In a world of 7.8 billion people, 5 nonillion germs exist. And many are yet to be discovered. And one was eradicated due to the brave actions of I. Cannabreeve and Jack Hesber. Or so they thought. A year ago they had died trying to subdue a disease; no one knew what, but half a year later they had revived, throwing a mysterious orb to one side. But now, they were all going to be destroyed. Destroyed!
“Doomsday in 10 days, 10 hours, and 10 minutes,” the loudspeaker in the town square announced, causing the 101st flurry of panic that day.
“Nooooo! Doomsday is one minute closer now!”
“God save us!”
“Mummy, I’m scared!”
Half of the population was at home. No one went to work now. People were buying as much food as they could so they could hunker down at home and eat and play as much as they could before they died, due to a recent collision of the Andromeda Galaxy with a new galaxy called Poseidon TTR-67. This had caused a massive speed-up in the speed of the Andromeda Galaxy, making it at least a billion times faster than before, causing it to arrive 3499999996.5 years ahead of scientists’ original predictions. What was worse was that, due to the massive speed-up, the humongous black hole at the centre had somehow been thrown to one side. It was a bit like a ball on a string that has been swung around a lot of times (centrifugal force). The only thing was that IT WAS THROWN TO THE SIDE THAT IS FACING EARTH. Scientists had predicted that the solar system, along with Earth, would enter its event horizon in ten days, and they had set up a loudspeaker in every city to let the world know.
I. Cannabreeve, after his revival, trained to be a kung fu master and he had an awful lot of chi, an important life force, and determination in him, causing him to reach that position in 3 years. Meanwhile, Jack Hesber dreamt of E.A.R.T.H. (Earth Anonymous Risk Team Help force) again. “You and I. Cannabreeve have to go through the black hole and collect all ten of The Objects and use them to save the world. You will also need ten other people to help you. Their names are Planeton Block, IT specialist, Adventurista Hey, ex-pilot, Spacerista Hey (twins), writer, Andromedarren Collide, clothing manufacturer, Saverbo Earth, paper manufacturer, Blacn Hole, theoretical physicist, Vacuumeta Travel, astronomer, Hugo Weight, 3-time weight-lifting world champion, Timadeto Ishiguto, watch-maker and horologist, and Drawstuff Air, world-famous artist. You will need objects to collect objects. You may have the dust blower. I shall give you the ability to wish for anything and it will come true. But beware, you cannot use it more than three times, so use it wisely. Now go. You will find them in the town square. When the day comes, the twelve of you must jump into the black hole (called Quiescent) willingly with no doubts or you shall be spaghettified (meaning that when you jump into a black hole, you will be stretched out until you pop) and killed. This is Mission TEN. Now go.”
Jack Hesber woke up to find that it was already morning. He rushed out of bed and hurriedly dashed to the town square. There, he found I. Cannabreeve standing next to a bunch of people, one that looked humongous and three that just looked plain weak. “Huh. Took you a long time. This E.A.T.E.R. thingummy just told us to go to the town square and whaddayaknow, boom! The huge dude just bumped into me, and after that we fell flat on the face and these bros just fell onto us! Is that crazy or what?”
“It is E.A.R.T.H.!” one of the weak people corrected, looking exasperated.
“Jumping into a black hole, eh? To not be spaghettified, and instead get teleported away, there is only one explanation. That black hole must be a wormhole, but that exit can only be accessed by tremendous energy! Which is magic! Yes! To have so many people dreaming of the same thing is already a miracle, and to open the wormhole in the black hole, it must be magic! After all, magic is just science we don’t understand yet! Maybe it is just another form of energy!”
“Oh yes, I concur, but maybe they don’t need that much energy. If your hypothesis is correct, then magic is a form of energy. The E.A.R.T.H. council might just have to draw energy from the black hole! Quiescent has plenty to spare. It is 100 times bigger than the sun, far bigger than Sagittarius A*, and the amount of Hawking radiation and leaked energy must be amazing!” two of the weak people suggested, looking dead brainy.
“We don’t even know each other’s names! Wait, we do, but we don’t know who is who. So, can we get that straightened out first?” Jack cut in, slightly annoyed that the only thing he understood from Blacn and Vaccumeta’s lecture was that this black hole was very big.
