Author : Timothy Marshal-Nichols

Black; void.

Agnieszka did not believe she had seen anywhere this empty. It was unexpected.

Thus far it had not been a particularly good life: the degenerative illness; stuck in the minuscule grey bunkers of the menials accommodation block; reliant on handouts from other menials. For the past forty years Agnieszka had wasted away to a slender stick; her dirty blue overalls hung limply from her frame; her thin face made her black eyes look enormous. And then the offer came: three key strokes to reset her life, another start, a reboot, all it would take was three little key presses. She’d jumped at the chance, she shouldn’t have.

Weeks later, after the tedious desperate wait, she’d been ushered into the gleaming expanse of the research institute; here to be the first to go back in time; the chosen one to be experimented on. There wasn’t much for her to do; no training was needed. She had been stripped, showered, dressed in white paper overalls newly ripped from their cellophane, and been given a superficial medical examination. From there she was marched through the laboratory; driven out to a half buried concrete bunker where she descended in a lift to a platform. From there she walked alone through a narrow passageway to the chamber where she was to initiate the experiment.

The door slammed shut, bolts hissed. All that remain of the world outside was memory, and an occasional faint metallic clang.

Inside the bright grey chamber the shiny metal walls were smooth and polished. There was almost nothing here; just a bright blinding light above; the faint outline of the door she had just entered; and a small hip height console jutting out from the far wall, on this those three precious keys. She waited, should she? She didn’t want to do this any more. She waited; they, those above ground, would be expecting some response; she waited. She strode to the console and looked at it. Slowly she pressed the Ctrl key with her left hand little finger, and quickly took it away. She waited; could she back out? There were no communications with the world above. Again she pressed the Ctrl key with her little finger and then, tentatively, held down the Alt key with her forefinger. Closing her eyes she lightly tapped the Delete key with her right hand thumb.

And where was she now? Void; black.

She was supposed to have been transformed into a younger version of herself; one long before her illness had taken hold; but this was not it, this was certainly not it.

The burning sensation was ripping her apart. Time was both standing still, compressed into an unimaginable fraction of a second, and stretching exponentially. Her previous frail body was crushed into an infinitesimal dot, so much smaller then an atom, and was expanding into a whole new universe; she could feel everything as the rate of acceleration diminished.

As the singularity had crushed her; she’d become one with space-time; she was a god, the god Agnieszka.

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