The Anomaly Volume Three: Into the Unknowable
Caution: This Science Fiction Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Ma/Ma, Gay, Lesbian, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Hermaphrodite, Science Fiction, Group Sex, Interracial, Size, Nudism, Science fiction adult story, sci-fi adult story, science-fiction sex story, sci-fi sex story
Desc: Science Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - The voyage of the Space Ship Intrepid is approaching its end. Will the nature of the Anomaly at last reveal itself? This is a question of paramount importance to Vashti and Beatrice, and in which there is no greater stake. For Captain Kerensky, the success of the mission is measured more by the well-being of the Intrepid's crew and passengers. Whereas Paul remains blissfully ignorant and unaware of almost everything around him and expects to play no part in the success of the mission.
The Anomaly - 3755 C.E.
What could be seen looked very much like a lion. It was a lion, however, whose tail was alive in a way a lion's tail should never be. Instead of gathering in a tassel, the tail ended with the head and body of a snake that hissed and curled around itself. It was a lion moreover that had the head of a goat arising absurdly from the middle of its back beyond the mane and above the lion's shoulders. The apparition roared. It hissed. It bleated.
And then it vanished.
The only evidence that Service Vehicle Zorglube had of the chimæra's presence was what it had recorded. There was nothing left behind in empty space to prove that for a few brief moments a creature had been present whose origins belonged to human imagination from over four thousand years earlier. This creature, moreover, was able to bleat, roar and hiss in a part of the Solar System where there was no atmosphere, indeed no air pressure of any kind, and where the ambient temperature was cold enough to freeze Hydrogen. Nevertheless, there was a brief period of time during which the creature had measurable mass and was clearly visible in the dim light of deep space.
Like the many other Sirius vehicles orbiting the Anomaly, Service Vehicle Zorglube had viewed and recorded many of these strange apparitions. It was hoped that the steady accumulation and analysis of so much data would somehow eventually result in an understanding of just what these things were and how they were related to the Anomaly. Even so, despite many million such observations there had been no breakthrough in knowledge. The only thing that could be said for sure about the bizarre phenomena was that none of them should ever have happened and where they were happening was most definitely where they shouldn't be. What was also known that although the incidence of such apparitions was spread thinly and randomly throughout the Solar System as a whole, their abundance was greatest in the vicinity of the Anomaly.
But just what was the Anomaly?
Although Service Vehicle Zorglube had been orbiting the Anomaly for a century or more, it had no answer to the question. It was far easier to say what the Anomaly wasn't. It didn't have mass. It didn't emit particles, including those of light. It did have an extent and this was only discernible because where the Anomaly was present there was no light visible from the other side. And this was so from any direction from which it was observed. It was much longer than it was wide. That length could now be measured in tens of thousands of kilometres although its width had never increased beyond a kilometre. The Anomaly's fuzzy and indistinct boundary was as elusive as its mass. It could be defined only as the point at which light no longer passed through space, but that was a range that constantly changed. Sometimes the boundary flickered open to the extent that it simply swallowed up particles that not long earlier were beyond the boundary and now by chance no longer were. And when that happened, the particles simply ceased to be measurable. They had essentially vanished.
The period of time during which a particle vanished was as fuzzily defined as the boundary that defined the Anomaly's extent. When those particles happened to belong to a Sirius vehicle then its demise was exactly as indistinct and undefined as everything else consumed by the Anomaly. There was no prior indication from the transmission that anything untoward was about to happen. The last few signals were no different to those before the vehicle's communication systems flickered out of reach. And then it unhurriedly receded out of sight in a curiously foreshortened event horizon. The vehicle was gone and that was the end of it.
The Anomaly was a crowded place, even though this was wholly invisible to human civilisation from its viewpoint in the ecliptic plane. Several thousand space vehicles from the Sirius system were hovering about or orbiting in its immediate neighbourhood, but few were detectable by the technology available to the other stellar robot civilisations in the vicinity. There were several hundred Proxima Centauri space craft which were as visible to Sirius sensors as they were to each other, but were as totally invisible to human observers as the Sirius fleet was. The only robots visible to human observers and their sensors were the crude probes that the Interplanetary Union had sent to the Anomaly over the last century or so. They were woefully inadequate for the task and mostly ignored by the more sentient robots they were unable to see. They had attempted countless inconclusive experiments in the vicinity, but in general they were just orbiting the Anomaly and getting in everyone else's way.
Besides space craft from the Solar System, Proxima Centauri and Sirius, there was a more modest number of space vehicles from other neighbouring star systems but these were really hardly any better at the task of observation and research than the space probes sent by humans. Proxima Centauri and Sirius were the two robot civilisations with the greatest interest in the Anomaly and they kept their intentions—along with all other communication—very much to themselves. Neither knew about the objectives of the other and both asserted that their presence so far beyond the comet clouds of their own stellar systems was purely for reasons of scientific research.
A small fire was burning half a million kilometres away. This was again impossible given the fact that there was no combustible material in this region of deep space and certainly no oxygen to maintain it. Inside the fire was a bird the size of a large chicken that appeared to be regenerated rather than consumed by the flames. This was an event that couldn't happen even on Earth where there was plenty of oxygen in the atmosphere. The apparition then vanished and again left no indication that it had ever existed.
