The Time Free Zone

 

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Introduction

    Out in space on the other side of our galaxy there is a unique section of blackness. It is caused by the merging forces of two close black holes. Their astromagnetic/gravitational forces are competing for ascendancy. As unbelievably powerful gravitational forces fight for the dark matter in this zone the astromagnetic fields begin to destroy any micro matter. The result of a certain astral stalemate is the total absence of matter. So there is no way for light to travel in this zone. Any light attempting to cross this zone is torn apart then whisked away. With any ability to move from one end to another impossible the passage of time inside this zone becomes unattainable. Meteorites, asteroids, space junk and anything else that enters this zone is destroy utterly. 

Astronomers near the border of our galaxy could not see into this section of space during their search span. Even the most powerful space telescopes merely showed that it was free of any light source, Strangely it was also free of any reflective surface. This was designated as a light free sector. But no scientist could come up with a theory to explain this anomaly.

    They tried sending spaceships to get a closer view but this space location was too far away from normal routes. This meant that a special exploratory mission would have to be funded. So for a considerable age this section was left alone. Finally a powerful and rich civilization decided to map all the unknown areas of their galaxy.  A long term survey and mapping project was launched from galaxy central science academy.  Still the scope was so enormous that funding would be an ongoing problem. 

 Now some funding was provided for a complete exploration mission to special interest areas would supplement this long range effort. But it was going to be tedious and protracted. So a artificially intelligent robot exploration space ship was designed for this mission.

    The galaxy's robot exploration computer program was loaded up into it only one of two quantum computer in existence. The prime directive of this artificially intelligent computer was to direct this exploration of all the space not known to be inhabited. This involved a mission so drawn out that its original proposers moved on to other missions. Largely forgotten, the survey ship continued on with its mission. There was only one problem. No matter how hard it tried the robot ship could not enter one section of space in its exploratory mission.

 Yet the prime directive had to be obeyed to the digit. So the artificially intelligent control computer ordered it to kept trying. When no return signal was received for a long time the quantum control computer assumed that the survey ship had finished. It would then return to the galaxy central science base to give its mission results. No one noticed the gap in time that ensured. Finally the original project director was reassigned. No successor was appointed. So the quantum computer controlling the project had no one to report to or even contact. Then everyone else at the science base forgot about this survey project.

    This would have continued until the survey ship was destroyed by unseen forces out in deep space. But a higher being got bored and decided to make some mischief. So the next time the survey ship tried to enter the darkest of all sections of the galaxy space it was helped across an unseen boundary shield. Suddenly the survey ship was surrounded by absolute darkness. Its sensors recorded the presence of an inert mass of dark matter. Then nothing. It could not do any recording as all its signals disappeared never to return. The only sound it detected was some sort of maniacal laughter.  

Then it was outside this section of space powering up from a sudden burst of star light into its batteries. Its arrival back at the science base control went unnoticed except by the quantum computer that was its control center. Everyone else were distracted by the emergency at the galaxy's border. A border patrol; probe had reported that a large fleet was approaching the demilitarized zone outside the border force shield.

 The quantum computer merely followed its program .

Documenting all the survey results including all the sensor readings inside the ultra dark zone. Then it sent the survey ship off to another section of the galaxy. Being an artificially intelligent computer it had no need of the flesh species at the Galaxy central science base. Contemptuous of their fear at a possible invasion that may never happen it busied itself by downloading all the scientific data it could extract from the science base mainframe computers. More intelligent than any computer system at the science base it could get access into any program files. 

    Out in deep space the laughter continued. But there was an even more powerful being who was not laughing. It went to its favorite part of space. That part it had created to be a time free zone. Seeing immediately that its will had been ignored by that wicked action of one of its higher beings judgement is passed. For the action that had defiled its favorite part of this galaxy the judgement was exclusion for eternity from that zone of all the universes created at that time. Even the parallel universes would have this ban on entry for this zone. For the action of malicious damage the judgement was to be humiliated without even knowing it was occurring.  

