Someone wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings.
|The hand in view twitches and moves, then flexes and forms a fist. It felt weird to move this appendage that seamed familiar but altogether new. The perspective of view changed as neck muscles rotated the head along an axis. A second hand came into view moving and flexing. Lifting a hand out of position took considerably more concentration learning on the fly as it were. Pain! That’s what that feeling that was clouding thoughts. This was not pain of the limbs or body; instinctively the hand went to the temple to massage.
A noise, a pattern of sounds, repeats again. Those sounds are words, words are thoughts, thoughts that other people share. The words sound familiar but understanding them is too hard to focus on at this moment. A huge swath of expanse unfolds above and all around, reddish but with grey streaks swirled in. The slowly converging kaleidoscope of movement was mesmerizing and held the attention for some time. Somehow that didn’t seem right for the “sky” was that the word for it. That seemed like the right word for it.
A second hand escapes gravity’s pull and out of the perfect form-fitted rest it was laying in to grasp the other hand in what seems like a familiar fingers laced fashion. The hands flex together several times. It just felt right somehow to hold them like that while thinking hard like this. After an undefined moment of time the fingers let go and behind them a face came into focus and it was speaking. That’s where that noise is coming from, that window down below the hands. That face was familiar, those eyes were, were just slightly too close together and that bit in the middle, the “nose”, that’s what the word was; it was too pointy and turned up slightly at the tip.
The face was speaking from the middle of a window that opens into a larger space beyond and through limbs attached at the waist. What are those limbs down there? Newfound appendages to manipulate! With some effort, the legs start to flex and move slightly but only slightly because they are trapped underneath panels and other debris. Grabbing at the flat panels and pulling with the little strength available it was not possible to free the legs. Rocking back and forth in the seat allowed for the legs to move enough that feeling began to return to them with prickling sensation. That's not comfortable at all! A gasp and grimace bit at the face and hands impulsively started massaging the legs.
The sounds began again as they had several times so far but this time two words stood out, “Angela Wellenship”. Those words were a name, a familiar name it seemed. Her speech grabbed the attention completely this time. Fragments of sentences here and there coalesced before it repeated yet again. Doctor Angela Wellenship she said was her name, and she was studying something and she wanted to know if her words were being understood.
After several times through the speech, the message was finally pieced together that Angela was hoping that the listener was able to understand the message and if so should touch the box to the lower left and she gestured towards the box and it blinked twice. The window blinked out for a moment after the box was touched and then the message changed. Angela’s voice called out.
"Thank God it worked! If this is playing then that means we were successful. If there is immediate danger and memories are mostly intact then press the button to the right to hear instruction on how to speed up the process of exiting the Cryopod, otherwise please listen to the rest of the intro section of this video diary."
It took three times through this new message to get the gist, in the end the continue button was touched and the next message was listened to. The words were coming easier and focusing thoughts on the meaning was becoming stronger. The lady in the video was wearing a dark blue dress suit. Her hair was black and past her shoulders but pulled back and only a wisp of hair was loose from the rest.
"We are part of a team that has been tasked to research anomalies that began appearing about two years ago. The first recorded instances of the phenomena were quite small ranging from a few inches in length to a foot or slightly more. Since then they have grown much larger on average with some being twenty feet or more in length. The anomalies occur over a period of time replacing the matter in their path with matter from another unknown location. We have studied these anomalies in great detail and can predict roughly how large and how long the anomaly will be at completion in just moments after its appearance.
We have sent robots to the other side and have had them send pictures back using the same anomaly along with other data. We know it’s of comparable atmospheric conditions except that the sky is vastly different looking being mostly red with grey swirled in. We haven’t seen any life so far but we know it exists, plants at least because of the atmosphere."
Angela’s words were lost because there was movement on a distant rise. What in the world was that! The rolling grey rock hills stretched in every direction as far as the eye could see. The rock was flecked with darker black marbling and appeared lifeless without plants or evidence of living creatures. The lighter side of the sky was beyond where the movement had been. Whatever had moved had been silhouetted against the sky otherwise it would have been nearly impossible to notice in the waning light. Maybe it was just the imagination.
The location in which the, what had she called it?cryopod? the cryopod was in a hole cut cleanly out of the grey rock. The hole had smooth walls right up to the surface which was rough weathered uneven rock immediately up to the edge of the hole. Looking around down in front of the cryopod showed that there was more equipment in a deeper part of the hole, even the light this close up was getting harder to see. How long had it been since the first thoughts had begun?
Angela started the current message for the second time after the speech about pressing the button. It was a significantly longer message then the other previous messages. She repeated the first section that had been heard already and continued to say.
