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Edge of Space

Edge of space


Estimated reading time — 8 minutes

My name is Metteo Aerni, I am a astro guidance scientist. This is my account of what I have been through the last 14 years. I used to work for the Combined European Space & Research organization, the officially do not exist as the same for the US agency. We were kind of an off shoot of CERN but less moral boundaries to worry about. Using technology that was suppressed for the sake of regional advancements we had the catalogue of technology that would make us look like a science fiction organization. We had the capabilities to build planes that could travel to and from space with lower fuel requirements and also the materials that allowed us to make them at a lower cost.

In 1998 we had a scientist by the name of Alonso who was given access to the black archives of the Vatican, he decided to make full use as this was a rarity that even with our influence could not get. Alonso was able to spend roughly a year in the archives after which the access was rescinded as it expired, the research he was looking for was there and he did mention it but what he found was what we did not expect.

For context, the Vatican had been suppressing scientific advancement for over 5 centuries. Many of the early scientific books were either burned or stored away in the black archives in fear that it would hurt their own bottom lines and reduce the ranks of believers which reduced their power over the people. There are scientific texts there that could change a lot of thinking today if ever they were released but as any authority out there they need to keep them hidden for the fear of loosing power. Alonso told some of us on what he was going to be looking for but what he found was even greater as the scientist or philosopher he found was erased from history by the old church.

Egor Lidiankine was a philosopher who lived in 1820 Russia, he was a astronomer and philosopher along with a mathematician. His past is not important, but his legacy is, he had divined (for lack of a better term) a mathematical equation that basically predicted the path our solar system took for over 100 years, though rudimentary we used other formulas from the likes of Einstein, Hawkings and others to further refine the equation. Egor also added elements that would make us doubt if the information he had was his own as there were mentions of actual black holes (or rather hell portals as he called them) in other calculations. The team that worked on the equations were scared as the paths calculated were, in a narrow degree, correct. In our path as a solar system we have brushed past a number of these black holes that were either small or no yet strong enough to pull at us.

Alonso and some other researchers decided to dig up Egor’s past and see if there was any indication as to exactly where he derived the information he used in his book. Very little or nothing was found within the records in Russia itself so the team had to re-apply for access to the Archive. Alonso was given access but for only 3 months, with the points of interest noted and areas he needed to look for Alonso dove into the archive. He came back after the 3 months with a dark look his face. According to him he found a monologue from Egor talking about his past where he mentioned that the calculations he found were recreations of a set of scrolls he had found while visiting a family in northern Russia, the mentioned scrolls were later sold to a collector. Although not a true philosopher Egor managed to learn how to calculate and also manged to master much of what he discovered. There were other such calculations but we found that the church authorities has set fire to them along with the author as to cover up his work. The collector was never mentioned and to look for such a person would be almost impossible so the confiscated book was all we had.

It took over a year to chart an astral path we would be taking as a solar system after which we added elements such as asteroids and such to get a better understanding what we will be facing, after much debate we tried to add an additional path of black holes and to our darkest fear we were going to be very close to one in roughly 2 years’ time. What the size of that black would be was hard to say but the calculations only mention that we will be close. Our superiors were notified and they decided to put together an expedition using a probe before deciding anything further, the probe would be something far more advanced than what other countries launch for public showing. The technology we had at our disposal was decades ahead as it was supplemented by technology not from this world.

Building the probe took a year or so and were ready to launch, the technology within had to be acclimated to the cold in space as we could not afford to heat the probe to keep some of the tech within warm for function. The probe was powered by a cold fusion module that was created by a German scientist in the late 1970’s and perfected by us in the late 1990’s so power wise we had a battery that would last our probe for roughly 30 years without fusion renewal. Other preparations were taking place at the same time as if needed a team would have to sent after to further the study, even though expedition to a black hole was basically suicide we needed to further the information lest we loose this valuable chance.

