Grinner woke up the next morning surprisingly refreshed. Danni was not in the bed with him since she had chosen to sleep on the couch the night before. He decided not to think too hard about what he revealed to her. After their usual morning rituals, the couple headed out to NASA with a light breakfast. No one at the office thought Grinner to be psychotic. Not until Danni told everyone what he said. He had been in the lab since he clocked in, examining his ring. His hopes were to see if the elements linked up with anything that was already a lab sample. Everyone periodically passed by the labs doors, snickering and giggling, taking pictures and laughing out loud.
“Did you get anally probed, big guy?” they all sneered.
He calmly ignored them. At the end of the day, he realized nothing had turned up in his search. If he didn’t know where in the universe that planet was, how could he find its remains? Who knows if any remains were even left because of the time zones? The rubble probably just blew out in every direction. But it had only been a day of looking. He planned to work overtime to find any slice of evidence in order to get his team to work with him instead of poking fun at his efforts. Danni came into the lab, not as upset at the night before, and touched his shoulder. He flinched.
“Im sorry.” she softly said.
“No, its okay. I just haven’t seen anyone all day who wasn’t hysterical.”
“Aliens are a tricky thing to get people to believe. Especially if they actually came from Earth.”
“Wait! That’s it!” Grinner ran over to a bookcase that had formulas for what might make a portal logged into countless files.
“That’s it!” he said again as he rummaged through the files.
Danni hesitated before she asked what he meant.
“We have the means to make a portal. Or at least teleport material, right?”
“If we made The Loop here, again, on Earth, in this present day, wouldn’t it just open the one I went through?!”
“What is The Loop?”
“That’s what my people called the portal.”
“You’re people. Right.”
“It would be dangerous, but The Loop has to still be out there. It couldn’t have just self destructed.”
He began to pace back and forth as he flipped through the files. Danni chose to go home and leave him be. She was frustrated and hurt. But she knew her husband to be an honest man who stuck to his word. Just this time, his word to some alien girl had more meaning than his vows to her. She knew she had lost him. On the way back to their apartment, Danni sobbed bitterly.
Once nightfall hit, Grinner’s team began to feel bad for him. He had spent his whole day in the lab, testing out many types of chemicals and elements that could possibly produce a portal. One of his friends, Jared, came up to him while the others waited outside the door.
“You okay, man?” Jared asked. He really was concerned.
Grinner looked up. “Yes. Can I get some help please?”
The rest of his team piled in and asked what was really going on and if he had lost all his screws. Without elaborating, he handed his ring to Jared and told him to examine it. While he looked at the ring, his eyes slowly began to widen. Glancing up from the microscope, he said,
“You guys. Ive never seen anything like this. These atoms could power a whole city! Imagine if we melted this down? What clean energy we could manufacture from this! This could power all our generators!”
Grinner swiped the ring from under the microscope and glared at Jared. No one said anything.
“Can you help me make a portal from this ring?” he asked with all hope in his voice.
“Lets start now then. We are all going to be working overtime tonight.”
He and his team slaved over their task. Once day broke the next morning, they had constructed a portal. But they needed approval from headquarters. Jared called them and proposed to them the situation, leaving out the part about Grinner having been off Earth and farther than the moon. But he did believe that. All night, he had opened up about how simple that planet’s technology was and how it originated on Earth. If it wasn’t for his own knowledge and his ring, they would not have constructed their own version of The Loop.
At lunch time, the heads of NASA and Grinner’s team left for the observatory where there was a secret shuttle base. Their plan was to catapult The Loop out into space, open it, and see into it without anyone actually going through. But he had other ideas.
Once everyone was in the launch room, the crude version of a portal was set up and ready to go. The way they had designed it was to be invisible from just a short distance. Exactly like the original Loop. But this one was smaller and could not grow to enormous sizes. That part they didn’t figure out. One of the heads of NASA asked Grinner to get up and explain what was to be done.
He was extremely nervous. But he had faith that they would believe that he had traveled through space and time and found a home. But they didn’t believe him. They laughed and made many the rude joke. Jared, feeling bad for his friend, started up The Loop before anyone asked him to. Just as it was lighting up, Danni was cleared to enter the launch room. The roof of the observatory opened and The Loop and its machine to throw it out into the atmosphere were positioned underneath the direct line of sunlight. This way, no one could see it flying through the sky on account of the sun rays. Grinner caught sight of his wife, but did not go up to her. They stayed far away from each other. The room got quiet and he went over to the machine to operate it. There was no count down. He didn’t have time for that. What he secretly planned was to jump into The Loop and he didn’t care what happened to him. He just needed to see the remains of his old home. All rational thought was gone anyway. Once it was fully ready to go, it opened before them in the room! This was not as planned because it was supposed to go out into space.
The Loop appeared.
Grinner, now feeling fearful, stood back from it. They could not see inside for it was all black. Everyone was silent. The sound of a car engine sputtering could be heard all around the room. No one moved. The Loop hung in the air, suspended on nothing. There was much anticipation going around in everyone’s minds. What was going to happen?
