(Excerpt from my coming book, “The Fragments of Castinelli”

Khrn Great-Ship Falls from the Aether

The Great Ships of the Sons of Beergaard sped through near space fleeing from Fahl’Khr scout vessels and fell into a negative slipstream. The entire fleet began spiraling out of sync with their time anchor. If they could not regain control and return their ships to near space, the ships would implode to a microscopic dot or rip apart as they expanded out into infinity.

Behind them in close pursuit the suicidal Fahl’Khrin monsters fired upon them, and in doing so pursued them into the failing near space shell they were falling toward. Fortunately for the Khrn, the intense negative energy surrounding their vessels destroyed the smaller Fahl’Khrin vessels, imploding them as they drew too near the shield wash. The explosion shifted the regional configuration of the Aether around their fleet, allowing them to escape the energy wash from the exploding marauders.

Just as they spiraled forward into the compression wave from their own shields they slipped into an eddy and began struggling to re-synchronize their Aether-Shell before it collapsed. It looked as if the advancing wave of energy from the exploded Fahl’Khrin vessels would destroy them, but they abruptly returned to normal space and found themselves stationary at the zenith point of the Realms of the Giver, Maenatae’s sun.

Surveying their ships, personnel and finally their position, they discovered that a miracle had saved them in that not only were their ships intact, but their people safe and their pursuers lost in the slipstream. The crushing return from the Aether should have killed them or aged them a few hundred thousand years, so Fahl’Khrin command structure would consider them lost and no longer pursue them. When the stellar cartographers mapped the system that they had landed in they deployed passive sensor probes to check for enemy activities in the area.

It wasn’t long before they realized they were farther than any of their kind had ventured from home. The chance that any of their enemies were in this area of space was remote.  Given the relative safety of the area, they deactivated the great stellar drives within their ships to perform long needed maintenance upon them.

Months passed while all the work was taking place on each of the Great Ships. There remained significant damage on each vessel, placed upon them while fleeing their foes, the Fahl’Khr. The Khrn endured and patched the damage over the painful years of fleeing one attempt after another upon their lives. During these repairs, while science teams mapped planets within the system, they discovered there was an anomaly previously unseen.

A powerful negative slip-point, a natural entry access to the Aether, existed within a shell between the third and fourth planets of the system. They could not identify specifics of this phenomenon, for all the low emission scans sent toward the shell reflected from its event horizon. That a natural slip-point existed in normal space was enough of a find to cause a great swell of curiosity amongst the scientific communities, but that it was self-sustaining and shielded by an unknown force sent all but the most stoic of a scientist into a frenzy of rampant postulation upon causes or scenarios.

Slip-points only formed in controlled settings and by an Aether-Transit Device. That “engine” had to be active to maintain the slip-point. Naturally occurring entries were very rare, their scientists charged. So they decided that an expeditionary force should move in and analyze the effect and determine the danger to the fleet. No one among their combined crews had ever before witnessed such an anomaly in normal space and the powerful release of this form of energy in near space was always fatal, so the need to determine the danger level was paramount.

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