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31 The Source of Scalian Technology

 Ivan and Mazur flew side by side through subspace, Iris and Valeria closely behind them. They were close enough to the surface of subspace to see into the three-dimensional plane. It was a catastrophic battle for the Galactic Fleet. The battleships were spread out in a hexagonal net and would constantly move to avoid being easy targets for the Scalian warships. Despite that, the constant antimatter beams and bombs constantly hit the massive spaceships.

"Don't their energy shields work?" Ivan asked curiously while turning his head. "They have massive Sol Reactors, and more than one. The energy produced should be more than enough to defend against the enemy attacks."

Mazur glanced at this and remarked. "They do. It's just the energy contained within the antimatter exceeds what the shields are capable of resisting, causing them to instantly collapse. Their Sol Reactors simply can't produce energy exceeding the instant energy release of antimatter."

Iris looked on indifferently at the scenario. She didn't care for the Galactic Fleet in the slightest, but the concerns that Prime Minister Mortimus(Ivan) brought up made her concerned about the situation as a whole. If the Galactic Fleet were incapable of defending properly against the Scalian Fleet and the three-dimensional human civilisation fell, it would have a massive impact on Ivan's business plan, who she cared about greatly.

The four Celestials continued increasing their speed as they flew toward the alien warships, appearing only as a shadow on the three-dimensional plane which could not be detected by any radars other than visual photography. They targeted an ordinary warship near the mothership in the center of the Scalian war fleet, flying directly into it.

Inside the warship, Mazur leaded the group to where he suspected the engines were. The flew through walls unhindered, several Scalians not at their war stations looking at them in shock before the began shouting in their alien language.

Valeria followed up at the rear of the group with an unemotional look toward these Scalians. An iron spear shadow would flash by. Despite their naturally armored exterior and superior physical bodies, they were torn apart like paper nonetheless.

Strange organs and viscous purple blood spattered through all the rooms Mazur and the others passed through. The scene was detected by the commander of the ship soon and a glaring low pitch alarm spread throughout the ship along with some kind of notice, most likely about invaders on the ship.

Mazur paid no attention as he rapidly advanced into an enormous engine room, where a pitch-black sphere, a hundred feet in diameter, floated in a powerful gravitational field. It rippled and swirled randomly, constantly shifting between a solid and liquid state. On the sides of the spheres, large induction rods connected to the outside of the gravitational field, drawing the energy from within the sphere.

"What is it?" Iris asked curiously, looking at the ball and surrounding machinery which constantly rotated and sent the energy from the ball to the rest of the ship.

"Antimatter. A massive amount of antimatter," Mazur commented in admiration. As an expert in the field of energy, only he could understand the truly monstrous amount of energy contained within it.

"The containment field is ingenious, feeding on the antimatter's own energy to contain itself."

Before they could continue examining further, a hundred technicians along with a thousand soldiers approached and began firing with what Ivan could now identify as antiparticle rifles, each making a strange buzzing sound as the antiparticle charges inside were fired. Thousands of black beams crisscrossed over one another and pierced through the four Celestials.

Ivan stood there with a smile on his face and watched the antiparticle beams pass through him. The entire engine room became riddled with holes as a result, but the four Celestials were completely unharmed.

"Valeria, help me get rid of them," Ivan said and charged toward the confused Scalians without hesitation.

Mazur and Iris stayed out of the battle, if it could be called that, the former unsuited to fighting, while the latter disdained getting her hands dirty.

The Scalians tried to fire back at Ivan and Valeria as they slaughtered through their forces, but their weapons were ineffective. They even suffered casualties from friendly fire amidst the confusion. Several Scalians, who appeared to be the commanders amongst this small force, shouted out commands with bloodshot eyes.

The commander of the warship seems to have understood the dire situation from the internal communication channel and resorted to the final desperate measure, self-destructing the ship.

"Careful, they are going to blow it up!" Mazur shouted to Ivan over the sound of weapons being fired and furious alien shouts and curses. "The gravity field is being forcefully shut down."