One by one they introduced themselves. I. Cannabreeve’s self-introduction was the most exaggerated; he made sure the whole town square could hear him. “I am Inston Cannabreeve, kung fu master!” He paused for added effect, waiting for the applause that never came, so he continued, convinced that they were secretly impressed, “And we, the I. Cannabreeve team, shall jump into Quiescent 5 days from now!”
He was met with people shouting, “No! You will be killed! Early! It is better to die later than to die early! What are you thinking?”
“But we won’t get killed!” I. Cannabreeve argued, looking confused. I. Cannnabreeve might have become a kung fu master, but he definitely had not gained any common sense. Jack had enough sense to cover I. Cannabreeve’s mouth before he leaked out anything else, but it was still too late.
There was one person in the crowd who had heard that they would not be killed, and he happened to be very power hungry, by the name of Hack Ohm, who was extremely good at electronics. He thought, I’ll jump in with them, and then infect them with the disease, and then go out again, and make the people think that only I can survive a black hole! And then they will all want to learn how to survive a black hole and I’ll tell them something made up and they will kill themselves. I am going to die in ten days anyway. At least I should live out my last five days as the king of the world. Oh, this is such a great plan. I’m surprised by my own genius!
However, Hack Ohm had a few associates, whom he could not help but boast to. “Yes, I am clever, aren’t I?” Hack Ohm finally concluded his long-winded explanation with what he thought was flair, but was actually the throw of a toothpick into a bin, missing, and then flying back at him. He assured them, “Don’t worry, I’ll give you a fair share of the loot once I am done with them. OW! That hurts!” he said as the toothpick struck home in his thin arm. And one of them thought that maybe, just maybe, he could finally overthrow Hack Ohm after working for him for 10 years.
5 days later, Jack met up with the others in spacesuits that Vaccumeta had managed to “borrow” from his lab, and, ignoring the cries of the people, they braced themselves and jumped, only to disappointingly land on the ground again. “Wait, how are we going to get there?”
“Let me try!” I. Cannabreeve shouted, rolling up his sleeves, not in the least undaunted. He grabbed a nearby stick and took a few steps backward and took a running leap, sticking the stick into the ground with the expertise of a pole vaulter, but chickening out just as he was about to fly, and ended up standing on one leg at the top of the pole, looking much more like a kung fu master now. Adventurista could not help but give the stick a little nudge, attempting to make I. Cannabreeve fall, but I. Cannabreeve’s training had not gone to waste, thank god, and he leapt onto the nearby roof 8 metres away.
Timadeta suggested, “Maybe you are supposed to use one of the wishes now?”
Jack thought, Ok, here goes. Please teleport us to the event horizon of the black hole with all our things, like the stick and the dust blower and the spacesuits.
Sure enough, the next instant, they were floating in the vast world of endless space. But, in their excitement, they did not realise that they had two stowaways. At the last moment, Hack Ohm had put a finger on Jack’s spacesuit, and Plane Mitchell had put his thumb on Hack Ohm’s spacesuit, and they were all teleported to space along with the others. But since Plane Mitchell was attached to Hack Ohm instead of directly to Jack, the connection was weaker and the teleportation caused a huge strain on his body and caused a cell mutation that turned him into a flying expert and a very, very arrogant person.
A minute later, Spacerista started to feel a bit stretched out, and he looked down and screamed. “AAAAAH! I’m spaghetti!” However, the radio transmitter was affected too and all the others heard was “Ha! I spat greatly!” The others were starting to feel the strain too. Slowly, they started to get taller and taller. Drawstuff was now two metres tall… 2.5 metres… 3 metres… 5 metres… but just as they were about to go “pop!” there was a brilliant flash of light and then they shrunk back to their original size and the black hole, like the mouth of a monster, rushed up to swallow them. They rushed through the endless black tunnel and then suddenly a brilliant flash of colour struck each of them like lightning, and they felt squeezed, so tight they could not breathe… and they were out!
They were wearing their normal clothes again and the stick was lying on the ground. Thump! Boom! They heard the rustle of a bush and a little elk made of licorice emerged, eating the gumball berries growing on a candy cane bush. Seizing this chance, Hack and Plane made a plan and split up. Hack had realized they had no way to go back so they had to develop a new plan. Which meant splitting up.
