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"Center of mass energy at thirteen tera-electronvolts," I said, staring at the computer screen.
"Awesome, Emma!" my fellow grad student and best friend Latisha, said. "Now we're cooking!"
I laughed. "You're hilarious." On the graveyard shift at the accelerator in the week hours of the morning, we had to make our fun where we could.
Latisha and I had bonded back in college over both being only-children and orphans. And loving physics, of course. We didn't really have any family except each other.
She grinned and said, "What's the luminosity doing?"
I switched to another screen. "It looks like the integrated luminosity is gonna be around one point six inverse femtobarns."
"Awesome!" She jumped out of her chair and started dancing around. "Dark photons, come to mama!"
I laughed some more.
She eventually calmed and sat back down in her chair, frowning a little. "It's kind of a bummer that our names are going to be lost amongst the eight-hundred other authors on the eventual paper--especially since we do all the most difficult grunt work."
"At least our names will still be there." It was not like Latisha to be negative. That was usually my job. Yes, I was a pessimist, but I was working on it, with her help. I was trying to be more open to positive possibilities. "Is something going on with you?"
Now she looked really sad.
"Oh, no," I said. "Did Noah break up with you again?"
When she looked at me her eyes shone, as if with unshed tears. "No," she said. "I broke up with him, once and for all."
"Aw." I got up to hug her. "Was it his parents again?" They'd made a lot of, well, blatantly racist comments, and Noah didn't call them on it.
She nodded.
"I'm sorry, sweetie," I said. "It's Noah's loss. And his parents are jerks, ignorant jerks."
"I know," she said. "I know the stuff they say is totally stupid and not true--but why does it still hurt?"
I was shaking my head, my own eyes heavy with tears. It physically hurt me to see her hurting. "You're human. And the world seems so horrible right now. Everyone seems to be bickering and fighting."
"Do you think it'll change some day?" she asked.
"I think it's ...possible."
A beeping noise coming from the computer interrupted us.
We separated and turned our attention back to the experiment. "Huh," I said. "The beam energies are getting kind of high."
Suddenly, a weird shining whirlpool appeared out of thin air. About seven feet in diameter, it floated in the lab, glowing and sort of pulsing.
"Wow!" Latisha walked right up to it. "Do you think it's a wormhole?" It did look the way I'd always imagined a wormhole would look.
I followed her. "Be careful! Don't touch it!"
We both stood staring at the phenomenon, imbedded with rainbow light. It was really beautiful.
"I think it's a wormhole," she said. "I think we should go through." She turned to look at me, smiling. "Do you want to?"
"Uh..." All I could think about was infinite gravity. I picked up a pen from a desk and tossed it inside. It sailed on through, seemingly fine, getting smaller and smaller until we couldn't see it any more. So, the wormhole was stable and it didn't have infinite gravity. Good to know.
"Should we go, Emma?" she asked, optimism in her eyes. "There are only two possibilities: yes or no."
I looked at her hopeful face. I looked at the amazing miraculous wormhole.
I grabbed her hand. "Yes."
We jumped.

About the Author: 
Lesley L. Smith has a Ph.D. in elementary particle physics and acreative writing M.F.A. Her short fiction has appeared in various venues including Analog Science Fiction and Fact and Daily Science Fiction. She's published seven SF novels, most involving quantum physics. She's an active member of SWFA.