Chapter Four

Twenty three hours later, John Garrison signed the datapad and accepted his new position at GenEnTech as a Combat Support Specialist.

Over the next six weeks, Garrison was given numerous medical and psychological tests, and put through rigorous physical, mental, and combat exercises. His results were recorded and analyzed. After one particularly rigorous session, Garrison was approached by Harvard Smith, and another man in a lab coat.

The man was in his fifties, thin build, with shoulder length salt and pepper hair. He fidgeted with his glasses. "What do you want now Smith?" Garrison growled, as he toweled sweat off of his face. "You find another form for me to sign?" Smith grinned tightly, "As a matter of fact, yes I have." He nodded to the man with him. "John Garrison, this is Doctor Edward Straum… your new boss."

Doctor Straum extended his hand, and gave Garrison a firm, cool handshake. He spoke with a British accent. "Mr. Garrison, it's a pleasure to meet you. I've been observing your performance and I believe that you are the ideal candidate to participate in a project I am heading."

Garrison nodded, "Well, you people have pretty much got me over a barrel here, so I don't have much of a choice, do I?" Straum looked uncomfortable, but continued. "I'd like you to stop by my office later and we can discuss the details, please." Garrison glared at Smith. "Sure, I'll be there."

Garrison knocked on the door to Doctor Straum's office, and the man looked up from his data terminal. "Ah, Mr. Garrison, do come in. Please, sit… can I offer you something? Tea, perhaps?" Garrison declined with a shake of his head. "No, thank you Doctor."

He took a seat opposite the Doctor's desk. "Mr. Garrison, I'll get straight to the point." He took off his glasses, and fiddled with them as he spoke. "Are you familiar with the subject of wormholes?" Garrison frowned, "Not really, but I take it we are not talking about fish bait?" Straum chuckled mildly. "Not remotely, but I appreciate your sense of humor." Garrison looked at Doctor Straum blankly. Straum cleared his throat uncomfortably and continued.

"I am heading up a project of great importance and untold possibilities." He paused and used a remote to turn on a large flat screen wall monitor. He continued. "We have discovered a way to create a stable wormhole to… another place."

Images of something that looked like star maps, showed up on the screen, accompanied with data that scrolled down the screen. "We have been able to send drones with sensor packages through and have been able to receive limited information and video about the environment on the other side."

"We have determined that the environment on the other side can, in fact, support life… meaning that it has the right oxygen nitrogen atmosphere, and survivable temperatures." Garrison nodded, and Straum continued.

"But, we have thus far been unable to get anything more than that. We have been able to send lab rats and monkeys, and retrieve them intact… with little difficulty, but we have reached a point where we require more data than a drone or lab animal can give us… and we believe that your… enhancements and training makes you the perfect candidate to be the first man to travel via wormhole to another world."

Garrison raised his eyebrows at that last part. "Basically, you want me to be a lab animal for you." Straum looked nonplussed, but nodded. "Yes."