01 Feb I’ve Seen What Lies Beyond Reality
Before I begin this story, there are some things you must first understand. My name is Allen Bailey, and for the past thirteen years I have been raised by my uncle, Dr. Richard Blackwater. These circumstances came to fruition when my mother and father both died when a drunk driver decided to rearrange their 1998 Ford Explorer on new year’s eve in 2007. During the following thirteen years I was placed in the custody of my mother’s brother who was my only living relative at the time. My uncle Richard had a doctorate in theoretical physics and a master’s degree in theology. And while I’ve never been much of a believer in some cosmic entity with a big white beard in the sky watching over all of us, my uncle had always been a strong one. Well I say a believer, perhaps I should have reframed that and say he was a spiritual explorer. His life obsession had always been the search for one thing, to actually find God. And that is why I’m writing this now, because of what he did find, and I’m sorry, I truly am for what I am about to tell you. Because I’ve sat on his discovery for the past 4 years and can no longer hide the truth. I wish I could make it easy, I wish I could hold back, but I can’t. Because you, all of you, deserve to know the truth.
It all began last spring when classes resumed at Ohio University where he was a professor. What struck me as rather odd about the beginning of the semester was when he asked me to act as his personal assistant. While skeptical at first, I couldn’t really turn down an offer that was monetarily five times larger than my current salary as an assistant manager at a 7-Eleven. I had never been someone of outspoken interest in his work which seemed rather odd at first when the offer approached me. When questioned, my uncle simply said that he thought I would do a good job at the tasks at hand, and that he would like to spend more time with me.
Now while his semester long work times were much longer than his off seasons, we never really connected as close as some would expect. We had a good relationship but nothing super close. Uncle Blackwater or Uncle B as I came to call him was always… different. After having a 10 minute conversation with him it would become very apparent to you that he was most definitely on the spectrum of Autism. I mean, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, but very crucial in understanding his behaviors.
On the first day of my new job as his assistant I arrived in his office at 11:00am, about 30 minutes before the start of his first class. He was currently listening to the soundtrack of Ghostbusters while flipping through the screenplay. That was just another one of his quirks. He never watched movies, he simply listened to their soundtrack while reading through the script. He once told me that you can’t get disappointed with the cast or visual effects if it’s all in your head, to which I never argued.
“Hey, Uncle B.” I said as I shut the door behind me.
“Ah! Allen,” he said with a smile as he closed the screenplay. “Just the professor assistant I was looking for. Are you ready for your big day?”
“I guess,” I said with a laugh as I took the seat across from his desk. For what it was worth, his office was very spacious, at least it would be if it wasn’t for all the clutter. For all the things Uncle B was, tidy wasn’t one of them. “What is it you’ll have me doing today?”
“I need you to sit in on the class.” He said as he slipped some papers into his backpack. “Don’t worry there’s a video I recorded to teach them, and they’ll just email me if they have any questions. I just need you to click play, and then replay when the next class comes in. That okay?”
To be honest, that sounded like the easiest damn job on Earth. A little too good to be true as I would later come to find out.
“Sure.” I replied. “But what will you be doing?”
“Oh I’ve got some work to do in the old STEM lab downstairs. After they built the new one across from the library I was able to turn it into a small testing ground for my new thesis.”
“New thesis?” I asked, looking at a transcript of his upcoming video lecture. “What about?”
“Oh you’ll see in time, if all goes according to plan. I don’t want to count my eggs before they hatch.” He said with a smirk as he got up from his desk and collected his bag.
I honestly couldn’t even describe how easy my job was looking to be when I first started. Students would come in, I’d play the video, they’d leave, and the cycle would just start up over again for the next couple of hours.
It wasn’t until the last class when I realized that things were about to get a little more… interesting. Half way through the “Introduction To Theoretical Physics” video the power suddenly shut off. In elementary school when such an event happened you’d be hearing tons of screams and cheers as kids thought the school day was over. Here, I just heard a couple of depressed sighes. To be honest if I was shoving out thousands of dollars for one of my classes to be seemingly just taught on a projector and then the power to just go out, I’d feel pretty down myself.
It wasn’t until I reached for my phone to text my uncle that I realized that it was off as well. Which was strange as it had been on 56% just about 5 minutes ago when I was checking my Facebook notifications.
With me just sitting there awkwardly not really having any idea what was going on, it didn’t take long for the class to eventually get up in a mass exodus out of the auditorium. Altho what I did notice was none of them had been on their phones as they were making their way out, not a single one.
With no students left and only the emergency powered lights illuminating the area, I made my way out of the campus to get my portable phone charger out of my car. Making my way over to it I had some trouble getting in as my key fob didn’t seem to be unlocking my Corolla at all. Realizing the fob battery was probably dead, I just used the key to unlock it and retrieved my charger from the glovebox.
