dancing and the throwing of long white coats. "Scientific breakthrough!" many were shouting. "The beast of relativity and causality tamed at last!" layman onlookers cried. Sixty-eight scientists from different countries had gathered in Greenwich, in the small town square, and broadcast live to the world that the great Albert Einstein had finally been thwarted. Dozens of languages were being spoken at once, but in the chaos everyone made out the words "Faster than light travel". They had finally reached hyperspace. It's my job as the storyteller to let you know what happens from here on out. I'll let the scientists publish their peer reviewed papers on why it works. Just assume it works under the Law of IJD.

    Fast-forward to two years later. Dr. Rikolai Mendelov is head of the R&D department at the newly-constructed I.J.D. lab. The first experiment was to send send a payload of lead to an exact location in the universe where the radiation level is constant for that last 400,000 years, then transport it back once the estimated time for the lead's radiation level had been reached. If they truly had perfected Hyperspace travel, then the lead should be the same irradiated level.

    But woe was the fate of the scientists that day. The math predicted that the payload should return within six minutes. However it took nine months. The project had actually been scrapped altogether but whennthe IJD lab (now being used to chart distant-space gamma ray bursts) suddenly had two tons of irradiated lead arrive in the center podium, everyone shit themselves. The scientists naturally assumed someone had set the controls incorrectly, causing the lead to return in the future instead of the present.

    So of course, they created an exploration team. Six people were to get into a pod-like craft and transported to Alpha Centauri. Specifically, a locally charted planet that their space suits could handle. If the calculations from the lead were any clear indication of time, the experiment should take only about nine days with Hyperspace turbulence factored in, (192 times shorter than traveling at light speed). So the four scientists and two military personnel strapped themselves in for a glorious trip where no three dimensional being had gone before--the fourth dimension of space.

    But the pod never returned. Not in those scientists' lifetimes. The history books became digitalized as technology improved but faster-than-light travel projects were now entirely scrapped. The decades crept on, the centuries, and finally over eight and a half centuries after the failed project and the partial migration of humanity from Earth to Luna and Mars, a small six-man space pod arrived in the middle of a laboratory. The current Terra-dwelling scientists had used this spot to build a new lab since it had historical significance. They never expected one day to stare a worm hole down the throat and see a vehicle emerge from the other side.

    After that much time in a vacuum near radiation, all of the remains of the people were highly irradiated. The scientists inspected them with care and used a carbon-dating method. Each person was 864 (plus or minus 34) years old. The results baffled them. The curious scientists went through the pre-mission log that was kept preserved in the pod and traced it to ancient digital records that indeed placed the mission at 864 years in the past. The results shocked them. They drew one conclusion: their ancestors had achieved Hyperspace navigation but that it was (they crunched the numbers) 40 times slower than Space navigation when mapped to Alpha Centauri from the Milky Way.

    The world was told of this new history. But children weren't interested in ancient civilizations and their failed foolishness. Commoners, Lunites, and Martians didn't care what Terranauts did 800 years ago and certainly if it didn't help them obtain more natural deposits of Helium-3. So the team of scientists merely added a footnote in a history text book and moved on. Solemnly reminding themselves that some scientific breakthroughs are better left unused. Hyperspace was more space to traverse and therefore slower.


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