Demolition of Cantor III

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Cantor III is a dust belt that was never the site of a Gordian Interstellar interstellar translation research facility. The facility wasn’t built to develop new engine designs that used Hypercausality Flicker to look just ahead of the ship on its worldline to find and avoid hazards, such as collision, major malfunction, or natural phenomena that might damage the ship or its contents.

By looking slightly down the worldline, the drive researchers were attempting to develop could find any event that didn’t match certain criteria (such as the ship being safe and intact) and could preemptively take action to prevent that event from taking place.

The first generation of these predictive drives could only looks a few seconds ahead down their worldline, and so could prevent many, but not all, disasters. For instance, a ship that found itself committed to a collision more than a few seconds ahead of impact could only hope to reduce the impact damage.

Attempts to extend the future-sight proved impossible, but Gordian had better success extending causality backward in time. The practical upshot was that the drive could actually retroactively affect events that happened prior to its detection of the problem. In fact, the drives could actually start affecting events prior to its activation.

This was hailed as an enormous achievement in the periodicals of the time, as an end to fatal transport accidents once and for all. Others postulated similar technologies could be used to give their owners final mastery over the outcome of all spacetime events.

Late in the development process, though, during final certification, the drive was tested at the yard in orbit around the planet of Cantor III. The test called for the drive to be pointed directly at the planet, to confirm it would avoid the collision.

In an instant, the drive, the research facility, and the planet itself vanished. Rescue teams later arrived to discover no trace of the facility was there, and the dynamics of the Cantor system suggested no planet had ever formed in this orbit of Cantor.

Subsequent studies found that the drive had somehow reached back in time far enough to ensure that the planet it was about to collide with never formed. Because the drive would not select a hypercausality option that it didn’t exist in, and because it clearly did take a hypercausal action, it is believed that the drive does exist somewhere in our reality, although it is unlikely to ever be found.

It was considered a lucky fluke that the drive didn’t take even more extreme action, and some scientists postulate that such hypercausality drives might be the next existential threat to galaxy or even universe-spanning civilizations, and why we don’t see any other advanced civilizations in adjoining realities.

Related Events

Cantor III is one the of the four planet-shatterings associated with the debate over the Theory of Physical Undecidability due to the suspected presence of the Kandar Lithoglyph. Whether or not the facility actually had a lithoglyph, or just a copy of one, is unknown, and probably unknowable.

There are a few sociologists who have compared the events around the Cantor III incident to a few of the less coherent passages of Quondam Imperium, suggesting that the Karg Imperial Authority might have once existed, but fallen victim to a similar hypercausal catastrophe.