Two Asteroid Miners Walk into a Bar. . .

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On a large asteroid the long axis is hollowed out first and the asteroid is set rotating on that axis with strategically placed ion boosters. Once the spin is started, normal gravity can be approximated on the interior surface. As mining progresses, care is taken to excavate along the axis so that an evenly proportioned cylinder is created with habitation, agriculture, even atmosphere, hugging the interior wall as a result of the induced spin. Over time, the result is an actual community growing out of the hard scrabble; civic pride, chambers of commerce, schools and churches, the whole nine yards.
On Vesta however, the still scrappy boomtown atmosphere lends itself more to saloons and brothels, but not without redeeming intellectual discourse. At least the bars have real waitresses, not like those cyborg fembots on asteroids that have numbers instead of names; high class joints.
Doc and Digger sit at a table in a cramped dorm district bar optimistically named Vesta’s Virgins, downing shots of vodka and playing high stakes Russian Go Fish.
Digger says, “What were we talking about, before the fembots?”
Doc says, “Wait, у вас тройки? Got any threes?”
“Ha! на рыбалкy! Go fish!” Digger gathers in the credit chits piled between them with a laugh, like he’s embracing a litter of kittens. “Come to Papa. Ochen Khorosho Baybee! Speciba, sucker!”
They upend two shot glasses of vodka and slam them down empty as a waitress in a toga brings four more. Her youth and the low gravity put a definite bounce in her step. She has her hair up in some faux Grecian goddess do, curling wisps framing her neck and ears and leading the eye down her collar bone, a Platonic form of a girl just cresting the first peak of womanhood, a nice girl.
Doc says, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a dump like this?”
“Holding my breath around you dump rats,” She says as she puts down the shots.
Doc smiles. “You’re a tease, I like that but I’m busy. Flirt with me later.” She spins around and heads up to the mezzanine to refill another customer’s drink. She shoots back over her shoulder, “A-roids!”
Digger says, “Hey, we’re engineers! We got scientific degrees coming out our ears.”
“Out your rears!” A profane goddess.
Digger tries for the last word. “Well, don’t stick your nose up at me baby! I went to mining college!
Doc waves her off. “Where was I? Time travel. It was time travel.”
The waitress sets down the drink at the mezzanine booth and says to the customer, “Don’t let that impress ya’ honey, that’s just their regular shtick. They wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t yell at them. They’re harmless.”
“What’s their story?”
The waitress says, “Oh, they’re engineers all right, playing at the wild west, having the time of their lives out here. They’re just sweet nerds, actually”

Doc puts down the deck. “All travel, two, three or four dimensional, is just a path through the four axes of space time. It takes four coordinates to describe that path. So, a line on a paper still has four dimensions but two of them are set to zero. Describing where I am spatially just means setting the time axis at zero.”
Digger says, “So since we live in four dimensions, we can’t experience time travel unless a fifth coordinate can be moved off zero.”
Doc says, “Just like we break a hypothetical two dimensional flat earth by flying. But, other effects have been created that mimic natural forces, acceleration mimics gravity; like spinning Vesta or spinning a magnet to create electricity.
Digger says, “So, we could build something that mimics a fifth dimensional operator acting from outside of four dimensional space time.”
“Exactly!”
“And how is that done?” Digger asks.
They down another shot. Slam. Slam. “With a spinning supermassive black hole, of course; like in the center of galaxies. It drags space time along with it like a cylinder spinning in water makes a whirlpool. Theoretically, it is possible to enter the space time whirlpool around a supermassive black hole and then exit. The speed and angle of entry and exit then determines whether you traveled into the past or the future. Mathematically, it’s a precise way to move along that 5th axis, in and out of present moments on the 4th axis.”
Digger says, “Like Superman flying around the earth fast enough to spin it forward or backward in time.”
“It’s not speed that does it, it’s mass,” says Doc.
“So, the Earth would have to be supermassive?”
“Forget Superman; you need an infinitely long spinning cylinder.”
Digger rolls his eyes. “So what’s not impossible about that?”
Doc says, “Infinity is just a word for a concept. It’s not real. Just redefine the term and do the math. Create a mathematical model of a ‘cylinder’ that can warp space time.”
“Ok, and just assume it’s infinite?” Digger asks.
“Yes, we can’t do anything with all of infinity anyway, only our little section, just like the trillionth digit of pi is useless. We don’t need it to calculate the circumference of this table. Don’t even bother looking for it. If that were possible we would not be limited to time travel, because, time travel is just one path through space time. So now, if we have our universe in front of us, and a way to move from outside the 4th axis, then we can go anywhere, to any physical or temporal coordinate in space time.”
“Problem solved,” says Digger.
Doc waves a credit chit at the table reader to pay the bill and adds a big tip for the goddess. “Da sveedanya Baybee!”
She blows a kiss from the bar. “Bye, bye, sweetheart; be careful out there, you might run into some real miners. Come back in one piece.”
Digger says, “I think she likes you Doc.”
“Khorosho, Baybee!”

About the Author: 
Steven Schneider is an attorney and author, about to publish his first science fiction novel; Sweet Charlotte in the Higgs Field.