Budding Universe

Feynman knew, and we made damn sure he played ball. There was a short stint in the 80’s where we thought he’d write some memoir and leak it to the press, but our boys were on him from the moment he made his discovery, down to his last breath fighting cancer on his deathbed.

The world is different now, connected and buzzing with all kinds of information. People still trust their senses though, which is exactly what we’re counting on. Me? You don’t need to know my name. I’m “Mr. X” to you. The only reason you’re here is because the Internal Security Task Force deemed you to be worthy of being briefed – so don’t waste my time with idle questions.

This goes beyond any National Security concerns. Hell, it involves the orderly progression of the entire planet. Once we conclude this meeting, you will be under observation – so no tricks. We’ve seen them all before, and we know exactly how to circumvent treachery. Snowden? Yeah, that wasn’t one of ours. I can tell you we would’ve had him in interrogation the moment he picked up a USB drive.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

We’re going back to 1968, January to be precise. It was the month that Feynman made his original discovery, and in the process – possibly doomed us all. No, the history books won’t have this report – in fact, they’ll report on the surface effects of the Parton model dealing with quarks, but they have the dates completely wrong.

It was in a small lab at Cornell when he finally put all the pieces together. His statement, which I’m going to read to you, must NEVER be repeated to anyone, for ANY reason.

“… sparing the details of the coil design, I managed to finally get our output power to the levels indicated which meant [Redacted], this is easily met by our nuclear pile, so no strain on the local generation systems. When I flipped the switch from the control room, a small bright point appeared in the center of the room, beyond the intersection locus for the target area.

Surprised, I hit the shutdown switch at once – which probably saved my life. A fraction of a second later, the light disappeared – as did most of the contents of the lab. The entire room was in a full vacuum for a number of moments, which equalized as the heavy access doors buckled under the strain, cracking the observation glass and forming a spherical twisted mass of metal in the center, as imploded debri was compressed at high velocities.

After sweeping the area for any exotic particle residue and/or radioactivity, none was found. Severely shaken, I reported the incident to the Internal Task Force, who then suggested that I [Redacted]. I gladly followed this advice.”

It scares the hell out of me just reading this, over 45 years later. We had no idea what we had just unleashed. Since the equipment was lost in the experiment, that wasn’t a problem, but we had to scrub out any mention of the specific circumstances needed to recreate it. That took a lot of work, but we succeeded. We wouldn’t have had a prayer in today’s internet-based world.

What’s the problem? I’m getting to it.

What Feynman’s experiment did was “ring the bell” of our continuum. He was smart, and stopped it before it could result in complete oblivion – however there were some other unintended effects. You see, we’re in a smaller universe now than when it started – and that seems to be holding stable at a given equilibrium, so we don’t dare do any further high-energy particle experiments. The Large Hadron Collider? Yeah, the key elements on that have been changed so it doesn’t overlap the energy domain of Feynman’s portal to disaster.

That’s not all – our little “bubble” universe is barely larger now than 30 to 40 AU, just beyond the planet Neptune. Its also one of the reasons we decided to not include Pluto as a planet anymore, because questions were being asked and we couldn’t give satisfactory answers for something that wasn’t really there anymore.

In fact, the moon launch a year later in 1969 was just a big bread-and-circuses event, because we knew the data and telemetry that we’d get from those instruments would show the truth. And the truth is a big scary monster that will devour the world if it ever becomes known.

Astronomers? Sure, we had to take a few into the fold, the amateur guys are easy because there’s a dense layer of old light that got trapped with us, so it should be showing twinkling stars in the night sky for centuries to come. The real problem is blocking non-terrestrial experiments from opening the eyes of everyone on the planet to the horrible truth.

What is it? Fine. Take a seat, it might be easier that way.

From what the physicists tell me who were personally cleared by Feynman and our agency, we’re currently in a large “bubble” traveling at super-relativistic speeds to an unknown fate. We don’t know if our dabblings in particle physics merely accelerated some unknown process – some of the boys are calling it the “Budding Universe” theory, but one thing is clear — we have no idea where we’ll end up, and what will happen if we stop on a dime.

That’s why we have to lie, fake, cheat and manipulate everything — because without that, we’ll have no society, no order and no future.

You do want to get up tomorrow and not have the world end around you, right?

Good. Sign this piece of paper and we’ll get to work.

Welcome to the team.