Thursday, October 29, 2020

Microstory 1484: Necter of the Gods

The universe is but one in a sea of infinite others. Each is called a brane, and is swimming around a sort of hyperdimensional metaspace known as the bulk. Do not confuse these with alternate realities. Any similarity between two branes only occurs because one was modeled upon the other. Some of them are natural, but some are conceived in the minds of people. The latter can last indefinitely, or collapse quickly, and are usually created through dreams, or fictional storytelling. An example of the former, on the other hand, will not resemble any other. It may have humans in it, or it may not. Its physical laws may feel familiar, but that will be coincidence, not because of some inherent interversal connection. No matter what, each universe is independent, through both time and space. And it is extremely difficult to travel between them. Interversal travel has only been invented twice in the entire histories of the entire bulkverse, and every means of travel beyond it has been based on that original technology. Because these branes do not operate on the same timeline, there really isn’t any such thing as the first, but one did inspire the pursuit of the other. They called it The Crossover, and the biggest reason the one group of people who encountered it were capable of replicating its function was because they were immortals who were billions of years old. They called their version the Nexus Network. It started out as a way to jump between systems in a galaxy, before expanding to other galaxies, and eventually all over the universe. Once the process was fully automated, and left to conquer the cosmos, its inventors decided they needed a new challenge. They chose interversal travel as that challenge, and proceeded to spend millions of years working on the problem. That was how difficult it was.

Getting out of one’s current brane was the easy part, but navigating the bulkverse, and finding somewhere to land was all but impossible. The best computer in any universe is usually not anywhere near good enough to make the necessary calculations. Once those calculations are made, however, the system that utilizes the data doesn’t have to be very large, or even all that complex. After all that time figuring out how to travel to other universes, this small group of immortals had to come to terms with the fact that their latest challenge was over, and they had nothing more to do with the rest of their eternal lives. There was talk about building more systems in these other universes, but they weren’t sure that it would be worth it. Their home universe had quadrillions of people in it, spread across many galaxies, and they needed a way to reach each other quickly and conveniently. In these other branes they visited, the population was always a lot lower. They expanded within their galaxy, and into neighboring galaxies, in some cases, but their levels never reached a meaningful fraction of the number the immortals were used to. Even further down the timeline, they seemed to be doing okay with their own technological advances. Still, there were a few cases where the group’s means of instantaneous intergalactic travel would be quite useful. In salmonverse, they didn’t build a full network, but they constructed a handful of them in strategic locations. One of them was Durus. The Durune were aware of temporal manipulation, and psychic abilities, and even a hint of other branes, so they were deemed worthy of being connected to this very small network of replica Nexa. It was constructed in secret at some point, and discovered in 2195. But they weren’t allowed to go anywhere yet.

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