Beyond the Veil – The Hidden Earth
By the time the Great Galaxy of Andromeda was coming around for its second pass through the Milky Way, before that final series of events that would lead to the merger of two great spirals into one stochastic elliptical galaxy of Milkomeda, we’d managed to irritate two galaxies worth of interstellar civilizations.
When the first merger began, things were already dicey for us in the Milky Way, as Earth was far too known for mucking about with the nature of Time and manipulating the history of its immediate region to its own benefit. With the establishment of Meta-Platonic Time in the 24th Century, extending all the way to the heat death of the universe and beyond, and our establishment of faster than light capabilities in the 556th Century, we had a pretty good gig going.
Though we decided to not set up any other series of Meta-Platonic Time on our interstellar colonies. . . we were able to guide them with news from the future centuries in dealing with other species.
Until those other competitor species discovered what we’d been doing inside and outside of time.
Usually we’d set out to adjust history before their occurrence, dropping special Faster Than Light Ships several centuries back and then going out and tinkering with them before they became a threat.
After three billion years we had half the galaxy under our sway and the other half wanting nothing to do with us, often trying to destroy our colonies. The Weapon of choice: targeted pulsars that dropped significant quantities of antimatter onto their neutron rich surfaces. An antimatter-neutronium interaction can be seen to the ends of the universe.
When Andromeda came cruising through the Milky Way on its first pass, we decided to move the entire solar system over into the other galaxy. Some stars were going to be exchanged anyway, and shuffling Earth’s system over there should not have been a problem. We checked the up-now to millions of centuries into the merger and it looked like smooth sailing in the other galaxy. Humanity on Earth would go on having a reality of minimized fine tuned probabilities and maximum well being, and we could leave our colonies behind to work out their own fates.
All it took was a polarizing of the magnetic field-folds around our system. Oh we had to burn off the entire Ort Cometary Cloud to give that extra nudge Sol’s orbit around the center of our Galaxy and flinging out on a perpendicular loop around the center of Andromeda’s core. After less than a million years our solar system, stripped of comets, settled into a new orbit in a different Galaxy as we watched our old stream of stars recede temporarily into the night.
But it wasn’t until then that we noticed something was horribly wrong. The centuries toward the “Heat Death” of the universe were suddenly sealed off to us. And the past down-now of the 25th century appeared to be subtly altering more and more, as if some one else was adjusting our history before we began to adjust it ourselves.
Having lost contact with our colonies back in the home galaxy, we had to set forth again and explore our neighborhood. We found many empty and useful systems, and expanded out again for five hundred light years. . . until we started to encounter the native interstellar civilizations.
They had a completely different means of experiencing and adjusting time. Instead of one endlessly manipulated reality, they had access and participation in a near infinite number of possibilities of outcomes: they lived in multiple time lines simultaneously.
So began the long fight across this swirl of alien suns. In contrast to our usual mode of operations we set up new Meta-Platonic Times on our colony worlds, and spread out in a sphere 10,000 light years in diameter, creating a zone of controlled realities.
This lasted only so long — ten million, maybe twenty million years — as the natives had weapons that could reach out of time and disrupt the Meta Platonic Time Continuum, in some cases targeting stellar mass black holes at our colonies that had Meta-Platonic Time Establishments. . . black holes we could do nothing to shift, as they were undeniable facts of the underlying reality.
As the second merger of the two galaxies approached (which would commence the fusion of the two into the new Galaxy of Milkomeda), we decided to position the sun outside the merger. . . detonating five nearby stars into false nova states; these systems were lost anyway as their colonies were destroyed by the guided black holes of the hostile native civilizations. Four of these false novae created singularities and high velocity targeted stellar mass black holes, aimed at the enemy’s black holes that had just wiped out our worlds.
We timed these to all merge simultaneously. The resulting gravity waves disturbed the orbits of our planets and set the sun into a path that would have it hurled outside the merger birthing the new larger galaxy of Milkomeda.
It took 50 million years for the sun to climb to a point over galactic north of the rapidly merging galaxies, so we would be safely outside of the blast path of gravity waves and other radiation as the two super massive black holes at the centres of the original galaxies merged catastrophically, setting off a Quasar event that would shine in all Forty Six Billion light years of the visible universe.
