The Black Hole Experiments Quadrilogy (2014)



The Alien Sphere

In the outer fringes of the black hole, shifting wildly about itself, within the opened up alien sphere, a metallic gleam of light was magically suspended, motionlessly in mid-air, from the surface of an electronic clock, by the scientists.
The clock held at the end of an almost invisible cable, of translucent material, had its precision digital numbers frozen in fuzzy multidimensional forms (in a suspended cluster of partially transparent layers).
Professor Bergman, the leading scientist, had it released further, edging it into the black hole, creating more spectacular optical effects from the clock, making it distort in twisted forms (shaping beams of light with matter like a form of glass sculpture).
Its numbers shifted fast forward, until they froze again, and the clock almost vanished, and they stopped its progression.
A loud cheer erupted from all of the scientists and technicians crowded into the laboratory, applauding.
Dexter realized that it was more than a rupture in space. It had properties of suspending time! It was a hole in the fabric of space and time, and a gateway into the depths of time.
He had staggered when he had first observed the pulsating alien sphere, when he had entered the laboratory of the UN Space Agency – where leading scientists were carrying out a series of basic experiments on it.
They had not been able to determine its origins, so they had brought it back to the Earth, to allow leading scientists to investigate it.
He had shuddered as he had studied its cleaned surface and perfect sphere shape, with no blemishes or openings.
The abnormal antics of the laboratory scientists had captivated him – mystifying him with the depth of their nervousness, and fear of something! Some still repetitively studied the controls of an immense laboratory laser, with alarm – preparing themselves! 
What were they going to do? Had something gone wrong in their earlier experiments?
A swift flash of light had exploded out, and the laser’s flickering beam had blasted into the sphere – silencing all the scientists.
It had triggered it to unlock, open (with a deafening bang), and reveal its inner chamber, where it was – by the manipulation of gravitational forces – suspending a black hole.
Professor Bergman calmly raised his hand, quickly giving a signal to a technician.
“As you see,” he announced, “it manipulates perceptions of space and time – within its outer radius! It suspends, accelerates, and suspends it. And if you’ll look – to the clock – suspended at its outer radius – it decelerates it too.”
The cable emerged outwards, pulling the clock back, with its numbers going swiftly backwards, until its numbers once again became motionless.
“And if you examined that clock, you would see that the numbers don’t move backwards!”
Dexter copied Basinger, Burrell, Selina, and the others, and clapped wildly.
He briefly wondered if it could be a form of time machine.
“Professor Bergman!” a scientist, next to him, called out. “If something fell in there, would it go on a quantum leap? Would you say that it would appear at some stage after its collapse?”
“I personally believe that it would travel into the future. But where it ends up is not in my field of knowledge!”
Dexter wondered if in reality the black hole was different from what they perceived. But he dismissed the idea. He did accept their philosophy!
“What are your intentions?” another scientist called out, from behind the group. “Are you going to send something in there?”
“We have investigated it little, so far, and if we do, I can assure you that I shall have you all informed about it!”
“What uses to industry do you think it may have?” the scientist continued. “Could science not use it? It has the power to stop time in its outer radius!”
“We do not know at present how safe it is! We shall test it much further, and we may find a use for it – as you mentioned.
“If you will take an observation of its shifting movements, which we have been studying closely over the past few days – which some of you may have observed – as its constrained pattern of movements has dramatically altered.”
Dexter examined its lethal appearance. It resembled a large black bubble of pure energy – buzzing wildly and dangerously about – ready to discharge somewhere.
“Do you believe that space is full of black holes like this?” another scientist asked. “Is space full of them from events such as the big bang? And how long do you think it will last?”
“There may be many, scattered throughout the universe, and a danger to any explorations of space! Thus we can study this one, and learn to detect them.
“The length of time that they exist may depend on their size and the conditions that they exist in. We just don’t know how long they last! However, I can give you other details about this one. Our fact sheets have all our findings, from our experiments, which may interest you.”
