"Sir? The augmentative field is palpitating wildly." A young man. A physics major. No spectacular qualities. He was just eager to ensure the quality of the situation at hand. Thinking this, Kyun with vindication observed his concern.
He watched the magnetic arches surrounding a central core of fluxing energy. A swarm emitted between the top and bottom arches consisting of bolts of green electricity. Fluron.
"Maxwell, thank you, please reduce the input. Our test is concluded. The safety parameters must be held in check." Kyun was stern, but a not so very unforgiving individual. The man who had earlier noticed that some form of danger could occur if this equipment was pushed too far, worriedly struck his console.
From behind a shielded observation room on the fourth floor. Kyun and Maxwell glowered at the fruits of their labour. A machine. In a deep cavernous pit, lined with rings, arches made of magnetic emitters, and a central core floated in the centre of the pit. It would be the first of it's kind when the right conditions and materials were utilised in its confines. And Kyun, its designer and engineer, would undoubtedly be nominated for a Nobel prize if it succeeds. The machine is called a "Prior Significance Relay." Essentially, what Kyun has managed to manufacture, is a prototype collapse-inducing time-space fold-over. The uniqueness doesn't come from it's ability to bend time and space however. The success of its operation is due to how much of the two properties it can manipulate. So far, only a fraction of what Kyun had intended.
His stern stare at the core of the pit was suddenly broken by a technicians voice: "Professor Kyun? The results sir." A man clad in a white overcoat handed him a clipboard. A thankful grin emerged on Kyun's lips and he thanked the blonde gentleman. Kyun read to himself:
- OVERVIEW - TRIAL 9. TEST 6
- PHASE ONE: OPEN ARRAYS IN CENTRAL ZONE AND ALLOW CHARGE OF SIGNIFICANCE FLUX. [SUCCESS]
- PHASE TWO: ENGAGE PARTICLE ACCELERATION ZONE. [SUCCESS]
- PHASE THREE: STANDBY. PROCEED WITH MAGNETC FIELD FLUX. [ERROR, ELECTRICAL OVERCHARGE]
- PHASE FOUR: CORRECTED RADIATION EMISSION INTENSITY. [SUCCESS]
- PHASE FIVE: ENGAGE GRAVITATIONAL DENSITY COLLAPSE VIA CENTRAL CORE. [ERROR, FRACTIONAL COLLAPSE, FLURON EMITTER POWER UNDERSTRENGTH]
The professor pondered. Wanting to correct the errors with another trial. But one is not scheduled until two days later. He stroked the goatee adorning his chin and danced his visage between the machine in the pit below and the clipboard in his hand. Mildly frustrated, he ordered the team in the observation area dismissed. He was the last to leave the room and follow the small crowd toward the elevator upward to the surface. Empirical Laboratories, in San Francisco, is home to many many personnel, a secret location in the desert regions of the state. The majority of projects undertaken at Empirical Labs are free-focus and these types of projects allow the above-ground staff a choice between remaining on-campus or living elsewhere. However... The underground facilities, are a high security restricted area, Kyun's domain. His project is by far the most secretive and expensive undertaking ever to be approved by the US Government.
The nature of Kyun's civil agreement with government liaisons, is such that he and his staff are to remain on-campus for the duration of the projects development until the President approves its declassified state. This though, he did not reflect on while in transit to the over ground facilities at Empirical after the nineth trial since construction and initial safety arguments had passed.
The fluron emission sequence is suffering. I cannot raise the parameters until more data is collected. He thought. His labcoat housed a pen in its left pocket; Extracting it, Kyun deciphered the mathematical soup dominating his thoughts all over the bottom of his clipboard page, and his left hand. Blast!! If the sequence is built to go beyond the current testing, we may be able to open the field wide enough to... To... To step through? But what will a person step on?
Technicians, assistants, directors, enforcers and other such people sauntered past Kyun on his way to his office. The corridors grey and misguiding. The floors beneath ground, shimmered in crystal white pristinity. Looping the Prior Significance machine for six floors, and connecting to other testing labs, offices, security checkpoints, and the various administration kiosks. At his office, a grey-haired, and flummoxed Kyun, sat sighing. The desk, still awash with notes, printouts, diagrams or the odd chart of information. The desk looked almost overburdened, as did Kyun. He resembled a father who had watched his son play too many games of baseball, and scored no runs.
