Not The End

The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted.
Professor Stephen Hawking

Hawking has put forward a new theory around information surviving in a black hole. The Information Paradox results from a conflict between quantum mechanics and general relativity. One posits permanent destruction of all matter while the other necessitates preservation even when faced with something so ultimately destructive as a singularity.

On the left, an optical image from the Digitized Sky Survey shows Cygnus X-1, outlined in a red box. Cygnus X-1 is located near large active regions of star formation in the Milky Way, as seen in this image that spans some 700 light years across. An artist's illustration on the right depicts what astronomers think is happening within the Cygnus X-1 system. Cygnus X-1 is a so-called stellar-mass black hole, a class of black holes that comes from the collapse of a massive star. New studies with data from Chandra and several other telescopes have determined the black hole's spin, mass, and distance with unprecedented accuracy.

Hawking has suggested it might be possible for information about an object to survive on the boundary – the event horizon – or pass through into an alternate universe.

Which immediately got me thinking. See, Hawking suggests that if information about an object did survive on the event horizon, it would be as a chaotic mess.

Numenera – The characters find a portal through to a station suspended on the outer edge of a blackness in the void. The station appears automated and contains a mass of ancient numenera – many rather similar to 3D printers in concept (though the characters wouldn’t make that association). Massive scoops or fine mesh arrays seem to pick up dissonant waves from the void, then crunch the output, occasionally attempting to reconstruct ‘something’. It would appear that:

(A) a Datasphere entity,
(B) a high order member of the Convergence,
(C) a competing group of explorers working for a patron from the far north

– have arrived at the station first and seek to identify whether the station has found any retrievable strings of information. Legend tells that a particularly powerful artefact was once ejected into the void by extremists of a previous World – and it might not have ended in the state of oblivion they had hoped.

Call of Cthulhu – Less an adventure idea, more a consideration of concept. As I listened to the piece of news on the radio, I immediately had a vision of the event horizon. As bits of information accrete on the boundary, they appear like splashes of oil on a puddle. Flashes of Colour. With a capital C. The birth of a Colour resolves over immeasurable time, the product of chaos given form. Information from our universe and others steadily gathers, and probing tendrils of that newborn seek out nearby worlds for the energy needed to break free.

Perhaps characters in the End Time setting discover that reported sightings of the devastating Colour throughout history have been nothing more than splashes. The greater mass of the Colour proper remains trapped as a chaotic rainbow trapped in a singularity’s event horizon. Perhaps the Black Hole at the centre of our galaxy? Given the temporal distortion caused by such a massive singularity, the feeding ‘splashes’ of the Colour have appeared throughout history – but they all trace back to this single entity. And the time grows near when it will have sufficient energy to finally break free from it’s eternal prison…

Doctor Who – When The Doctors found a way to save Gallifrey, they did so by sealing a moment away in an image and then hiding that image away. Some suggest they cast the image away like a message in a bottle, certain that it would remain safe that way. They sealed the moment – the snapshot of Gallifrey’s existence – away with a lock and the key… well, that’s the single thing everyone seems so intent on finding – the Name of the Doctor.

All would be well if not for the existence of at least one other version of The Doctor, seemingly trapped in a parallel universe beyond reach. Rose’s Doctor. However, The Doctor couldn’t account for the strange variables that allowed for the existence of this reality, nor the rapid entropy in that universe. See, in the parallel universe there is no Logopolis, no one to monitor, calculate and make adjustments to prevent the heat death of the universe. The singularity at the heart of the parallel Milky Way has already flared wide in the early death spasms of this universe – destroying everything, including Rose and her Doctor. But, it would appear that nothing can truly vanish.

Something has detected the cough of information spilling through into our universe from the singularity at the heart of the Milky Way. As the parallel twin consumes everything, a chaotic spray of information emerges and gathers on the event horizon in our universe. A dark construct lingers on the edge of the singularity, an echo of a landscape peopled by shadows and looking like some fleeting memory of the Death Zone. A tower at the heart of the zone pokes out into the very limits of the horizon – and a corona of strange coloured fire flickers around it, seeking one string of information… While in the catacombs of the tower sits a painting. A canvas showing a single glimpse of a world thought lost.

Any other ideas?


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