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The Wall

By

Mario V. Farina



Copyright 2017 Mario V. Farina

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Mario V. Farina

Email: mario@mariofarina.com



My name is Theodore Harrison. I'm Commander of the country's Exploration Team. I report to Broderick W. Stewart. He holds the position of Highest Office Ruler, Earth And Universe. He gained this position through a series of political actions in 2030, and has held it to today's date, which is September 9, 2036. He gave me an assignment a few days ago, and I have been asked to report later today. My report will be recorded verbatim. In the transcript, I'll be identified as CET, which stands for Commander, Exploration Team. Mr. Stewart will be identified as HOREAU, which stands for Highest Office Ruler, Earth and Universe.

HOREAU: "Mr. Harrison, I trust you had a successful voyage to the end of the Universe. Are you prepared to report?"

CET: "Yes sir, Your Greatness!"

HOREAU: "Proceed, Commander."

CET: "Pursuant to your instructions, I, and the members of my team, boarded AJ6, installed the new propellant, and were able to reach the end of the Universe within an hour. You were right in advising that this new product allows vastly faster transportation speeds than any other we used in the past. Without the new product, it would have required years to reach our destination. We arrived without incident."

HOREAU: "Proceed please, Commander. I am anxious to know what you found there."

CET: "We found that at the end of the Universe, there is a wall. We saw a sign on the wall that advised, in English, where we were, and that no attempt should be made to go through to the other side because there is nothing there! At this time, we did some calculations and determined that the dimensions of the Universe are indeed finite."

HOREAU: "Then, it is as I had suspected, there is an end to the Universe! The Universe is not infinite in size. I'm sure the people of our country will be pleased to learn that I was correct in my conjecture. Did you try to get through to the other side?"

CET: "The sign said that there was nothing on the other side and that we should make no attempt to go through."

HOREAU: "I assume, Commander, that you were not deterred by the message, and did actually make an attempt!"

CET: "Oh yes, of course, Your Greatness. It was my responsibility to do that, and that's what my team attempted!"

HOREAU: "And?"

CET: "We pointed the ship left and proceeded at maximum speed for well over an hour. As we had expected, we went completely around the Universe and came back to the sign. Then we did the same in an upward direction, and came back to the sign. By doing this, we confirmed your belief that the shape of the Universe is round. What I'm reporting is, of course, further confirmation that your judgment as our esteemed leader is beyond reproach!"

HOREAU: "Yes, of course, that's true, and I will be informing the populace about what you have just said. Then, of course, you didn't abandon the attempt and tried drilling through the wall!"

CET: "Certainly! As you've implied, I am a good leader and able to predict what you would have done under similar circumstances. We nudged the wall with the ship, and began the drilling operation."

HOREAU: "Marvelous. How did you know that you might need a drill?"

CET: "I anticipated the need, Your Greatness. It was part of Plan B. I ordered the drilling operation and we penetrated the wall to a distance of several miles. Ultimately, we became convinced that the wall was too wide and could not be broken through."

HOREAU: "Then, you realized that there had to be an end to the wall, and continued the boring until you were successful?"

CET: "Exactly, Your Greatness. As you have stated, I became convinced that there had to be an end to the width of the wall, and continued the drilling until we got through. We opened a hole that was slightly larger than the size of the ship."

HOREAU: "Stupendous! Tell me, Commander, what did you see? I'm fascinated! What did you see on the other side of the wall?"

CET: "The sign on the wall had been accurate. There was nothing on the other side!"

HOREAU: "Commander, there had to be something! Did you see any stars, galaxies, aliens, buildings? There simply had to be something on the other side of the wall!"

CET: "Sir, there was absolutely nothing"!

HOREAU: "All right then, I'll accept that! Tell me, what does nothing look like. I need to know!"

CET: "Your Greatness, it is hard to explain what nothing looks like. Nothing does not look like anything."

HOREAU: "It has to look like something! What color was it? Was it dark like midnight? Was it black like a dungeon?"

CET: "Not exactly, Your Greatness. Nothing, has no color! It's impossible to describe what nothing looks like. Where there's nothing, there is no color for it!"

HOREAU: "How did you know that you were looking at nothing?"

CET: "It's an intuitive thing, Your Greatness. When you look and don't see nothing, you somehow know that what you're looking at is nothing!"

HOREAU: "All right; I'll accept that, too! Did you try to enter the area. That's what I believe a great commander would have done!"

CET: "Oh yes, as a great commander, I knew I should do that, and took the controls myself! I piloted the ship a small distance into the nothingness."

HOREAU: "Remarkable! What did you see? What was there."

CET: "The front of the ship turned to nothing. I could not see it. The part that had gone into the nothingness, became nothing itself!"

HOREAU: "Unbelievable! Were you able to save the ship? Surely, you had made plans to safeguard it!"

CET: "Oh yes, Your Greatness. I had determined that if the front part of the ship should change to nothing, I would pilot the ship in a backwards direction so that it would resume being something!"

HOREAU: "Extraordinarily good thinking, Commander. Were you able to do that?"

CET: "Oh yes, yes of course, Your Greatness. I had the presence of mind to pilot the ship in a backwards direction, and the part that had been nothing suddenly became something."

HOREAU: "I could not have expected more from any good leader, Commander. Did you make an attempt to collect some of the nothingness so that we could study it?"

CET: "Yes sir. I had anticipated the need for a collector at the front of the ship, and used it to take a sample of the nothingness."

HOREAU: "Did you have a suitable container for the sample?"

CET: "Yes, of course, Your Greatness. It was made of thick lead material with an airtight cover of the same. We will be able to open the container in the lab and examined the contents to learn what we can about what nothing is like and what we can do with it."

HOREAU: "What do you think we will be able to use the contents of the container for, Commander? I'm sure you must have an idea, otherwise, you wouldn't have collected the sample."

CET: "There are several uses possible. As a matter of fact, I already found one use for nothing!"

HOREAU: "That is magnificent news. What is the use that you have discovered, and how did you discern it so quickly?"

CET: "We had done so much flying around the Universe that we had almost run out of fuel. We would not have been able to fly all the way back to home base. But, I wondered what you would have done under the same circumstances, and decided that we might be able to replenish the fuel-cell with some of the contents of the lead container."

HOREAU: "You mean . . ."

CET: "Precisely, Your Greatness. We replenished the ship's fuel-cell with a small quantity of nothing. We were then able to travel to home base with some nothing to spare in the fuel-cell, and enough nothing in the container for research."

HOREAU: "Commander, I'm proud of you, and pleased with the results of your voyage. I will see to it that you receive a promotion. I'll be requiring you to make additional trips to the end of the Universe to get additional supplies of nothing."

CET: End of Report!

Postscript: Some fool astronomers are indicating that my report is pure fabrication, and should not be believed. I have a meeting scheduled with HOREAU. I've been given to understand, he has some questions for me, but, surely, nothing I can't handle.




































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