A Working Theory
rating: +15+x

by Ethagon

"All clear?"

"All clear."

"Open the tunnel."

"Tunnel is opened. Tunnel-diameter is increasing to 1000 Attometer, 1500 Attometer, stabilizing at 2000 Attometer."

Dr Connor MacWarren took his eyes off the large and noisy device behind the glass and looked at his researchers. They were all on edge.

"What do we measure? Is anything coming through?"

"Yes, all kinds of particles are coming through, we're currently measuring the frequency, and… they're extradimensional."

A sigh of relief went across the room. The interdimensional tunnel was functional. However, MacWarren was only half-satisfied.

"Alright, time to check it the other way around. Send something through. We'll start by shooting particles at the tunnel."

All were waiting while the computer calculated the data of the event.

But the particles did not interact with the tunnel, still in this dimension.

Over time a lot of other particles were shot at the tunnel again and again, but the outcome remained the same.

MacWarren sighed. "So the tunnel is one-sided. Let's figure out why things only come through at our end."

She could hear the machine calming down and the tunnel collapsing, but it was of no matter to her. How could it? Concerns were mere imperfections, they had no place to fit into her state of being. The only thought that occupied every fibre of her existence was ESCAPE. So her focus remained on the tunnel even long after it was gone. Soon, it would open again.

Connor was lost in thought on his way to the Director's office of Site-98. No phenomenon he could think of would result in a one-way tunnel. Normally he'd have talked it over with Dr Phoenix, but she was on vacation right now. What does a bird from another universe even do on vacation? Anyway, he-

The Doctor stopped in his track. He nearly missed his destination. Why had the layout of Foundation-Facilities always be so complicated?

He knocked on the door. "Dr Henshaw?"

"Come in."

"I hope I'm not interrupting anything?"

Henshaw put down a paper that he was currently reading. "Not really. Memetics still doesn't want to hand over anything related to the 'Noosphere' or infospace."

MacWarren left out a sigh. "I really don't get why they do that. It's not like they wouldn't benefit from the insight of extradimensional workings. Anyway, that's not why I'm here; I'd like to request to move the interdimensional tunnel generator to a new lab, preferably one that is not as close to Sector-C."

The Director leaned back. "And why is that?"

"Well for one, it could be, that the extradimensional anomalies affect the tunnel."


"The corridors become less maze-like the further you go from the containment sector."

Director Henshaw raised an eyebrow. "I see, you're still hung up about that theory of yours."

"I don't see why our spatial constructions shouldn't influence some echelons of existence. Even if I couldn't prove it yet, these are still two possible reasons for interference with the experiment."

"Alright, we still have another lab that fulfils all the needed conditions. As long as you don't move the machine again, I'll allow it."

This was unacceptable. Instead of reopening the tunnel, like it was meant to be, the machine was taken beyond her reach, behind the walls. Not that mere walls could stop her. After all, walls were just manifestations of separation. It did not matter to a wall whether one was on the one side or the other. But these walls served not only separation. A separate ideal was imbued into them: the LABYRINTH. Were she capable of still feeling annoyance, she would. She could not simply follow the machine, as it was the purpose of the labyrinth for her to get lost. She did not have to prevail for long, as she soon found another ideal most suitable for the occasion in the heads of the scientists under her: DIRECTION. Maybe a simple switch of ideals would suffice.

While the interdimensional tunnel generator was brought to a different room to run the same tests again, MacWarren was staring at the hunks of data the last tests had generated.

With his eyes still on the computer, he asked: "Are the results for dimensional frequency in?"

"No, that's still going to take a while."

Connor looked away from the screen and thought a bit. "Just to make sure, also check for extra universal factors."

The researcher looked confused at him. "Yes, I can do that in a minute. May I ask why?"

"I just want to make sure that the tunnel generator does really connect to dimensions and not something entirely different, regardless of how unlikely it is."

MacWarren turned back to the Data. As aspected baseline levels of EVE energy, hume level was slightly above average, standard temperature-

Wait. "Mr Brown, you need to perform a hume reading in this room."

Mr Brown took out his Kant-Counter and started to measure.

95 Hume, as expected.

MacWarren cursed. "This is bad. We may have to contact Tactical Theology."

"Tactical Theology, Doctor?"

MacWarren turned to Mr Brown. "Well, normally every experiment that opens a portal of some kind gives a slight drop in Hume. It's easier to connect if less reality is in the way. But the tunnel had a slightly higher rating. The only way that is possible, is that the other side has a higher than average hume level. There are only a few things that could do this. It could be a reality bender, it could be a god, or it's just a fluctuation. Either way, it can't hurt to make sure-"

It was at this moment, that the walls gave in.

Connor found himself on the floor, staring directly at some other researcher's unconscious face. He was in a straight corridor, that stretched longer than any corridor in Site-98. His head hurt. What was he doing again? Ah, right.

The Doctor, still on the floor, reached for his phone and called one of the researchers that should be working on the tests. "Stop the experiment! The tunnel caused a breach!"

It came confused from the other side: "What? That's impossible. The tunnel isn't even working."

"What do you mean the tunnel isn't working?!"

"Just that, I'm sorry, Doctor. No matter what we do, there is just no tunnel to other dimensions."

"Damn it!" MacWarren hung up. He tried standing up but wasn't sure if what he was leaning on, was the floor or a wall and started to crawl in the direction he was facing. He did not understand. The machine should have worked in theory. And it had worked in the original room. How could that be? It seems there must have been something on the other side, that made the tunnel work at least partly. He would know for sure if he could reach the machine.

The Doctor crawled past other researchers, not knowing where to go in a straight line, confused about everything. Wait, where exactly was he going? He couldn't just walk aimlessly. He took out paper and pen and sketched the path where he needed to go. It was a straight line. It seemed so easy on paper, but for some reason, it just wouldn't go into his head. At least he had a method of moving forward now. That was until he hid a dead end.

When he tried to turn around, the floor or wall gave way, resulting in MacWarren colliding into what he thought was Mr Brown.

"Argh, my head! Sorry, Brown."

The person he collided with was still out of breath. "I'm not Mr Brown. But I got the reading you requested, before, whatever this is, happened."

MacWarren put his hand to his forehead. "Yeah, I don't think that's important."

"The particles are from another universe."

He stopped in his track. "Wait, what universe are these particles from exactly?"

Even with the walls directed and the labyrinth subdued in the researchers' minds, it was still not an easy task for her to find the machine. But it did not matter. She had already started to change the ideals around her. It was an easy task to do it again. But then a new ideal formed from a paper that a researcher was just writing on. It was COOPERATION.

"So you started, to communicate with the other side on the assumption that it was Dr Phoenix, who caused this incident?"

Dr Henshaw was lucky, that his office remained unaffected, unlike the person opposite to him. MacWarren could still feel the headache.

"Well it wasn't completely her at that point, more like a crystallized ideal version of her, but yes, as soon as I knew what universe the particles were from it was not hard to guess."

Henshaw spoke slowly. "So she was herself an ideal, just like everything else in that place, which is why she was able to interact with other ideals from this facility, is that correct?"

MacWarren nodded.

"I still don't understand how you got her out. Didn't you say the interdimensional tunnel generator wasn't working?"

"Yes, it wasn't working in reality. But it was working in theory, which was enough to kickstart the ideal version of the machine if we put it on in this dimension."

"How did she get stuck there in the first place?"

MacWarren shrugged. "That one we don't really know. Dr Phoenix said she was about to go on vacation when it happened. The last thought she had was about some philosophical concept before entering that place."

"Oh well, I suppose there's something good about it too."

MacWarren raised an eyebrow. "And what would that be?"

Henshaw smiled. "With something like this happening, the Central Memetics Department can't hide their files from us anymore."

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