Cipher Codex – The Departure

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Mrs. Judith Applesmith, professor of Old English studies, currently on sabbatical. checked her watch as the taxi pulled up in front of their house. “We’re early,” she said.

“How early,” Mrs. Barbara Applesmith, Judith’s wife, computer programmer, specialty cryptology, asked.

“Just a couple of minutes.” She leaned forward to speak to the driver, “Can we wait here a couple of minutes?”

“Sure, the meter’s still running,” the driver said.

“That’s fine we may not be staying anyway.” The driver nodded. She sat back in the seat and said quietly to Barbara, “Do you think it’ll make a noise?”

Barbara glanced out at their house, “Depends on whether it’s an exchange of matter or –” a thunderclap interrupted her.

The driver jumped in her seat and looked at the sky, “Weather report didn’t say anything about rain.”

“Ok so it’s a one way transport of matter through time,” Barbara said. They exited the cab and looked at their house from the sidewalk. “From the outside the damage doesn’t look that bad.”

“Dear, the garage is sagging,” Judith said.

“I was talking about the house. You can see part of a hole in the side but it’s not collapsed.”

“Yet. I’m going to look inside. Stay here and be ready to call for an ambulance if the house comes crashing down on me.” She gave Barbara a peak on the check, strode up to the front door and peeked inside. The ovid hole in the wall stretched almost the length of the living room. It curved up into the ceiling and down into the foundation. There was also a similar hole in the floor boards around a shallow divot in the foundation. In the ceiling a hole opened up a view into the upper floor. These holes, she knew, were not separate events but rather the end result of an egg shaped chunk of space being transported somewhere else, somewhen else, by the machine those two kids, twenty-somethings really but they looked so young to her, had built in her garage with her funding.

“Whoa, that’s weird looking. It’s like a negative space picture,” Barbara said looking over Judith’s shoulder.

“I thought I asked you to stay back.”

“And let you have all the fun? Not a chance. So, what do we do now?”

“I don’t like the look of the ceiling so we’ll stay in the apartment for now. I’ll call a contractor and see about getting some supports put in and a tarp over the garage. You can start emailing physicists and engineers the first page of notes about the machine. We’re off the book from here on out. It’s up to us to save the kids from the past. Somehow.”


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