The Time Free Zone

 

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Introduction

    An abandoned area on the other side of our galaxy has a different aura.  Even in deep space there is a unique section of blackness. This deep blackness is caused by the competing electromagnetic/gravitational forces of two close black holes. These forces compete for ascendancy over this small black zone. Unbelievably powerful forces fight for the dark matter in this zone. Gravitational forces suck out the large matter as the two black holes engage in a boxing dance around each other. Then two competing electromagnetic fields begin to destroy any micro matter. 

The result of this constant power struggle is the total absence of all matter in this black zone. This means that there is no way for light to travel in this zone. Any light attempting to cross this zone is torn apart then destroyed utterly.  Without any ability to move from one end to another the passage of time inside this zone becomes frozen. 

Meteorites, asteroids, space junk and anything else that enters this zone completely vanishes into nothingness. 

Astronomers at Galaxy Central could not see into this dark zone of space during the search span for this part of their galaxy. With competing forces from the black holes virtually cancelling each other out there was no observable abnormalities. Even the most powerful gamma scopes merely showed up a vacant dark area.  Thus the Galaxy Central Astronomical Society designated it as just another unknown sector. But no astrophysicist could come up with a theory to explain this absence of any light travelling through the zone. this sector was added to the search and investigate ares of the galaxy survey project.

    Some astrophysicists wanted to send research spaceships to get a closer view but the space/time location was too far away from normal trade routes. This meant that a special exploratory mission would have to be funded. For one small area of the galaxy this was not possible. So for a considerable age this black zone was left alone. Finally a powerful and rich research funding organisation decided to map all the unknown areas of the galaxy.  A long term survey and mapping project was launched from Galaxy Central Astrophysics Academy.  Still the scope of the research parameters were so wide that funding for pure research would continue to be an ongoing problem. 

 Eventually some funding was provided for a complete exploration mission to special interest areas. This new funding would finally allow for a start on a new dark matter research project. But it was going to be a tedious and protracted task.

 So an artificially intelligent quantum space ship was designed for such pure research missions. The cleverest person in the galaxy was called simply The Professor. He designed and built two quantum computer spaceships. Then he gave one over to the Galaxy Central Astrophysics Academy.  this was used to map and survey the whole galaxy.

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

 Yet the prime directive had to be obeyed to the primary digit. So the Galaxy Central official appointed to oversee its activities ordered it to kept trying. When no return signal was received for a long time this official with the seniority of Observer status simply assumed that the quantum ship had finished with this black zone. It was then ordered to return to the galaxy central science base to transfer its mission results.

 No one at the Galaxy Central Astrophysics Academy noticed the gap in time that ensured. Finally the original Observer on this pure research project was reassigned. The was no immediate successor officially appointed from the Inspector-General's office.  So the quantum computer ship continued working inside its project parameters. But it had no one to report to or even contact on a regular basis. 

 

     At another place a higher spiritual being got bored and decided to make some mischief. So the next time the survey ship tried to enter the dark zone 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 scans disappeared never to return. Some self preservation program warned it in time to leave that zone.  So it threw its impulse engines into emergency reverse mode.

Suddenly it was outside this black zone. Noticing that it had lost an enormous amount of power the quantum ship began powering up from a sudden burst of star light. Needing some urgent repairs it headed back to its base. Arriving back at Galaxy Central Astrophysics base it went unnoticed in the maintenance depot . Only the other quantum computer that was always in contact with its clone detected its distress.

 

 

 To be fair to the flesh species that should have been monitoring this quantum ship there was a current military crisis of great concern to everyone. Senior officials at Galaxy Central were meeting in an emergency Galaxy Central Council session. There was a serious situation developing at the nearest galaxy border. A border patrol probe had reported that a large fleet of spaceships were approaching the demilitarized zone outside this border's force shield.

 The ignored quantum computer ship merely followed its mission debriefing program. After its repairs were finished by the robot maintenance workers it followed its last directive. So it began transferring documented survey results including all the failed sensor readings from inside the dark zone.  Being an artificially intelligent computer it had no need to talk to any of the flesh species at the Galaxy Central science base. Once the download was completed it simply went back to work in another part of the galaxy.

 

    Out in deep space the bored evil spirit being was happy with its latest mischief. Knowing that there wasn't a flesh species that did not have curiosity compulsions this spiritual being waited for the inevitable disaster to unfold. Of all things it had at its disposal unlimited time was perhaps its most powerful asset.

But there was an even more powerful being who was not happy. Immediately sensing an unwelcome change in one universe this spirit being began its own research.   Finally convinced of the consequences of another's mischief it went to its favorite part of space inside this universe. That part it had created in a small galaxy to be a time free zone. 

