Wednesday, August 12, 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.

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