The Other Dimension
In the year 4434, all of Earth’s resources were depleted. After the Third Scourge of Earth, all sources of clean energy were gone. The reserves for supplies were depleted, and no gram of steel or length of wire could be spared. All solar panels and tidal turbines were smashed and in ruins, while the Dyson Sphere around the sun had gone up in flames. The world’s last residents had a choice to flee or rebuild, and nearly all of them fled. Only a few scientists were left to find an infinite energy source before the last Eartheans perished. The scientists scrapped machines and motors before building a drill out of the spare parts, which they drilled away with.
Deeper and deeper they went, closer and closer to the Earth’s core, using their last fuel and hope to find something. Somehow, they did find something, and that something was big.
“What is this?” Dr. Ross, an expert in the ways of clean energy, asked, having stumbled upon something new. Her voice echoed through the room, seemingly made out of sandstone and granite, two very flimsy materials, way too flimsy to exist as close as it was to the core.
“And what are the walls made of?” Continued Dr. Lime, a superstar in engineering and optimizing. The echo made the voice bounce around the room in a way that seemed off, and it made the scientists uneasy. “Dr. Dram, do you know what this place is? I have no idea, but it’s ominous, don’t you think?”
Dr. Dram was observing the faint markings on the walls, and was preoccupied with taking a scan of a bit of the floor to see what it’s made of, how old it is, how strong, etcetera. He was a very good multitasker. When Dr. Lime repeated his question, Dr. Dram looked up.
“We don’t need to call each other ‘Doctor’, Kevin,” he laughed, “But oddly, our most sophisticated technology cannot tell what it is! All the results come up inconclusive!”
“Hmm. That is odd. Can you take a look at this?” Dr. Lime said, looking to the front of the room. There was an archway that looked like something was supposed to fill it, and it would become a gateway of sorts. There were scorch marks on the floor near it, and when Dr. Lime touched the odd, colorless and smooth surface of the arch, he became woozy.
“Arggg!” he said, crashing to the ground and coming to his senses.
“Are you okay?” Dr. Dram said, rushing to his aid. “Yes” was the response, but not true.
“What is this thing?” Dram pondered, before whipping out another of his many devices. “What is going on here!” he said, inspecting the arch “Its properties make no sense! It is super heavy but not super dense, it is radioactive, but doesn’t give off radioactive energy! It…” Dram went on like this for a while, getting more and more bewildered and loud as he went on
“Dr. Dram, are you alright? I’ve been exploring the area around us but my scanner says there is nothing here! But here’s the kicker, this place blends in to everything else! My scanner, programmed to sense even the slightest change in density, size, value, anything, thinks this is a hollow chamber of granite.
“Guys?” Dr. Dram said, sounding as if he’d seen a ghost
“Yeah?” The other two doctors responded simultaneously
“The arch is opening… like a portal.”
“You mean something from a video game? Like Craftmine?” Lime said, not believing it.
“Exactly! I think it’s like a dimensional rift, like blackholes but condensed so small that it is in the arch! If you touch it, you could be spaghettified by the way Maya.” Dram added, seeing that Ross was inspecting the carvings on the walls.
She could make them out in the half-light, but was distracted by gravity imploding in on itself and a zapping sound, promptly followed by darkness and peace for a half-second, before the archway had a portal appear in it, casting an eerie glow to the room. Very distracting.
The arch had something that looked straight out of a videogame. The colorless, smooth “stone” was a flurry of beautiful and intimidating colors, darting about like hummingbirds on overdrive. But the crazy thing was that right below the arch, to the ground, was a thin pane of what looked like glass, but a liquid. It was a deep purple that swayed to and fro, begging to be touched.
As if in a trance, Dr. Dram forgot what he said about spaghettification and walked up to the portal-like thing, and reached his hand out slowly, inches away from touching the substance.
“Dram! Stop! Spaghettification, remember?” Screamed Ross, snapping Dram out of his confusion. Now realizing what he was doing, he leapt several feet backwards and hit his head on the ceiling.
