What is the Cyclopean Gigastructure?
In the dying embers of an ancient universe – our own trillions of years in the future or perhaps another – the leftover fragments of billions of cultures maintain the shattered remnants of existence. They cower in a huddle, feeding off the tiniest scraps of energy and knowledge leaking from one to another. The Cyclopean Gigastructure; ropes, threads, knots of the end of every conceivable civilisation. Planet-sized avatar-mausoleums, containing trillions of minds inconceivable to humanity, frozen, packed away against the hopeless encroaching dark. Jammed together in a structure bigger than the known universe, enormous cells pushed tightly but unevenly together in the final ark.
Is there an endgame to this or is it just a final spasm of survival as entropy comes to grind apart the leftovers of a dead cosmos? Ghoulworlds crawl the Gigastructure, parasites chewing through billions of years of accumulated history to fuel the next attack. Faced with ultimate extinction at the end of time some civilisations have hidden reserves, turning the tables; not mere revenants but lichcultures. The hunter becomes prey, absorbed into their target or forced out into the infinite dark.
The Gigastructure is rich beyond the wildest dreams of those of us living in the bright glare of the Big Bang’s after-effects. Trillions of years of data, and more of knowledge, repeated uncountable times in the cold librarymorgues. Projects that take a billion slow years have come to fruition, as have the descendant experiments based on the earlier data, taking a thousand times longer, and then the ones that build on the knowledge gleaned from all the earlier operations.
And of course it is hideously dangerous. Any culture-ark with a spark of life that escaped into our cosmos could overwhelm us, sequestering all energy and matter for the end of time rather than waste it in the current profligate manner; a billion years of slow strategizing will have planned for every contingency, our weapons and tactics dispersed by technologies a million times more efficient.
Even dead information could cause disaster if revealed carelessly. Ideas and plans unleashed before their time; alien thoughts transplanted into minds, warping actions and thoughts. Forbidden technologies, abandoned due to their toxicity (and not just physical; moral and intellectual too) set free in an energy rich universe. By granting the discoverers their wishes they can destroy them, turn them into ravening monsters torn loose from their foundations, an empire of capricious omnipotent demons.
It is theorised that a precursor group to the Wavefront may have entered the Gigastructure and been corrupted by the information they uncovered there. The limited understanding mankind has of the structure and of the dying cosmos it exists in are all intimately connected to the Wavefront remnants. Whether that makes the Wavefront a resurrected lichculture, a native-universal species infected with dead knowledge, or even an attempt to firewall and destroy an incursion from beyond is a matter of debate.
Time is another piece of the puzzle. Many of the remnants left by the Wavefront require more time than could have passed to be able to exist according to our records; some need more time than has passed in the entire universe to date. This suggests the Gigastructure is in the – or a – future of our own timeline. Yet Gigastructure entities seem unable to effect time; and if they could, why are they left in a resource desert in the long cold death of the cosmos? Could it be that this is the better future? The best of all endings?
The final possibility, the one that haunts everything discovered after the Event and the passing of the Wavefront, is that the Gigastructure and the dying universe are a hoax. It would take a thousand human lifetimes to explore even a fraction of it and determine if there is anything there that can’t be explained by the already barely-comprehensible fallout from the Wavefront. Is it simply a bizarre artefact, larger and more dangerous that most, created by the Unknown Powers? The question would be futile even if the dimensional gate were not currently sealed.
Now the dull bit. This is supported by my new Patreon, where the first Deep Patrol story Partial City Diplomacy can be found. Having launched on that site last Friday, on Wednesday they changed the terms and conditions so that instead of patrons paying the amount pledged, instead they pay that plus a fee. This is not quite what I signed up for and not what I've spent the last few weeks explaining to people.
So. If you want to support this through the Patreon, then you can go to the link and do so. And if you don't, then don't. I will be considering what to do, probably next week, when I see if they're sticking to this.
Well that was dull. Marginally more interesting stuff to come on this project.