Newsflash. Black Hole Finally Created by Collider
She loooks at the small spheres on her desk. “Knock.” – “Knock.”
“Who’s there?” The scientist at the desk beside her answers his phone.
Her eyes look through the window. The trees outside seem to literally sparkle in sun reflections between deep green shades. A wonderful May, the promise of a beautiful summer. She’s looking forward to her holidays.
“Can’t be” – the scientist at the desk besides her leans forward in his chair. Her eyes get back to the small spheres at her desk, she gives the left one a new push as they seemed to lose energy.
She turns to her functions. The one in front of her has an especially interesting drive upwards just left of +3, but you can’t really see it from the visible numbers. You need results for that. Her eyes draw the line while she wonders if it’s time for a pizza.
“Come with me” – the scientist looks at her, she didn’t notice the call ending. He’s standing right beside her desk, although she asked him so many times to keep some minimal distance. It’s her functions, not his business what’s she’s doing with them.
“Sorry?” She takes care to let her voice sound clear, not too loud but just as sharp as a peeler.
“We’ve got a problem with the Collider. Come with me.”
She turns her chair around, looking straight at him, without moving a single muscle.
“Excuse me, since when you got an assistant? And be assured, I’d got a notice if that assistant was accidentally me. And please be furthermore assured …” her voice getting louder now with every single word, there’s some history behind their both desks standing right aside of each other – “that such a notice wouldn’t stay unshreddered for a single second, boy. You go mind your business on your own and I…” – she looks at the row of numbers with their hidden gap around +3 – “I do my stuff here. Got me?”
He leans forward, leaning his hands on her desk, his nose now almost touching hers. She takes care to position her knee – carefully, slowly, so he doesn’t notice – right under his bollocks. ‘This will hurt, boy’ is all she can think in this moment.
He looks right into her eyes. She looks right onto her knee.
“Listen, boy. If it’s so urgent, you better hurry and go now.” She doesn’t give more than one warning and places her foot – slowly, carefully, so he doesn’t notice – in a comfortable place to give enough power for the upcoming pain.
“The col-li-der”. He repeats as if she would need a huge Zaunpfahl* to understand. ‘A Zaunpfahl in my hand right in this moment wouldn’t be a bad idea’ is all she can think now. She makes a tiny move with her foot to warm the muscles for the upcoming hit.
“Alright then” – with a rushed move, he pushes back from her desk. ‘Ah’ – her disappointment must be visible on her face. A split of a second too late. She should not wait that long next time. He goes back to his desk and grabs his jacket from the chairback. “Don’t complain later about all the media interviewing male voices only, alright?” It takes him a few steps to reach the door.
“Wait. What? Wait a second!” – She grabs her pen, looks at her desk in a hurry. Two pieces of empty paper. A calculator. A calendar with notes. Her keys. Rushed steps. Door closing behind her.
They enter the subway. Short past rush hour, there are even a few places to sit down. Sparkling sun reflections on the trees for a few moments before the subway dives down.
“So?!” She almost shouts at him in the noise of the subway. Here, down in the tunnel, the screetching of subway rails is almost unbearable.
“Alex called”, he says as if she’s supposed to know his ‘friends’ by first name. ‘Or last name or Nick or shoe size or coffee preferences or the favorite color of their panties’ she adds in cold burning fury while she wonders why she was able to understand his answer at all in this screeching.
“And who the fuck is…” she starts when a dog distracts her. Walking silently down the subway wagon, his owner one step behind. The dog looks tired. The owner not less. She stops him and looks at the street news cover in his hands. It’s from last month, she shakes her head. The dog owner walks on. Just then she realises that her purse is still on her desk, must have been hidden under her functions… ‘Oh no…’ – in sudden panic, she screens the wagon.
“A friend” he answers.
“Of course.” – With her face almost touching the glass, she looks nervously at the station platform, getting visible now and coming closer.
“Works at terminal B. They got an alert today.”
