The Hubble Law

Submitted into Contest #117 in response to: Set your story at the boundary between two realms.... view prompt


Fiction Science Fiction

[Disclaimer - rude language]

They say that space smells like chicken. To him it smelled like a fucking Nobel price.

Wearing the bio-suit was like bathing into a tub of slime, just warm enough to make you feel like sitting on a public toilet that had been used by a filthy stranger a few moments earlier.

Nevertheless it was the most advanced piece of equipment to challenge the deadly stare of empty space, capable of supporting life in hostile environments for one hundred years or more.

That the universe was expanding (faster than the speed of light even) is something that the humanity had known since the early thousands.

Half-developed monkeys that could barely reach the moon, sitting on chairs glued to rockets that were little more than a bomb with patched-up safety control systems.

Still they were quite a resourceful bunch for the times.

Barbaric, but resourceful.

It was someone with a funny name that first theorized it, what was it? Something-stein maybe, Heinz-stein or about there… he used to study that crap in high school during prehistory classes, but now he couldn’t remember.

Outside the vessel was a vast space dotted with countless stars, flaming and roaring with life. But the captain knew better -those were just reflections of E.M. waves radiated billions of years ago, from bonfires of hydrogen and helium that had long since exhausted their fuel- and even though he saw them in front of himself, the ashes of those stars were behind his back: he was looking at them reflected in a mirror.

He had reached the end of the universe, and that boundary was infinite and invisible just because it had no substance, yet showed the reflection of the immense finiteness that it contained.

That Heinz-stein guy’s proto-science sprung a lot of theories on parallel universes, and fantasies about interdimensional voyages and time-travel.

After all if the universe was expanding, what was outside its boundary? What was it expanding into?

A couple hundred thousand years later and still the answer had the shape of a question mark.

“Open the hatch” the sole rider of the spaceship commanded to the virtual assistant. The air of the pressurized cabin left its containment with a lonely sigh, weakly pushing the man towards the gaping mouth of the void. Shrugging off a bit of tension from his shoulders, he took his blaster gun, pointed towards the nothingness and shot.

The collimated beam of light traveled for a fraction of a second before disappearing into nothingness.

There it was… the final border. The captain of the ship smiled, lightly crouched, and sprung gently into open space.

Anyway travel among parallel universes? That’s bullshit. Everyone knows that parallel lines never meet, there’s no way you can travel through those.

But perpendicular spaces? THAT was the catch, that was the theory HE was going to prove, find the point where two perpendicular universes met, and jump from one to the other. That would be the final breakthrough. Literally.

The bio-suit allowed for complete movement, even though it still felt like wading in a swamp. All of visible space had that yellow hue due to the visor, but he knew were he needed to go, and what he needed to reach was not visible to the eye.

He advanced, floating in pure nothingness, sure to find the final border a few palms further, yet, going onward, his hands found nothing.

He stopped, several metric units from the ship. He took his blaster and pointed towards the invisible wall that was eluding him, activating the position stabilizers he took aim and shot.

The laser burst flew for just a few metric units, and once again vanished.

It’s strange that we call it uni-verse. One-Verse. We know for sure that it has 15.3 different dimensions, yet it has just one verse. Should have two verses for each dimension, shouldn’t it? Thirtypointsixiverse should be more appropriate.

Seems like a sadistic little riddle.

Human minds -even those more advanced than the tiny men that fiddled with elementary math and crude understanding of basic physics- struggle to picture events in more than a couple of dimensions.

Simply, words are just words, legacy of ancient beliefs and traditions, no more than that.

He was there, alone, staring intently at the reflection of his universe.

The air recycling system of his suit would have been perfect to mass-produce canned farts, and standing there waiting for a solution was a useless torture to his poor nose.

Laser shots would advance for just a few m.u. and disappear, yet he had advanced for -at the very least- thirty and was still here.

Resolute, he grabbed his gun, this time instead of shooting he chose to throw it. The blaster moved for less than an arm length, and vanished.

Eyes stern as a marble statue he understood what was preventing him to find his objective.

“Deactivate magnetic lifeline” his voice rang metallic and dry. The artificial voice of the virtual assistant responded with a clawing timbre “Request does not comply to safety protocol. Please provide override command.”

Swallowing a ball of spit rough as concrete he insisted “Captain E.Hubble ID E2M2C4P2C2. Override command” the female voice added “Blood pressure and bpm anomalous. Are you sure you want to proceed?” “proceed.”

Vanishing into the void was not much. His body felt the same, still soggy with the goo of the bio-suit, still smelly for the recycled air. Movement was unchanged, no external forces, no angular momentum, as he kept floating in empty space. He should have reached the boundary by now, yet the world was just the same black rotten canvas of always.

Was this new world just a continuation of the previous one? Did it loop back around as the two extremes of infinity touched?

Violent and merciless a flash of bright white blinded him abruptly, waves of electricity started oscillating across his body, a rattling skeleton toy clad in the greenish jelly of the bio-suit.

The shock was greater than the pain. It took him a great deal of self dominance to get a hold of himself.

His muscles strained to the impossible, but fueled by his need to embrace the view of the new world at hand, he forced his eyes open.

The landscape burned white, populated with shapes of impossible geometry, with edges that fell onto faces that merged into vertexes, with spheres that kept turning inside-out curves that were both convex and concave.

When the synapses of his brain attempted to elaborate such a view, shrapnel of freezing glass pierced his neurons with a ferocious aggression. Pain enslaved his soul. His back crunched, his throat burning, his eyes boiling in his head.

He vomited.

With incredible effort, frozen pearls of sweat on his forehead, blood on his lips, he managed to turn around.

His wounded eyes darted to look at his ship, resisting to the new wave of agony crashing into him.

The ship was lost.

Overwhelmed, his body tied to faint, but the brutal force of the bio-suit life support systems was too much to allow him to collapse, or sleep, or die.

He was bound to stay alive forever with that suit on, while that hellish fire would have kept burning inside of him, bombarded by an hail of pain and abjection.

Scorched words left his dry lips “deactivate life support” the ghost of a prayer.

The virtual assistant did not respond, stuck in an indifferent universe.

Two perpendicular lines in space meet in only one point. If he walked back he would find everything that he had left.

Time flows in only one direction.


Two perpendicular lines in time meet in only one point. There is no walking back in time.

“Captain E.Hubble ID E2M2C4P2C2. Override command”

“Captain E.Hubble ID E2M2C4P2C2. Override command”

“Captain E.Hubble ID E2M2C4P2C2. Override command”

“Captain E.Hubble ID E2M2C4P2C2. Override command”

October 26, 2021 16:58

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John K Adams
23:36 Nov 05, 2021

You made the implausible believable, by shoring it up with physics. And you populated it with a character just mad enough to attempt this absurd feat. Good story.


22:50 Nov 06, 2021

Thanks for the feedback John, I'm glad you found it entertaining


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Beth Jackson
17:24 Oct 28, 2021

This is so so so good, Gianluca! Great tension and pace and I loved the concept!


20:05 Oct 28, 2021

Thanks for your feedback! I'm pretty proud of this one :)


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18:04 Oct 31, 2021

Funny and fascinating. I enjoyed it!


18:35 Oct 31, 2021

Thanks for your feedback Ana!


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