by Chase Chapley
Project INFINITY, the ATOM Labs exploration into Earths of alternate dimensions, has finally commenced after over 30 years of planning. INFINITY plans to explore 100 alternate Earths, recording their similarities and differences to ours, and send records of their exploits back to ATOM Labs. They “jumped” to their first alternate Earth this morning from ATOM Labs to much fanfare from family, friends, and colleagues.
The expedition is led by Tarani Kapoor, an expert in alternate dimensional travel and particle physics. She will be monitoring the “jumper”, the hand-held device that opens portals to each dimension, and will make the final decisions on when they will “jump” dimensions. Her second-in-command, Leon Verrick, an expert in cosmology, will also monitor a “jumper” of his own in case Kapoor is unable to use hers for any reason.
The team will be filled out with ATOM Labs scientists of varying disciplines. Samantha McDonald is the team’s biologist and geneticist, who will be recording the plant and animal species they come in contact to as well as studying DNA samples of said species. John Hou is the geologist, Karen Humboldt is the team doctor and physiologist, and Maria Gutierrez is the expert in superhuman and extraterrestrial morphology. Kathleen Herrera will join as the team’s anthropologist and linguist. The entire team will be accompanied by Michael and Jennifer Laramie, twin brother and sister, who will be their bodyguards. They are low-level superhumans with increased stamina, strength, speed, agility, and immune systems.
Each member of Project INFINITY has been trained for years in use of the “jumper” and in hand-to-hand combat. “We have to be prepared for anything,” said Captain Kapoor. “Each new Earth could be vastly different than ours, and we won’t know how different until we get there.”
They will wear special suits, much like spacesuits, for each jump until they’re certain they can survive the new world’s atmosphere. The “jumper” is designed to detect Earths within the “survivable zone” determined by ATOM Labs. Oxygen levels, temperature, humidity, acidity, cosmic rays, fire, all will be detected of each new dimension before a jump, but the predictions may not always be reliable. “We tested this out on ten Earths,” said Kapoor, ” and the predictions were 80% reliable, which is pretty good. But those two that were off sent us into a world made of fire and another where the atmosphere was the same as ours except the nitrogen [which comprises 70% of our atmosphere] was replaced with hydrogen. As you might imagine, it was a very explosive Earth.”
The expedition is expected to last one to two years. The team has been given a flexible schedule because no one knows what kind of Earths they will experience. “Some are likely to be hostile,” said Kapoor. “But everyone understands this. It comes with the territory, so to speak.”
Captain Kapoor will be in charge of sending the official reports back to our Earth, dubbed Earth-1, but each member, including the bodyguards, will be keeping a journal of their experiences. The NRFP will publish some of these reports, and all will be collected into several books once the project has finished.