Short, Light, Free Chapter 111: Wormhole Time Machine I
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My name is Luqiao and I was still an employee of a state enterprise yesterday.
I have just handed in my resignation.
I have had enough of this tiring yet poor-paying job.
Of course, my confidence wasn't unfounded. My future was set and safe.
I am here at a government-subsidized laboratory, not to interview for the position of a scientist or an a.s.sistant, but rather to become an experiment subject.
I came across this opportunity incidentally and I couldn't be more grateful.
Who wouldn't want a job that pays 10,000,000 for three days of work?
I signed the contract yesterday, so I let it all out this morning at work. I rained curses on my work leader and threw my resignation form at him.
I then came over to this laboratory to understand the nature of my three-day work.
I am now in the meeting room, sitting before a professor dressed in a white coat.
The professor smiled kindly. "Let me introduce myself, my name is Douglas."
"I'm Luqiao, a partic.i.p.ant," I replied.
Professor Douglas nodded. "You've signed the contract, right? Let me brief you on what you'll be doing next."
"Alright." I took out a notebook. I wanted to take this seriously since this was an extremely costly job.
"We're a science and technology company that specializes and leads research in black holes and wormholes," he explained proudly.
I nodded, noting down the keywords.
"Three years ago, while testing the separation and reduplication technique, we found some laws of behavior. You've seen Doraemon, I believe, Mister Luqiao?" he continued.
"Yeah, enjoyed watching it when I was little," I answered, smiling.
"To put it in layman terms, we made a time machine with a wormhole. Its temporal name is Wormhole Time Machine. Doesn't it sound cool?" he asked, grinning.
"Wait, Wormhole Time Machine? To travel into the past and future... that sorta stuff?" I asked, astonished.
"No, no. We're not there yet. A lot of details are still in the testing stage and we are still unable to travel to a precise time or dimension. We don't know if it's into the past or future, which is why we need you."
"You... are you asking me to enter the time machine?" I clarified nervously.
He rea.s.sured, "You're an intelligent man, Mister Luqiao. Don't worry, we've already sent 63 white rats and 37 gorillas inside and the success rate is 99%. There are no risks..."
"Wait a moment. Why isn't it a 100%?" I interrupted.
"It's just... we're scientists and we have to be fundamentally cautious with what we say. I can only guarantee a 99% success and never 100% because that would be a lie. Just look at the airplanes. Even after years of modifications and improvements, you still hear of accidents on the news, right? What I can promise you, however, is that our machine is safer than any cars and airplanes."
"Then... is it too late to back out?" I hedged.
"It's not a problem, but breaching the contracts means that you'll have to compensate twice the sum that we offered. It's all written down, black and white. Our finance manager will contact you. You can go out now and my colleague will bring you to the finance office." He bowed and gestured toward the main entrance.
That was not going to happen. "No, no, wait. Can you vouch for the safety of your Wormhole Time Machine?"
"First, the government is funding our experiment so we do everything according to their requests. We only start seeking for partic.i.p.ants upon ensuring that this experiment is safe for humans. Plus, to put it bluntly, our project will be halted if anything happens to you so we won't wish for that either. Please believe in us."
"Alright, I agree. Don't put too much into it, though, I'm doing this for science," I said, somewhat panicking. There was no way that I could compensate them for breaching the contract. 20,000,000? If I had that kind of money, I wouldn't be here. I was too engrossed with their high offer that I totally ignored the terms and conditions.
"I understand. Let us continue then," he said enthusiastically.
I sighed. Sitting up straight, I prepared to take more notes. There was no turning back now.
"Our experiment isn't completed, which means that the time machine isn't actually letting your body pa.s.s through. Instead, your soul will probably enter a human or an animal's body," he went on.
"What the f*ck? Aren't you scientists supposed to be strict with what you say? What does 'probably' even mean? And a human or an animal? Which is it? How exactly am I supposed to trust you guys if you say things like this?" I cried out, flabbergasted.
