The clash of the titans
The clash of the titans
“Hey, John, look at this. What do you make of it?”John walked over to the screen where the image from the Hubble telescope was projected. He looked at it for a while then turned to Pike.
“Hmmm. It doesn’t look like anything I ever saw. What do you make of it?”
“I think this must be a new phenomena. Let’s get in the rest of the crew, so they look at it, maybe the image is distorted or is something regular.”
When all scientists of the space lab were called for a meeting they showed it to them on a large screen. A silence hit the crowd as they just sat there looking and frowning until the team leader, Alfred, spoke.
“We must investigate this. That is larger than a galaxy! And it blinds out everything behind it. Does anyone here know such an object?”
“A giant black hole?” John proposed.
“That large? Well, I suppose that could be true. Any other ideas?”
“Dark matter? Dark energy?” someone tried.
“Well, does it look dark to you?” Alfred asked.
Some laughter and a blush.
“Maybe the image is just distorted by some interference,” John said.
“We should hire some telescope time first before we jump to any conclusions,” Pike added.
“The best idea so far. Let’s get priority time on Keck, this could be a new space discovery. I’ll call em so John and Pike can study this thing for some days, please report to us every day and record all you see,” Alfred said.
He went to the phone and called the Keck administration. He sent them the picture and they agreed it could be important.
“Ok, guys, tonight at ten PM until six AM. Use the real time recordings and have it wired to our line. Don’t fall asleep now, you got one week on it. After that, we got a meeting here to talk about it if it is any good,” Alfred said.
Pike and John flew to Hawaii to set the week up. Excited they pointed the telescope at the right coordinates in the sky. After some pinpointing they got it exactly right. As they were looking they thought they saw something different.
“Do you notice something too?” John asked.
“Yes. The object seems larger.”
“Yes. Let’s have our team send us the original picture from Hubble.”
They called the lab and got the picture.
“Unmistakable! It is much larger!” Pike exclaimed.
“Yes, it must have about doubled in size in only a few hours!”
Excited and a little scared Pike called the lab.
“Are you watching with us?”
“Yes,” Alfred said.
“Do you see what we see?”
“Absolutely. It is growing at a pretty fast rate. We were just talking about that here.”
“I guess you won’t be having any sleep tonight too. Can you measure how fast it is growing? Fill me in when you know the speed and stay on the line please.”
After ten minutes Alfred was back.
“You are not going to believe this. It is expanding at a rate of one million miles per second according to the computer.”
“But that is impossible,” John said. “That is faster than the speed of light!”
“I let the computer run it five times. Every time the object was expanding at the same rate. It is true.”
“Then the laws of physics have just been broken!” John said. “Are you sure it is an object at all?”
“I’m seeing what you are seeing. We are not sure about anything yet. Other than that, whatever it is expands at one million miles per second.”
“How far is it away from us?” Pike asked.
“That is a good question. Let me run some computercalculations, be right back.”
“Ninety lightyears away,” Alfred said when he came back. “This means that if this thing is going to grow for about sixteen more years at the same speed it will be here, as the expansion is five and a half times the speed of light approximately.”
“Hmmm. Let’s watch the rest of the night for any irregularities in this phenomena,” Pike said.
“Ok, if there is anything out of the ordinary, I will call you again,” Alfred said. “For now, my team and I have a lot to discuss. Don’t spread any panic by talking to others, you know how the press behaves!”
“Gotcha,” John said, “over and out.”
The rest of the night “the thing” was growing at the same rate. The two teams were hurting their brain to come up with a reasonable explanation. They talked, read up on the regular scientists and were starting to make new theories after common sense and regular science failed.
The next six days were filled with a combination of fear, excitement and wild goose chases. Books were ordered, the weirdest known theories were read by the team at the lab, they tried to explain it through the latest famous theories, like stringtheory or another big bang, but nothing came even close to what they saw happening. What they needed was to think out of the box, Alfred said, so when the week was over even science fiction books were laying around against the walls in the meeting room, as some new wallpaper.
John and Pike flew back after their time on the Keck was over. The team was already waiting for them when they entered the lab next day.
“Welcome home, universal explorers,” Alfred said.
“Thank you, chief,” Pike said.
“Glad to be back with the team,” John added.
