Chapter 9

Written by: Suraya Dewing

Here’s the thing about parallel universes. They don’t exist. That is unless you count the imagination as a real world. And we know that is not so…it is as real as a puff of air…the wind. So JAGER and his colleagues had worked hard to create the mirage of the beach to compensate for their loss of attachment and integration in the world they had launched from ten years earlier in Sirias 3.

As Bret realised this, he also became curious about the black boxes. What, he wondered was housed in them. Surely not the remains of the crew.

Determined to clarify this he hesitantly stepped towards the one he believed housed Masterson. JAGER stepped in front of him shaking his finger as if Bret was a naughty boy in school and he the headmaster. Bret hesitated. JAGER was also morphing into a boy as if time was no longer stable. He glanced down at his trembling hands and was surprised to see how young they looked. He had reversed in time and age….just like everyone else in the capsule.

His determined eyes fixated on the black boxes. He had to get to the one that housed Masterson as he was sure that was the key to getting the Galileo away from Sirias 3 and back to earth before they ran out of oxygen. He was amazed to see that the red digital face on the clock was counting down to the time when they would run out of oxygen and perish.

Two hours twenty three minutes.

Once again, Bret stepped towards JAGER whose mouth curled into a menacing glare. He held up a hand like a point’s man on duty. Bret noticed how much it shook and this surprised him coming from a man who seemed to control everyone’s destiny including Bret’s. Then he realised the shaking was to do with JAGER'S eerie shimmer.

Emboldened, Bret stepped closer and was within arm’s reach of JAGER. Uncertainty seemed to seize JAGER and his form stiffened. As he got nearer, Bret was shocked to see his eyes were black holes. JAGER held his ground. JAGER was definitely sensing his presence, not seeing it.

Bret held up his palm, as if to fend JAGER off. He took another step. He stopped. He had stepped into JAGER’S body. Suddenly afraid he might be caught up in the time warp that was JAGER he jumped one step forward. As he did this, it became apparent that JAGER was ectoplasm – a shape without substance.

The clock ticked over.

Two hours exactly.

Bret reached for the black box he believed to be Masterson. As his hands closed over it, the humming that had died, suddenly burst into life. Sirius 3’s engines were alive again!

Bret closed his hands over the black box. It vibrated beneath his grip. Then it trembled as if giving birth to a massive protoplasm. Masterson began to appear. 

Bret cautiously extended a finger to touch Masterson’s body.


OMG! What a sharp curve in the story, so beautifully written and so very exciting. You blow me away, Suraya. I took forever to write my chapter but you did yours in only a couple of days. And it's so very, very good. Amazing!
Reading this, one would never know that Sci-fi is not your natural genre. I have always loved your writing, but in the last 2-3 years it has matured into a masterful art. Your ability to use minimal words to maximum impact is fantastic.