Future Fluff: Hypershard Functions
In some of the fiction drafts on this blog, I’ve written about eons-old alien relics called hypershards, and there’s been some show of what they are capable of in the Gods of Terra setting from recent fiction posts. I’ve written on this artifact before, but given little information as to their various functions, purpose, and limits. It’s time here to shine a little more light on them as technology derived from an ancient but still advanced higher-order alien science.
First, what are they made of?
All hypershards are crafted of a material, if we’re going to call it anything, let’s call it hyperplasm, that extends into more than just the usual four dimensions of space-time. It exists mostly within those dimensions and only more loosely associated with our universe.
Think of it as a bit of quasi-solidified hyperspace, partly extruded into our 4D space-time, the bulk of its mass existing in the other 7 dimensions, giving it ghostlike transparency and near-intangibility, and a very strange appearance to merely 3D creatures’ senses as it rotates within the 11 dimensions it occupies with an observer’s shift of perpective. It requires technology employing Kurtz-Dunar field generators to physically handle a hypershard. Bare hands usually pass right through them with a little resistance and a slight tingling sensation.
Hypershards are usually brain implants. The quasi-matter they are made of can coexist, without significant displacement, with the much more solid and fluid matter of a conventional organism’s body, including the brain, where contact points on the shard can link with particular areas of the brains of sapient species, locationally locking it into place once in position, including humans, but other such artifacts have shown compatible with the brains of some non-hominoid species, like the conservative Rj’Lt’Ai and the rapacious pack-driven Dalazinattu.
For artifacts billions of years old, they seem remarkably well-designed for contemporary forms of intelligent life. Odd.
A hypershard may also be regarded as a very strange sort of symbiotic pseudo-life, as they are capable of growing and reproducing, fully subject to the laws of evolutionary natural selection. This where things get really weird. Hypershards can get hungry, and sometimes they feed, by drawing upon nearby energy sources when on a binge.
When an adult of any species with a hypershard in its brain sires offspring, the ‘shard generates an odd quantum mechanical object called a hyperseed, potentially a functional hypershard with all of its spatial dimensions curled up, folded so minutely as to render the whole thing smaller than an atomic nucleus.
The hyperseed is then relayed to the reproductive tissues of the host — testicles or ovaries for humans — and like any other quantum object it’s exact location is a matter of statistical probability, potentially within every gamete at once, until any given sperm fertilizes any particular egg and the hyperseed’s wavefunction collapses, locating it in the newly developing embryo, slowly uncurling its space-time dimensions, ‘blooming’ into a full hypershard as the embryo grows in the womb, from birth and throughout childhood, growing as the host’s brain grows until fully developed in young adulthood.
Yes, theoretical physicists may feel free to call shenanigans on that one. I suspect it’s not exactly accurate.
This is when the hypershard ‘comes online’ in a process known as ‘Prodigy,’ a sort of initial state with some very strange effects on ordinary human brains, when the contact points of a hypershard’s link with the brain architecture become active, resulting in an influx of strange perceptions and cognitive feedback, as the subject experiences its senses extending into more than 3 spatial dimensions and tries to make sense of them.
In ordinary humans, this can be catastrophic, and the subject can go mad. This is a function of brain architecture, and very few humans have the neuroanatomy to safely and effectively use a ‘shard without severe psychological consequences.
Wavetouched, a human daughter species, have brains particularly well-suited to these relics. This is also odd, and may seem to imply extraordinary foresight by the relics’ builders. Or maybe not.
Prodigy is also the point in time that the other functions of a hypershard initialize, and these are different for each individual. They often seem like remarkable powers and abilities not natural for most sapient beings, but are simply the use of the artifact’s reconfiguring hardware, the functions and arrangement determined by the relic’s modular, self-organizing software, that in turn written in code that was invented before the rise of multicellular life on Terra.
But what are some of these functions? Let’s take a look at the triad of Wavetouched; the Fractus, the Mirus, and the Magna.
The Fractus’ hypershard had as initial capabilities the capacity to irradiate planets, poisoning the sky, ground, and seas and killing even the hardiest forms of life.
Why not just blow the planet up?
Because the shards are not capable of releasing that much energy at once without destroying the host as well, making it a very expensive, very rare, one-shot weapon, and because the planet may be needed for future use, as a strategic outpost following Kurtz-Dunar effect decontamination procedures.
There are also tranportative functions (flight), protective (a probability field serving doubly as life-support and armor/shielding), medical functions (healing injuries, slowing aging, preventing infectious diseases, and nigh-death stasis followed by other functions), and close-combat capability, including directed energy weaponry and a sort of cold, controlled hand-to-hand combat rage, called Saevesis, which when initiated grants enhanced strength, speed, and durability. These last two functions alone can make a ‘shard host equal to a modest-sized army of conventional troops with body armor and conventional weaponry.
But they do not make him or her invulnerable, just nasty in a close fight. It is possible to kill such a being with anti-vehicular weapons, plasma and fusion rifles, and especially tactical nuclear weaponry, though conventional anti-personnel arms won’t do much other than get them very cross with you.
These functions are standard for all three Wavetouched ever employed by the Kai’Siri.
The Fractus’ hypershard was partly damaged upon implantation, but his talent and skill as a hacker allowed him to rewrite the shard’s code, enabling control over even potential functions that had been initially denied him, for obvious reasons, like the safety of his masters.
What follows is pure technobabble…
A hypershard works by drawing upon the Superforce, curling and uncurling its dimensional axes in such a way as to alter the local geometry of space-time, affecting and manipulating laws and constants in a very small area.
The Fractus discovered a way to hack the code of his ‘shard and remove the data locks inhibiting its ultimate functions, permiting him to create whole and fully determined universes by tweaking quantum vacuum fluxes in just the right way. After gaining his freedom by destroying the vessel he was deployed from, he wisely left the known universe to avoid his masters’ wrath and now resides in a steady-state pocket universe personally crafted to his needs.
The Mirus retained some of his close combat, defensive, transportive and medical functions, but lost his ability to cause mass-extinctions by irradiation when his ‘shard rebooted and reset itself after a fight early in his adventuring career that nearly killed him.
The Magna retains her mass-extinction capability, but lacks the close-combat functions, and a momentary glitch in the operation of her ‘shard’s medical functions resulted in her having 4 fully-functional arms instead of the 2 she started life with.
But those are functions imposed by the Kai’Siris’ monumentally limited understanding of a ‘shard’s hardware and software….and the real function?
I’ll give you a hint: It’s not intended as a weapon, not originally, but as a communication device. That function may have been conpromised in two of the three known Wavetouched, the Fractus and the Magna, but it lies fully capable in the Mirus.
And that is a matter for future discussion, and for future fiction.