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Turbulence Ritual

Do you travel by plane often? In particular, does business – or pleasure for those with a more lavish lifestyle – frequently send you across the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean? If so, then you have a unique opportunity to explore the skies of another plane of existence. 

A bit of backstory first. As we know turbulence is an ordinary part of air travel. The most common causes are, as the name implies, turbulent air within the atmosphere such as crossing jet streams. Other catalysts have been noted, like thermal irregularity and differences in air pressure when passing over mountains or tall buildings. These are boiler-plate and while they might be a bit scary to novice fliers, rarely does anything dramatic occur as a result. 

However, at a few points on our planet, turbulence may be the side effect of an intersection of parallel dimensions. Think of it as a bubble in the sky where you are simultaneously within our reality and blinking into another. This usually lasts no more than a few seconds and is imperceptible to the vast majority of us. 

Passing through these pockets, or rifts as we call them, can affect you in unusual ways because time tends to work differently within the parallel dimensions. While you experience it only as a split second, your bodies may have a matter of minutes or even hours pushed rapid-fire through their systems. Ever felt hungry out of nowhere after a bit of turbulence? Or, to be somewhat crude, have you suddenly had the urge to use the lavatory despite being fine not moments prior? 

You brush these off, figure the shaking of the aircraft just “shook something loose” or the like and go about your day. But, in fact, it is the physical manifestation of processing super-condensed time. This is going to be the key to our ritual.

There are a few components you'll require, and certain things you must not do. Overall, however, the main element is assuring you will be in the proper place to experience these rifts. While even we do not possess a full list of where said portals might exist, we do know that they will never appear over land. A few high-activity points are listed below. As you become familiar with these you'll quickly learn where others might be located. Some of the gateways are more difficult to access or appear less frequently, and we do not see the need to waste time listing them and discouraging newcomers to this exotic form of adventuring.

Beginner's Gateways: 

North Atlantic Ocean (50°27'05.1” N 31°03'01.9"W)
Flight Path: Between the US and UK
Most Active: 2 PM to 4 PM GMT

South Atlantic Ocean (14°35'57.9"S 28°40'22.7"W)
Flight Path: Between Sao Paulo or Salvador, Brazil, and Africa
Most Active: 5 AM to 9 AM GMT

North Pacific Ocean (31°16'25.6"N 178°22'41.5"W)
Flight Path: Between Hawaii and Japan or China
Most Active: 12 AM to 4 AM GMT

Any of these should provide fairly reliable access points with the highest chance of victory. We ought to clarify that even given the best odds for you, successfully completing this ritual is a one-in-a-hundred event. Do not come seeking us out for restitution should your excursion not go as planned. 

Required Items: 

Two analog watches  – for reasons we can't quite explain digital timepieces do not seem to work. 

A hand-mirror  – any size will do the trick so long as you can see both your entire face and out the window of your plane. 

A window seat  – not technically required, but it makes a few steps considerably easier, especially as most flights these days are booked to capacity. 

The proper type of aircraft  – again even we are not certain why this is, but generally, the following airplanes are more susceptible to the influence of these rifts: Boeing 777, Boeing 787, or the Airbus A380. 

Prohibited Behavior:   

Do not get drunk  – for a plethora of reasons, but most importantly alcohol or other intoxicants alter your perception of time as it is. We do not want to see a deluge of erroneous reports which subsequently render having all accurate accounts being chalked up to the imagination of an enfeebled mind.

Remain in your seat, with the seatbelt firmly fastened  – this is just common safety. If you perform the ritual properly you will most likely avoid any especially dangerous situation, but if the worst were to happen it would be much better for you to be seated and secure. 

Do not use headphones  – at least not during your first few encounters. Trust us, you are not prepared for what you will hear should the ritual succeed. 

Do not fly first class  – the luxury seats may be more comfortable, but there are also significantly fewer, and if something were to go wrong, you want as many people around you as possible. 

Finally, I would like to point out that you should undertake this flight as a passenger due to the requirements listed above. Being a steward or pilot does not make the ritual impossible altogether, but substantially more difficult. Never, under any circumstances, attempt this ritual as the pilot of a one-man plane. For starters, most aircraft wouldn't make it to these points under their own power, and for another, the other people around you are keeping you grounded to our dimension. If you are by yourself, you have no such protection and might very well disappear altogether. Whether or not this is the fate which has befallen notable mystery flights – such as that of Amelia Arehart – are not the subject of this guide and we see no reason to entertain further inquiry. 

The Ritual: 

1. Plot your flight and keep track of where you are.  This is best done by using the interactive map on your personal video screen. These maps do not provide pinpoint accuracy, but short of bringing measuring equipment on board, it is the easiest option.

2. When you are approaching the rift, stop one of your clocks.  Remove the battery if you have to. We would recommend you avoid damaging the face of the watch as well. This is your anchor point and is a life-raft of sorts. 

3. Ask a steward for the local time and set your second clock to it.  If they do not know it, you can obtain this information from the video screen or even a simple time zone calculator. You should always ask an attendant first, however. Some of the stewards are familiar with the ritual and may possess more up to date information. 

