Shattered Space
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The northern exclusion zone.
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There exist rare but particularly violent areas of the Zone known as Shattered Space. They are places where time and space have become so shattered that simply wandering near them can screw with you, and going inside can get you caught in time loops where you might see yourself doing something before you even do it. In such places, the flow of time is broken and no longer follows causality. Tales abound of gargantuan alien warships, locked in eternal battles within these breaches of spacetime, living out their last moments time and time again. These battles, conjectured to somehow be the core of these phenomena, are fought by alien ships that are completely unrecognizable. Video footage of these battles exists, but has been confiscated and is unavailable to the general public.

The appearance of Shattered Space is often likened to a broken mirror. You might see yourself reflected multiple times, or see a broken-mirror effect of whatever you're looking at. Rifts in spacetime mean reflections on nonexistent surfaces, and sometimes you can even see the back of your own head. Walking forwards can sometimes put you further backwards, and throwing an object forward doesn't mean it won't hit a rift and turn left or right relative to you - although to yourself, it is always flying straight. These "mirror effects" can slowly warp even as you watch them, appearing, disappearing, shifting, or fading in and out of view, merging with others and changing their angle of rotation through each other, melding and splitting. Watching it for a sustained period of time is enough to make a man go mad. Extended periods in shattered space, if you're lucky to survive that long, are often grounds for needing therapy for the rest of your life.

Being in the proximity of shattered space can have subtle, adverse effects to the chronological flow - a sort of warning to any that might venture near. Ships often report time missing from their logs. Ships traveling in a fleet may re-hear comm messages they've already received, or sometimes receive them before they are even sent. Shadows have been seen to lag behind the motions producing them, and crewmen have reported feeling full before they even sit down in the canteen. Feelings of "déjà vu" become much more pronounced, and are sometimes even repeated multiple times. Crewmen holding conversations might completely miss part of what the other interlocutors have said, yet be convinced they'd heard everything, and sometimes they briefly feel endowed with a vague sense of telepathic communication. Computer systems are hit even harder, often getting caught in loops, refusing to record data or recording it multiple times, or even crashing altogether.

The Tartarus briefly passed by one of these phenomena in the year 3094 during an exploratory attempt by the then-CEO of Tartarus Inc., Paren Larell; while the biological computers (HADES, SCAMPS, and CHIARA) were all unaffected apart from some "uneasy feelings", the electronic computers crashed and data had to be restored from backups. Anyone using the VR chambers at the time had their brain irreversibly scrambled, and the survivors had to be put down via airlock. Moreover, of all the platoons sent to investigate the phenomena, only two squads survived; their dropships had malfunctioned en-route and they had only just grazed the phenemena's boundaries, with the CASKETs unable to decouple. One squad (elite squad 253a) was recovered, but the other squad was mercy killed with a plasma battery barrage after two rescue attempts were swallowed up by the shattered space and lost.

Origins

Fk4Bqy8.png "….Well doc, you could say that, yes. No bloody clue what it's supposed to be."
The following is Forbidden Knowledge: Almost no one within the REKT universe knows these things.
Player characters do not know any of it unless specifically told about it ingame.

Shattered Space is the result of massive, intense battles between the Alts and the Quantums. These areas formed when the two adversaries tried to screw with physics and time hard enough to trash the opposing force - but neither side won because they reached an eternal, timeless stalemate from which they were unable to withdraw, rendering them permanently trapped and unable to escape. The battles continue to rage, because in the shattered echoes of the combat, nothing exists to curb their bloodlust. Their numbers split and resplit along timelines and continuums, merging and coalescing and constantly replenishing their numbers, such that even though the casualties continue to climb, neither side is ever depleted.