A technician entered, nervously listening to everything, and began handing the documents to the scientists at the doorway, and they queued up to the back of the laboratory.
While Dexter stood waiting for them to finish, he sensed something peculiar, but he kept his sight on the queue, where the scientists were having captivating discussions.
As he listened more, a gentle draught appeared, and he discontentedly tried to detect where it was coming from.
But it increased, and he realized that it was not a draught – the air was being sucked away. And he glimpsed a hideous black shadow over the floor, with a horrific shape emerging.
He then stood frigid, watching the black hole crawl through the laboratory’s protective screen material.
In an instant it vanished and reappeared across his path. And he could not escape: the strength of its pull was far too great.
The whole laboratory erupted into a frenzy of activity, and he plunged into it – hurtling into blackness – with existence rapidly vanishing.


The Fringes of Eternity

In a blur, he was floating over all the stars of the universe, and tumbling through the depths of eternity – far from the nearest stars – out beyond reality.
Obscure illuminations endlessly shifted, as he wildly spun around, with no real awareness of anything.
A tranquil abyss flowed surreally against him.
A shape gradually emerged, of a stretch of shininess.
He came to, from his state of disarray, studying it.
How had he managed to end up in such a far-out place? Where was he? How could he survive?
He felt as though he had been falling through something, and he tried to grasp the concept, and where he had been.
There was no longer any light of the outer universe!
Large stars magically appeared about him, with incredible dimensions, and shone with blinding rays.
Howling air suddenly blasted at him, and around him, and he plunged down, and he saw the night sky, swirling about him.
He was over water, and falling out of the sky.
He realized he could survive, and prepared himself.
A roaring and blinding surge of water hit him, and he dived through it, swiftly sinking downwards. And he automatically put out his arms, pushing away water, stroking and tugging, pulling himself from the endless depths of water.


The Shifting Jungle

The rhythms of the waves, skimming over the surface of the black sand, gently brought him out of his sleep.
He felt the warm air tenderly caressing his lifeless body.
He had vague recollection of him swimming ashore, the night before, and then hearing Selina, screaming, and her splashes, and him pulling her ashore. Then, before he had rested, and had fallen asleep, a dog had come splashing out of the water, at them, and he had discovered that she had brought her dog, Darwin, with her, which she must have had concealed in her luggage in the laboratory.
He watched her, with curiosity. Her laboratory jacket was ripped to pieces, and she held it around her.
He was sure that they were the only two to go through.
The warm colors of the red sun blazing down, and the bright celestial objects shining through the sky, turned the world about him into a wonderland.
The stars, and color of the sun, made it apparent that they had traveled further into world’s future than he had imagined possible. He estimated the length of time that had passed as being at least many millions of years.
What would humans have turned into over such a long time? Would there actually be anything left ...?
With astonishment, he focused his eyes further, to view the tropical beach, with the crimson glow of the sky over it; and, at the end of the beach, he saw an immense perpendicular cliff, curving out to the sea. 
With an abominable thud, Dexter felt something crash against him, and he swiftly rolled sideways, to see a chunk of vegetation.
He shaded his eyes, and clabbered upwards, startled at the fascinating sight behind him. A jungle of unknown variations of trees and plants went along the beach, in both directions. Many overhung the shore like palm trees, with types of fruit clustered at their tops. Some nearby plants resembled strange forms of cactuses, with animal-like hairs thickly scattered over them, instead of spines.
The sun was blazing, and the air was turning roasting hot. Golden patches of sand, through black sand, glowed in bright red sunbeams, while the turquoise sea sparkled it.
He stretched out his painful limbs, feeling slightly dizzy, and he turned his blank expression to a smile. He had actually survived, and he was on an island.
Their main task now would be to find food!
Why had he not seen any fish ...? He had to check again – there had to be some.
Sounds of rummaging came from behind him, from something strange in the undergrowth.
“Where are we?” Selina suddenly groaned, rubbing her eyes.
“We’re resting on the shore of an island!”
