Terrence E Zavecz edited the summary of Nodal Convergence Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
Nodal ConvergenceOutline A species can either evolve or pass into extinction … or do both?A story of Cretaceous StationA New approach to Fantasy based on Science Fact
Nodal Convergence opens with a young man searching a southwest Texas riverbed for fossils. Travelling alone, he doesn’t hunt for dry, lifeless bones. Rather, he searches for something unique to this area. Stories set in stone, true tales in the form of footprints and the traveled paths of long dead dinosaurs. They seem to abound in the area; tales set in stone of small family travels as well as life and death struggles along the edges of an ancient shallow ocean.He discovers a track set, an exceptional one, and has sense enough to call in the experts from the University of Texas. A team arrives and they uncover a hair-raising story of the chase and capture. The prints are clear and have embedded nodules that may be actual artifacts. Carefully examining the nodules, they are surprised to uncover a metal chain. Their speculation runs past other “out of place” artifacts found in various sites of the past hundred years. Strange things of human origin that just could not coexist within the dinosaur era. One major difference however is that this is the first such artifact to be uncovered using the scientific methods of a trained field team. Then the field engineers discover something unheard of, a raptor’s claw embedded in the chain. A proof of authenticity that marks a very significant find that, should they report it, could draw enough criticism to end their careers.Many years later, a young and very prosperous company is making its fortune by mining water from the oceans on one of Jupiter’s near moons, Europa. Their laboratories have recently developed a nearly instantaneous communications technology based on the particle-wave duality of gravitation that was first proposed over a hundred years ago. Corporate business plans focus on taking the next major step. They have been able to extrapolate their communications models to a unique propulsion technology. An engine based on using gravitic waves to propel objects many times faster than light speed. Fabulous profits lie ahead in controlling interstellar trade and colonization.There is only one very bothersome problem; contrary to the theory, their drives cannot physically exceed lightspeed. Gravitonics Theory dictates that the starships should be capable of travelling many times faster than the speed of light. Something must be wrong with the models. There is strong evidence suggesting that the problem must be in the base models of the theory. Some of the assumed galactic constants must in fact be slowly changing variables, but which ones and how do they respond? Proper identification and characterization of these variables will result in starship design changes and travel speeds exceeding many times the speed of light and a true path to the stars. Yet, how can they characterize subtle changes that slowly occur over millions of years?A potential solution presents itself in a recent discovery that the Red Spot of Jupiter is actually a cosmic string anchored in a black hole that is the center of the planet. The exotic combination forms a natural time machine that could allow them to travel far back to fixed points in the past and measure again the constants of the universe. A way to travel back far enough in time to see changes in the universe and improve the drive models. Invoking a small clause in her grant contract, Paleontologist Doctor Sara Wenford and her family are pulled from her research in the dinosaur fossil fields of Patagonia by Francis Nolen, founder of GraviDynamics. Sara, her husband Paul and their twins John and Brittany soon find themselves at a remote water mining station on ice-covered Europa, the sixth moon of Jupiter. Here, their real adventure begins. Arriving on the eve of the expedition’s launch, Sara Wenford is appalled to find that her role has changed from research paleontologist to a naturalist assigned to station security.The 322 men, women and children of the crew of the Argos travel into the Red Spot and through time to a warm tropical earth without seasons. Preparing for a five-year research project, they carefully select a site on the shores of a shallow inland sea. A site easily defended from the known dangers of the wildlife.Surprises begin early with their first steps on the Earth. The atmosphere contains more oxygen than the present day and the pull of gravity is noticeably lower. These early discoveries suggest that the expense of the expedition may be justified in that at least one universal constant is actually a variable. Plans are enacted for the setup of work and living quarters on the station.A hunting group of six foot tall Troondons provides the engineers first encounter with the local wildlife. The security of the plateau cliffs allows the explorers to defend themselves against the attack. The Troondons are the product of a hundred million years of evolutionary adaptation to their environment. They are beautiful in both their grace and in their brightly feathered bodies. Sara observes that the attack is coordinated and controlled. Early questions of the dinosaur’s intelligence arise.Sara and Brittany return from weapons practice and discover a nest of Hypsilophodonts on the plateau. They are not theropod predators but are omnivores, almost human in size and behavior and with five fingered hands. The “Hypes” are friendly and the expedition allows them to continue nesting on the plateau of the research station. Sara’s daughter Brittany is drawn toward the cuddly, soft down-covered Hype chicks. Defense as well as station readiness construction is underway.Preparations for the Argos landing finish quickly and Nolen schedules a celebration dinner on the top of the plateau. They send out a food gathering expedition up the nearby river. Many forms of sea and land wildlife are encountered on the short trip, the world is alive with color and life. Strange, almost alien plants and animals live beside even more strangely familiar lifeforms.The hunting party spots a herd of duck-billed Hadrosaurids on shore. They are grazing peacefully, fifteen to twenty feet in height and are beautifully feathered. The party considers them as a source of food and is about to go ashore when they notice a small, fifteen foot high Tyrannosaurus Rex stalking the herd. The T-Rex attacks but does not even attempt to kill. Several more T-Rex’s magically appear from hiding in front of the increasingly nervous herd. They maim and drive the herd down the valley floor toward the river. Then the adult T-Rex’s appear in front of the panicked Hadrosaurids and the real killing begins.The feathered displays and ferocity of the T-Rex stuns the human hunters. They are amazed at the violence of the attack, the agility of the predators and the high level of coordination in their hunting. The T-Rex are hunting for food but they kill just as much for the pure joy of it.The T-Rex finish feeding and move off down the valley leaving many dead and dying