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After Death

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The following transcript was recovered on a data disk, which in turn was discovered inside an emergency escape pod, evidently launched manually from the Alpha Centauri IV research station by an unidentified person.

The transcript is a text-form of an audio log, although some of the data is corrupted, resulting in only a partial extraction of the video-log mentioned in the transcript.

[Record date: Jul. 28th 2714] [Record start time: 00:14:42 SET (Standard Earth Time)] [Recorder: Rank 2 Observer S. Miller (OS-SS-56-773-A)]

[Begin transcript, manual start]

Testing, one, two, one two... Good.

My name is Sean Miller, I work in the Alpha Centauri four research station. My ID code is five-six-dash-seven-seven-three-dash-alpha. I am responsible for observation of the research on this station, and of collating reports to be sent back to Earth.

I - [fragment]

I, uh - [fragment]

- seem to be having difficulties typing, so I'm doing an audio log now. Its - [fragment]

- uh - [fragment]

Its so hard - [fragment]

- so -[fragment]

Hrcrmm [clears throat]

Quantum physics divides all things into dimensions: the first dimension a mere concept of a point in space.

The second dimension, a line drawn from the point, creating a two-dimensional shape.

The third dimension gives the shape depth, creating the three-dimensional space you and I see every day.

A proper quantum theorist would use more difficult terms, I'm sure, but -

- but this will do. [fragment]

The three-dimensional object also acts as a point, a point in time.

The fourth dimension is time, a sort of line of three-dimensional objects, moving from order into disorder. A vase falling from a table and shattering on the floor, for example. A sort of river of three-dimensional objects forming a uniform line, which cannot turn on itself.

The fifth dimension gives time a shape, allowing it to ebb and flow, creating the multiverse. An infinity of routes time might have travelled, a fork in the river. What if the vase never fell? What if it was never there to begin with? It boggles the mind just thinking about it. There are more dimensions, but they are of no matter to us here. Save for one...

This log is paired with a vid-log of our experiments. The scientists narrated it, or thought they did, but after the experiment began, there was no sound. All was still and quiet. I will do my best to narrate the vid-log, as a layman, to give perspective to those who might watch it later. I -

[sound of bottle opening, liquid being poured into glass]

Gllb, gmph, gghh [Drinking ?]

Hahh [Unknown sound?]

[click, button]

The vid-log begins in an room. This is not the first time we ran such an experiment, and knowing what to expect the scientists decided upon this room for a reason which will become evident later. Professor Anderson is seen removing a protective plastic cover from a circular device, which we will reference from now on as the "portal". Professor Geller is at the moment handling the camera from outside of the frame, panning it around the room, showing that the room is a standard space of one-hundred square meters, walls, floor and ceiling consisting of uniform metal plates. The room was used as storage space before it was emptied, and as such the walls are unpainted and bare. A single metal door can be seen, next to which are some machines that are used to feed power and coolant into devices attached to the portal, via tubes and cables. There is also a small cylinder-shaped cage, which is covered with a black cloth. This contains a small canine which was selected to participate in this test. I myself can be seen standing next to the door, making notes. This was the first time I participated in the experiments conducted with the portal.

Professor Geller now moves the camera close to the portal and places it on a tripod so that the view is through the portal, towards the solid back wall of the room. The original audio track contains some notes and narration from the professors at this point, as they talk each other through the power-up sequence of the portal. You can -

You can see a bright light in the portal as it is powered. The sequence takes precisely forty-three seconds. The light fades after a short while and the portal seems unchanged, save for two details. There are now two objects visible that were not visible before: a small object on the floor near the portal, and a larger shape in the back corner of the room. All audio is cut at this point -

I can remember the professors talking, well, trying to talk to one another. It seems that all sound had disappeared, as if we were standing in a vacuum, although the air was still perfectly breathable.

