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The End-- and Clifford Dunburton

A ravenous maw in space



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This story is dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft and Brian Lumley.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: The reason this story is dedicated to Lovecraft and Lumley is that the reader may dial up its frightening nature at will-- perhaps to unbearable heights. How so? By simply consulting the references following the story, and seeking to find anything-- anything at all-- which renders the central idea proposed as implausible or impossible.

So I suppose the real question is: just how scared do you wish to be for the next three years? END NOTE.

Clifford Dunburton: the greatest mind of his era

Clifford Dunburton was a genius. He possessed one of the highest intelligence quotients ever measured, according to authorities.

Dunburton had easily obtained every academic degree and title he'd tried for. Trounced innumerable competitors in various contests of knowledge and cognition.

He'd also enjoyed his choice of numerous and highly lucrative job offers along the way.

But it was there that he had stumbled, and badly.

For he'd found himself grossly overqualified for every job he accepted. Overqualified-- and bored to tears.

This had led to a string of very brief stints at various prestigious institutions-- until word got around that he was virtually unemployable, so far as top posts were concerned.

Clifford Dunburton: failed genius and misfit

In the inglorious end, Dunburton had resigned himself to returning to academia, as a simple teacher of a few high end physics and mathematics courses. This too was utterly beneath him. But by then he'd burned too many bridges, and the market held few alternatives for him.

In his free time Dunburton perused the latest scientific journals.

Often Dunburton wished fervently that he could solve the dilemma of his own existence. Answer the question of why he'd come to be trapped in such mediocre circumstances, equipped with a mind so out of place and alien to his environment and peers.

Dunburton felt like he didn't belong here. That indeed, mankind entire did not belong here. It just didn't make sense to him. Although he couldn't pin down the reason why...

This notion eventually reached the top of his intellectual curiosity list. To culminate one day in an epiphany. When suddenly several scientific reports he'd read over a matter of weeks crystallized into a shocking new concept.

The topics of dark matter and dark energy, the Big Bang, and the Great Attractor class of objects which led to beyond the visible edge of the universe, all seemed to suddenly interconnect in his thoughts.

And Clifford Dunburton made the greatest realization of his life.

The sudden excitement was overwhelming. Dunburton sought to calm himself-- for it couldn't be as simple as he'd envisioned-- could it?

Cascading revelations

The long sought answer to what existed before the Big Bang; why the universe had inflated so; why there was more gravity in the universe than could be accounted for by detectable mass; what the dark energy expanding the universe might be; what the significance of the hidden intergalactic attractors just beyond human sight could be.

Even the origins of the most mysterious and anomalous gamma ray bursts of deep, deep intergalactic space-- immense outpourings of pure energy, which often rivaled the power of the Big Bang itself; as well as a perfect solution to the Fermi Paradox: Clifford Dunburton now seemed to know all these things.

But as his hand holding his drink trembled with excitement, he contemplated how to fill in the details of his idea. How to confirm its accuracy, without simultaneously giving it away to his colleagues.

Within a matter of hours Dunburton had emailed carefully scripted and circumspect questions to other pertinent scientific minds.

It was some days before all had replied. The waiting had been terrible, as Dunburton fussed over his personal calculations regarding the matter, seeking out some great flaw that he'd somehow missed.

Not a single reply offered anything refuting his piece meal notions, however.

After so many days of manic enthusiasm, Dunburton finally lapsed into a much calmer state.

Now that he knew everything he thought was utterly plausible, he was free to flesh out the details, and ponder implications.

Being equipped with arguably the best mind on Earth, it didn't take him long: just a single weekend.

And with that, Clifford Dunburton came to know what some referred to as the mind of God: the secret of all creation.

How all that is came to be

Before the Big Bang-- in another universe entire-- a rich star-making region was in overdrive. A vast region of gas and dust was collapsing into itself, to form a single ultra-galaxy; a body so immense it could never exist under the physical laws of our own universe.

