Author : James King

The gate shimmered like a disk of melted solder. After all this time, the idea of inter-dimensional travel still amazed Alex. Wrapping his mind around the fact that, though it is a new world that is being explored, it’s the same time, same location in the galaxy, just a different dimension took some getting used to.

He stared back watching the rest of the team come through the gate, helpless to stop them. The surprised look on each of their faces as they stepped through reminded him of the first time anyone had ever attempted inter-dimensional travel.

The team was much younger back then, chuckling nervously as straws were drawn to see who would be the first through the gate. Everyone claimed they wanted to be first, but the relief was evident when a long straw was drawn. Alex got the first short straw and has been the first one through the gate ever since.

He was starting to shiver from the cold.

The amount of power required in forming the gateway forced the exploration team to travel through quickly. Safety protocols were established so that each team member was prepared for any possible contingency, whether environmental or hostile. Alex thought to himself that this was one scenario that never came up during the simulations.

He wanted to shout out in the hopes someone would hear him, but he knew that was futile as he floated further from the gate. Devoid of air the vacuum of space was deafeningly silent. Everyone dispersed like droplets from a splash of water hitting the ground, drifting away from the gate and away from each other. He finally realized that the weapon he clutched tightly to his body was useless and let it go, watching it drift away.

The environmental containment suit he wore provided oxygen and some protection from the harsh cold, but it wouldn’t last long. He wonders if they will attempt to send another team to locate them when they don’t return, understanding this to be an academic question, since they all would have long since expired from the cold or lack of oxygen before this possibility would occur.

No one ever thought, especially after all the worlds they had explored, that traveling to a dimension where the earth no longer existed was a possibility. A contingency never planned for and a lesson learned the hard way. Alex watched the gate, looking like the surface of a dark pond, getting smaller as he drifted further away. He marveled at the beauty of space. Alex had always wanted to be an astronaut. Weightlessness is even better than he imagined.

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