“Don’t they do that every day?” She asks, screening the people at the platform while the doors open. She stands up. “It’s getting really too crowded here. I’ll take the next wagon. See you in two stations.” She leaves the wagon and follows the dog owner to the next wagon door. “Nice doggy”, she smiles. The scientist enters their new wagon just before the door closes. “What was this about?”
“Nothing”, she says while she watches the controllers through the wagon glass. Someone buys a street news paper, the dog lays down. The owner is searching for exchange, the buyer starts reading. Screetching rails are even more unbearable here, where the rails lay in deep curves, making passangers sway from side to side as if they were on a boat or heavily intoxicated.
“Alex called Maggie”, he says. She takes a breath. It’s really unnerving hearing him talk to her as if they were related, befriended or in any close relationship other than two work desks placed a tad bit too close to each other for her privacy needs.
“Maggie the spicy sauce cook”, she snarls.
“What? No, I don’t know that one. Maggie, his girlfriend.”
“Ah, the girlfriend, of course. How could I have missed that…”
“Yeah, I am really wondering. Now, Maggie says there’s some strange rush at the tunnel’s exit C.”
Exit C. Now this is interesting. She looks up, however, still observing the controllers from a corner of her eye.
“What was Maggie doing at exit C?”
“She lives nearby.” He says. The screetching right now gives her very uncomfortable goose bumps. Only one station left now to go through but the controllers are ready with the last wagon. With her stare glued on them from her eye’s corner, she prepares for her next sentence. Something about the hot weather, the sticky atmosphere, the need to change the wagon again, when she notices the controllers stop at the platform. One of them looks at a croisson stand. Both slowly walk to the stand and wait in the line. The doors close.
“I have a green card”, he says just in that moment. It’s the type of public transport ticket allowing you to take someone with you in the subway after rush hour.
“Ah yes? Good for you”, she sizzles, folding her two empty pieces of paper. Adjusting her calculator, placing her pen carefully between the papers. Key check. “Let’s go”, she says when the doors open at their destination.
The city’s complex underground is a world on its own. Meandering dark tunnels connecting platforms weaved by sound clouds shivering with violine strings, guitar chords and bongo rhythms which only seem to get along until the next public music permission is due. The clouds are ripped by screetches and glued back together by steps in shoes on high and low heels, before they make place for vanilla aroma slogans, ad busted by sweat and beer.
Since the new collider tunnel was built, the central place A – or A-place, as they call it here – in the eastern part of the city connects it with those three subway lines (including the red slow, up and down diving riversnake through the city) and seven commuter train lines on top of regional trains it was connecting before.
Now there’s also the collider tunnel. Changing from the red subway to the commuter train took always ages. Getting from the subway station to the collider entrance takes twice that time. In spite of the daytime, the passage is uncomfortably empty. A last violin string manages to tremble before dying behind them, quite exactly two meters after they enter it. An incredible silence, given that they are in the center of the city, given all that rush behind them. Given all those heavy machines on their rails just a couple of meters below and above them. A very uncomfortable silence.
They hurry down the passage corridor. What you hear however is only one pair of shoes (she chose her silent sneakers today, as always). And a cell phone.
He stops while she walks a few meters further, unfolding her pieces of paper, pressing them against the wall tiles. She needs to know. Sure, she knows how the function behaves, she can foresee the upward drift, but she needs to know. After all, that’s her job.
Computers have proven to be unreliable decades ago. There was just no way to prevent firewalls from crushing. Computerization – a trend that came with such an overwhelming global rush and speed that it seemed impossible to be ever turned back and ridiculously naive to ever even think of such a possibility – was followed by a sudden move back to handmade work. Minds with an affection to numbers, enjoying solving mathematical challenges were needed. Such as hers.
“We’re on the way” he says into his cellphone, unheard by her drumhead which was too busy with that needed another result to care for anything else in this unexpected time window. Thinking how many telephonists were currently anyway listening into the manual cell phone lines her additional ears were probably indeed not really needed. Plus two dot seven five still followed her foreseen line. As did two dot eight (and two dot nine, she checked that yesterday already and had no reasons to doubt, but still… there could be a surprise somewhere inbetween, in addition to the space around plus three). She checks two dot seven seven five.