But in that other reality, it did. At least until things reached a tipping point-- and near the center, several relatively small black holes suddenly merged to make a critical mass monster.

From the moment the monster took shape, the great proto hyper galaxy was doomed. For much of its bulk's spin and angular momentum was such that the newly formed monster hole was perfectly situated to swallow it whole, in an extremely rare and rapid cosmic orgy of destruction.

The monster black hole simply became still larger and more beastly as it gorged itself on star stuff; and the vortex of matter pouring into its maw turned into a raging torrent, flooding the vicinity with byproducts of killer gamma rays and deadly antimatter streams.

In far less time than it would have taken under physical laws familiar to humanity, practically nothing was left of the vast original body. And the great monster hole, now free of its surrounding matter mantle, floated utterly isolated in the void, invisible to all but for the enormous tug of its gravity, waiting to devour anything else which might enter its territory...

Inside the monstrous hole, the rush of entering matter had been pulverized to the quantum level and beyond, effectively resetting it to become something entirely different and new.

A different flavor of spacetime filled the interior of the hole, compared to that outside. A special, highly distorted form of reality.

In this unique spacetime trapped within the hole, all the matter contained therein underwent vastly accelerated processes in terms of development. Literally becoming a pocket universe in its own right, with its own physical laws-- even as it spiraled downwards from the black hole's event horizon, towards the sizzling naked singularity at its heart.

An entire universe came into being within the maelstrom of matter swallowed by the monster hole. And evolution burst forth upon a trillion of its newly formed worlds.

Soon after, various entities in the pocket universe attained sentience, and puzzled over this strange Big Bang out of nowhere which had begat their reality.

The unseen monster which awaits us

They also struggled to understand what the mind-numbingly massive mystery object at the far end of a line of gigantic clumped together galaxies could be. At first they'd thought the nearest clump to be the puzzlingly powerful gravity source, and named it the Great Attractor. But then that clump had turned out to be only a quarter the size of the one behind it (the Shapley supercluster). Then the Shapley itself was judged not to be the ultimate source either-- but instead something still unseen behind it.

Some as yet inexplicable object of more mass than any other collection of items in the entire visible universe, seemed to exist at the far end of all those flying clusters of trillions of stars and quadrillions of planets.

Something which was inexorably pulling the very fabric of the entire rest of the universe towards it.

The mystery object was, of course, the naked singularity at the bottom of the well. Where the pocket universe would soon meet its end.

The furthest advanced of these pocket universe beings eventually realized their predicament, and either resigned themselves to their fates, or else tried moving their own versions of heaven and earth to escape-- or at least buy themselves more time.

The prodigious bursts of power necessary to attempt these things much resembled immense natural gamma ray bursts from afar-- and truth be told, spacetime fluctuations along the outer fringes of the pocket universe were making for plenty of bursts of their own.

For the unschooled in such matters, it could be tough to discern artificially triggered gamma bursts from natural occurrences. Since they could also be caused by colliding neutron stars and similar magnitude events.

The Fermi Paradox resolved

It could be that some of those civilizations responsible for the unnatural gamma bursts actually harbored hopes of regaining the event horizon threshold, and escaping the hole altogether.

But in any case, this firmly resolved the Fermi Paradox, as to why no alien civilization had bothered to contact humanity-- they were busy with far more important matters.

The beings on a small backward planet they called Earth furrowed their brows over the reason for all the extra gravity they detected in their pocket universe; more gravity than could be accounted for in detectable mass. They called this conundrum 'dark matter'.

This extra gravity of course was the immense pull from all the other matter beyond their visibility in the well-- and the ravenous singularity itself.

But what of the contrasting effect they called dark energy? That was merely the perception of the across-the-board stretching or distortion of the entire pocket universe, occurring as it fell ever nearer to its end.

The accelerated passage of time in the core of the pocket universe also helped thwart many of its inhabitants' efforts to explain the true nature of their environment.

