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A Quantum Experience part 2 (Beyond Imagination)

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  • Jeff Blagg
    L ainte looked at the telemetry feed from the Quiall, now silenced. It was a sombre SciStaff that gazed at the data, experienced the data. Of course, they had
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2002
      L'ainte looked at the telemetry feed from the Quiall, now silenced. It was a sombre SciStaff that gazed at the data, experienced the data. Of course, they had expected, even predicted an 97% probability of destruction, but now that the experiment was over, they were still shocked. The loss of the quiet but capable Zo'anar was hard to process. They had not actually felt her death, but caught up in that maelstrom of realities that made up Quantum Storm Eloise, they had hardly expected to. The Listhani scientists hovered around the datascreens, checking their calculations against the reality of the storm, making the adjustments which would further hone their experiments. There WERE echoes of the Inclosure in there, twisted into the mathmatics of the storm, as well as glimpses of the River. As far as L'ainte knew, this was the most complete available set of data on a Quantum storm. He had personally requested, even begged, data from Omnet Meteo, but they had just not possessed what was needed- or so they said. Perhaps now they would.
      L'ainte secured all of the terabytes of information in the recorder lattices and distributed the needed sections to his research teams. There was enough to chew on for a long time. He slid in a requisition to Fleet HQ for a new version of the Quiall, indicating changes in the autoevasion routines and the power shunt systems as per the Quiall's diagnostic feeds. He made one more contact- to Omnet Meteo- through Diplomatic Channel Eight.
      To: Administrator, Omnet Meteo
      Location Routing: Mnemen IV
      From: L'ainte, Senior Scientist
      Origination Routing: LCWS MCG Avatar, Selesthian Protectorate
      Encoding level 3B
      Greetings, Administrator
      As per our conversations of 335//10556, I am informing you of the collection of telemetry from the edges of Quantum Storm Eloise collected by our Project. Perhaps it would be of interest to Omnet Meteo. Please contact as regards interest and disposition. One note: one of our scientists, Zo'anar, was lost in the collection of this data.
      May the River Bring you Fulfillment
      Listhani Continuum
      He sent the message, closed down his displays, and floated up and out of the lab. There had to be something else to do...
      Her life was a series of paradoxes. She was almost consumed by what her human co-citizens would call pain- a ripping, tearing series of shocks that threatened to overwhelm her Balance. Yet she was at peace, more complete than ever before. She was everywhere- lightyears at a stretch, and she was nowhere at all. Her mind a battleground of swirling color and sensation, she was cut off from all else in the universe by layers and layers of fog. There was total silence in her mind- she could hear no one through the shrieking banshee wail of her surroundings. She was not exactly sure what reality was. Surely, this was her final fading, but she had expected it to be so much less dramatic. In picoseconds drawn out like hours, she waited for the end, but the roiling boil of energies swept her on to...somewhere. All she could do was hold on and ride.
      For the first few endless moments the titanic shock had almost overwhelmed her. She was not sure why it had not- the energies were totally out of her comprehension. In one small personal eddy of her mind, she theorized that the shunts might have slipped HER into a subdimension as they failed, unable to distinguish between her energy pattern and that which destroyed her. She had fought for balance, wavered at the edge, and then had been violently pulled into a vortex of experiences beyond her understanding. For waht seemed to be a terribly long time, she floated in the tide...realizing that in some way she was intact, but not complete.
      Images flashed across her battered consciousness. Parts of her being seemed stretched, as if they were still there, but were communicating to the rest of her from a great distance. At times she felt exalted and ballooned to enormous size, and at other times she was an exhausted elastic, unable to offer any resistance at all. OUCH! There it was again- a prickle as something poked at her perimeter...but her perimeter where??
      As she was finally able to process most of her basic balance problems, she began to explore some of these strange stretchings of her person. She had never experienced ANYTHING remotely like this. She could somehow trace down what almost seemed to be discontinuous paths and reach what seemed to be her end, but then it moved. Ouch again! Something was jabbing at her, and she felt an acute discomfort there. Concentrating, riding out the surges of force, color, and noise, she focused herself on that ONE tendril of her being that seemed to be connected to the discomfort. Racing down it as it was attenuated, pulled away from her center, she suddenly realized what was happening, and her mind raced until it almost failed in shock. Stunned, she searched again, and found her answer.
      She WAS IN the storm, or she WAS the storm, depending on how you looked at it. This stretched part of her was the part racing down the discharge bolts that were lightyears long. Somehow, in what other races might call a miraculous fashion (Zo'anar did not use that word of course, having no place in her Listhani mind to analyze something that science or learning could not be accounted for) her "body" was following the charged paths in part, shifting through the most powerful parts of the storm. She could see no pattern as yet to the bolts, and seemed totally unable to exert any will over it (it was simply too big and powerful), but she could feel the interaction between herself, itself, and the objects that were being interacted with at interface.
      At this very moment, a fifty-lightyear-long bolt was smacking repeatedly at a large planetoid, tearing it apart, disrupting it at an atomic level. It hurt, as if she was "kicking" or striking at it. She could analyze the composition of the dying little ball- the energy content, the breakdown of material, and the rate of destruction. Data- simple data- poured across her mind and somehow she could STILL assimilate it- it was absolutely amazing. Searching down another corridor of the storm she brushed against something else and felt resistance- a pulsating, rythmic resistance which was pleasant in some ways, annoying in others. Fascinated by the new experience, she focused again and began to realize what she was brushing against- it was a ship- a BIG ship- or at least the shields of one. Trying to peer through the sensory fog to see something outside herself, she could see its colors- colors she realized belonged to the K'tan.
      What could she do now??
      Listhani Continuum
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