“Don’t ask. Think of buying a balls shell. Know someone who sells one?”
“Two”, she says silently.
“Ah, right, for both of those”, he adds into his manual cellphone, in a rather sour tone as he was rather sure she did not listen.
‘Point Seven Seven Five…’ she adds in silence, in a sudden shock whether she said any of those numbers aloud. That’s her function. She grabbed it while he was waiting for his green card ticket to get valid. That’s not her problem, his ticket. That’s her function and none of his business. Plus… after decomputerization, minds too attached to numbers were regarded as not that reliable on the streets. People generally agreed that jobs like theirs were needed, but there was some mistrust and occasional cool distance, she couldn’t blame them for that. Anyway, she really needed to get her speech center under control.
The proven dot almost gets visible. Only two brackets left.
“A few meters away from there. Any news from Maggie?”
“See you there.”
She’s interrupted by someting she can’t locate. She turns around to see him standing three meters away. He looks at his phone and stucks it away. Damn. The bracket. She folds her paper back. And besides, she likes her own card. At least she does not need to wait for the rush hour to end before getting to her work place. How could she leave her purse on the table? ‘Never. Ever. Let yourself get in a hurry just because of some rumoured media rumour’, she notes to herself. ‘On the other hand, if there’s really something at exit C…’
“Ready?” She asks.
But, of course. Nothing is that easy. Decomputerization was not a simple development either. Bottom-up moves as well as Top-to-Top battles cooperated unknowingly on this one. There are reasons to ask whether the Data Hamster Law (a kind of all-you-can-get permission for “security”) or the hack battles between continents’ heads gave the final push – heads clutching to 19th century representation as if their calender was frozen long before their birth, clutching to them just as desperately as to the bombs, drones and bullets they were riding.
They pass a slowly wagging dog’s tail. The rest of the dog is on its feet, must be a relatively young one – or relatively Spanish. Any other dog would have enough undercoat to sweat at this warm May day. The owner’s bright reddish-pink hair falls into the face. There’s a stack of street news papers laying aside. They’re from this month. She shakes her head. ‘How could I. Never. Ever…’ repeatedly echoing through her mind.
Cell phones. The name was all that survived decomputerization. Basically, cellphones today are short-range walkie-talkies using human microphones. Given how they work, it’s amazing how fast connections are built up today. People old enough to remember computerized times say you just can’t compare those and keep demanding an own, new term for them. The rest has other problems and is still using – “cellphones”.
The street news seller checks and stacks away her cell phone. It’s short range, you need people everywhere to make these modern communication channels work.
They arrive. He attempts to open the door but she jumps forward. He retracts his hand from the doorhandle. With a grave look on her face, she pushes the heavy door open. She suppresses a silent sigh, goes through the door and lets the door fall just in time to almost hit his face. He stops it with his left hand and rolls his eyes. Finally, they’re in the collider corridor, the door shuts behind them:
“Knack” – when the lock clutches, you can hear the vocal. It’s obviously an a. Or is it?
‘Shut up’ she snarls silently to the door behind her. ‘I want to hear it.’
And she hears it.
It’s indeed incredible. A total lack of sound.
Like in: total.
But given the size of the collider corridor, that was actually not that suprising, or at least – should not be. The tunnel was a wide cirle through Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, Berlin, Nowa Wieś, Bratislava, Zagreb, and a number of other cities, districts and villages, cutting through Hungary, Croatia, making a short dive deeper underground in the mediteranean area, coming back up to solid ground in Italy and finally arriving back in South France. (Those tiny particles really got around.) Relative to sea level, it was uneven but it still worked.
“So.” – She breaks the silence. “You know which way?”
“Exit C. Must be to the right.” They follow the tunnel.
There are no “cell phones” in the collider. The entire tunnel is heavily shielded.
“Watch out!” She shouts and pushes him hardly against the tunnel wall. Hadn’t he learned a while back, as a baby, to hold his head up, it would have been rather a hit. (The wall shielding is a complex multilevel structure with really heavy and hard teflon shielding on the wall’s surface. Proven.)