Sensing that its will for this black timeless zone had been ignored it passed  judgement on the mischief making spirit. For the action initiated by evil spirit that judgement was its total exclusion for eternity from that timeless zone over all the parallel universes. For the additional action of malicious damage to future of certain flesh species the judgement was for this spirit to be humiliated without even knowing it was occurring.  Both  judgments were final. 

Without delay the all powerful being began realigning events inside that small galaxy to restore his original will to this black timeless zone. Events would be allowed to take shape gradually to match its will. Existing outside time this highest of all spiritual beings was content. 

 As this spirit surveyed the damage it restored the chaotic forces it had put in place to create this time free zone.  This special time free zone zone had been infected with recent time events. The supreme being purged all time infections from that zone. Lovely deep darkness returned to this totally black zone. For this spirit being the light zones and the dark zones  were the same thing. This is why this matter free zone was so unique. Because of the absence of matter  there was no time constraints. Lastly the supreme being restored entry barriers to this time free zone. 

With its pet zone restored in that small galaxy, the all powerful being went after the vandal spirit that had tried to destroy this quiet zone. Coming across this mischievous spirit trying to hide but still gloating, the all powerful spirit told it a few home truths. Its double punishments were outlined by the all powerful being in minute detail.

  After this telling off the higher being then left the lesser spirit being trembling with fear and rage. Being powerless to overturn these punishments the evil spirit stewed inside a zone of hatred. Frustrated after all its futile attempts the lesser spirit went off to its own area to plot revenge on all flesh species.  

 

 

Given the many species that now made up the administrative community at Galaxy Central the communication of policy matters was essential. In particular problem of pronouncing names had to be 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 major role titles of Professor, Governor, High-Administrator, Inspector-General, Marshall and Admiral were followed. Added to this were specific titles like Researcher, Investigator, Commodore, Captain, Navigator, Pilot, Science Officer, Prosecutor, Judge and so on. Everyone was given a unique binary number to facilitate administrative clarity. These flesh species were paid and notified using these binary numbers.

 Over time a hierarchy unique to this galaxy evolved. The whole command structure was called Galaxy Central. This was a complex political, legal and military control bureaucracy.  Military titles started at Captain but moved up the ranks to encompass Commodore then Admiral. Non-military titles used former military ranks to specific civilian power. 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 only charged once brought back to Galaxy Central. The legal process would be handled  by a host of Prosecutors. Then Judges would determine guilt and punishment.

 

At this time/space light period at Galaxy Central the new assignments were being handed out to Investigators. Apart from the powerful Galaxy Central politicians, some of the most influential officials were the elite Investigators. These law officers would be sent to solar systems when there was big trouble with various criminal matters.  Their rank entitled them to military 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 Central administration alliance had vowed to cooperate with all Investigations authorized by Galaxy Central. Often these Investigators would find that after detailed evidence was collected, they even had to arrest officials from such troubled solar system. Such accused individuals would be removed to Galaxy Central detention facilities for processing by the Prosecutors. Only then would formal charges be laid against such influential individuals. 

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 natural water undrinkable.

 The few stubborn remnant residents of this once prosperous planet welcome its takeover by Galaxy Central. The underground maximum security prison was built below the vast polar region of this almost dead planet. After this Galaxy Central built a medium security facility above ground in the vast desert regions of that planet. Finally they built a minimum security prison farm on the equatorial belt of the prison planet. This was the only inhabitable part of the planet but even here the soil and water were toxic to most species.  Outside these three artificially supported areas the planet was a deadly mixture of toxic air and heat.

 

 

Back at Galaxy Central not everyone was happy with their new assignment. At the time of this one light period a senior Investigator looked at his assignment with total incomprehension. As was his right, he went to the Galaxy Central  office of the Inspector-General's department 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 latest vid post that I am to be placed on a research ship. Then it says I am to facilitate some Professor and his team with the completion of a vital research project. But my question is where is the case I am supposed to be investigating?"

Looking at this still young Investigator with cold eyes, a much older being of higher seniority said via the universal translator built into both the communicators they wore,

"You have ascertained your mission perfectly.  The Director of Space Research asked the Inspector-General for the secondment of his best investigation officer to this vital research project. The Inspector-General picked you! Why he did that I cannot possibly imagine. But he insisted on choosing you personally. You are to 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. 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 office. This was the most powerful section of Galaxy Central Law Department. But like all bureaucracies it did have its time servers. This older being who had being so dismissive was at the end of his career and felt it bitterly. Taking out his resentment on junior staff members was his coping mechanism. So the Investigator knew that he had to meekly accept this curt dismissal.

