“What kind of event, Dr. Morgan?” Rice interjected. “The collider had opened up a fissure in the ground within the ring. It was completely hollowed out. But what we saw within it was even more incredible than the presence of the fissure itself!” “What was within this fissure, Dr. Morgan?” Rice asked. “Space, Ambassador Rice.” “Space,” Rice maintained perfect control of her tone, while the rest of the Security Council seemed to deflate like a bicycle tire in surprise. “Intriguing.” “Understatement of the century, Susan.” Obama leaned forward and rested his elbows on the table, linking his fingers together. “Was it populated space, Nathan?

[6:18 AM]

“From a visual inspection, we could see at least one planet which appears to be Earth-like in its composition. You must understand sir, that we could only see with our naked eyes. We didn't dare to leave the ring for safety reasons. We didn't know how this fissure operates. It could have simply been a window that couldn't be breached. Worst case scenario was that it really was a breach.” Obama seemed to take the news as if it were just another day in the office. “What's the current status of this anomaly?” “Gone. The collider has been completely shut down under the guise of maintenance, sir. We all agreed that it wasn't a good idea to leave such an anomaly in place without knowing how exactly it was created, or if it could even be controlled.” “Do you have any theories at least?” “There is one, but it's very thin.” “Try me,” Obama thinly smiled. Morgan had the feeling that the president's eyes were boring through his skull. He had the complete attention of one of the most powerful people on the planet now, and it made Nathan's hands sweat. “We were testing several artifacts that were seconded to us by the U.S. Air Force. We were told that their presence at CERN was to be considered classified, along with their origin.” Obama chuckled. “You mean the Chaos Emeralds?” “May I assume that the subject is now no longer classified, sir?” “In the interest of science and my own curiosity, you certainly may.” Obama looked over at the Secretary

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