Jumping the Fold
Imagine if the three dimensional universe we observe actually was all folded up through a fourth spacial dimension, like a paper all wadded up. While another galaxy might be unfathomably far from us traveling in the three normal dimensions, it could be a short trip across this extra dimension our universe is bent up through.
My eyes were closed in an expression that probably looked like a wince.
“First time, kid?” asked the pilot in front of me.
I nodded without opening my eyes.
“You alright back there?”
I nodded again.
“I can’t see you back there, so you’re gonna need to give me a verbal.”
I opened my eyes. The tandem seats in this diminutive ship made me claustrophobic in addition to being anxious about the jump.
“I’m as ready as I’ll ever be,” I replied.
“Good,” laughed the pilot. “The fold should be right here in front of us. We are jumping on my mark. 3… 2… 1… mark.”
The stars blinked out in the distance. I expected some sensation of force, but there was none. I felt nothing.
Consciously I slowed my breath to calm my uneasy nerves, but the pounding in my chest only got louder.
I could still see the pilot in the dim light cast by the ship’s controls, but outside was complete darkness.
After a minute or two, the silence broke.
“Almost there,” said the pilot.
So our comms work in the fold.
“Just hang in there another few seconds,” she continued. “Done.”
As if flipping a switch, stars suddenly blinked back into view, but they were not the stars I saw only a moment ago.
The pilot tried awkwardly to twist around to look at me. “How was it?” she asked.
I hesitated to answer, so she offered a response for me. “Rather uneventful, huh?”
“Yeah,” I replied, “I was expecting a little more something.”
She laughed as if they all say that. “Welcome to fold jumping. You just traveled about a hundred meters in a direction we don’t have a word for yet, and landed two and a half million light years from where you started. Pretty cool, eh?”
No response came to mind. I just stared blankly at her.
After a moment, she rolled her eyes (I think; It’s hard to tell through her helmet) and she turned back to the main console.
“The station will take about an hour to reach from here through normal space, so I’ll get us going. You just collect your thoughts and let me know when you’re ready to talk.”
I nodded. She waited a minute.
“Verbal acknowledgment, please.”
“Okay,” I said.