By: Gary Van Haas
Strange eerie rumblings began underground at CERN laboratory near Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border. The gargantuan particle accelerator whined ominously in a low grinding pitch. The device was used for boosting particle beams, turning them into high energy for an extremely powerful, coordinated collision. On the accelerator platform, a small group of scientists diligently studied sophisticated detectors, recording the results.
They found an odd reading on the main-core tension unit. One of the Engineers ran to the three-inch plate glass particle window and glanced inside and noticed a flicking blue streak of electric discharge. He tapped the window and suddenly another charge erupted outside the glass turning his entire body in a glowing mass of vibrating subatomic particles. The scientists who observed the event were speechless.
One of the scientists’ present on site was American physicist, Dr. Robert J. Veneto, Director of Operations. He continued to watch on the iron catwalk above as the particles transformed into a quivering, wavering mass of black matter hovering six inches above the floor. Then it disappeared and the man and energy mass vanished!
“My god,” said Veneto, “did you see that?”
“Yes,” stammered the core engineer. “Something’s gone very wrong!”
“Keep it quiet whatever you do. We’ll report it as an accident.”
“Yes sir, I understand. The Higgs boson is all that matters.”
Nothing more was said and they moved downstairs from the catwalk.
Dr. Veneto lived with his wife and two children in a rural mountain village nearby called, Covenant. It was a small quite place nestled in the country-side with red brick chalets nestled amongst tall pines and narrow cobblestone streets.
All was calm and peaceful as dawn broke and the town came to life. An elderly shopkeeper threw open his shutters and hung a bird in a cage in his window. Another white-haired, moustached local Swiss man in his seventies swept the street in front of his barber shop, while a group of giddy school children skipped through the streets with backpacks and books under their arms on the way to school. Church bells rang out gloriously in the distance, proclaiming what appeared to be a splendid day.
Robert Vento’s lovely wife, Maria, in her mid-30s with long black hair and blue eyes was in the kitchen preparing sandwiches for school for her two children. Franco was ten years old and Ursula was six.
In the living room the television news was heard. It was a story from a Swiss TV reporter covering a news update on the CERN collider. The reporter’s story went like this:
“The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) can achieve an energy that no other particle accelerators have reached before, but nature routinely produces higher energies in cosmic-ray collisions. Concerns about the safety of whatever may be created in such high-energy particle collisions have been addressed for many years. In the light of new experimental data and theoretical understanding, the LHC Safety Assessment Group said the search for the “God particle” or Higgs boson collisions present no danger or reason for concern.”
Back in the kitchen, the phone rang and Maria picked it up.
“Yes? — Oh, it’s you Robert – Yes, I’m fine, except I’ve come down with a slight cold, burnt my finger on the stove, and got scratched by the cat! — No, I’m not angry, dear, as long as I have enough bandages!”
Little Ursula heard the television in the living room go on and walked into the room and stared at the TV, which was clicking on and off by itself. She reached for the remote to turn it off, but it didn’t work.
Back at his office, Robert continued on the phone with Maria.
“Yes dear, I’ll be home later, some things to finish up here.”
“Okay dear, see you then. Bye.”
Ursula came back in kitchen and pulled her brother’s arm, “Come, Franco, there’s something wrong with the TV.”
Franco and Ursula entered the living room and Franco picked up the remote control, tried to turn it off, but nothing. He then tried to turn it off manually, but still nothing.
Maria came in looking for them, Hey, hey…let’s go, kids. This is no time to be watching TV.
We’re late for school!
We’re not watching it, Mom… Something wrong and it won’t turn off.
She tried it, too, but it stayed on, ‘Probably a short in the remote.’
She tried to switch it off on the set itself, but it stayed on mysteriously.
Then she reached around behind the TV and pulled the plug, and to her amazement, the TV was still going on and off.
‘What is it, Mom?” said Franco. “I thought you had to have electricity for it to work. ‘How do we turn it off?’
‘I don’t know, but we’d better get you two to school.’
As they were about to leave, suddenly the TV switched itself off.
Maria was relieved. ‘Ah, see. It was only a little leftover power. Let’s go.’
Later in the afternoon Robert Veneto was in his car on his way home. He stopped at a red light when a street bum came up to his car window. The old man was in his seventies with haunting eyes and long white scruffy beard. He leaned in and spoke, ‘Beware, the time is near!’
‘The Day of Darkness is here!’
Robert dismissed his cryptic warning and drove off.
Arriving back at his house he came in the front door and noticed nobody was home. Passing the living room going to the kitchen he heard the TV set switch on. He turned around and saw the screen fluttering and a peculiar hissing sound. He paid no mind and went to the refrigerator to make a sandwich.
But back in the living room the TV set had taken on a life of its own. From the screen the same black wavering object seen at the Collider emanated outward and small sparking particles came from the screen hovering about a foot from the gray shag carpet. The curious object began floating slowly toward the kitchen where Robert was making his sandwich, completely unaware.
