CAUTION: Do Not Put Hand Into or Under Quantum Machinery.
You’d think it didn’t need to be said. QLabs specifically requires people to use their brains to do their jobs, and it doesn't take a genius to consider basic lab safety. Unfortunately, if the rule exists, it's probably because it happened before. Maybe it's ignorance, bad luck, or maybe people just aren't paid enough to care.
For the record, I'm unpaid and happy to keep my limbs where they are.
Shoot, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Shoot. Shoit. She it.
So, explicit language is blocked on these monitors. Funk.
Anyways, my name’s Miles Thatcher, I'm a junior researcher in QLabs’ Quantum Development Department (QDD). Not that anyone will be reading this, but if I'm going to commit to this journaling thing I'll try to keep things organized. That's been the hardest thing to do this week. Nobody said this was going to be easy; anything with ‘quantum’ in the name is bound to cause some headaches. Still, no one could have anticipated the sheer madness of these past few days. Despite it all, Dr. Angel has insisted that I remain her assistant in the following experiments, even offered me a promotion. I didn’t sink myself into student debt to not pursue the impossibilities of quantum physics, or not get paid for it, but the reality of it all…
It’s a lot to think about - too much honestly. That's why I need to get this written down before I lose my head or... other vital extremities.
Quantum machinery is what we call the tangle of wires, metal, and blinking lights that encompass the entire wing of the QDD. It was a lot more dazzling the first time I toured the facility, like waltzing through a techno Christmas party. I won't lie, the urge to touch literally everything was strong. Though after countless hours of tests and lackluster results, you’d feel more inclined to kick the funky thing. But that's what happens when you try to construct a bridge to a parallel universe.
That's exactly what Dr. Angel and her team were obsessed with achieving. Holed up in the observation booth, I’d copy down their ramblings as they performed test after test. That day, I'd taken enough coffee runs to count as a marathon, though caffeine didn’t help anyone’s frustration. Dr. Angel was fuming about some calculations being incorrect; Dr. Baker looked like he wanted to correct Dr. Angel’s face with his fist. Love that workplace camaraderie. At some point, Dr. Baker decided it was not the fault of their impeccable minds, but the machine not working properly.
I'll make this clear, Dr. Baker is brilliant, but not a technician.
The jewel of this isolated section of machinery was the huge funnel-like appendage meant to simulate a wormhole. It can adjust to any size we want, but at the center it narrows and disappears into the inner workings of the machine. I swear I only looked away for a moment, sipping at the cold remains of my coffee. That's all it took.
Dr. Baker, the remarkable physicist, stuck his right hand inside the funnel.
Apparently, IT upstairs heard his screams.
I bravely choked on my coffee, which saved me the grittier details. By the time I'd recovered the entire wing was in a panicked frenzy. Medics swarmed the wailing Dr. Baker while Dr. Angel kept worried onlookers at bay. I didn't quite grasp what happened until Dr. Baker was dragged away with someone's coat wrapped around his right arm.
His hand was gone.
I don’t mean that it was crushed or chopped up - It was literally gone. They couldn’t find it. The funnel was opened to let the biohazard team investigate, but the scene was alarmingly spotless. Apparently, there was a distinct smell in the air, like burnt charcoal. That's as far as I'd like to know.
Fortunately, Dr. Baker survived, even made a swift recovery. Unfortunately, our work had just begun. At some point Dr. Angel had escorted me to her office where I sat, stunned silent, who knows for how long. When Dr. Angel returned, she'd tell me something that I’m still grappling with.
She'd found the hand. It just… wasn't the right one.
In fact, it was the left hand.
A perfectly cauterized left hand was found in front of the funnel, Dr. Angel explained. I said it was impossible, she called it a miracle. Apparently, Dr. Baker was right. There was a mechanical error, and whatever he had done actually caused it to, well, work. He’d reached into the fabric of the multiverse and pulled out a fate worse than anything I could imagine, and it didn't stop there.
At this time we've received thirteen hands total, five left hands, eight right hands, and all belonging to Dr. Baker.
With a piercing hum, the machine belches out another piece of Dr. Baker from the multiverse, sometimes with a souvenir. So far, we’ve found a watch still clinging to a wrist that counted a thirteenth hour. Another had what appeared to be a university ring from a place called Texas, which definitely doesn't exist. The multiverse is literally spilling out at our feet, all we have to do is let the machine do its job.
I'm not sure how, but Dr. Angel has managed to keep this entire thing under wraps while everyone else assumes the funnel was decommissioned. As she put it, they can't possibly stop now, and the higher ups agreed. This whole ordeal is straight out of a nightmare, yet I’m still here, typing away. This is real. Insane. Astounding. It's everything I expected from the quantum realm. I was reminded again today of the open position. Dr. Angel told me to think about it, and I suppose that's what this rambling is about. Curiosity has a 50% chance of killing the cat, but you have to observe it to find out.
Well, at least it will look good on my resume.