All I must do, is build and adapt a circuitboard for the console in control room three, and write new code for functioning the hardware in the chamber. He kept thinking to himself. If I redesign the small aperture prongs housing the Significance core in a way that may allow more fluron current to conduct, we may be able to control the surface area, and see into... WOW!
He sat scribbling down his genius in rapid succession, he then happened along a series of problems with his magnificent idea...
"Blast!! This is going to thread the scheduling for the inspection. Director Gauss may not be superficial to your plan Kyun." He knew the plan was good, in his scientific opinion. The theory played well, but testing it, or aquiring the rights and time to test it rather, may be problematic for the professor. Kyun understood that the Government wanted him to research the possibility of opening ways into parallel dimensions, their agenda, was never made clear to him. Yet he transgressed from having zero funding, zero facilities, zero staff, zero equipment, to maximising all of the aforementioned trivialities in only weeks thanks to a great deal of tax-payer contribution...
On his desk sat a small paging device tied to his admin assistant and several colleagues in neighboring office suites. he depressed a white button labelled "Admin" and was duely answered by a woman: "Professor Kyun? You're back? What do you need?"
"Kelly, my scheduling for the Directors visit, when is that?" Kyun needed an estimate, then he could submit his proposal.
"Tomorrow morning at ten pee-em professor. Do you need me to contact the Director? Is there a problem?" Kelly's voice was laden with concern. She liked her boss, always so absorbed and never careless. Her voice was ungalantly contorted by the pagers microphone. Kyun noticed that her soft demeanor was more pleasant in person.
"Thank you Kelly, there are some things I will address with Mr Gauss during his inspection. The timing is all I required."
"You're welcome sir."
Kyun needed to write down his unremitted proposal for the director. At the same time he needed to assemble the measurements, adjustments, replacements and any other items to augment the Prior Significance Relay.
The professor understood with renewed zeal of course, that if the Director did not approve his proposal, he would have wasted his time designing the new assembly for the chamber. Yet, he felt compelled to make it work. Regardless. The project was under his supervision, but he lacked the jurisdiction to modify it as he saw fit. Frustrating.
Later. Having written the proposal, and becoming mentally overwhelmed by how much of the blueprinting still must be done, Kyun returned to the residential district of Empirical labs to hygiene and sombre relaxation before the next unforeseeable afforay. There was blue light swamping the interior. His apartment underground five floors, had everything to support the livelihood necessary for any individual. Small, but still comfortable. Everyone staying on the site, was restricted to one person per room due to facility regulations. Still employees have the option of obtaining groceries from the nearby stores, preparing in their own apartments, or going to the messhall at the transit hub before boarding either a lift or tram to other parts of Empirical Labs. Kyun, regularly did this... He was not a person committed to the small amenities of everyday living. he simply ate when it was feasible, and retired as necessary.
The night it would seem, was lost in the lower labs. No windows existed below ground, just the claustrophobic endlessness that are corridors, walls and rooms sealed from the earthly freedom above. One may wonder how the people who lived there differentiated night and day. They managed, by way of schedules, alarm clocks, and a near-toxic intake of caffeine...
Kyun, a master of this, survived sleeping as often and for as long as his schedule permitted.
So many differences exist between "emergent" staff (the staff under oath by the US Government,) and the "terrestrial" staff, working on lesser (more public) projects above. The physical differences like pale, unsunned skins on emergernt staff, and the well aired, suntanned nature of terrestrial staff. The stressful expressions emblazoned on the faces of emergent staff, and the often cheerful, even sedate looks on many terrestrial staff. Each has sworn a unique oath that pertains to the curiosity of the others work
- Emergent staff will not disclose ANY information to Terrestrial staff concerning the nature of their work.
- Terrestrial staff will not harass, pester or otherwise ask questions concerning the operations of Emergent staff and their project(s).