Leaning against the driver door, I plugged in the charger cord into my phone to see what the base charge was, but my screen remained black. When I checked to see if something was wrong with the charger, it wasn’t showing that it had any power. This was impossible of course as I had just left it at full charge 3 days ago and hadn’t even used it since.
Before I could get really frustrated, every single car in the parking lot suddenly exploded in a chorus of burglar alarms that almost made me soil myself. Instinctively I reached for my keys to click the alarm off which surprisingly worked the first go as it silenced my car.
But I was almost too distracted by the screeching armada of alarms going off to feel the vibrating going off in my pocket where I had just put my phone back into. When I pulled it out, my phone was suddenly back on with a battery level of 50%, and a notification that Uncle B was calling me.
“Hello?” I nearly yelled into the phone as I tried walking back to the campus to get away from the alarms.
“Alan?” He responded hysterically. “Alan where are you?”
“I went outside to get my phone charger after the power went out. What’s going on?”
“Meet me back in my office. This… this is big Allen. Just hurry.” With that he hung up the phone. At the time I didn’t really know why, but I had this lump in my chest. The kind you get when you know there is a storm on the horizon, that something was coming.
Making my way to his office I noticed that the power inside the building seemed to come back on as well. Everything seemed to return to normal right? I thought so as well until I opened his door to see Uncle B hunched over his desk, trembling. To give a bit of background, I’ve never really ever seen him upset like this. I had seen him cry a little over my mother at the funeral, but this wasn’t him sad. To borrow a term from this generation, he was shook, right down to his core.
“Uncle B?” I asked concerned as I kneeled down beside him. “What’s wrong?”
“I think,” he said in a whisper, “I think I found them.”
He then turned to me with a face I was all too familiar with. The face of a child that had just learned that both of his parents were now dead and gone forever.
“I think I found them all.”
“W-What are you talking about?” I asked as that lump in my chest seemed to gradually grow.
He didnt answer me, instead he got out from his chair and began to walk out of his office. As he exited the door he turned back to me.
“Common, I need you to see this. I have to make sure I’ve not gone insane.”
When he said that to me there was a small voice in my head screaming for me to get up and get as far away from that campus as possible. But I didn’t listen. My curiosity got the better of me. So at that moment I made the biggest mistake of my entire life. I got up out of my seat and followed him.
The path down to the old STEM lab downstairs was filled with the kind of wet and silky air reserved for most abandoned basements. It honestly looked like the stairway and adjoined hallway hadn’t been cleaned in years. The door to the lab was wrapped in chains with a single lock in place. Uncle B pulled out a key with his shaking hand, steadied it, and with a clanking of chains which echoes reverberated down the hall, the door was unlocked.
The interior of the lab was less of something you’d see in a college campus and more like a mad scientist’s laboratory in a classic 80’s sci-fi flick.
Four large tesla coils stood equidistantly from each other in the center of the room. While several boxes of machinery filled with colorful blinking lights lined the walls.
“What is all this?” I asked almost dumbfounded by the vast scope of everything. “Is this all for your thesis?”
“This is my life’s work, Allen.” He said as he sat in front of a large monitor with two separate keyboards plugged into it. “This is the telescope to see the beyond.”
“What do you mean?”
He then swiveled back in his chair to face me, somewhat regaining his complexion. “Where do you think God exists?” He seemed to already know the answer from my face in response to it.
“Listen, I know you don’t really believe. But if you did, where do you think he… or it would exist.”
“If there was such a thing as an all powerful supreme being, I highly doubt he’d be here.”
“And why do you say that?” He asked.
“Well with all the telescopes we have, there’s no evidence of some bearded guy out there floating on a cloud.” Part of me felt bad for acting like a smartass to him, but he knew how the whole religious thing bothered me.
“Exactly!” He said to my suprise. “If the creator of the universe exists, then he wouldn’t exist here. He’d be outside of his own creation. Think about it, if you were to create an aquarium, you wouldn’t live in it. You would observe from afar as the life inside carried on with itself.”
“What are you getting at?” I asked with what I must admit to be a hint of curiosity.
“What I’m getting at is that if God exists, and if we as human beings have a soul that leaves our body upon death, and if they go somewhere, it’s not here. It’s beyond.”
“Then what did you mean when you said you found them?”
It was that question that put the terror in his eyes again. His entire demeanor was all over the place right now.
“Because I think, no, I’m certain that I’ve found it, found them, found the beyond.”
“Beyond? You mean beyond the… universe? Sorry, but how the heck is that even possible?”
“With that,” he said pointing at the tesla coils. “You see, I have detected a subwave channel of energy that’s seemingly everywhere. It’s what allows electricity to transmit itself from one atom to another. It’s what allows gravity to expand and hold other objects into place. For all intents and purposes, it’s the hidden driving force of the universe.”
“I think you’re starting to lose me.”
He then started to fiddle with his hands as he tried to tie his thoughts together into a comprehensive explanation.
