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The Quantum Connection: Chapter Twenty

       Last updated: Saturday, March 26, 2005 16:18 EST



    We really had only been able to develop one plan of attack: go ask the Grays or Teytoonis just what the hell they were doing abducting us and experimenting on us. Tatiana and I thought of using Mike to connect to the universal Framework, but we were afraid that the Grays might have some safeguard to keep us from getting in information through Mike. And even worse, the Grays might have a means of attacking Mike at a distance through the Framework. So, we decided to keep Mike off of the alien internet for the time being.

    Yep, it looked like we would just have to go see the Grays. We spent a good deal of time going through as many records as we could dig out of Mike – Mikhail helped also. We conducted various statistical analyses and finally decided that there was no way in hell that we could figure out where the Teytoonis’s present homeworld or central headquarters was. We would fly out there to one of their worlds and land and say, “Take me to your leader!” We had no better plan. We did plan to be loaded for bear before we left, however

    The nearest planet well within Gray space appeared to be about two hundred and twelve light years away. With the new warp drive modifications that Tatiana, Anson, Jim, and I had developed, we could push close to four thousand times the speed of light -- which meant a trip time of about twenty days or so. The repair of the Phoenix’s alien quantum fluctuation drive wasn’t complete yet, and wouldn’t be for another few weeks even if we devoted all efforts toward its repair.

    We decided to spend our time building new squeeze play warp missiles instead. We loaded the bay of the Phoenix with the Einstein, the Avenger, and the repaired and warp drive retrofitted smaller Gray ship.

    We also added a full complement of a hundred and three warp missiles. Our plan was to launch the missiles out of the bay doors so new missile tubes wouldn’t have to be constructed. Tatiana and I modified the interior of the Gray ship as much as possible so that it would be more accommodating to humans. We redesigned and humanized the bridge with new high g couches for all of the crew members. More human friendly computer controls and monitors were added. We set up the nanomachine room as a manufacturing and repair facility as well as a stock room.

    Anything anybody needed, Michelle – copy of Mike number three – would be in charge of administering . Mike could always override Michelle’s decisions if need be.

    Tatiana and I also had to redesign a room for our quarters. It was much smaller than our previous suite design but it was comfortable. We had to give up the whirlpool tub and settle for a shower.

    Manipulating the alien hull materials was a bit time consuming and it wasn’t long before we planned to ship off. In fact, the Clemons’s and the Daniels’s kids were on their way to grandma and grandpa’s house in Florida. Our plan would be to leave as soon as they returned. We were going to take the fight to the aliens and, if we had to, we might even abduct a few of them.

    In order to maintain a chain of command, I relinquished control of the Phoenix to Tabitha. I would follow her orders - at least until she ordered us to do something really stupid. I had gotten to know and trust her judgment of late and I didn’t expect that to occur.

    On the ninth day into the flight General Tabitha Clemons, Captain of the USS Phoenix, married Tatiana and I in the observation deck of the alien ship. The observation lounge (as we called it) was a room with a large window the size of a triple car garage door. Tabitha stood with her back to the window as Tatiana and I stood facing each other in front of her.

    At warp velocity all we could see out the window was the eerie streaks of Cerenkov radiation that would occasionally occur as particles within the warp bubble would get too close to the expansions or contractions in spacetime at the edge of the bubble and get accelerated to warp speeds relative to us. All I really remember is that Tatiana was absolutely beautiful in her wedding dress, saying “I do,” and hearing Tabitha tell me that I could kiss the bride.

    Tatiana and I spent the next two days in our quarters. Most married folks usually get asked, “Where did you two go on your honeymoon?” We could answer that in many ways. One answer might be, “To our room.” Another answer might be, “About two hundred and twelve light years away to an alien planet.” We were still about eight days from the quarantine zone and had nothing to do but honeymoon anyway. So that is what we did.




    Yes, Mike?

    We are being shadowed by four Gray vessels.

    Open channel, Mike.