“Owww!” he said, rubbing his head. “What was I doing?” he asked with a laugh. “I’m not touching that thing!”
Suddenly, the archway dinged like a timer on a toaster. Its intense gravity plucked them across the room and spat them into the pane of purple liquid glass.
Everything went black.
They woke up and instantly looked around, bewildered. Dram sat up and looked around, and what he saw made him entirely believe he was still asleep.
They were on a luscious floating island covered in soft grass like cotton. It hovered over a crystal blue river that flowed rapidly with beautiful fish of many colors, shining like stars whenever they turned. There were other islands, with different trees and rocks and sizes, perhaps, but all were equally beautiful.
Dram stood there, mouth agape, for nearly a minute, before the other two stood up and did the same. Lime noticed there were two suns in the sky! And no sunscreen whatsoever! Another thing in the sky was the portal, hovering above, still purple.
The island they were on was about as big as an apartment, so they looked around a bit. On the other side of the island, Ross noticed land and pointed it out. Lime and Dram both looked and saw the island, pristine and pure. While they were doing that, the portal above their heads shuddered and made a whistle sound. Suddenly, it fell down to the ground and made the island tip.
“Ahhhhh!” they screamed as the island tilted to the side. Luckily it recovered – and so did the scientists – instead of tipping.
“The portal!” Lime said, rushing to it.
Following suit, the three of them made it to the portal and looked at what happened.
“It’s closed. It’s not even radioactive, though it does have some pent up energy. Huh.”
“So we’re stuck here? How do we open it? How do we get down, and back up to the island?” More quickfire questions were asked, though none answered.
“Maybe… just maybe… if we brought something radioactive or powerful to the portal, we could coax out the power and open the portal!”
But before anyone could respond, the roar of a thousand lions shook the air, vibrating thousands of molecules and making the Dr.s grab their heads and drop to the ground. A big shadow passed over them. Looking up they saw…
“A DRAGON?!?!” they all yelled at once, though none of them could hear through the roar.
Finally it subsided, and with relief they let go of their heads and set to work making a ladder. With the two suns setting and the massive moon rising, they finished their wood-and-grass-fiber-ladder, tying it to the ground and climbing down.
The water wasn’t even that deep, if they wanted, they could walk the entire way to shore! It was ½ of a kilometer distance, and halfway there, they heard a splash in the water followed by the sound of something huge coming out of the ground.
The scientists looked at each other and their eyes told the whole story.
A 2 story tall troll came out of the water and toward them, making giant steps as he went. The scientists paddled for their life but weren’t going to make it. One more step and the troll would-
It passed them and pulled itself onto the beach. It ripped a tree from the ground and used it as a pillow before falling asleep. Snoring like thunder. The scientists crept up onto the beach quietly and passed the troll without issue. Using leaves they dried themselves off and walked further inland, looking for food and hope.
After two days the scientists had made it through the jungle, past the mountain, and across the swamp. They hiked through the mountain range and came to a stop on the peak of a mountain. At the crack of dawn everyone was jerked awake by the sound of a rooster, but magnified by a hundred times. All of a sudden, 5 phoenixes came soaring out of nowhere. 4 flew into the sunrise, but one saw the scientists and spit fire at them. Narrowly dodging a firebolt, Dram started throwing anything he could. Rocks, leaves, rocks, and more. After 3 minutes of dodging fireballs – which feels like 3 hours of any other activity – the phoenix got scared and flew off.
“That was too close.” Lime said, fingering something in his pocket.
“We need to find something. Quick.” Ross agreed.
Half a day later, they entered another jungle, this one denser, and found a temple of sorts. It was ancient, stone, and scary looking. They walked in, through a long hallway that led them to a door with a pattern like a person’s face and their mouth would open and close with the door. Or was it a toucan with a nose? Either way, it was creepy.