“Whoa!” Andromedarren exclaimed in surprise. Blacn and Vaccumeta had already got out their scientific equipment that they had snuck into a rucksack and were analyzing all the things they could.
“This world’s atmosphere is similar to Earth. Oh, if we make it out alive, I am definitely going to bring a sample of the dirt back!” Vaccumeta exclaimed.
Saverbo and Planeton rushed around exploring. “Look! Hamburger trees! Grass fries! Pizza flowers! Chip leaves! Baguette twigs! Sandwich bushes!”
Jack joined them and gorged everything in sight. Every plant was different and every bite was delicious. When he was thirsty, he would go to a nearby stream and drink the soda water that ran through, hoping to catch some barbecued fish to go along with it. The lamb and beef were easier to catch. They were made of lamb chops and steak and barbeque, each one hot and flavorful. Chickens and turkeys were grilled to perfection. The others naturally could not resist that and they all stopped what they were doing and scoffed all they could.
They slowly lost all memory of why they were here and how they got here. Only when they were full did I. Cannabreeve say, “Eh? I wonder how we got here. Eh, who cares, I don’t want to le — AAAA! We are late! OH MY GOD WE FORGOT TO COLLECT THE OBJECTS!”
This got them all to their feet. They immediately stepped on the gas and started packing. Before they left, everybody made sure to stuff their bags with every food they could. They walked forwards, hoping that it would take them somewhere. After a while, it started raining fried rice.
They entered a thick forest, filled with vines of pasta and noodles and tree trunks made of the cleanest water you had seen. They stood up by themselves instead of sploshing around, and if you punched it, you would get quite a shock as you found that your hand hurt all over and that nothing had happened to the tree. However, if you put your lips to it and sucked, the water would just enter your mouth and the tree would gradually get smaller as you drank more water.
There was a light in front and they rushed to it, but stopped in their tracks when something black rushed around them, so fast it kicked up a huge wind and blew them to their feet. A grim reaper rose from the darkness. It had 2 arms, no head and no legs. It was wearing a cloak and the hood floated as if there was a head. Its arms were wrapped in a broken chain, and a lantern glowed ominously on the cloak. It removed the huge scythe from its back and floated closer to the gang. I. Cannabreeve was not scared and took a step forward, contrary to the rest of the team.
“You wanna fight, huh?” I. Cannabreeve taunted. He did a right heel kick but the grim reaper opened a wormhole and teleported away. The grim reaper struck out with the scythe from behind, and I. Cannabreeve ducked just in time. He plucked out a surprisingly strong pasta vine, looped it around the scythe and pulled hard. The scythe flew out of the grim reaper’s hand and into I. Cannabreeve’s outstretched arms. However, the grim reaper raised 2 fingers and the scythe caught fire without burning down. It flew around, controlled by the reaper, trying to hit I. Cannabreeve. The reaper decided to take a smarter approach. The scythe flew to the group huddled into a corner, making them huddle even closer to one another. I. Cannabreeve gave a loud cry and half-commanded, half-begged, “Hey, don’t kill them! Kill me instead! You can take my soul! I don’t care as long as you don’t hurt them!“
But the reaper did not relent. The scythe went on a merciless journey to the necks of Jack and the rest.
Saverbo took a deep breath and stepped forward. “If you are going to kill us, kill me first.”
Suddenly, a hand reached out and grabbed Saverbo. The hulking figure of Hugo appeared from the back of the group. “Me! I am not good at studies, I can’t help with anything.”
The rest of the group echoed a chorus of “me”s and suddenly the scythe stopped in midswing.
“You have passed,” the reaper said.
It stepped back to reveal a large pile of gleaming objects. When they got closer to it, the dust blower also started glowing. Suddenly, the objects stopped glowing. Two figures emerged from the trees, snatched up two objects and hightailed it out.
“Hey!” I. Cannabreeve yelled, chasing them, jumping from branch to branch. He was gaining ground slowly, but suddenly the forest got denser and he lost sight of them. He returned to the others and forlornly told them that they had escaped. They grabbed all the objects so nobody could take them.