All of a sudden, The Loop started to grow and then, as if turning the channel on a television, its insides now looked like a storm. Grinner took a step forward. Danni gasped, just knowing he would die. And then a voice from within The Loop spoke!
“Is that The Loop?” the voice asked.
“Hello?” he responded.
“It looks so small!” said the voice, obviously not hearing him.
Many looks were exchanged in the room. Someone stepped back and quietly called the president.
“HELLO?” he said louder.
Smoke began to come out of The Loop and fill the air. Everyone coughed and choked.
“Let me see.” said another voice from within it.
First a leg, and then two arms, and another leg, and then a whole person emerged from The Loop! Smoke was covering their face. Everyone in the room backed up against the wall. The person who called the POTUS was frantic.
“You wont believe what we’re seeing!!” they yelled.
The smoke sucked back into The Loop to reveal who the person was. It was Maisie.
First she saw all the scared humans staring at her. She laughed.
“Oh, its Earth! I wonder if-.”
She turned around to see her beloved Grinner, stunned from shock. Danni saw the pure love in their eyes and left the room.
“Grinns?” Tears began to fall from her eyes.
He was at a lost for words. His sweetheart had not aged a day. And here he was 50 years old. First, he was embarrassed about his graying hair, and then he was ashamed of having gotten married to Danni. He fell to the ground, suddenly weighed down with regret. Maisie rushed to his side and lifted him up, dusting him off. The two shared a nostalgic laugh. The room was still silent. The president was no longer on the phone since the person who called him had hung up minutes ago.
Maisie held onto Grinner and kissed him.
“Wow.” said Jared.
“He wasn’t kidding!” other people exclaimed.
And then Grinner lost it. Pulling away from her he said, “I SAW YOU DIE! I SAW THE PLANET EXPLODE! HOW ARE YOU HERE?”
She giggled. “Well, you see, I reset The Loop so that even though it appeared as though the planet blew up, what really happened is that it sucked us into the portal and we have built a home inside it. We also have been searching for another suitable place to live since Earth isn’t a healthy option.” Her tone was so calm and matter of fact. She peered into his tired eyes and asked him what was wrong.
“I-I thought. I assumed. I, I was. Oh God.”
Reading his mind, she saw the past ten years he had lived and didn’t feel jealous one bit about Danni. She just held him closer and said everything was all right.
“I knew you would figure out a way to find us!” she said.
Right then, government officials were coming into the room with guns. Maisie’s smile faded and she started to back up into The Loop.
“What.” Grinner said, still not knowing what words to formulate. She grabbed his arm and yanked him in just as the officials were about to shoot at them.
Once on the other side, The Loop closed and shattered. There was no longer a way to open it back up from Earth without help from Grinner. The insides just looked like a regular town.
“How can any of this be?” he asked.
“The Loop had more capabilities than we thought. Apparently, its somewhat of another dimension. Living in here is fine, but we want a different home base.”
“Maisie.” Her name flying off his lips was so soothing to taste. He savored each syllable and shivered.
“Yes, my love?” It was as if the two had never been apart.
“If you reset the portal, can’t you just go back in time and prevent it from being invented?”
“But then I would never meet you!”
“Well, then what if we just rewrote the past and brought the planet back?”
“That makes sense.”
The technology she and her people had come to know in the amount of time he was gone has escalated exponentially. Things like time travel would be a breeze, but only if they could get out of the now shattered Loop. But then they came up with an idea. If they were in an alternate dimension, wouldn’t there be a planet off the makeshift one they were currently on that would be sufficient for life?
“Lets figure that out later, Maze. I have to apologize. I-I married someone and it was because I thought you had died.”
“I would do the same thing, so its okay.” she laughed.
“Ive missed you.”
He grabbed her and held her tightly against his chest. His heart raced as he smelled her hair and felt the skin of her face.
“Everything is going to be okay. We will find a way to live somewhere else. If not, this has been suitable for many years. We’ll be fine.”
Grinner felt his super powers surging back into him. He quickly forgot about his Earth life. He quickly forgot about Danni. And Jared. And his parents. He forgot about all of that. Its not that he was selfish. He just knew what he wanted and Earth was a means to an end. Maisie and their people was where he belonged. They would eventually find their way out of The Loop with his help and go to live on a planet where their abilities would increase. Earth would stay the same, with their conspiracy theories and crooked governments. The incident at the observatory would go down as untrue. Anyone who witnessed The Loop was sworn to secrecy. Danni would not marry again and wouldn’t be allowed to tell anyone where Grinner ran off to. So basically, life on Earth remained miserable and full of confusion. But Maisie and Grinner’s lives just kept getting better.
As for The Loop? Well, it has a mind of its own.
Truth be told, I didnt know how I wanted to end this story. The way it sounded in my head didnt sound good on paper. So i just winged it. But I hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you want more multiple part stories and will definitely do that! STAY TUNED!