The Internet of Hyperspace Things

Constellation Project Colony
UNDSV 15-18 Jericho Ridge
Hyperbolic Stellar Escape Trajectory
1.96 Light Years from Sol
January 2220

Regan McKinley stepped back from the panel she’d been welding and examined the increasingly solid looking machine that now occupied the majority of the subterranean hangar bay they had broken into and taken over almost a year ago. It was really starting to become something. When she’d finally come around to working on the starship with Seth Fiegel, she’d still been somewhat under the impression that it would be the sort of fun hobby project that they worked on forever but never actually completed. That impression was becoming very tattered and frayed as the physicality of what Regan could no longer deny was rapidly becoming a vehicle fully settled into her. 

“Hey Seth!” she shouted over the sound of the music system blasting 2150s airwave through the messy and crowded hangar, “Come check this panel!”

Regan had slowly come to take on more and more of a real role in the project as the months went on. She’d learned to wield, and by this point had done at least as much research into the wiring and fuel systems as Seth. She was very interested in not blowing up, and in Seth not blowing up as well; that was always a risk when dealing with rockets. 

Seth slid down from where he’d been perched on top of the hull and examined her welds with a critical eye. 

“You’re getting good at this,” he said appreciatively examining her work.

“I’d like to not explode or depressurize or some other sort of bad thing where the ship falls apart around us,” she said, “So yes.”

He nodded, “You should take a break and eat something, you’ve been at this for the last twelve hours.”

“I have not,” Regan said indignantly before realizing she didn’t actually have her phone on her to check the time with, “have I?” 

“You have been,” he said.

Regan walked away from Seth and the spot she’d been working on, letting her fingertips trail on the metal hull, “It’s really starting to come together,” she said wistfully, before turning back to look at Seth, “When are we going to name it?”

“Technically,” Seth said, “She’s had a name this whole time.”

The teenager pulled out his phone and quickly thumbed through several programs, finally activating the now rarely used holographic overlay and filling the hanger with the ship’s completed form. Sure enough, emblazoned on the now painted hull were the words Chasing Daylight. Regan smiled and ran her hand across the spot, “I’m good with tha–”

“Hey! Regan! Seth! Come check this out!” Harper Jordan’s voice suddenly filled the space over the hanger’s loudspeaker, abruptly cutting off the music. Seth’s eyebrows crept towards his hairline and Regan shrugged to him and jogged back over to the airlock, trailing Seth, who maintained a more casual pace. 

“Hey so, remember that argument about how hard it would be to build a warp drive?” Harper said without preamble as Regan entered the ops lounge. 

“Yeah, why?” Regan asked.

Harper turned on the holoscreen.

“–could turn the tide in the coming conflict with the Reshapers?” One talking head was asking another.

“That could be the reason that the Martians decided to release the plans now, we’re seeing a major retooling of Martian assets with hyperspace window generators, but–” Harper turned the sound off.

“The Martians released designs for a printable hyperspace portal on the internet, including the bootstrapping mechanism to generate the exotic matter to turn it on in the first place,” Seth said. 

“So what you’re saying is…” Regan trailed off.

“We don’t need a warp drive,” Seth said from behind her, having come in and heard enough of the conversation to complete the sentence, “How big is it?” he asked. 

“As big as we want,” Harper answered, “I’m looking at the plans right now. It’s really simple, and scaling it up just means printing more modules to make a bigger ring. I’m thinking we make one the size of the room and just push the ship through it.”

“How expensive will it be to print that?” Seth asked him. 

“Not as expensive as you might expect,” Harper answered, “Less than the fusion reactor cost. 

“And the Martians just released these designs on the internet for free?” Regan asked, her eyes wandering back to the muted television broadcast, which was showing images of portal generators in various places that people had built. A message scrolling across the bottom of the screen read ‘Tag your portal pictures with #hypespacewindow.’ 

“Yeah, the plans are open source,” Harper responded. 

“That’s weird,” Regan said, “Why would they do that?”

“Something something, galaxy destroying aliens?” Seth posited, and Regan grunted in acknowledgment as she sank into the couch. As she sat down, her exhaustion finally caught up with her and she found it harder and harder to keep her eyes open. 

“Yeah so,” Harper was saying, “We should be able to put it together with just a few thousand credits and a week or two in the fab lab, this is faster than light on easy mode.” 

