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by Mike Voûte

It was a most discouraging day for the poor line worker. The man sank down wearily into his favorite TV chair. It had been one hell of a day, what with all the re-org going on at the office. He couldn't’t help feeling that he had been demoted and would have to drive an hour each way to reach the new location. There had been layoffs of course, and he had narrowly missed it after bumping rights. Still he had taken some else's job and he felt guilty. Already the stress was eating into him... he needed to calm down... stare at the "tube" for a while. He grabbed the remote control and pressed the "on" button.


On a world quite apart from the man's world we just visited, the top scientists were being awarded for an amazing achievement in quark physics. Their proof of the "Big Bang" theory underlined how the universe was originally set into motion when a "force channel" suddenly appeared, thus imparting massive repulsive forces to the many galaxies in the known universe. The evidence of this theory, known as "red shift" , had been seen by astronomers for decades ( after all, it should take light longer to reach us on something moving away, which kind of stretches the light colour a bit). Only now, however, had the high energy particles which come from such vast forces been detected. These particles, being so energetic that they simply pass though anything, were now showing up in a massive underground water tank. After all the fanfare died down, a small team of scientists presented the anti-climax to this. They suggested that a major collision could happen in a thousand years based on the speeds of the moving galaxies they had observed. Not many people took this desertation seriously.

The weary man watching TV had only seen about 5 minutes of the news before he started snoring. The remote control slid from his fingers onto the armrest. The only thing holding up his arm was a fold in his jacket.


Far away, and a thousand years of their time later, their world was in turmoil. A collision between their planet and the outer planet of the galaxy was now imminent. Various computer simulations had been run and all predicted a catastrophic outcome. The final hope was gone... they had only weeks to prepare for what was coming.

500 years earlier, someone had dusted off an old report detailing orbital trajectories of their world and another one. From the ancient science, it appeared possible that a collision could take place. A moot point now... it had taken a further 150 years to convince the world's government that it would really happen.


Finally the project had begun. The massive orbital ship would accept what was left of the world's population after the birth control program. At this point in time it was quite important to complete the work on the ship's "singularity" drive... only this would have enough power to reach the next inhabitable planet. The super dense mass main component was 2/3 up to critical and once past that point it would

continue to consume matter on it's own and produce the power need to accelerate the ship. That was 100 years ago... before the accident.

Research is not guaranteed product and the ship's fate was sealed with the raw drive material vanishing into the wormhole it created. No matter what follow up plans were brought out by many scientific venues, no feasible way to evacuate the world's population was now possible. Several private expeditions had left the world in small ships, but their fate was in most likelihood worse than what awaited those who remained.

Now there was a week left. Under the circumstances, what was left to do? As a last desperate act, a massive prayer session was held every evening; despair and doubt were in everyone's mind. God was the only hope left.

Back in the weary man's living room, a fly buzzed around the man's ears. A reflex swat in a dream state moved the man's arm out and down onto the remote control. The hand came down on the "off" button. In the TV set, a relay de-energized; the current flowing into the set now drained through various wires and circuits to ground in the opposite direction. Electrons which had been interacting with the various components now reversed course to flow away from them.


For centuries, scientists in the colliding worlds had attempted to explain the sudden "force tunnel" which had appeared at the moment of certain annihilation. The worlds suddenly reversed direction ( a sort of "anti big bang") which saved not only their world but who knows how many other worlds around them. Yet there were some scientists still gloomy, for now it appeared that the universe was contracting and disaster was again looming centuries in the future.

The End

The similarities between the universe as we see it though a telescope and the swirling electron clouds we see through a tunneling electron microscope are startling. Could it be coincidence or is this the true nature of our infinite universe? Can the fate of our world be determined by someone's unknowing flick of a switch? Can perhaps God's interaction need only be to send a fly in a certain direction?

By Mike Voûte, July 2003