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The Substance of Shadows
A young mathematician, Isaac “Crash” Tyson, presents proofs of his Reactive Mathematics Theory to the World Science Council, in the hope of obtaining funding for testing his theory and devising applications. This esoteric theory predicts that a Spatial Exclusion Wave can be generated: a wave that would effectively exclude normal space from within the generated wave field. This wave would, in essence, create a non-spatial dimension within normal space. The applications of this field Crash knows will be of mind-boggling importance.
P-Quan, the Planetary Governor of Earth, approves the funding but sets the stage for a PLAG takeover of the results of the test. Crash assembles a team, headed by himself, Nessid “Nessi”Laffued, as Director of Computer and Sensory Retrieval, Dr. Lynn Meisheil as Director of Construction and Operations, and Sergeant Major Decker “DP” Payne, Chief of Security. These core staff-members assemble their teams. The tightly knit group of experts builds a spatial exclusion generator and produces a spatial exclusion wave. Placing no trust whatsoever in P-Quan, Lynn, DP and Nessi arrange matters so that the World Science Council (WSG) receives spurious data from the project. The test, which causes a cataclysmic upheaval at the test site, produces results that puzzle Crash. Attacked by PLAG forces, the group mounts a vigorous defense, but Lynn gets captured and delivered to P-Quan.
Unknown to Crash, and indeed to all of the inhabitants of Earth, P-Quan is not human. A Maen underling who serves the Luin, the oldest and most advanced species within the hierarchy of those who rule the Cren Empire, P-Quan decides to use Lynn as bait to bring Crash out of hiding, and into his presence. Contemptuously regarding Crash as a “Prim” – a member of the primitive species indigenous to Earth – P-Quan fully expects to acquire the new technology and to wield the stupendous power it will confer.
Having discovered that the SEG did indeed create a spatial exclusion wave, Crash harnesses this awesome new technology to create a fleet of unique ships. Thus begins the epic struggle waged by Crash and his followers against the alien forces arrayed against them. Having begun by rescuing Lynn from P-Quan and Zern, a Luin science officer, Crash and his followers take on the PLAG, the Maen, Zern, and even the Morcor: a species of vicious, hitherto unbeatable, wholly formidable warriors employed by the Maen. Woefully outnumbered, Crash’s fleet eventually battles a mighty armada, and escapes annihilation only because Crash’s nimble mind conceives of daring new applications of his theory that can be used as offensive weapons.
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Isaac "Crash" Tyson finished tightening the ladigo on his saddle as he prepared for his long overdue pack trip into the mountains. The next few days of solitude would be but a prelude to the biggest day of his life thus far. A million divergent thoughts raced through his mind: thoughts which, to a normal person, would seem completely unrelated and not relevant to much of anything. He realized, however, that these divergent thoughts all fit into the final rendition of his concept of Reactive Mathematics. Positive that his discovery would revolutionize physics, he could scarcely contain his eagerness to explain his views to the scientific community. His lifelong desire to achieve a complete, cohesive understanding of this esoteric mathematical concept had finally culminated into a single equation. That equation he could prove correct beyond a shadow of doubt, to anyone interested in such things.
As he mounted his horse, his excitement grew as he contemplated that not-too-distant expectation. After double-checking to make certain that all of his gear was in order, he headed out. It was a good day for a ride.
The terrain rose quickly and soon became very steep and rocky. Crash’s horse gingerly picked his way through the sharp protruding rocks that abounded in the trail. As they gained altitude, Crash’s horse would occasionally stop and appear to gaze at the valley far below. It had always fascinated Crash to wonder what a horse thought at times like this. Was he appreciating the beauty of the scenery, looking for something to eat, or just trying to find the shortest way back home? The fact that a horse could act so intelligently one minute and so damn stupidly the remained a mystery. In any case, those questions could not be answered today, and Crash had to hurry to reach the campsite before dark.
As Crash and his horse continued to move up the trail, the majestic peaks, the steeply rolling foothills, and the numerous small intermingling lakes projected a tranquil power that soothed his spirit, which had been bruised by the harsh realities of the world. Ever since the end of America’s Second Civil War, one did not recklessly squander one’s peace of mind. That quality had become a very rare commodity that one deeply appreciated. Crash absorbed this experience to its fullest, cherishing every second.