Unfortunately, we did not calculate all the factors of our orbit, and when the holes merged one of our futures was just on the edges of the polar jet of the resulting Quasar.
The focused gravity waves unhinged most of Meta-Platonic Time. Some Centuries, their Meta-Platonic Time Sections, were ripped out of the artificial time they inhabited. Some of these, we think, fell into the deep past. Some of them simply ceased to exist. It became incredibly difficult to access centuries we had controlled for meta-temporal periods immeasurable.
Soon after this the citizens of Earth around the year 5-billion picked up communications from the merging galaxies, some of them of formerly human origin, seeking the home system of the time meddling humans, giving out a description of the system and its sun.
The planets were already in some confusion, and we had parked a ring of former gas giant moons, out where the asteroids had once been. Mercury was long lost. Venus was cooling out beyond Saturn. Mars was habitable, warm and balmy and richly wet. We designed some new species to live there, including an evolving Ape and some slippery Cetaceans with an artificial civilization we had built them into.
Mars would be OK during the swelling of the sun. . . but what to do with the Earth?
We decided to leave it parked where it was. Using technologies developed during the reality wars with the Natives of the Andromeda Galaxy we were able to create a shell around the earth that would take the heat energy of the sun, radiation that would have crisped the earth, and used it to shore up our access to Meta-Platonic Time.
In the process, we finally lost the moon. It actually went flying off at half the speed of light.
So we hid inside the swollen sun, as our enemies and former colonies came up and out from the new galaxy looking for us. They searched the scattered stars of Milkomeda’s halo. We knew when they found Mars, but they never thought to look inside the Sun.
So under a red, twilit, smoky sky we waited. Occasionally, small sections of the field would fail, and great heat would come down to steam an ocean or bake a landscape. It was during this period that we started gathering into fortified cities. After 600 million years, a period comparable to the emergence of advanced life forms and the evolution to man, we had all moved to one last city, hundreds of kilometers across. We hoped the universe had forgotten about us. We tried to forget about the universe.
There, deep in the city of Dazeit, we waited it out.
For a billion years.
Until the sun started to shed his outer layers of unused gas and dust on the way to becoming a white dwarf star.
Access to Meta-Platonic Time never returned to its former fullness. Travels through time became spotty at best.
When the sun finally settled down into its long white dwarf phase, radiating heat from a core of diamond the size of Venus, we had to quickly huddle the planets up to the sun. For extra heat and light we, stellified the jovians by dropping artificial atom-sized black holes into them.
Thus we could sit out the long night between galaxies, and stay out of the way of races we had competed unfairly and cruelly against.
Then, just one thousand old years after we had the new solar system the way we wanted it, we had full access to Meta-Platonic Time again! Unfortunately, access to the centuries was not a linear matter within its own continuum of artificial time, so we might head for the 35678944th century and end up in the 82,000th. We even encountered some of the century sections that had broken free of Meta-Platonic Time and plunged past the down-now terminus.
And while those lost sections were in ruins, they had penetrated into real time. Primitive time. Before the establishment of Meta-Platonic Time. The age old dream had finally come true, due to accident and misadventure: a time machine traveled to a period before its own creation.
We had access to the primitive past. To the times of origin and discovery.
After much deliberation we decided to arrange all of the Past, starting with the Primitive Past so that everything would result in Dazeit. Into the ultimate Dazeit. The perfect Dazeit. Dazeit the Timeless and Eternal, with all of human history cataloged like books on a shelf in a library of time.
We started in on fixing the 20th and 21st centuries, as these were the crux locus points in the development of humanity. It had been decided by consensus that the history of these periods could not be left in a wild and natural state.
Little did we know that we would encounter resistance to our adjustments. . .
Beyond the Veil is a regularly appearing column featuring fiction, including occult, horror, science fiction, and fantasy. If you’d like to contribute a story, please contact email@example.com and we’ll be happy to review your submission.
©2009 J. Michael Glosson
Edited by Sheta Kaey