[LNH] Looniverse Chronicles #2

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Aug 6 15:52:07 PDT 2010


                          /       ^ \
                        /        /    \
                       |        /      |
                    LOONIVERSE O CHRONICLES
                       |       |       |
                        \      |      /
                          \    v    /
                Written by  \--2--/  Andrew Perron

Deep Space, 2010 AD: Thesis, Antithesis, Elemental Synthesis


The cover features a man flying upwards on a starfield.  He's 
dark-skinned and white-haired.  He wears a purple bodysuit that leaves 
his hands and feet bare. Over this, there's a white mantle with a 
symbol of a gold asterisk over a rotated purple asterisk, and a white 
cape with inverse black stars on it.  He wears a V-shaped golden belt 
and gold bracers with "W" shapes made of crystal going all the way 
around.  His hands are in fists, away from his sides; behind his right 
hand there's a black hole, behind his left, a supernova.


I was browsing the Google Groups archives for RACC, and found a 
discussion on the net.elements of the Looniverse.  Upon finding out 
that Dave van Domelen had created Timeindex as the net.elemental 
equivalent of plasma, Saxon Brenton asked whether there was a 
net.element for the Bose-Einstein Condensate.  This immediately sent me 
into a brainstorm, figuring out what it could be.  For a while, I 
wasn't sure if I was going to work it into a story or not, but when I 
realized I could pay homage to Mark Gruenwald's greatest creation... 
*oh* yes.


                    ----------< >----------

One of the differences between our world and the Looniverse is in the 
field of space travel.  Space elevators exist in both the Western and 
Eastern hemispheres, asteroid mining is a going prospect, 
interplanetary travel is available in governmental, commercial, and 
superheroic forms, and interstellar trips, while rare, are not unknown.  
Most people have still never left the surface of the Earth, but 
humanity has touched the stars.

Nevertheless, Peregrine "Perry" Carollan could feel it in his bones: He 
was far beyond where human hands could go.

Currently, he was drifting through the area of space known to Earth 
science as the Very Very Very Deep Field.  As this "area" was ten 
thousand galaxies wide and billions of lightyears away from his home 
planet, Perry wasn't especially comforted by that, but as Seyfert, 
agent of the cosmic protector Unixepoch, knight of Infi.net.e, and 
Defender of the Looniverse, it was his duty to be here.

He held up one of his Quintom bands, and it lit up the intergalactic 
medium.  Intellectually, Seyfert knew that he wasn't actually seeing 
anything; though each atom around him was heated to about 100,000 
Kevins, this far out, there were only about thirty atoms per cubic 
meter.  But the bands allowed him to sense them, and the metaphor of 
vision helped him deal with the input.

As he scanned the intergalactic medium, he saw that he was just in 
time.  Twin disturbances were forming, equal but opposite reactions of 
the cosmic dust.  To his left, the rarefied plasma spun, motes of light 
and heat blurring into a blazing nova.  To his right, it collapsed in 
on itself, burning far brighter until, in an eye-searing second, it 
imploded into a darkness far deeper than empty space.

Before him were the thrumming presences of Moment, Cosmic Net.Elemental 
of Timeindex, and Singularity, Cosmic Net.Elemental of Compress.

They had not yet noticed the mere human.  The bodiless forces embodied 
were converging on a single point.  Seyfert couldn't see anything 
there, even with the subtle senses of his bands, but he knew what had 
drawn them here.

Unixepoch had explained it.  Long, long ago by human reckoning, about 
half an hour on a universal scale, a galaxy had been at war with 
itself.  Seyfert wasn't sure whether it was the intelligent races of 
the galaxy, or, somehow, the actual stars and planets fighting each 
other - to Unixepoch, it was all as one - but the battles had gotten 
greater, more destructive, until, finally, in a single moment, all was 

It could have been a doomsday weapon or a desperate attempt to end the 
war; the effect was the same either way.  The galaxy had expanded 
infinitely in one aspect while contracting infinitely in another, 
unsticking it entirely from the greater universe.  Now it was known as 
the Infinitesque, with infinite space and zero time, touching the 
"normal" continuum at exactly one point.

The point, to be precise, just between where the net.elementals had 
manifested.  The point, it appeared, which they would be fighting over.  
The point, Unixepoch had stressed, which neither one of them must gain 
control of.