"The anomalies appear to send matter to another world in a set pattern and by placing objects in front of the pattern you can pick what matter goes to the other location. If matter is moved into the area of the pattern that is currently in transition the matter entering gets scrambled on a molecular level coming out the other side as independent atoms with a random trajectory moving at the same speed it entered. We have tested this from both sides. Depending on the type of matter entering the transition area there can be energy released with undesirable results.
As near as we have been able to test, the process starts at a precise location and for the rest of the process, it is perfectly affixed to earth’s geographical movement. The fact that it is affixed to earth’s movement is significant because otherwise the movement of the planet would cause the matter to get scrambled as it moved through the anomaly. This has also brought up arguments that the anomalies are a product of intelligent design and are not naturally occurring phenomena. There has been much discussion on the possibility that it is engineered. There are all kinds of implications with it being a created thing.
Of course, these questions have brought on a lot of interest from various groups around the world. Governments want to know if it is the first stages of some kind of attack on our world or if the new world can be colonized. Corporations, religious groups, and various other organizations want to know a wide range of things, such as can we learn how to transport matter over long distances ourselves and can it be used in manufacturing. Some religious groups have posturized that it is Hell opening up and that it is an evil place with demons or other evil beings on the other side. That last worry, of course, has not been taken seriously by the academic world but has caused many political issues.
We have been forced to do a lot of our studying of the anomalies in secret from the public and with even complete opposition from certain countries. An underground coalition was formed with limited oversight from any government. We track and monitor the appearance of the anomalies around the world and the ones that appear in friendly territories we attempt various tests. There is some urgency to speed up the learning process and study the world beyond the portals. There is only so much that can be learning of the other side from the limited time the portals are open and we have been unsuccessful so far in creating a robot that is capable of finding a second portal and using that to return."
Angela then signed off that section and prompted the listener to continue if ready to go on and again offered the option to speed to the end and exit the cryopod if in immediate danger. The continue button blinked again and the message started over for the third time. Pressing the button the video blinked out and during the momentary blank screen it was a good time to look away from the screen at the surroundings again. The sky had changed becoming darker and more red, and what was that dark object in the sky. There was an oblong shaped object in the distance traveling at a decent speed crossing the sky. There appeared to be three more of the shapes farther away in the distance following in a similar direction.
Angela’s voice sounded more serious and urgent starting this next video. Listening to the words still but most of the attention remained on the oblong shaped objects crossing the sky.
"Not everyone was in agreement about the method we were about to take to study the anomalies further. We knew that someone on the other side could greatly increase the speed at which we could learn about the anomalies and the new world. Someone that could put eyes on the ground, that could intuitively figure out what was important, someone that could figure out how to make it to the next portal and send data and information back and maybe even come back, that’s what we needed or we could stumble around in the dark for years without learning much more.
There were many pitfalls and problems to work out with the idea, chiefly was how to send someone to the other side with a reasonable chance of making the transition alive. We realized right away that a living creature wouldn’t be able to make the transition because there is a lot of moving matter within an organism. Lungs breathing, heart beating, blood flowing, all of those wouldn’t make it through the transition area without being scrambled on the other side.
In order to make it through the transition, the traveler would have to be in complete stasis, frozen completely. Even in the cases of people being brought back from deaths occurring in the extreme cold and being legally dead for extended periods of time there would still be electrical impulses in the brain, even those would have to be stopped and then restarted.
The solution to the problem was complete and total biological shut down, which was a daunting prospect to attempt reviving from remotely. However, there were more volunteers then had been originally anticipated, they including several of our highest staff members. There was less however when we realized that there would likely be little or no remaining memories upon reawakening. The opportunity to be the first one on another planet, however, was a very powerful lure.
I was selected as the best candidate. As I’m guessing you have now pieced together we are on another world."
Angela moved to the left side of the screen and became larger, an additional darker image popped up beside the first, the second one also had an image of Angela. A bright light blasted bright in the waning light and the second image brightened showing not only Angela's face and tossed hair but also showed the form-fitted headrest and cockpit windshield behind her. She was squinting now with a bright light in her face. Just then a look of shock crossed the face on the right. The Angela on the left broke her momentary silence with somber words.
"We have no living family, and have never been married. We are healthy and have a relatively high IQ. I’m sure that put us high on the list for selection. We were in the end selected to be the first and maybe only person to visit this other world. They say that after traversing the anomaly we will likely not remember any specific memories from "My life", but with luck, we will be able to remember language and some of my extensive knowledge of physics and engineering. I hope it all works out well for us."