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A Short Story by James D. Pratt

Copyright 2010 James D. Pratt

Smashwords Edition

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“I hear the energy it takes to generate a corridor for just ten minutes would be enough to light up one of the colonies for a week”, Alderman said .

“A month, actually,” Van Adder replied as he gave the technical specs one last go-over.

Alderman grunted noncommittally and continued to look through the containment chamber’s porthole. On the other side of the chamber’s titanium, magnetically reinforced door sat the object of their mission. Even after all the preparation and briefing, Alderman still felt an almost superstitious awe when in the presence of the artifact..

At first glance, the artifact seemed unimposing if not outright mundane. It appeared as a black, smooth-edged cube that size of a small garden shed housed within a metal frame. Closer inspection revealed that the frame alone had a physical presence. The darkness within it was a void, the complete and total absence of matter, energy, and space itself. It appeared black because there was nothing within it to reflect light. There wasn’t even a medium for light to travel through. The artifact was literally nothing.

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