Author : Patricia Stewart, featured writer

“How’s this thing work?” asked Dean O’Banion, the man Alan Mitchell had reluctantly asked to come to Seattle to bankroll his invention that could provide the world with unlimited, cheap, green energy. Although O’Banion was not the most reputable businessman on the planet, he was the only one that didn’t laugh in Mitchell’s face after reading his abstract on the Potential Benefits of Crumpled Space.

“Well, Mister O’Banion, it’s simple really. With nonscientists, I usually demonstrate the principle with piece of paper and a 2-D analogy. I’ll draw circles on this paper representing the galaxies in our local group. This circle represents the Milky Way, this one Andromeda, and Triangulum, both Magellanic Clouds, and so on…OK, that should be enough. Now, as you can see, there are about two inches between each galaxy. But, if I crumble the paper into a tight ball, some of the galaxies actually touch each other. My theory predicts that space is actually crumbled this way in the fifth dimension, although we can’t see it. Now, if we create a wormhole in this fifth dimension, between our galaxy and the one that is practically touching us, we can travel there in a few years, rather than millions. Unfortunately, there are two limiting factors: I cannot change the shape of crumpled-space, so we can only travel to the galaxy that happens to be folded over us; and creating a wormhole that large requires more energy than our entire galaxy emits.

“Mister Mitchell, I don’t see how any of this is going to make me rich, as you said, beyond the dreams of avarice.”

“Yes, unlimited energy. OK, on the grand scale, let’s assume the entire universe is crumpled as I’ve suggested. Now, we can take my analogy one step further, into the realm of micro-crumpling, so to speak. On this much smaller sub-scale, Earth-space is crumpled within itself. And it takes much less energy to create a wormhole between two places on Earth. As it turns out, just a few meters from this lab, in the fifth dimension, is the bottom of the Marianas Trench. With this device,” he pointed to a contraption sitting on the floor, “I can open a wormhole between the Marianas Trench and here. As water rushes through the wormhole at 15,000 psi, that’s 1,000 times atmospheric pressure, it can turn a turbine with 100 times the power of Niagara Falls. I’ll demonstrate the concept with a real pinhole size wormhole.” Mitchell adjusted the controls of his wormhole generator, aimed the focus straight up, and activated the instrument. It shot a thin column of super-high-pressure water through the ceiling and upward into the sky for several miles.

“Well, I’m impressed, Mister Mitchell. How easy is it to control?”

“Child’s play. I have all the instructions written in this manual.”

“Fantastic.” O’Banion promptly pulled a gun from his coat pocket and shot Mitchell between the eyes. Then, he nonchalantly packed up Mitchell’s equipment and returned to his home outside Chicago.

Two days later, the lead story in the Chicago Sun-Times read: “Dean O’Banion, a prominent Chicago businessman, was mysteriously killed last night when a volcano erupted on his estate, creating a 2000 foot lava dome. Scientist cannot explain the eruption, since there are no known magma chambers in the Chicago area. Scientists are also baffled by the fact that this particular type of basaltic lava is only known to exist in Iceland. The damage was so extensive…”

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