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Paper went flying everywhere in blinding white flashes, covering the linoleum flooring.
I looked up at Dr. Matthews. His face was angry and red and his fist was clenched and poised above his head, as if ready to strike. He spouted some expletives and then turned on his heel, walking all over the paper on the floor. My research.
“Sorry, sir.” I mumbled, bending down to pick up a month’s work. He was already out of earshot, clanking away in another corner of the laboratory. After I had carefully collected my papers I walked over to where he was, keeping a safe distance. He was standing in front of what would probably be the greatest invention of my lifetime and surely many others.
A teleportation device.
The machine was capable of sending you anywhere in the world, provided you had the coordinates, and returning you to wherever you came from, as long as you had someone manning the machine on the other side.
Dr. Matthews had been working on the teleportation device for ten years. At first, there was a team of nine scientists with two assistants, including me; however, Dr. Matthews proved to be a tough colleague to work with. He ridiculed his peers and demeaned the assistants and every year or so a person would leave the research team. I was the only one who remained with the doctor.
I snapped back to attention and rushed to the doctor’s side. “Yes, sir? What can I do, sir?” I asked, eager to prove my worth after this morning’s outburst.
“W-what? But don’t you need my help? My… my research?”
Dr. Matthews scoffed, and turned to look at me from over his shoulder. He was smirking. “That was busy work so you wouldn’t get in my way. Go home.” He turned away again as if I was already gone.
I said nothing more. I walked quickly over to my desk, grabbing my coat and tossing my worthless stack of papers into the trash.
As I left I could still hear the doctor working.
* * *
I arrived the next day later than usual, not wanting to face Dr. Matthews. I had barely gotten any sleep, fearing I wouldn’t have a job in the morning.
Nobody was in the laboratory, a strange occurrence as the doctor was always there and practically lived next to the teleportation machine. He was not at his desk or by the machine.
I walked over to it. Its hulking metal presence took up most of the laboratory. There was a computer built into it, and all throughout the day it would sputter and lights would flash. Something white caught my eye and I grabbed a piece of paper that was taped to its sliding doors. It was a letter.
It is finished! My life’s work is completed, no thanks to you, no thanks to anybody! Below are my coordinates. Bring me back as soon as you read this, so I can tell the world of my discovery. The coordinates are listed below.
- Dr. Matthews”
I finished reading, crumpled the letter up, and threw it in the trash.
I looked up at the machine and smiled, getting ready to tell the world about my amazing invention.