New clues to all this had only recently come from humanity's own local region of space-- in cases such as the Pioneer anomaly.

But it seemed no one but Dunburton had put together all the pieces as of yet.

Dunburton couldn't be satisfied until he'd calculated out every single major consequence of his new realization.

Doom draws near on cat feet

It was the final nugget which shocked him most.

He redid his calculations a second time. Then a third. Then went over them for a fourth time. There seemed to be no mistake.

And at last, Dunburton knew the why behind his own existence. He'd be born for exactly this: to be all humanity's understanding of the what and why and when of their end. To be the brightest flame of consciousness in this region of the universe, before all were snuffed out.

The physics could not be denied: this universe would enter its last leg of existence only two years, eight months, and four days from now.

Beyond that point, it would rapidly become obvious to everyone that something major was amiss: multiple and overlapping clues of the living nightmare to come would fill the nightly newscasts.

Dunburton did not envy the living of those days ahead.

There was absolutely nothing humanity could do to save themselves, he knew. They'd wasted far too much time and money on weapons of war and other instruments of retardation of progress, such as religion. They'd also handed over too much control to corporations in general, and oligarchic structures in particular, and stifled innovation in that manner.

Dunburton thought wistfully of the signs of alien escape or postponement efforts which lit up humanity's gamma ray burst detectors. Maybe some of them would make it out. Others would definitely lengthen their lifespans therewith. But not humanity. Not ignorant, squabbling, warring, God-fearing-- insane-- humanity.

Carpe diem

Dunburton sat back in his chair, and lit a cigar. No need to worry about cancer anymore. Or much of anything, really.

From this point on, Dunburton mused, he'd set about pursuing many of the pleasures he'd never had time for before. Including those for which dire consequences might accrue, a few years down the road.

Dunburton chuckled to himself. His private knowledge now bequeathed to him certain freedoms even the wealthiest on Earth did not possess.

The cigar gave him another idea: how he'd end his own life, before the last day of this so-called 'normal' existence dawned. He'd peacefully go to sleep in his car, with the motor running, in a tightly sealed garage.

In that way he'd escape humanity's apt punishment for their boorish ways.

But what about his epiphany? Should he alert his fellow human beings as to what was going to kill them all in such a horrific manner only a few dozen months from now?

No, he decided. There would be no accolades for the man who saw the face of doom and described it. Better to simply let them meet it unawares.

Plus, enlightening others would only make it more difficult for him personally to enjoy humanity's final days. For civilization would surely soon be in shambles, and daily life much more harsh, as a result.

Besides, it didn't matter anyway. It couldn't be stopped. Or avoided either, in any way other than a hastened death.

The only real shame of it all was that he, Clifford Dunburton, had unraveled the greatest mystery in human history-- and no one but himself would ever know, or care.

Being the smartest man on Earth wasn't as much fun as you'd expect.

But he had two years, eight months, and four days in which to change that.

a - j m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l

Related readings:

Do Black Holes Create New Universes? One of World's Leading Physicists Says "Yes" December 28, 2009

"Could our universe be located within the interior of a wormhole which itself is part of a black hole that lies within a much larger universe?"

"From that it follows that our universe could have itself formed from inside a black hole existing inside another universe,"

"This model in isotropic coordinates of the universe as a black hole could explain the origin of cosmic inflation, Poplawski theorizes."

-- Our universe at home within a larger universe? So suggests IU theoretical physicist's wormhole research April 6, 2010 contact Steve Chaplin, University Communications, at 812-856-1896 or stjchap@indiana.edu

Our Universe Was Born in a Black Hole, Theory Says By Charles Q. Choi SPACE.com Contributor posted: 27 April 2010

Does Our Universe Live Inside a Wormhole? by Phil Berardelli on April 9, 2010

Every Black Hole Contains Another Universe? And our universe may sit in another universe's black hole, equations predict. Ker Than for National Geographic News April 9, 2010