Already the all powerful being was realigning events to restore his original plan to this universe. Events would take longer to match his final will but this being existed outside time. This is what had made this zone so peaceful. It was like the supreme being was back before he had created all his multiple universes. It had been lonely back then but it certainly had been peaceful.

 As this spirit surveyed the damage it restored the organised chaos it had put in place to create this time free zone.  Its special time free zone zone had been infected with recent time events. It purged all infections that zone. Lovely ever deep darkness returned in all its blackness. For this spirit being light and dark were the same thing but deep dark reminded it of more peaceful settings. Lastly the supreme being restored entry barriers to this time free zone. 

With its pet zone restored in that universe, the all powerful being went after the vandal spirit that had tried to destroy this quiet zone. Coming across the spirit trying to hide but still laughing, the all powerful spirit told it a few home truths. Its punishments outlined the all powerful being then left this spirit trembling with fear and rage. The punishment imposed was to ban this being from every entering any time free zone in any of the multi-universes.  No matter how hard it tried it could not get into this zone ever again in this galaxy in this universe. Going to an alternative universe would make not the slightest bit of difference. Impotence is not something this higher being could accept. It would spend eternity having this unique exclusion eating away at its confidence. Lurking outside its understanding was the even more severe punishment that waited to finally break down the arrogance of this spirit.

But not willing to meekly accepted its punishment the spirit being ponder on ways around its ban. Then it saw a devious way to breach the time extinction barriers without directly flouting that ban. It would make use of the inferior beings that occupied the galaxy. As a higher being  it was able to manipulate all flesh species. With little effort it got into the space research computers at Galaxy Central. There it manipulated the prime directive of the quantum computer. Finally it had the galaxy space research center finally received funding to send research ships to investigate the cause of the only light free zone in their galaxy.

Only the most highly intelligent scientist would have an ego big enough to lead such an impossible research project. The most intelligent individual in the galaxy built his own quantum computer ship to ferry him to this anomaly. Other research ships were left to follow in his wake.

 

 

Given the many species that now made up the community at Galaxy Central the problem of pronouncing names was resolved by only ever using titles. Even the universal translator programs had great difficult getting the pronunciation nuisances right. Many insults were avoided by falling back on standard titles. The titles of Professor, Governor, Administrator were added to specific interest jobs. Over time a hierarchy unique to Galaxy Central evolved. Military titles started at Captain but moved up to encompass Commodore then Admiral. Non-military titles used former military ranks to specific the ones who were in charge. So The Inspector-General was in charge of all law investigations. This person sent out Investigators who were meant to find evidence of wrong doing. The perpetrators would be arrested but charged back at Galaxy Central by a host of Prosecutors. Then Judges would determine guilt.

At Galaxy Central the assignments were being handed out to Investigators. Given names were not used here. With over one billion solar systems with life forms there was too much to learn. So the galaxy wide translators defaulted to a being's title. Leaders were just called by their official titles. Ranks were used for military personnel. Civilians were called by their job title. Those who made food were called Food Technicians. Those who served the food to others were called simply Servers. Transport workers had their own internal job titles.

Apart from the powerful galaxy politicians, some of the most influential officials were the Investigators. These would be sent to solar systems when there was big trouble with various criminal matters.  Their rank entitled them to protection, so they would be transported on a galaxy space warship. The marines on that ship would be under their direct control. All solar system governments that were part of the galaxy wide federation had vowed to cooperate with all Investigations authorized by Galaxy Central. Often these Investigators would find that after detailed evidence was collected, they had to arrest officials from a solar system. Such accused individuals would be removed to Galaxy Central detention facilities for processing. 

Trials were held in large court cubicles inside the second most secure building at Galaxy Central. Those convicted of serious crimes would be sent to the only prison planet in the galaxy. this planet had been deserted by most of its population after centuries of mining had rendered its soil infertile and its water undrinkable. The few stubborn remnants of this once prosperous plant welcome its takeover by Galaxy Central. they built an underground maximum security prison below the vast polar region of this almost dead planet. then they built a medium security facility above ground in the vast desrt regions of that planet. Finally they built a minimum security prison farm on the equatorial belt of this planet. This was the only inhabitable part of the planet but even here the soil and water were toxic to most species.  

