The earth, a serene paradise of incredible beauty and complex lifeforms, a small island paradise in the vast sea of the unknown. At least, it was. Not at least it was unknown, only one other alien organism now knows of the existence of such a planet, and it knows because it destroyed it and moved on to the other planets in our solar system. How did it get there? Why did it start at earth? These are all questions answerable by a multibillion dollar corporation with several hundred-thousand workers working 24/7 to complete humanity’s greatest asset, a resource gathering machine capable of pulling materials from other galaxies, running on as much energy as ten nuclear power plants could give it. The KOI, as the project was labeled, was never completed, although it was the cause of earth’s demise. A smaller, better built version was built by two mad scientists, who would later be called Adam and Eve.
Since they would become the last two humans alive, besides the four that were abducted by a stray spaceship to reveal several myths, such as religions, beliefs of origin, etc. The Aliens who abducted these people (on accident, mind you) later discovered the existence of the two scientists, and he would call them Adam and Eve to reflect their current situation. Let me get back on track. Adam and Eve, as we shall call them, had no idea their machine would destroy the planet.
Confused? Let me straighten it out, these two geniuses completed in a week KOI, the project it had taken hundreds of thousands of workers ten years to even get close to! And not just that, they made it so it required the same amount of energy a vibrating quartz crystal timing a watch would need (in other words, practically no energy at all). They made it out of the chassis of their car, a microwave, a telephone, several watches, a few hundred pounds of scrap metal that was unsorted, and finally, a small amount of bismuth, providing artificial energy through simple radiation to let the machine be powered in areas without a magnetic field. What’s funny is, that with a little programming, the machine built itself beyond the technology they currently had.
Don’t ask me how it’s possible, I doubt even they know. They had a theory about how the artificial energy computers generated by yadda yadda yadda existed within small pockets of artificial space bends to yadda yadda making the teleported materials virtually free of contaminants upon arrival, in other words they could build computers to maintain computers until the point where it was complex enough to transport its cargo down to a molecule. Of course, this part actually required a hefty sum of energy, approximately enough to power a very energy efficient light bulb. They also said the key was low energy levels so it could yadda yadda yadda and it was even capable of transporting itself, in theory! Of course, all of this machine was built on just that. A theory. The most disastrous theory since the catastrophe that really made sliced bread, thanks a lot, Otto. Quite ironic, the machine they built to solve humanity’s problems destroyed it.
The moment they had finished their machine, they had set about announcing it while revving it up for the first test. They planned to bring an element they had not yet discovered to earth. And just like that, earth was reduced to one fourth of its size, all life forms except 6 extinct. Want to go into the moment?
“Hey, John, do you really reckon that this is a good idea? Immediately starting with something over a hundred light years away?” Kimberly asked queasily. She’d had a bad feeling about not fine tuning it, but John had said it was capable of fine tuning itself.
“Of course, no point in waiting for someone to come steal the show! We made this discovery!” He responded without a moment's hesitation. He had initially programmed the machine, but after about thirty lines or so, it took over that job and programmed itself. Quite amazing really, almost like an animal adapting to a new environment. He spotted someone walking by the house, and he started to wave eccentrically. “Come and see the most groundbreaking discovery since sliced bread! You won’t be sorry!” He promised. He didn’t care if someone would pay him for this, he made it with Kimberly and it would make them more rich than anything anyone here had to offer.
“You again?” Came a voice down the street. A police officer, one that had a few too many donuts at that. “You stop harassing people!” He shouted at him, too heavy to walk uphill without running out of breath.
“John, stop it. We don’t want anyone to interfere, which means if you really want to do this, you should do it with no guests. You can show them it works, after we know it works. Summon up a new element or some gold to impress them with!” Kimberly suggested. John sagged his shoulders. He was always the all or nothing type, everyone sees it work, or everyone sees it fail. He didn’t like test runs too much, an odd trait for a scientist.
“I guess you’re right, how fully is it prepared?” John sighed, coming back with a sad, slow shuffle. Kimberly sighed.
“I don’t know, I can’t read the outputs you put on this thing. My guess is blue means full?” Kimberly said in all seriousness. John changed the outputs type, color, and location so often she doubted even the super computer he was doing it to could keep up.
“Blue is the footlight, it lets you know that you need to clear the output area for material to come through.” He stated without pausing to think about it.
“What’s the red?” Kimberly questioned immediately afterwards.
“Red means that the blue light is working.” John replied sarcastically. Kimberly tossed a wrench at him, not in a fit of rage or anything, just mildly annoyed at his laxness towards such a brilliant machine. She could code well, but none of the jargon John had put in should’ve made any sense at all. An if statement about whether or not the previous statement was an if then or statement? How redundant! Remove that and the outputs still the same! It should’ve served no purpose, yet here she was, marveling at the delicate frame paired with the… unique coding. She’d built it with her own hands, improved it with time as the machine developed itself. She still loved how neither of them had the slightest idea of how any of this was possible. Would it even perform its intended function? She’d been so deep in thought she hadn’t noticed that the wrench had hit John squarely in the face, leaving him in a stupor with a bloodied nose. When she finally snapped out of it, the machine dinged. It looked like an empty door frame, with a much too sci fi themed border although it was still incredibly beautiful.
“I think it’s done,” Kimberly stated, finally looking at John in mild surprise. No wonder her thoughts hadn’t been interrupted, John had been in a daze from her throw.
“I wan… I wanna hit the button…” He slurred, putting a hand to his nose to slow the bleeding. Kimberly guided him to the machine, it was the least she could do for tossing a wrench at him, then again it was his fault(?) for not catching it like a normal person would’ve. He could’ve at least dodged it.
