“The Gemini Project”
All rights reserved by the author
Home Earth 11436-a
It was in the morning and John still hadn’t gone to sleep. He was sitting at his desk with only the glow of his desk lamp illuminating the objects in his hands. In one hand he had a small glass ball, about the size of a golf ball, which he was toying with: rolling it around in his hand and then the table and then back into his hand. In his other hand he held an electronic device somewhat resembling a graphing calculator with buttons and a screen. However, what made this device different from a calculator is that in the middle it had a concave hole, into which an object could easily fit. A third strange device sat on his desk, it was cube shaped, about the size of his fist, and had pulsing green lines running over it. At that moment, John’s head snapped back as if in some great revelation, he placed the marble he was rolling on the table just seconds ago into the hole in the device, and whispered to himself, “Here we go again.” At that moment, he pressed a few buttons, and was enveloped in a bubble which shrank to nothing and he was gone.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Zach’s alarm was going off telling him it was time to get up for school. If he didn’t get up soon, he knew his mom would come walking down the hall telling he’d be late, just like every other day. Sure enough, just like clockwork, Zach heard his mother’s footsteps heading down the hallway towards his room.
“Zach, you better be up cause I sure don’t wanna go in there and make you get up,” shouted his mother while she pounded on the door, just like she did every morning.
“Yeah, mom, I’m up. I’ll be out in a few minutes,” he said. Just like yesterday, but five more minutes sounded like a nice compromise. As he was lying in bed for those dreamy five minutes, not really awake, but not really sleeping, he found his thoughts drifting to Laura, who would be coming home this afternoon from a trip with her parents. He couldn’t wait to see her; he had the whole weekend planned out. She’d get home and they’d go out to dinner on Friday to a romantic restaurant then they would come back to his house and-
“Zach!” Shouted his mother as she came stomping down the hall. “I told you 15 minutes ago to get up, now GET UP! I’m heading out now, you better get moving or you’ll be late. I’ll be back tomorrow morning.”
“Shit!” He whispered under his breath, he was going to be late for school. He jumped out of bed, took a quick shower, grabbed something to eat and rushed out to his car. He put the key in the ignition, turned it, and waited for the engine to start, but it wouldn’t turn over. He started to panic now, he couldn’t be late to school again, if he was, he’d get in major trouble, and they’d end up sending a note home. If his mom found out he was late again, she would ground him and his plans for this weekend would be ruined.
He turned the key again, hoping it would turn over, but once again, no luck. He slammed his fists into the wheel, and forcibly turned the key again. Still nothing. Frustrated, he got out of the car, opened the engine, and started to bang the battery with a metal pole he found lying on the ground. After the pole was too bent to be of much use, he got back in the car, laid his head down onto the steering wheel and prayed it would start as he turned the key once more. The engine started to whine and he pumped the gas pedal a few times and slammed his head into the wheel just as the car started up. He breathed a sigh of relief and glanced at his watch, it was now 7:30, school started at and he still had a half an hour drive ahead of him. He backed out the car and headed down the road towards school.
He was driving to school when all of a sudden, he spied a man walking out of the woods right in the path of his car. The tires squealed as he slammed on the breaks causing him to lose control of the car. The car went careening out of control and the last thing he remembered was lying on the ground in the woods next to the car with the man standing over him.
Zach woke up lying flat in a hospital bed the next day. His prone body was lying just over six feet long. He was relatively thin for his height at a meager 160 pounds. Most of his weight was muscle though, without an inch of fat on him. He had wavy light brown hair which was strewn all over the hospital pillow. A patch of hair just above his right eye was matted with dried blood, but other than that there was only one other noticeable injury, a cut under his left brown eye which had been bandaged by a nurse the night before.
As he opened his eyes, his vision was slightly blurred, but he could make out two figures. As his vision corrected, he realized one was a nurse, and the second was a man he didn’t know, but recognized as the man he almost hit the night before. He was sitting in a chair about six feet from the bed, his head resting in his hand, half asleep. At about 6’2” he weighed 200 pounds, but was well built. He had dark brown hair with deep brown eyes that if looked into, would appear to have been troubled both by recent events, but also by events hidden in the past.
The man looked up as Zach was beginning to move around and signaled the nurse. The nurse came over and began asking some questions such as what happened, what was his phone number, did he have any family to contact where did he live. It was at that time that Zach realized that in his rush to get out of the house, he left his wallet with his I.D. lying on his bedroom table.
“How could I have been so stupid?” he thought to himself. He told the nurse his information and then asked her who the other man was.
“I’ll let you ask him that. Personally, I think he’s kind of strange,” she said. “Well, I’ll try to get a hold of your parents, I’m sure they’re worried sick about you. I’ll be back later to check up on you and give you more medicine if you need it.”
As the nurse left, the man got up and walked over to the bed. He introduced himself as John.
“What were you doing in the middle of the road?” I questioned.
“I was lost and trying to find the nearest city to get my bearings,” he replied.
“If you were lost, then where are you from?”
He glanced over his shoulder to make sure no one was listening, “I am from a parallel universe,” he said with a smile.
“Last night I used a machine I created to travel to this earth.”
“What, what? From where?”
“I came from my home Earth, Earth 11436-a according to Pollux, my reader machine.”
At that moment, Zach’s mother, Ann, his father, Joe, girlfriend, Laura, and best friend, Alex, walked in the door. His mother rushed over to him and started to smother him in kisses.
