Invading the Past: @GlennKoerner

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Invading the Past

by GlennKoerner

Unstable Threshold

The lab was filled to overflowing with technology. Cables and bundles of wires crossed the floor in such quantity, an outside observer might've thought the lab infested with snakes. Holographic simulation displays were mounted inside projection cylinders along the walls where they could be viewed without taking up valuable floor space.

The primary interface console stood near the center of the lab. It held up a number of glowing green computer screens. Some of the displays were mounted on adjustable swing arms to allow them to be repositioned as needed. A keyboard was directly under the main monitor, and additional control panels and alphanumeric keypads were situated under the smaller ones.

Behind the interface console, and the focal point of the entire lab, was the teleportation chamber. The cables running from the wall connections, computer controls, and the primary interface console all linked to the circular platform upon which the teleportation chamber was situated. A bright white light shone down through the chamber while vertical plates of the focusing array floated around it in a manner similar to the lower part of a wind chime.

The lab door split diagonally with the upper left portion sliding into a pocket within the wall to the left of the door while the lower right door panel vanished into the wall on the opposing side of the doorframe.

Entering the lab was a scientist in a dark gray suit. The identification tag clipped to his lapel identified him as Colin Sterling. At forty-three years of age, a few strands of gray had started to infiltrate the ink black of his hair. He was clean shaven and everything about him was neat and organized. Held in his left hand was a data pad. Looking like a sheet of glass, the data pad illuminated requested information on the microfilament display installed within the upper surface of the transparent device. Currently, he studied the energy output figures of the latest test.

For the past three years, Colin had been trying to create a stable gateway for matter teleportation. So far, he'd managed to transport a number of objects, but because of the instability of the gateway, he'd accidentally put a few things in orbit. Colin still didn't know where the houseplant he'd used for the first test had gone, assuming it hadn't simply been vaporized by the process.

Colin approached the primary interface console and plugged the data pad into an appropriately sized slot on the side. The information previously displayed on the pad was transmitted to one of the monitors. Typing a few commands into the keyboard, Colin brought up a graph showing the frequency of the energy output, the line rising and falling in a graceful and perpetual wave. Adjusting a few controls, he changed the frequency, and the line flattened with fewer variations.

The lab door opened again, and a second man entered. He wore a business suit of dark green pinstriped with white. The shoulders of the suit were stiff and squared off as was the current style of among rich executives. A perfectly tailored suit, styled brown hair, manicured nails, and phony smile were the key features of Travis Wellner, business executive and leader of the Zelen Corporation.

"What progress have you today?" Travis asked in an overly polite manner, his smile constant.

"I've decreased power fluctuation by fifteen percent," Colin answered. He managed to keep the disdain from his voice and maintain the outward appearance of professional respect.

"Very good," Travis praised. "How long until we're ready for human testing?"

"I'd say we're still a ways from that, sir," Colin replied.

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