“Well, at least we got most of it.” Andromedarren said, trying to brighten up the atmosphere. They thanked the reaper and continued on their way. An hour later, I. Cannabreeve, Hugo, Adventurista, and Jack were dragging Blacn, Andromedarren, Drawstuff, Timadeta, Vacuumeta, Planeton, Spacerista, and Saverbo out of the forest. Once they got out, those who were not on the ground already fell onto the ground with a dull thud. The leaves of the forest shook as the wind blew through them, as if mocking them for being so weak. After ten minutes, Timadeta got up. He stretched and announced that he was all refreshed.
Adventurista snorted, “You should be! You were the first to faint! We had to drag you 34742 steps!”
“You were counting?” Blacn said in surprise.
“Welp! Let’s get on our way!” I. Cannabreeve said. He jumped up to his feet but his bag was loose and fell off his shoulders, spilling out the contents.
“Hey, shouldn’t we see what they do first so we can use them later?” Saverbo suggested.
So they sat on the floor again and started poking around with the objects.
“These are pretty normal things, ” Hugo observed.
“Hey, this lamp operates without electricity!” Blacn said. Jack half-expected him to dig out a microscope and examine the lamp but he didn’t. “Eh, you get used to it,” Blacn added, as if reading his mind. Blacn pointed it at the ground and disappointedly said, “That’s all?”
But a few seconds later, he was proved wrong. The ground suddenly shook, and the circle of light turned into a large hole with the forest and them in it. They all let out gasps and peered into the hole. As they did, the duplicates of themselves did the same.
“Let’s go in!” I. Cannabreeve said adventurously. They packed up their things and looked at their duplicates pack up their things. Planeton put a stick in and watched it slowly drop. Suddenly, there was a whoosh and a tunnel of purple light that just slowly floated about. Then, they heard a stick drop behind them, and turned around to find that it was the exact stick that Planeton had used. There was the hole of purple light floating in the air. Blacn was so shocked that he accidentally turned off the lamp, and at the same time the hole disappeared with a pop.
“A wormhole!” Vacuumeta exclaimed.
Next they tried closing the wormhole while the stick was still inside. The hole disappeared and the stick was gone. They opened the wormhole again, and the stick was still inside. They found some words carved onto the lamp.
“What does it say?” Jack curiously asked.
“Dunno. It’s all Greek to me,” Andromedarren replied.
“That’s because it is Greek!” exclaimed Spacerista as he finally recognised the strange text.
“You know how to read it?” everyone asked in surprise. He explained that he had learnt it when he went to university as it was in Greece.
“The long one is ‘i trýpa den tha katastrépsei poté ton idioktíti,’ the hole will never destroy the owner. The second one is ‘o chrónos eínai ousiastikós,’ time is of the essence. Hey! I know what they mean! The hole will never kill the owner if the owner goes into it, so that means there must be a time limit, which is why there is the second one! But how long is the time limit?” To figure it out, they sent Jack in with the stick and also the lamp as an extra precaution. He jumped into the hole and closed it.
Jack looked around and saw the purple tunnel. The moment the wormhole was closed, he felt a tingling sensation, and a black hole appeared at the end. He felt himself being pulled to it against his will. The stick and lamp were floating around, slowly being attracted to the black hole. He snatched them up and told the lamp, “My friends and I are the owners. My friends and I are the owners and I’d like to keep my stuff, thank you very much.”
The lamp glowed as it processed the new information. When it was done, it emitted a hum and the pull on Jack and the stick disappeared. Jack slowly counted the seconds, noticing that there was also a tuft of grass, presumably from the first wormhole in the ground. Jack asked the lamp, “Hey, how do you destroy stuff? Can the owners go into the black hole and go out?”
The lamp glowed, humming and aahing as if it were thinking very hard about it. Then, as if answering his question, Jack saw the tuft of grass get sucked into the black hole, and the lamp emitted a blast of light that formed a word. See? And then, Jack felt that he was being sucked into the black hole. Before he could react, he was inside it, and grass floated in the empty black space before him. For something called a black hole, the interior was relatively bright, since the black hole had absorbed so much light, and even looked comfy. He arranged the grass and found that they stuck together and actually joined up as if they were being magically welded together, which they were. He lay down on his new bed of grass and rested. He thought, Time to go out. Suddenly, a black door popped into existence, and upon opening it, he realized that it led to the tunnel. Another see? popped up from the lamp. He decided to tell the others and opened a wormhole to his friends.
