Author : Clint Wilson, Featured Writer

“So this is it?” I asked, more than just a little depressed and disappointed.

“Well what did you expect?” asked Grrrrshnk. The giant veins in his bulbous blue head pulsated visibly through his space helmet.

“I dunno,” I replied. I mean, sheesh… ‘the edge of the universe’ you’d think there’d be more than just this hard black surface.” To add emphasis to my proclamation I stomped on the unyielding solidness that was apparently the end of all space and time. I was greeted by a dull clack, the sound of my boot hitting the end of infinity and reverberating back up at me through my pressure suit.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “Let’s go to the site and see how we are progressing.” We did not skip off into space as we walked back to the federation lander. Incredibly the endless plain had a soft pull of just a little over a G, one-point-zero-eight to be exact. Together we got back into the little ship and made our way above the ever-stretching flatness. Then suddenly the scenery ahead began to change. In the far-off distance were mountains of pure blackness. But what could cause this, here along the impenetrable plain of the universe’s edge?

Grrrrshnk explained. “This is the debris we have thus far excavated from the hole.” He maneuvered the craft deftly between mountainous heaps of shredded piles of the black material. Here and there massive robotic dozers, loaders, and trucks moved about piles of the obsidian gravel. “It goes for several thousand more kilometers before we reach the bore hole.” He hit the accelerator and we sped along toward the monstrous drilling rig.

Soon we could see the ever-reaching silver sliver of the diamondite bit stretching up into the blackness of space.

I am not a stupid man by any stretch, but when Grrrrshnk debriefed me on how diamondite was actually created in reactors and then later controlled at the subatomic level by super computers manipulating quadrillions of miniscule nanobots in unison, I barely kept up with him, but I got the gist of it. Here was an infinitely strong material that could be stretched, shaped, spun, manipulated in any manner, and forced to do your bidding. Here was the massive diamondite drill bit that continuously churned downward toward the unknown.

As we approached the constantly turning gleaming silver shaft I of course recorded everything for the people of Earth. They were definitely curious about this expensive federation project of drilling to find a parallel universe beyond our own, as was I.

“Tell me Grrrrshnk,” I pronounced it as best as I could, “How deep have you bored down thus far?”

The blue-skinned alien beamed, ” We are just about to hit a milestone.” He paused for a few seconds for dramatic effect, smiling somewhat smugly. “Half a light year! Can you believe it? We have gone nearly fifty percent of one entire light year!”

This I understood well to be an incredible distance to say the least. “Does the drill bit show any signs of twisting yet?”

“Not a millimeter in all that length. Remember, the nanobots act as one, but are still all distinct individuals.”

“Okay I have enough footage for my news story. Thanks for your cooperation.” Then as he turned the craft and shot upward and out toward my waiting transport I thought of one last question for the proud site director.

“So Grrrrshnk,” this time I pronounced it almost perfectly. “How much further do you think you will have to go?”

His answer was honest and direct. “As far as it takes.”


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