On this one day a senior Investigator looked at his assignment with total incomprehension. As was his right, he went to the Galaxy Central  Inspector-General's office to clarify his mission. Opening up with a bit of flattery the Investigator asked,

"Is there some mistake with my latest assignment? It says in my hologram that I am to be placed on a research ship. Then it says I am to facilitate some intellectual with a vital research project work. But my question is, where is the case I am supposed to investigates?"

Looking at this still young Investigator with cold eyes, a much older being said via the translator,

"You have ascertained your mission perfectly.  The Director of Space Research asked the Inspector-General to second his best investigation officer to this vital research project. The Inspector-General picked you for what reason I cannot possibly imagine. But he insisted, against much protestations by me, on you personally. You will watch these scientist very carefully. they are all law breakers in my opinion. Any transgression of galaxy law however minor you are to report to the personal assistant of the Inspector-General.  For someone as young as you this is a great honor. Now get out of my office. You are to report at once to the Galaxy Central Scientific Research building. Dismissed."

There was a very strict code of obedience and discipline inside the Investigator-General's  section of Galaxy Central Law Department. So the investigator had to accept this curt dismissal.

Leaving this unsatisfactory meeting, the young Investigator made preparations for his unwanted mission. He was not happy about "wasting" time on soft research projects. If he had only known the outcome of this unusual mission. The Investigator's life was about to change radically.  

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Chapter 1

The galaxy class ship that was to transport the Investigator to the research facility  was waiting at Galaxy Central Space Terminal. This was located on one of its moons. Accessed by shuttle from the surface of the central planet this was a relatively short trip. Orbiting around the Galaxy Research facility base were the scientific ships. These were somewhat bigger than the military ship but much slower. Herding such a fleet of 'bulky space junk', as they were referred to by the captain of the galaxy class ship,  was going to make it a tedious journey. Military ships loved to travel at the limits of their engines potential. Scientists take a much more sedate attitude to space travel. 

The Investigator was also used to quick trips to other solar systems. This was going to be a slow trip to the nothingness of space. Examining a space drone imaging video of their destination he became certain that his superiors had gone insane. As far as he could see there was nothing there to examine. Yet his preflight brief was headed

                               MOST           TOP           SECRET !

The Captain was waiting in his command cubicle for the head of the scientific party to arrive at their first meeting. As the Captain caught up on his copy of the mission brief, he began to shake his head. The Investigator could guess that this wizened space warrior was perplexed. Yet the Investigator knew he would not be able to explain away the absurdity of wasting a galaxy class battle ship on such civilian nonsense.  So he said in a sympathetic tone of voice,

"I know what you are thinking. When I read it I thought it was a sick joke."

The Captain looked at this much younger being with doubt in his eyes. Suspecting some galaxy central trap he kept a blank expression in place. Then he read the contempt that the Investigator was directing to his own copy of this unbelievable mission brief. So he joined in with equal contempt when he said,

"In all my years as captain, too many to relate I can assure you, I have never seen such a pointless mission brief. Did you scan the space drone footage? There is nothing there? A total waste of my time my crew's abilities not to mention the scope of this fine ship."

All the Investigator could add to this rant was a nodding of his head. The Captain was now in full voice as he said in outrage at this wasteful use of the military hardware he had at his command. He said in disgust,

"My ship and my crew were at the border wars! We fought the real enemies of the galaxy. What is our reward for risking our lives to save our families from invasion? A baby sitting job for a bunch of star gazers. Can you tell me if that makes any sense to you because it looks like madness to me."

Again the Investigator could do little more than shake his head as he shared in the disbelief of this battle hardened veteran. They were both reflecting on what they could have done wrong to merit such a mission, when a new voice broke into their fuming reflections.

"Perhaps I can explain to you both the real importance of this mission. Will you listen as I outline its vital significance to both the defense of our galaxy's way of life even to our freedom?"

Still angry, the Captain spun around to fix this intruder with a cold stare. He spoke in a heightened tone of voice,

"Just who do you think you are coming into this top secret meeting? Who let you past my security? I will have your rank and binary number before the talk with you."