“We are going to discuss what we saw last week and everything both teams came up with,” Alfred said. “So far the object has grown at the same rate for a week now. The team here has read all known theories by scientists of any name, but none of them could explain what is happening. We ordered books, written by less known scientists with even the craziest ideas. As you can see we also ordered science fiction books. This thing is too big to let us get selfrighteous and ignore even the slightest direction in which the answer may lie. Yes, we talked about what it could be. We got to just a few options that seem even possible, though we have no proof of any. What were your conclusions?”
“John and me came up with only three ideas. It could be that somehow a dimension is leaking into our four. The other one we thought could be true is that there is another big bang going on, although we have little faith in that one, as the growth of the subject is evenly spread. We also figured the other side of a black hole could leak things out of our universe, so why couldn’t other universes, if there are more, have the same objects?”
“Excellent,” Alfred cried, “this is why I hired you two! Our team came up with the same theories. There is one more we thought of. It could be that another universe is colliding with ours and is stronger. Take a look at the screen, we made a simulation of it.”
They looked at the simulation of another universe colliding and a white hole spreading out.
“We didn’t simulate the other two as we have no way of simulating what we cannot know of other dimensions and, as you said, we dismissed another big bang. Which of the two do you feel is most likely?” Alfred asked.
“It’s hard to pick,” John said. “I do feel that if it was a white hole, that it must be made at the instant you saw it expanding. As white holes need material inside the black hole to grow, I would say it is more likely that another universe is colliding, as the growth of the object is evenly spread and black holes don’t take in the same amount of material at all times.”
A few moments nobody said anything.
“Smart, as always,” Alfred said. “Anything to add, anyone?”
“Well then, let’s zoom in on a universal collide. Mary, you figure out a way to make different kinds of simulations on it. James, ask the smartest scientists you are familiar with if they know anything about such a thing. The rest of you, get a good night’s sleep, so you will be ready for the next day, when we will test this out. Take any book you see around here with you if you think it may hold any further clue to what the hell is going on here. And don’t say anything to anybody. We can’t have any panic yet. Or tons of press at our doorsteps. Let’s work people, humanity needs us! See you tomorrow.”
While Mary was working hard on trying to get the simulation to work according to the Keck observations of last week, James put out a note to everybody he could think of. The rest of the team did his homework. The next day they were back in the lab, staring at the simulation Mary came up with.
“The problem is that we don’t even know how the universe looks as a whole,” she said. “This simulation is based on a circular universe.”
She showed the next one.
“An elliptic universe.”
She showed the rest of them.
“A squared one. A donut. A holographic one.”
“Good work, Mary. Do we all agree that it is most likely we live in an elliptic one, based on what we just saw?”
“Yes,” they mumbled, hung up in their thoughts.
“If, of course, the assumption is correct that we are being invaded by another universe.”
“James, did you get any response from your inquiries?”
“Yes, two scientists have investigated this possibility. They formed a theory on what could happen.”
“Invite them here as soon as possible, at our expense, of course. Ok, team, who read something interesting or came up with more ideas as to what is happening?”
No one said anything.
“Hm. Then there is nothing better to do than to try and make the simulation more perfect. Of course it would help if there was anything we could do about it. Mary, work on it until you can see what the endresult will be if an elliptic universe is being penetrated by different forms of universes. The rest of the team should try to come up with ideas to help Mary. We must know what we’re up against.”
The rest of the day the team worked out ideas on how to discover what shape universe was penetrating. Most simulations didn’t look like the recordings they had of the Keck and so they were dismissed. When they had few left they were exhausted and agreed to continue the next day when the other scientists would be present.
“Welcome to our lab, I am Alfred, the team leader.”
“Thank you, I am Peter, astrophysicist, and this is Joe, mathematician, my equation producer.”
After everybody was introduced they went to the conference room to talk things over. Once Peter and Joe were up to date they wanted to see the recorded clip from Keck. Alfred speeded it up so you could see the object clearly grow constantly. The visitors then wanted to see the simulations.
“I see,” Peter said. “I must say, the elliptic universe penetrated by another elliptic universe looks the most promising. What you say Joe?”
“Yes. I am going to run the maths on it to calculate if this makes sense according to numbers.”
Alfred sent their own mathematician with him. After an hour they got back with provisional predictions.