Seth was nodding and pacing as he thought about the design and the implications. The conversation continued, but Regan’s ability to follow it did not and the teenager fell asleep sitting up.
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Seven Heavens Class Orbital Ring Station
MOEC-6 Summerland Orbital
Synchronous Orbit
17,228 Kilometers from Mars
February 2220

Maxwell Pavonis turned the holographic model over in his hand again and pulled on the sides, exploding it out to reveal all of the internal components inside one module of the hyperspace window generator. It was a meter long and weighed only fifty kilograms. To function correctly at least three links arranged in a triangle were required and this make a small flat hyperspace window. For larger applications, many more links would be daisy-chained together, allowing for the creation of large, variable, and even three-dimensional portal surfaces. Maxwell had seen one starship design already floating around the web that carried a hyperspace window with it which pulled the vessel back and forth through it by mounting the window on rails, twisting the orientation of the modules with actuators as the ring moved. 

“It’s really clever. I’m impressed. Really.” He said finally. He was laying on the floor of an empty classroom. 

Alyssa Aonia looked down at him through the holographic model and yawned, “You want to build your own I’m assuming?” 

“Maybe,” he said, turning the model over again and again, “It’s almost too perfect. The individual module I mean. I doubt I could optimize something this much. Something about the module, I keep thinking it means something…” He let his voice trail off. 

“It’s more polished than you’d expect for a public release like this,” Timothy Argyre said from across the room “It’s designed to make the actual module itself as much of a perfectly optimized black box as possible. Plug and play, make it as hard as possible to tinker with the actual module design and as easy as possible to overlook that fact. Consumer FTL.” 

“Does that seem sort of overly cautious to you?” Max asked,  “Or at least, more cautious than you’d expect for something they just publically released anyway?”

“Somewhat,” Timothy replied, “there’s probably some edge case use they’re trying to avoid.”

“Something dangerous?” Max pondered. 

“It’s a portal into a parallel spacetime,” Alyssa chimed in, “Of course it’s something dangerous.” 

“I wonder what it is?” Max thought aloud, “I wonder what would happen if we tried to figure it out.”

“What would happen,” A new voice said suddenly, “is that your superior would appear before you and be very cross,” the voice came from the holographic image of Fabian Xiles, an older inventariat student. His hologram had replaced the diagram of the hyperspace window generator and the way that Fabian had rendered into the space, it appeared as if he was standing on top of Maxwell. Not missing a beat, Fabian took advantage of this, planting his holographic heal in Max’s chest and leaning down before him, “You don’t want to make me irritated now, do you, Maxwell?” 

“N-no sir” Max stammered, more out of surprise than actual fear. 

“Good, you and your little gang had best stay out of trouble.” Fabian said grinning ominously, “If I catch you making a machine that could end the human race, I’ll kill you.” 

With that the hologram blinked off, leaving the teenagers alone in the classroom.

“Well, that was really fucking creepy,” Timothy said finally, clearing the tension, “Are all inventariat upperclassmen like that?” 

“No,” Maxwell said, “The ones who are quieter are way worse.” 

“All the crazy ones end up in the Inventariat,” Alyssa snarked. 

“I can’t really even disagree with that,” Maxwell responded with a shake of his head. 

“So I assume we’re going to fab up a few of these links?” Timothy asked the group, reopening the diagram for the hyperspace window generator, “We could each buy one with our credit allowances and it wouldn’t be too expensive for any of us.”

“Destina and Cobin are already building one in the dorm,” Maxwell said in a somewhat bored tone. 

“It seems at least worth sticking our heads in and taking a look I think,” Alyssa countered.

“You know watching them like this is creepy right?” A voice said into the simulated space.  

Weaver mentally backed out of the simulated environment, shifting her consciousness into an avatar looking down into the room the teenagers were in. Jacob Chryse stood beside her, arms crossed, a look of wry amusement on his face. 

“One of them is my kid, we don’t have a great relationship but I like to keep an eye on them,” Weaver answered nonchalantly, dismissing the view into the study space on the Novum Organum Orbital.

“That doesn’t really make it any better,” Jacob teased. 

“What do you want? How was Ceres?” She demanded of him. 

“Ceres is probably unrecognizable by now,” he said, answering the second part of her query but ignoring the first. 

“HENGE negotiated to strip most of the less populated celestial objects in the solar system for mass to build lifeboats with,” she said with a shrug, “Mercury, Venus, Ceres, Luna…”

“Yeah, I’ve seen the li…wait Venus?” Jacob asked.

