Yesterday and today I started mapping out the storyline for Out of Time. I’m not saying it’s written in stone or that I won’t insert more points in between some of the points I’ve plotted on the storyline so far. Although there are a few points I’m keeping to myself to spring on you down the road a ways, I’ve generally tried to be transparent in my writing process so that you can see for yourselves how a story is constructed.
If you want, you may offer me your comments and suggestions while it’s still malleable.
So without further ado, here is the
Part 1: All Quiet on the Sapien Front
- Cadmus is flying an old fashioned solar sail ship from his native moon’s orbit to Draco.763.3a, the only habitable moon orbiting Draco.753.3. Cadmus’ co-pilot was his trusty dagu, “Lonesome”. Lonesome couldn’t really pilot the ship. He wasn’t really able to do much of anything besides pant with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and generally look friendly.
- Cadmus shuttles down to the surface of 3a with Lonesome.
- Cadmus and Lonesome explore the open fields and forest in the vicinity of his shuttle.
- Cadmus and Lonesome meet Yani in the forest. Yani is a Rat (Rational). She invites them to her cave overlooking a lush verdant valley.
- Yani introduces Cadmus to Lem, her husband.
- Although Cadmus is a Sapien, he knows nothing about the Rats on this moon or the history of the Saps (Sapiens) on Draco.763.3b, the dark-as-cinder moon he passed before approaching 3a. Lem and Yani answer Cadmus’ questions about the Rats and the local Saps.
- Cadmus is skeptical but curious about the special capabilities of the Rats, but the more time he spends around them, the less skeptical he becomes. Lem and Yani also are curious about Cadmus.
- Cadmus prepares to return to his home moon, Draco.763.4g with Lonesome. Lem gives Cadmus an STU (Secure Telecommunication Unit) in case they want to talk to each other. The STU contains a small QEB (Q-bit Entanglement Box) inside it to provide an instantaneous channel between them. Cadmus fires up the shuttle and they roar through the clouds to dock with his sail ship.
- Cadmus and Lonesome return home. The voyage between 3a and 4g was about 270 days each way. All in all, he had been gone almost 600 days.
- Cadmus and Lonesome putter around his house and go about their daily routines.
- One day Cadmus receives a call on the STU from Lem who says they must talk. Cadmus offers to come to Lem but Lem says no, it’ll take 9 months. Lem will come to Cadmus instead.
- Lem appears on 4g as soon as Cadmus hangs up his STU.
Part 2: The Rat Warning
- Lem explains to Cadmus that the Rats have “observers” (robotic perceivers connected with trailing Q-bit Entanglement Boxes) throughout the universe. The observers allow the Rats to observe the universe in each of the eleven dimensions all the way to each event horizon.
- Lem says that they are observing major multi-hyper-cubes near the horizon disappearing. They were there and suddenly they were not anymore. The size of each multi-hyper-cubic section was roughly the size of a galaxy containing a hundred billion stars. These cubes have been disappearing at an alarming rate.
- Cadmus asks Lem why he should be concerned. After all, the universe was awfully big. Wouldn’t it take a long time for their galaxy (Draco) to disappear?
- Lem explains that although these disappearances were occurring in the far future, major sections of our future were also disappearing at an alarming rate. We may run out of future before we run out of space.
- Lem tells Cadmus that some of the Rats think that the hyper-cubic disappearances are naturally occurring phenomena, that there is something fundamentally wrong with our universe, while other Rats think that the disappearances might be caused by an alien civilization possessing an advanced technology that they’ve weaponized. If the second conjecture proves to be correct, we may be up against a force far greater even than us. Let’s call them Future Rationals (Frats) for the sake of discussion. These Frats might very well come from the center of our universe where the Big Bang occurred.
- Lem returns home to 3a.
Part 3: Frats Out of Time
- Lem calls Cadmus on the STU and tells him the second conjecture was proven correct. The Rat observers had tracked the hyper-cubic disappearances. At first they had seemed to occur in random locations. After extensive mathematical analysis, the Rats determined that the sequence of locations was pseudo-random. There was no doubt among the Rationals that the sequence of locations of disappearances could only be driven by an intelligent algorithm. The Rats were in the process of determining that algorithm.
- The Rats might be able to predict where the disappearances will occur and how long they had before Draco disappears or they run out of time, but they had serious doubts about their ability to stop the inexorable Frat onslaught on Draco.
- Unless, Lem says, they can attack the Frats where they live at the center of the universe.
- Cadmus asks Lem why the Frats should want to attack our universe if they themselves live at the center of it. Good question, Lem says. Maybe they are suicidal. Cadmus asks how they could be suicidal if they are so rational.
- Lem tells Cadmus that the Rats need his help. Why me? Cadmus asks incredulously. What could I possibly have to offer that would be of value to you? Lem answers that we need you for your questions. Rationals only have answers and they may not be the right answers for engaging the Frats. Will you come along with us? Cadmus agrees as long as Lonesome is allowed to come along too.
- The Rat ship picks up Cadmus from 4g and heads toward the center of the universe.
- When they arrive they find nothing as far as their instruments can see.
- They hear a voice in their minds. The voice says to them you have come a long way. Welcome home. We are what you have been calling the Frats. Put your weapons away. They are of no use against us. It is over before it starts. It always has been. But let us explain.
- We have no name. We are nothing, nothing but truth. But you refer to us as Frats because you must refer to something.
- Why are you attacking us? Why are you attacking our universe? Why are you destroying yourselves along with us? Cadmus asked the voice.
- And the voice answered …
- The Rats around Cadmus began to disappear. Lem was turning transparent. Cadmus felt his stomach and lungs beginning to disintegrate. He felt his brain was exploding. He tried to reach for the red button on the panel in front of Lem but his arm and the panel stretched out toward infinity.
- Lonesome lunges at the red button hitting it with his soft black nose.