- Neither party will disclose ANY information to the media or press concerning their respective projects and operations, to do so, is grounds for employment termination, criminal conviction, and possible imprisonment.
The professor poured over the regulations pasted to the wall above his cot. Sleepily ignoring them, and ranting on their unnecessary enforcement. The majority of the teams in his sector had retired to these few quarters until tomorrow when they must again, like impersonal ants in a hive, navigate and direct the functionality of the Prior Significance Relay. Only security personnel and non-science relegates patrolled the "hive". Performing checks, or maintainence. The night, emits no sound.
Silence in every hollow.
There was knocking, a shrill blast emitting from somewhere, and blindness. Kyun groaned with an immense desire to ignore. Someone kept thumping his door, the alarm clock wouldn't cease without his interception.
Kyun wasted no time removing the noise. In sleepwear and mid-sleep consciousness, the Professor pressed the open button for the sliding door. The face of Maxwell slightly obscured by the visage of waking slowly appealed to Kyun.
"Professor, it's eight fifteen. You asked me to ensure you were woken before nine." The quaint expression on Maxwell's eyes spelled curiosity. The Professor wanted to collect himself before he made his way back to the pit with him. No sooner had he shaved and dressed were the pair marching out of the residential hub.
A security guard in a plant-suit and holster stopped them at the vault-gate to control-room three.
"Could both of you please scan your I.D and proceed onwards." He said. The industrial suit he wore flexed with his gesture to a wall-mouted scanner. Kyun stepped closer, groggy but managed to hold up the I.D card hanging from his neck for the scanner to inspect.
A hiss, followed by the cranking metallic slither of locks and automated parts removed the vault-gate from their path.
"Good morning Professor. Good morning Max." Technicians had gathered near the door to the control room awaiting the Professor. He slid his I.D through the reader slot and the door parted. The small team filtred into the room and took up their prescribed positions.
Kyun by now found himself coherent enough to address the team.
"I assume you are all aware that due to the successful operation of our project, Director Gauss and representatives of the Department of Defense will be conducting an inspection of our facility and processes this morning." He began. Rubbing an eye.
"I am pleased with everyone's efforts, responsible conduction of procedures and professionalism. But you will need to maintain these in order to convince the Director that this project is worth the suspicion of the public." There was a quiet babbling and air of peer discussion.
"Now. I have recently considered that some updates are necessary for the project to progress any further. As is obvious, this will mean my asking the Director to provide additional funding and resources, I cannot say that this will happen immediately, if at all, but I would appreciate the people sending me e-mails about the matter to do so less often. You know who you are."
He concluded, then turned to Maxwell: "You need to enter the chamber and assess the aperture prongs." Their eyes locked in a seriousness to rival a chess match between grandfathers.
"Okay Professor. I can be ready in a radiation suit in twenty minutes." The young scientist nodded.
"See that you are, I will meet you at the airlock to brief you."
Maxwell exited the control room. Kyun raised a keypad at his console to run a diagnostic of the systems in the pit below. The power feed is normal, if I am allowed to upgrade the apertures, this feed will need to increase. Potentially dangerous. I do not want to over encumber the power plants... His thoughts aside, he tapped a series of keys to bring up the scan-display. A three dimensional image shaping the Significance Relay splashed the screen. Kyun rotated the image and zoomed on the aperture prongs. Even at this enhancement, Kyun felt they looked too small mounted to the rotor arrays near the core. He made a note to work out the dimensions needed in order to open the field far enough to step through. He would have Maxwell examine the prongs so they could be modified. If anyone was to step through the field (hypothetically), Kyun assured himself it would be himself.
A few minutes passed with some work being done to remove old conduits and electrical components from the consoles and the ordered upgrades to be installed. The Professor angled the telemetry feed on the prongs position in the chamber, making sure that the data could be seen from a PDA, he strolled down a flight of stairs to meet Maxwell. The Airlock Technician was also in a pressure-suit.
"Are your preparations done Maxwell? You look ready." Kyun asked with suppressed anxiety.