“What is it?” Dram asked to no one in particular. “It is so ancient, maybe thousands of years old! And the carving is so sleek, yet colorless.” he ran his hand across the face. A thick layer of dust peeled away reluctantly like his hand.
“When was it made? Why? If it is a temple, they must have something valuable inside, what is it? Is there something? Well? Is there?!?” Ross asked, getting more and more flared up with each question.
“Maybe the toucan knows” Lime mocked, “O Great Toucan, whatest do thou hide?” he said, teasing. He bowed, and his now-cracked glasses slid on the floor with a plink! that made Dram jump for some reason.
Suddenly, the eyes on the toucan – yes, definitely a toucan – glowed yellow. It bathed the dark room in an eerie light that, compared to the musky darkness, was nearly blinding.
“WHOM HAS SUMMONED ME, THE ALMIGHTY DOMANIUS, SCRIBE OF TOUCANS AND TEETH!” The statue said, the voice a booming and protective sound.
“Uhhh, I think I have…” Lime awkwardly said, stepping forward and bowing.
“WHY HAVE THOU SUMMONED ME?” the voice demanded.
“It kind of was an accident.” Lime answered “But what can you do for me?”
“I MAY GRANTEST YOU ONE FAVOR, AS LONG AS IT HAS TO DO WITH TOUCANS OR TEETH.” There was no emotion to the voice, like a bored businessman trying to make an advertisement.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” A voice yelled.
Lime turned around to see his peers staring at him like he had two heads.
“You are talking to the toucan like it can hear you?”
“Can you not hear it?” Lime asked, annoyance laced in his voice
“No, you are talking to the door like an idiot, Lime!”
“Well, I can hear him, and he – or maybe it? – can hear me and can give me one wish about toucans or teeth.”
“Ooh! The door has a toucan on it, ask him to open it!” Ross said excitedly “We can learn what’s over there!”
“You aren’t concerned about the god speaking into my head?”
“Weirder things have happened, Lime.”
“Fine. O GOD OF TOUCANS AND TEETH, I WISH FOR THE DOOR IN FRONT OF US WITH A TOUCAN WITH TEETH TO OPEN!!!” He said with flourish.
“YOU DON’T NEED TO SCREAM, BUT VERY WELL.” The voice stopped, and somehow Lime knew it was gone. Strange.
“He said okay!” Lime revealed to his friends.
“Yaay! Try opening it.” Ross said. “Wait no, I’m going to!” With a child-like squeal, she rushed to the doors and opened them with flair. Inside was a golden egg-like object on a pedestal like a prop from India Jones™.
Immediately the explorers rushed in and scanned the thing. It weighed 489 grams and looked like a toucan egg. With teeth, obviously. Oh, and it was *GASP* RADIOACTIVE! They had found it! Now only to get it out.
They guessed it was a weight-based trap, and hacked a bit of rubble to get a perfect weight measurement. They quickly switched the two and nothing happened. (Funnily enough, they could have just taken it, but they didn’t know that!) They whooped with joy and the laughter could have been heard across the jungle.
The way back made the three excited and scared. The biggest problem was simply the distance they had to travel, but it took less time as the jubilant behavior never ceased. They had parties and gourmets across the land, showing just how happy they were. Once they were chased by an ocean spirit that got lost, but they were fine. The water monster once it got on land… *eh* not so much.
After they got past the marsh and the swamp master, the T.O.A.D. (a fish) the beach was in sight. They rushed at it with gusto and waded into the sea, scaring the multicolored fish and scattering birds. They swam towards the island they were on – Ross remembered perfectly, even giving statistics of the soil fertility and rock formations – and the ladder was still there! They had a lucky break. Nearly 10 meters from the ladder, everything broke down.
