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The Instability
"But you can't put the universe in stasis," said Mr. Atkins, fascinated. Then Dr Firebrenner slammed Mr Atkins' head into the table and suddenly the man decided that yes, it could be done.
About this creation

Very few people on this site have posted MOCs of books, so I'm glad to say I'm quite unique in doing this. The following is the entire short story 'The Instability' written by Isaac Asimov. In fact, it's very short, so don't run off and only look at the pictures. Enjoy :D!

by Isaac Asimov

Professor Firebrenner had explained it carefully. "Time-perception depends on the structure of the Universe. When the Universe is expanding, we experience time as going forward; when it is contracting, we experience it going backward. If we could somehow force the Universe to be in stasis, neither expanding nor contracting, time would stand still."

"But you can't put the universe in stasis," said Mr. Atkins, fascinated.

"I can put a little portion of the Universe in stasis, however." said the Professor. "Just enough to hold a ship. Time will stand still and we can move forward and backward at will and the entire trip will last less than an instant. But all the parts of the Universe will move while we stand still, while we are nailed to the fabric of the Universe. The Earth moves around the Sun, the Sun moves around the core of the galaxy, the galaxy moves around some centre of gravity, all galaxies move.

"I calculated those motions and I find that 27.5 million years into the future, a red dwarf star will occupy the position our Sun does now. If we go 27.5 million years into the future, in less than an instant, that red dwarf star will be near our spaceship and we can come home after studying it a bit"

Atkins said, "Can it be done?"

"I've sent experimental animals through time, but I can't make them automatically return. If you and I go, we can then manipulate the controls so that we can return."

"And you want me along?"

"Of course. There should be two. Two people would be more easily believed than one alone. Come, it will be an incredible adventure."

* * *

Atkins inspected the ship. It was a 2217 Glenn-fusion model and it looked beautiful.

"Suppose," he said, "that it lands inside the Red Dwarf star."

"It won't," said the professor, "but if it does, that's the chance we take."

"But when we get back, the Sun and Earth would have moved on. We'd be in space."

"Of course, but hoe far can the Sun and Earth move in the few hours it will take us to observe the star? With this ship we will catch up to our beloved planet. Are you ready, Mr. Atkins?"

"Ready," sighed Atkins.

Professor Firebrenner made the necessary adjustments and nailed the ship to the fabric of the Universe while 27.5 million years passed. And then, in less than a flash, time began to move forward again in the usual way, and everything in the Universe moved forward with it.

Through the viewing port of their ship, Professor Firebrenner and Mr. Atkins could see the small orb of the Red Dwarf star.

The Professor smiled. "You and I, Atkins," he said, "are the first ever to see, close at hand, any star other than our own Sun."

They remained two and a half hours during which they photographed the star and its spectrum and as many neighboring stars as they could, made special coronagraphic observations, tested the chemical composition of the interstellar gases and then Professor Firebrenner said, rather reluctantly, "I think we had better go home now."

Again, the controls were adjusted and the ship was nailed to the fabric of the Universe. They went 27.5 million years into the past, and in less than a flash, they were back where they started.

Space was black. There was nothing.

Atkins said, "What happened? Where are the Earth and the Sun?"

The professor frowned. He said, "Going back in time must be different. The entire Universe must have moved."

"Where could it move?"

"I don't know. Other objects shift position within the Universe, but the Universe as a whole must have moved in an upper-dimensional direction. We are here in the absolute vacuum, in primeval Chaos."

"But we're here. It's not primeval Chaos anymore."

"Exactly. That means we've introduced an instability at this place where we exist, and that means..."

Even as he said that, a Big Bang obliterated them. A new Universe came into being and began to expand.


I hope you enjoyed that, it took me ages to type it up. If you want to read more stories like it, purchase 'Gold' by Isaac Asimov:

I know, I know: I haven't purchased it. I've just taken it out from my school library, and it's massively overdue now, since it took AGES to finish this MOC off. Let me explain.

Well, the project started with the set that you saw at the beginning: an Eylar-style room with some nice beige stripes. Then I read 'The Instability' in Gold, and I had an idea to make a MOC of that. So I chucked in some minifigs and a computer and a chair, and you have the first scene.


I thought I might try some Eylar-style lighting - just to round off the Eylar look to the MOC. Instead of using Eylar's technique of having windows in the ceiling (seriously, what is up with that?), I had a grille of plates leaving 2x2 spaces for light to shine through, and to get that authentic shadowy look.

Then it got tough. I took some pictures of the ship itself (not really 'beautiful' as described in the story, but I'm working on my spaceship-building skills. The truth of it is, I need more bricks. That's why Lego is such a clever brand - you just keep coming back for more), and I thought I might wait for Photoshop CS4 to turn up on my doorstep (270, it's a rip-off). There were various problems with this and I basically gave up on the MOC after I cleared out 20Gb of space on my hard-drive just to find I didn't have enough RAM to run the damn thing.

Then just yesterday I was having a big Photoshopping session (on my dad's computer), since it was half term, and I finally got the Spaceship-in-space pictures finished off. Just for the record, I do know that the picture is of a wormhole or some other bending of the Space-time continuum, and not of a red dwarf star. It's just that it came up in the Google image search, and I liked the look of it.

So enjoy those pics, my best. They took me an age to edit, and I must say this is the most time - and work - I've ever put into a MOC. And I copied that story word-for-word, at 9 o'clock last night, so be happy.



 I made it 
  March 16, 2009
Quoting masterchief 1 I love Asimov , and you honour him well Will! P.S.: Have you read "Foundation" another book by Asimov , because its one of my all time favorite books.
Funnily enough, I have. Though I have to say it isn't one of my favourites of his: in fact I found it quite boring. It's got too much to do with economics and politics for me, sorry. But I have just re-read I, Robot. That book is excellent - the way Asimov sets down the three laws then tears them to pieces by showing us how they could be broken in clever circumstances. Excellent book, go read.
John .
 I like it 
masterchief 1
  February 24, 2009
I love Asimov , and you honour him well Will! P.S.: Have you read "Foundation" another book by Asimov , because its one of my all time favorite books.
By John .
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