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Time and the Weight of Gravity...

"Physics had died only the other day. Poor physics. Perhaps fifty people on earth understood it fully, but physics was over, just in time for the millennium. The rest was mopping up. The rest was funeral direction. They had found proton decay, at 1032 years, uniting the strong and weak atomic forces, giving the strongelectroweak. Then all they needed, for the Grand Unified Theory, for the Theory of Everything, was gravity. And then they got it. They got gravity. The maths were beautiful. The key to everything was this: time was a force as well as a dimension. Don't we feel time as a power, and doesn't it feel like gravity? What is it that is always pulling us back down?"

"I wondered if Captain Imrie was even dimly aware of this thought transference process, of the substitution of the fearful things, the dreadful things of long ago for the unrealised awareness that such things were not confined to the actions of overt warfare, that violent death acknowledged no restrictions in time and space, that the bleak and barren waters of the Barents Sea were its habitat and its home.

"I wondered how many others of those present felt this atavistic fear, this oddly nameless dread so often encountered in the loneliest and most desolate places on earth, a dread that reaches back over the aeons to primitive man who as yet knew not fire, to those unthinkably distant ancestors who crouched in terror in their lightless caves while the forces of evil and darkness walked abroad in the night: a fear that, here and now, was all too readily reinforced and compounded by the sudden, violent, and inexplicable deaths of three of their company the previous night.

"It was hard to tell, I thought, just who was feeling affected by such primeval stirrings of foreboding for mankind does not readily acknowledge even to itself, far less show or discuss, the existence of such irrationally childlike superstitions.