Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)
TITLE: The Innerverse
By Martin Strom
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“I think I’ve got it.” He flicked the on switch. “Now for the verdict. Let’s see if you really are the most powerful microscope ever made.”
The professor focused the microscope and watched the screen as it zoomed through infinitesimal detail. A large bacterium became a cosmic sea as the focus plunged into it. The sea parted to reveal a cloud of whispery tendrils and galactic spirals. “Let’s see how deep you can go.” The screen darkened to black as bright particles shot past like stars at light-speed.
The zoom approached an element of light and brought it into focus. The professor drew in a sharp breath as he saw the planet like objects orbiting a bright light. “It’s the sub-atomic structure of an atom. This is so exciting. No one has seen this before.”
He tapped the controls on his keyboard and the orbiting electrons came into focus. “This is amazing, they look just like planets.” One of the electrons shone blue like a dazzling jewel in the darkness.
He tapped the keyboard again and brought the blue electron closer. “Is that a sea? And a land mass?” The professor lifted his spectacles and peered closer at the screen. “This is the greatest discovery ever made! The universe isn’t just macro-infinite, it is micro-infinite.” He shook his head in wonder.
The electron planet was coming in and out of focus as it moved through its orbit. “If I could program the focus to stay in sync with the planets’ movement I might get a better look at that land mass.”
He tapped away at his keyboard and the planet came into constant focus. He zoomed in closer and could make out the terrain of the land; mountains, rivers and a small green area. “It could be some kind of plant life but it’s too blurred to tell. It can’t be the focus though, I can see everything else perfectly.”
“Oh of course! The electron is orbiting the nucleus at 15 times per second. Time is sped up and anything that moved would look like a blur.” He typed furiously on his keyboard and smacked the enter key. The computer began to screen-capture a still image every millisecond. He set up another monitor to view the captured images. There in the freeze frames he could clearly see plant life.
He played the screen captures like a movie at 15 frames per second, sometimes slowing it or freezing it to look in more detail.
Plant life was mostly concentrated in one area but it soon began to spread. Animals of every kind suddenly came into being right before his eyes. Most of them resembled the life forms of Earth. There were dinosaurs; some of them looked like the fabled dragons, even breathing fire.
He froze the image. “I though I saw something.” He stepped backwards frame by frame and stopped. There on the screen was a humanoid life form. “Oh my goodness, it’s a man. I have discovered intelligent life!” He slowly advanced frame by frame. A woman appeared. He watched as they inexplicably left their lush oasis to make a dwelling for themselves in the desert.
He played the captures at speed again and watched as humanity multiplied and developed. Water suddenly flooded the land. When it subsided the land had broken up into continents. Somehow there were survivors who began to repopulate and spread to each continent. He witnessed ice ages, great wars, the rise and fall of civilizations, and great leaps in human advancement.
“Surely this is identical to Earth’s history. Every continent, every city is the same. Perhaps this is a mirror image of earth.”
“Perhaps all atoms have the very history of creation embedded in them.”
“Maybe I am looking into another dimension, viewing Earth from outside of time and space.”
He continued to watch as a great army surrounded a city. Another army appeared from nowhere and slaughtered them all. The city reigned over the world for an age and then another great army gathered against it. He watched as fire from nowhere fell and consumed all the soldiers until nothing remained. The inhabitants of the city suddenly disappeared and all life ceased to exist.
He slumped in his chair stunned and exhausted from the emotional intensity that had gripped him for so long. He felt a sudden urge to fall on his knees before the creator of all life and beg his mercy.
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