Friday, August 28, 2015

Slimy Great Old One | (Pencil-Thin Mustache Parody, with apologies to Jimmy Buffett)

Now they're raisin' horrors from out of the night, spreadin' ravin' madness that no one can fight, when the stars are right, and the world's in a rage, there's monsters left and right on the cosmic stage.

 I wish I knew a slimy Great Old One, The Great Cthulhu kind, or a puke-green shoggoth that crushes its masters, while Hastur curses people who mention his name.

 Ia! I remember bein' human, not very finny, changin' to a Deep One, not Azathoth's dinny.

 Ia! I wish I knew a slimy Great Old One, then I could cause some madness too.

 Ia! It's Yuggoth, Carcosa, the Plateau of Leng, no blinkin' at the things I see.

It's because I have no eyelids, except the nictitating, and only human cultists were sacrificed while gating, Ia!

Ia! I wish I knew a slimy Great Old One, then I could cause some madness too.

But it's splat, plop, noisome flop, travelin' on a Byakhee, the zombies are a-rotten, and the brains they ate forgotten, with mighty incantations callin' Things from the sea!

Ia! Now I'm gettin' ancient, no longer have hair, I can't pass for human, and I don't really care, But I can visit Innsmouth and lurk about there, like the mortal I used to be.

That's why I wish I knew a slimy Great Old One, the Great Cthulhu kind, or a puke-green shoggoth that crushes its masters, while Hastur curses people who mention his name.

Ia! Dagon when he 'wakes will stride out of the sea, to devastate the surface and enslave humanity.

If I only knew a slimy Great Old One, then I could cause some madness too.

 Ia! Rl'yeh, now sunk beneath the waters, Ia! I could cause some madness too.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Plot Device Alert! | The Undying Star

English: An artists's concept of the 2004 occu...  In this post on the membership of the alien Nine who are One, I'll introduce a recent creation: an intelligent being in the form of a dead star, or rather, an undead one. It was once a rather massive star which started as the smaller of a binary pair, both at least 40 times as massive as Earth's sun. In its last years, it swept matter from its companion star, becoming more massive and increasing its rate of spin before finally going supernova and ejecting the companion star in the resulting explosion. The result was a neutron star, an atomic nucleus the size of a city, spinning so rapidly that it developed a powerful magnetic field, one of the most powerful in the universe - it became a magnetar. But here, I diverge from real physics to something a little...stranger... Something unique happened with the magnetic fields this monster was generating, an event that altered these fields to produce something like the memory and processors of a computer, perhaps a freak starquake did it. This corpse of a star had acquired the ability to think, with a self-organizing ability that led it to go from no intelligence at all to a massive intellect, but devoid of anything we would recognize as human. This was, after all, the collapsed core of an exploded star, not an evolved biological organism. It's initial death led to the scattering of gas clouds laced with heavy elements, especially carbon, and these clouds in time seeded the birth of new star systems. Now I venture into the realm of science fantasy... This newly born entity, the dead remains of a massive star with the ability to think, learned to travel about its home galaxy by modulating its magnetic fields, pulling itself from one region to another along that galaxy's own fields. It fed on the matter of still living stars so as to maintain its rapid spin, thus its massive magnetic fields and so preserve its ability to think and reason, to plan and act. At some point, it learned to open translation points to other galaxies. Psionic abilities, powers of the brain (Note: not the soul or spirit, not in this fictional setting.) are the result of neurological patterns of activity that harness subatomic particles responsive to them. It turned out that the very arrangements of magnetic domains of this 'undead' star could be used to do just that, tap the very same sort of particles used in the Kurtz-Dunar Field Effect. Given this being's massive magnetic fields, with the robustness of its 'brain' of neutron star matter, the power it could wield was considerable. Then it met the other eight of the soon-to-be Nine who are One. It was primarily telepathic, and served as the gestalt link of the Nine who are One, the source of the group's ability to mentally merge into a single telepathic group-organism. It did not serve as the control system, though, merely the means of the mind-merge, a sort of third-party switchboard operator. It was the King of Shards who typically served as the 'executive' control system during the merger. But in this state, the Nine could combine their efforts to annihilate nearly any enemy. That ability was responsible for the initial success of the Grand Civilization and Empire of the Nine, and its existence over eons. But at one point, disagreements over how the empire was to be ruled, and clashes between the differing psychologies of the Nine, first between the King of Shards and the Undying Star, then among the others, degenerated into increasingly petty disputes. This led to war resulting in the death of star systems, the irradiation of whole galaxies from the repast of their newly ravenous central black holes, and ultimately the fall of the empire, a struggle carried out on galactic timescales. Once a close ally of the King of Shards, Atroxxis became it's direst foe, a radiation-spewing stellar cadaver with a magnetic field powerful enough to rip an organic being apart at 1600 kilometers. They are said to have destroyed each other in a final showdown billions of years ago...but who knows? Perhaps there is some star system out there that formed from the condensation of the shell of gas ejected into space from Atroxxis' initial supernova 'death,' perhaps with life-bearing worlds... We shall see.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Plot Device Alert! | Notes on Kurtz-Dunar Field Theory

