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Hernan's inventions never ceased to baffle those who saw them in action; perhaps I was the only one to ever listen to his wild raves about the logistics of them. He created bizarre machines with no conceivable purpose, though he tried hard to explain the myriad uses he knew. It seemed that he had a higher knowledge that refused description by our feeble, earthly languages, hence the trouble and frustration he displayed when attempting to describe any of his creations. 

All were powered by a material of his own synthesis, which he neglected to name and for which he swore to never share the recipe. I was among the few who he showed this material to, and only I remain to describe it: it manifested as a transparent square plate, stacked upon itself seemingly infinitely, not unlike bismuth crystals. This material, when placed into an engine of his design, was capable of producing disproportionate amounts of energy, with no instigating medium. He explained in the vaguest possible terms that the material existed in more than three dimensions, the rest of which were obviously invisible to our eyes, and that is where it channeled its limitless energy. 

This, I found stunning, and whenever I asked why he did not share this aspect with the public, his response was always the same: "Nobody can understand its synthesis but me; it would go to waste or it would start Armageddon." Each time he said this or a variant of it chilled me to the core, as I struggled to grapple with the apparent complexity of his invented material. I realized he must be right, having seen the public response to his more tame, explainable inventions. The world would understand this least of all. 

Some span of time passed by the time Hernan called for me to see his latest creation, one unlike all others, which trumped everything hitherto created by man. In his words, it was God's gift what Hernan made with his own two hands. That description filled me with dread, as I feared what sort of creation Hernan would refer to as godly in nature. I arranged a trip to visit him, and went to his secluded home. 

The first thing I noticed was the palpable hints of madness that Hernan's smile now betrayed. I listened to his eerie ramble in his dim livingroom, the only source of light the last of four flickering bulbs in a motionless ceiling fan. How ironic, I thought, that a mechanical genius like Hernan would let his home fall into such disrepair. Then, his monologue briefly digressed from the machine, and seemed to answer the remark in my mind: 

"You must understand that I am no more of a slob than I may have been before," he hissed, "it is only that I have greater things to worry about than what exists in this material realm. I need not work for perfection, when it already exists in spheres above our own." 

With this, he rose from his chair and beckoned for me to follow. He led me through the darkness of his house without hesitation; I realized then how long he had dwelled in the dark, and at once I became alarmed and unsettled as the dread returned. The dread came to a plateau as Hernan opened the door to his basement, and then oddly, all feelings became muted—the entire walk down the stairs and into the comparatively well-lit basement felt muffled, as if a greater energy was drowning my mind. 

Then, I saw the godly machine that Hernan had made: a door. It was a perfectly square, metallic door, five feet on each side, suspended a foot in the air. At either side, also suspended, were two massive crystals of Hernan's mystery material, spinning in opposing directions. The air around them rippled, and occasionally I thought I caught glimpses of a long plane extending from the edges of the crystals. I was awestruck. Hernan cascaded to the door and then turned to face me, madness wrenching his face. This was the look of a mad god, indeed. The Armageddon that he feared had been unleashed in his own mind, and this door was the product, and I still didn't even know its purpose. 

"This is rooted in the same science as my material," Hernan declared. "It is the culmination of my research, and it is, itself, the eye of God. Beyond this door lies the fourth dimension: time. It is coupled with the alternate physical dimensions beyond ours, it is the true state of existence, whereas ours is a flawed replica. Behold-" 

Hernan ripped the door ajar, and immediately the world around me stretched infinitely, as the door came to me and sucked me inside. I descended into a space dominated by indescribable colors, and filled with floating crystals stacked in every direction, even passing through my body like ghosts. My every thought felt mirrored, and echoed across my mind, out, and back again—it was every iteration of myself, simultaneously landing here, on a vast, crystalline plane. 

Hernan stood as a silhouette far before me, facing away and, I realized, gazing up at a towering structure. In the midst of the plane, a throbbing tower stretched from heaps of crystals and into the churning canvas above, as flashes of lightning struck all around. I "stretched" forward—as every step I took only elongated my form—and caught up with Hernan, who turned to face me with outstretched arms while laughing maniacally and stretching backward into the tower, disappearing into the walls composed of shifting crystals, like tendrils wrapping over and binding one another. At the very peak of the tower, a pulsing beacon appeared, bathing the infinite plane in all-consuming light that permeated into every dimension beneath. 

I watched in horror as the world collapsed around me, and only the beacon and I remained in pitch darkness. A chorus of gibbering voices and gusts of cosmic wind replaced the silence of the previous realm, while Hernan's voice boomed from all directions. "This is the domain of true life! What man feebly considers 'God' can't compare to the possibilities that lie here, and in the manipulation of the higher spheres." His voice cracked with insanity, but resonated with sheer dominance.

"Release your mind, become one with this realm! The wonders you will unlock, the bounds you will shirk!" 

I felt my body propelled toward the beacon, and every pulse of its light shattered my mind deeper and deeper, until I couldn't even identify what was me and what was this hellish, bleak realm. Everything was me, but I didn't want it to be. I refused the creeping tendrils seeping into my mind, and everything grew dimmer, dimmer, as my conscious faded away into nothing. Hernan's voice echoed incessantly, demanding my cohesion with his mind. 

Finally, all went to black and the voices peaked in screams and wails of trumpets, interplanetary collisions, crumpling universes and the Armageddon of all existence. Only a shred of my conscious remained, and it refused the madness I drowned in. Time reversed, my body split into a thousand pieces as I returned to the dimension where I belonged, and then- 

I stood on the doorstep of Hernan's house, the flickering porchlight reminiscent of something I had just seen. Deja vu, I decided—nothing came to mind, though I felt as if I'd just forgotten something important. Shrugging it off, I knocked on the door, and it opened to Hernan's smile, which now betrayed palpable hints of madness. He welcomed me in.

Written by LethalPen
Content is available under CC BY-SA