The Between

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Finished but open to ideas, corrections, etc.

Submitted: February 10, 2016

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Submitted: February 10, 2016

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The Between


On August 14, 1996, the first human to be moved from one place to another instantaneously was reported missing. There is no simple way to put that and I’m sure you’re all confused already so let me be blunt; teleportation is real . In fact, teleportation has been real – it's been attainable since 1994 at which time it was deemed by the United States Government necessary to be hidden from all public knowledge and thus it was. If they're any good at anything, it's secrecy. In its beginning stages, however, the extent to this marvelous feat was being able to move the quantum data from the very small, such as atoms and the like across the room. Don't get me wrong,  this was an absolutely amazing accomplishment! But it's gotten so much better, if “better” is  the right term, since then.
 I don't understand the science behind it, I wasn't one of the physicists, engineers, nor mathematicians, I was simply a higher-end employee in the United States department of Energy, I mostly did computer work – compiling the data and what have you. I am 85 years old and retired, and I am telling this story because I feel that it needs to be said and I am a dying man. 

I worked on the compacting of data retrieved by the teleporter, or as we called it, the United States Quantum Relay and Distribution Devise. How it worked was the device simply broke apart whatever sample was within and gathered the data of each individual quanta's state and position, then using given materials in the receiver chamber, it created an exact copy, perfect down to the atomic level. There was an entire side room dedicated to the mechanical gadgets like supercomputers and power sources which was just chock-full of them. Despite all of the computational power and the fact that we were using quantum statistical data, the process took nearly three to five hours. 

The cells continued to live, seemingly unchanged, as though they were the same cells that were destroyed. It was outstanding! We quickly moved up in size and complexity to larger and more intelligent things, such as mice, rats, gerbils, eventually even cats and dogs! The animals that came back appeared to be confusion and disoriented but still lived on. When James offered to be the first human to go through, we were astounded! Everyone fancied the idea of trying it on a human but no one had the guts to offer up themselves. James was a young, on-the-edge type guy who fancied sky diving, rock climbing, and basically every adrenaline-fueled activity; so while we were all amazed, I wouldn’t say anyone was shocked.

James stood in the large, cylindrical machine and gave a thumbs up, and we pulled the switch. The usual scent of ozone filled the air, a strange consequence of all of the electrical pieces at work , the sound of rumbles and motors bombarded our ears. After that switch was pulled, everything that I ever thought I understood simply… fell apart. Everything was going as usual, the familiar increase and decrease of the intensity of sounds and lights comforted that everything was good. However, five and a half hours later, James stumbled out the other chamber but didn’t say anything. He simply walked around with an empty gaze.  A few people rushed over to him to get him to a seat so that he could rest. He was unresponsive the whole time. He died about an hour following the teleportation. We all decided then and there that we needed to cease the operation immediately and never speak of it again. We were gathering everything necessary to put an end to this obviously inhumane experimentation but that was when we heard the static coming from the radio, it sounded like James! A coworker ran over to the device and spun the dial until the static became a clear voice. 

“Hey! Where am I?” James said in a panicked tone. “I can’t see anything! I feel like I am floating in space! But I see no stars or anything in the background – no light, I literally cannot see or feel anything! Help!” Everyone’s faces drained to a pale shade and no one spoke. “Help!” he screamed, I quickly grabbed the radio.

“James! We hear you!” It was all that I could think of, but there was no response. “James!”

 He quickly spoke.

“Do you not hear me? Oh, god turn on the radio!” There was evident fear in his voice. Could he not hear us? We could certainly hear him! “Guys…” the sound of tears was obvious.

“Do something!” I yelled to the scientists who stood there dumbfounded.

After stuttering for what seemed like a whole minute one spoke up, “there is nothing we can do. We cannot do it in reverse.” He cupped his whole lower face in the palm of his hand and looked intently into the reaches of his own mind. “His consciousness must be stuck in some place in between – or…” The scientist’s voice trailed off into nothingness. Right then, another employee and good friend of mine, Maggy, furiously ran over to the desktop which was compiling the data into respective folders and unplugged it. The scientists would have protested this if not for the numbing circumstances.

“No!” I remember freaking out at that point. “This is… madness!” I exclaimed. “James!” I yelled into the radio again. But no response. He was stuck! It was him! That corpse that was going to be buried was but an empty vessel. The soul couldn’t even leave it as it was stuck in something so little understood that everyone deemed it better to forget about all of this than to research. I was the only one who didn’t go home that night, I remember staying up in the office listening to James’s pleas for help. It sounds horrible, but I was hoping that he’d be dead soon so he could escape the hell that he found himself in. I shuddered at the thought of being in absolute nothingness. I noticed something else, listening to his persistent screams. As he was screaming, there was no break in his voice. The poor guy didn’t even have to inhale; he was screaming for minutes on end, and then hours. I don't want to imagine what it’s like to both exist and not exist. I had never been a religious man but this was proof enough. I guess, as conceited as it sounds, animals don't have what we call “a soul” and thus couldn't get it lodged into something so unknown - or maybe they did but this didn't cause them to die. I wasn't sure and frankly didn't care to dive into the matter. Finally, at about 1:00 AM, I grew too distant… too tired and decided it’d be best if I went home. 

As I said earlier, I am writing this because I am old, dying, and they cannot do anything to me if I expose their secrets. James never died, there is a room dedicated to the radio, it’s soundproof so that no one has to listen to his God-awful screams, where, I’ll bet still to this day, if you enter the room, you would hear the cries of a man who is trapped in the unknown, seemingly until the end of time. I cannot even grasp the gravity of that nightmare. I hope that someday, someone can read this and figure out something to save the poor soul. I know damn well he is still there, screaming into his “radio” (which I can't hypothesize in the slightest how that works as the actual radio was on his body) without ceasing; he probably will forever do so, until the end of time. 


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