Service Vehicle Zorglube knew that, although these apparitions appeared to be illusory, if they came into contact with any other object during the period of time they existed the interaction was as actual and physical as it would be with a corporeal object. On several occasions, these apparitions occurred in a region of space where a space craft was located. Usually this was nothing worse than a mere oddity. A man with huge outspread wings flew directly into an invisible space craft and rebounded in pain from the unexpected impact. A rowing boat in which an owl and a cat were sitting momentarily spun out of control in the vortex of gravitational flux surrounding an invisible force field. Sometimes the result was rather less benign. A diplodocus materialised within the confines of a vehicle that was too small to accommodate it and the deadly outcome of this encounter was a sudden explosion of blood and burst intestines. However, every single blood splatter and freely floating internal organ vanished simultaneously with those parts of the animal that remained intact. On another occasion a vehicle exploded from the impact with an internal object whose presence could only be fleetingly glimpsed in the flying fragments of the previously invisible space craft.
It seemed that the only possible way to find out more about the Anomaly was by penetrating its boundary, but for external observers such a suicidal endeavour was pointless in the pursuit of useful knowledge. The first observation of a space vehicle disappearing without trace within the Anomaly was undoubtedly a significant event, but as a growing number of increasingly sophisticated space vehicles disappeared and revealed no more information than the first loss such an adventure was now viewed as nothing more than an expensive waste of resources. The effort required to design a vehicle, build it, and then transport it over eight light years of empty space was a drain that couldn't be supported when there were no useful observations or results.
There would be little to worry about if the Anomaly were to simply remain as it was. There were countless other currently inexplicable phenomena in the vast expanse of time and space which were also of general academic interest. As they were mostly a huge number of light years distant and stayed stable over a long period of time there was no urgency associated with such research. The Anomaly, however, was in the local stellar neighbourhood and its extent was increasing at an alarming rate. Its length was extending by several hundred kilometres a year and this rate of growth was actually accelerating. It didn't take much arithmetic to calculate the threat posited when a significantly large region within the star cluster was growing at an increasing rate and whose only observable effect was to swallow up without trace whatever it came into contact with. If the Anomaly spread as far as the ecliptic plane then the entire Solar System would be at best destabilised and at worst totally consumed.
The urgency was further heightened by the interest the Interplanetary Union was currently showing in the Anomaly. It was inevitable that humans should also be concerned about the Anomaly and eventually allocate substantial resources for a significant fact-finding mission. Since the nature of the apparitions associated with the Anomaly implied that it had a particular significance for human society, the presence of actual human beings rather than their artefacts might well cause the Anomaly to behave in a way that was both unpredictable and dangerous. It was possible that an interaction between the human space ship and the Anomaly might cause the mysterious phenomenon to be transformed from something relatively benign but threatening to something positively lethal.
As was the case with all Sirius space craft, Service Vehicle Zorglube was simultaneously engaged in a multitude of different tasks. It was observing the Anomaly, it was scanning the neighbourhood for strange apparitions, and it was monitoring the approach of the space ship Intrepid from Earth. It wasn't at all surprised to observe the total failure of the assault by the Holy Crusaders on the Intrepid. Although it resulted in a regrettable loss of life, the outcome was totally predictable. What wasn't predicted and came as rather a shock was the space ship's annihilation of Alexander Iliescu's forces.
Analysis for this astonishing failure came to only one very disturbing conclusion. As it was impossible that the space ship Intrepid could have somehow secretly acquired military resources sufficient to destroy the massive amount of firepower that had been thrown at it, the only remaining possibility was that an additional force had augmented its defences. Whatever it was, it most obviously couldn't be of human origin. It became increasingly clear from the evidence received from the vicinity of the incident that the interceding force had been deployed by Proxima Centauri. This was a very much unwanted complication to Sirius's mission objectives. It was one thing to annihilate a human space ship. It was another altogether to tackle the forces arraigned against them by a robot civilisation whose technology was roughly equivalent to one's own.
Nevertheless, there was only one course of action left to the star fleet put in position by Sirius Mission Control. In spite of the complications that would result from vaporising a small fleet of Proxima Centauri space craft, this would be necessary to ensure that the Intrepid's progress towards the Anomaly was halted.
It didn't take very long for Sirius Mission Control to authorise the mission to intercept and destroy the human space ship and its Proxima Centauri entourage. There was no time for the decisions to be made at the Sirius star system or even with operatives hidden in the Solar System's ecliptic plane, so it had to be made on the basis of the mission's objectives. And these were clear and unambiguous. On no account should humans make direct contact with the Anomaly. Many Sirius operatives and space craft had been sacrificed over the past century to ensure that this remained so and it was necessary to maintain this state of affairs. The necessary flight instructions and battle plans were propagated throughout the Sirius space fleet.
All Sirius's vehicles and operatives in the Anomaly's vicinity were notified. Only a few were allowed to remain and this number most definitely didn't include Service Vehicle Zorglube which, like all the other Sirius vehicles, had more firepower than any one nation within the Interplanetary Union. The fleet of Sirius space craft that was now streaming away from the Anomaly and heading towards the Intrepid had an offensive capability many thousands of times greater than that Alexander Iliescu had employed. Although it contravened the general imperative that Sirius's robot civilisation should keep its presence secret and should intervene in human affairs as little as possible, this was a clear case where the mission objectives overrode all pre-established constraints.
At the same moment, the space ship Intrepid was speeding towards the Anomaly through the Oort cloud. By the time Service Vehicle Zorglube and its compatriots intercepted the space ship there would be virtually no comets or asteroids in the neighbourhood. Only telescopes and other sensory equipment several light months distant could observe the destruction of the human space ship. And when they received that information, it would be far too late to do anything about it.
And what could they even do?
It would be hardly likely that the Interplanetary Union could afford to launch a rescue mission for a space ship that would by then be reduced to particles so small that not one would be larger than a single molecule.