    Okay, Steven.

    Tatiana, I nudged her awake. What, are we there yet?

    Mike how far are we?

    We are about a day and a half from the target star system.

    Mike, are we out of the quarantine zone yet? Tatiana asked.

    Yes, Tatiana.

    When did we pick up the tail? I asked.

    I am not sure, Steven, but I detected them just a few seconds before alerting you.

    Okay, Mike. Where is Tabitha?

    She is in her quarters.

    What time is it?

    It is about three in the morning Luna City time. Mike responded. I touched the intercom switch on the nightstand and keyed in the Clemons’s quarters. A grumpy sounding Anson answered.

    “Ahem, hello?”

    “Anson, this is Steven. Is the general available?”

    “I’m here, Steven. What is it?” she replied.

    “Mike has detected four Gray ships trailing us. He just alerted me to this a few seconds ago,” I told her.

    “Okay, thanks Steven. Meet us on the bridge in five minutes,” she ordered.

    “Yes ma’am.” I saluted the intercom.

    Tatiana giggled at me.

    “You know, you are kind of goofy sometimes.” She said in her thick Russian accent.

    “Yeah, but you know you love it,” I laughed.

    We got up and stepped into the shower for about a minute and a half. With the nanomachines we didn’t really have to shower, but we enjoy it anyway. On the way to the door of our room we each had the nanomachines fix us up and dress us.

    Without missing a stride we were dressed and ready. Tatiana insisted on wearing the molecule thick – or thin I should say – condensed matter suit and sky blue camouflage U.S. Air Force battle dress uniform pants. She wore black canvas combat jump boots. Just above her right breast was a nametag reading Montana and on her left shoulder was an American flag and on her right was the W-squared insignia. Her hair was pulled up behind her head and held together by the deadly metal throwing pins that she so preferred. I followed suit and wore the same outfit, minus the hair pins of course. Both of us had miniaturized warp armor belts and double shoulder harnessed nine millimeter semi automatic pistols - we both preferred Glocks.

    Tabitha announced over the intercom of the ship that all hands were to report to the bridge battle ready. A few minutes later the crew filtered in. The total crew complement including Tatiana and myself was twenty-four. Interestingly enough, the whole crew had adopted the uniforms although some of the crewmembers wore the camouflage battle dress uniform top or the black Air Force sweater vests as well.

    Tabitha and Anne Marie, of course wore the complete official Air Force battle dress uniform although they had the armor underneath their uniforms and their sleeves were rolled up military style. Tabitha had the uniform requirements for the W-squared mission teams modified to allow for the under armor. Everybody was also wearing their warp armor belts and I did notice that most of them had either shoulder-holstered or belt-clip-holstered pistols.

    Tabitha barked orders to several of the crew and had them take their battle stations. She sent the night crew to bed and told them to be prepared to alternate on eight-hour rotations. There would be eight members active at all times from here in. Before, only a skeleton crew of four was on duty at all times. So, shift one started and the others were put on standby. We weren’t sure what the aliens were planning or what they could actually do to us while we were in warp.

    “Mike, display the locations of the alien vessels with respect to our own on the main monitor please,” Tabitha ordered.

    “Yes, Tabitha.” Mike acknowledged.

    The image of our warp bubble and the Phoenix in the middle setting in the flat space region of the modified Alcubierre warped spacetime appeared on the monitor.

    Flanking the Phoenix’s warp bubble were Gray spacecraft immediately in front, behind , above and below us. The ships were just outside the van den Broeck warp bubble region and were maintaining our velocity.

    “How did they detect us, Mike?” ‘Becca asked.

    “They detected the variation in the spacetime energy density in and around the warp bubble. The expansion in the spacetime behind the Phoenix causes an increase in the quantum fluctuations, while in front there is a decrease. SuperAgents like myself likely detect this through changes in data rate flow in this region.” Mike explained.

    “Uh, Mike, that sounds like they are simply measuring the curvature of the spacetime to me,” Jim said.