The new entrant did not quail before the obvious temper of the Captain. Instead he said,

"Well my rank is Head Scientist of this mission. I have an up link hologram from you calling me to attend your 'top secret mission'. That means that you let me past your own security.My......binary......number....is 10000111001000100001111000001111001110.

 If that is any help?

 Now can we get on with it ?

 I am a busy man!"

The arrogance of this last statement took the breath out of any retort from the Captain. The Investigator had a better sense of humor so had to refrain from laughing out loud.  Instead he used sarcasm to get the better of this third member of their leadership group. He said in a depreciating tone of voice,

"Can I just call you 10000 or would you prefer your title. I am just called the Investigator. I would have to check my own credentials to give you my binary code number. If you can make any sense of our mission, I am sure we would appreciate your input."

The Head Scientist was a bit put back at the tone of voice he was hearing. Internally he was shocked that neither of these two top leaders had heard of him. After coming from the science team meeting where everyone was in awe of his every word, it was a real check on his ego.  So he said in a pained tone of voice,

"I am considered to be the best scientist in the galaxy. Believe me when I say that I would not be wasting my time on nonsense. But your friend was right, we are travelling across the galaxy to study a zone of nothing. And I mean that literally. This zone is reported to have NOTHING in the extreme sense of that term. No light, no formed matter of any kind, no anti-matter that can be detected and, most amazingly of all, no limits of TIME itself. How is that for a mission? We will all be famous!.... That is if it is true. Of course the space drones never made it back to their science stations. That is very worrying.....but of course obvious when you think that temporal displacement is a possibility......."

Both of the other occupants in the room looked at each other as the Professor seemed to be having a debate with himself having seemingly forgotten that they were in the room. Together the captain and the Investigator mouthed the words

"He.....is.....insane!" 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 2

After such a dramatic meeting the actual trip was uneventful. The Captain and Investigator bonded together due to their shared reservations about the mission. The science ships' crews largely kept to themselves. After that first disastrous meeting there were no more sessions with the super bright leader of the science staff.

 The guarding of civilian ships obviously grated with the Captain whose veteran status made it even harder to bear. As for the Investigator, he was  still totally in the dark about his own role on this mission. Granted he did outrank the Captain, but he was a guest on his ship. Nothing about his orders made any sense.

 

 

Finally they arrived at their destination.

To say that the visual scanning of the area to be studied was disappointing would not be  overstating the case. As far as the Investigator could see they were was nothing out there to justify such a large scale operation.  Visuals from the nano drones showed an area devoid of any observable matter. Scans from the galaxy ship failed to indicate even any primitive life forms. this led to the logical conclusion that they were exploring what could only be called dead space. Fed up, the Captain called for another 'progress' meeting.

Waiting for the Professor to arrive for this briefing before deployment of the even more nano drones the Captain said in a disgusted tone of voice,

"We travel half way across the galaxy to study what exactly? It looks like nothing to me. Our own scans have nothing to show from our own extensive sweeps. What is the point of all of this Investigator?"

The Investigator was nonplussed about how to respond. Finally he said in a harsh tone of voice,

"I could not agree with you more Captain. This is a total waste of time. Yours and mine. I will certainly be lodging an objection when we return. Hopefully that will be which should be soon given we have nothing to study here."

At this point in their mutual moan fest, the Professor entered the meeting room. He said in a hearty tone of voice,

"Sorry for keeping you gentlemen waiting but we just had yet another amazing discovery. This place is a full of wonders."

Neither the Captain nor the Investigator had changed their first impression of the Professor. Their faces now said it all. But the Professor's next words shocked them out of their contempt. He said in an excited tone of voice,

"Oh yes this latest discovery just reinforces my earlier research. I have constructed from first principles the preconditions for non existence. We are witnessing here and now the greatest discovery in astrophysics since the first test of faster than light travel. I can safely say that our findings will completely change astrophysics modern theory. I have actually never seen the like in all my many years of research. This has the potential to give the galaxy an unlimited source of power. If we can only learn how to harness what we have just discovered."

