I was awoken by the sound of the phone ringing. It was late. I checked my alarm clock – 3am. "Who could be ringing at this time of night?" I thought. I cursed and fumbled for the handset.
“Jack? Is that you?” said the voice. It was the Professor, he sounded agitated.
“Professor, have you any idea what time it is?” I protested.
“I know, Jack. Look, There’s no time, I need you come down to the Lab. Immediately!”
“What is it?”
“You need to come now. I can’t explain over the phone. Please, come as quick as you can, it’s... it’s the Vortex Machine. Something... something is happening!”
The phone went dead.
I hurriedly pulled on jeans and a t-shirt and raced down to the car. I slammed my key in the ignition and put my foot on the gas, spraying gravel everywhere as I tore up the driveway.
On the drive over I reflected on how long I’d known the Professor and what could possibly have gone so wrong that he needed to call me at three in the morning.
The last time I’d seen Professor McGillan was over three months ago and you could definitely say that our relationship had become strained. The Professor has been researching a poorly understood, some would say ‘dangerous’ branch of particle physics. What was worse, he’d begun to use himself as guinea-pig. His ideas became more and more outlandish: Time-travel, parallel dimensions, matter transformation. At one point he even claimed he’d opened a portal to God. Over time he began to alienate his colleagues. I defended him as long as I could but in the end it became too much and he was suspended from his post at the Institute. He continued on regardless. Using private funds, he hired a disused aircraft hanger in the desert and continued his work. It was there that he made a ‘breakthrough’ – The Vortex Machine.
An eerie glow emanated from the professors laboratory. I stepped through the doorway and was bathed in a bright green light, so bright that it was hard to make sense of what was going on. At first, in the center of the room there was a glowing green object, it looked like the surface of the sun, a boiling, seething mass of energy and fire. Surrounding it, banks of instruments and control panels. Then I noticed the Professor. He was dripping with sweat, there was a madness in his eyes and his face was etched with fear. He turned to me:
“Jack... It’s the Vortex machine... I think something is... coming through.”
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Created on: 10/18/07 11:43 PM
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