In May of 2003 the time came to send the probe to its destined place in space and history, loaded with probes and other such instruments all tests were performed and it had also spent some time in space to check for any issues that may arise. Using the US designed Shadow Bird XVR3 we saw the launch of the probe and followed its release in space to the calculated trajectory, I was the one to calculate the expected path. Using the advanced AI we had on hand I was able to get a path to the location of the Black Hole that according to the space telescopes did not exist yet. Once on the path it was a waiting game as the speed we had set it was near light speed and would take roughly 7 years to reach, yes the black hole was that close according to Egor’s calculations.

Monitoring the communications the teams had to take shifts as they came in bursts and contained information that was changing understandings of how space works.

Time is not relative but a measure of distance that can be warped and destroyed in space, we hold on to with our lives and use to measure our existence. Out there it hold not value as we later came to understand and now fear that what we understand of time is just a flake of dust on the surface of what it really means.

After roughly 3 years the probe sent a communication stating that it has arrived at its destination, the communications it sent were nothing short of a revelation. The pictures sent were even more scarier as it showed a vast black mass, nothing like what many scientists conjured in their collective imaginations. There were no fiery rings that encircled the mass nor was it round but more like a misaligned circle. The gravity that was expected to be around it was strong but not as, again, expected. It was lighter and the light that was supposed to warp around it was instead being absorbed. The Pictures may be clear in some aspects but they did not show everything. The time to travel was not what was we had calculated so it changed how we had to adjust our path calculations, our entire team had to redo many equations and at each turn had to discard what we thought of how time existed in space.

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Our superiors made the decision to send a small team as this is the only way we could further information the probe was sending. After 2 months from the confirmed arrival message it stopped and this only emphasized the need to send a team. We were not happy with this decision but it was what was needed, the team had to be people who had no connections and would not be missed, this way there would not be any unwanted questions should they not make it back. The ship to use is the space shuttle Shadow Bird XVR10 that is used to travel to the moon base, it was capable of making the journey but the only thing we had not discovered was artificial gravity so the astronauts had to wear magnetic boots to walk around inside.

It took only 5 months to make the necessary preparations as they had already begun before the launch of the probe, it was now 4 years and 5 months so time was ticking for us. If we were correct and the gravitational calculations were to be believed then in roughly 46 years we could be heading to that exact black hole.

The launch day came and we watched the team mount the shuttle and take off, it was like watching a friend take a flight to another country, the Shadow Bird did not need a commercial space launch as it was powered by the same, but larger, fusion core. It took them roughly 4 hours to reach safe space to them speed up to near light speeds.

We waited, the transmissions were as steady as the probe and given that they had better imaging instruments the images sent were amazing to behold.

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2 and a half years later we finally got the transmission confirming arrival, they were much further away than the probe so the earlier time. The information broadcasted was immense and I was shown images that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand, the size of this thing was colossal. It looked like it was never ending, it felt like we found the end of space. The astrophysicist that was part of the team talked about how space seemed to flow around the black hole, more like it was absorbing space around it also. The instruments kept coming back with negative results as probe signals were just being absorbed and nothing seemed to work. The transmissions had to be boosted over 10 times the power required to send them through or they just simply bounce back. The time noticed also that the ship ended up creating a form of artificial gravity as objects that normally float would fall like they would on earth and the closer they got the gravity would get stronger.

Our superiors sent order to make sure the distance was maintained and they should not get closer, the team stated that they were but it seemed that the field of influence was expanding and that they were being forced to move further and further away. Still the results were the same and now we were sent news that 2 of the team members had died, they died from old age from the examinations taken by the resident doctor. She mentioned that their cells were aging much faster than in the time spent within the area of Influence of the Black hold the team had aged by 20 years and were requesting to return.

The order for a return was sent without hesitation but it seemed that it was too late already as the last transmission sent was as follows (this is best I can do to remember verbatim);
To the team on Earth, do not send another crew or probe to study this Black Hole. It is like a living thing and tries to focus it energy on anything it senses. We found out too late, whatever creature or god this thing is we cannot say but we saw something moving under the surface when looking through footage taken. There is something here that wants us, time has been accelerated from what we can see, the instruments tick away like normal but in reality it is like river bursting its dam. Please stop…

3 days after than communication the signal died. The time take to receive made it look like the distance to the black hole has reduced considerably and from what I could calculate it is no more than a 20 years away from us.

Credit: jiltedone

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