They were studying him.
Kennealy just wanted to go home. He was exhausted from his jaunte and from their endless probing. This trip had been different from the others. It was like he had been commuting to Hong Kong for weeks, and then all of a sudden one of his trips landed him in Machu Picchu.
The most frustrating thing was that he suddenly found himself without the words to describe what had happened. With his experience as a Synaesthete, he was used to being able to take strange sensory inputs and interpret them for the scientists. He had even begun to provide labels for some of those senses that were not among the five commonly recognized in humans. Over a series of jauntes, he had gained confidence and was actually getting cocky about just how much scientific data they were able to glean from his observations.
Atticus was even more frustrated than he was. The dreams had not come. The little moments of synchronicity didn’t happen. Atticus thought perhaps the jaunte was not going to take place at all, but it had. Kennealy had gone into the tank as usual, jaunted as usual… or so they thought.
“You know how you can build a chamber to be soundproof, and it naturally turns out to be waterproof as well? What if you designed it to be soundproof, had no idea it was waterproof, and never realized that there was a deluge trying to get in?” the chrononaut tried to explain his overall impression of what had happened as Atticus listened. “Then one day, when everything is quiet, you crack it open. You were prepared for the leaking of sound, but never expected the torrent of water.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose with the tips of his fingers of both hands, trying to eek out one last bit of cohesive thought before he collapsed from exhaustion. “We cracked time. But we cracked something else as well.”
The strong man didn’t collapse. But he shook his head at all efforts to withdraw any more information, and lay back on the med bed, one arm protecting his eyes from the bright lights.
The only information they were able to glean was that Atticus had not been the platform for the jaunt. Ruby was.
And Ruby was dangerous.
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