Metric Ghosts

Unusual, apparently highly mobile, distortions of space-time metric.

Metric Ghost
Image from Steve Bowers
This image of a Metric Ghost was taken by ship's telescope on board the Keen of Vison

Possibly of alien origin, Metric Ghosts demonstrate behavior indicating that they are under conscious control. Their nature and even appearance are unknown as they have only been detected and observed from the effects of their presence.

In 10376, the AI piloted PADO probe Keen of Vision was patrolling along the border between Sephirotic and Amalgamation space. The probe was stealth-shadowing an Amalgamation patrol of three cruiser class vessels and was keeping an extremely low profile almost a full light-day from the other vessels. Suddenly, with no warning, the Vision detected energy releases consistent with the discharge of several of the cruisers' larger weapons, followed immediately by an immense surge of gravitational waves, so powerful that it nearly overloaded the probe's detectors. A somewhat impulsive sort, the Vision threw caution to the wind and began accelerating toward the center of the disturbance. During the first few minutes of its journey it continued to detect massive and apparently complex surges of gravitational radiation emanating from the location of the Amalgamation cruisers, which had ceased fire and were now silent. Shortly thereafter, the gravitational wave surge seemed to suddenly split into multiple sources, all leaving the area at extreme high speed, and then vanished.

When the Keen of Vision arrived at the coordinates of the Amalgamation fleet some six days later, it found only the shattered remnants of the cruisers. All three vessels had been torn to fragments (the largest piece was less than a meter across) and scattered across a volume of several hundred cubic kilometers. The cause of the destruction was unknown, although analysis of the debris indicated extreme tidal stressing.

Since this discovery by the Keen of Vision, similar phenomena have been detected throughout the volume of space on both sides of the Amalgamation border. Huge surges of gravitational radiation are seen to appear, move about in complex patterns and then speed away at a velocity no vessel can match. There are never any visual phenomena detected in association with the events and they never seem to occur in close proximity to observers. On only one other occasion has a Terragen vessel been close enough to attempt intercept (the Solar Dominion Pocketstar Are We Having Fun Yet? in 10402) and in that case the ship vanished while attempting pursuit and was never recovered.

Metric Ghost sightings have some features in common with sightings of Void Ship wakes in the Inner Sphere; but the detailed signatures of the disturbances are quite different. If the Metric Ghosts are in fact Void Ships of some sort they are of a type never observed before.

The exact nature of the Metric Ghosts is unknown, as as is their intelligence, if any, and their intentions. Based on analysis of various 'sightings' it appears that whatever they are, they are moving into the area of Terragen Space by passing through Amalgamation space. For any number of reasons, this has a lot of people very nervous.

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Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 09 December 2002.