victims. A wounded hadrosaurid provides the opportunity for meat gathering and the humans venture ashore. They kill and butcher the dinosaur while fighting off the increasing numbers of scavengers. Fleeing back to their boat and the river, they return home to the Station. On the way home they drop traps into the ocean to pick up seafood for the celebration.The Argos lands and begins unloading as the Hypes sing their songs to the new sunrise. Thanksgiving dinner runs into the evening with foods both familiar and strange. Unexpected entertainment is provided by John Wenford’s programming of thousands of microscopic sized Hive-Bots. The music draws the Hypes to the festival. The display and most of all the music fascinate the Hypes who are drawn to the edges of the festival, unseen at first by the expedition members. The humans are amazed at the unexpected number of Hypes actually present within the security perimeter of the Station.Raw materials are needed for the experiments and some equipment must be manufactured on site. A mining expedition moves into the mountains to setup for excavations. The construction crew watches from afar as a family of T-Rex are ambushed by another family of the same species. The squabble is territorial. A problem exists, how can they rid the valley of the T-Rex family and the large herd of Hadrosaurids?They decide to chase the large dinosaurs out using a controlled burn down the valley. The drive seems to be working when smaller T-Rex like predators begin rising from tunnels in the brush. They are coal-black Nanotyranus, or “Blackbirds” and they attack in swarms. The humans are soon involved in close combat. They fight their way back to the Hunter Recon vehicle and are driven from the valley.After the expedition circles back, the Blackbirds have disappeared and they can now seal the valley from the larger predators that were successfully driven out by the fire. The Blackbirds are still around, apparently living in tunnels with other human sized dinosaurs. The humans decide to explore the nesting tunnels of the dinosaurs to learn more about them. A solution presents itself from what they learn in the tunnels and the setup of the excavation is completed. Evening song fills the valley and the expedition feels the wonder and beauty of the new world as night settles on the campsite.Back at the Cretaceous Station, seven-year-old Gabe Zavtek leaves the plateau while playing with a Hype chick. He encounters some young troondons also playing on the mainland. They take him back to their nest area where he is adopted and protected by a female troondon.The humans discover Gabe is missing and rush out to track and rescue him. Three Hypes travel along and help in tracking. They follow the trail to the nests and discover the troondon have moved. The chase is on across the high plateau while the Station readies it’s support. They cross paths with many strange areas and dinosaurs. Brittany falls into a Sauropod footprint in a marsh and almost drowns.The rescuers eventually find the troondons but the dinosaurs are in trouble. As they watch, the dinos are attacked by Utahraptors. The humans rush in to help and rescue Gabe. They are driven back, boxed in and themselves trapped.In the meantime, two pilots travel north along the shore in search of heavy-metal raw materials and gold for the fabrication of test equipment. They pass over a younger Yellowstone on their journey toward the western Sierras. Then they find a massive object in the flow field of an active volcano.They stop to investigate the mass and find it is old. It is also operational and has doors. They explore inside and find mostly empty rooms with indications of heavy wear. Exploring further, the pilots find some dolls and an active paper that is still operational. They are attacked on their way back to the Hunter Recon but manage to escape.Back at the station, the trapped troondons are sheltering in a den of boulders with the humans and some very nervous Hypes. The humans plan a distraction while another human and a Hype run out the back. They want to move back to a point that they can contact the rescue teams waiting by the river cliffs.They run and four Utahraptors give pursuit. As a diversion, they run past and wake the three sleeping T-Rex. The Utahraptors are delayed by the T-Rex but continue their pursuit. The Hype splits away and is run to ground by the Utahraptors. A communications collar of Hive-Bots around its neck saves its life by attacking the eyes and noses of the raptors. The ID chain around the neck of the Hype is ripped and a broken claw falls to the muddy trail to be picked up years later as an “out of place” artifact by future paleontologists. The Human and the Hype rejoin and bring the rescue team. They are driving off the Utahraptor pack when the T-Rexes, having heard the commotion, attack. They successfully kill the T-Rex pack and the party leaves the troondon to settle into their new homes.The return to the station is joyous but the explorers find that the Hypes are fortifying their plateau tunnels. A time of migration is here and a large pack of Albertosaurs have moved into the land above the plateau that was vacated by the troondon. The young raptors chase and kill two security people, gaining access to the plateau. During the battle, the automated tunnel defenses are destroyed and young raptors emerge from the sea-side of the Station to begin driving the Hypes and humans toward the narrow neck of the plateau and the waiting trap of the elders. The humans fight desperately. They are losing through sheer numbers when a Hunter Recon drives them back and seals the entrance to the plateau. A series of findings have just arrived from the orbiting telescopes. The expedition now sees progress and the future of faster than light speed is practically guaranteed. The data also suggest that the sun is in a very different arm of the Milky Way. Stars and debris in this arm are very dense and close. This debris will result in the tragic K-T distinction event of the non-avian dinosaurs as well as the drastic changes in climate for eons to come. For the humans, their new location in the galactic arm provides opportunity and a chance for survival of the intelligent Hypsilophodont. The stellar neighborhood has changed drastically. There are now many stars with very earthlike planets nearby. They are hundreds of light years closer to the earth in this arm of the galaxy than in the expedition’s home timeframe. A stellar port, located here would allow easy and fast colonization of the nearby stars. The scientists further speculate that the cosmic string nodes of the past extinctions, all occurring as the earth passes into a new galactic arm, could provide even more colonization of other optimum stars further back in the past.The human race will move to the stars using starports located near the extinction events. The first starport will be built at Cretaceous Station. This will greatly improve the survival chances of the human race. Strangely enough, the human race will have established colonies on distant stars over 65 million years before the start of the original Cretaceous Station expedition!