    “You say tomayto and I say tomahto,” Mike offered. He must have been investigating humor again. Or perhaps that was the best way to explain it. After all, some of Earth’s physicists have quibbled over quantum theory versus General Relativity for more than a century now and they both say basically the same thing – if you do the math correctly.

    “I understand, Mike,” Anson interrupted. “But tell me this. How the hell are we detecting them through the warp field? We’ve always had to stop to detect them before.”

    “I am detecting them by sending out pings through the alien Framework and timing the return. I’m not actually reading the return information so returning data cannot compromise my programming. Rather, I am simply timing the return like a radar system that actually sends a standing wave out through the … there is no human equivalent explanation here …but I think that Hilbert space is similar …” Mike paused for a second.

    “Allow me, Mike.” I knew what he was trying to say. “Anson, the Grays have some other model of the universe that is not really in line with our so called Standard Model. All of the universe is tied and connected through the infrastructure for this alien Framework. Their universal internet isn’t artificial, it actually is part of the fabric of the universe. The Grays just figured out that it was there and how to use it. ”

    “Is this Infrastructure something like superstrings or quantum filaments?” Anson asked as he stared at the alien ships on the monitor. The ships looked pretty much the same size and type as the Phoenix.

    “As far as I can tell, superstrings are a very very distant cousin to the concept,” Tatiana added. “The interesting thing is that the Infrastructure and the Framework do require many more dimensions, like the infinite orthogonal dimensions of Hilbert space or of multi-dimensional string theory.”

    “I see.” Anson nodded and thought for a second. “You know, this is no different than the concept of quantum consciousness. Physicists have been considering the idea for decades. Basically, what you said was that there is some underlying ‘connectedness’ or Infrastructure throughout the universe that ties everything together. Well, this is no different than claiming that the universe IS -- one thing -- and then writing down a quantum mechanical wave function for it.

    Granted the Hamiltonian would be a bear, but I think I even remember reading something by Wheeler and something by Penrose about this. It isn’t specific to the aliens. In fact, the quantum consciousness of the universe would explain the instantaneity of passing information through this Infrastructure. The wavefunction for the universe would be in a reference frame that is atemporal, and therefore time wouldn’t even be a factor.

    Think about it. Most observations we make in this universe take some finite amount of time to complete. But if you try to measure whether you are ‘self-aware’ or not, does that measurement occur instantly? It is at least at the speed of thought. How fast is that? Hell if I know.

    “If I recall correctly – and with this new fangdangled memory that your nanomachines gave me, I do – then I recall reading a paper that showed mathematically that if consciousness is a real part of the universe’s wavefunction, and it should be, then it would be instantaneously connected throughout the universe. These little Gray guys must have figured this out to the nth detail and have determined how to implement and use it.

    “Boy I sure would like to get hold of that alien Infrastructure router hardware.” Anson sounded excited.

    Mike, download me all info on this quantum consciousness. I thought.

    Okay, Steven, here it comes.

    It was a very exciting concept. However, I think it was annoying Tabitha a little bit since there were more pressing things at hand.

    “Ahem,” Tabitha cleared her throat. “Steven, can the Gray ships penetrate the warp field?” she asked.

    “Well, Mike, Tatiana, and I have been debating that for a few weeks now and we do not believe that matter can be passed through the warp bubble via the quantum connectedness. Information can be quantum teleported back and forth through the bubble as Mike is doing via the Framework radar pings. But sending matter through is a completely different question.”

    “Yeah, it is possible that a teeny tiny bit of matter the size of like a Planck distance could surf on the front of an information packet and be teleported across the Framework,” Tatiana stated.

    “That is possible, Tatiana, but to my knowledge it has never been attempted or even experimented with before. And it is possible to build regions of quantum fluctuations so violent on the surface of the warp bubble that it would become impenetrable even to that concept,” Mike contributed.