“I was so worried when I got back this morning and you weren’t there, I figured you might have left for school early, but when you didn’t come home this afternoon, I got worried and called the police,” she said. “They said they had a John Doe at the hospital, who got in a car crash with a car that fit your description, so I told Laura and Alex and we got here as soon as we could.”
“Well, I should be going,” the man said as he emerged from the shadows.
“Wait!” Zach said, “What’s your name? Are you coming back tomorrow?”
“My name is John, and I may stop by in a few days to see how you are.”
“Wait, I want to ask you some questions!”
“All in due time,” he stated as he walked out of the door.
“Who was that?” asked Zach’s mother.
“That’s the guy that I swerved to avoid hitting on the road, he says he’s not from around here, he’s kinda weird.”
Zach was finishing up his dinner, which was comprised of a greasy cheeseburger, salty fries, and a Coke when John walked into his hospital room. The only other two people there were Laura and Alex. His mom had to leave to do some things for work. Everyone looked up as the door opened and John entered. He closed the door behind him and pulled up a chair.
“Mom due back anytime soon?” he asked.
“Not for an hour or so,” Zach replied.
“So what was it Zach was trying to tell us that you told him?” Alex asked.
“You told them?” John replied.
“Of course,” Zach said, “Even though I had no clue what you were talking about.”
“Ok. Let me explain. I created two devices on my home world, I named the first Castor. It creates little earth like balls. The second device, named Pollux, analyzes the ball and if I choose to visit this earth allows me to travel to this world. Both devices are relatively small,” he said as he pointed to his pocket where it was obvious the devices were held. “Pollux also holds all the information that I’ve entered on other worlds on it.”
“You mean this isn’t the first, other, uh, earth that you’ve visited?” Laura asked.
“No, but it has been a long time since I did visit other worlds.”
“What made you stop? It sounds like it would never get old, seeing different cultures and people.”
“It’s not that easy. Some worlds have been devastated by a deadly virus that Pollux doesn’t pick up, or the earth might come out of Castor as a pile of dust, or I might get to the world and realize that Hitler won, and get captured cause…” His voice trailed off as he finished the sentence in a mumble. “Anyways, I did get to see some good things and help out some people.”
“Wait, you said that you haven’t visited a world in a long time, what made you decide to come here?” Zach asked.
“Well, to tell you the truth, Pollux here told me that this world was named Earth Prime. And to be honest, the search of Earth Prime is what made me pursue the development of this device, even after all the criticism I got on my home world, Earth 11436-a according to Pollux.”
“So, how is this world different than your world?” Zach asked.
“Well, I can’t really answer that at the moment, because I haven’t had time to do any research, and as soon as Castor creates my home world again, I’m outta here.”
“Can we come with you?” Zach, Laura, and Alex asked.
“Why would you want to? It’s nothing all that spectacular.”
“Well, then how about we go to a different world, just to see it.” Zach said, his voice suggested that there was no choice in the matter.
Breathable Dominant Species: Homo Sapien Land Coverage: 45% Colonized: 14% Danger Level: Low Hostility Level: Medium Location: 36N Latitude 42W Longitude Climate: 54ºF – 78º Rain pH – 5 Precipitation – 3” Humidity – 79%
Land Coverage: 45%
Danger Level: Low
Hostility Level: Medium
Location: 36N Latitude
Climate: 54ºF – 78º Rain pH – 5 Precipitation – 3” Humidity – 79%
“How does it work?” asked Alex.
“Well, it links to a parallel universe, which is an immense distance away from here. How? I’m not entirely sure. I didn’t invent it. Quite a while back, a man by the name of Jack traveled to my home earth and was killed and I took the device from him. But it does work. It creates a sort of prototype-link to this other world. When I put it into Pollux and press the right buttons, it envelops me, and others, in some sort of bubble. I am then transported through what I believe to be a wormhole and end up in the parallel universe on their earth. The only thing I know is that if a created world isn’t visited in a few hours, meaning soon, then the window is closed, and we’re stuck for a long time before another ball is created.”
“Well then we need to get going, right?” asked Zach.
“We have about half an hour before the window closes. I was gonna go home, but I suppose we could take a slight detour. Ok, everyone make sure you are touching Pollux, and off we go.” John said as he put the earth in the hole and pressed some buttons. All of a sudden, they were enveloped in a bubble, began to shrink, and were gone.
They arrived in the middle of a field at the base of a hill; they were lying there for a few minutes when all of a sudden, the ground started to shake violently.
“Earthquake!” cried John. “Everyone get over here!”
As they all huddled in a group, a hail of rocks was sent at them from up the hill, they huddled closer for protection and safety. A few minutes later, the rock slide was over and they stood up. The first thing John did was look at his devices. At once his face dropped.
He started to push buttons rapidly and Zach asked him “What’s wrong, does the machine not work?”
“What? What happened?” asked Alex
“Pollux was damaged in the rockslide, the screen’s all messed up and it won’t turn on,” said John.
“So are we stuck here?” asked Laura.
“I think so, for a while, at least until I can figure out how to fix it.”
“Wait, you don’t know how to fix it, yet you created it?” asked Zach.
“No, I didn’t make it, it was given to me by someone else a long time ago, that’s what I was planning on doing with you guys if you liked it, but now, we’re stuck here together for a while.”
“Well, we better find someplace to spend the night and get food, we may be stuck here for awhile,” said Laura.
“Let’s go,” said Zach.
© 2003 by the author
All rights reserved