“You can hit the button in a few min-” Kimberly started, preparing to put safety gear on, but she was interrupted by a very happy John.
“All or nothing!” He laughed as the machine whirred to life. Kimberly stepped back in fear, eyes widening in disbelief. She felt like gravity was changing directions, all the tools in their humble garage flying towards the machine like a landslide. All the spare parts quickly followed. John continued to laugh. A tool chest on wheels started to roll towards her. How was she still standing? It hit her legs and she buckled. As if gravity was meaningless, she never hit the floor before their own machine swallowed them alive. And just like that, earth itself ripped apart, the moon suddenly compelled to collide with earth. In a matter of seconds, ¾ the planet had been sucked into the portal. It cracked, snapped, and sucked itself in. (Once again, do not ask how that is possible.)
Now if I hadn’t given that god awful introduction, you would be wondering what happened to them. Well, they ended up on a planet many millions of lightyears away, stuck in an atmosphere that would happily take their lives in a matter of minutes. Although it had felt like forever, Kimberly woke up with John hugging her tightly. She squirmed out of his grasp, annoyed at his stupidity and the audacity he’d had to press the button without any safety equipment! She shook her head and finally noticed the soft, purple carpet moss she was laying in. She shrieked and stood up, looking around in surprise. Many a pile of tools lay surrounding them, their entire garage’s collection, in fact. She looked directly in front of her, shocked to see their tool crate snipped neatly in half. She finally realized how hard it was to breathe, and how damp her clothes felt. She moved her hand through the air. It was almost fluid, but not quite. She felt a sharp pain in her chest. This air wasn’t breathable. Why wasn’t she freaking out? Had she been expecting this? Too many questions, not even a single answer.
“John, wake up!” She demanded, rolling him back and forth, noticing the purple carpet mold had took it upon itself to paint half of him the vivid color. She gagged, it didn’t look comfortable and she set to scraping it off him in hopes he’d wake up from the feeling. He did, halfway through but pretended to be unconscious so he wouldn’t have to clean himself as he’d seen a bright purple stain when he’d peeked at their surroundings.
“Morning already? What an interesting reaction the lawns had to our machine,” He said, attempting to steady his nerves. He knew this was nothing the machine did to his lawn, this wasn’t even his property. He was somewhere alien.
“John, you feel it don’t you? This atmosphere is likely toxic, wherever we are, it’s definitely not Kansas anymore, Toto.” She told him, helping him up. Her white lab coat was stained purple like his, but she hadn’t noticed the goop she’d cleaned off had been on her as well. He snickered a bit, then moved away as if he knew their surroundings like a chess board. Kimberly followed him angrily, a little upset that he wasn’t showing more caution, not that she had done anything too safe herself.
“Well, it could be Australia!” He joked, noting that chlorophyll made grass and molds green, not purple. Kimberly’s mood lightened a tad with that comment. She remembered the direction everything had come from, the lighter tools went farther in an awkward U shape, the heavy tool crate (although cut in half) had stopped before them, the middleweights of the items. She followed the idea past the tool crate, and to the machine. It still functioned.
“Audial commands engage,” Kimberly stated. She’d added that one.
“Please state your command.” The machine echoed, adapting the same voice she’d spoken with. It made it friendlier to listen to reports, but it was still creepy to hear her own voice talk to her. Less so than the voice it had before, though.
“Take us back to earth.” Kimberly stated seriously. John had wandered off, presumably to get a feel for the basic life forms of this planet. Or dimension. Or plane of existence. Or reality. Options looked really bleak when she thought about it like that.
“Doing so would result in death.” The machine answered, then began to explain.
“No explanation is necessary, take us some place where we can live.” She demanded, confident she’d get an answer this time.
“Impossible. No planet with the ability to support human life for more than ten minutes exists within traveling distance.” The machine reported to her. She didn’t know how it knew that, but then again it’d built itself. She sat down, stumped.
“What is our range of traveling distance?” She asked, almost resorting to her last question.
“Anywhere from 10 light years to approximately 1.2*10^564 Light years away from current position.” The machine stated without so much as a pause between syllables. Kimberly blinked. They could travel that far, and there wasn’t a planet they could last more than ten minutes on? Unbelievable. She was almost positive the nearest galaxy would be in range with a distance of that. In fact, she was almost positive the universe was shorter than that!
“How long will we survive on this planet?” John asked the machine, appearing from thick air. Get it? He walked towards their machine, waiting for an answer.
“Approximately 12 minutes. You have five remaining.” The machine answered, adopting his voice. John looked stunned.
“If we were to travel to another planet, would we have more or less time left?” Kimberly asked, preparing to go through that gut wrenching experience again. She was still uneasy at the way gravity had shifted.
“Time would lessen, this was the safest planet for transport by coincidence. You encountered five planets of less hospitable atmospheres before this one.” Their machine stated. This was KOI, but they hadn’t come up with a name for the design like the company that built the original had.
“Did you run out of power when the tool crate was halfway through? It would’ve been nice if you’d managed to keep it in one piece.” John sighed, examining the remains of his last christmas present.
“No. Planet two of the five we visited while you were unconscious had rather explosive magma guisers. It was very unlikely you survived a planet like that, yet here you are! Unharmed miraculously.” The machine informed, adopting John’s voice and for an unknown reason a british accent as well. Kimberly figured John had added that. John figured Kimberly had added that. So neither of them questioned it.
“Can you help us survive?” Kimberly asked, finally getting to the question that mattered. The machine stopped, either in serious debate with itself or serious processing.
“It would require three years time, but they would not be removed from your lifespan.” The machine answered, not adapting a voice this time. Kimberly shivered, now she was sure she liked hearing her or John’s voice from the machine rather than its own.
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