    “Okay. So they can’t fire a missile in here at us, but they could bombard us with annoying infomercials if they wanted to,” Sara smiled as she adjusted the nametag on her alien armor top. Tatiana noticed she was having problems with it and put her hand on it and had the nanomachines fix it. “Thanks,” Sara said.

    “No problem.”

    “Mike, is there anyway they could get through your firewall and take control of you?” Al asked.

    “I don’t think so. But I will keep a continuous watch for intruders,” Mike said.

    We used every sensor that Mike had and all of the sensors the W-squared team had brought on board in an attempt to determine as much information about our tag-alongs as possible. We found out very little. Jim and ‘Becca went down to the landing bay to make certain that the warp missiles were ready while the rest of us tried to find things to do that might help. There wasn’t much to do except wait.

    Four eight-hour shifts later, we were approaching the target star system. It was time to slow down and come out of warp. If we kept the bubble on we wouldn’t be able to see out. If we turned the bubble on and off quickly with the so-called “lights off, lights on” maneuver, or oscillated the amplitude of the bubble, the Gray ships might be able to time it right and pass through the bubble.

    Tatiana didn’t understand why we were even considering turning off the bubble in the first place. “Look at the images that Mike gets by pinging the Infrastructure. Why don’t we just use the alien sensors to study the star system while we leave the warp bubble on full?”

    “Mike, scan this system and give us as much visual data on inhabitants as you can. Also, bring us to a star-centric orbit at about the midpoint of the solar system.” Tabitha ordered.



    “Yes, Tabitha,” Mike replied.

    The alien ships followed with us and soon fourteen others joined our convoy. We were completely surrounded by Gray ships the size of the Phoenix. But there were only eighteen of them and we had a hundred and something missiles.

    “Shouldn’t we be trying to hail them or something?” Jim said. “That’s what they would do in the movies.”

    “We will follow the protocols we have put together, ” Tabitha said. “We will answer them back if they call us. After we are certain there are no hostilities planned, then we will consider hailing them.”

    “Are you certain that protocol is the right approach?” I asked.

    “The consensus was that if they are good guys they will hail us first before shooting at us. If they are bad guys, we shouldn’t take a chance of saying something to them that could start an interstellar war.” Jim replied. “But I think this is different. We know that these aliens are hostile. They have been abducting and murdering us for thousands of years. I say we tell them they better start explaining themselves.”

    “I agree,” Tatiana nodded. “Let’s give them a chance to surrender -- and then start blasting!”

    “Well, I, uh, don’t think that would be wise. We are a long way from home and way outnumbered here in Gray space.” I reminded everyone.

    “I concur with that, Steven. We will wait.” Tabitha said.


    “Yes, Mike?” “I have the data now of the star system inhabitants. Would you like to see it?”

    “Yes, good, Mike.” Tabitha replied.

    Mike showed us a layout of the star system. It consisted of twelve major planets and a Kuiper-type belt of minor planets, with an Oort-type cloud beyond that. The sixth planet was located at about two—and-a-third astronomical units from its star, which was slightly hotter than our sun, Sol. Planet six was about one and a half the size of Earth and was blue and green. The planet’s surface was approximately forty percent water. Entire green continents stretched across the planet, as well as arid dry regions between the equator and the poles. The poles of the planet were ice-covered landmasses very similar to Antarctica on Earth. The most interesting fact was that there seemed to be very little detectable technology or habitation. There were no orbiting satellites that could be seen or obvious civilizations located anywhere.

    “Where are the people and the buildings?” Al asked.

    “Just a moment,” Mike said. “There, I have adjusted the sensors to remove the cloaking effect from the images.” Then the image filled with satellites, spaceships, factory facilities on orbit, and a hustling and bustling environment.

    “You mean they cloaked their entire planet?” Tabitha was awestruck.

    “Yes, and several hundred thousand kilometers around it,” Mike answered.

    “I think we’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Anson whistled.

    “And a shit load more missiles!” ‘Becca added.

