Author: David K Scholes

Through the Unified Mind I perceived the vastness of this Einstein-Newton Gap. One of the tracts of interstellar space where neither true teleportation nor even hyperspace travel were possible. You just had to crawl across these “gaps” at just sub-light speed. Nor, by its creator’s design, could this snail’s pace travel be circumvented by inter-dimensional or inter-reality travel. It had been tried and you just ended up back where you started.

The mighty Streene Star fleets stretched across the gap as far as the Uni-Mind could perceive. Each fleet crawling along at just under light speed. If just one of them got across the gap there would be nothing to stop these masters of hyperspace and their otherwise near-omnipotent technology.

Our Earth star fleet enhanced by the Prime Non-Corporeal stood ready. Defensive shields and offensive weaponry augmented to another order of magnitude. The Prime’s energies flowing within and around each of our ships and enveloping the entire fleet.

The leading Streene fleet was approaching the edge of the gap. While within the gap they were vulnerable and beyond it they were not.

Four other Uni-Minds were present. Briefly, they melded into a single Ultimate level Uni-Mind resulting in a level of cosmic awareness and consciousness that the mind’s few corporeal participants could not even have imagined.

The Streene were hit just before they emerged from the Einstein-Newton gap. Inconceivably vast swathes of abstract energies from the Ultimate level Uni-Mind combined with the full offensive physical energy firepower of an Earth Starfleet hugely enhanced by the Prime.

The first of the colossal Streene fleets was stopped just within the Einstein-Newton gap but at a cost. The Ultimate level Uni-Mind fusion was broken down into its four smaller Uni-Mind components and then almost immediately broken down further into the individual participant minds that were dispersed like chaff back to their corporeal and non-corporeal hosts. I suspected this was no great inconvenience for the non-corporeals but more of a problem for the corporeal participants such as myself.

Even with the protection of the Prime, the Earth star fleet suffered heavy losses.

As my consciousness returned to my mere corporeal body lying inert within the Earth Fleet flagship I was deeply troubled. Had we suffered so much simply to have repelled only the first of the Streene formations?

Within the consciousness of the Ultimate Uni-Mind the second of the Streene fleets had loomed ominously close and I had thought the Prime would be arranging an immediate re-grouping of our forces. Yet back with the Earth fleet I was able to view the progress of the other Streene fleets from a different perspective. Even though enhanced by the Prime the Earth Fleet view of events was not at Uni-mind level. I saw in human terms just how distant even the second slow-moving Streene Fleet was.

The Prime had more urgent matters to attend to and might choose an entirely different set of defenders and even form of defence in its next encounter with the Streene wherever in the latticework of gaps that battle might take place. In this Forever War.

The remainder of the Earth Fleet and almost all elements of the Ultimate Uni-Mind were no longer required. We had served our purpose for the Prime.
Nor could our residual Earth Fleet even consider staying on alone at the edge of the Einstein-Newton gap to repel the intruders.

By the time the second of the immortal Streene fleets arrived at the edge of the gap, we would be a ghost fleet with all of us dead for millennia.