Running Out of Time By Logan Hawkes
He admitted that when it came to science however, he was a indeed a prodigy, a man born with a remarkable talent - what did they call it now - who could think outside of the box. What came simply, almost naturally to him, was often complex to even the best scientific minds in the world. This was evidenced by the remarkable prison he had designed for his own captivity, a work others marveled over and greatly desired to better understand. But since the technology involved the very same principles of science that he and his keepers had agreed to avoid because of the dangers, how and why his cell block worked remained a closely guarded secret. No one could be trusted with the secret outside himself, and because of their mutual agreement, he kept the science only in his head. No research papers, no journal, no written notes.
To explain how it worked, if he were to try, the cell block was actually a highly charged magnetic chamber made of one inch panels of alloy steel encircled by hundreds of highly refined silicant refractors, or prisms as he still preferred to call them, that served to vibrate at a precise frequency when excited by an electromagnetic field he had developed for this specific purpose.
With the introduction of a light source provided by a well-focused laser-accelerated proton beam as a driver for fast ignition, Niko had invented the self contained system to bend light through an extensive series of refined crystals at incredible speed. The laser and the crystals were contained on the outer wall of the metal chamber, and during operation it would have resembled a gigantic atom with protons spinning rapidly in orbit around the nucleus, represented by the chamber where his lab and living quarters were housed.
As Einstein had theorized years later, while it was impossible in the real world, it remained theoretically feasible on paper that if a man could match the speed of light he could reach a place where time would cease to exist. Such an accomplishment would defy the accepted laws of physics, offering a way to travel beyond the constraints of both time and space.
The problem with entering this theoretical state of space-time continuum is that it would require a person to achieve a linear speed far beyond what was possible or even tolerable for the human body. But Niko had stumbled upon a mathematical solution to bring the impossible into the world of reality, and ultimately solve the riddle.
By using high energy (> 50 MeV) protons from intense laser-matter interactions (1018 – 1021 W cm-2), he had discovered it would not be necessary to conquer the speed of light at all, but instead, he could force light to slow - to lose speed - by bending it back upon itself tens and hundreds of thousands of times per second with exact precision, and the end effect would be to force time into an eventual and complete stasis -- in other words, to stand still.
The success of the science largely relied upon the precision of focusing the proton beam correctly. Collimated light, refracted from a series of magnetically charged and frequency-balanced crystal prisms, was the secret that forced light to bend and slow as it raced from one prism to the next aligning the highly charged particles, bridging the complexity of the process and forcefully influencing light's ability to move freely. Niko likened it to a snake that was eating its own tail, a stepping forward and stepping backward motion of light that happened so rapidly that it was impossible to detect without precise and highly tuned instruments designed for that purpose. In essence, Niko had harnessed light and forced it to react to his design.
The solution to slowing light didn't end there however. He discovered, by accident that Reimann surfaces - as they would be called in the not-too-distant future - were natural algebraic expressions that have ambiguities in their solutions; that is, they deﬁne multi-valued rather than single-valued functions. There was an obvious way to ﬁx this ambiguity, by simply selecting one branch of the function. For example, f(x) = √x. For real x, this is only deﬁned for x ≥ 0, where one could conventionally select the positive square root of the equation.
To the less informed mind it seem like gibberish, like poetry might sound to an infant mind. But in layman's terms, it meant a traveler for example, once solving the issue of causing light to freeze in space-time, could phase into one of perhaps thousands of possible alternative or parallel worlds where life as we know it is mirrored almost perfectly with our world of origin in the multiverse.
Mathematically speaking there could be/is a magnitude of parallel worlds, each slightly different than the one next to it. So to accomplish moving through space and time, it became possible to select any one of them that closely mirrored our own and then either phase through or, as was the case of his Ground Zero capsule-chamber, to even remain static between two worlds for an indefinite period of time.
However complicated or simple it may seem, that was the science behind his cell block invention, an energy chamber capable of existing outside his world and in a static place between worlds. Simply put, his chamber was stuck in a place where time and space did not exist, the fold or nether world that separated one part of the multiverse from all others. It was the perfect prison, at least the perfect place if you wanted to hide something or someone from the world -- all worlds -- as was the case with Nikola Tesla.
It was his work on such fringe science as this, and other things like teleportation, dimensional phasing and now time travel, that were so powerful and dangerous that he and all of his discoveries and most of his inventions had to be removed beyond the reach of those that might use them for purposes unfriendly to the human race. The ultimate solution was for him, along with his science, to exist in stasis between worlds of the multiverse.
It came, however, with a price, and certain consequences. For one, for a person to be stuck in stasis between worlds where time all but ceased to exist prevented that person from aging. For better or worse that is exactly what had happened to Niko. His keepers spent little time in his chamber so did not realize the full effect of this unexpected advantage. But eventually they began to suspect it.
When Niko agreed to voluntarily escape the known world and self-imprison himself in the multiverse between worlds, he not only caused time and aging to stop, but had learned he could refine and better tune the frequency by which the crystal prisms vibrated in the outer skin of his protective chamber so as to actually reverse the aging process -- ever so slightly. In so doing he had accomplished what mankind had only dreamed about for centuries, the ability to not only remain young, but to reverse aging slightly over an extended period of time in the nether world.
It was an accidental discovery actually, a tweaking of his system to make certain no one could accidentally stumble upon it. Niko figured if he could slightly reverse the speed and direction of light instead of brining it to a halt, he could force his suspended chamber to phase out of the present time and actually exist a short time in the past. One could still phase between the world of the present, where his keepers maintained a control room just outside his phasing portal, his door, but they did not realize when they stepped through they were actually stepping back in time - they were time traveling in the truest since of the word.
It was an unexpected discovery, but a remarkable breakthrough for science. Niko thought it sad that he could not share that with anyone, because in essence, that made his science even more dangerous. Imagine the consequences if someone discovered how to travel through time to the past in hopes of changing history. While in reality they would be traveling to another time of the multiverse, and not to the past of their own world, but with simple experiments, Niko discovered that some things could be changed slightly in alternate or parallel worlds that would have a rippling effect on those adjacent worlds most like it.
The implications were mind boggling, and Niko was still trying to wrap his mind around the possibilities. But what he didn't expect, a side effect of this time traveling ability, was that he was actually getting younger slightly by existing in the past, even though that past was just minutes or hours or days behind his home world, his place of origin.
Well into his 50s when he first entered the neutral zone, he had actually reversed his years since that first day in 1917 when he stepped through the phasing portal and became a prisoner "out of time." Now, 98 years later, he had regressed to a ripe and perfect age of 42 years, effectively trimming off 14 years of aging for his physical body. By living out of sync with time, he had become younger, both physically and mentally. It took years for anyone to notice it though for the changes were slow, and because the people who watched over him would come and go somewhat frequently. But soon a few began to notice that they lost time when they would spend it inside his chamber and then return to the outside world. It may have been only seconds, or a few minutes at best, but enough for someone to notice eventually.
Copyright 2009, Logan Hawkes