“Ffffioh!” She whistles, her lips curving, her eyebrows lifted. “This was close. Haven’t you seen it?”
“Those tiny particles are really fast.”
“They shut it down, almost two hours ago. Which is why we really should move on now.”
They go another few wordless steps.
“Must have been a late arrival. After all, that’s not untypical here, at A-place.”
“Seriously, it almost hit you. Was very fast.”
“Your head’s OK?”
“Why, I think so… yeah, everything’s fine.”
Her disppointment must have been audible in the following silence.
Which was, when they both did finally shut up for a few seconds, indeed total. The floor was covered with smooth, black material that absorbed even the sound of his shoes. Right in the heart of the city (when you looked at the city’s map from below, they were exactly where hearts usually grow), with the sounds of millions in motion shielded away, the sense of air carrying almost no acoustic waves was… well, sensational. So, consequently, she quickly noticed her senses getting nervous: ears starting to compensate for missing background sounds, reinforcing her breath (she was sure she didn’t breathe that loud, or did she?), her sense of touch turning inside, hammering her pulse as if she was on a marathon course. (Alright, admittedly, she did not belong to the people jogging at 6 o’clock in parks – no matter how rainy or sunny or how nice the park – just simply not her favourite kind of sports, but… was she really that much out of shape?)
That was definitely some very effective shielding.
A couple of slow seconds rush in long time-trains.
“…so…” He dares to say something.
“…hm…” she looks at the dim lighting in the tunnel. Just enough light to not stumble over your own feet, but…
She trained herself to work on her functions even while walking. A bit of paper, your pen in your hand and a half of one eye on the ground. But the light here was too dim for her to see the ground, in that perfect black, perfectly silent flooring.
“…hm…” she hums.
“Nice weather” him again. He seriously wants to small talk?
“YEAH, indeed” she barks. “You -do- know that the sprinkler system here is connected to the guy having -your- function in front of him when it’s shut down?”
“Uhm…” – was she questioning his functions? “Are you questioning my functions?”
Another timetrain rushes by. Quite exactly three and a half seconds.
“Did you mess around my desk?!”
Oh, now he finally wakes up. She did care to inform her speech brain in time to say that without a single tone.
“You’ve been searching through my desk?! When!” He stops and holds her arm, she shakes it roughly away.
“When you’ve been busy cell-phoning spicy sauce cooks, you ‘scientist‘.”
Oh, their both tones get very sharp now. Better get a few steps back. You can see them from the distance, staring at each other, both rolling up their sleeves like some lousy pantomime actors in a busy pedestrian zone.
They indeed both rolled their sleeves up, and both as a pantomime as none of them did wear sleeves, it was just too warm a day for that. He even opened his hand and let his jacket fall down on the floor before doing his pantomime part. A dizzy dark spot in the blackness surrounding it.
-line probably doesn’t need to be written here or does it?
As you all have long guessed, it of course started to rain in that moment.
So, now at least the awkward silence was gone. They sounded like frogs stomping through a muddy puddle, with the chilly and relaxing sound of forest rain as background noise, like some “nature meditation” CD from old times back then before vinyl reclaimed the streets and shops.
She waited until they went 20 meters. Then she decided: no, let’s wait another 10.
Then all she said was: “you forgot your jacket.”
The next few seconds would have been too fast for at least a half of the theatre audience, would this be an action movie. Written in legible words, one after another, even those busy with their popcorn buckets and ice lollies have a chance to follow.
He walks back to grab his jacket.
She goes on, step by step, taking care to not accelarate with an audible rate, only a tiny bit faster with each one, so he doesn’t notice.
When he finally realizes what’s going on, he has no chance anymore.
Under other circumstances, he would have had a 1/10 chance to reach exit C almost simultaneously. Not here, Not now, she knew it. She heard the moment when he started to run and enjoyed it.
The slippery puddle ground, his chique shoes… just no chance. She listened to the splashes behind her, grinning wildely while she sprinted as if she’d run for her life.