    “Alright, everybody relax,” Tabitha warned us. “What did we expect to see, a lean-to and a couple of toy rockets? We knew this would be tough and that these aliens had been here much longer than the human race has been around. We knew they would be much further along than us. And that we would be outgunned.”

    “Outgunned is an understatement to say the least.” Anson whistled and nodded his head again.

    “Mike, open a channel to the aliens if you can.” Tabitha sat back in her chair and sighed. She fiddled with her curl . The scar it had once covered was gone now but the habit had not gone away.

    “The channel is open, Tabitha.”

    “Thanks, Mike.” She took a deep breath and grabbed the arms of her chair tightly. “Greetings to the inhabitants of this star system. We come from the planet Earth roughly two hundred light years away.We come in peace. We are in a vessel that previously belonged to members of your species. The occupants of this vessel were capturing members of our species and torturing and murdering them. We hope this was merely a misunderstanding between our species and would like to know why your species has been visiting our world and taking our people against their will. Please respond.”

    We all gripped our chairs tighter. In fact, I was beginning to think I would have to use the nanomachines to get the seat material dislodged from my anal sphincter. Then a high-pitched and almost childlike voice came back to us – in English.

    “Earthlings, you must not lower your warp bubble and you must immediately return to Earth!”

    Tabitha’s face reddened a bit. “We have no intention of lowering our bubble, but we are not returning to Earth without answers and without a guarantee that you will cease and desist all hostilities against our race, our planet, and our Solar System!” she replied in her voice of command.

    There was a long silence this time that lasted more than a minute or so. Tabitha was about to repeat her response when the aliens answered. All eighteen of the ships flanking us pulled in to an extremely close formation and then our warp bubble was caught in a larger bubble.

    “Very well, Earthlings. You will make no attempts to escape our confinement bubble and show no hostilities. We will take you to the Regency Cast and they will respond to your request. Please, be patient and be warned that your technology is not sufficient to escape our confinement bubble.” Then the stars blinked out and we were at extreme warp velocity.

    “Mike, what’s going on?” I yelled.

    “The Grays have us in their control and are using a large quantum fluctuation engine to carry us at very high velocities. To where, I do not know. I have never heard of this Regency Caste. However, it does suggest something along the lines of the queen bee.”

    “How fast are we traveling?” Anson asked.

    “Approximately two point three light years per minute,” Mike said.

    We all did some quick multiplication in our heads.

    “Holy shit! That’s something like a million times the speed of light,” Tabitha gulped.

    “One point two one seven million times faster than light,” Tatiana said.

    “Yeah, at this speed we could travel completely across the galaxy in about a month!” Anne Marie interjected.

    “Well, shit fire! We better hope they give us a ride home!” Anson said in his best southern redneck drawl.

    A day and a half later and about five thousand light years from Earth, we finally came to a stop around a bright blue star with a large accretion disk filling its system.

    “Hey, this is a new star system. No planets have even formed yet,” Jim pointed out.

    “Yeah, Jim. But look at that!” Al pointed at the screen about two astronomical units (AUs) out from the star.

    There was a ring that completely encircled the star. The ring must have been taller than Jupiter at its narrowest point. At the tallest point it was probably fifteen Jupiters high both above and below the ecliptic plane of the accretion disk. The system was very busy with vessels going and coming, and mammoth chunks of preplanetary materials being pushed and pulled around by some sort of invisible motivating systems.

    “What the hell is going on here?” Tabitha asked. “Anybody have a clue?”

    “This must be Gray headquarters or the Palace or the White House or some equivalent.” Sara said.

    “I realize that, but what are they building?” Tabitha said.

    “Ha! It’s a Dyson Sphere! The little Gray bastards are building a Dyson Sphere.” Anson answered.

    “A Dyson Sphere?” Anne Marie asked.

    Mike, download all information on a Dyson Sphere to Tatiana and me.

    Okay, Steven.