Professor Anderson's hand is visible in the frame now, as he places three sensors through the portal. You cannot see it from this angle, but the objects seem to just disappear as they are placed through the portal. Two devices transmit wireless signals and the third is connected to the machinery near the door via a thin wire. Professor Geller now moves the camera a bit to show you the monitors. Both wireless devices have stopped transmitting immediately after being placed through the portal, though the wired device is transmitting data. It registers the temperature as minus seventy degrees centigrade, and fails to detect any kind of background radiation, even the small traces that normally penetrate the station walls. After a short while the professors remove the sensors, and as professor Geller is now holding the camera in an angle, you can see how it seems that the devices professor Anderson in retrieving are materializing from thin air.

I was astonished to see it. A wormhole we called it at one point, not long ago.

The professors have named the space behind the portal as "dimension zero", though few call it with a different name.

[click, button]

[pause: 81 seconds]

[metallic object clattering against a hollow metal surface (table?)]

[pause: 12 seconds]

[click, button]

I rewinded the vid-log a little. I - [fragment]

I didn't want to see - [fragment]

I - [fragment]

Professor Anderson is now holding the camera next to the portal, while professor Geller moves the portal. The small cage has been covered with the cloth again and...

It is moved aside by professor Geller.

The device is standing on a wheeled stand for easy transportation.

There is still no sound.

Professor Anderson turns the portal so that you can better see what is on the floor, the small object we glimpsed earlier. This is the first time the objects are properly studied, as we only have limited time to conduct these experimets, due to the massive power drain of the portal. There was one previous study conducted alone by the late professor Stone, though he didn't use a camera to visually record the event.

The camera is now moved closer for a better view. The object seems to be a small furry mammal, likely a small rat. It is unmoving and looks like a pale, transparent shadow of a real creature. Professor Geller produces a long metal rod and uses it to gently poke the creature through the portal. Perhaps an unscientific method, but an effective one. It seems that the rod passes through the rat-creature, scraping the floor. The camera is jerked back and professor Geller is frantically speaking at professor Anderson, who is holding the camera, but there is still no sound. The professor drops the metal rod and presents his palm to the camera. There is a black mark on the skin, as if a very localized frostbite had caused superficial necrosis of the skin. The -

Geller grimaces and shakes his head. It is not visible, but he nudges the metal rod away with his foot.

He seems distraught and shaken, but after a very short pause and some frantic gestures of pulling a plug and denial, the professors decide to continue.

The portal is moved once more, and as it is turned the camera can now see the larger object in the corner.

Hahhh! [gasp]

gnnn [?]

My god - [fragment]

[sounds of shattering glass]

Aah! [fragment]

The large shape, it - [fragment]

Similar to the rat-thing, the figure is a transparent and pale shadow form, the professors move the portal around to get a more precise view of the thing. It is a man. A human being.

He - [fragment]

Stone had called it purgatory - [fragment]

MY god, I - [fragment]

The shape of professor Stone is standing in the corner, wearing his usual lab-coat, his eyes seemingly gazing at the ceiling, right next to the spot from where his body was recovered not long ago, before the room was cleared. He had written on the walls -

Purgatory - [fragment]

His hands are holding the scalpel. He was found with a scalpel lodged in his - [fragment]

In his - [fragment]

There is a long incision - [fragment]

He had cut - [fragment]

My God, how can a man even - [fragment]

From his lower lip all the way to his chest, the cut is curved and struck an artery and his trachea -

He died fast, God bless his soul. The camera is moved so you can better see the face. Stone's face. His mouth is agape and his -

His eyes! [fragment]

They moved! They looked at us, followed us as we moved! He -

He was there! In - [fragment]

In purgatory - [fragment]

God!

God, I - [fragment]

huuuhn, huh, huhhc [sobbing]

[click, button]

They watch us - [fragment]

From beyond - [fragment]

[Footsteps, sound of door opening, footsteps, sound of door closing]

[Silence: 100 seconds]

[End transcript // Automatic recording halt, no user detected, 404]



[Addendum]

No communications were received from the Alpha Centauri IV research station after Jul. 24th 2714. A rescue party arrived aboard the USS Killigan on Sep. 1st 2714, there was no sign of the crew of the research station. One body was recovered from the morgue; that of professor A. Stone. He had died from drowning (likely in his own blood) and / or massive blood loss due to a likely self-inflicted wound.

The portal device mentioned in the transcript was recovered and its safety is currently under evaluation.

[End of addendum]

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