4. Trigger the gateway.  We have determined that you do not need to know the minute details when the basic instructions will suffice. Look in your hand-mirror such that your entire face and the window both appear in frame and unobstructed. Look at the watch you have set to the proper time while you do this, ideally by holding it in your free hand. 

5. Confirm the results.  This can vary greatly depending upon the exact realm you managed to crossover to, but there are some commonplace occurrences. Your timepiece will move significantly slower for starters. The ever-present hum of the jet engines shall be muted. Your body may feel slightly numb as it takes your nerves a longer time to process stimulus. The air might smell stale and you may even have a very slight bit of trouble breathing as oxygen is processed slower. Don't worry, if you've done the ritual properly this should be nothing more than very mild discomfort. Congratulations, you are in another world. 

What Now?

For starters, you should identify as quickly as possible the characteristics of your new plane of existence, pun definitely intended. In our multi-planar cartography, we've observed seven different realities, including yours, though more certainly are out there. Each serves a vital maintenance function to your plane. It is also worth noting that all of this is just one universe of a massive multiverse, but let us not overburden you with such complex thoughts.

Our official designations for these realms are classified, so we will offer a simplified pseudonym for each. Here are the other six: 

Inversion:  A rather simple plane, formed by the inverse correlation of light of and dark. The only difference you will notice is that the color palette of the world begins in “negative art”: orange sky, purple sun, and black clouds. It shall then shift through a variety of hues. It has come close to matching the real thing, but it is always subtly off. You should still avoid looking directly at the sun even though it might appear to be a cool, soothing lavender. Rest assured its brightness is not dimmed in the slightest and the damage to your retinas will be as severe as ever. Apart from that easily eluded danger, this is the most mundane and safest of visitations. 

Quiet:  This reality is one you have visited before, but not while awake. The pitch-black and soundless environs simulate sleep so perfectly you will be quite certain you have simply fallen unconscious. That is unless you happen to be seated near one of your fellow travelers who is enjoying genuine repose. They will appear as a faint pearlescent shimmer of white energy. It would seem this is where untethered thoughts are stored, and as a result, they can be influenced. If you were to touch them, you would be able to traverse through their dreams - or nightmares - until they awoke. However please recall our instructions to remain in your seat. Should the person awake before you exited the Quiet, you would quite simply vanish. 

Still:  A problematic space for us, but one that should not present much of a challenge for newcomers. The Still is perhaps the most accurately nicknamed realm. Time passes here, but its ebb and flow are not felt by the native beings. Visitors to the plane will notice every person and object firmly rooted in their most passive state. As far as we can tell this plane serves as a multi-dimensional timestamp, revealing everything as it exists when no external forces are applied. We have not deduced the purpose of the Still, but we also detest our chance arrivals there. We are constantly in motion, and this place is too restrictive. 

Should you find yourself here, do not wander. In fact, move as little as possible (again, please note our advisement to remain in your seat). While there are no recorded instances of an adventurer finding themselves trapped here, natural law dictates that any of these planes would try to expunge something which clearly does not belong – like white blood cells attacking an infection. Indeed several presences within your own reality face this very threat. 

Origin:  We come from our least desired location to our most beloved. The Origin can only be accessed by those who have already witnessed another plane, and usually, it requires multiples. However, in all cases, visitors attune to the Origin by first witnessing the Still. The Origin is the eternal flux of the universe. Not a state of being, but all realities existing within one sphere. You are limited by your physicality, but you will perceive the effects this dynamic realm has upon its natives. You shall see them as they are, have been, and all variations of what they might become sharing the same space. 

It is important to advise you that you cannot alter the future, even should you deduce which of the infinite portents will come to pass for any one person. It is inadvisable for you to look in a mirror for too much longer after arriving on this plane: the realm cannot seem to touch your essence while you are only a visitor within it, however, the looking glass is a different story. Mirrors have always been gateways, and our reflection is little more than a waypoint of sorts, guiding our sparks into places beyond our ken. If you look at the mirror and see what your reflection is going through by simply being here, the effect on your psyche can be irrevocable. Besides, the beauty of the place would be lost on you. 

Blank:  A plane about which you need to know little, but one you will immediately realize you've stumbled upon. Without delving into a lecture that would take more pages than there are stars in the universe, we can offer only the most basic and childish explanation for what you will discover here. Everything that exists on a cosmic level does so according to set rules. Think of every sentient being in the universe like playing pieces on a chessboard. Across dimensions, the players are different; by which we mean the individual might change. Their role, however, does not. A pawn is a pawn, a rook is a rook, a queen is a queen. Just because in one universe the pawn has short brown hair and a fondness for writing and in another, they wear black lipstick and express their meaningless desires through sculpture ultimately accounts for nothing. 

The Blank has the unique property of revealing this simple universal truth in the plainest way possible. Every person you see here will exist as human-shaped playing pieces. Their featureless faces – devoid of eyes, nose, and mouth – might be rather frightening. The bald heads, lack of clothing and alarmingly uniform skeletal structure will give them the appearance of mannequins, but do not be concerned. They also lack the individual weaknesses like emotion or ambition which make all of you a threat to one another. That said, there does exist a potential danger within this plane. 

