Phase Shift

This is my entry for April’s Blog Battle – the theme or word for this month is Heart.

Professor Rakseth stood back and looked through the huge glass panels with pride at the great metal circle. All this life his work had led to this, the theories he came up with as a young man all let to this point.

This moment.

“Wh- what happens now?” Brian asked. Rakseth looked over his glasses at the young scientist.

“Now we see if this works young Brian!” Rakseth beamed. “All my life I have dreamed of this moment, to prove that an inter-spatial pathway can be made so that humans and machines can pass from one place to another instantaneously!”

“Th-this moment m-must surely b-be greater than any other i-in human history s-so far professor!” Brian stammered. “I-it’s a shame the other’s w-who helped couldn’t b-be here to see this.”

“Others?” Rakseth questioned.

“Y-yes, the ones th-that left suddenly.”

“Hmmm…” Rakseth said nothing, pushing the glass door open and proceeding through the air lock he left Brian behind. Inside was an air of quiet activity, people in white suits and masks. The air smelled clean and clinical with a hit of PVC from wiring and solder fumes.

One of the masked workers waled up to Rakseth and pulled their mask off. “We’re ready to proceed in ten minutes Professor.”

“Thank you” Rakseth acknowledged. “Have the fuel cells been charged, checked and the phases aligned? We cannot have an interruption in power during the opening of the pathway, we would lose the human test subject and heaven knows what would happen.”

“Yes, we seem to have overcome the recent phase difficulties, Amber is checking the fuel cells and will monitor them during the pathway initiation.”

“Good, thank you.” Hansen went back to monitor his station. Rakseth brought up the radio “Are we ready with the human test subject?”

“Yes, we’re ready!” a voice came over the radio.

“Wait for my instructions!” Rakseth commanded. Several minutes passed as Rakseth looked at the status monitors on the central console. One by one slowly they lit up. For a few moments Rakseth stared, making sure nothing changed. He raised his voice “We’re going to do this now, let me know of any problems! Initiate the interspatial pathway in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1!”

A blue glow emanated from the metal circle, dimly at first as the power was gradually applied, brighter and brighter the blue intensified. With the intense light a sounds like a pinning jet filled the room. The noise and light together assaulted the senses of those in the room. For a moment Rakseth and all that looked on were looking through the circle into another place.

Rakseth raised his radio to his mouth and paused briefly “Send the test subject through now.”

Rakseth and all present stared on as from the other side a man in military uniform could be seen, advancing towards them from the other side of the pathway, without hesitation he marched towards human destiny as if on a march. Beads of sweat formed on Rakseth’s face as he muttered worth softly under his breath.

“Please…. just work!”

In a moment of time impossible to measure, space was folded, contorted into another form of itself…

“We have a phase shift!” Hansen shouted.

What everyone saw throught the circle flickered almost instantaneously, then suddenly to his horror Rakseth saw not one human, but four. They walked out from the great metal circle and the blue lights dimmed, slowly the intensity reduced to nothing.

No one dared breathe or move, the four stood there still, silent, heads down as if in some kind of prayer. Hansen interrupted the silence.

“That’s Hannah, Jez and Saraya. I thought they had left Professor, that’s what you told us! “

Rakseth stood silent, ignoring Hansen.

Rejecting the silence Hansen shouted “Professor what the hell has been going on?”

“Shut up will you!” Rakseth shouted back. He walked slowly toward the four figures, Hansen just behind him. When they both reached them Rakseth was the first to speak “Tell me, what was it like?” he spoke to the soldier.

Hansen spoke “Soraya, you’ve been gone months, where have you been?”

Soraya said nothing at first, there was just silence. Then she spoke, quietly, in almost a whisper. “I don’t know. I think nowhere. But I have memories too, dreams or nightmares. I’m not sure.”

Silence returned.

The four were taken to the infirmary, nothing could explain the state they were in, like a coma but not, like sleep but fully awake. The physicians and neuro doctors couldn’t explain it. The facility was sealed and everyone told not to leave until the investigation was complete. Then the defense officials arrived, they asked to see the entire team, all were present except Rakseth.

Another night fell on the metal ring, since that day no one had been near them in either location. In the moonlit darkness where none could see a blue light started to glow, it increased to a dazzling brightness. The sound of the huge ring ramping up its power shattered the silence of night. Space was folded, contorted into another form of itself.

The shadows grew as one by one they emerged from the ring, then as darkness suddenly fell there was just a still silence.

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6 thoughts on “Phase Shift

  1. Definitely and interesting parallel to my blog battle story! We were totally on the same wavelength this month, haha. I like this piece. It’s got a lot of potential as a flash story. You have the bones of everything you need for a successful plot/character arc here already. But I think you could cut a bit of clutter and use the extra words to clarify what is going on a little bit. The dialogue is one place where you can afford to cut words. Sometimes “natural” speech patterns are too bulky for fiction. Your characters speak naturally, but a lot of what they say is redundant with what you have in the narrative sections and/or doesn’t tell us anything new about the character, and is therefore not necessary. In a novel, unnecessary dialog isn’t too big a deal, but in flash fiction every word needs to count! I also thing you could meld Brian and Hansen into one character for the sake of simplicity. Use the extra words to give just a little bit more detail about what Rakseth is really up to, and you’re all set! Nice worth with the prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny how two people can be on the same wavelength about things.

      Thanks for the comments though, I always appreciate them from you and going back to revisit these stories and edit them a bit is definitely on my to do list 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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