As the black object passed by a lamp it de-materialized it and consumed it inside out into ominous dark matter. The same happened to a leather lounge chair. When it passed by it too vanished into the dark void. The entity appeared to be gaining energy and growing from consuming material matter.
When Robert came out of the kitchen to sit and watch the evening news, the dark entity slithered by him completely unnoticed, disappearing into an electrical wall socket. Robert sauntered into the living room oblivious, munching on his sandwich when his wife Maria retuned home.
‘Hi honey, how was your day at the lab?’ Maria chirped.
‘Okay except for a little snag. The Collider had a malfunction. They’re still trying to sort it out.’
‘I hope it’s nothing hazardous.’
‘No, we have it all under control, dear. The best scientists in the world are working with us.’
Getting ready to sit down, he noticed his favourite lounge chair was missing.
‘Hey, what happened to my chair, did you have somebody move it?’
Maria looked where it had been. The leg indentations were still on the rug.
‘It was there this morning when I left,’ she said perplexed.
‘Well, that’s odd. If you didn’t move it, who did?’
‘No idea.’ Then she noticed the lamp missing. ‘There was a lamp on that table too this morning, where did it go?’
Robert laughed, ‘I hope the landlord isn’t taking back his furniture.’
‘No, it was in our rental agreement.’
‘Anyway forget it,’ he said grabbing another chair, ‘we’ll sort it out later. I want to watch the news.’ He grabbed the remote and turned the TV on, but nothing happened. “What the heck is this now, it won’t turn on.’
‘The kids had the same problem this morning, must be a short circuit.’
‘What, it’s a new television!’
‘Whatever, let’s go into the dinning room and have some dinner.’
Robert nodded, tossed the remote on the table and they left. As soon as they were gone, the dark sparkling mass floated out of the wall socket and slipped back into the TV set.
Later that night while they were all asleep in their beds, the TV went on downstairs and an creepy ghostlike image came on the screen. It was a wavering shadowy face that appeared and disappeared and began speaking softly in an obscure language. Then the face faded and the picture changed showing the huge CERN Collider. The view pulled in to a close-up of the thick plate glass particle beam window.
Suddenly the Collider started up and sparks were seen and another dark matter entity escaped through the glass and floated upward and vanished inside the Collider control panel.
Back at the house the phone rang in the bedroom and Robert answered it.
‘Robert, are you there? Sorry to wake you, but we have a Code Red situation.’
‘Who?’ said Robert, groggy eyed, gathering his wits. ‘What is it, what’s this about? It’s quarter to four in the morning.’
‘It’s important, sir. This is Lab Research Assistant, Martin Proust. The Collider somehow turned itself on this morning at 03:33 hundred hours. We can’t seem to turn it off and need you here, Dr. Veneto.’
Robert sat up troubled, as Maria listened.
“What is it, dear?’ she questioned anxiously.
Robert put his hand over the mouth piece, ‘Something’s gone wrong at the lab. They want me to come down.’ He removed his hand from the mouth piece and continued talking to the research assistant. ‘Okay Martin, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. Call an emergency staff meeting. I want all hands on deck.’
He hung up and jumped to his feet.
‘You look concerned, Robert. What’s going on?’
‘It’s a bad situation,’ Robert told her. ‘If any of those particles escape it could cause a spontaneous chain reaction. If any black matter escapes into our atmosphere it could consume CERN and maybe even the whole planet. I don’t have time to discuss the ramifications, but it could be devastating!’
‘Now you really are scaring me.’
‘Sorry, have to run. We’ll talk later after I see what the damn situation is.’
Robert threw on his clothes and dodges downstairs never noticing the TV was still on, showing the Collider.
Unable to sleep, Maria got up, put on her robe and went downstairs to make some coffee. But as she passed the TV she saw the Collider on the screen.
‘What the..?’ she said, gaping at the image. She grabbed the remote then the dark ghostly face appeared.
‘What going on,’ she mumbled, pushing the remote.
Then the face spoke to her in a low resonant voice, ‘The darkness is near,’ it growled.
Confused, she spoke to the entity, ‘Who are you and what do you want?’
‘We wish nothingness.’
‘Nothingness..? Where are you from?
‘The other side of the void between shadow and light.’
‘I don’t understand,’ she fumbled nervously.
‘I will show you destiny of your world, watch and see…’
The TV screen then showed the Collider with Robert and a group of scientist high up on the catwalk platform inspecting the plate glass particle window. As they peered inside the other dark entity slid silently down toward them from the control panel. ‘Oh my god,’ she shrieked, ‘its Robert and his team. What’s that dark object coming down at them?’
‘Liberation from light, look and behold your destiny!’
Maria watched incredulously as the floating dark matter began to consume everything in blackness including the Collider as well as Robert and his team.
‘No, this can’t be! How did it happen?’ she questioned terrified.
‘It was fate you brought upon yourselves by tampering with infinite regions of time, space, and matter in your egotistic search for the Higgs boson God Particle.’
Maria looked around and screamed when she saw dark matter was slowly consuming the whole house, including herself.
Then everything vanished in darkness!