It is well scientifically documented that the dark has always frightened mankind. From our earliest cave dwelling ancestors huddling around fires through to our high-tech London2 megacity habitats of 2242 which are floodlit day and night – we are hard-wired to fear something in the gloom.
Once the lights go out, our primate minds begin to panic, subconsciously at first, our core human DNA warning triggers fire, possibly for fear of being attacked by predatory beings.
Fear of darkness itself, which in extreme forms is known as ‘nyctophobia’ is lurking somewhere inside us all to varying degrees. It’s not the darkness itself that’s frightening but, as stated, rather the fear of what the darkness masks. And the largest ‘mass’ of darkness in the universe is the unknown substance we term ‘Dark Matter’.
Another human element adopted by our scientific brethren is that anything unknown is seen as a challenge – something awaiting to be solved, illuminated and discovered. The London2 (L2) Dark Matter Collaboration (L2DMC) were the group who were commissioned in 2055 to ‘find out once and for all’ what made up Dark Matter.
Young Siam M’diitch joined the L2DMC as a Junior Tech Assistant in 2235 – some 180 years into the project – seeing it as a huge career boost from the lowly L2 Dangerous Disease Testing Facility Lab Runner where his science education had deposited him. M’diitch threw himself into the work – this was his chance to make history and the fact that the Collaboration had been granted unlimited funding meant a huge leap in pay. He saw his mission to be the man who identified what Dark Matter was and hopefully even show how it linked to the rest of the Universe.
Dark Matter was given its name because it is matter that does not give off any light, and it is only detectable by its gravitational pull on other matter. We knew it must exist though as far back as the 1970s when a study into spiral galaxies, pointed out that there were areas which rotated too fast only to be driven by the visible stars and gas in those regions.
Ancient astronomers therefore reasoned there must be more mass that is unseen. Now although the decades of galaxy observations have shown that almost all galaxies must contain huge quantities of Dark Matter, and that the quantities of it dwarf the detectable ‘visible matter’ in the universe. So with the component particles that make up some 95 percent of the universe being Dark Matter – mapping this and reconstructing historical maps of it going back roughly 13 billion years allowed the L2DMC to study changes in this Dark Matter’s movement and formation even if we couldn’t ascertain exactly what it was comprised of.
But when the breakthrough came, M’diitch was actually off duty – he was enjoying a Captain Addams SkyScreen presentation with his unfeasibly attractive wife Vermanda.
For those who aren’t familiar with Captain Addams, he’s the multi $Billion grossing fictional ‘star’ of a series of highly improbable adventures. Each tale is framed as him reminiscing in what some would say a delusional manner about his past daring do. Quite how his appeal was so widespread was a constant mystery but when Addams’ cumulative box-office exceeded any of the tit-for-tat Avatar / Avengers ding-dong front runners from the 21st Century, no one could deny his impact.
Here is what M’diitch’s are witnessing: Captain Addams’ Lost Love
The ex-L2RAF pilot who was rumoured to once be ‘the best of the best’, sits in his luxury L2 retirement complex.
“I was once in love you know?” he proclaims to his personal nursedroid who was shaped in the popular ‘classic Marilyn M’ bodyshell.
“Oh sir, I’m not programmed to understand that human emotion, but please tell me about it.” She / It responds.
“I think it was the only time – you remember I’ve talked about how shy I was with girls? – I blame my oppressively religious parents of course… Well I even had to create myself an internal persona in order ‘play’ at being the confident and dashing devil I dreamt of being. It jolly well worked too – in fact some people actually began to refer to me as DD (which was great and only a little to do with my geeky love of ‘the man without fear, Dare Devil comic books)”.
“One day I was trying out being DD with my wingman GooseK, we met this unconventional beauty. Blonde, petite and packing the kind of smile that could stop hardened killers in their tracks. I pulled up her file on my IEI (Internal Eye Interface). It was a sad story – her life had been harder than it should have been. Abused in body and mind, both by others and then herself as a reaction to a broken childhood… but she seemed to be a dreamer like me – I immediately sensed a kindred-ship… I heard someone at the party we were both at calling ‘JJ’ and I knew I had to try and win her heart.”
“Nobody would have thought she would have fallen for me – this was before my L2RAF days and I was anything but cool. But fate is funny like that and as I’ve learned – rarely plays by the rules. Every bloke in the place was checking her out – GooseK included – even though she was wearing what I thought looked like sack. Being a little drunk I plucked up the courage to approach her and asked if she was wearing the sack dress for a bet? She laughed and accepted my offer of a drink to apologise – later she kissed me, hard and passionately. I didn’t know what had hit me, it was like chemical reaction – an endorphin overload – I knew I’d never be able to get enough of her.”
“What I didn’t know was that this girl who I only knew as ‘JJ’ was on the run from some very bad people. My offer to walk her home became far more eventful than I could possibly have expected.”
If you liked this – you’ll love COMPLETE DARKNESS – a Darkmatters Novel, by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20) which tells of the events following our inadvertent mapping of ‘Hell’. Find out more at www.completedarknessnovel.com. Pre-order it here: https://amzn.to/31bSC8C.
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