"Yes sir. We're ready. What maintainence do I need to perform?" Maxwell, exhibited a slight concern on his brow, hoping that Professor Kyun had intentions for him to manage something minor.
"Ah yes. I need you to scan the interior before you enter, the Flurons and their anti-particles could well still saturate the whole area, so I want you as always not to rush, and be careful. Understood? Good. Now when you arrive at the core, climb the ladder to the prongs and add these..." Kyun extended a hand laden with what looked like small glazed "V" shapes and several clamps. They were very light to Maxwell's surprise, and wondered what the Professor planned to do once the strange objects were attached.
"You have twenty-five minutes until the Director arrives to view the next trial. Work fast."
"Yes Professor." A small sigh escaped Maxwells lungs, then Kyun, pallid and tired urged one more instruction into the young man's memory: "Maintain radio contact at all times Maxwell. We aren't currently irradiating the chamber, so any interference will likely be minimal. Clear?"
The two suited men stepped toward the airlock and rad-shield vault-gate. Kyun watched as they stepped inside and disappeared behind the closing three hundred thousand dollar door... His nervousness rose dramatically watching from the viewport. He couldn't see them yet, the interior gate was still closed. The decontamination sequence inside was working overtime to submit the operators. Finally, Maxwell emerged amidst flashes of red light. The emergency klaxons could not be heard. It was a total vacuum in the chamber. Even now, Kyun was apprehensive letting Maxwell enter the chamber and perform the temporary enhancements. He knew Maxwell was a trained professional, but up until now, Kyun was always with him in the chamber. He had placed a great deal of faith in Maxwell's ability. Kyun's primary concern was a sudden density shift in spatial gravity within the chamber, if Maxwell had climbed the ladder to the aperture prongs, then an event occurred, Maxwell could well be cast into the core and be infinitely reduced to a sub-atomic state. The core, when not subjected to accelerated current, percolated in a semi-lustre pulse of Flurons and Anti-Flurons that exude a "collapse-field" of normal matter. This gravely concerned the Professor. A catastrophe now, would end the project. He watched while the yellow hazard suit stepped into the chamber, and on the catwalk.
There was a burst of radio static, a jumpy sizzled interference blast, then the voice of Maxwell slightly garbled poured through to Kyun's handset: "Okay. I'm in." The tiny sillhouette in the chamber looked back and waved at the viewport.
"Excellent. Now, you need to approach the core Maxwell, but remember what I told you, don't rush, if you move too quickly, the density will fluctuate between particles. You're safe for now, but if you become so heavy while you're up the assembly, you could be dragged into the core. Copy?" The stern and vivid reflection of Kyun's face mirrored in the viewport glass. He fiddled with the handset radio. There were several seconds of delay when Maxwell relied: "I got it Professor."
Kyun tried to settle his nerves and be more confident in Maxwell. All the while, Maxwell looked and sounded like an astronaut in deep space. Moving slowly in the chamber though, was not to risk being carried off by low gravity, but to reduce the likelihood of being crushed for all eternity by it...
The PDA in Kyun's hand shifted to a translucent image showing the aperture prongs, he typed a code into a dimensions profile, and adjusted the data to comply with the modifications about to be made. The aperture prongs should conduct more emphasis in the field when we activate the system. I'm hoping, that the dimensions of the hole are more equidistant because of this. Less horizontal, more vertical. It should work! He thought.
"I'm ascending the ladder to the left aperture above the core now Professor." Nervousness obvious in Mexwell's tone. There was alot of 'fluidity' among the thickening atmosphere near the machines core, the Gieger counter attached to Maxwells right pauldron gave a constant sparkle as it sensed rising and falling radiation levels in his proximity.
"I will join you shortly Maxwell, give me five minutes to suit up, then I will bring the adjustment apparatus to you." Kyun still stern, but secretly nervous himself, entered the quarantine area, gesturing for technicians to begin preparing another radsuit.