She opened the door and, hearing how many meters he is behind, didn’t even care to hurl it when it closed, it closed softly and almost entirely soundless, with the exception of a
(The vocal of this door also sounded like an a?)
“Who’s there.” The guy standing in front of the door turned now, facing her.
Unbearable noise. She looked up. A helicopter was hovering above the area. A number of police cars, a waiting ambulance.
“Who are you.” The guy staring into her face was obviously some kind of security guy or tried to look like one.
The door behind her stayed close. How many times did he slip in there? Is that normal to take that long to reach this door? She imagined how this would look in an oldschool slapstick movie – him inside, slipping again, and again…
With her both eyebrows almost at 8 of 10 height she lowered her look to the place where the name shield of the guy standing in front of her was supposed to be. Then she looked back into his face. She did not say a word. The guy lowered both head and voice and let her pass through.
Silently, she told the person in the ambulance that there’s a guy in the collider who probably broke his ankle.
“Where exactly?” Asks the voice in the ambulance.
“Probably right in front of the door if he had bad luck, not farer away than 30 meters though. Left side. You won’t miss him.”
The med went back in direction of Entrance C.
She took a long look at the busy scene in front of her when she heard an
She swirled back just in time to see the med holding his hands at his forehead, door C swinging. “Oh my…”
And through the open door came:
a girl (in a purple wig)
an other girl (green wig)
a probably-girl-not-entirely-sure (wig purple)
a guy in high heels
a small woman hopping in a sack,
a teenie on a skateboard.
Now her jaws really dropped.
“W…what…” she asked the smiling guy on her side in the crowd – the crowd was there almost as fast as this circus crew, people liked that. “I thought cellphones have no range in the collider…”
“They shut it down, somewhere around two hours ago.”
“And installed cellphone connections? That quickly?”
“The incident in the collider made that necessary.”
W-hat incident she was almost about to say but suddenly felt it would sound a bit stupid in this moment.
“I came through from left, no signs of irregularities…”
“To the right from here, a quarter of an hour by feet from the door, I was inside.”
“How does it look?”
“Interesting, you should see it.” The guy smiles, watching the circus crowd parading past them.
So, she goes back to Entrance C door.
She asks the med if he’s alone here. With his hands in front of his face, he shakes his head. “Where’s med two then?”
“In the bakery.”
She looks up and sees the other med coming from the bakery. “Oh my” he says when he reaches them. “Can you care for that?” She asks, med two nods and she re-enters the collider.
“To the right here” says the voice behind her. She does not look back, she recognizes it.
And she also does not say that she knows because he said that already. She recognizes the sentence’s performative nature.
“Did the med really got hit by the door?”
“Really bad luck. It’s a heavy door. But it’s a plain door at the head’s height. Probably a serious bumb on the forehead, not much more.”
“Not much more? He can’t do a med job today with a bumb…”
“Sh.” He whispers.
The sprinkler was turned on to the left of the entrance only. Here, on the right of the entrance and left of the exit, the flooring was dry.
The silence again when time rushed by in dim light. A quarter of an hour is a lot of steps. A lot of seconds. A lot of air to be breathed in and breathed out.
And they finally reach it. Turns out to be exactly the tesseract some of you might remember. A bit escheresque in this incident’s variant, a bit reminding of a movie scene with David Bowie.
She comes closer.
The colors of the tesseract sphere change, as the colors of the shown scenes are changing, too. She tests how close she can come to it, careful to act when she feels the pull. As her senses don’t show any, she is finally standing right in front of it – or that’s what it looks from her perspective. She couldn’t say for sure how huge the real distance between her and the tesseract was. There was no pull.
On the other hand – would she have been able to say for sure the distance to the thing was X because the pull was exactly 9.8 rounded down? If there would have been a pull?
She decided to muse about that later and squatted down. The thing was hovering at the height of exactly three cheeses. She followed the shown scenes and colors when it suddenly turned dark. The thing reminded her of a spherical home cinema in a home that suddenly lost its power connection.
But then she realised that it still was transmitting.