After a strenuous but enjoyable eight-hour ride, Crash reached his favorite place in the entire world. Located near the base of a towering mountain, which rose three thousand feet above the surrounding basin, his campsite enjoyed the protection of groves of dense trees. Those sheltered it from all but the most extreme weather conditions. A series of small lakes and intermingling streams partially filled the floor of the basin, which made for good fishing and provided plenty of fresh drinking water. During the calm of night, the moonlight often turned these lakes into giant reflecting ponds of exquisite beauty.
Darkness filled the sky by the time Crash finished setting up camp. He started a small fire that gave him just enough heat to cook by and light to see the nearby surroundings. After he finished eating a delicious steak, Crash sat against his favorite boulder and watched the moon rise through the three towering spires of the mountain. As the orb rose higher, moonbeams reflected off the granite walls of the canyon, casting multiple shadows and silhouettes upon one another. One’s imagination could create all kinds of visions out of this surreal experience. Some of these visions were abstractly beautiful, and some could be terrifying to the core of one’s soul. In any case, the experience provided a definite change of pace. Only at times like this could Crash approach an emotional state that could remotely resemble relaxation. At all other times, his mind focused sharply on what he considered his natural state of "serious" thought.
During this time of human history, Crash believed, serious thought had become a lost luxury of the past. Since the end of the Second American Civil War, the world had changed dramatically. The post-war breakup of the United States created such a power vacuum that the worldwide industrialized civilization that had existed prior to the war quickly collapsed. The emerging Planetary Government picked up the pieces out of the shambles that prevailed at the war’s end, and attempted to reestablished human civilization with its own vision: one defined by the controlling bureaucrats who had survived the evil times. Once this government became firmly established, it quickly became known to the common man as the "PLAG."
The autocratic control that evolved quickly stifled or repressed many of the individual freedoms that were so ill-appreciated by the previous society. The regimentation of thought and expression created a tranquil society: one of little value as far as Crash was concerned. To introduce an entirely new concept of science and mathematics, as he was about to do, would be greatly frowned upon by the self-anointed intellectuals: the group that Crash privately referred to as "the anti-intellectual establishment."
In Crash’s opinion, this episode of human history should never have occurred. At the end of the twentieth century, American society had withered, owing to the loss of moral purpose. The universal application of political correctness to every aspect of life and culture caused stagnation. This great mistake resulted in the acceleration of the shallow trivializing process of purposeless decision at every level of society. Most individuals had believed that the exertion of one’s free will was a natural right. The society at large now came to believe that any intrusion on that right, no matter how trivial, was caused by one prejudicial phobia or another. The actual morality of any issue, if brought up in a discussion, soon became defined as intolerance.
The citizens eventually forfeited all of their goals for the childish illusions of comfort, security and meaningless diversions. Jobs became scarce as corporations increasingly moved to third world countries for cheaper and better-educated labor. Corporations turned their backs on the very societies that had spawned them and had allowed them to develop and flourish. As sales dropped in the developed countries, more and more jobs were lost. The selfish tunnel vision not only of the governmental bureaucracies, but also of business and of various radical special interest groups, strangled the once mightiest of economic engines.
Hunger and starvation became rampant. Massive riots broke out in America and eventually spread worldwide. Under the pretense of maintaining order, the government declared martial law and suspended all Constitutional law. If the government had not suspended the Bill Of Rights, the Civil War might have been avoided. When the bureaucrats attempted to enforce aggressive cancellation of the Second Amendment, all hell broke loose.
The ensuing war cost the lives of over sixty two million people in America alone. At the end of the war, the United States broke into three new, distinct countries. The states on both coastlines became separated from the heartland. The east and west coasts ended up being what they had aspired to become: a politically correct socialist utopia pure in thought and deed. Even as their citizens slowly starved to death, millions of the starving were executed for scrounging, hoarding, or stealing food. After a while, their elitist righteousness became much less important to them. By that time, however, it was much too late to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
The middle of the country remained intact. After all, they had most of the food. The large cities on the coasts, which were so dependant on the flyover country for the necessities of life, didn’t have sufficient means to sustain their larger populations. The rednecks also proved much harder to herd up so that they could be shot by the PLAG peacekeepers. They shot back. In the end, however, millions upon millions of foreign PLAG troops overwhelmed them. Those remaining patriots paid a very heavy price.