In this manner, any object placed in the center of the “cloaking ring” would be surrounded by an optically indistinct zone. According to the analysis, which technicians now provided, no blacking effect would be experienced within the ring, the warp being confined to a specified outer periphery. The system would provide a convenient wall, shrouding one’s presence from any enemy’s gaze. Questions now were directed toward the perceptual distortions, which the crew might experience. How one perceived the world “beyond the ring” would require another series of experiments.
The voltage output of newly designed dynamos was extreme. In fact, they operated more like electrostatic generators than current generators. Ratings of several million volts would not be a conservative estimate. The initial experiments apparently succeeded, the Project moving into its progressive developmental stages. Problems of communication through the warp cloak was going to be a problem. How would the crew remain in touch with superiors? In wartime, communications would be the necessary and critical item of concern.
Could one use ordinary radio waves across the threshold of a spacewarp? Optical blackout would block all communications on both sides of the cloak wall. But transparency might allow specific radio frequencies through the wall. At sufficiently high radio frequencies and power levels, there would be no problems in this application of the warp. Special UHF antennas appeared throughout these experiments, reported as “Christmas tree-like” structures.
The Naval Research Laboratories now undertook the first deployment of the system for use on a much grander scale: to “cloak” and render a ship invisible. The chosen ship, USS Eldridge (DE 173), was now outfitted with the experimental system in two sections. The first was loaded on board. This included the dynamos and a modified capacitor ring assembly. The second section, presumably controlling devices and data readout systems, was located off shore. The moored ship was connected from ship to shore by a great system of very thick black cables.
The capacitor ring surrounded the ship’s hull in the same symmetry as was used to surround grounded objects. Several pairs of wire loops were placed completely around the ship’s hull. Between these loops, a great number of the specialized capacitors were placed in radial orientations. Since the capacitor “ring” assembly saturated the warp for such a long time, it would be possible to again lower the impulse rate. Continuous transparency could be arranged by employing a cadenced series of such assemblies.
It was vital that the electrical axes be absolutely radial with respect to the ship’s deck, and that no unexpected diffraction effects be encountered by the expanding warp. Such diffractions would destroy the warp profile, bringing its deadly effects into the safety zone. Crewmembers would have to stay deep in the safety zone interior or risk being destroyed by the expanding warp.
The assembly produced an intense space distortion, which surrounded the ship. In unmanned tests, the effects appeared benign, invisibility actually having been achieved. It has been rumored that the aged Tesla was called from his secure Manhattan retreat to act as consultant to this project. The father of electrical impulse science and inventor of electrostatic impulse generators and transformers, his expertise added certain finishing touches to the massive equipment. In addition, his own experience with the blackout phenomenon added special credence to the project. No doubt, he himself was enthralled at the discovery and its amazing properties.
The development and proposal to deploy the system by the military did not rest well with Tesla however, his sharpened intuition recognizing their ultimate goals. It had been reported that Tesla left the Project abruptly after recognizing the potentially harmful effects on crewmembers and the natural environment. The safety of crewmembers or other military personnel who would be exposed to such an energetic effect would indeed be the critical factor.
Could human beings operate near such a powerful warp and remain completely unaffected? The early exposures of control room personnel produced mild and temporary cessation of conscious process. Physiologically, no reports of after-effects were ever mentioned in connection with the blackout. It was critical that the effect be closely monitored and isolated. When deployed on a battleship or aircraft carrier, the capacitor rings would produce an enormous warp volume. Required to bend space around the ship, the system would be taxed to its design limits. Until standardized, the system itself would continue to remain “in the design stage”.
The “black out” state would not be engaged, it previously being determined to achieve a mild state of transparency. This cloaking system would provide a camouflage resembling a “blurry sea horizon”. After tests with laboratory animals proved safe, a crew was selected. Once aboard the ship, crewmembers were asked to simply “go about their business as usual”. Warned to stay well within the interior of the safety zone, it was stressed that they treat the hull as they would a deadly electrified fence. The crew was told that there might be possible “strange optical effects” when looking outside, but that this was part of the experiment. If they were successful, they would be “war heroes”. The Navy would have obtained a new weapon for the war and they would be first to try it.
The systems were initiated. Power was applied. The ship acquired a “swimmy” appearance against the blue sky. Increased power brought the effect toward the theoretical mark. The ship becoming more blurry. Power to the system was raised a few more degrees, and to the amazement of all who watched, the blur became a foggy transparency. The ship could not distinctly be seen at all! The effect was sustained for a few minutes, and then removed gradually. All seemed well.
What the NRL did not know was what had happened in those few minutes. It was impossible for them to receive any distress calls, the entire crew having been incapacitated. There must have been a leakage effect somewhere in the hull, the “ill-formed” spacewarp moving into the safety zone. It has been thought that the excessive steel of the ship itself acted in some strange unca1culated manner to draw the warp effect into the ship. Furthermore, in the few seconds after the power was applied, many of the crewmembers attempted diving off the ship. They never made it to the warp edge, being saturated in the radiant warp field.
- ENDLESS LIGHT: Dr. Thomas Henry Moray
- DEADLY SOUND: Vladimir Gavreau