Are We Living Inside a Black Hole? By Rebecca Boyle Posted 07.23.2010

Why Our Universe Must Have Been Born Inside a Black Hole A small change to the theory of gravity implies that our universe inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born. July 13, 2010

Are Massive Arcs of High-Energy Photons That Sweep the Milky Way From Another Universe? by Casey Kazan; June 30, 2010

The Black Hole Universe Is our universe housed in a black hole? Or did it exist before the Big Bang? If so, we could solve the mystery of dark energy—surprisingly, it’s all down to the humble neutrino. by Kate Becker May 28, 2010

A measure for the multiverse 03 March 2010 by Amanda Gefter Magazine issue 2750

"And if that's true, the end could be much nearer than we think."

-- Dark Matter May Explain the Puzzling Change in Earth-Sun Distance January 14, 2010

Big Bang

Dark matter

Dark energy

Great Attractor

Milky Way feels tug of largest mass in the universe 15 December 2005 by Maggie McKee

Science: Mapping the extent of the Great Attractor 03 February 1990 by MARCUS CHOWN; Magazine issue 1702

Gamma-ray burst

Gamma Ray Astronomy: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly The current golden age for gamma ray astronomy is creating more questions than answers. November 04, 2009

Fermi paradox

Pioneer anomaly

The Puzzle of Astronomy's Unexplained Anomalies A series of mysterious observations of objects within the solar system could indicate the existence of exotic new physics. July 29, 2009

Black hole

Bizarre theory suggests time may be running out 18/12/2007

Kardashev scale

Speeding Stars Confirm Bizarre Nature of Faraway Galaxies by Clara Moskowitz; space.com – Aug 5 2009

Astronomers discover stars in early galaxies had a need for speed; 6-Aug-2009; Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu 203-691-9181 Yale University

13 more things: Fly-by anomalies; 02 September 2009; Magazine issue 2724

13 more things: Axis of evil; 02 September 2009; Magazine issue 2724

13 more things: Dark flow; 02 September 2009; Magazine issue 2724

"Dark Flow" Discovered at Edge of the Universe: Hundreds of Millions of Stars Racing Towards a Cosmic Hotspot Posted by Luke McKinney August 26, 2009

New Calculations Suggest Universe May be Closer to Heat Death By Ron Cowen, Science News; October 5, 2009

Galaxy study hints at cracks in dark matter theories; 30 September 2009 by Stuart Clark

Invisible hand in invisible matter October 6, 2009

Black holes are the ultimate particle smashers; 09 September 2009 by Jessica Griggs; Magazine issue 2725

Time Likely To End Within Earth's Lifespan, Say Physicists kfc 09/28/2010

Knot in the ribbon at the edge of the solar system 'unties' 30-Sep-2010 Contact: Maria Martinez maria.martinez@swri.org 210-522-3305 Southwest Research Institute

A Black Hole With the Mass of a Galaxy Posted by Rebecca Sato with Casey Kazan September 08, 2010

Fine Structure Constant Varies With Direction in Space, Says New Data A spatial variation in the fine structure constant has profound implications for cosmology August 26, 2010

Galaxies exiting universe in the fast lane By Dan Vergano Mar 11, 2010

Trans-cosmic flow broadens our horizon September 25th, 2008 11:08 AM by Phil Plait

Discovery that quasars don't show time dilation mystifies astronomers April 9, 2010 by Lisa Zyga

New Proof Unknown "Structures" Tug at Our Universe Mysterious "dark flow" extends deeper than previously seen. John Roach for National Geographic News March 22, 2010

Mysterious cosmic 'dark flow' tracked deeper into universe 10-Mar-2010 Contact: Francis Reddy francis.j.reddy@nasa.gov 301-286-4453 NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Mystery 'dark flow' extends towards edge of universe 16 November 2009 by Marcus Chown Magazine issue 2734

a - j m o o n e y h a m . c o m - o r i g i n a l

Copyright © 2009-2010 by J.R. Mooneyham. All rights reserved.