For a while, I've been looking online for credible proposals to tap ground-state vacuum energy, more popularly known in science fiction and popular science fantasy as zero-point energy, that attempting to use the Casimir effect to produce unlimited free energy. And a wondrous development it would be if it were not only credible, but real. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. Oh, those mean physicists and faceless conspirators who suppress the information... *chortle* Seriously, I couldn't find a single source proposing ways of tapping this energy that didn't also engage in conspiracy mongering as a substitute for doing serious science. So I'm going instead to use a rubber science plot device from my Gods of Terra SF universe, the precursor to a complete theory of everything, or perhaps theories of everything, Kurtz-Dunar Field Theory, a useful middle step in unifying gravity and the other known forces of nature under a single set of ideas, learning for the first time to tap the Superforce. Be warned: this is not an attempt to promote a real theory, but complete fictional fluff to fill out an equally fictional universe. It is pseudoscience brushed up with technobabble. This set of explanatory and descriptive ideas was discovered independently by Terran physicist Raoul Kurtz and Kai'Siri physical philosopher Ranan Dunar. Both discovered the key to unifying the forces of nature, and how to more effectively tap them, even to describing the requirements of the advanced-generation fusion reactors needed to do so. The energy is bountiful, but not completely free. You may get a lot of power from the process using a reactor, more than would be possible using strictly nuclear methods of generating it, but you still need to spend energy to get more of it. Simply put, the acquisition of cost-effective fusion power is almost certainly necessary for a civilization to lay the conceptual groundwork to develop the theory and to put it to use. In the setting I've created, this theory's practical use, commonly known as the Kurtz-Dunar Field Effect, allows the use of much of the setting's technology, from the apparent, and very cost effective cancelation of gravity and it's use in spacecraft and starships, to the generation and fine control of pseudo-gravity onboard those same craft when not dirtside, to the awesome ability to rip holes in the universe and travel through twists and folds in space-time to other regions of the galaxy, and with natural conduits to assist, to other galaxies millions or billions of light years away. Those conduit points, BTW, are strategically important locations, move around a bit, and many more stable points are heavily garrisoned. The Kurtz-Dunar effect uses the energy of a fusion reactor, taps the Superforce to amplify it's output, and molds the metric of space-time in very useful ways, even, and at first, especially star travel that bypasses the speed-of-light limit. I'll avoid too much explanation, as a good one is better than none, but none at all is better than one which sounds too contrived. This effect, though, makes use of submicroscopic hyperspatial wormholes in the quantum foam that permeates the universe, and perhaps the multiverse. These wormholes are grabbed and ripped open to the scale of a large vehicle, such as a spacecraft, this same field-effect acting as a shield to protect the craft from radiation and tidal effects, permitting directed travel along the length of the wormhole after the ship's navigational systems calculate entry and exit points prior to translation to hyperspace and then the translation back to 3+1 spacetime. Upon completing translation back, the wormhole is free of the field and collapses, closing, back to submicroscopic size. For travel back to the ship's origin point, a new wormhole must be selected, opened, and entered for another translation through hyperspace. This is the easiest use of the effect, to allow cost-effective, relatively quick interstellar travel, and is generally the first application to be discovered for it. Hence the need for fusion power to develop the background knowledge for the theory. The other applications require less energy to use, but require more fine-tuning of the theory's mathematics and application. These other uses are less immediately intuitive, and it is rare that any civilization develops them at an earlier stage, because of often unforeseeable subtleties in the laws governing the universe of the setting. The gravitic effects are achieved by slightly manipulating local space-time's curvature, and the effect's radius and any tidal effects this generates may be adjusted as needed. To leave a world's surface, the local gravity well is inverted, either exactly balancing the pull of gravity or actually causing the craft to rise skyward, assisted by low-acceleration thrusters, even to the point of leaving orbit, by reducing the requirements of achieving escape velocity. With the Kurtz-Dunar effect, surface to orbit travel and beyond becomes highly cost-effective. That's the currently conceived scope of this plot device. I don't want to make it even more rubber-sciencey than it is, with too many overly convenient functions and not attempting to justify them, as that would lead to TME - Too Much Explanation. As the Kai'Siri would say in their formal speech, stay strong, stay well, and brilliant as the stars, or in the original vernacular... Talotaa frang, talotta kas, talotaa tranga sulat.