Split Infinite

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“I just need to split a neutrino. That will generate dark matter. I'm sure of it!” Archer took a bite of his ham and pickle sandwich.
“Yeah, right. You keep reaching for the impossible.” Madurah brought a forkful of pasta to his mouth, then added, “You know it's impossible right? Ain't nothing smaller than a neutrino.”
“That we know of.” Archer was always ready to defend his favourite theory. “That's what they said about the atom, and then quarks...we just don't have the means to detect anything smaller just now. Doesn't mean it's not there.”
Madurah shook his head. There was just no talking Archer out of his crazy theories. Everyone wanted to figure out dark matter, and he severely doubted it would be his crazed colleague with his super-freezing-a-neutrino idea. He just hoped Archer wouldn't blow up the lab again. He needed it in pristine shape for his mini-collider test; his tenure depended on it.
***
Archer worked late into that night. Security guards confirmed having last seen him around 11:30pm. At about 1:13am, a giant power surge swept through the labs and raced across town, shorting everything in its path. Wild electricity arced for miles out of the harbor, anchored by the stevedore cranes.
Madurah rushed out to the labs, instinct telling him Archer had produced another calamity he would have to clean up. Sure enough, rescue services had the complex sealed off. There was no sign of Archer. All the ambulances stood empty.
***
The next morning, Madurah found the whole department standing outside what was left of the lab Archer and he had shared.
“Inexplicable. Truly inexplicable!” Professor Ellison sounded in awe instead of all knowing, for once. “Not a single human casualty, and now this!”
Madurah pushed his way forward to get a better look at 'this'. A dark cloud engulfed part of the passage. It absorbed most of the fluorescent light, leaving the lab entrance in impenetrable darkness.
Madurah gaped. Surely...it couldn't be. Surely Archer hadn't...
He turned abruptly to his colleagues. “No casualties, you said. Where's Archer? The hospital?”
Some of the staff shifted uncomfortably. Others looked keenly between Madurah and Ellison.
“I honestly don't know, Madurah.” Most of Ellison's attention was on the dark cloud swirling around the lab entrance. “He called in just a few minutes ago to say he's fine.”
Madurah frowned, but not for long.
A phone began ringing. Dr Govender took the call. Almost at once, she called out, “It's for Madurah.”
Madurah felt sick. What had Archer gotten him into this time? Slowly, he picked up the receiver from the desk where Govender had set it. “Hello, Madurah here.”
Archer's voice was unmistakable. “Hey man, you'll never believe it! I did it! I split the neutrino, but you were right; there's no dark matter produced.”
Madurah choked, then cleared his throat. “You sure, man? 'Cos there's something dark and foggy around the lab; no light getting through. I reckon that could be your dark matter. Where are you anyway? Come over here and see it.”
Archer's chuckle was warm, and happier than Madurah had ever heard him. “No need, I'm already there. Can't see the dark cloud though. Must be in a lower energy state.”
“Hey, man. Quit fooling around!” Madurah glanced quickly at the empty office, and through the glass window giving onto the crowded corridor. “I know you're not here. I'd see you otherwise.”
“Oh, but I am.” Archer chuckled softly. “There's been an amazing result from my experiment—completely unpredicted, but one that makes wonderful sense when you see what I now see...”
A chill passed through Madurah. “Really, what's that?”
There was a silence from Archer, as if he was trying to find a good description. Eventually, he said, “You know when your mum told you that angels could be everywhere at once? Well, I can too. I am here, there and everywhere--all at once! Do you know what this means?”
Madurah stood open-mouthed. Was he talking to a ghost or an angel?
“It means, when I split the neutrino, it shot me into such a high energy state that I'm...I'm pure energy! No particle or wave, but pure energy in a form we've never perceived before! And so is everything around me, man. It's so beautiful! So peaceful, so absolutely perfect!”
Madurah trembled. He knew Archer well enough to know what was coming next.
“But,” went Archer in that way he had, “I'm going to need someone to help me with further experiments. I could do things on my level and you can verify them, and vice versa. There's so much to document! Did you know that light is just clumps of energy, and when it's unravelled...oh, man! Madurah? You there?”
Madurah lay on the floor, hyperventilating. There had to be a rational explanation for this phone call. Archer was just playing some elaborate joke, like that fiasco last year. There was no way what Archer said was true. No way at all.
From his vantage point on the floor, he could see the swirl and eddying of the dark fog. A strange sensation reached his left ear.
Archer said distinctly, “Ah, I see you now. I know it's all a bit of a shock, but think of the possibilities, man. Think of the possibilities!”
Madurah thought about all the opportunities he'd missed through the years, the smirks on his colleagues faces when they heard he was sharing a lab with Archer...And he smiled. Limitless possibilities equals infinite opportunities, in every plane's speak.

About the Author: 
Leenna writes women's fiction and sci-fi/fantasy; finds deserts and snowfields fascinating; and blogs when she's not daydreaming. Find her blog at www.leennanaidoo.wordpress.com