There were times when men no longer knew everything that was happening in the countless thousands of galaxies. After having conquered the entire Local Croup and even the Local Supercluster, communication was not possible though so many billions of change after the disappearance of the ancient human races. In reality, there was not even complete assurance that they had entirely disappeared. The only thing that was clear was that the ancient races had given way to others, but the “human model” itself had not disappeared in any way.
Races arose from different regions that, potentially, were apt to succeed the solar race and this was the scepter to which many aspired. Young races, with ideal characteristics, with simple morphologies and new aesthetics, in short, men and women of good looks who now had at their disposal a truly impressive cultural heritage. However, no one doubted that one of the greatest virtues of solar man was his desire for exploration and investigation, something that always clearly distinguished him from the rest. Therefore, whoever wanted to succeed him must now demonstrate a genuine interest in these same areas.
The fact is that the Federation was once again chaired by the Denebians, another race that is friendly to solar man, with his characteristic light green skin. They themselves did not participate in large companies but they did favor them. This was how they wanted to advance in some companies that had been pending since the very height of the plots. The idea that was circulating at the time was to explore multidimensional universes, something about which many legends circulated but nothing at an official level. It was said that different individuals had launched these expeditions at certain times without ever returning or, even, that through these places different ages of the Universe could be accessed, but nothing was certain. So it was decided to send an official fleet to make this trip.
The Denebians were in favor of delegating important events to women, since for them, the man was more important and had to stay fixed on those tasks that were directly related to their survival. Since the woman was not involved in such work, she could be sent on these kinds of missions. So Commander Reyla Sharkis was appointed to lead the fleet. It was a beautiful young woman, with faint greenish skin, with straight black hair, imitating some earthy hairstyle. With it they would go like 30 more crew, in two large ships, which were equipped with the best technology devised so far, already past the 50th century.
First, the ships headed toward the edges of the Local Superclusted, that is, about 150 million light-years away from the Milky Way. By then, the Federation’s large fleets had drifted much farther into the Cosmos, exploring other neighboring superclusters, which were part of the Local Hypercluster. But this place, separated from other similar ones by impressive intergalactic abysses, seemed the best to try that trip. The idea was to penetrate a superstring, an extremely thin filament, nothing less than a remnant of the creation of the Universe, where a large number of dimensions remain, without knowing exactly where such filaments lead.
Before them you can see what appears to be the entrance to a tunnel, but more than that. It will be necessary to cross it to see what is inside it. Reyla directs the preparations for the trip. With them they have to carry sophisticated instruments to guide themselves as best as possible. There are six who must accompany her while Boynich, one of her best technicians, will supervise everything from the ships. The truth is that nobody knows what they are going to find. Although they will be protected by energy fields, which will give them even the necessary air, from here everything will be new. The commander and her officers head to the exit lock to go directly to the filament entrance. The operation is carried out in silence. Only unknown flashes appear to his eyes, like lightning. However, as soon as Reyla takes the first step inside that structure, she feels herself falling like a tube, forward. The brave woman is not impressed. However, each of his companions feels dragged by the same force.
The fall stops but, when sitting up, it is as if they are stepping on something alive. Around him everything seems to move in a strange way. The lightning continues. Covering their faces at times, so as not to get dizzy, the explorers manage to distinguish various structures but fail to assimilate what it is about. After a long time, when they seem to get used to that place, they can walk the lake, as they can. The landscape around him changes at every moment, as if it were a kaleidoscope. So they wander for a while but without losing sight of where they came from. Although it is very difficult to orient yourself in that place, after a while the officer Marnoy points to a point in the distance. Transformed in a strange way, as if they were cut sheets of paper, you see what, undoubtedly, are the two ships of the fleet.
Making a stop along the way, and trying to get used to that moving landscape, Marnoy explains exactly what the instruments perceive. They are occupying the same place in the space where they were. What you see in the distance are the swarms of stars and, indeed, what is in that other direction are the ships. What has changed is that another four has been added to its four normal dimensions. What does it consist of? The effect it produces is, precisely, that of a kaleidoscope, where the figures appear cut out. Where parts of the far away are seen close and vice versa. A place of appearances, for them, but perfectly real.
Other aspects are examined in the next chapter, as there are several things they cannot explain, for example the floor that supports them or the origin of lightning. Of course, all communication with the ships is useless and even their own voices are heard with a kind of echo. Reyla decides to explore something of the surroundings but they only manage to have that feeling of falling like a slide again. Impossible would be to say if they are further or closer, perhaps both at the same time. This is where one of the crew, Lorney, goes missing without being found. The search goes on for a long time until finally find it. What has happened is that, every time that fall occurs it is as if space is cut in a zigzag, thus separating Lorney from the rest.
For the return, the explorers must first launch a high-powered signal for the ships to locate them. Indeed, on board they manage to distinguish the light beam as if it were a range of colors. The conveyor is required to the maximum and it is only with great efforts that they manage to recover them. The experience has been exhausting but everyone is satisfied. They have accomplished something whose consequences will only be properly appreciated over time. In this sense, all the wise men on board set out to study the collected data, arriving more or less at a conclusion of what that fifth dimension is.
However, scientists now know less than before. During her stay in that place, which lasted much longer than Reyla supposed, it has been discovered that there are infinitely many superstrings of various dimensions. In reality, most seem to be different from each other. Of course, this raises how many dimensions existed when the Cosmos was created and how many remain until now. Others, for their part, consider the possibility of unwinding in its entirety, although no procedure is known at the moment. It seems that the only way to unravel its content is to go through them in their entirety. New studies also showed that the cords could eventually be classified and that there were more of them the larger the intergalactic space was. It remained to be determined, yes, to what extent they were currently influencing the distribution of matter in the Universe.
Reyla reconvened at length with her top officers making plans for the next steps. Certainly, the task before him seemed immense. In the fifth dimension alone, what had seemed to them to last a few hours, had spanned several days, so no one knew how long this business could take. On the other hand, they were likely to come to a point from which they would no longer be able to return but, after all, they were there for it: glory or death. Just as there were once prisoners who were the first to reach the stars, jumping the immense interstellar space, now they were the first to cross the imposing dimensional chasms.
Finally, it was agreed to continue exploring, one by one, each of the missing dimensions, regardless of how long it took. There was only talk of taking some rest, if this was possible, every five trips from now on. Likewise, the landing crew was expanded and some instruments were improved from that first experience they had had. Some crew members would rotate each other, but Commander Reyla would have to be present each time. On the last they were on board before the next voyage, the Denebian woman addressed the crew expressing what she expected of them. He pointed to the screens where those filaments were seen snaking in the void and said:
- Now it awaits us. Here we go, where others did not want to go. Glory or death!
And they all raised their hands shouting the same words in one voice. Another great adventure began.