Curiosity killed the cat and seemed to be moving up in the world of serial murders. Before me loomed a jump gate of unknown origin like a giant modern art gear, a commentary on dysfunctional technology. In the center of the gear was the worm hole, seething with too many dimensions.

I eased the throttle forward, pushing my ship towards the hole. Round peg, round hole. Square peg, square hole. Every small child knows this. It doesn't take a Zen master to know that the empty is waiting to be filled up. But for what reason did I step into the unknown? Curiosity.

Curiosity and that unexplainable because-I-can impulse. This pair of motivations banished reason to sit in the corner, stare at the wall, go to bed hungry. Reason's dinner of "this ship can handle what lurks on the other side" grew cold on the table. The vortex, swirling with Tinker Bells embraced my craft and translated it by unknown device to a complete and total ambush.

The aliens darted every which way like a million tadpoles made of quartz. They were slow to accelerate but fast when moving in a straight line. They weren't hard to kill. One must simply wait for them to pause momentarily and let loose with everything one has. Let the arm-chair generals discuss such things. As for me, I had shield power falling like a lead balloon. I ran. I ran my ass off.

But I have a plan to return one day. Not for curiosity. Perhaps for that other more maligned but no less human instinct of revenge. Not the hot and sudden urge but its cold, calculating and altogether more effective twin. I'll enter the maw of that awful gear and mosey up next to it snug as a bug on the other side. I'll use the damn thing as a shield and point my prickly side out into the open like a porcupine. I'll be its blister, its pimple, its sylvan volcano. Lightning bolts and Hell fire will fall upward into the sky. Eager missiles and lancing tracers will smite the quartz shards from the heavens. My magnetically driven hail stones will avenge the cat and all other curious souls.