He climbed out and reported, “It’s super safe, as long as you are the owner. Anyway, you can keep stuff inside forever, as long as you tell the lamp that you want it. By the way, I have something to show you. Come on in!” They hesitantly packed their things and clambered into the hole. “These are my friends and they are owners too. And keep their stuff,” Jack told the lamp, and then addressed the rest of them. “Alright guys, swim to the black hole at the end. That’s how your stuff gets destroyed if you don’t claim it.”
He led them to the black hole and they stopped, apprehension etched on their faces. Jack assured them that it was safe and led them in. They were very amazed, judging by the fact that their mouths hung down so big that someone could have stuffed a whole egg in with space to spare. I. Cannabreeve recovered the fastest.
“All right gang! This is a world class boot hole, 5 star, 100 out of 100, the best of the best, the super, the ultimate, the great, the excellent, the superior, the numero uno, the superb, the rad, the tip-top, the up to snuff, the prime, the first-rate, the primo, the premium, the big shot, the big cheese, the platinum choice, the first-class, the sans pareil, the — ” I. Cannabreeve had to cut out his dictionary lecture as he had run out of breath, his face already purple from the effort, and they could have sworn that his head was one round bigger.
They figured out the rest of the objects were relatively straightforward: the book let you jump into books. The shirt turned the wearer invisible. The unbreakable paper made the stuff you wrote on it appear next to you. The mini drawer and pouch let you put anything into it and it would never run out of space, and as long as you carried the pouch with you, anything you needed that was in the drawer would appear in the pouch. The clock let the person who owned it control time. The pen allowed the owner to draw in midair and the drawing would immediately turn solid. Slowly, under I. Cannabreeve’s fanatic command, 12 beds, 12 recliners, a huge sofa, a wireless WiFi producer and everything you would find in a house appeared in the special area of the black hole. In short, the black hole turned into their house. I. Cannabreeve had even gone to include an Olympic-size pool complete with a water park and wave pool and an ice skating rink.
Slowly they exited the boot hole hotel and opened a wormhole to “wherever the people who took the objects are.” They emerged behind a bush, and cries of pain and gunshots rang out. They peeked out and saw one of the people who had taken the objects shoot the other with a PKM machine gun. Hack Ohm was killed, and the computer that he had was thrown to the side by an arrogant Plane. He threw the gun into the air and it suddenly turned into a full sized deadly looking spaceship with 20 nuclear thrusters, an on-board nuclear generator, a backup fan generator, and ten missile tubes, and it seemed to be the type of spaceship that had many weapons on board. Saverbo saw his nametag, and informed them that he was called Plane. After he boarded the spaceship, they opened a wormhole to the computer, but instead of hole in the air, it was a hole in the ground, and the computer fell into their waiting arms. The objects glowed again — could they sense that victory was near, could they sense that they only had one last sibling to reunite with?
They formed a plan. Planeton would stay behind with the computer and hack the spaceship’s onboard computers, making the doors open. Then, the rest of them would rush in and defeat Plane and get the last object. They jumped out of the wormhole, and the doors of the spaceship opened. Plane was sitting in the cockpit, desperately trying to close the doors, but he was locked out of the system. The others first used the clock and stopped time, and they used the paper and wrote “a really strong rope that nothing can untie or break.” Then, they tied up Plane, and I. Cannabreeve took advantage of the fact that Plane could not move and slapped him as many times as he could, saying, “That will teach you not to mess with us!”
Then they shrunk down the plane to object size and claimed ownership of it. They started time again, and carried Plane around like a trophy. They grabbed the objects and brought them together.
They emitted a brilliant flash of golden light and then disappeared.
“So…that’s it? That’s it?! We did all this just for them to evaporate?” But no sooner had he finished his sentence than they were teleported back to Earth, everything was normal and the Andromeda Galaxy was far away, and no one else remembered what had happened.