We have come to call them the Director, though perhaps Warden is a more appropriate title. While all other things in this realm exist without feature, they are an amalgamation of trappings and styles. They gleefully skip about confirming that each of the pieces is prepared to play whatever role they must, before moving on to The Origin to give them their essence. If you've been paying attention you might feel compelled to thank the Director for giving you all of those winning qualities about which you are so proud. Or perhaps you would be more inclined to curse them for afflicting you with such hideous flaws and loathsome traits. 

Regardless of your inclination, should you see the Director, we would recommend that you do neither. Because if the Director notices you at all, they might decide that they don't much care for how you've turned out after all, and be compelled to apply a few last-minute alterations to your makeup. Trouble is, even the Director cannot simply change the state of the game once it is in play. Rather than risk upsetting the contest, the piece would be sacrificed to allow room for a new one, as well as any others nearby that might be affected by its sudden and, make no mistake, immediate removal from play. 

Should you see the Director, do not make eye contact. Look forward, say nothing, and do not respond to any prodding, questioning, or worse. With any luck, the Director will believe that you are unaware of the cosmic hiccup which has occurred and return to their work. There is one report of a traveler feigning sleep and being sent to The Quiet from which he eventually found his way back to his reality. However, his story is an aberration and should only be attempted as a last resort. 

Flow:  Consider this place to be the abscess of the multiverse. A trash heap for misplaced things. A realm grown fat and swollen off the mistakes discarded from every other step in the grand structure. If you find yourself here, you were meant to, and it is very unlikely that you will be leaving. There are no visitations to this plane, only condemnations. 

All matter that resides here is hastily broken down into the smallest fibers of usable material and then sent back to The Blank in the hopes of salvaging some good from the failures. Fortunately, the process takes a while considering the mistakes of an infinite number of realities piles on unfathomably deep. Thus, you might possess a slim chance of escaping your appointed fate before you are deconstructed. 

For starters, you shall need to find your way out of the scrapped remains of the aircraft by any means necessary. This may be difficult to do, congested by the terrified and manic manifestations around you. You will see and hear things that go beyond horrifying, but if your desire to exist is strong enough you can overcome them. Force your way through an endless sea of obstacles by reminding yourself that you are still your own being and you possess a slight tangible edge over the shades around you. Get to the door of your vessel or some other exit. Break a window, if you must. 

You will fall through a sky that has no end, to a sea that has no bottom. From this point on you shall begin to feel the effects of The Flow, as you have made yourself something of a priority target. It all comes down to a matter of will. You must force yourself to be in all places at once, a feat not impossible if you remembered your earlier visit to The Origin. If you had no such experience, the odds off success are effectively nil. 

Still, press on and force yourself to be at the end of infinity, deep beneath the waves of this place. You are there and yet you are still falling. All this time you are being eaten away by a hungry universe trying to cleanse itself of your stain. Look to your mirror if you must, but your reflection will be of little help if you are unprepared. 

Of the limited number who have escaped The Flow, there are fewer still who can remember exactly what happened from the point they found themselves beneath the tides. Their accounts share very little similarity but on one point they agree. There was a sacrifice made. Somebody took their place, and it was someone close enough to them that even the Director was temporarily fooled. A blood relative for most and in one case a child. Additional sacrifices might be made to stall them, but you will eventually return to The Flow. 

Be forewarned that you don't truly belong in your world anymore, and the Director shall continue to hunt you down to rectify the mistake. You will live a life of constant change and movement, and will learn to hate those few moments you take to rest. Stillness becomes the enemy. 

Your only hope is an interesting kink in the way the Director prioritizes these anomalies. The most recent escapee from the Flow is considered the greatest threat and is generally hunted down first. Therefore convincing somebody else to try finding their way to the Flow might give you a bit of a headstart. 

Consider how much you are willing to trade for what is, ultimately, a very temporary reprieve. Remember, if you arrive in The Flow, you belong there. You won't consider your old reality home anymore. Yet, isn't every minute of life worth living, even if it is one of constant pursuit? 

Final Notes: 

1. If you were wondering, the Bermuda Triangle is a fascination of yours, not ours. No such gateway has been found within that space. Whatever the hell is going on down there is outside our concern.

2. The pseudonym we have given your reality is The Stage. Make of that what you will. 

3. What happens if you fail to stop one of your clocks before performing the ritual? Your body simply loses that time. Everything within your body ceases functioning for the duration of your visit. We will remind you that it takes as little as three minutes without oxygen to kill you, and these visitations can last up to several hours. 

4. Why are these rifts active at particular times? Even we do not fully understand, but our current theory is that they are, in a sense, “loading” points for new information and that they tend to function when there is the least amount of activity around them. This is also why you will find no such portal over land. 

5. And finally, you might be wondering who we are. Let it be said that we have been as specific on that point as we plan to be. The attentive might have some idea, the inattentive will remain as clueless as when they began reading this and are highly encouraged to continue their efforts regardless. 

So please, explore and share the tales of your travels to these other facets of this world. We are always looking for more voyagers, more information and, like the Director, more bodies. 

Happy trails. 

Written by FearAddict
Content is available under CC BY-SA