“According to our calculations our universe is pentetrated by an object at close to one million miles per second. In sixteen years and nine months it will be here. The question is if everything is pushed away or taken in. If it is pushed away we will end up with two half universes with a large object inbetween. If it is taken in, then we will be gone within seventeen years,” Joe said.
“Mary, make the two simulations. We shall accompany you and watch it,” Alfred said.
After hours Mary had two working simulations. They spelled no good for humanity. In one, everything would fade into oblivion. In the other the laws of nature would probably be rewritten. A dark atmosphere hung around the lab.
“We must know which of the two it is. Let’s all look at the Keck movie again until we see if matter is pushed away somewhere or is simply disappearing,” Alfred said.
So they looked over and over again and finally they found a galaxy that was being taken in.
“The question now is, what should we do? Can mankind do anything about all of this?” Alfred asked.
“Not likely,” Peter said.
“So we are sitting ducks, waiting to get destroyed in some seventeen years?” John asked.
“More or less,” Peter replied. “I think it is time we talk to some authorities.”
“As much as I hate to do that, I guess we got no choice,” Alfred said. “First we contact NASA, they will know what to do next.”
In two weeks every telescope and observatory was aimed at doom in space. In four weeks everyone knew. In six weeks there was a total panic. People refusing to work, praying all day. Mad men running across the street, shouting about Armageddon and the punishment from the gods. Churches full to the brim, listening to priests with fire in their eyes talking about the end of the reign of Satan and the kingdom of God being upon us soon.
The governments of all countries agreed to make sure that all needed work should still be done, like farming and energy supply, but that all other work was to be stopped. Who had no job anymore, would help out in the needed areas. Money was no longer valid, everyone got what they needed for free. That’s what it took for mankind to work together as one. A universal disaster.
Years passed by. Nothing could stop this thing, so it seemed. Any hope of aliens being able to cope with universal phenomena had faded away. We were on our own and helpless. No matter how we prayed, wished, wanted, it was all futile. People just went numb, waiting for the end to come. The object could now be seen with the naked eye.
It all became clear, that the universe had no throbbing heart, it was just a giant machine, doing whatever is born in cold mathematics. When we are all gone, no memory remains. No proof we ever lived. All gone in impersonal oblivion, there are no gods, there is no observer. Who knows how many civilizations have faded away just like us? Why are we even born to watch this cosmic horror? Why do we have the awareness that comes with our brain to know that we are sitting ducks in a mindless cosmos?
But wait… What is this?
Suddenly there was a sound that could be heard everywhere. Like a giant creature was talking in a low voice. It sounded a bit like AUM but spoken in a manner no man could. All human devices stopped to work. Endlessly the sound went on. It was scary. AAAAUUUUMMMM, on and on. It was not loud, just deep and powerful. Hour after hour, day after day. If you covered your ears it still remained the same, it went through everything. The eastern people knew what is was and they claimed to know who was doing it. Of course the west didn’t believe it for a second, though they had no other explanation.
Then the sky was filled with light. Everywhere you looked colors of all kinds shooting in all directions. Even when you closed your eyes you saw them everywhere. It was as if the universe was inside us now, as if our senses were no longer needed. We had become one with our cosmos, and the cosmos had become one with us. We felt that something special was going to happen, we knew it.
Then it seemed like space itself was moving, the image of everything you could see was getting distorted. And those lights and the sound were still playing their part in this clash of the titans. Our universe is alive! It’s fighting for survival!
A foul stench came into the air as the final stretch was being made. Suddenly it was all over. The lights faded out, the sound stopped. And the battlefield was cleared. It was gone! Whatever happened, it worked! All machines were working again and within an hour the whole world was being informed that the threat was gone. Pure joy was spreading through humanity, like never before. For once in our history we had become one true family, a part of the cosmos, not an isolated branch of lonely individuals.
After a month the banks claimed billions in lost revenues. The big corporations did the same. The politicians granted their wishes, of course. Poverty went on a new high, animosity between people was higher than ever, competing for even lower wages on jobs they didn’t like. Hunger doubled, as the world needed to be built up again, the rich strangled more money out of poor countries and people than ever.
At least we have instated a day of remembrance. The day our universe was saved and mankind was one. Now it’s back to business as usual!