At the end of time, when galaxies and stars have long since dissipated, eleven heroes are reanimated with a single purpose, to reboot the dying universe. Under the dull infrared glow of the starless space, the mysterious race of black hole beings, the Erebos, on the verge of a civil war, prepare for the coming end. But when the Eleven discover the Erebos intend to double-cross them, the begin their own plans to live at all cost. Dead Suns Eleven is a novel by author William Mitchell and published by nereusmedia.
Here is an excerpt from Dead Suns Eleven by William Mitchell:
Chapter 1: When John Ballard Died
The Big Bang exploded outward on the animated television graphic with expanding concentric orbs of blue concussion. John was making breakfast, scrambling two eggs, watching the Science channel on number 157 of his cable service. The banner graphic at the bottom of the screen flashed the title every few seconds: The Five Eras of the Universe, cutting through John thoughts of his 10 o’clock with Sales, while in the back of his mind, just behind the region that allowed him to regulate the scrambled egg temperature just the way he liked them, John recalled that an average ‘science’ television show was in fact only 3 typed-pages of text.
John could smell the coffee brewing, as the program began to tell, in the 19 minutes advert-stretched to 30, the tale of the next 10^100 years of the universe. That is a pretty big number, John thought as he poured a cup of coffee and brought his eggs over to the coffee table. He sat on the sofa, the TV responding as if on queue with a graphic of how big 10^100 years is: written out – its a one followed by a hundred zeros; like this:
Because time at this scale is so vast, the show began to describe the concept of the Cosmological Decade, a cosmologists invented measure of time better suited to explain the Five Eras of the Universe.
“If T is time in years then the Cosmological Decade in the exponential component of time written as T=10n years.” John thought the narrator sounded familiar.
As John finished his eggs the show went to commercial, so he had a moment to make another cup of coffee before the TV program came back. Doing the math for John, the TV went on about the universe being about 10 billion years old, or 10^10 years, or in the 10th Cosmological Decade. Armed with this new concept of time and really enjoying his second cup of coffee, John began to learn about the Five Eras of the Universe.
The first era was called the Primordeal Era, lasting until the 5th Cosmological Decade, or about a million years. This early phase of the universe is characterized by the Big Bang itself and the creation of the particles and physics that would create the stars.
“So many near instantaneous epochs, each with their characteristic things, came to be. First, quantum gravitation, strings and loop quantum gravity, and then so slightly after came electromagnetism, the myoptic weak nuclear force, and her buxom cousin the strong nuclear force. Then gravitation, monopoles, Higg’s bosons, W and Z bosons, photons, short lived virtual quarks and hyperons, and not I might add, in that specific order, but something close to it. Inflating and cooling, then contracting and reheating. Space flattened like a French crepe, then curved like an Indian poori, with supersymmetry breaking like the dawn and then blossoming with radiation: sparkling out quarks, electrons and nutrinos like pixie dust. This quark epoch brought us the mass we love to throw around to this day. Then the hadron epoch, with its fences-make-good-neighbors cooling of quark-gluon plasma, gave us in shotgun wedding fashion the ability to spawn hadrons and baryons, the most popular of the baryons being protons and neutrons. Then like the last days of a bad marriage, neutrinos decouple and begin to roam freely through space like masterless ronin in the form of cosmic background radiation.”
Who writes this stuff? John thought, dragging out the last half of his coffee, with the chemical control of the flow of time that only an addict could muster.
Doesn’t really sound convincing coming from – what the heck’s this guy’s name?
“And except for the three minutes of the Lepton epoch, in which most hadrons and anti-hadrons annihilated each other, leaving leptons and anti-leptons as the dominant mass of the Universe for all of 3-seconds until a slight chill caused all leptons and anti-leptons to annihilate each other, not much changed for the next 380,000 years of the Photon Epoch. Not to spoil it for you but you know how this chain of events set in motion ends: nucleosynthesis happens and the resulting creation of Helium. All hail Helium, a stone path on towards the matter to come. And billions of years later, stars would be born and diverse matter, with its curious way of internalizing energy, would rule the dawning of the Stelliferous Age, and things were good, for a while at least….”
He’s that Mexican actor from the Alabama timeshare infomercials and that 70’s California Highway motorcycle cop show. John thought about canceling the cable, like he had thought everyday for the past 6 months.
John finished his coffee, putting the cup in the kitchen as the narrator, Eric something, discussed the second era, called the Stelliferous Era, from the 6th to the 14th Cosmological Decade, lasting until the year 100 trillion after the origin.
As the name implies, the Stelliferous Era is the age filled with stars, in which energy was realized in the birthing, living and dying of stars, the time of star filled galaxies and of the star born planets that hosted biological. Towards the end of the Stelliferous Era, as galaxies begin to run out of hydrogen gas to fuel new stars, many Red Dwarf stars, with half the mass of the Earth’s Sun, would be prevalent.
John had to get ready for work, so as the TV began to describe the Degenerate Era, a long age, lasting until the 39th Cosmological Decade, or 1 hextillian years from now, John was in the bathroom shaving, so he missed most of the details. Something about all the stars dying out, black holes becoming larger, and the overall energy depleting into a darker and slower universe characterized by destabilization of matter and proton decay.
John’s phone rang, but he ignored it, his hands busy tying his tie in the front hall mirror, as the TV show told of the fourth era of the Universe, the Black Hole Era, though to the 100th Cosmological Decade. After the epoch of proton decay, the only stellar objects remaining would be black holes, and John had to retie his necktie three times at that.
The show was called Chaps…no, Chips. John wondered why he had wasted a half hour watching TV when he could have prepped for the 10am.
John pocketed his cellphone, a missed-call from the cable company, probably the past-due bill, and The Five Eras of the Universe concluded with the final era, the Dark Era, where after hundreds of Cosmological Decades, protons making up matter having long since decayed and black holes themselves evaporated, not much is left, but the slow death of the third law of thermodynamics. A cold, dark universe was the featureless landscape of the Dark Era, where the remaining sub-atomic waste particles, too weak for cohesion let alone activity, unglue in the eventless torpor of a billion billion year and slide into less then nesceince. John shut off the television and looked for his keys.
John hadn’t heard the postal truck pulling up, but looking out the window noticed the mailman driving away from the mailbox. The front window faced the southwest, with a view of the horse ranch down the road, and the corner of the pine encircled lake. 8:59 already. Grab the mail and get to work, John thought, heading out the door into a perfect New England spring day. John walked down the long driveway, past the towering oak tree, and the row of poplars, gravel crunching below his feet. The driveway ended beside a boulder crested rise at a bend in the road. That and the stone wall made it hard to pull out from the blind corner. In the daytime, forget it. Can’t even hear the cars coming, John thought, except at night; you can spot the headlight glow a mile away. The mailbox sat right on the edge of the country road without sidewalks, and John stepped into the road to open the small door. John grabbed the mail. Oh look, a postcard from my Aunt Ginny. He turned back toward the driveway, seeing the oncoming car speed too tight around the corner before he heard it.
Estrada. John remembered.
The car hit him square on, at full speed, throwing John’s body meters ahead before the driver even touched the brakes. John died instantly, his body motionless on the road, his dead hand still involuntarily gripping the Golf Paradise, Myrtle Beach postcard from his Aunt Ginny.