Valhalla Cluster

Fifth Singularity or higher industrial centers

Valhalla Cluster Brain
Image from Steve Bowers
The Gods Grove, a Valhalla Cluster in the Zoeific Biopolity

A Valhalla Cluster (also known as a Cluster Brain, Shangrai La, or e-Heaven) is an artificial construct believed to be created and used by high level archai minds of at least the Fifth Singularity for high volume manufacturing. Remote observations (there are no verified instances of modosophont level intelligences being permitted to approach closer than 5 light-years to a Cluster) of gravitational wave and infra-red emissions have revealed cluster masses ranging from 50 to 300+ solar masses of material all concentrated into extremely small volumes and arranged in complex (and sometimes rapidly changing) patterns.

The creation of a Cluster can often be correlated with grazer activity and the disappearance of large mass sources in the surrounding volume (often across distances of several hundred light-years) such as large stars, nebulae, and (more rarely) numbers of smaller M-class stars and brown dwarf bodies. However, most of the construction of a Cluster as well as its ongoing operations is usually very difficult to observe.

One of the first phases of Cluster construction is often the creation of dense clouds of uniformly radiating material that completely surrounds many, if not all, of the individual components of the Cluster and which seems to diffuse the heat of its operations with tremendous efficiency. It has been theorized that this cloud may actually consist of vast Matrioshka shells of nested computronium nodes which sequentially absorb and reradiate the thermal output of the Cluster components and use it for computation with the result that what are pinpoint sources of heat within the Cluster are reduced to a barely discernible glow from the outside. Similarly, although a Valhalla Cluster is often initially an intense source of gravitational radiation, the eventual output often drops to barely discernible levels.

Observations made during the creation of the Biopolity based Gods Grove Valhalla Cluster in 7603 (due to a lucky coincidence, several large scale gravitational interferometers had recently been activated in the region as part of a system upgrade) have led several researchers to hypothesize that the constructing archai literally arrange the structure of a Cluster so that the gravitational waves produced by the various industrial operations either cancel each other out or are used to drive various other useful processes or both. An example of perhaps literally godlike efficiency.

Although the exact purpose of all of the components of a Valhalla Cluster is a matter of speculation, even among the lower transapients, it is known that they are the source of much of the archai's technology. Careful analysis of the disbursement tracks of modosophont gift technologies such as reactionless drive cores and comm-gauge wormholes, as well as observations of Godweb traffic patterns have confirmed that most such devices ultimately originate from one Cluster or another. The archai themselves have confirmed these observations but otherwise rarely bother to acknowledge inquiries regarding Valhalla Clusters.

The smallest Valhalla Cluster known is approximately half a light-year in diameter while the largest so far discovered is some three light-years across.

Related Articles
Appears in Topics
Development Notes
Text by Todd Drashner
Initially published on 14 February 2008.