Maxwell switched over his radio frequency to a new channel to better communicate with the Professor's suit when he arrived. His arm looped around a rung of the ladder at chest height, he clung to the aperture about six metres up, the core, dark, but strangely luminescent at its flexing edge, beaconed to Maxwell. Spelling doom should mistakes be made. With his free hand, Maxwell reached into a leg-pocket of his suit and extracted the small "V" shaped prong attachment. He tightened his grip on the object, before slowly moving upward, toward the prong.
"Steady Max. I am closing on the upgrade panel. The power is still off. Don't worry."
Maxwell glanced backward, watching for a moment the approaching yellow suited figure of Kyun, several metres away slowly inching along in the radioactively densified vacuum.
Kyun viewed the core with ample mixtures of pride, fear and caution. So much time effort and sheer mental arithmetic contributed to this new, (and in Kyun's opinion) the Eighth Wonder of the World. His pragmatism dissolved in his thought proceedings making way for the task at hand.
The suit's atmosphere regulators worked overtime keeping both oxygen levels sustainable and internal temperature cool. Regardless, Kyun began climbing the ladder in Maxwell's footsteps. He breathed slowly and calmed the rate of heartbeat threatening to detonate from his chest cavity at a moments panic. Kyun never did discover or declare whether or not he held a phobia of heights...
At roughly six ladder rungs up, the professor halted, looping an arm around a rung, he carefully reached to his right and grasped a handle to a hinged panel, opening it with slow, barely-managed patience. The panel revealed a series of buttons, dials and several input sockets for calibration computers. Kyun selected a socket and slid his PDA into it. Waiting for the flashing diode to read the PDA, he depressed a coded sequence on a number pad and began an upload of information enabling a fresh method of power control to the Prior Significance Relay. A minute or two passed, Kyun keenly watched the progress bar in high luminosty reach full, and the upload to read 100%.
"Maxwell? I am ready to disengage the energy handlers, are you ready to proceed?" The shadowy faceplate of Kyun's radsuit gazed up at the precarious Maxwell. He was greeted with a burst of static and Maxwell's slightly augmented voice in reply;
"Yes Professor. I... I can see the aperture, please disable the handlers."
The robotic finger-like extensions on the base of the apperture released their grip on a small area of what appeared to be nothing more than the same irradiated air occupying the rest of the chamber. But Maxwell waited, and an iris in the base's centre opened allowing a glowing transparent diamond to emerge from the emblazoned hole suspended on it's own field of anti-gravity. Maxwell had always marvelled at this substance. How it worked defied reasonable science. Explanation and reasonable science however, were not predesigned specifications of Empirical Labs. The testing of unreasonable science and discovery were primary concern for all Emergent personnel.
"Maxwell? The Conduit is affected by a resonance flux to it's overall capacity, if you invert the attachment and suspend it above the Conduit, it will remain in place of its own accord. Once you achieve that, spin the apparatus slowly and it will again continue of its own measure unaffected. Copy that?"
Kyun held fast on his desire to caution Maxwell further, instead trusting his colleague to his own judgment and slow, attentative care.
An ecstatic Maxwell reached toward the Conduit, the prong below it shifted machanically to better remove obstacles from the scientists work. In his lone gloved hand, he rotated the 'V' until it was upside down,
He released it unto the gravity-redundant abyss surrounding the diamond Conduit.
and it hovered an inch above the thing, mocking the predefined factuality of all human knowledge concerning relativity and cosmic physics.
Maxwell flicked the edge of the upturned 'V' and began it's infinite circuit of rotaion on the axis where both lengths of the 'attachment' met.
It spun at a steady speed, never increasing, and never slowing...
"It's done Professor." The near-breathless post-graduate glanced down at his mentor for approval.
"Well done Max. Let's do the same for the right-hand side now. You have the clamps still for the extension?" Kyun hung low glancing down at the pristine floor, several metres beneath him and even further away for Maxwell. The pair descended the ladder, crossed with slow tentative care to repeat the process they had just accomplished moments earlier. The Prior Significance Relay hummed with omnipresent death, the smallest error would result in catastrophe for either or both men. The second 'V' installed, and all systems reset, Maxwell was about to descend when he noticed a peculiar phenomenon beginning to occur.
