Archive for August 21st, 2011

21st August
written by amber

The Message

When Leah and I arrived at Ryman orbital, there was a surprise waiting for Leah: a message. This was a shock to her, as no one knew we’d end up there, not even ourselves. If the Stallworthy Drive hadn’t failed, we would have made it all the way to the Green Galaxy, as we’d planned.

Her second shock was the identity of the sender of the message. The message came from herself.

I know what you’re thinking – how could she know that the message was really from herself? And your second thought probably is – how ironic that the discoverer of the impermeable nature of the membrane between the multiverses should receive a message from herself. And you would be right to think such thoughts.

The first line of the message, an infoburst of mathematical formulae, was an exact duplication of Leah’s proof of the barrier named after her, the Hamakawa membrane, without the small error she had inserted into her published work to test the mettle of those attempting to replicate her work. And that’s how she knew the message was from herself.

The message went on to describe the life that the alternate Leah Hamakawa enjoyed in a parallel universe, a universe almost exactly like our own, in which Leah is also the foremost scientist of her generation but in which she suffers from a fatal illness. Leah2 informed my Leah that the Ryman orbital was the location of the thinnest separation between their universes and our drive problem had been caused to divert us to that place.

Leah2 went on to say that life force in her universe is equivalent to monetary worth in our universe, and that if my Leah were to deposit 4.5 million credits into an account on the Ryman orbital, the thinness of the separation would enable her to transfer the credits into her universe and thus cure her illness via the renewed life force.

Naturally, Leah did this.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This is the final story written from the first lines of stories in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, September 2010. This line is from Geoffrey A. Landis’ story, The Sultan of the Clouds.