The String.

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Post The String.

#1  Nik 01 Sep 2018 23:39

The cosmic string had tumbled for aeons through space and time...

By most standards, it was a pitiful specimen, a tiny shard from two supra-cosmic branes' ancient fender-bender. Too small for major gravitic effects, too small to make or break a planet, never mind a star or galaxy, that writhing loop of otherness passed almost harmlessly through the myriad multiverse...

It might have noticed CERN's ring, had that been running, but Fate chanced otherwise...

I'd just logged out from AH.Com after my daily unsanity pause. Sue had taken her Dad to the Heart Clinic by taxi, as the half-rebuilt General Hospital's parking still ran hundreds behind demand. Our week's shopping for three had arrived promptly, the next was ordered, I'd time to play with the cats. I headed down-stairs, murmurring, "Here, kitty-kitties !"

I was two steps from the hall when lightning flared in the room. I glimpsed a ball of flame erupting from empty air, concussion tossed me--

"Uuuugh..." I sat up, rubbed my head and shoulder, looked around. My ears were ringing-- No, that was the smoke alarms-- I staggered to my feet, clutched the stair-rail. I could smell char and scorched steel. Despite lurid purple after-images, I could see a little smoke but no damage. Well, no blast damage-- The lights were off. The day-time TV was off. My PCs' omnipresent fan hum was off. I groaned. Seems I might have to collect on my expensive spike-catchers' famed warranty...

I limped to the meter cupboard behind the front door, palmed the breakers home. Nothing came on.
I took the wind-up torch from its hook, clicked the switch. The LEDs lit.
"Not EMP, then." I noted, "Perhaps it tripped the sub-station ?"
As a precaution, I opened the breakers again. Losing everything to a rough re-start would be so embarrassing. I also shut off the gas supply.

I turned at a bubbling noise, stared at the ornament on the hall's table. A foot-high mobius band in burnished MilSpec stainless steel, cast into an acrylic base, it had been Sue's welder-brother Mike's un-subtle gift at our wedding. Now, it was tarnished as if cooling from furnace heat, its 'monolith' sagging, the clear interior charred and discoloured along the band's path, the surface oozing frothy lava where they met.

"Well, f**ck !" I allowed. It didn't look like it would 'candle' burning resin onto the floor, but I could not risk it. I edged past, wary of residual heat, hurried into the kitchen for a metal roasting tray. With that positioned, I'd time to think. The land-line phone was off. Perhaps a pole had caught part of the blue-sky strike ? I checked my 'cell. 'No Service', it complained. Nothing new, there ! The local bricks in these old walls swallowed wireless. I'd needed a 'tent-pole' on my wireless router just to punch signals between rooms. I headed for the back garden via the kitchen's sun-lit haze. Of course, the extract fan had stopped. At least the oven's casserole was nearly done, would stay hot long enough to cook. I turned off the oven, opened the kitchen door, took a lungful of very welcome and wonderfully fresh air.

"Gone very quiet..." I grumbled, "Must be half-deaf..."
I tried my 'cell by the door, by the garage and its small garden-shed / work-shop, then at the untidy end of the garden, by the over-grown gate to the alley. My 'cell was still showing no signal, saying 'No Service'. Perhaps the whole area was off ? I turned to go back inside, noticed the trees.

"Trees ?" What horizon I could see was trees. Big, green trees. Tall, green trees. Old growth green trees. I rubbed purple blobs from my eyes, looked again. Yeah, trees. Lots and lots of trees, a veritable forest of them. Suburban roofs with chimneys and TV aerials belonged, such trees did not. I took a careful breath, opened the gate to the drive-way, peered down the side of the house. Beyond our little car, beyond the front garden's low gate lay half a road. Beyond that, trees. As I watched, one bisected giant slowly, majestically toppled into the road. It was a lot louder than I expected.

"Well, f**ck !" I repeated. I pinched myself as a final, but futile precaution. I took a slow, deep breath, uttered the immortal words, "Oh, Sh*t !!"

uk.png Nik Gender: Male
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