Seyfert raised the Quintom Bands.  They were still about an 
astronomical unit away.  Manipulating the quintessence, the dark energy 
that permeates the universe, he expanded space behind him and shrunk it 
ahead of him, shooting forward faster than light while barely moving at 

His timing wasn't quite perfect, and he flew straight through the 
gathering storm of electromagnetism versus gravity.  Still, it got 
their attention, and as he scooted forward, his body overlapping the 
Point Infinitesque, he could feel the pressure of their attention.

Moment flared, and the prominences became words. "Baryonic mortal.  You 
seek claim on the Infinitesque?"

Space buckled, and Singularity spoke. "Meddle not in the affairs of 
cosmic beings, for you participate in the strong interaction and are 
good with ketchup."

Seyfert raised his hands.  Okay, let's hope this works... "Great 
incarnations of the Looniverse, I come not to fight, but to help, to 
warn, to explain.  You're about to destroy the very thing you've been 
fighting over!"

There was a cold dark pause.  As one, in a harmony that could sear a 
planet's ecosphere into gas and ash, the cosmic net.elementals said, 

Seyfert talked fast. "The Galaxy Infinitesque was knocked out of 
balance with the universe.  It settled on a new balance, but a 
precarious one - a balance of extremes.  If either of you exerted even 
the tiniest fraction of your power on it, you could overwhelm that 
balance and completely sever it from the continuum."

Or, he thought but didn't say, the dice could fall the other way, and 
it could start *overlapping* this continuum, with predictably 
unpredictable effects on life, the universe, and everything.

Singularity pulsed, event horizon drawing breath. "Thus, we should 
suffer this unbeingness to stand?"

Matter and energy traded roles, and Moment added, "We each have a duty 
to be filled.  Should we ignore it, and let another less worthy take 

This was the most crucial point. Seyfert had gone over his words a 
hundred times on the journey here, but still crossed his fingers as he 
spoke. "Each of you has a duty.  Your duties are total, and your duties 
are equal - so let your efforts be equal.  Not a balance of opposing 
powers, but a collaboration between peers, working together in 
enlightened self-interest for your own purposes and each other's."

The two spun in silence.

Oh, *shit*, thought Seyfert, they're not listening and they're going to 
go on a rampage and pull the galaxy into the continuum and it'll spread 
asymptotically and turn the universe into a reverse black hole and it's 
all my fault!

The presences turned ponderously in space. "If you accept, I shall," 
they spoke together.

"Then I accept," they replied as one.

Seyfert let out a breath in the airless void. "Excellent!  Great 
incarnations, I'm honored that you deigned to listen to me, and 
gladdened that you could see the greater good here."

The cosmic beings stared at him eyelessly.

He blinked, then realized - his body was still blocking the Point 
Infinitesque. "Ah!  Yes.  Well, I'll leave you to it, then." He scooted 
back, manipulating quintessence to move away from the point as 
net.elemental energy carefully snaked into it.

Seyfert watched from a parsec away as Moment and Singularity sent their 
combined energies into the point.  He wondered what they'd do with it, 
and how long it would take them; he wondered if "how long" even made 
sense when talking about a timeless space.  He wondered if their 
efforts would produce an even greater threat.

It might, he decided, but he couldn't hold back the workings of the 
Looniverse for the *possibility* of something going wrong.  The cosmos 
was humming along on its own, and that would have to do.

Seyfert raised his bands and leapt into infinity.

                    ----------< >----------


Author's Note: Yes, an actual second issue!  This one shows the other 
side of the series, faraway places instead of long-ago times.

I figure Seyfert is a reserve member of the LNH, for terrestrial 
missions.  What's his origin?  No idea.  I'm putting him up as Free For 
Use, and if anyone wants to fill in his backstory, go ahead!  Moment 
and Singularity are also going in that category.

The space elevators and asteroid mining were established in 
Limp-Asparagus Lad #55.  They're mentioned in LNH v2 #24, and are a 
plot point in #36.  They've probably shown up elsewhere, as well.

One possibility I was thinking about while writing this: Are there 
non-cosmic net.elementals of Timeindex and Compress?  If so, are there 
cosmic versions of the other net.elements?  Hmmm.

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, who notes that this is definitely 
*not* part of High Concept Challenge #12.

More information about the racc mailing list