The water rippled, making the scientists stop and look around. A sloshing sound reverberated the air, and the air seemed to chill. A massive chambered nautilus burst out of the water, and whipped its tentacles around, nearly decapitating Dram. The scientists screamed and paddled loudly and fast to the ladder, but that just made the nautilus notice them. Sensing its new prey, it lashed out its tentacles towards Lime, who dived underwater. He used his adrenaline and swam at mach 10 straight to the ladder. He hoisted himself up and practically flew to the top of the island.
Knowing that it wasn’t worth the struggle, it turned its attention to Ross and Dram who were quietly creeping away. They made a break for it, abandoning stealth, but the massive monster used its tentacles as a wall, encircling them. They were going to be doomed! Lime was passed out, they were tired, and were trapped and going to be food! How the turns have tabled! Once humans were a great nation, consuming calamari, but no more. The cephalopods have risen!
Anyways, they were doomed. The nautilus came up to them, its W shaped eyes searching for anything else. It opened its beak and was 5 meters away. 4. 3. 2. Then suddenly a “SLICE!”
Dram and Ross opened their eyes, and a massive spear had gone through the monster. Its mighty armor was punctured and it stopped advancing, moving, breathing, and oh wait it’s DEAD. The blue troll from before stood atop the felled beast, grinning amazingly. He looked to the shore and let out a mighty bellow that attracted all kinds of trolls, green from the forest, gray from the marsh, white and black from the mountains, red from the volcano, and many more misc. trolls who came to see the fuss.
What happened next is a mystery, maybe they ate it, or used its shell as housing or armor or something magical. Even Ross didn’t care in perspective as she scuttled up the ladder. Once at the top, all three of them together layed down on the grass, thinking they were going to get home. Home.
The time had come. The three were refreshed and ready-to-go as they set their belongings straight and were packed to go home. They got the egg and set it in the middle of the portal. They tapped the engravings on the portal and the process started.
The egg floated in the air, quivering, as it radiated light. Suddenly it turned into pure energy and lit up like a lantern. It exploded with power and made the portal glow. The black hole looking portal appeared again, the same royal purple as before.
But it went wrong. The purple turned into a brown, and the whole structure shook and collapsed, before turning jet-black and disappearing.
All hope was lost, along with the portal and chance of going home.
The scientist agreed that the best thing to do was to set out in search of something that could get them home. They set off once again, with morale so low it went through the ground.
After days of traveling without a word from anybody, hope flickered in the dark. An icy wasteland tundra covered hundreds of miles and was the only thing forward. They pressed on, eating their rations, traveling, eating, rest, repeat, repeat, repeat, restock on bunnies, repeat…
But on the 6th hour away from warmth, and worse Wifi, they saw igloos in the distance. A bright blue light shone, and the blizzard got so bad they could barely see. Then it stopped altogether and there were creatures in front of them. They had masks of ice covering their face with two eye holes with bright blue lights coming out. They seemed to be made of ice and had tails with snowflakes on them, but true to the saying, no two snowflakes looked alike.
One floated forward silently, and spoke over the wailing wind. He said:
“I AM ÑEŻORÎK, LEADER OF THE COLD ONES.” He did seem to be bigger, brighter, and for lack of a better word, colder. “WHY HAVE YOU ENTERED THE TUNDRA, OUR TERRITORY. HAVE YOU COME FOR EXPLORATION, OR FOR THE PASSAGE?” He spoke without emotion, and his voice was deep and cold — very clichè.
“Uhhhhh….” Ross murmured.
“Wait, a passage?” Dram exclaimed.
“Like the arch?” Lime continued.
“Uhhhh, I think so!” Ross finished.
“Mr. Nee-zo-rick, is the passage an arch? We got pulled into this world and need to find our way back. Our ride here, well, is out-of-order and we-” Lime said, getting cut off.
“YES, THAT IS THE PORTAL I SPEAK OF. I WILL GUIDE YOU THERE, BUT YOU MUST NOT ENTER THE PASSAGE. NO ONE WHO HAS ENTERED HAS EVER RETURNED!”
“The temple thing was in the core of the Earth for us, maybe they… melted?”
