Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and its characters. I own Ed, the journal, and that little square that moved through the accelerator.
Collapse the Universes
Chapter 1 – The Prologue
In the end, it was simple. Opening the delicate lead-wrapped package took precision tools, but it wasn't insurmountable. Inside, carefully etched on the surface of the lead, was a series of numbers visible only under magnification. The Edmund Scientific microscope gathering dust in the corner of my bedroom worked quite nicely - once I took it apart so I could fit what was left of the ½ inch square packet under the lens.
The code was based on the first 127 pages of Pride and Prejudice, using the first letter of each paragraph. Once we numbered the paragraphs, and it took 127 pages worth of paragraphs, we had the letters we needed to decipher it. Mom was the one who had the breakthrough after researching various ways of encrypting messages. If the Bella in the other universe was virtually a mirror of herself, perhaps her favorite book was used as the key? It was a flash of brilliance.
The message was a simple greeting with no anticipation of the probability of a reply. My existence seemed to have been conjured up by the Alice of their world, although how she was able to have cross-universal visions was beyond our understanding. Fuck, like we were going to understand any of this.
How it got into the accelerator, I could only conjecture. I knew the CERN team was involved in ground-breaking research and could only assume that, once again, this aspect of our worlds mirrored. Perhaps Edward Cullen did nothing more than take a chance that in the moment of collision this physical object would transport to a universe that had already been connected to their own. If Mr. Volturi was right, it had happened again, and again. Maybe there was something special about these two particular universes, or maybe this happened all the time – twin existences touching and retracting, touching and retracting.
Course, I wasn't even considering how Cullen got near the accelerator at all.
Rubbing my eyes, I willed my pounding head to stop its drumbeat while I tapped my fingers on my physics book. I'd been skimming anything I could find on the latest and strangest theories associated with quantum mechanics but had come up with nothing - nada. Some of the math I could handle, some of it wouldn't be decipherable to me until I hit some senior level classes, and my patience was running dry.
It was the smell of roasting chicken that pulled me out of my head. Groaning, I shoved the book aside and got to my feet. It was close to dinnertime, and I should be downstairs looking like I was helping. Even though dad wasn't due back from his shift at the hospital for another hour, I knew mom would mention if I gave her a hand, and right now anything to keep dad happy was a good thing. I'd never seen him so tense. Ever.
Shuffling to the door I flung it open, only to be surprised to see my father standing at the end of the upstairs hallway, facing the wall.
He whipped around, eyes going wide when he saw me standing in the doorway. His hands grazing the wall - faltering, disoriented, he took a hesitant step forward, right into a shaft of light shining through a bedroom door, breaking through the dust motes dancing in the beam. As soon as he took that step the walls around him broke into a swirling array of rainbow colored light, a kaleidoscope illuminating the hallway.
What the fuck… I squinted at my father, trying to see past the light show while my brain rushed through various explanations for why it looked like a prism had lit the house. We made eye contact, and it felt like the world shifted on its axis. Grabbing the door jam I tried to steady myself, the floor rushing up at me, my stomach rising to my throat as everything went wrong – up wasn't up and down wasn't down and I tried not to scream when I saw them… when I saw his eyes. Dad's eyes not their normal green, but a glowing gold as I watched him shudder, turn left, and walk right through the wall.
Just so y'all know, this wasn't planned. I really did intend to leave the future-take where it was – with lots of open questions. Then Antiaol found the fic, and suddenly plot bunnies started dancing in my head.
So you can either blame her, or thank her
And, this time I'm not jumping without a parachute. Booksgalore/Bookishqua is beta'ing this little ditty, and I'd like to thank her in advance for putting up with the whining we both know is coming.