"Professor Kyun! Both of the attachments are rotating in synchronicity, is this normal?!" Worried breathing followed Maxwell's concerned words.
Kyun froze at the bottom rung, he stared upward glancing between the two Conduits, he spoke quickly:
"Maxwell, come down quickly... This... This has never occurred before."
As Maxwell clambered down the ladder and stood beside Kyun, they began to experience highly noticeable changes forming in the midst of the chamber pit. All around them, tiny particles of light, flickered and sifted. Bright little sparks of ionised green Fluron began to coalesce, and surge toward the dark pulsating sphere of the Core. Kyun and Maxwell twisted and turned following the tiny glowing embers on their paths into eternity.
The radiation spiked, Maxwell's Geiger counter suddenly went mad, and Kyun began to feel himself being pulled toward the centre of the pit.
"This is fantastic! I could never have imagined what small augmentations would achieve, even without an input power feed! Amazing!" Kyun inched forward, the soles of his feet clad in hazardous environment layers and lead, slid slowly along the metal floor, Kyun mistook the dragging of oblique, isolated gravity for his own motions tethered by sheer curiosity...
"Professor! PROFESSOR!!" Maxwell yelled into his suit microphone, willing the slipping scientist ahead of him to heed his warning.
The events edges ARE more equidistant... I was right! Amazing!
Professor Kyun marvelled at the fruits of his colleagues labour, and sensed that his prediction would enable him to be presented with honours like those of his greater predecessors. Hawking, Einstein, Newton... Suddenly Kyun's musings were torn from his insight, and he realised that his body was being being dragged closer and closer toward the phasic portal-core. Kyun could not for want of trying, resist the horizontal pull of oriented gravity sliding him headlong into the portal.
His thoughts were encrusted with a shell of icy fear, visualising his atomic stucture being thrust into eternity at the speed of light, and in all conceivable directions, Kyun tried in vain to resist the gravity slowly swallowing his form. At roughly thirty centimetres away the core, with its swirling portal ring centre,gaped to admit the stunned and flailing scientist. Kyun tried to speak into the microphone, his transmission was absorbed by high density Fluron radiation effusing from the Conduits overhead, Kyun could not hear Maxwell, and Maxwell could not discern the frightened blubberings of his mentor. The frantic pace of Kyun's movements saw him rise from the floor and cast deep into the unknowable scapes within...
Kyun found himself floating in an abyss, with nothing but emptiness and the utter lack of light in his midst. It was silent save for his panicked breathing. He discovered to his dismay, that his atoms were intact. He was alive, as best he could discern. But for how long he couldn't know.
He spun in mid... Air? It could still be vacuum... He phrased to himself mentally. He swirled end over end, the faceplate of his suit icing over obscuring his vision.
A bright, surreal sheen materialised infront of the Professor, his unrestricted tumble through nothingness suddenly contrasted by searing white light and painful squinting. Kyun anticipated the end, he would die, lost in the ether of somewhere he had no clue to. Simple oblivion he thought.
He rode in a cascading flow of bodily spinning and nausea toward the light. It would be the last thing he would ever perceive, and he wouldn't know if what he perceived was even part of his native reality. It lasted all of a second. Kyun passed into the light.
Through the flux portal, Kyun sailed onward through what he was able to finely assess as versatile light. He yet lived.
To his airborne astonishment, Kyun realised that he could hear the rush of an atmosphere around him his radsuit creating a resistance.
The light and atmosphere were complacent, and he greatly appreciated these few seconds of life granted to him,
He mused haphazardly as to whether he had emerged in the upper atmosphere of Earth, but as he took inventory of the surroundings, he felt his blood condense and freeze in his veins. This... Was not Earth...
Kyun suddenly made the realisation that he was falling toward a strange planetoid, his view of it becoming closer and closer, more detail manifesting in the resolution of his vision. The gravity field was obviously strong, Kyun now felt certain that if his plummet continued at this velocity he would slam into the surface of the planet with devasting effect. He thrashed and turned as a cat would during free fall, in an attempt to subvert the gravity tearing him from the ashen grey sky.
