Author : Chris Ferguson & Lucas Atkinson
Malcovitch polished the lens pensively, knowing it was ridiculous. But he was a traditionalist, and even if it would be computers looking, not him, image decoders, descramblers, adjusters, effectors and compensators it was comforting to see it with his own eyes. He fitted it in place, tightened the screws the knobs carefully and peered through. There it was, the dark speck of the wormhole, as everyone had seen it for three and a half hundred years, scientists infuriated by artifacts that exhibited slightly different values of pi, geometry no longer behaving.
He sighed, leaned back, and booted up the machines that would carefully freeze the station’s real telescope to near-absolute zero temperatures. He sipped his coffee, listening to the machines groan beneath him. A moment later he flicked on another line of switches, one by one. The screen in front of him flashed blue, then twisted into a field of static. Even this behemoth of a telescope could not peer into the heart of the wormhole. He sighed, once more, then engaged one last program. This has to work, he thought. The program has been checked a hundred times now. There were only days before the Schrodinger’s Apocalypse Cult would find the legal leverage to shut down the station completely.
The lights flickered and the surface of his coffee rippled. Slowly, the screen hovering over the console shuddered and drew an image. There he was, on the screen. He was staring at his own back, he thought, except – he turned around. Nothing there. He turned back to the screen. The Station shuddered again, harder. He stared again. It was him – or – was his hair that dark? That long? And there was something wrong about where the walls met the floor, something too angular – Oh, he, thought, quietly, Damn.
“Doctor Malcovitch? Is everything all right?”
“Yes, John. It was very strange, though, for a moment.” She leaned back, sipped her tea, and petted the black cat that slept in its bed on the console. “It was like looking in a mirror, seeing yourself again and again and again.”
“Yes,” She sighed. “Check the program again. We don’t have much time.”