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Energy Harvesting: On the Use of Black Holes


The ship was hovering on the event horizon. In his mind’s eye, the Operator envisioned the border between the gravitational field of the Black Hole and outer space. He shared the image with James, his enhanced dachshund.


“See, James, anything crossing that border is sucked directly into the Hole. Once in the grip of the vortex, you start spinning closer and closer to its core. Arriving at which, well…without the proper gear and training, you would be rearranged. BAM! Your atoms would survive in some form, being recycled into radiation, and I would be putting together a holo-version of you…” he chattered on.


The dog did not seem to be paying much attention. He sniffed at the image and pressed some buttons on the control panel on the crammed lower deck of their craft. James never seemed to need the conversation as much as the Operator did.


They dropped the Harvester within the confines of the Black Hole. A big piece of space junk was being pulled in right before their eyes. The Operator steered a bit to the right to prevent being sucked in with it.


“Atom Recycling – the quickest and easiest way to get rid of…well, almost anything,” he revoked with a smirk. At least that’s what they thought at first. They had planned to move all space debris to the center of their Galaxy, assuming that nothing could ever escape the Black Hole. It seemed to be the perfect way to clean up the Milky Way.


James responded to the Operator’s thought: “The Black Hole as the great incinerator. How pragmatic and what old-world thinking!” Finally, the dog spoke. It was always nice to hear another voice in the great stillness of space.


They had stopped using the Hole as a waste dump when they had figured out what actually happened to the stuff that went in. They discovered that not all was converted into radiation, but that some debris, atoms and deformed matter actually came out – on the other side, straight into their Mirror Enclave. For some reason, whatever you produced was always returned to you in one way or another. Not wanting to soil their own backyard, their tactics changed. The Hole was now seen as the greatest source of energy the Galaxy had to offer, James and the Operator being among the lucky ones to harvest from these fertile grounds.


Staying on the safe side of the event horizon, the Operator got the HarvesTube ready. He always liked to think of it as a very long and strong fishing rod. The craft then flung the Tube into the Hole’s gravitational field. There was a strong pull, the craft tipped a bit and then leveled out.

The HarvesTube was built from transformed reluctant material and plated with thin-film, a transparent energy harvesting coating. It soon begun to gather energy as it ventured deeper and deeper into the Hole’s core and transported it back to the ship. As the Tube filled up the belly of the craft, the Operator allowed himself a small break. He got James a dog biscuit and thought of all the holo-screens, cars, crafts and machines that would come to life after their return to The Enclaves. He sat back and lit a cigarette.

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