Dimension Duel - The Story

© 2003 Jeffrey A. Mills, DVM

This game actually has a rather lengthy story behind it. The unseen adversaries in this game are derived from a role-playing game that, depending on when you're playing this, might still be in the development phase.

The history of the helix device that the characters, and thus the players, are using dates back hundreds of years...to the late 1400's and early 1500's to be precise. The schematics for the device were taken from the sketchbooks of an artist, inventor, and overall visionary named Leonardo da Vinci. In a time when many people were still in denial about the Earth's true geometry, da Vinci was busily writing about long distance communications, parachutes, and submarines.

Of all his interests, however, one became somewhat of an obsession...an obsession that would be unfulfilled by him. He realized that the air had density and compared wind to a flowing river. He believed that the secret to flight was in mimicking the motion of birds and bats...in being able to move the 'substance' of the air with enough force to propel a man-carrying machine.

One of his many designs was based on the same principles behind the modern helicopter. He designed a very large screw like device that, according to da Vinci, when moved with sufficient force would be able to lift a person into the air. Leonardo's design was powered by four men pushing on long spokes protruding from the shaft of the screw. In a modern helicopter, these spokes, aka blades, may spin at speeds in excess of 400 mph. Unfortunately for da Vinci, four men are not capable of running around in circles at such speeds.

Leonardo called his invention a 'helix' because of its spiral shape. Although his helix did not see fruition during his lifetime, it was this very design that directly lead to the creation of two very awesome devices capable of warping the very fabric of human existence, the two devices that are used in this game...and thus, in the role- playing game on which it is based.

In the late twentieth century two inventors were born in rural Midwest towns. They met during college and became fast friends. One was studying nuclear physics; one was studying electrical engineering. They both shared a passion for Medieval role-playing games. While researching famous dead people in attempt to add some fresh characters to a stale game session, they came across a book detailing the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. When their eyes fell upon the schematics for da Vinci's helix, they knew, without a doubt, that between the two of them and with the aid of modern, experimental nuclear power devices, that they would be able to succeed where he failed.

Their very first test was a complete success. In just a few months, during the time they were supposed to be studying, they scaled down the original, mammoth device powered by four men, into a go-cart sized personal helicopter. Without even finishing their studies, they were hired by NASA to adapt their version of the helix device for use by astronauts during space-walks. In just a few months, during the time they were supposed to be developing a device for space-walks, they had created two small handheld versions that they thought would be the ultimate mode of personal transportation. These tiny handheld devices were designed to move the substance of the air with enough force to lift a person into the air.

Their very first test was a complete disaster. These two small, nuclear powered devices succeeded in spinning the helix at unimaginable speeds. The problem was that the force did not just move the air molecules themselves, but was so powerful that it created a ray of energy so intense that it shifted the subatomic particles of all matter that it touched. Much of NASA's research center was obliterated.

The two young inventors from rural Midwest towns agreed to destroy their research, part ways, and return to their homes to work in less glamorous jobs...perhaps in sanitation. Both inventors broke their agreement. Both continued their research. And both created devices capable of a more controlled release of energy. One created what he called the Tau Helix Device, and one created what he called the Kaon Helix Device. The unfortunate creator of the Kaon device, however, inadvertently shifted his own DNA. He became, for lack of better words, a crazed, lunatic, a not-quite-human bent on 'exploring' aka destroying the entire universe...one small, rural town at a time.

This is where our card game begins. The creator of the Tau device has tracked down his long-time friend and now they must battle...TO THE DEATH!

Notes About Particle Physics

Particle. A subatomic object possessing a mass and a charge.

Antiparticle. For every particle there is another particle with the same mass but the opposite charge. This is called the antiparticle.

Hadron. A particle made of quarks and/or gluons.

Quark. A fundamental fermion that has strong interactions.

Fermion. A particle with an odd-half-integer angular momentum (spin). No two fermions can exist in the same state at the same time. Electrons, protons, neutrons, and quarks are all examples of fermions.

Gluon. The carrier particle of strong interactions.

Kaon. A meson with either a strange quark and an anti-up/anti-down quark, or an anti- strange quark and an up/down quark.

Tau. The third largest lepton, with a charge -1.

Lepton. A fermion that does not participate in strong interactions.

Meson. A hadron made from an even number of quark constituents.

Confused. How one feels after reading a short glossary of elementary particle physics.

©2003 Jeffrey A. Mills, DVM

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