Why had he not seen or heard any birds? Surely there would still be forms of seabird on an island.
“There’s something peculiar about this place!”
“How far in time do you think we have traveled?” she asked, holding her head, looking at the bright tints of the sun.
“At present, I don’t have a clue!”
“Is there anything to eat?” she spoke, throwing a pebble along the sand.
Darwin shook himself, and he ran after it. Once he reached it, he smelt about the sand, looking for things to eat.
The sand was starting to burn the soles of their feet.
Splashes of water sprayed over the sea, at his side.
“There’s a giant fish!” Selina shouted, gaping outwards.
“A fish ...!” Dexter answered, moving to the water’s edge, looking downwards. “It is more like a sea snake! It looks dangerous – it has spiked jaws!”
His eyes stayed on the clear water, where the creature’s orange shape, covered in thick scales, floated by.
The fantastic island glowed with fabulous spectral colors, in the intense red sunshine. It was fantastically surreal – there was vegetation everywhere behind the beach. Colors of nearly every conceivable variation of the entire spectrum glowed all over it, like a mind-bending cartoon. Vegetation of all shapes and sizes mingled. Loud eerie sounds appeared, from creatures within it, which he felt vibrating in his ears.
He was sure that they were nearby, watching them, in hidden places.
“We better find spears!” Dexter warned. “This place could be dangerous!”
“That’s probably just some bird ...!” she answered, while adjusting her pieces of clothing.
She walked to him, and she balanced herself against his side.
There were no proper fish, but there were insect-like green plankton. He found them edible, and a good source of nutrition. The water on them tasted strange, and it was surprisingly consumable, which was peculiar, as he had not heard of a slightly salty sea.
After a few handfuls of the plankton, they grew sickening, and he knew that they could only consume so many of them. Therefore, they searched for other things, as they silently staggered along, beside the sea. There were many types of algae, but they did not touch them – their appetites now demanded proper food.
The coast was so unreal that he was sure that he was walking in a dream, and had consumed some form of hallucinogenic.
Along a stretch of the beach, he saw that the vegetation still was too dense, and that they still could not enter it. Its shapes shifted continuously, as though things in it were shuffling about, with some kind of an itch. Its complexity was tremendous, and his mind could barely grasp what he was observing; and he continuously glanced into it. However, what grabbed his attention even more was that there was no wind or anything that could account for it.
He knew that she had no explanation for it either: she was more concerned about where she was.
To his astonishment he realized that the trees were not normal: they were mostly similar to giant plants, going up to at least fifty meters high, and others resembled immense mushroom-like plants, with feathery seeds falling from under their domed tops. In one direction they formed part of the jungle, going out as far as the eye could see.
Distant shrieks of wild creatures came from within them.
Dexter briskly sharpened the end of a stick of vegetation, on a sharp stone, making it pointed, and into a reasonable spear.
It would do, until they could make something better.
Dexter occasionally climbed up small trees, hanging over the beach, to remove some of the fruit-like vegetation growing on them. Their shapes and sizes varied greatly, and he easily pulled some off, but he needed to cut many off, with sharp stones. Some were much like coconuts, and they had to be smashed open, to reveal their nutritious contents.
After they had tried the majority of the varieties, they started collecting the best ones.
Suddenly, as they were about to finish, Darwin did a strange thing – he ran away at full speed, and he disappeared into part of the jungle. His loud bark then went through the vegetation.
They swiftly left what they were doing and ran after him. It was not like him to leave when there was food about. Furthermore, if there was something dangerous, why had he been so enthusiastic to encounter it?
The dog stood peering into a more dense part of the vegetation, trying to find a scent, as though whatever had been there had escaped. Some mysterious thing had hidden itself!
However, he realized something even more bizarre, which he had seen and had just ignored. In a shallow pool of black mud, at his side, there was a footprint, which looked like his own. It was a faint impression, and neither of them could explain it – or even be positive that it belonged to a human.
He did not know if humans still existed.
Why was it a bare footprint? Had humans gone back to living in the wilderness? How many of them would there be? How dangerous were they ...?