“I DO NOT KNOW OF WHAT YOU MEAN, BUT ARE YOU SURE YOU WISH TO GO? THIS WORLD HAS MUCH TO OFFER.”
The ice leader led them past the village, made of igloos and bunkers, and to a cave nearby. Ross examined the igloos as they walked past and kept touching them. They dived into the cave and went deeper and deeper sloping down, using ÑEŻORÎK’s glow as light.
Suddenly, the cave sloped nearly straight down. The floor changed from rock to ice, and gusts of wind randomly gusted. The three scientists stepped unknowingly on the ice and slipped and slided down. ÑEŻORÎK was floating but he lowered himself and followed the screaming scientists. They slid down farther and farther, and the cave was surrounded by ice, with a glow behind it, so the scientists could see.
The paths diverged and became like waterslides, with the scientists shooting out at the very end, dizzy and tired. It was warm-ish and there was moss and grass beneath them, growing on carved stone.
They got up and looked around, and ÑEŻORÎK appeared behind them.
“IT IS HERE. PAST THE CORRIDOR YOU WILL FIND A GUARD.” He nodded to indicate the direction. “HE WILL DEFEND THE PASSAGE WITH HIS LIFE. ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS GET TO IT, IF YOU TOUCH IT YOU WILL GET HOME, HOPEFULLY. ALL OF YOU NEED TO TOUCH IT AT THE SAME TIME.”
ÑEŻORÎK flew back up the ice passageway, and disappeared.
“Okay dokay!” Lime said, keeping up the mood.
They traveled through the corridor and saw the portal. There was no guard in sight, which was suspicious. They crept up to the arch, making no sound.
Five meters. Four. Three. Tw-
The arch rose into the air and a tiki statue rose up from below. The different levels seemed to have different ways of inflicting harm, through arrows, fire, that one had a sword in its mouth! The arch was like a crown on top of the tiki monster’s top head. Each head swiveled around, seemingly independently, and looked at the adventurers.
There was a moment of silence before the barrage came.
They ran amok, dodging, ducking, hiding, and everything in between.
Arrows, fire, swords, many things were thrown or shot at the scientists, who ran out of the room to make a plan.
“WE ARE DOOMED.” Dram says as he paces back and forth. “We have no way to fight it and no way to the top. We have no plan.”
“I have a plan!” Ross said as she finished observing the wall. “That head there shoots its head out like it is punching, so we need to climb on top of it and jump up! We can make that, but how do we get to the scary monster without being… y’know.”
“I got it!” Lime says while getting ready to run. “Leave it to me.” Lime rushed in while the other two waited, then bolted. Lime grabbed a rock and threw it at the perfect angle to smack the puncher in the nose. It, true to its nickname, punched out its face as Ross and Dram leapt up, so they got on top.
Sensing what they were going to do, it retracted its face, but halfway through it got stuck. Another tiny stone was stuck in the crevasse, so it couldn’t retract! Lime hopped on, avoiding an axe, and made it to just the right angle. It was so close to the wall the other heads couldn’t touch them, and they hopped up. Pulsing with adrenaline they reached the top and simultaneously grabbed the portal.
Once more the arch’s intense gravity plucked them across the room and spat them into the pane of purple liquid glass.
Everything went black once more.
They did it.
They woke up in the same room as they entered. After patting down their bodies to make sure they were in one piece, they danced and laughed.
They had survived!
But in the end, they failed.
They set out to find infinite clean energy, but they found a magic dimension. Failure. Or was it?
It turns out that Lime had nabbed a phoenix feather, and Ross had a piece of nevermelt ice. They had succeeded and all was well.
They showed these resources to humanities leader, Melon Usk, and showed him the resources and he immediately cloned them, until clean energy was distributed throughout the colonies of humans.
Everlasting peace existed, and all was solved. The god of Toucans and Teeth could sleep and ÑEŻORÎK could rest.
BUT IS IT OVER?