"You're going to be in our first batch of human experiments, so whatever conclusions we came to are based on precise calculations and operations, as well as the evaluation of the behavior of animals that returned from the time machine. As such, this upcoming experiment is extremely important. If you complete it, it will be a major leap for humanity and the world," he explained.
" Precise calculation s ? If it's so 'precise', why can't you tell me which year I'll be going back to?" I snapped back.
"There are inaccuracies in everything. It's inevitable. Did Edison not fail a thousand times before inventing the light bulb?" he countered.
"I get it now. You guys have concluded, based on conjectures and theories, that you've invented a time machine. And since animals came back safely, you figured that it's okay to send humans in. So everything is still unknown and I'm just a lab rat?"
"You're right." He nodded.
"F*ck me. Are you not even going to give any justification? Aren't you just sending me into my grave?"
"You've signed the contract, sir. What I can tell you is that you're overthinking this. The risk for this experiment is close to zero. All you have to do is stay there for three days and we will wake you up."
"Send my soul away for three days? How are you going to wake me? What if I don't come back?"
"We will be looking after your body over here, and it takes only a bit of medicine to wake you up. In that three days, you'll need to figure out what world you've been sent to and note the differences between both worlds. You're then required to give us a report, as detailed as possible, and 10,000,000 is yours after."
"Wait, I'll have to understand which year I am at and how it is different from this world? I might not remain on Earth? I might be sent to another planet?" I asked, feeling more and more puzzled and afraid as this conversation progressed.
"Have you seen Marvel comics or movies? Spiderman, Ironman, X-men? There's something called 'parallel universe'. This wormhole time machine is based on that concept. Of course, parallel or not, we don't know for certain."
"What the h.e.l.l! What happened to being strictly methodical? Why don't you know? You are uncertain and yet you're carrying on with humans as test subjects?" I demanded, my palm slamming on the table.
"We are at a dead end. There won't be any conclusion, no matter how long we continue this discussion, unless you try it for yourself. We've already used animals as subjects and we can guarantee the experiment's safety. All we need now is a human to confirm it. Why do you think we're giving 10,000,000? If it's that easy to earn it, do you think I'll still be here?" he explained calmly.
I clenched my teeth, feeling the pressure from this incomprehensible information.
He continued, "You need to know a few things. First, you must ensure that your host body does not die or we won't be able to ensure your return. Second, you cannot change history. Third, you mustn't tell anyone there about this world because you might end up changing history if it's not a parallel universe. Remember these and things shouldn't go wrong."
"Wait, I have one more question."
"What is it?"
"If my soul will latch onto a host body, where does the host go?" I questioned.
"That's a very research-worthy question. Still in the body, probably, but forced into a deep sleep or into your body. The latter is unlikely, of course, because this is a one-way transmission. The host's soul will either disappear or be concealed by the brain. The soul is not really explainable by science so we don't know for sure," he said.
"Then what happens to the host after I leave?"
"According to my a.n.a.lysis, the host might become imbecile, fall into a vegetative state or none of these. Further research has to be done. Plus, at this stage, we're still unable to verify if repeating the standardized transmission will bring you to the same time period."
"You haven't thought about that? There are so many human vegetables and r.e.t.a.r.ds in this world. Could they be a result of time machines from elsewhere?" I suggested.
"We can't agree or disagree on that. But isn't Science all about coming up with bold theories and proving them carefully with evidence?" he responded.
"Alright, alright, I get it. Nothing is confirmed since you've only sent animals so far. I'll have to check it out myself since I'm your lab rat. When do we start? I'll need time to prepare myself," I told him helplessly.
"We'll start this noon. Waiting too long would not help with your already frazzled nerves. It won't be good if you catch a mental illness. We'll wait for your good news." He got up and clapped.
The door opened.
Two fully armed soldiers dashed inside, guns at ready.
Before I could voice my surprise, they've already grabbed me from both sides.
Short, Light, Free Chapter 111: Wormhole Time Machine I
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Short, Light, Free Chapter 111: Wormhole Time Machine I summary
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