The Ambergast Routine

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On Wednesday it all came down, and Mr. Ambergast was on the verge of bursting into tears. It was not so much that his mother had come out of cryo once again (the fifth time this decennium), but more the fact that the whole universe was ripping fast apart, and it was solely the responsibility of one man: Morton Ambergast, MPhys (with honors), Vauxhall College, Greater London.

Outside it was a lovely spring day, and dusk was still a couple of hours away. Thanks to the nano-filters not a speck of dust was to be observed in the rays from the lowering sun, as Morton Ambergast went out of the otherwise silent lab, and the door behind him pronounced an imploding 'whup' as it closed behind his now crouched and worried back.

Back on the lab bench Morton's latest contraption rested silently, looking like a reversed techno porcupine with laser rods pointing inwards to a cup-sized black crucible that held a small diamond. Only now it was a diamond minus one particle. And this missing particle was the smallest of the small, much smaller than an unthought idea or fleeting mood, and yet it had become the most significant non-existent particle ever (citation needed).

Judging from his birth certificate (encapsulated as a hologram in his retina) Morton was 93 years old, but spending decades in voluntary cryo, to avoid his mother's smothering affections, gave him the biological age of a man in his late twenties or early thirties. Nevertheless he was painfully aware that some of the Nobel laureates in physics had done their best work before the age of 25. And he just knew that he was onto something – something Nobel size big.

As Morton stood briefly in the maglevator capsule he pondered what he had read about the accident at Cern back in 2023, when an overflow of highly charged neutrons from the other end of the universe smashed the underground accelerator, blowing up a few Swiss villages as well. The scientists had tweaked the accelerator ring with 144 tetraelectron volts, and they fired their protons in hope of an unequivocal proof of entanglement. Which they got, but in an amount that they had not been able to dream of.

One of the Cern protons had struck another photon dead on, pushing it backwards in time, and simultaneously creating a wormhole to the far end of our universe. This had caused havoc and chaos in said region of space, because of the imbalance the surplus proton had caused, and several rather heavy stellar objects in the vicinity imploded into parallel universes, creating new ragnaroks all over the place. After doing this job the proton popped back through the temporal wormhole, as did about umpteen thermochemical calories in the form of superheated plasma, that made the attending staff at Cern that day into red (sometimes brown) dust instantly.

Morton Ambergest knew that he was missing some vital part of information in order to get to Stockholms Stadshus before his creative neurons withered away. And he decided that entanglement must be a key factor in getting to Scandinavia before Fall and the Fimbul Winter set in.

He could not replicate the Cern incident for obvious reasons, and he certainly did not wish to be burnt to a cinder by hot plasma anyway, so he set up a smaller apparatus consisting of 42 small petawatt lasers and a hollow crucible, made from an alloy of carbon, hafnium, iridium and nitrogen. It would melt only at 27,460º Fahrenheit (15,238º Celsius), and it held in its bowel an industrial diamond which again gripped its carbon crystal lattice firmy around an entangled electron, which was the aim of Mortons quest. His theory was that if you could push the trapped electron just enough, so the reverberations would disturb its entangled twin on the other side of time and space, then maybe, and just maybe, you could somehow wrestle open a tiny wormhole just enough to peek in and behold the glory of a shining gold medal.

Just as Merton was about to enter the tube that would bring him home to his duplex in Pentewan Road, Tregorrick , his mothers voice sounded in his ears.

Mertie darling! Have you seen the news? Mum did not wait for the reply.
BBC says that Australia and some other parts of Asia (Mother was never a geography enthusiast) has gone blank. Like in black or maybe radio-dead, I suppose you would say. Why? You're a scientist. Why?

Orton Membergust knew why, but he was too shocked to respond. Australia! That meant that the riptide had begun. He checked his watch; only five hours had passed since he unwittingly annihilated the entangled electron with too much intense light. It did not flicker or decompose into any quarks, gluons or other entities. It simply disappeared out of existence, and thus the symmetry that binds the universe together was destroyed.

Merle! You there? His mothers incessant, chirpy voice never reached Muton Imlergeists brain. He was back in his lab, wondering what temporal and spatial effects the missing electron would cause. He dutifully observed that nothing seemed disturbed since the disappearance of the electron, and he prepared to take an early tube to his house in Kärnten, Austria, where his many wives would be waiting in their droid silence, only to be awakened when the house sensed him in the vicinity.

It was a crisp winter evening when Morten stepped out in the open. Thanks to intelligent lighting many stars twinkled overhead, and Mamberton clicked his way to the tube assembly on his centipede legs, assured that time and distance would cover up his failed experiment eventually. He looked up at the black stars in the undulating sky. Tomorrow was Wednesday, and he had an idea.

About the Author: 
Flemming Sorensen is a Danish journalist and writer, born 1953