    “I see!” Tatiana said as she assimilated the data Mike downloaded to us. I had a similar reaction.

    “Annie my dear, a Dyson Sphere is a thing named after the physicist Freeman Dyson since it was his idea. I think he got the idea from an old science fiction novel called The Star Maker by a fellow named Olaf Stapledon. We need to get this book on our reading list.” Anson began explaining the concept. “But it was Dyson who really did the first scientific analysis of the concept and he figured that an advanced civilization, like these Gray fellows here, could build a giant hollow sphere around a star and live on the inside of the sphere. Since the sphere would then be a closed system around the sun it would basically capture all the energy from that sun on the sphere’s interior surface and in turn supply all the energy that civilization would ever need. There are other unique properties of the sphere as well such as camouflaging your entire star system and civilization – well, except for in the infrared. And a lot of other stuff like the immense amount of real estate that you would create for your civilization to live on. Think of how much surface area there would be on the inside of a shell two AUs in radius. That’s huge! You know, come to think of it, I bet these Gray guys could implement that cloaking technology on the Sphere and completely hide themselves away. I bet they could bleed the excess infrared energy right off into the quantum vacuum energy fluctuations without any violations of a global entropy equation.

    Second law of thermodynamics then wouldn’t be a factor. Hmm…one has to wonder how they plan to keep it in place and stable. Perhaps they will only build a Ringworld like Niven’s book. I wonder…” Anson looked on in wonder at the construction process and continued to mumble and whistle to himself.

    The aliens flew us in closer to the largest portion of the unfinished Dyson Sphere or ring or whatever it would eventually be.

    As we approached the surface it became more and more obvious how large this ring structure was. The surface looked infinite from near it and it wasn’t even more than a percent or so complete. A civilization that can travel at a million times faster than the speed of light and that can construct such a huge undertaking must think of creatures like us humans as nothing more than insects. We imagined that we had something that would scare them. I began to think we had been wrong.

    Something, anything, that would scare these aliens must be…SCARY!

    We landed on a high-rise portion of the ring that must have been a half of a degree out of the ecliptic plane and it was more than a hundred kilometers above the bottom surface of the ring. The aliens set us down gently and then that childlike voice came through the communications system.

    “Earthlings, you can now lower your warp field as we have you captured in a confinement bubble of our own. We will not harm you as long as you show no signs of intent to harm us in any way. Be warned that we will not hesitate to remove you from the hive in an instant if you indicate such hostility.”

    “Mike,” Tabitha said. “Lower the warp field.”

    “The field is down, Tabitha.”

    “Okay. You heard the man. NO SIGNS OF HOSTILITY. Y’ALL GOT IT!” Tabitha warned us and then repeated the announcement over the ship’s intercom to the remaining part of the crew.

    “How do you want to proceed, Mom?” Anne Marie asked. She must have been a bit scared because I had never heard her call her mother anything other than General while on duty.

    Tabitha smiled at her oldest daughter, “We do this slow and cautious. Only those who volunteer to go will go. Nobody has to, and we won’t think any more or less of anybody who wishes to stay here. All volunteers to accompany me to meet the alien leaders raise their hand.” Tabitha sighed a breath of relief when all of the hands went up.

    “Very good, Al, Sara, and Annie, thanks for volunteering but I want you three to stay here as our back up in case we need you…”

    “But Mom…”

    “Lieutenant Ames, that is an order and it is not up for further discussion. You are in command of the Phoenix upon my leave.” Tabitha ordered. Al and Sara were none to happy about the idea either, but it appeared there was nothing they could do about it. She made no attempt to keep Tatiana and myself from going. First of all, she needed us and our special abilities to communicate with Mike and Mikhail. Besides that, she couldn’t have stopped us from going if she had wanted to. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that.

    I was going to find out what the Grays want with my wife and the hundreds of thousands of other humans back on Earth who were isolatees. And I owed the Gray sons of a bitch some payback for making me crazy for nearly four years of my life.

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