It was 201X when Dr. Andonuts found out how to open the Absolutely Safe Capsule.

"It's so simple, its just been staring me in the face for ten years!" said the scientist. Duster, his new lab assistant (he was really having trouble finding a job), decided to keep his mouth shut and not say that he suspected it was because Dr. Andonuts was an absent-minded senile old fruitcake. He had gotten worse since his experiences at Chimera Labs. A DCMC label played in the background, on a continuous loop. He claimed the lively beat helped him not to sleep. The scientist didn't like sleeping any more. He said it was a waste of time. Duster suspected that his violent aversion was out of a need stronger than a few more hours' working time.

"You see, the Capsule is programmed to detect all possible threats to its host and act as a barrier to them or neutralise their energy. However, it is not programmed to know how to react to positive energy and cannot process it correctly. If it is exposed to large amounts of positive energy, I theorise that it will become unstable and overload."

"We've been doing experiments with different kinds of psychic healing." said the Doctor. By 'we' he meant himself and Lucas, his 'volunteer'. The boy was sleeping in the corner of the room. "Even at Alpha level, the machine produces abnormal readouts and its armour weakens slightly. According to my calculations, an Omega level would completely disable it."

"How do we know that this will cause the door to open?" said Duster, "What if it just completely shuts down, so that it can never be opened again, or even explodes and kills its host?"

"Oh, its Pokey, who cares?" Dr. Andonuts dismissed the question with a wave, "Its not like I'm doing this to help Pokey! I just want my Capsule back! I'd have already started the experiment if it wasn't for..."

"If it wasn't for what?"

"I fear what will happen when we open the box." said the scientist, his voice shaking slightly, "You see... I don't know exactly what he did with that Phase Distorter, or the effect it has had upon him. I know that he has completely destroyed his own personal timeline through critical paradox backlash. I know that he doesn't age properly, that he is both young and old, but I don't know how old he actually is. We don't know whether he perceives time as it actually is, or even that only ten years did actually pass for him. He might have really been in that box for... anything up to and including infinite years... in a state of complete sensory deprivation while what remains of his quantum locality deteriorates around him... he was already both immortal and insane when I found him, but now..."

"You're scared of what he'll be like when we open the box."

"I don't even know if he'll still be human."

"Is it safe to let the kid open the box?"

"He's Lucas." The boy snapped awake as soon as he heard his name. "If he doesn't survive, nobody will."

"Wha?" Lucas rubbed his eyes, "What'm I surviving now?"

"Its okay, I got reinforcements just in case." said Dr. Andonuts, "Boney and Kumatora are on their way over."

Lucas' face brightened when he heard his friends were coming to visit him.

-----

"One! Two! Three! Five!" said Lucas cheerfully as he bopped along to the music.

"Its 'Four', you idiot!" snapped Duster.

"It sounds like five!" said Lucas, "Well, actually it sounds more like 'fa'. Sort of a cross between a four and a five."

"Its that Shimmy Zmizz. His accent is weird. We can't tell a lot of his words apart." admitted Duster, "I've told him a million times to be more legible when he's on stage, but..."

"Let's not waste time!" said Dr. Andonuts, clapping his hands, "We must proceed with the experiment immediately!"

"Okay!" said Lucas. He walked up to the Absolutely Safe Capsule. It was surrounded by scaffolding so that it wouldn't roll around, as Dr. Andonuts was bored with the rolley-rolley game. The Doctor stood a couple of feet away from Lucas with a clipboard, already hurriedly making notes. Lucas peered through the glass. He couldn't see Pokey.

"Begin!" ordered Dr. Andonuts.

Sweat poured down Lucas' face as he placed his hand on the almost perfectly smooth surface of the Capsule. He felt feverish. His psychic powers still had that effect on him, especially at Omega level. Kumatora told him he would grow into them but he didn't believe her; she was a girl. What did she know about how it worked for boys? He forced himself to concentrate.

"PEE... KAY... LIFE... UP... OMEGA!!!" he yelled. A stream of white light coursed through his mind, along with a rushing sound, strange shapes and patterns. His palms began tingling. Then the energy poured out of him through his hands, spreading into the surface of the capsule.

There was a series of frenzied beeps from the machine. Dr. Andonuts began chattering excitedly in techno-babble and scribbling furiously on his clipboard. Then the machine began shuddering violently from side to side, reminding Lucas of the time his brother Claus put him in the washing machine. Some of the scaffolding fell off and the machine rolled to one side of the room before coming to a stop, jumping into the air once, then the door opened.

"IT WORKED! IT WORKED!" yelled Dr. Andonuts.

Lucas blinked and walked up to the now silent machine. All the lights were off, the humming of Pokey's life support systems had stopped. Unshouldering his bat, he peeked inside. It was pitch dark and icily cold. It was also empty. No Pokey, no spider machine, nothing. He used PK Flash to try and make a little light...

He screamed.

"WHAT THE F...?" Duster yelled. The music player was malfunctioning. The sound it produced was an eerily distorted version of the DCMC theme, the same few seconds looping over and over again. Duster thumped it. It neither went back to normal nor stopped playing. He tried kicking it, but to no avail. He was running out of ideas.

"JUST SWITCH IT OFF!" yelled Dr. Andonuts. Duster shrugged, reached behind it and yanked the plug out of the wall.

The sound did not stop.

Suddenly, Lucas collapsed to his knees and began screaming incoherently, inhumanly, clawing at his temples.

"Lucas! What's wrong?" yelled Kumatora, running to his side. The boy grabbed her and stared at her, then pushed her away before curling up in a foetal position, ranting on and on in a zombified monotone about angels and aliens and Claus and a hole in the ground and a horrible crimson light. Kumatora began screaming as well. Those eyes. Those stark empty eyes, pure white, all colour drained from them. All in the world that was insane and malfunctioning shone through them like the light of a broken monitor.