The professor curled and flapped in the rushing gases outside. Kyun collected in his mind the inevitable crash landing that would render him dead. He closed his eyes and accepted the instantaneous death he would receive on impact with the planetoids ground.
Which never came... Kyun slid his eyes open to reveal that he had passed through a patchy grey cloud of immobile gas.
Some unknown sensation could be felt pushing against his mass. It felt to him like what a parachutist would feel, a resistance to the atmosphere created above them by the open parachute, only, this sensation was the reverse. The resistance came from beneath him, and seemed to exclusively work against him. As though an outside force were carrying him to surface, and slowing his descent to a safe crawl that would not cause injury.
Kyun glanced in perpendicular directions trying to get a glimpse of the sky, to his astonishment, the Significance Matter Relay had pushed him out into a dense cloud of unknown gas, he then noticed as he had emerged, the cloud didn't engulf the true expanse of the planetoids sky. The sky was a familiar night of sparkling starscapes, nebulaec dust clouds lightyears away, and the eternity of time and space.
Familiar though it was, Kyun didn't recognise the view of space, while floating carefully towards the ground his breathing accelerated along with a high heartrate brought on by adrenaline.
The ground tapped the bottoms of his suit's boots. He gasped and looked down at the ground. It was clearly solid. Smooth though. Not like rock or metal. But seemingly like glass or some type of reflective ceramic. It had a silver sheen over what could arguably be a green-black colour by intitial observation.
Delighted to be alive, Kyun gasped and spluttered in between laughter and relief. He slumped down, and tried to take inventory, when a small and thin mechanical voice interrupted the moment.
"Warning: You have eight minutes of oxygen remaining, please replace your oxygen tank, or proceed to the nearest airlock for your safety."
Kyun's smile and laughter dissolved. The planetoid had thus far been ever so hospitable, and had let him live to at least see its surface.
With despair and ominous doom settling over him now, the remarkable professor assessed the inescapable predicament of his folly.
He sobbed. And he cried until his eyes burned. To suddenly learn that the experiment was both a success and a failure in the same ironic twist had left Kyun broken and unable to come to grips with how he had designed a machine that was both of no practical use and a grand gesture to the exploration of the universe and scientific discovery itself. Or indeed, that the Matter Relay is in effect, a dangerous and unpredicatable monstrosity that should never have been developed to begin with.
In between tears and laden breaths, Kyun extracted the data-pad from his thigh-pocket.
He touched the screen and it illuminated. He found the application to begin a voice recording to which he began:
"This is an audio recording of Professor Faustus Kyun.
I am unsure of the time, or date.
I am the result of a scientific experiment patented by me, that has gone horribly
wrong. I have been transported to an unknown sector of space, from Earth.
I can say with great lamentation that my experiment into material transportation is
a failure in the sense of controlled locality.
However, it would seem that... That the machine has
successfully linked my atomic structure with it's sister nuclei somewhere in the
universe, and has attempted to converge those bound particles.
The Quantum Entanglement Theory, is proof of my situation.
It is doubtful that anyone should find this recording, but here it is.
Professor Kyun out."
Kyun tapped the screen where it read 'end recording' and flipped the device away in no particular direction. It sailed slowly through the dense, low-gravity environment and contacted the 'ground' only a few feet from the professor. As it hit the surface, it scrambled the screen somewhat and inadvertently began a spectographic analysis of the surrounding area. The software was usually calibrated to examine the interior of the Relay's test chamber pit, during maintenance, the sniffer/sensor suite collected gas samples from a short cone of direction in its discarded position, and began to catalogue any elements it could recognise from its small database.
"Scan complete. Atmospheric Compounds detected. Catagorisation results as follows:
Carbon-lithium: zero-point-zero-zero-three-six per-cent.
Hydrogen one: two-point-two-eight per-cent.
Oxygen: sixty-seven per-cent.
Xenon: zero-point-zero-zero-zero-one-nine percent.
Unknown molecular compounds detected."
Kyun quit sobbing as he heard a faint voice, emitting from the data pad.
What? There must be SOMETHING here to carry sound, maybe I won't die in a vacuum...