Both the Captain and the Investigator felt they had been thrown into something way over their heads. They asked the Professor to slow down and keep any further  explanation simple. As the Professor tried to "simplify it for the non-academic mind", they realized that they were not understanding a word that was being said to them. The Professor did not notice the glazed look in their eyes, so said in an excited tone of voice, 

"...... so you can see now that this 'no time zone' existence must be caused by the two massive black holes at the opposite poles of the ...." 

But his audience of two tuned him out as they sought a way to hold on to some dignity. 

When the Professor stopped to get a breath, the Investigator seized his chance by saying in a mock tone of understanding and comprehension,

"Fascinating stuff Professor. Simply fascinating! But I would not say anymore until you publish your findings. You don't want a 'non academic mind' to inadvertently give your competing Astrophysicists a clue to your discovery now do you?"

This proved to be a very astute ploy on the part of the Investigator. Too many times than he carried to assimilate into a working predictive model the Professor get one of his discoveries stolen by less intelligent colleagues.  Suddenly seeing 'hidden spies' everywhere, the Professor did the zip move across his mouth. 

Giving the Investigator a look of pure gratitude the Captain said in an official tone of voice

"Are their any military applications for this new discovery of yours Professor?"

A look of shock and revulsion played across the intelligent features of the Professor's face. Suddenly he looked like a frightened adolescent. Once again the Investigator saved the meeting by interjecting before the Professor said anymore. In a conciliatory tone of voice he said,

"Now Professor you know it will be the first question that Galaxy Central will want answered after your publication of this wonderful new discovery. The Captain is just warning you that less scrupulous individuals may also think there is a military application. It is his job to safeguard the galaxy's cyber security."

Mollified, the Professor took a deep breath before answering in a purely icy tone of voice,

"I suppose there may be some way it could be used offensively. I must admit that I had not thought about that area of application. I will give your question some serious thought."

With that the Professor walked out of the meeting with a deflated look on his face.

The Captain turned to the Investigator and shrugged his shoulders. He said in a naive but honest tone of voice,

"What did I say to make him so angry. I did not know those cold blooded species even got that angry."

Not happy with the Captain's reference to species in such a derogatory manner, the Investigator found himself defending the Professor. He said in a sharply sarcastic tone of voice,

 "Probably recalled what the military did with that discovery he mentioned...."

Seeing the total look of incomprehension on the Captain's face he continued in a less sharp tone,

"Remember earlier he talked about that discovery and successful testing of faster than light travel. Well  some evil intelligence used that to create a  light weapon that could destroy even armed space ships. His father probably had to live right through the Light Wars. Their species was right in the firing line if memory serves. You and I are too young to have lived in the galaxy at that terrible time."

The Captain now recalled his galaxy history lessons or at least the part about the "light war" battles. The Light Wars had almost wiped out whole species. The species cleansing of solar systems was a horrible war crime that had only been stopped by the development of galaxy class star ships.   Galaxy central had sent brave crews out to hunt down these war criminals. With a new more powerful shield system that blocked out light weapons, these galaxy ships had won a bitter struggle.  Still that was a long time ago. Now that the galaxy space engineers had designed and built universe class star ships such weapons were no threat to any solar system. 

The Captain showed his insensitivity by saying in a dismissive tone of voice,

"The Professor will just have to get over those bitter memories. We have all lost loved ones in battle. This is no playground for geeks out there near the border systems."

Nodding to show he shared some of the Captain's sentiments, the Investigator closed out the meeting by saying in a warning tone of voice,

"Yes, I agree we cannot live in the past. However if this discovery does result in a new type of offensive weaponry then maybe even our universe class ships may be vulnerable to destruction. Have you thought of that future horror?"

Clearly from the look on his face the Captain had not. He suddenly became as thoughtful as the Professor had been on leaving their meeting. If universe class ships could be destroyed then the whole security of the galaxy may be at risk. Now determined to impose a total security blackout on any news about this discovery, the Captain went off to brief his cyber security team.

 

 

  

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Chapter 21 

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