Unspace Holes, Nightshade, and Anastasia

As told by Mich Saginaw to Jack

When we found the Anastasia, part of the Jump drive system was a "converter" designed by Professor Farol that "converted" regular matter to anti-matter.  It only "converted" small amounts at a time, and reacted matter and anti-matter to form energy.  This energy was buffered by the zuchai crystals and then consumed by the jump drive.
Professor Farol found that the converter didn't always convert the matter exactly, so he fed the result back into the converter until it did give him what he expected.  This caused fluctuations in the power output, which is why it had to be buffered by the zuchai crystals.

Professor Farol's design had fairly large fluctuations in power output.  The large fluctuations caused rapid aging of various components, and a high level of maintenance was required to keep it working optimally.  I modified Professor Farol's design by converting matter at a slower rate and using multiple converters in parallel.  This reduced the power fluctuations because multiple converts have less chance of having the same fluctuation all at the same time.  The converters still required a lot of maintenance, but tolerances were lessened because the power fluctuations would rarely happen at the same time.  We also monitored the converters and could take one off-line and replace it while the other converters were handling the load.

There was still room for improvement. On Digitis, Jane Southcombe worked out a modification to the converters that used what she called an "un-space hole" to buffer the matter stream and provide a perfect anti-matter match for the matter stream.  It worked very well, with an extremely smooth power output, almost too smooth...

We soon found a problem with the new design.  One converter would start sourcing an incredible amount of energy, while another would start drawing an incredible amount.  They would self-destruct once we came out of jump.  This lead to failures in the jump drive power supply and mis-jumps.  After much research and investigative work, I developed a better understanding of the "unspace holes", and traced our problem to how we are using them.

What's an "unspace hole" anyway?  Well, we've known for a long time about black holes.  Astrophysicists tell us that black holes crush matter and some energy escapes as X-rays and gamma rays.  They also say that not enough energy escapes, and that there must be a "white hole" somewhere.  Now and then there are rumors of "white holes", but not enough of them to account for the missing energy.  Actually, part of a black hole is a naturally-occurring unspace hole.  That extra energy and some bits of matter are sucked out of our universe and into "unspace".  Unspace is the interstitial space between all of the parallel universes.  If there are an infinite number of parallel universes, there has to be something that keeps us from passing between the universes.  This is "unspace".  It's not in our universe, but it's not in any other universe, either.  An "unspace hole" is then a hole in our universe into "unspace".  All that energy and matter that was sucked out of our universe by black holes is spit out in another universe by it's "white hole" equivalent, which again contains an "unspace hole".  The balance across all the universes is maintained this way.

It turns out that Professor Farol's "converter" wasn't really a converter.  He had created an "unspace hole" and was putting matter into it, and taking other particles out.  Most times it was anti-matter, but sometimes it didn't match up with what he put in.  Jane Southcombe's modifications helped greatly, stabilizing the "unspace hole".  However, the "unspace hole" was unlinked.  When two "unspace holes" are linked, whatever goes in one hole comes out the other with out any losses.  You know exactly what type of matter or energy is going to be coming out.  When they are not linked, you're drawing the particles or energy from "unspace" itself, and not from another "unspace hole".  The particles could be from any parallel universe, and not from the one you had in mind.

Unlinked "unspace holes" don't like to stay unlinked.  They will spontaneously link with another unlinked "unspace hole" if the holes are in close proximity.  That's what happened with the converters Jane Southcombe modified.  Their "unspace holes" spontaneously linked, which caused all the energy produced by one converter to be consumed by the other, until one was at absolute zero and the other was emitting hard radiation.  Coming out of jump space caused their "unspace holes" to become unlinked, catastrophically releasing their energy.  The new converter design goes through a step to link the "unspace hole" with another hole in a parallel universe.

The Nightshade doesn't use a converter to create anti-matter, it draws energy directly from a black hole.  The "unspace hole" in its power cube is linked directly to an "unspace hole" in a black hole.  We connect batteries to the power cube and charge it up.  Once it is charged up, it opens it's "unspace hole" and extracts the energy it needs to keep the "unspace hole" open and to power the rest of Nightshade's systems.  Our stealth system is billions of linked "unspace holes" from one side of the ship to the other.  Energy goes in one side, through "unspace", and then out the other side.  Since they are all linked, nothing is lost, and the Nightshade disappears.  The hard part is creating enough of the holes oriented in the correct direction.  The sensor array and computer system handle that.

Any questions?

-- Mich Saginaw, to Jack