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February 21, 2015, 7:25 pm

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Downington Sphere


The objective of Operation Flycatcher was to collect samples of aphasic lifeforms for study in a lab. The project was black listed as a failure, with a high rate of personnel loss, and cost overruns.

This was not the truth.

Project Flycatcher

Project Flycatcher was a black level operation where no one knew who was working for who, who was paying for what, or even what nation or power was backing the operation. The core of Flycatcher was a space habitat outside of planetary jurisdiction, technically inside the Venusian orbit. The habitat was a research center, and had an unknown number of Downington Sphere satellites associated with it. On a regular basis, the satellites were brought in and examined in the hope that one of them would have captured an aphasic lifeform and forced it into a corporeal state.

The Downington Sphere

The Downington Sphere is an arcanotech device that was developed by Dr. Abigail Downington and Arthur Howland. Howland, a tech assistant was given credit posthumously, as the first successful Sphere test killed him. A Downington Sphere is an arcane device ranging from one to six meters wide, and it's interior is a labyrinthine maze of crystal panels, sensors, and strange miniature devices. The devices are very sensitive, and the handful that have been built were stationed at laboratories and research centers in distant orbits, well away from Earth.

Grimm-Olduvai Space Planktonoids

The observations of the Grimm-Olduvai energy telescope near Mars detected the existence of what were later dubbed aphasic lifeforms. These 'creatures' were found to exist in multiple dimensions, and in an energy state that the only comparable thing was the neutrino. Studies were launched to learn more about these seemingly massive version of what superficially resembled microscopic lifeforms from Earth. Most of the space planktonoids bore a strong resemblance to oceanic plankton, diatoms, and single celled lifeforms.

The Arboria Incident

The Arboria was a cargo freight, independent, operating out of the outer belt. The ship was making a slingshot around the sun to make a connection from Jupiter to Mars, which was on the other side of the solar system. Such 'slingshots' are common, if slightly daredevil maneuvers. The savings in terms of time and fuel generally are attractive enough for privateers and independent ships to make such moves. The Arboria almost collided with a Downington Sphere. Not knowing what it was, the brought the sphere onboard, and claimed it as space junk, as it had no information as to who owned and operated it.

The trap had worked and an amoeba like planktonoid was in it. Over the next sixteen hours, the planktonoid overtook the ship, devoured the crew, and reproduced a number of times. The automated systems guided the hulk of the Arboria to the Phobos cargo hub above Mars. The moon base was able to contain the infestation, and it was classified as a Dimensional Fatigue Event, possibly triggered by the Arboria traveling too close to the sun and causing disturbances inside it's power core.

Aphasic Technology

Aphasic Technology is in it's infancy, and the Downington Sphere is the hypertechnological equivalent of a crab pot, or a net in a tidal pool. In the Cosmic Era, the terminology and technology are known, but afforded the same consideration given to Kirlian energy, aura manipulation and crystal gazing in the modern day. The vast majority of spheres created have captured nothing and will capture nothing as their operational profile is too crude to catch something as elusive as the dreams of the gods.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Murometz
February 22, 2015, 19:19
This was a fun read!! Not sure how to explain why, I guess it's all the somehow fitting names for things, the lingo and nuance. Oh yeah, and the bizarre space lifeforms!
Voted Aramax
February 24, 2015, 5:40
Voted Ancient Gamer
February 24, 2015, 6:17
Nice work! Cool items that give a distinct flavor to your setting, improving immersion. The good writing helps visualize it all. 4.0
Voted BeatDropGaming
October 30, 2017, 9:12
Only voted
Voted valadaar
May 4, 2018, 14:36
Oh, this is pretty neat.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: MoonHunter

You come upon a ruined building in the back section of a city park (or other out of the way area of the city). The ruins are fairly overgrown. All that is really standing is a doorway and its frame. If you pass through the opened door, you travel to a different world. If the door closes, there may not be a doorway back to get you back.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | April 22, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp

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