Alternate Reality Novella Concept – Project “ALT-REAL” (working title)

This is an excerpt from a story idea I’ve been working on.  It’s brief, not extremely detailed but it gives an idea of where I am going with the story itself.

Darren looked up quick, then back down as the bolts of energy shot over his and Eron’s head.  “Karleigh,” he shouted into his comm unit.  “Get the damned portal open.”

Monahan’s forced continued to creep in on the two, with energy bolts continuing to rain over them.  All Darren could do was look at his partner and wonder if this was it.  Would they be caught and killed in some alternate reality, never to be heard from again?  At that very moment, Darren resigned himself to his fate, pulled a spare power unit from his belt, and recharged his PWR.  Eron followed his lead, and they both positioned themselves prone on the rock which had offered them protection.  Seconds later, their weapons came to life, throwing coruscating undulations of high energy particles at the armored carriers Monahan had arrayed against them.  Soldiers jumped back at the beams scorched the ground along their paths, a few screaming as their feet and ankles were sawed off by the high-energy blasts.  After a moment or two, Eron’s beam touched the side of one of the personnel carriers.

To his astonishment, the beam ripped into the exterior of the vehicle like a buzzsaw, tearing up both metal and men.  Within seconds, the beam’s fury struck the vehicle’s weapons battery, sparking an explosion which tore it in half, sending the turret rocketing into the air and body parts flying.  Screams could be heard everywhere.  Darren, stunned by the awesome destructive beauty, took aim at the other carrier, and fired.  This time, a lucky shot sped through the main turret, causing it to explode and the back end of the vehicle to blow out in a shower of flames and sparks.  Not a single soldier survived.

“Holy crap,” Darren breathed.  “These damned things actually work!”

Eron, relieved they have some genuine weapons, wasn’t about to sit by and let arrogance get the better of them.  “That’s great!  Keep firing!”

As they continued their counterattack, Monahan himself aimed the primary cannon at them.  “Stand back, men,” he commanded.  “These intruders are about to meet their creator.”

The cannon charged up with a horrific whine , and a green glow could be seen from inside the turret.  One of Monahan’s subordinates shouted.  “Power steady, main grid holding.  Ready to fire at your command.”  Darren and Eron looked at each other, gulped and realized this was the end, until an ear-splitting screech was heard behind them.

A flash of light, and a bright portal opened up.  The spinning energy around it indicated it was from their reality, when a familiar voice shouted, “it’s open!  Get your asses back here, now!”  They didn’t even have to give it a second thought.  The duo leaped through the portal just as Monahan triggered the firing mechanism, sending a surge of disruptive energy hurtling through the air to a bevy of rocks and trees.

Darren and Eron had barely escaped with their lives, but their troubles were only beginning when, upon landing back at the lab, they were greeted by a tall, slender man in a tweed suit and a look of distinct disapproval on his face.  Eron recognized his quantum physics professor instantly.  “Oh, hey!  What up, doc?”

Lonnie Kerrington, one of the most recognized professors on campus, grimaced at the two gentlemen on the floor.  Kerrington had been given oversight of the quantum mechanics laboratory, and was expected to reign in what was seen as a program which had run amok, thanks in part to the rumored exploits of Darren and Eron.  “Gentlemen, we need to have a little chat.  Miss Talbot has been filling me on some of your ‘experiments,’ and I had to say that, while I’m impressed with your technological achievements, your ethics and methods have been both abhorrent, and a direct violation of university policies.”

They shot a dirty look at Karleigh, who threw her hands in the air.  “Hey, he told me if I didn’t fess up, we’d all be expelled.”

“And by the looks of things,” Kerrington remarked.  “That could still happen, unless someone here can offer me a reasonable explanation to what is happening.”

Kerrington then noticed the PWR strapped to Eron’s shoulder.  He motioned the student to hand it over and then, upon receipt, studied it for a few seconds.  Holding the stock to his shoulder, he looked through the sight.  “I take it you designed these?”

“Yes,” Darren admitted.  “Eron and I both did.  They’re based on…”

Kerrington chose to make their point, “an AR-15.  Yes, I recognize the design.  Pretty impressive.”

Eron was relieved, “thanks.”  Darren looked at him as if to say are you nuts?

“But,” Kerrington continued.  “Completely unethical.  Our university has a strict zero-tolerance policy of weapons.  How can you possibly justify these?”

“We ran into some bad guys,” Eron said.  “These helped us survive.”

Darren shrugged his shoulders and figured, what the hell.  “They’re Particle Wave Rifles, or PWRs.  They fire particle streams, but the streams aren’t exactly stable.  They’re kinda along the lines of what you would see in a movie.”

Kerrington continued to examine the weapon, pulling out the power pack, then reseating.  “Ghostbuster guns.”

“Pretty much,” Darren conceded.  “The discharge is so powerful, we have a hard time doing much beyond controlling the stock.  But you should’ve seen what it did to a tank in the reality we went into.”

Kerrington’s eyes widened. “A tank?  You actually engaged a military force in an alternate reality?  Just you two?”  That was all he needed to make his mind up.  “That’s it!  Effective immediately, this entire program is halted until I get to the bottom of things.  You all better pray the College of Physics doesn’t get wind of this abuse of university equipment because, if they do, we are all outta’ here!”

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