The final tests were over. The ability to cross between universes was theirs. John moved to the gate. It would flash and the test probe would be transported to a parallel world. The physics was untested, the engineering experimental, but if it succeeded the ability to test their theories about multiverse theory and M-theory would increase exponentially.
The gate hummed into life. A ten metre square platform was surrounded by blue light. John spoke into his lapel microphone.
‘Test one, probe alpha one’ he took a sip of coffee with his left and hit the button with his right hand in expectation. The probe stayed exactly where it was. Hovering above the platform. John looked at his colleagues.
‘What the hell is going on?’
John asked the engineer to manoeuvre the probe away from the platform so he could have a look at the engines. This was not supposed to happen.
The probe sat to his left, a metre square it hovered on air blades before coming to rest. The technician looked it over.
Three hours later John found no fault with the machine.
He looked at the probe and a thought occurred. He turned it over. The mechanism was fine. He asked the technician to play back the tape. He loaded up the information onto the big screen. John watched for any clue as to the malfunction.
The view from the probe captured him looking worried, sipping coffee, hitting the button. Then a blue flash and then the same worried look and another sip from the coffee cup in his right hand.