Apollo 23: Meta
This is the main "meta" page for the science fiction story Apollo 23. Collaborating authors can use this page to plan the story. There are two types of "meta" pages. The pages that are linked to from the top of the story navigation template are intended for readers of the story. All other "meta" pages (marked: For authors (warning: plot details!)) are intended only for those people who collaboratively write the story.
Note: Apollo 23 is only a temporary title for the story. Help select the final title at Apollo 23 Title.
Aliens from a distant world have been visiting Earth for millions of years. Occasionally the aliens send a human back in time to make a change to the course of human civilization. One such time traveler is Sakir, sent back to 1969 in an effort to prevent humans on Earth from realizing that the aliens exist. Sakir must decide if she can trust the aliens or if she should disrupt their plans to remain hidden from the people of Earth.
The main planning page for the plot is at Apollo 23 plot.
The aliens in this story are known as the Huaoshy, a form of advanced artificial life that originated long ago from a type of human-like organism that originated on the planet Solatun. The Huaoshy began exploring outer space about 600 million years ago. They soon discovered that most technological species are short-lived. After surviving their own "technological adolescence" the Huaoshy devoted their efforts to the task of preventing species like humans from destroying themselves (and each other).
Note: many humans live beyond Earth. The Huaoshy have long been visiting Earth and sometimes taking various life forms off of Earth. Example: Deltarshi is descended from humans who were taken off of Earth 100,000 years ago. All of the humans who live off of Earth are part of what is known as Genesaunt Culture.
Note: the Huaoshy are neither male or female, existing as artificial lifeforms engineered to be asexual. Tulghik should not be called "she".
Important alien technologies are described here (in alphabetical order).
This is the term used in Apollo 23 for the field of nanotechnology. Deltarshi has nanote components in her body and uses them to alter her appearance. Her nanotes are cybernetic nanoscopic structures that integrate with the microscopic cells of her body.
One of the applications of Nanotalics is the creation of robots that use nanoscopic cybernetic components.
The Huaoshy have long ago discovered aspects of the physical world that remain to be discovered by humans. In particular, Hierions make possible faster-than light communications. Similarly, Sedrons make possible both faster-than light space travel and time travel.
Space Duplication Bombs (SDB)
These in essence allow space time to be recorded and then later duplicated elsewhere in the Universe - electron by electron, proton by proton, neutron by neutron.
A SDB image core is put in one area of the Universe. It takes a spherical "picture" of space-time surrounding it. Once brought to another area of the Universe, it can be re-activated. It will destroy ALL matter within the set spherical area surrounding it, and in its place will appear a copy of the previous image taken. These take an ENORMOUS amount of energy and resources to utilize. They are about the size of a tennis ball or small water melon, depending on the version.
One of these had to be sent to the Earths core, to then take an image of the known Universe surround Earth. New technology had to be developed by the aliens to be able to record all of the Earthlings' known Universe, plus a little bit extra, so blending could then be done.
The Speed of Light
The Huaoshy long ago discovered [], a type of fundamental particle that allows for information transfer through space at a speed greater than the speed of light. Hierions move through "collapsed dimensions" that link all points in our familiar 3 expanded spatial dimensions.
The Huaoshy have never found a way to move physical objects through space at a speed greater than the speed of light. Huaoshy can move very rapidly and they have technology that allows for generation of artificial gravitational fields, so their space ships can accelerate rapidly without harm to fragile passengers such as humans.
See Apollo 23 restrictions on time travel for technical details about how time travel works in this story.
The Huaoshy have a time travel technology that allows them to alter the past. They only use time travel to deal with emergencies such as the destruction of human civilization in the year 2012 in the Olmec Reality. When time travel is used to make a change in the history of Earth, a new "Reality" comes into existence. The Huaoshy have a technology that allows them to "view" previous realities that have been replaced by the current reality. This ability is actually a means of transferring information from one Reality to another rather than actual "viewing"; only one Reality actually exists, not several "in parallel".
When time travel alters the course of events, a new timeline or "Reality" replaces the old course of events. Time travelers use the term "Reality" to refer to the alternate timelines that are created by time travel. In Apollo 23 there are four named Realities, in order of their existence:
In the Olmec Reality, the Mesoamerican Olmec culture experienced an industrial revolution from 1100 to 1200 CE. In 2012 there was a nanotal disaster during which uncontrolled nanites destroyed human civilization on Earth, and, more importantly from the perspective of the Huaoshy, crippled the ecosystem of Earth.
It is discovered that the growth of the Olmec culture was made possible by "cultural contamination" traced back to about 400 BCE. Time travel is used to modify the Olmec culture in about 300 BCE, but this time travel leaves behind some artifacts: the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, an amulet containing some nanotes and an advanced hierion-based scanning device.
This Reality is very similar to our own until 1970. Time travel has been used to prevent the nanotal disaster of 2012, but by making use of the "Olmec Artifacts" humans on Earth discover that aliens have long been visiting Earth and the Moon.
In 1970, the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon lands at the Fra Mauro landing site. Jack flies on Apollo 14 and Apollo 23. The Apollo 14 mission uses a prototype hierion-based scanning device built by reverse engineering the scanning device that is found at a Mesoamerican archeological site in 1959 and assumed to be of alien origin. During the Apollo 23 mission, Jack enters an abandoned Observer Base hidden under the surface of Mars and this leads to realization that someone has been altering the behavior of the hierion-based scanning device.
Note: As shown in the diagram at Apollo 23 restrictions on time travel, there are actually two related "Swigert Realities". This is a detail that need not be apparent to the reader of the story, but it explains the timing of the time travel engaged in by Sakir.
This is the timeline that Sakir studies in the Himalia simulation at the start of the Apollo 23 story. Time travel has been used in an attempt to prevent humans on Earth from discovering the hidden base on the Moon. Jack was removed from Earth in 1980 (at the end of the second "Swigert Reality" his clone was substituted for Jack; the clone destroys the "Olmec Artifact" that is an advanced scanning device left on Earth by an ancient time traveler).
In the Mauro Reality, without Jack on Earth, discovery of the hidden base on the Moon is only delayed. By questioning Jack it becomes possible for Deltarshi and Tulghik to plan how to use time travel again and successfully prevent discovery of the hidden base on the Moon. Sakir is created as a clone of Jill Lyons and is sent back to 1969 to create the Querkad Reality (the world as we know it).
This is the Reality (our Reality) that is created by sending Sakir Querkad back in time from 2053 to 1969 AND using time travel one last time to remove Sakir from Earth in 2001, preventing her from revealing the existence of aliens. Sakir Querkad is a clone of Jill Lyons.
The Uncontrolled Reality
In the uncontrolled reality, the aliens do not attempt to intervene once the Earthly humans learn of their existence. Earth happens to be near the edge of the aliens' known universe. The volume of the aliens' know universe, however is about 10^7000000000000 times larger than that of the humans' known Universe. The size of the alien's known Universe increases exponentially, since they are continually exploring it.
Although the aliens are unwilling to give their technology to the humans, other than basic medicine, they allow Earth to have their "known Universe" as their territory. The humans and the aliens coexist for trillions of more years. They allow humans to have technology to have a portal to a random section of the Universe far outside the aliens' known Universe. It is so almost infinitely far, that it would be practically like giving the humans their own Universe, in addition to their own known universe. In fact, this may have been what occurred - simply a Universe where the aliens never existed.