Are you sure it’s not spelled GOOP?
I can’t describe what it’s like to travel through the bubble, because it happens in an instant. You leap into the bubble and immediately pop out at your destination.
At least, I think you do. You could spend an eternity in the bubble in an unconscious state then return to consciousness as soon as it expels you.
Or you spend your time hurtling through empty zero-dimensional space,  popping out of existence entirely or even screaming in terror so traumatizing your brain erases all memory.
Describing the bubble to sentient beings who don’t see it, or can’t interact with it is like explaining math to a babbling brook. Except on earth, where you would describe it and people would say, “Oh. Like sorting through Trump’s alternative facts.” (Which is why my mission was so urgent.)
Describing the bubble to sentient beings who don’t see it is like explaining math to a babbling brook. Except on earth, where people say, “Oh. Like sorting through Trump’s alternative facts.”
The only tangible, memorable aspect of the bubble is popping out the other side covered in slime. Which is why we travel naked. Okay, the looks on the faces of the universe’s inhabitants when one of us pops from the bubble naked and covered in slime. That’s pretty memorable too.
I popped from the bubble and collided with a line leading to another entry point into the bubble. A teenaged earthling (or so I was to discover) grabbed me by the shoulder so that I didn’t fall on my face completely. He wore baggy pants and a t-shirt with a four-wheeled board on it.
“Look, dude,” he said to his companion. His companion’s t-shirt depicted a two wheeled beast bucking a rider of its back. “They’re making another Terminator.”
“Must look cooler on camera,” his friend replied.
“Ignore them,” a Tantellian from U#565742x12. “They’re stoners.” Suddenly from U#36742x8, he shifted color and grew an eye.
Not knowing what a stoner is, I nodded dumbly then looked for a convenient, out of the way place to remove my clothing and supply pack from my anal cavity. Then I noticed the line wasn’t moving.
“Why is everyone standing around going nowhere?” I asked. But the Tantellian disappeared with his universe, now designated U#-0x-0.
A hexadecipus, the dominant species on U#975442<sup>6</sup> lit a seaweed cigarette. “We’re standing in line for extreme vetting,” he said.
“Extreme,” the two stoners said and nodded in unison.
“Earth’s President Trump issued a Travel Ban on Muslims. No Muslims from alternate universes can enter.”
“What’s a Muslim?”
He flicked an ash on the otherwise spotless floor. “Anyone who’s not from Earth’s universe.”
“Earth’s President Trump issued a Travel Ban on Muslims. No Muslims from alternate universes can enter.” “What’s a Muslim?” “Anyone who’s not from Earth’s universe.”
“We’re from earth.” This from the teenager with the two-wheeled beast on his chest.
“Whoa,” his friend sighed, his eyes opening wide with enlightenment. “Maybe we shouldn’t a astral projected on acid.”
All sixteen of the hexadecipus’ tentacles twitched. “Come to earth. See the 2016 elections. Now we’re stuck in an infinite travel loop. Even those of us with papers.” He muttered under his breath, “Great White Sharked GOP.”
Four-wheels t-shirt pointed to the sticky goo crusting on my body. “Shouldn’t that be GOOP?”
Next installment: The destination is worse than the trip
- Yes, I’m aware this is a contradiction. If the space in question has no dimension, it can’t be “empty.” You’d be fixed in a single point, if you even existed in a point, located at a single instant in space and time, incapable of moving at all. But I’m going for a metaphor here. Work with me.
- Some universes are particularly unstable, resolving and merging, even disappearing entirely, within minutes.