That Darned Dark Matter
David Carlson coughed, nervously, as he was about to address the august assembly. "Ladies and gentlemen, I know that our findings are... a little difficult to believe--"
"A little difficult?" demanded one out-raged elderly scientist. "I simply cannot--how can you stand up there and insist that this is happening?"
"I agree," cried another esteemed cosmologist. "Our calculations are all correct."
Carlson sighed, and rubbed the bridge of his nose, resisting the urge to shuffle his feet. He had to appear all-together. "Please, ladies and gentlemen, I know this seems difficult to accept. Why, it was only a few years ago that the 'accelerated universe' theory gained ground. That was a concept that many of us, myself included, had problems grasping. Dark matter, dark energy--the truth is, none of this matters any more. The universe is no longer accelerating. It is not decreasing, either. It simply is. There is no longer missing mass or energy. Everything is absolutely and completely balanced."
"But our calculations--" murmured several.
"I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that if you re-do those calculations, you will find that they no longer fit with our observational data. It is a simple fact: the very structure of the universe has changed, almost overnight."
"What an idea!"
"It is either that," Carslon said firmly, "or believe that our calculations have been wrong since the advent of cosmology. Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galieo, Einstein, Hawking--all brilliant men, all geniuses. All wrong. We can either continue to mindlessly believe old out-dated theories, or we can face the fact that the universe is different than anything previously imagined."
"All finished?" Hiko asked, as Rayden walked into the kitchen, wiping his hands on his work trousers.
"Yep, all done. A lot more work than I thought to do." He leaned over to give her a kiss. "But it's finished. Hichan was a big help, too."
Hichan came into the kitchen, beaming, trailed by a toddling Raiko. "Mom! I helped!"
"I heard, sweetheart," Hiko replied, with a smile.
"Did you know that Dad's whole universe was accelerating? He didn't notice, but I did. He said that it's just because it's kinda old, it needs adjusting from time to time, sometimes it even slows down and that's why he didn't notice, but I noticed it right away and I said, hey, Dad, the universe is accelerating and oh yeah, it's missing about two-thirds of its mass and he was like, hey, yeah, it is." Hichan grinned widely.
"Me help too," Raiko insisted.
Rayden ruffled Hichan's hair. "Yep, I couldn't have done it without either of you two."
"What could Raiko have possibly accomplished?" Hiko asked, perplexed.
"Me hold flashlight," Raiko replied proudly.