Aurora the Physicist

Aurora is in her own world of diagrams and outlandish propositions as the two men carry Fiona to sick bay. "Dammit, I need a Theoretical Physicist, an Astro-Physicist, and a Trump Artist for this. There has to be a way to escape the Event Horizon." She frowns, tapping her heel against the deck impatiently. "Something I read…. something…from my son's text books…. this is working like a Black Hole, right?" She asks in that stream of consciousness sort of way that doesn't require an immediate answer and in that way that Julian and Kieran both would recognize. "So, like a Black Hole, it has a Schwarzschild Radius - which is the event horizon and which we are not in yet and won't be for a few more hours….. Give me the Logrus construct on an inset on the monitor, Tis." Aurora looks at Fiona's notes and her diagrams, and the Logrus when it comes up. "I know this station can move at light speed from how the stars looked on our way here. How fast can we hit that velocity from a standing start?"

The monitor changed as requested: the hungry maw of the Logrus appears there, black on black, writhing in a way that makes the skin crawl. "That depends on the intertial dampers." Tisiphone says, her bright soprano emerging from thin air as always. "If they do not fail, we can normally accelerate the station from rest to light-speed in 2 seconds. But we ran them in redline on the way here and they are still in constant operation. Staggered repairs are underway."

Aurora frowns at this news. "How long is that going to take?" She hazards a look at the Logrus display and shudders as she turns to one of the computer stations. "How stable is the Dyson net around the Logrus? If we have to evacuate to a Ways, I would like to be somewhat assured that we aren't going to die shortly thereafter. If the station is pulled into the event horizon, what will the effect be on the Logrus?"

"Another 2 hours for complete repairs. The Dyson net is stable but would become unbalanced if we attached ourselves to one of the bubbles. There is no data on what the Logrus would do after devouring us." Tisiphone replies, her usual bright cheer replaced with more sober practicality.

"All right," Aurora sits and wishes she had a cigarette and a stiff drink. The way Diana used to do. "If we make the jump to light speed from here, what effect-if any-will it have on the Dyson Net?"

“That depends on if the Dyson net has adjustment mechanisms.” The AI replies after one or two moments. “If it does, it would remain stable. If it does not, our departure from this location would render it unstable.”

She curses in Swahili. "Is there anyway to see if there are adjustment mechanisms?" Aurora turns her attention to the display and frowns. "Wouldn't there have to be for it to maintain itself all this time?"

“Yes.” Tisiphone says. “But so far, our sensors have not yet detected any sign of adjustment in response to our arrival here.”

"Well, we haven't done anything, really," Aurora muses. "And large as this station is, that is massive in comparison. We may not be big enough for it to bother with adjustments."

She tilts her head towards the ceiling. She just can't get out of the habit of it. "Can you set a subroutine to working in the medical computers to try and figure out a way to detect the bio-plague in a much shorter time frame then 12 hours? That's simply too long to wait after every away mission."

She looks back to the screen. "Run a computer simulation using all available data that we have. I want some ideas of what might happen if our escape does effect it."

“Subroutine working now.” Tisiphone says. “Simulation of our proposed departure minus possible adjustment capability is displaying now.” One of the massive LCD screens goes dark, then displays the picture of the Dyson net, black spheres dancing around the writhing maw of the Logrus, connected only by the frail-seeming rainbow webs. The Fury is there also, in orbit outside the Dyson net. It abruptly vanishes, and the cessation of its presence releases tension on the nearby Dyson spheres, which deforms the rainbow webs. The dance falters, the net deforms further, dragged out of alignment.. until finally all falls into the Logrus, disintegrating in bursts of light and darkness.

There are times that call for the use of ancient and powerful words, the acknowledgment of humans in a crisis everywhere and everywhen since language was first invented. This is one of those times; Aurora's flatly muttered "Fuck" is one of those words. She continues watching the screen, following through on the effects to the Logrus after the destruction of the Net.

Once the Net has failed and been devoured, the Logrus starts to grow, as though the Net was exerting restraint upon it. It grows and grows and grows past the limits of the display screen.

She sighs. "End display. Extroplate from the last data displayed: affect on this Universe. Affect if any on other Universes."

An image of the tree displays itself on the display: two sun-glyphs at the top, dark roots growing at the bottom. The dark roots grow, destroying old and fallen and decayed leaves, feeding the sun-glyphs, feeding the new leaves of the tree. One of the sun-glyphs appears damaged as it does not glow as bright as the other. “Please note this is presented in simplistic terms.” Tisiphone comments.

"Ghostwheel, I would like you come up with a list of options. Ideal scenario would be escaping with the Fury and all onboard intact." She pauses and eyes the Logrus again. "By the way; Merlin, I am told, imprinted both Pattern and Logrus. Looking at the Logrus in front of us, I am not seeing how that was possible. How would one assay that, how long would it take, and would a Logrus Master help us at all in this current situation?"

“Shapeshifting is necessary. Merlin assayed the Logrus first, then the Pattern. The only recorded case of a Pattern-initiate assaying the Logrus ended in naught but insanity.” Ghostwheel reports.

Aurora finally tore her gaze from the display and leans back in her chair to stare at the ceiling. "I am certain I just need to be taught how to do it, but now is not the time to learn how to be a shifter. Dammit. Give me that list of options." She rolls her head to eye the display again. "Tis, what am I seeing? The dark roots are the Logrus?"

“Working…” Says the Ghostwheel. “Affirmative.” Tisiphone replies. “The Logrus, the Sign of Chaos, is the root of the world-tree.”

"Those two sun signs are Ambers?" Aurora asks curiously. "What is the slight damage to the one? How serious is it really?"

“Amber and Avalon.” Tisiphone says. “According to our records, the Pattern of Amber was damaged by prince Brand, after he assayed the Logrus.”

"Ahh…," Aurora nods. So that one's Amber." She rises and walks to the monitor to study the image more closely. "So far, I am not seeing anything bad to Amber or Avalon if we free the Logrus; though some Shadows will suffer if I am reading this correctly, ones that are already broken or dying will be absorbed back into the chaos from which everything sprang. It looks like Amber and Avalon will actually benefit from it if this is correct."

“Affirmative.” Tisiphone says.

Aurora chews her lip. "I wonder why they contained it like this then? Is there an AI on that Chaos shuttle that was brought in that we could ask?"

"The AI on the shuttle is damaged but operational," Tisiphone says. "If you would like to speak to him, that could be arranged, yes."

She continues watching the dark roots spread over the image on the monitor. "Can you pipe me through or will I need to go down there?"

"The AI on the shuttle is not able to sustain constant communications." Tisiphone says. "We suspect he is in urgent need of repairs."

"That much is certain," Aurora notes. She stands and sighs. "I'll go. You'll have to talk me through some of it. I am assuming that the technology is not much different then our own. I'll need the proper tools down there and I'm going to want out of this suit to work. Ghostwheel, I'll require your presence as well. We can go over your list of options." She gives another look at the screen. "Although I am leaning towards the jump to light speed, since it looks like it will actually do the universe good."

"Affirmative. Though the remains of Chaos will be lost forever." Tisiphone notes. She sounds almost sad about it, as though an echo of humanity is bleeding through. Ghostwheel promptly hovers across to Aurora's shoulder.

"I know," Aurora nods wistfully. "But we may have no other choice. I don't really want to destroy this. It is the place of my birth, after all. If you have a better idea that will save us, the Fury, and that, I'm open to suggestions. Trump us to the black ship."

TOCJulian the MedicThe Black Shuttle of Chaos

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