Leaving this unsatisfactory meeting, the Investigator made preparations for this unwanted mission. He was not happy about "wasting" time on this soft research project. If he had only known the outcome of this unusual mission he probably would have called in sick instead of boarding the research ship.  Fate was to play tricks on the Investigator's life stream. For him his career path was about to change radically.  

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Chapter 1

     The galaxy class ship that was to transport the Investigator was waiting at Galaxy Central Space Terminal. This was located on one of the moons of this overcrowded planet.  Accessed by shuttle from the surface of the central planet this was a relatively short trip. In orbit around the Galaxy Research facility base were all 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 of this galaxy ship was waiting in his command cubicle for the head of the scientific party to arrive at their first meeting. He was simply known as The Professor. This highly intelligent male had been recalled from his earlier reckless dash toward the time/space coordinates of the research area. He was not at all happy at being overruled by galaxy research officials. 

 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. To his mind 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 political trap he kept his blank expression. 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 potential of this fine ship."

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

"My ship and my crew were there at the last border wars! We fought the real enemies of this 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 actually 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 and ....yes 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 current 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 security. 

My......binary......number....is 10000111001000100001111000001111001110.

 If that is any help?

 Now can we get on with it ?

 I am a busy man! I was halfway to the time/space coordinates of the most amazing discovery in my lifetime when those idiots at science research recall my ship.  The fools. I don't need some military escort. Nothing can match my quantum ship!"

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 he 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 log 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 put back in his place at the tone of voice from this imposing Investigator.  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 signature of TIME itself. How is that for a mission? We will all be famous!....

 That is if it is true. Of course some space drones never made it back to their science stations. That is very worrying.....but of course its obvious when you think that temporal displacement is a possibility.......but what about the dancing black holes?....then there is..... "

Both of the other two occupants in the room looked at each other in total confusion. 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 "insane"  Head Scientist known as the Professor.

 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. He did check up on the Professor from his security access files using the binary number he had given. The male called the Professor was considered to be the most intelligent individual in the galaxy. So that manic was not bragging at the meeting. Still the Investigator had seen intelligent species go insane.

 

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. 

The galaxy class ship had to continually compensate for the close proximity of two large black holes. This led to the logical conclusion that they were exploring what could only be called vacant space. At the same time there were risk factors from the gravitational power of the black holes. Fed up, the Captain called for another 'progress' meeting.

Waiting for the Head Scientist to arrive for this briefing 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 all our own extensive sweeps. My ship is in constant danger from those two black holes. 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. Also you cannot be hrld responsible for an adverse  outcomes due to those black holes. I will certainly be lodging an objection when we return. Hopefully that will be soon given that we have nothing to study here."

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

"Sorry for keeping you gentlemen waiting but we just made 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 Head Scientist'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 theory. My calculations had predicted just such a zone. After all my work was constructed using the first principles of astrophysics. Following the preconditions for non existence........................................................................ What we are witnessing here and now is 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. 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. The theory was way above their ability to comprehend what was being said. They asked the Head Scientist 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 still not understanding all the words that was being thrown at them. The Head Scientist did not notice the glazed look in their eyes, so said in an excited tone of voice, 

"Some less enlightened species think that what we have here is a "white hole". This would be laughable if not for some small striking similarities. But their astrophysics is all wrong. For example there is no such thing as infinite density. Singularity is so often misunderstood by the less intelligent mind. I can tell you of some of the complete  nonsensical statement some of my so called peers have made..................................................................................................... so you can see now that this 'no time zone' existence must be caused by the two massive black holes of aspirator polarity ............as they dance...yes that's the word lower minds might understand...the dance of death for matter in this zone...a bit theatrical but probably necessary for simple minds...anyway this leads to a tug of war if you will for matter AND antimatter. As they form they are torn out of this zone by competing gravitational forces until there is simply nothing there...nothing that is.."  

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

When the Head Scientist 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 had got one of his discoveries stolen by less intelligent colleagues.  Suddenly seeing 'hidden spies' everywhere, the Head Scientist 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?"

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

"Now you must know that the Captain's question 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 Head Scientist 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 Head Scientist 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 afraid. I did not know those cold blooded species even cared about military applications."

Not happy with the Captain's use of this specism slur, the Investigator found himself defending the Head Scientist. He said in a sharply sarcastic tone of voice,

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

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

"Remember earlier he talked about that discovery and successful testing of faster than light travel. Well  some military scientist used that discovery to create a  light weapon that could destroy even armed space ships. His own father probably had to live right through the terrible Light Wars. His 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 wars" period. The Light Wars had almost wiped out whole species. This species cleansing of certain 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 Head Scientist 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 Head Scientist had been when he left 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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