By Tarani Kapoor
As Project INFINITY explores the multiverse, team leader Tarani Kapoor writes about their travels into the unknown. We’ll bring you select excerpts from her journal as ATOM Labs provides them to us.
Our first jump into the multiverse was bumpy. Even though we’ve all jumped before to a controlled pocket dimension, it is still difficult to jump into the unknown. Jitters were in everyone, including myself, but the atmospheric conditions of the first dimension were promising. We landed in Dimension 1.
This world seemed quite similar to ours at first glance. We were in an alternate version of New Romford: skyscrapers, superheroes in the skies, humans walking dogs (and not the other way around as Karen, our doctor, insists we’ll see one day). As far as an introductory alternate universe goes, this was ideal.
After changing into our street clothes, we broke off into two teams to explore the city with the mission of finding out what differentiated this dimension from our own. John, Kathleen, and Jennifer accompanied me, and Maria led the others, Karen, Samantha, and Michael. Through our travels, it was clear that people here spoke English and had similar technology to ours. There were slight differences in the cosmetic looks of their phones, cars, and clothing, but everything seemed to work in the same way. Maria’s team reported similar findings.
My group became thirsty after two hours of exploration, and since we were in a hospitable dimension, we decided to try some local drinks. But we didn’t have money from this dimension. To prevent Jennifer’s more extreme methods, John suggested a little ruse he used to do when he was a child. Basically, he grifted. I won’t go into any more detail than that, as I didn’t approve of this tactic, but it did provide us with a small amount of money. We went into a convenience store and purchased some sodas and juice so we could compare them to what we knew from Home Dimension.
John bought a Coke while I had a Pepsi. Kathleen had an orange juice, and Jennifer had a coconut water. Their two drinks tasted the same as what was found in our world, but John and I immediately recognized something off in our drinks. For one, my Pepsi was clear. John’s Coke didn’t taste like Coca-Cola Classic, and it dawned on him that he was drinking New Coke. He remembered it from the 80s, and then I knew that my drink was Crystal Pepsi. We checked the dates on the cans to make sure we weren’t drinking outdated sodas, and no, they had future dates.
Later on, we met up with the other team and relayed our findings. They found a similar city to our Home Dimension, but they noticed billboards for long-dead television shows, failed musical acts, and sequels to movie flops from our dimension. The Cavemen TV show was going into its ninth season on ABC, Chris Gaines was on tour promoting his sixth album, and Snow Dogs 7 was coming out in the next few months. It had become apparent what made this dimension different: it enjoyed pieces of culture that failed in our world.
Using some more of the money John “acquired” for us, we sampled food from one of the many Planet Hollywoods that were sprinkled throughout this city as if it were as popular as Applebee’s or Starbucks. It was surreal to see so many Planet Hollywoods in New Romford, let alone seeing how busy they all were. And that didn’t even include all the movie memorabilia on the walls from all the Snow Dog movies as well as from the apparent Pluto Nash and Battlefield Earth franchises. As expected, the food (standard American fare) tasted awful, but the locals enjoyed it.
Curiously, the local museums showcased fine art similar to our world, but as it was getting late, we decided to leave the question as to when cultural tastes changed to future explorers. We found a park to camp out for the night along with hundreds of other homeless individuals. At least this dimension doesn’t harass their homeless who sleep in the park.