The Girl in the Bubble

his is what happens when the girl teleports for the first time: the nulltime bubble forms and expands fully around her. Then, darkness. An utter envelope of black surrounds her; the cold is so intense she feels like she had just been thrown out a hatch of a ship to the void instead of passing through an ten-dimensional window.

Hopefully, not for long. If the running protocols of the system are fully functional, then she will jump to her destination, and everything will be just fine.

But now she is curled upon herself and helpless in a bubble outside physical reality. She draws a deep breath and fights back the tears. It doesn’t matter how many times you experience this, she already knows it will never be easy. It’s not only her first time, but the very first time a human being is teleported.

Teleportation is impossible for objects in the macro scale. Only quantum particles can be successfully teleported.

The Calabi-Yau Manifold (from now on referred as CYM) is a topological structure composed of ten dimensions. Since the reality in which we live in is composed, as far as our senses can tell, of three dimensions, the other seven are “tucked in” or, as we shall say from now on, projected in other “planes” that do not register to our senses.

That does not mean, however, that they do not exist.

The only way to manipulate CYMs is to open bubbles and to wrap macrostructures with them. Then you can teleport virtually anything.

The smaller the bubble, the less energy you expend and the faster you go. This is why the girl travels in such a small space. She needs to get to where she’s going fast.

The girl can’t tell how much time has passed inside the bubble. It feels like a long time before she finally opens her eyes. The black-on-black of the initial moments seems to have acquired a lighter shade.

Nobody knows why this happens. One of the theories states that to traverse a manifold is to cross over membranes; a quite similar effect can be observed if you put several sheets of translucent paper between your eyes and a sun.

Other theory states that the manifold is like an origami which unfolds in at least ten directions, according to the original Calabi-Yau principle. And a paper can be folded several times.

No matter what the reality is behind the theory, there is a slight pale, ghostly luminescence when we are reaching a refuge. In her training, the girl was told this is a good sign: she will arrive soon.

She takes a deep breath and start going automatically through the routine drilled into her head: first, the integrity of her body. Apparently okay on the outside, no limbs missing, no time displacement syndrome of any sort affecting her insides or her perception – as far as she knows.

She tries to kneel, but even though the bubble seems very hard to her touch, she can barely move, and she’s afraid she will sort of puncture the nulltime envelope. But that means the bubble is holding as it should. When she gets back to normaltime, though, her training officer told her she could expect fire and brimstone oozing from every orifice.

But the girl in the bubble doesn’t think of it. She only breathes deeply. And she waits.

* * * * *

This week, we’re featuring a new collaboration between photographer Naama Sarid, whose work we’ve featured in the past. Naama has been kind enough to share her work with some of our other contributors, and they have been writing and creating based on her wonderful photography. This piece is inspired by Exposure № 068: Butterfly. See Naama Sarid’s other Snake-Oil Cure contrubutions here.


Fabio Fernandes is a writer based in São Paulo, Brazil. Also a journalist and translator, he is responsible for the Brazilian translations of several prominent SF novels including Neuromancer, Snow Crash, and A Clockwork Orange. His short stories have been published in Brazil, Portugal, Romania, England, and the USA, and in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded. Another story is forthcoming in The Apex Book of World SF, Vol. II, ed. by Lavie Tidhar, later this year. Fabio blogs here and tweets here.

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