The Great Attractor

The World Tree

With cooler heads, we decide our first priority is to assess our situation. The ship, while traveling slower and no longer spinning, is in complete disarray. The warp drive is fried, the engines are nearly out of fuel, and the warping metal from the singularity left behind a few leaks across the ship.   We scramble to patch them, to assess the damage and see if there's any way to repair it. The leaks are easy. Fuel should be easy to find, even now at the end of time. The warp drive, however, will be a different story entirely.   We manage to get a bigger picture through the panoramic view in the cockpit. Some of the screens are dark, the cameras connected to them crushed during the transition, but it's enough.   I spin the ship about, the kaleidoscopic colors dancing along the walls. We see signs of battle everywhere. It's as if the entirety of the void were a warzone.   Ships of many shapes and sizes engage each other for reasons unknown. The creatures do the same. What are they fighting over? When we manage to turn around, Fray and I both let out a gasp.   White light fills the cockpit, a blinding radiance hiding something terrifying beneath it. It's massive, a curved wall of light stretching as far as the eye can see in all directions, a sphere.   As we stare it becomes clear. The light has no single source. The light comes from stars. We see small patches of light fade away, and when gone only the litch black of an event horizon remains.   Were staring at yet another singularity, one so massive the milky way could fit inside a million times over.

A Theory

In the time spent going over our fractured history at the archive, I learned of research concerning what we called 'The Great Attractor.' Our galaxy and those around us, seemed to be pulled toward some unseeable point in space. It tugged on us from afar, maybe even beyond the observable universe. Nothing else could explain how it managed to go unseen for so long.   The research concluded that thus pull, while incredibly small, was growing. It's as if something is separating us from the other clusters of galaxies in the void. More than that, others are drawn to their own mysterious attractor. The scientific community of earth was not convinced.   Many claimed it was a gravitational artifact from the big bang, a slight pull that sent us off our projected course, but the source is no longer a factor. The source would be so far away, how could it still be pulling us toward it? Others still considered the findings incorrect to begin with. Perhaps those behind the project failed to calibrate their instruments, or simply made a slight mathematical error. Now that I'm hereā€¦ it turns out they were right.
     

The Road to Nothing

Our universe has a time limit. On a long enough timeline, everything will be gone. We're talking about true nothingness, here. Even the vacuum of space isn't this empty. There will be no radiation, no particles the size of atoms, nothing. It is the true end state of all things.   Fraeia seems to think the great attractors are a contributing factor, especially when you consider that our own attractor is also being pulled by an even greater attractor. Perhaps this is the universe's way of cleaning up, wiping away the dust so the universe can die without leaving a mess behind.   It's a sight to behold. Imagine a singularity so vast and massive that the amount of stars it consumes causes the whole of the thing to glow white as great attractors combine into an even bigger structure. The gravity could pull anything, even if on the other side of the universe.

Yggdrasil

It's poetic but the name fits. There are worlds orbiting the attractor, millions of them. Each one unique, altered by their journey across time and space. The world's drift toward the singularity at a slow but sure pace. One day even they will be consumed.   We stare in wide eyed wonder at the sight before us. Fraeia is filled with joy but this only makes me feel more hopeless. It's beautiful, but impermanent, like everything else. The universe, like everything in it, is but a fleeting thing, destined to rot and fade. I guess I understand why Fray is so giddy. This is proof of their beliefs.   But what happens after the cleaning is done, I wonder? If we came to be here by entering a singularity, and then being ejected from a white hole, does it not make sense that these attractors will end the same way? Is that what the big bang was, the universe collapsing and then spewing forth once more by some impossible design? Maybe the end and the beginning really are the same.

Comments

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Apr 4, 2022 21:04 by Stormbril

Oh man. These are some of my favourite ideas and questions to read and think about -- beginning, ends, what happens when the numbers in physics are turned up to their absolute extremes! I love the way you've brought this into your world, the way you've expanded and interpreted them, bring the story in to it. Tying mythology to it via Yggdrasil is just fantastic as well. Loving this :D

Apr 12, 2022 13:31 by R. Dylon Elder

Tha is so much for the kind words man. I appreciate it and I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

May 28, 2022 09:39

I'd just like to say that it is always a pleasure to read your scifi work and especially when it comes to topics like this. Taking smth mysterious and turning it into smth somewhat familiar yet many times more horrifying, its really nice work, Dylon.

May 28, 2022 13:51 by R. Dylon Elder

Thanks so much dark! I really appreciate it. The moment I heard the theory I just knew I had to use it and it means a lot to hear the decision was well made.

Jun 4, 2022 08:21 by Grace Gittel Lewis

God these sorts of things make me feel so small, and I can feel a similar sense coming from Amber here, too. Wild to think about

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