jellyfish jellyfish
[ through the rift ]
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Brief, mild body horror.

The inter-dimensional rift was called the Concertina.

Supposedly the name had something to do with the science behind how it worked. The instructors said crossing would feel like getting stretched like putty and compressed like an accordion. You would snap back into shape as soon as you reached the other side.

Only one of those instructors had actually been to Lacuna and back. Staff Sergeant Hardy had refused to entertain questions about the crossing beyond repeating what was said in class, and now Alex understood why.

She wasn't sure any of them would have willingly stepped into the Concertina if they'd truly understood what it would feel like when they did. The moment she touched the ultraviolet void, it pulled her in.


It felt like every individual fiber of her body was being peeled apart at the same time before being split into smaller segments. And split again. And again and again and again.

Each filament burned so hot it felt like ice. The pain burned away every thought until she went numb.

No, not numb. The feeling transcended hot and cold and pain to become a hum of something Alex had never felt before. A sense of clarity almost. It overwrote all conscious thought, and she just was.

Stretched so thin, so far, she felt like could reach to infinity in every conceivable direction. She could see everything. She could feel how everything connected and why.

She understood.


Just as she'd been sucked in, Alex found herself forced out of infinity and back into a lumbering physical existence. Her body sang with the phantom pain of each filament of her being slotting back into place like a needle piercing her flesh.

As she slowly came back down to Earth - well, Lacuna - Alex could do nothing but let herself get herded into a medical tent in a daze.

Somewhere in the distance, a roar sounded. The earth-shaking footsteps of a dinosaur thundered past them on the other side of a concrete wall, shaking everything and everyone in the tent.

Alex barely turned her head. The thought of being so close to such a creature didn't seem like such a big deal anymore. Not when she'd just been integrated into the very fabric of the universe and then ripped from it in the span of less than a second.

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