“Apply the blotter.”
Faa did as he was told, placing a small square of paper on the tip of his tongue. Almost immediately, the brain scans and vital screenings began to shoot off the charts.
“What the hell is that stuff?” David asked, aghast.
“That’s classified,” one of the medical staff shot back in a trained deadpan. David turned to the engineers.
“Are we ready?”
“Then…” he turned and looked out at the large, lit, empty room with the one apparatus and the one lone man standing before it. He saw Faa begin to raise his hands and regard them with wonder.
“Ohhhh,” the Gypsy King said, almost gleefully, “this is some good shit!”
David turned to the head engineer, pointing with both his index and middle finger.
It only took a second for the box to open and for the antimatter to make its way to the floor. On its way down, passing the full height of the gate device, a tear began to show, like the flap of a tent. There came a great rush of energy, warm and forceful as the barrier was broken, but no more dangerous than a strong summer breeze. Beyond it, there seemed to be every color in a jumbled, incomprehensible mess, folded in and on and over itself into absolute gibberish.
“Johnny,” David said over the microphone, “Can you tell me what you see? What can you see?”
There was a few seconds before Faa’s microphone responded.
From the tone of his voice, it was obvious that he was crying.
“I see… old friends.”
“You can go to them,” David responded, “Show us.”
“O…okay.” For the first time since he had met the Immortal Gypsy months ago, David noticed that he seemed… not scared, but curious. Confused. Confronted with something completely new and interesting, unlike anything he’d ever experienced before. As he walked through that interdimensional tent flap and disappeared from this dimension, all the instruments went dead, and there was an eerie silence that reigned around the room. The only sound was a persistent flatline from an EKG. Finally, David stuffed his hands in his pockets and spoke.
“Well, it’s done. Now, it’s up to him. Any stats on the fissure? Do we need to stabilize it?”
“I…. don’t think so,” the Head Engineer said, peering at his computer screen over the top of Coke-bottle glasses, “it doesn’t seem to be fluctuating or dissipating.”
“Really? The universe isn’t rushing in en masse to sterilize the wound or something?”
“Not at all,” the engineer replied, “And it’s not expanding, either. Dimensionally, it’s like we just knocked out a wall… and it’s not load-bearing.”
“Thank Christ for that,” David exhaled, “I didn’t want to be known as the guy who destroyed the universe… at least, not yet.”
“You should come take a look at this, though,” the engineer continued, “aside from being… visible, it doesn’t register: no height, no weight, no depth… I could go stand behind it, probably.”
“You wanna?” David asked with a grin.
“Hell no,” the engineer grinned back. Indeed, everyone was still rooted in place behind the blast shield, afraid to move out from the safety and protection.
“How about the sawbones?” David shouted across the echo chamber, causing nearly everyone to jump, “any way we can repeat those brain patterns without heavy drug use?”
The lead medical officer, a well-kept and muscular man approaching 40, blew out a long breath, shaking his head. “It’ll take some time and some experimentation. We wouldn’t even feel that comfortable giving a regular person that high of a dose we gave him.”
“Well, get on it,” David replied, “all of you, we’ve got two goals to work for: we need to keep that dimensional rip stable, and we need to recreate the variables of this experiment. And, let me remind you, we don’t exactly know how much time we have until we can try it again.”
“Or if we get to try it again,” the awkward scientists muttered under her breath, her watery eyes extra watery, “he really has no reason to come back, you know. Not to this: imprisoned under armed guard for how many years… I think he deserves a little freedom. If he came back soon I’d just tell him to run away again. I hope he has the time of his life… or whatever life he’s on, now…”
“You never know,” David replied, scaring the scientist who thought she’d gone unheard, “We could see him tomorrow, and it could be a thousand years from now. Time has no meaning anymore… so, I guess, it’s all about life!”
“Apply the blotter.”