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Scene from an unwritten space opera

The roiling plasmas of the photosphere hid our ship from the Endtimer's. We weren't ready for this, fighting a guerilla war in the hot, hot fringes of a dying star. One miscalculation, one misstep and we would be lost.

Both our ship and the Endtimer were bundles of nano wrapped in miles-thick balls of ice, artificial comets tethered to the coolness of space by the radiant cord of laser beams. Refrigerated by lines of light, we danced a dance of death in the heat of the sun. Our lifelines were our chief weapons, venting our heat into the sun's - while aiming to overwhelm our enemy's cooling systems. Sailing the contorted magnetic fields around a sun spot the size of a world, we rose and fell, bobbing up and down, trying to catch a glimpse of the Endtimer vessel in the angry gases that surrounded us both.

It was a deadly game of hide and seek, a game where position mattered more than anything.

A matter of weeks ago we'd been nothing more than a scientific expedition. Then our transcendent Superbright friends had asked us to examine something for them. We'd come in from the coolness of the outer system, chasing what they described as a transient event, a hole in space time. We'd thought it was only another anomaly, a wonder in a galaxy full of wonders, a puzzle for their endless explorations.

We were wrong, and now we were fighting for our lives.

[A semi-dream I've been having for the last few weeks, as I drop off to sleep. It's a picture of silver globes in the hot fringes of a red-giant star, ducking and diving as they try to find just the right place to meet - or to gain advantage in a long slow battle. I have a feeling it follows on from a piece I posted a while back, but it gives me an opportunity to put a human viewpoint into a story that's about a war between gods for the future of the universe.]

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
godelescherbach
Sep. 1st, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
A combination of...
Feels like a combination of Peter Hamilton and Samuel Delany. Keep it going!!!
purplecthulhu
Sep. 2nd, 2004 01:00 am (UTC)
I thought it had a disinctly Strossian edge...

Reads nicely, and sets up something possibly interesting.

Meanwhile, a technical comment...

If the trouble is trying to find the enemy, why can't you use small passive spotters above the chromosphere looking for backscatter from the cooling beams, and then triangulating back to where their enemy is?

sbisson
Sep. 2nd, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
I have a feeling no one is prepared for this - a scientific expedition of baseline humans with some transcendent level-tech is being forced to confront some interlopers from another time line, who have yet to start manufacturing the equipment they need.
purplecthulhu
Sep. 2nd, 2004 07:04 am (UTC)
Those aren't hard things to make, especially if you have some kind of nona-replicator to make stuff with. It would little more than a heat-seeking missile guidance head and a spread-spectrum transmitter to download the results. They have had some time to make these things, and with several miles of cometary material to use as ingredients, there's no shortage of stuff to make them from...

But then so have the enemy, who are presumably more prepared. So why aren't they dead yet????
pickledginger
Sep. 2nd, 2004 10:28 pm (UTC)
*wants more*
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )