The guard had acquiesced the glass of water for the doctor. It had taken five minutes and four seconds all together. A time which Radigan Erh-Lang had counted through the moments in his head as he failed to occupy his mind with something better. Meanwhile the woman seated across the table from him had flicked further through the checklists that she had been tasked with. She skipped ahead in her thoughts to what she would ask after a few more conversations, if things went well. When the guard finally returned he did so in a manner that completely befitted his rank and registration; his stance and movements the most formal, purposeful, and angular that they could be. The glass itself was remarkably plain. It possessed no distinct pattern markings, cuttings, or wide rim. The agent gave it hardly a cursory glance. Radigan Erh-Lang, however, studied it with his furrowed brow. The many minute pockets of air that formed around the insides of the glass under the water. The water almost looked fizzy. While he could not have seen it for himself he understood that these bubbles clung to the slightest of imperfections in the production of the vessel. His mind raced for a moment to find the patterns that formed in the spirals. Even in the chaos of the tiniest of bubbles which rose up through the-
“Relate to us the events of July twenty-sixty-seven.”
Radigan was taken aback. He looked up to the agent’s pale faced demeanour and promptly jogged his mind onto the tracks of his memories. He briefly took a sip from the glass and washed out some of the blood from his mouth.
“I was working alone in my lab, on my next thesis piece,” He started, though he took a moment here and there to slow down and make the images of his mind clearer. “The company I worked for requires us to publish a certain amount of reports annually and with this work I was going to reach my quota, though it was only halfway through the year.”
“What was the topic of the thesis?” asked the agent, who bit down and strained her jaw at the tangent she had stopped him from going on.
“I was working on the effects of the FLOW medication on the brain, and at this time I found myself stuck on the extrapolation of various equations that did not seem to fit together properly. I later realised that I was unfortunately working from an outdated and incorrect model of the frontal lobe of the brain, the one we had been given lacked some recently found distinctions.”
“Doctor Erh-Lang… Does this story directly link to the events with which I’m concerned?” she moved her jaw around as she put pressure on each side of her teeth with her tongue.
“It does, it does. I will try to be a bit briefer with the lesser concerned details.” He responded. “It was at this point that I found myself late for a demonstration that I was meant to run with my colleagues. Alongside the reports, we were required to show off our experiments within select groups from several labs – in order to build up a rapport for public speaking.”
“What was this particular demonstration about?” the agent pondered.
“I, and several others, had been working on the investigation of near-instantaneous atomic substance conveyance across meso-distances, as had been outlined by last century’s Sir Hobbes and our century’s late Sir Gorran-Trawley who had expanded upon Hobbes work to suggest-”
“Hobbes and Gorran-Trawley were both western scientists, were they not?” She wrote a line of details in her folder. Radigan hesitated with his answer.
“Err, yes, they were.” He took a sip from his glass. “From Great Albion and Columbia respectively. Is this of note?” he enquired, with a tenseness in his stomach and a flicker of his eye towards the guards. The agent put her folder on the table and raised her posture higher than it had already been.
“I am merely curious as to how it could be that Columbian and Albish scientists could do even the foundational work of Sinoa’s great scientific advancements.” She put down her pen. He fought with mental strain to bite back the words coming to his throat.
“Science is not subjective to a specific nation. A scientific advancement made on one area of the globe is advancement for all science across every-”
“But Columbian and Albish scientists are especially inferior, are they not?” She interrupted with a calm voice. She saw how the tendons in his neck tightened.
“Hardly! In fact, it was the great Columbian scien-” his outburst had been quelled by a guard’s fist which encountered his abdomen. The agent reached for the recording device and briefly flicked it to pause.
“Doctor, we have already spoken of this.” She gave more than a hint of disdain. “Everything will be far easier on yourself if you admit our truths rather than ineptly try to defend your own.” He was still doubled over. He felt his cheeks push at his eyes as they blurred over in patterns for a few seconds. Eventually he recovered, and she flicked the recorder back on.
“Indeed,” he stopped for a cough and a drink, “Indeed they are inferior. But that is why we stepped up to the task of correcting their inaccuracies, my colleagues and I.” He coughed again, a harsh vibration filled his lungs.
“And how did you correct the scientist’s mistakes?” With another drink he managed to halt the wheeze of his breath.
“Hobbes had outlined that there was only a limited practicality of this kind of transportation, and that it would require massive amounts of energy and data storage. Gorran-Trawley had expanded on these ideas, looking into specific molecules instead of macro-objects. However, with the data storage capacities and technologies of today our group was able to identify specific atoms and transport them over minute distances, at least theoretically.”
“What length of a distance?” she enquired, her pen again hovered above the paper as she – for a moment – became intrigued by the experiment in question.
“We were able to transport, individually, a group of one hundred atoms of gold to different specific areas being observed by our instruments across a distance of several centimetres without adding any momentum nor velocity to the particles.” He produced the sentence with a rhythm of defined and practiced rhetoric. He let himself smile at the end before he remembered his circumstances.
“…a mere distance of several centimetres?” She raised an eyebrow as she crossed out a small note she had made.
“Within these several centimetres were obstacles such as the titanium chambers surrounding the transport locations.” He rambled briefly about other variations of the experiment, impressing a vague importance on the way it could change the future of computing and thus every other field with simulations.
“And did this take a lot of energy?” she asked, in complete ignorance of the implications he raised. “What would it take to do this to larger objects?”
“This took an immense amount of energy to complete. The lab has its own micro-reactor which was completely taken up in the task. I am glad the administrators opted for the reactor tech instead of the drones that are every where these days.” He saw the glimmer of the agent’s aggression come back and cut his tangent short. “To do this to larger objects is far out of our reach. We would require an exponential amount of energy to move it across every extra dimension, and more to keep the object intact. But the experiment is still worthy as we could track particles and send information instantaneously, faster than light!” In his excitement he had edged himself to the end of his chair and almost stood up before he remembered his ankles cuffed to the legs. The guards shifted on their feet. She was still.
“And how did this lead to your own destructive ideas which brought ruin to the people of Sinoa?” She looked at the recorder as she spoke. Her mind easily wrapped around the mental loopholes of blame and shifting perspectives that needed to be configured.
“It was in the demonstration that the concepts came to me,” he spoke, and before he sipped the water he brought to his face he added “which were evidently too dangerous to sanely use.” He continued to smooth his tongue over a tooth that felt looser than before. “While I was running into the demonstration room and haphazardly putting on my hazard suit. I had distracted one of my colleagues from entering the precise co-ordinates for one of the gold particles to move into the selected chamber. We had gone ahead with the demonstration and shown that our theory was correct, albeit to an error of one percent.”
“An error of one percent?”
“Indeed, one out of the one-hundred particles had appeared to have gone missing, we assumed it was floating somewhere in the room.”
“And this is what resulted in your ban from the lab rooms on the nineteenth of July twenty-sixty-seven?” she asked.
“No, this was not-” He faltered. “I did not mention the specific date. How did-”
“Answer the question.” She demanded.
“No, I want to know how you-” But he was cut short by both of the guards who stepped closer to him at once. He shivered and matched his back to that of the cold metal chair. The guards returned to the door. “No, this was not what had resulted in my ban from the lab rooms. This incident was what had led to my later actions. It was only later that I realised what had happened to missing particle.” The agent tilted her head to the side as she rolled her eyes.
“Do please tell us what happened to the missing particle, Doctor Erh-Lang.”
“I discovered later through a medical check-up that my brain was showing signs of abnormal activity of a low-interference but intensely noticeable effect.” He began to gesture in precise but unintelligible ways. “See, the particle must have been diverted from its specific course into the chamber because of my distracting my colleague. Instead, this one atom of gold was being simultaneously transported across many various parts of the room, with a localised probability around my head.”
“Are you saying that the gold was being ripped apart and shooting through your skull?” she queried.
“No, no, of course not.” He stopped with the gestures. “If that atom had been ripped apart we would be facing an explosion on the nuclear scale and a radiation incident involving much of the lab. And if it had been shooting through my skull I would not have a brain left to use. No, instead the particle was being dotted around my head and interacting with all of my neurons simultaneously. This interaction was only half tangible due to the principles of quantum physics, but it was the probabilities playing out inside of my own brain that led me to see what I saw.”
“The plans for your machine?” she started to write a note in the folder and tick several boxes.
“No, this is what led me to what they tried to label as a hallucination.” He huffed. “It was assumed that I went mad after the demonstration failed to reach one hundred percent satisfaction, they labelled me a psychotic perfectionist,” he let out a quick sigh, “no, this event is what led to my apparent madness, but I know what I saw.”
“And what did you see, Doctor?” Again, her pen hovered over her many lists.
“It was as if my mind had transcended to a dimension perpendicular to our own. I gained a mental clarity of such heights I perfectly understood the mathematics of dimensions far beyond the scope of our own reality, alien and impossible geometries were bared to me and I saw the truth in the form they took.” His eyes glazed over as he looked into the mid-space of his memories.
“You saw an alien?” The agent furrowed her brows.
“I saw the Ascended.”