“Let’s go back to the aquarium analogy for a minute.” He said, “Once it’s built, you can’t just just expect it to run forever, you need electricity to power the water filtration system. That’s basically what I think I’ve found. The electricity that powers the universe. So I did what anyone else would do, I traced it to the source. Because if you follow the current, you find the bower box.”
“Listen,” I said. “I know you’re not one for practical jokes, but please tell me this is one of them.”
“This is no joke!” He nearly shouted as he jumped out of his chair. “I saw it.”
“I saw it, just for a moment. But I know I saw it! And I believe you’ve already felt the ramifications. If I’m not mistaken, the power went out, correct? But it wasn’t just a blown fuse or a transformer error. It was almost as if the electricity around the entire campus suddenly vanished, correct?”
The implications of his words were doing nothing to calm that lump in my chest that was now nearly the size of a football.
“I used up the local surrounding subwave energy to break through to the other side. But now that I have the backup systems up and running, we should be able to look through much longer and actually figure out what’s beyond. But that’s why I need you, Allen.”
He reached out and gripped my wrist. “I can’t do this on my own. This is the very definition of unknown territory, and the thought of that terrifies me. If I’m going to do this, I need you by my side. Now I know you don’t believe in this sort of stuff, but please let me show you. Let me show us both that there is something out there. Please Allen…”
I couldn’t say no to him, to those pleading eyes that reminded me so much of my mother. Oh I know I wish I could, believe me I do. But my mind was trying too hard to keep up with what was going on, and failing terribly in the process. So without a word, I close my eyes and nodded to him.
He jumped back towards the controls and began typing frantically as the large humming machines buzzed to life around us. My eyes then turned to the series of tesla coils in the center of the room. They gave off this sinister hum of energy, like some ancient cursed monolith waiting to unleash it’s terrors on the world.
“Alpha wave emitters, activating.” He said as the coils took on this faint blue glow. When bolts of electricity began to explode in the middle of the series of tesla coils l instinctively began to back away, but was stopped when Uncle B came up beside me.
“It’s okay, don’t be afraid. Nothing can break out of those coils.” As he spoke, bolts of electricity began burst to life more and more until they nearly morphed into a single stream of light.
“This is it,” he whispered as he looked down at his watch. “3…2…1…”
Suddenly the air inside the 4 coils tore apart. At that moment the horrifying truth of the universe washed over me like a tsunami as the veil of reality lifted itself like a nylon stocking. Through the tear I could see the birth and death of the universe and every second in between in a conglomerate amalgamation of insane living light surrounded by a perpetual screaming void of darkness. Encased in the darkness was a seemingly infinite expanse of a writhing masses that I was soon able to make out as what appeared to be individual people stitched and assorted together in horrifying seared sculptures of nightmares. I can’t explain why or how, but the truth of everything suddenly became so crystal clear.
There was no God, no creator, no supreme all knowing benevolent architect of the universe. There was just the unending black sea of nonexistence cradling the whole of reality that defied its existence. The energy my uncle detected didn’t come from a creator, but from the very paradox formed by creation itself existing. There was never meant to be a universe. Time and space were all acts that defied the nature of the nothingness that existed eternally before. And worst of all, there was no explanation for it. No great and powerful causal agent that set everything in motion in the arms of destiny, it was all simply a freak accident to which no side understood. Reality buckled and howled at it’s own defilement of the true laws of nonexistence, all the black void of the antiverse screamed in protest of that which it now held. There was no reason for anything, there was just complete chaos. And as for the nightmare conglomerations of bodies writhing in that chaos? Those were the souls of the dead. They themselves were also a blasphemous abomination to both creation and nonexistence. Their forms were unbound and excruciating. Billions all cried out for their gods that never existed, all to end their suffering that would perpetuate until time itself became meaningless. That, I realized was the destination to which all humans were headed. That, was hell.
“No!” I could vaguely hear my uncle scream in protest against the amalgamation of terrors. “No! No! No!” He continued to shout in the howling abyss. “This can’t be it! No!”
I couldn’t stop him from reaching out to topple the coils down to the ground. My body was frozen in place. As he grabbed the nearest one, the tear instantly closed as a series of bolts reached out and struck him. The coil itself burned red hot, turning his hands into chard black fragments of what they had once been. It was all over in a matter of seconds. Then the entire room exploded into darkness as the machines died, while I remained there frozen, alone.
It only took an hour for the power to my cell phone to come back, after calling 911 I sat in the corner, trying my best to come to terms with what I had seen. Uncle B remained sprawled out on the floor of the lab, smoke rolling out of his body.
It’s been 4 years since that day and I’ve done my best to mentally recover as much as anyone can from what I had seen. But the truth about the final resting place of my mother, father, and my uncle, along with the rest of the human race still lies there in the back of my mind like a cancer. H.P. Lovecraft once said that the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. I’d have to disagree with him tho, because I’m not scared of the unknown, I’m terrified of the beyond.