In Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, the tale of Courting Disaster includes some nifty Faster Than Light (FTL) travel that is reached via “flashpoint.” It’s a series-wide concept explored in Inherit the Stars, StarDog and Farewell Andromeda that allows specialized ships to “slip the bonds of 3D” and enter another dimension—the Dark Energy Dimension or DEDspace—as an almost instantaneous way of traveling from point A to point Z in our galaxy.
You could think of flashpoint as a sort of a high tech shortcut around the stars.
In the here and now, scientists aren’t 100% sure that Dark Energy and Dark Matter exist, they only have theories that they must in order for the universe to function the way that it does. Something is keeping the galaxies from spinning apart. The problem is, neither Dark Energy nor Dark Matter can be seen or sensed. And so far, there’s been no proof that either is really out there. All scientists know is that, mathematically, the universe can’t behave as it does without this pair of forces.
Here’s a surprise. Based on scientific calculations, we can only see a little over 4% of our actual universe, with the dark and mysterious components accounting for almost 96%. That’s a whole lot of big and scary nothing!
When I started researching possible FTL travel, I wanted to avoid using jump gates or hyperspace or any of a number of ideas that had already been explored in science fiction. I needed to create something new. The concept that made the most sense to me is that Dark Energy combined with Dark Matter actually exist in another unknown dimension. That I could get my head around. (And better yet, my muse seemed to love the idea, too!)
Though up to nine dimensions (or more!) might mathematically exist, our tangible bodies are programmed to function in only three–height, width, depth. Or maybe four, if you consider time itself a dimension. So what if the combined elements of Dark Energy and Dark Matter exist in one of these other, unknown dimensions and it’s a place we could actually enter if we found a means to do so? And once we’ve entered this ‘flashpoint portal’ we might be able to span huge distances in normal space, almost instantaneously.
That’s the science fiction behind the prototype starships in my series. The DEDspace drive was invented by a man named Zaviar Mennelsohn, who is frequently mentioned in the series, and his discovery is touched on in Courting Disaster here:
“…The first ship to prove his theories that DEDspace existed. The first vessel to cross the flashpoint barrier. That was some thirty calendars ago, right here in the Rift.” If Jagger’s memory served, Drea’s father had had some crazy notion that the charged particles in the Bradley Rift interacted with Dark Energy Dimension space. But it was a crazy idea that had proven to be right.
So DEDspace drive capability is a huge advantage. But to balance the laws of nature, there has to be a huge tradeoff. And so there is.
“I don’t know much about DEDspace…except that it hurts,” Ket remarked.
Jagger turned his head back to the stars. “The price we pay for slipping the bonds of 3D.”
Flashpoint is not fun. In fact, it’s terrifying. It alters the senses and perceptions and distorts time, space and reality, so it’s downright tortuous for crew and passengers to experience. It even drives some unfortunate souls completely insane. So it’s not a practical way to jump around the cosmos, even if it is a necessary and advantageous method for a select few.
Like every “superpower,” this rare ability comes at a price.
Laurie’s story – Courting Disaster: StarDog2
A commander of a spaceship faces the toughest decision of his life when he vows to protect the woman and her StarDog that he is escorting through a dangerous section of space.
About the Author
Laurie A. Green is a three-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, an award-winning author, and a science fiction romance enthusiast who founded the SFR Brigade community of writers, which is now over 1,000 members strong.
She confesses to being an Andromeda Galaxy groupie and would someday love to own a vacation home on Mars or Titan. She’s enthused to be a part of this wonderful anthology mash-up of two of her favorite things–pets and space.
Website [ http://www.laurieagreen.com/ ]
FB Handle: @AuthorLaurieAGreen
Twitter [ https://twitter.com/SFRLaurie ]
Twitter Handle: @SFRLaurie
Amazon Author Page [ https://www.amazon.com/Laurie-A.-Green/e/B00S456PDE/ ]
Blurb for Embrace the Romance: Pets In Space 2:
The pets are back! Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 2, featuring twelve of today’s leading Science Fiction Romance authors brings you a dozen original stories written just for you! Join in the fun, from the Dragon Lords of Valdier to a trip aboard award-winning author, Veronica Scott’s Nebula Zephyr to journeying back to Luda where Grim is King, for stories that will take you out of this world! Join New York Times, USA TODAY, and Award-winning authors S.E. Smith, M.K. Eidem, Susan Grant, Michelle Howard, Cara Bristol, Veronica Scott, Pauline Baird Jones, Laurie A. Green, Sabine Priestley, Jessica E. Subject, Carol Van Natta, and Alexis Glynn Latner as they share stories and help out Hero-Dogs.org, a charity that supports our veterans!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence.