A Graphic Novel
Atlantiens believe this is how the universe began…
The Dark Matter Reef
The Dark Matter Reef stretches along a three hundred thirty million light-year expanse of deep
space that separates galaxies 304, M109, and the Blazses Nebula. The reef is made of the exoskeletal remains of a nearly infinite number of dead dark matter polyps. Expanding at the rate of 30,000,000km per year, the reef is thick with life.
Schiff feed on the microscopic organisms that live inside the polyps. The Schiff are small; 16 meters
across, merely and individually have almost zero mass. Being so small they would escape notice
entirely except for the gravity they generate when they gather in great numbers. That mass
creates enough gravitational pull across nearby galaxies to influence entire solar systems, to
change orbital paths that are billions of years old, even to change the attitude of the reef itself.
At the cyclical arrival of the plasma algae tide, the Schiff gather, feed, mate and deposit their eggs in
the fertile reef. Without the eternal presence of the plasma algae the reef could not exist.
Subatomic in size and moved through the cosmos via its various gravities, the plasma algae drifts in
great waves across space and time at many times the speed of light. It is only when they come into
proximity with the Dark Matter Reef that they are slowed, then stopped. The algae feeds on the light
of the stars they pass and, if their hungers are great enough, sometimes consume.
The tentacles of the polyps that create the Dark Matter Reef may extend 3,000 to 4,000 kilometers
in length to reach the algae. When the tentacles touch plasma algae they emit a stinging electro-
magnetic charge and draw the algae corpses in for consumption. Constantly expanding and
contracting as they absorb and expel the gases of space, the dark matter polyps lazily eat, grow and
During periods of famine the reef feeds upon itself. Polyps reach out to an adjacent portion of
reef with their tentacles, expel their intestines, and digest their fellow polyps without prejudice.
Perhaps not surprisingly there are predators who threaten the Dark Matter Reef. One, a starfish by
any description, measures 800 to 1,400m across. Indestructible, poisonous, and ravenous, the Eye
of God Starfish moves with the speed of a glacier across the Dark Matter Reef, methodically consuming each and every polyp in its path. The starfish too, extrude their guts and consume the polyps wholesale. The indiscriminate eating habits of the Dozer Schiff, who prey on the starfish, the polyps, and
the reef, are where stellar life begins.
As the Dozer Schiff move across an area of the Dark Matter Reef, eating all the while, they are
also depositing effluent. The effluent amounts to carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and helium
particulate matter that gravitates to the reef. When enough of these elements come into
proximity of one another they begin accretion; to collide, bond, and mass. It is there that the core
of a new star or planet or life form is consummated.
When grown to an appropriate dimension the mass will break away and drift gently into the gravity of
the nearby nebulae, attracting gases and particles en route, and beginning to build an asteroid, a
planet, a star. Finally, bursting from the nebulae into deep space, these faceless heavenly bodies
collide and start anew with whatever lay along
The duration of this gestation may be 9 billion years but creation, like infinity, has no timetable.
In eons passed the Shrined Gigapede, up to 3,000 kilometers in length, fed greedily on the Dozer
Schiff. Electro-sensors that extended along the sides of these cosmic worms could disclose the
presence of the Dozer Schiff from a hundred light years distance.
465 Million years ago there was a hydrogen drought and the climate of space surrounding the
reef became colder and darker. The plasma algae became smaller, less robust than in the past. The
polyps were malnourished as a result and the entire reef was threatened with extinction.
The center of the dark matter became so much hotter than its exterior during this period that
gravity pulled the reef in on top of itself. Finally, the pressure became so great that the mass
burst. A dark matter event horizon threw its molecules in every direction, for millions of light
years distance, in a trillionth of a second. Within hours the particulate of the former reef had spread
to many hundreds of times its previous dimensions. Every molecule held in place by its
tiny gravity, equidistant from every other molecule, only the random absence of a molecule
to break the monotony. With only that infinitesimal variance, the random missing molecule, chaos ensued on a galactic scale.
Where there was a missing molecule in the formation, gravity was weak. Those molecules
adjacent to the weak spot moved away from the void and toward the stronger attraction of another
molecule. Then came the light. Light from so far and so distant sources but with increased light,
one gets increased oxidation. With increased oxidation there are limitless possibilities in
mutation. With limitless possible mutations, life can take root anywhere. So it begins -- every time.
Randomly, larger pieces of molecular debris began to attract smaller pieces and build enough mass to
attract greater pieces, all swirling in a cosmic stew. The heat generated from the tidal friction
warmed that region of space which in turn attracted the hydrogen and the associated carbon
molecules. With carbon back in the dance, life began anew in the dark matter reef.
Still, the new reef was not the old reef. It was still well-situated in an area of space which was ideally
suited for the existence of a dark matter reef so it began again. But, the new reef was a mutant. It
began with a single polyp making copies of itself, just as the old one had. But the new hybrid clones
shared a variation of their original genetic make-up. The new polyps were larger, grew faster, were
more resistant to predators, and they could bite. This new characteristic meant the extinction
of the Shrined Gigapede whose last remains created the foundation for the new reef.
When gravity is weakest between the galaxies and nebulae that border the Reef, it's time to mate.
Except for the presence of only the hardiest Eye of God Starfish, the reef's growth now expands
unchecked by predators. Its dark mass has become so great as to threaten the hold of the
black holes at the centers of nine conterminous galaxies. The Dark Matter Reef does not draw light
in the way a black hole does, but light cannot get through it.
From various points in various galaxies the reef appears as a starless spot in the night sky.
In another 4 billion years we may begin to measure the impact of the reef here on Earth but
by then our own sun will have burned out. Today, the reef drifts in languor 1,300 galaxies away,
impossible to see or measure with earthly eyes and tools.
This is a sliver of our Universe as we know it. Moving and vibrating at a rate so slow as to be
imperceptible, teeming with life and infinite possibilities, the Universe (at least the parts of it
we can comprehend) is the existence of everything all at once.
The Universe is at once expanding and contracting, heating and cooling, growing and dying. The one
absolute is that the Universe contains the whole of that which is astronomical. Of that which you can
imagine, and of a great deal more which you cannot, and it is all happening, and is going to happen again, and again… and again.