The Scalian had understood their weapons were useless and stopped firing them uselessly. A few still tried to use their physical bodies to attack them, but they already knew the ship was about to self-destruct and simply laughed mockingly at Ivan and Valeria as they stood still. To them, it didn't matter if they were chopped in half or caught in the massive explosion of antimatter, death was all the same.

"Descend!" Ivan commanded everyone to move deeper into subspace.

An explosion of this magnitude would definited cause a massive gravitational fluctuation in space-time, shaking the three-dimensional surface of the universe. Such damage would even be considered fatal to a Celestial should they be too close to normal space and swept up in the destruction.

From the safety of subspace, Mazur and Ivan watched intently as once the gravitational field around the antimatter fell apart, the contained energy exploded out with an unstoppable force. The Scalian warship was directly blown into two from the middle, the force putting too much stress on the remaining structural integrity of the two sections which in turn broke them apart even further.

"How much do you understand?" Ivan asked Mazur, aware his keen insight was not something he could guess.

"I can roughly understand their engines, I would like to peek into a few more before the blow themselves up though. I also need to inspect their propulsion methods, I didn't see anything related to an impulse engine on the ships as we were approaching."

"Very well, let's move to the next ship then."

Ivan lead behind Mazur as they moved between Scalian ships, investigating as much as they could before they blew themselves up.

"What's your verdict?" Ivan asked once again as they escaped into subspace to escape an Antimatter Core meltdown.

Mazur scrunched his brows as he answered, "I feel conflicted. Antimatter is a higher form of energy that a civilisation would advance to after advancing from harvesting energy from stars with Dyson Spheres. They have more powerful weapons as a result, which the Galactic Fleet can't counteract."

"So, they are simply more advanced than us?"

"That's where I'm conflicted. Their methods of utilizing antimatter, apart from the self-sustaining gravitational field, are extremely rudimentary. They aren't by any means more advanced than us, we simply chose to perfect what we had instead of advancing to antimatter, which is incredibly wasteful."

Iris seemed to be confused and also asked, "What do you mean by wasteful?"

Mazur looked at her askew, secretly mocking her knowledge as being barbaric due to her undeveloped civilisation background.

"Consider a star in constantly emitting 10,000 units of energy every second. A preliminary Dyson Sphere is designed to harvest that emission, usually capturing about 1,000 units of energy every second."

"We continued to improve that technology, advancing the method of collecting energy to directly inserting massive fuel rods comprised of negative ions into the surface of the star. By directly absorbing the energy of the fusion reaction as it happens, we can harvest 8,000-9,000 units of energy every second."

"The reason antimatter is considered wasteful, is that even with the best techniques, you need to expend 1,000 units of energy to create and contain 1 unit of energy in the form of antimatter. It has advantages such as a condensed state and volatile nature which can release that energy instantaneously, but the cost of producing it far outweighs the benefits."

Ivan nodded in understanding at this explanation and commented, "Indeed, as a business model, such a loss is a catastrophic failure."

"It's only possible because they have such a massive population to support the mass production of it. If they had an equal population to humanity, they wouldn't be able to create enough antimatter to pose a threat. But their method of using it to move their ship and affect the space around them is idiotic at best though."

"How so?"

"Strictly speaking, they're not bending or folding space around their ships at all. All they are doing is using the antimatter the annihilate space in their immediate surroundings, simply barbaric. The normal space in the universe naturally extends to fill this sudden void. They use it to move the ships, which rather than them moving, is more like shortening the distance between two locations and allowing the universe to extend the empty space behind them."

"By constantly doing this, they can appear to be moving at FTL speeds without jumping into hyperspace, or annihilating the space around them to cause anything physical to twist and move as space extends to fill the void, a terrible example of an antimatter shield. It's so basic I question whether this race actually invented this technology."

"They are indeed a war-like race," Ivan commented insightfully.

"Exactly," Mazur also nodded. "It is likely they didn't invent it at all, but instead took it from someone else."