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Hyperspace

21st Century physicists theorize that our universe may exist on the surface of a multidimensional bubble known as a 'brane' (short for membrane). Known as 'M' and 'Superstring' theory, this physics - although primarily directed at the quantum, or subatomic, level - allows for the existence of other 'branes' in close proximity to ours. Hyperspace, in short, is a parallel 'brane' universe; one which is characteristically similar enough to ours for 'normal' matter to temporarily exist within it but one in which gravity is a much stronger force. Because of this, the Hyperspace universe has not expanded to the extent that our universe has, although each point in Hyperspace has a corresponding point in normal space. Within Hyperspace, matter and energy slowly break down into very primitive, chaotic states and distances are exponentially shorter. Using cosmic string generators known as Jumpgates or Jump engines, a vessel from normal space can punch a tunnel through to Hyperspace fairly easily and travel interstellar distances without exceeding even a fraction of the speed of light. A second 'brane' universe, even smaller and more chaotic than Hyperspace, is known as 'Thirdspace'. It is populated by an extremely powerful race known to the First Ones of our universe simply as 'Anti-Life'. With a name like that, it is fortunate for the Younger Races that Thirdspace is impossible to access without synchronized jumpgates open in both universes.