Period

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“You ready?”
“Do I have a choice?”
“There are only two possibilities: Yes or No, and really we are doing this regardless, it would just make me look better if you consented”
“That’s garbage” he half laughed “were talking quantum level actions and you think we are down to two choices. “
“Guess it depends on your point of view, which for you may be about to change. But right now, yes that’s exactly it, you have two choices. We go forward and everything changes, or not. Or you don’t and maybe somethings change, or nothing at all.”
This is what they had been working towards their entire professional lives, sacrificed for, neglected for. There wasn’t really a choice, and if there was it had been made a long time ago, and if they were right it hadn’t been made by them, not by anyone but by something so miniscule it could almost have never happened.
“Yes”
She plugged him in.
Pain, pure blinding pain that took him out of his body and into itself again. The whole of time ripped him apart piecing him together, only to do it again. Simultaneously dragging him across the sun and through the icy cold of space, his conscious devoured itself. He saw it all; the bloody start, the even bloodier end and everything in-between. Instantaneously he was all the pain that had ever been or would ever be.
Joy, pure blinding joy. The beginning of time as a brilliant spark in the void, the beauty that was creation itself from the first spec of dust to the last flicker of light. The joyous overture of the bang that brought it all into being again and again, billions of simultaneous sunrises on an endless string of planets with vast oceans teaming with life and a singular rose in an alien desert. At once he was all that was love and beauty and magnificence.
Nothing, she stared at him in the cold sterile lab a worried but curious look on her face.
“Anything?”’
“How long have I been gone?”
“Gone? I plugged you in then I asked ‘anything?’ and here we are, end of magical journey.”
She had plugged him into “the device” both of their technical expertise as a neurosurgeon and a particle physicist were unmatched and the device had been a combination of their lifes work together. A small grey steel box, which until recently had contained just space, now contained a different type of space, HIlbert Space. A mathematical theory, until of course it was put into a box, that was used to represent infinite dimensional space in the measurement of quantum level experiments. A cable ran from the side of the box into a port that she had recently implanted into his neck which was tied directly into his nervous system.
Their theory was that by uploading the Space into his nervous system he would be a human quantum detector that would be able to observe the quantum level actions that were creating a postulated multi-verse. Which actions or inactions would spawn a new reality, would he be able to see the possibilities in advance, or only know after the diversion occurred, could there be convergence of realities if the right combination of choices were made, how many divergent universes were there?
The experiment was of course idiodic. If all, or even some, of the theories were right, his mind would collapse in on-itself almost instantly with an overload of information. As part of the set up she had implanted a hard drive connected through his left eye into his optical nerve to try and buffer the load, or at least capture some data before his brain was turned into applesauce. He knew he would lose his eye and look like a partially reformed Borg for the rest of whatever his life would consist of after the experiment, but his physical sacrifices were nothing compared to what she had given to fill the box.
“I saw it”
“You saw what”
“I don’t know, but I saw it, I was there, everywhere, but nowhere, and here”
“I’m going to check the hard drive”
She clicked on the desktop and opened the file that had downloaded his brain activity, the applesauce protocol had everything running on back-ups and redundancies.
A single file with a few bytes of data. She opened it, a single period on an otherwise blank screen.
“Must have been some journey”
The Space was gone and The Device was empty. With his memory of the connection fading they began to run a series of pre-planned test. He made blind choices, informed choices, planned and random activities, no choices. Nothing, no endless multi-verse, no diversions, no applesauce. And still just a single period on the screen.
“It should have worked, the math was right, the connections were good, something should have happened but nothing has changed.”
He sat quietly looking at the empty box on the counter next to the computer. He looked in the mirror above it, at his neck where the port had now permanently disfigured him and to the cords that came out of his left eye that connected him to the hard drive. Then he looked at the screen and at the single period on the screen.
He stared at it, willing it to change into endless streams of data that would pave the way for the next great evolution of human understanding, he stared at it waiting for the universe to change and bend to their will.
And then he saw it, inside that single period. It was small, so infinitesimally small and huge beyond comprehension. All the pain, all the joy, the choices, the actions, the interstellar events, everything that had ever been and would ever be, every choice ever made or not made, the whole of everything. And in that moment, it saw him and started again.

About the Author: 
I am an environmental scientist and live in western Canada with my wife and two young children. I have always been fascinated by the secrets that the quantum world holds and its ability to unlock out imagination.