She sees a person being arrested for some arts or a slogan. According to all evidence, in the middle of the night, however in the middle of the night in some metropole on a busy street. The sphere was silent so far, but then it starts transmitting the audio track.
She hears the city rush, cars rushing by one after another. The person being arrested is standing in handcuffs in front of the police car.
Then she hears a car that seems not to belong to the usual motropole street rush, as it drives way too quick and stops right behind the shown person.
If the home cinema sphere had a replay button, she would push it now. A car driving way over speed and stopping behind a police car and no one asks them to be shown their driving licence?
People get out of the car in “sportive” clothing. Strange looking people.
They greet the policeman looking at them in a very friendly, familiar way.
Then they ask the policeman if they need help with that case, offer him to take that case over.
The policeman smiles at them and says in a nice tone: “no, no”.
She observes the faces of the other police-people around the incident.
And wonders how often this happens. How many hear that question. And how often this is not even noticed in the police file.
Who were these people.
Why did no one ask them.
What did they do here?
Why is no one asking them how they heard of the “news”.
Why is no one asking to be shown their driving licence.
And where is the note in the police file.
She stands there, waiting for the sphere to show the next scene.
The thing turns black. And she is left with the question how often that happens. And how many anwer something different when being asked the same in that same familiar tone.
She slowly turns around and walks back to exit C. Admittedly, her feet feel a bit shaky, but thanks to her snkeakers and the flooring and her careful watching of her steps, she does not embarass herself with a classic scene that might provoke someone to ask her if she needs a couch to faint in a more elegant way.
Because her answer would be probably: “Hm. If you happen to have one in your rucksack, I don’t mind. For a moment.”
And that would be very embarassing because right now, exit C door opened.
She manages to whisper back before they come out of the entrance, out to the noise of the helicopter and the now crowded place:
“funfact: even if someone noted that. How to prove it.”
this novel’s subtitle is: EPIC PROSE BATTLES OF HISTORY
Text and copyright: Anna Panek
sound and lights: a big city in the middle of europe
soundtrack: a demosoundtrack, some nice stuff (link when ready)
a line of text
another line of text
just enough time to let those in a hurry walk away
— easter egg. —
a grinning group of people with pumpgun-huge joints.
“so, who’s in for a bet?”
she leans forward and says: “out of 1k? maybe one person. if they come in groups to the theatre and one of them gives the hint to the group, maybe one percent of the entire audience. anyone wanna raise?”
they look at their cards.
“I pass.” (huge smoke circles up and up.)
“I’m out, too.”
— movie starts again. back at same scene.—
The crowd in front of the entrance, circus groups in the middle of them, speeches, transparents and printed tweets on sticks and music and the helicopter above them (some people were looking up worried, after all: it’s a black hole. How does the helicopter driver want to know how black holes behave? Not that nice to see a helicopter falling down on you or the crowd… rather risky, this helicopter right above the scene of the incident that was impossible to keep hidden any longer, cellphoning people knew there is one. “On the other hand” – some of them said and looked away from the noisy helicopter – “on the other hand, when it implodes or explodes or what ever black holes in this area plus circumstances are supposed to do, then we will be anyway sucked in faster then the helicoter.” – “I hope so” – others answered.
The door to entrance C was now opened by a journo who wanted to enter.
And two meds – one of them with a huge adhesive plaster on his forehead – are rushing to the scence.
someone in the crowd: “What’s up with this door today? Every time someone wants to open it, it hits someone.”
But who was supposed to know that the door was opened from the inside at the very same moment.
And out of it – the crowd is dropping their jaws – a
A flying couch, to be exact. Color: green.
OFF: “or how else did you think it was possible to fly back that fast, compared to the way _to_ the tesseract?”
(story in progress. …this will need app 2 days … or weeks… or months… to reach the topic. black hole. the hole was created by 28 collider assistants. one of them will have bad luck enough to meet her. story will get its author name when it’s finished. or earlier.)
*Zaunpfahl. German for fencepost. Part of a German idiom and not supposed to be translated into an English term (that would base on an idiom that has a similar meaning but uses a different picture) because the next sentence needs the fencepost.