Weaver nodded, “You need to spend more time in the scenario space,” She told him.

“Frankly, I hate the scenario space, and I’d rather leave it to you and the other architects,” he said. 

“You haven’t told me what you wanted yet,” she noted. 

Jacob smiled lightly, “I want to talk about Alpha Centauri.”
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#hypespacewindow the martians are playing with fire with this tech, there are things they’re not telling us about how it works. This is literal alien technology! Wake up! 

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Its a good thing that there’s an emergency cutoff on the modules or I probably would have sucked myself into hyperspace by now
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( Heavenly Traveler Vehicle) 天国乗用船
JDSV Shinjuku III FSV Peter Kropotkin
Hyperbolic Stellar Escape Trajectory
1.84 Light years from Sol
February 2220

“I’ve got to hand it to you Kamay, you’ve really outdone yourself this time,” Kamay Alcoseba said to herself, crossing her arms and examining her work. The micro-smelter had worked perfectly, giving her all the raw material she needed for the printer she’d cobbled together. The system was extruding tube-shaped dawn-of-spaceflight style pressure vessels, the most basic designs she could make work. 

When each module was finished, she would don a spacesuit, drain the air out of her informal fab lab, open her hyperspace portal, and push the module through. On the far side, in hyperspace, she linked the modules together. A small hyperspace window on the central module with a long girder sticking through it and welded to both the module and the shipwreck kept the pieces together even when Kamay closed the main portal in the fab lab. 

 Kamay was not using the standardized martian design, HENGE had simply given her translations of the originally alien blueprints. While they were much more technical, it was also much easier for her to make an ad hoc version out of them. Her portals were simple rings, bundles of cable and tubing lashed haphazardly together. The main one was crammed into the corners on one wall of the largest room she could find that would hold air, and it was there that she had set up her workshop. 

The best part was that the new modules were more efficient and safe and if she lived out of them she could stretch her resources out quite a bit, extending the time she had to live out towards eight months. Food was going to be the hard limiter unless she planned to start farming, but despite all of her talents, keeping plants alive was never something Kamay had been able to manage particularly well. 

The gantry she was constructing wouldn’t quite be able to call itself a ship, it lacked in a real method of propulsion or power generation, but it should function as a new home. Little by little, she loaded her battery supplies into the new modules, connected to the station by wires going through the anchor portal. When more HENGE drones showed up, she’d cut the anchor portal, transition through for the last time and pull the final module through, cutting the big portal in the process.  After that, she’d be free-flying in hyperspace. 

She spent a while just watching the systems she built work. It was extraordinarily satisfying to see the fruits of her labor chug along with very little input from her. After admiring her handiwork for a while, she returned her attention to the next part of the problem, which was where to actually go. 

In hyperspace, the distance between her gantry and the Japanese and American colony portals was small enough that she’d probably be able to see them with good binoculars if she had a pair, but Sol was still rather distant. The trouble was, even as close as the colony ships were, she still couldn’t get to them without reaction mass. The only thing she really had to use as reaction mass was her air supply and parts of the shipwreck, both of which were things she needed to survive. Even if she could, there was that thing about being the most wanted person in the system. 

At the end of the day she would have to do something. The gantry simply couldn’t get very far on its own. She knew how long she had and as that timer ticked down, it became increasingly clear that she was just going to have to try talking to someone. 

She could always lie about her identity and try to bluff past her rescuers, but that would only work until the first facial scan she received flagged who she really was. It was better than nothing, certainly better than starving to death, and so it would have to do. 

With a final sigh, she switched to wideband frequency spread and keyed up, “Hey, is there anyone out here who speaks English?” 


Constellation Project Colony
UNDSV 15-18 Jericho Ridge
Hyperbolic Stellar Escape Trajectory
1.96 Light Years from Sol
February 2220

It took time and money to print all of the portal links. During that time, the teenagers continued working on their ship and building a rail system to allow it to be launched into hyperspace. They started with a small portal, just four links, enough to stick their heads through in the spacesuit, which they built in the spare airlock to minimize the air lost to hyperspace.

So far, no one else aboard Jericho Ridge had opened a hyperspace portal, which was good, because if they did it might be a little awkward. 

Some of the Japanese in the nearby Shinjuku fleet had opened portals and were talking to each other. Regan could hear them on the radio they set up, but couldn’t understand them. She knew if she really wanted she could run their voices through a translator, but she was content to just listen to the foreign voices. Sometimes she would open the portal and just sit on the floor with the radio, shifting between various frequencies. Some of them were quiet, some of them contained voices in various languages, some she could understand, some she couldn’t. She never talked back, she just listened. Hyperspace was getting busy it seemed. 

