Author : J.R. Blackwell, Staff Writer
“I’m not one of your lab monkeys, I’m your investor, so don’t give me any more of your scientific jargon.” Mr. Bates pointed his cowboy hat at Dr. Copenhagen. “Don’t tell me about electrons, tell me about how your machine will send Leroy running home with his tail between his legs during the holiday ball at the Hague.”
“Leroy? I’m sorry Mr, Bates, I don’t follow.”
“Leroy Holkins runs the Holkin Institute of Science. He rubs some award in my face every time the holiday ball comes around.” Mr. Bates clenched his fists. “This year, I want to stuff it up his nose.”
“Right, well, our discovery cannot fail to impress him.” Dr. Copenhagen motioned for Mr. Bates to follow him towards the labs. “One principle of science is that if you observe anything, you change it,” said Dr. Copenhagen.
“Doesn’t seem right. My hat is still a hat if I’m not looking at it.” Mr. Bates face scrunched. “How can you look at something without watching?”
“Never mind, I don’t want to know. Just tell me how I can rub this in Leroy’s face.”
The florescent light gleamed on the top of Dr. Copenhagen’s bald head. “My team has found a way to observe without observing, to watch the inside of a closed box. Sir, this fundamentally changes the way we perceive everything. Experiments once proven will have to be tested again. It will change science forever.”
“Even for Leroy?”
“Yes, even your friend Leroy.”
“Have you been listening? The man isn’t my friend. Just show me what you’ve cooked up.”
“If you come this way, I’ll give you a demonstration.” Dr. Copenhagen motioned Mr. Bates though a set of double doors. In the middle of the laboratory, on a sturdy, steel table was a mirrored glass sphere. It was a five foot high imperfect sphere, marred and scored, like it had been crumpled and clumsily rebuilt. A tangle of wires connected the sphere to a row of monitors. Mr. Bates saw his reflection distorted in the surface.
“This is it?”
“This is our triumph.”
“It looks old,” said Mr. Bates, rubbing his chin. “This thing feels like, I don’t know how to say it, but like an old church.”
“Sir, I’m not sure what you mean. We constructed this a month ago in this laboratory. It’s appearance is dictated by it’s function, a necessity- “
“Never mind Doctor. Just show me what it does.”
“I’ve prepared a simple chemical reaction for you to observe. If you would just turn to the monitors, you will notice a flask on the screen. This flask is located inside of the machine. Keep your eyes on it while I engage the process.”
Mr. Bates turned to the monitors, studying the glass vial. Dr. Copenhagen scrambled to the back of the sphere and took a crooked knife out of his coat pocket. He hacked at his left wrist, splitting the skin along a pink scar. Smearing the blood along a break in the glass, Dr. Copenhagen watched as the smoke rose from his blood and the glass crackled, then grew to close the gap in the shattered mirror.
In the newly grown mirror, The Others stared out at him. They were smoke and terror, sharp edges and swift movements. Dr. Copenhagen flicked his bloody wrist over the glass. “Just do it, you bastards.” He muttered. The Others flit over the mirrored surface, sucking the droplets of blood though the glass.
“I don’t see anything happening yet,” said Mr. Bates.
“Just a few moments,” said Dr. Copenhagen. “It’s about to begin.”