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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2163708
Space: the final frontier. Or is it?
Space: the final frontier. Or is it? With the advent of astonishingly fast interstellar ships, the vastness of space has become continuously less overwhelming. Journeys that would've seemed impossible just a couple of hundred year ago, are but ordinary daily commutes today. An ordinary galactic citizen could be working in the Alpha Centaury system and have his lunch back at Earth, without even noticing he just moved across star systems.

But if space isn't the final frontier, what is it? Is there nothing more to discover? How about a long-dead star or a rising civilization from where life hasn't even begun? With all of our technological prowess, we can only dream of visiting these places. Thus the real final frontier for mankind, the defining limit, is time.

And we might have just broken it.

I was an experimental physicist, working on the most ambitious project in recent human history. Our ships are capable of unbelievable speeds, but even traveling in such a manner, some parts of space are simply too far away to reach.

The solution: teleportation. It's not as easy as it sounds, but also not as hard, at least theoretically. The theory of quantum mechanics has been know for quite some time and has proven to be a source of endless technological advancements. Our FTL drive would have been impossible to achieve without the knowledge of quantum waves and its application to catching and riding tachyon streams.

After years of experimentation and sorting bureaucratic barriers, we managed the unthinkable: the first fully teleported person was sent from one side of Earth to the other. There was no brain or tissue damage and the test subject claimed he felt no different, save for being a little disorientated by the sudden change in his environment. There was no doubt about it, we had finally done it!

Space was conquered at last, giving the future generations instant travel across the cosmos. But that was not enough for me. Yes, not even instantaneous was fast enough for me. I wanted to make travel even faster. I wanted to be able to arrive before I even set up to travel. I wanted to conquer time itself.

And I did, sort of. Time is but another dimension, as established by Einstein in the early days of relativity. If two quantum particles could be entangled in such a way that teleportation is made possible, why couldn't the same concept be applied to two particles in separate instants in time? The answer was, of course, that there was no such reason. It could be done and therefore it would be done, albeit for the very last time.

I began my experiment. I set two particles to be partially entangled, one of them being observed by multiple entities that affected it's state with time. In about ten minutes, the particles would be fully entangled, one from the present and one from ten minutes into the past. Immediately, I saw a red apple appear out of thin air as a confirmation to my hypothesis. It was the same apple laying in my desk, the same apple I was intending to send back in time. It actually worked!

My joy was such that I didn't notice how space slightly deformed around the newly appeared apple. The total mass of the universe had changed and thus, the curvature of space was shifting. When ten minutes passed and I disappeared the apple into the past, the distortion became much stronger. A furious double whirlpool formed around the apples and began to suck all of reality into their centers. A final ying and yang, light and dark, chaos and, finally, nothingness.

Time was indeed the final frontier and now all that is left is but an infinite void.
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