According to Harper’s estimates, the final window would end up taking two hundred and ninety-six modules to assemble, and it would probably take them another month or two to buy all the links for it. The ship would probably not be ready at that point, but they kept working steadily on it, finishing the pressure vessel at the end of January and beginning the time consuming process of testing it extensively for leaks. Better safe than sorry. 

Once the ship and ring were completed and they launched into hyperspace, there was yet more work that they would have to do the finish the last of the design, spooling out the girdering for communications antennas and masts that didn’t fit in the hanger, inflating the fuel pods, and attaching the system that would let them take a second hyperspace window with them so the ship could enter and exit at will. 

That would all take yet more time but was still faster than their timeline for building a warp drive ring in the event they’d needed to go that route. Less than a year now? Maybe, hard to say. They weren’t really planning on rushing it. 

Regan sighed as she finished the section of interior plating she was working on and shrugged off the heavy welding gear. The ship had a distinct inside and outside at this point. The interior wasn’t very large, just a few rooms, but it didn’t need to be very big for just the four of them. She climbed up to the bridge and stared out the viewscreens. Seth had built the ship like a building: tall and narrow, its components stacked up on top of the fusion reactor and drive core. However, this meant that while it was in the bay, it was actually sideways, so sitting in the cockpit chair her back was oriented towards the floor with her knees up in the air. She pulled on the shortwave headset and began idly thumbing through the frequencies. 

She scrolled past rapid voices in Arabic, what she was fairly sure was the Japanese ship near them, a station listing off numbers, and a barely audible conversation between two hyperspace ships somewhere. Only the Japanese ship was close enough to respond to, all the others were far enough that their transmitter wouldn’t be able to hack it; the signal would degrade long before reaching anyone, never mind the light lag. 

This had become something of a routine for Regan. She’d work on the ship, then crawl into the cockpit and doze off to the sound of distant foreign voices. Occasionally she would scroll onto a frequency being used by some alien species, which could be anything from unintelligible near human to strange chirping and hooting sounds. In some other places, there was only the quiet hiss of the universe. 

Seth hadn’t been around as much lately, the divorce proceedings between his parents had begun to eat up more and more of his time; she knew he was afraid for his little brother, even if he never said anything about it directly. 

It was all going to come to a head soon and she had a bad feeling Seth was going to try something stupid like bringing Caleb to the bunker. She dreaded to think of the mess that would cause. Their whole project might end up getting shut down. 

There was nothing she could do about Seth though. He was a freight train, his mind was all inertia. All she could do was keep working on the ship and hope for the best. She wasn’t going to go back to her parents’ house, that was for sure. 

She’d found a quiet frequency and had nearly dozed off when the voice came in, crisp and clean, clearly somewhere relatively near to her, “Hey, is there anyone out here who speaks English?” 

Regan shrugged herself awake and sat upright, the young woman’s voice kept talking. “My name’s Kamay, I’m transmitting from the wreck of the Shinjuku III, and I could use some help.” 

Regan fumbled with the headset, cradling the speaker cup in her hand and lowering the microphone in front of her mouth. 

Shinjuku III this is an independent shortwave station on Jericho Ridge,” Regan said levelly, “Respond on 6200kHz.”

She dialed in the frequency she had just specified before speaking again, “Shinjuku III are you receiving?” 

“Copy Jericho, Shinjuku reads loud and clear, who am I talking to?”

Regan paused for a moment, before answering with a smile, “This is Regan McKinley, first officer on the independent starship Chasing Daylight. Who are you?” 

“I go by Kamay, and it’s just Kamay these days, no titles,” the woman said, somewhat sadly. 

 “What are you doing on that shipwreck?” Regan asked her. 

“It’s a long story involving an ex-boyfriend and a rogue artificial intelligence. I could use a pick-up, I’ll make it worth your while if you can do so,” Kay told her. 

“Our ship isn’t exactly in a position to come get anyone at the moment,” Regan admitted.

There was a long pause, “What exactly is your situation, Jericho?” 

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3 thoughts on “The Internet of Hyperspace Things

  1. I was reading along in 2017 and suddenly there was a 2020 entry.

    Yes. I just binged the entire current work in a day/night.

    Glad it is still going.


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