Phase Phantoms

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Offline Kedamono

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Phase Phantoms
« on: July 14, 2018, 10:53:30 PM »
Jill Preisner pulled herself along the companionway to the forward rec cabin. It's where Tim Shaunessy liked to hang out when navigating though Phase Space. He could do his work anywhere in the ship, but Forward Rec was his domain when they were here. She stop short of the hatch, prepping herself for her talk with Tim. Tim was a Phase Navigator, and as such, saw things differently than others. Very differently. From her talks with other navigators, most have some form of synesthesia, hearing colors, seeing sounds, and they used them to help make sense of the weirdness outside the warp bubble.

Andrew Keeler, her first mate on The City of Blaufjellby, had a mild form of this, he said that he could hear UV light if it shone some on him. Whether that was true or not, he was the other Phase Navigator on the ship. But Tim... Tim was special. How she got him on her ship... she would never know. Maybe her grandmother, Angie Preisner, was involved. Tim wouldn't say.

She opened the hatch and floated in. Tim was in the center of the room, gesturing at unseen menus and controls, only visible through his DNI unit. "Hi Tim, how's it going?"

"Hello" he said. He gestured and then nodded his head, and very deliberately turned to look at her. "I am fine."

Jill knew he had a helper app that would remind him to use various social cues. Otherwise, he wouldn't have said anything. Nodding, she smiled and said, "So, we're on track for Neu Bayern?" She wanted to ask more, but you didn't overload Tim with lots of questions that didn't interest him.

"Yes," he said, gesturing, "we will be dropping to Real Space in 2 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes, and 35 seconds... mark." He then smiled. He loved his precision.

"Good," she replied. "Seen anything interesting? Seen any Phase Phantoms?"

He genuinely smiled at that. "No, but I keep looking for them. Otherwise, it is just updating the charts. Something happened out there... Could you...?"

Phase Space gave her a headache, but if he found something interesting, she would oblige. She blinked, brought up a menu, then switch her visual field to the Phase View. And regretted it.

It's hard to describe what Phase Space looked like in the broad spectrum view, from X-Ray to microwave frequencies. Ahead was a rainbow ring that was dotted with... blue stars. Only... they weren't exactly stars. In visible light, they looked like points of light. In the broad spectrum, they were twisting tendrils of light and gas and other things. Twisting in ways they shouldn't be able to twist. Space/time was odd in the Phaseverse, non-euclidian someone told her. That didn't help much.

On occasion a star would reach near edge of the rainbow and then scream on past through a smeared universe to the sides of the ship, only to appear shifted red behind a reverse rainbow. And scream was the right word, as it produced radio noise as it went past that sounded very much like a scream of utter horror.

Tim, at home in the nightmare of chaos, highlighted a cluster of "stars" and zoomed in on them. They looked like the twisting horrors she would normally expect them to look like. Tim spoke, "They have radically changed from the last time we took this route." He brought up an image and placed it next to the stars. "Here, their, for the want of a better word, 'tentacles' were separate and branching outward. But here..."

"They're linked together," whispered Jill. She could tell that they were the same cluster, but the tendrils, the "tentacles", were now intertwined with each other. Intertwined in a way that hurt to look at."What's going on?"

"I do not know," he replied, "and that is what's so interesting. I am recording them for later study and submission to the Navigation Authority." He zoomed back out. "We will be safely far away from them, but still, I would like to be here when they pass us. I want to hear them." He looked at her. "My shift ends in three hours, and they will pass in eight."

Looking at them in the sky, Jill nodded her head. "I'll have Andy spell you for... hmm, four hours, then you can come back and properly record them." She looked at him and smiled, and he smiled back. "We'll juggle things so you're on deck to take us back to Real Space. But those are definitely something we need to tell others."

He nodded, then said, "I will let you know if anything changes. I may have found my Phase Phantoms..."
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 03:22:25 PM by Kedamono »

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Offline wasahbe

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Re: Phase Phantoms
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2018, 05:22:14 AM »
Wow.  What happens next?  This is interesting, to say the least.
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced. 
--Gehm's corollary to Clark's Third Law

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Offline Kedamono

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Re: Phase Phantoms
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2018, 11:40:30 AM »
It's a little piece of flash fiction, meant more to spark your imaginations, than anything else. Where can it go? It can go as far as your imagination will take it.