At their side, he spotted a newly fallen tree, creating a gap, which would allow them to get further into it.
Once they had climbed through it, he saw that its density decreased, and that they could scramble through it.
Their heads darted about, looking for traces of any signs of life, and anything that would indicate the presence of humans. Even though it was hard to believe that humans were on the island.
Apes had human-like arms, hands, and feet. Could there be an animal such as this hiding in the vegetation – like a Bigfoot? As he thought about it, traces of two pairs of footprints actually appeared in the soil at his feet, and he found a clear set of them.
What had they been doing here – at the beach? They were fresh, and they were differently sized footprints, almost identical to theirs. They had walked through to the beach, and they had gone back into the island. He was sure that they had been actually watching them, from further up the beach.
Deep musty scents like flowers and pine mingled through the hot air, while he carefully placed his feet, treading quietly over the ground. And he crouched, ready to shelter.
It was a mysterious jungle, and it created an extremely intense atmosphere. At any moment, he expected to see a tiger-like animal hiding in the tangle of vegetation.
Their pace stayed slow, at a speed that they could see anything dangerous in their path, while staying hidden.
There were no signs of them. Where were they going?
Just ahead of him, where the footprints went, a white shape emerged in the multicolored vegetation. And he approached it cautiously, searching everywhere he could. And he saw that it was something resembling a giant egg, with size of him.
Even though he thought of it as a form of plant, it had to be a creature – it had a white leathery skin, which pulsated ...
It shuddered when it sensed them near to it, and they tenderly followed the prints passed it, ready to escape; and they swiftly continued away from it. He soon saw what it was that they were going to – a short distance away, there was an artificial tower, stretching high above, where its top bulged out, loomed over the trees, at least fifty meters above.
They approached it, in stages, examining bits of it through gaps, trying to figure out what it resembled. In the distance, the shapes of shrieking creatures hung on branches.
“What do you think it is?” Selina gasped, breaking the silence, as they moved into a clearing, about its base.
“It could be some sort of observation station ...!”
“How old could it be ...?” she uttered, looking at its black surface. “If we can establish that, we may be able to establish how far we have traveled into the future!”
“And how long ago a civilization existed ...!”
“It’s made of a material like metal,” she muttered, “and it’s not corroded anywhere ...”
Dexter unsuccessfully attempted to dent and scratch its surface, and they wandered around its base, until they came to an entrance, which looked as though someone had recently opened. Its inside was dark and gloomy, and, except for a pole ladder, it was empty.
“Will we proceed ...?” he asked.
“It’s to dangerous ...!” she replied, looking at its leaning black shape, towering overhead, at fifty meters above.
“They must have gone up it ...!”
“Where are they?” she said, looking straight up, with her hand over her eyes.
“Stay here –” he spoke tediously, and started to climb up the ladder pegs, into the darkness.
The only sounds that he heard were the clangs of the ladder echoing upwards, as though he were clambering through a sewage pipe.
The hot air drifted up from beneath him.
There was little for him to see above.
Sometimes he believed that he saw someone climbing down to him. He now saw Selina’s point of view, and that it was not worth it – but if he could just find one clue that would answer his queries about the world.
A freak wind made a hollow whistle through the entrance, and died away. The temperature had to be reaching its maximum limit. He tried to imagine what was up at the top of it, but he had no evidence of anything.
He plodded on, while the light under him grew fainter; and he realized that he had underestimated its height. He had been climbing too fast – it had exhausted him! He felt his legs give way under him. It was not a normal ladder – he had to grip the handles to stay on it – the handles were at large distances from each other, and he could not properly rest on it. He was soon hanging on for his life, with the pole swaying under him. However, he managed to rest, in a different position.
In the blur overhead, a vague illumination became visible, and he vigorously moved towards it.
When he reached it, he saw an entrance to a room, where faint beams of red sunlight shone, and he fell over onto its floor exhausted. Then, from somewhere in the surrounding darkness, a black shape shifted over the light.