“What the hell is that!?” Murphy shouted the moment he stepped into the living room.
“What the hell is what?” Phoebe asked. The young woman pulled her hand out of a plate-sized black hole; she held an ice-cold bottle of milk.
“Did you just pull that milk out of a black hole?” Murphy asked. Phoebe shrugged.
“It’s not an actual black hole; it’s just a hole that’s black. It’s more of a portal really,” she said while she poured milk into her cereal bowl that was already reloaded with colorful sugar. When the pink and red shapes reached to brim she stopped pouring. She returned the milk bottle to the black hole then withdrew her empty hand. The hole closed and she mixed her cereal in the bowl.
“Are these portals a regular thing? How safe are they? They’re portals, what if something comes out?” Murphy asked. He took a step back into the kitchen; closer to the knife block. Phoebe sighed. She took a moment to finish chewing her bite, then looked at Murphy.
“My ad said ‘AlterNet friendly’,” she said. Gold stars filled her eyes as she glowered at Murphy.
“What are you doing?!” Murphy reached for the biggest knife he could find to defend himself. Phoebe shook her head and the golden glow faded from her eyes.
“You don’t know what that means, do you?” she asked him. Murphy shrugged. He relaxed somewhat when he noticed she was still relaxed. She remained seated and eating her cereal.
“I’ve heard a few guys talk about it. It sounds like a video game or something. I figured, sure. I’m friendly to people that play video games,” Murphy explained.
“It’s more than that,” Phoebe said. “The AlterNet isn’t just a game; it’s knowledge of what’s out there.”
“What do you mean?” Murphy asked. “Out there where? Space?” He used the tip of the knife to point upward. Phoebe shook her head. She wiggled her fingers at the air and opened a small black portal, then pointed at it.
“Out there on the other side of this. There are countless universes in existence.”
“And you can make portals to go between them that easily?” Murphy asked; he wiggled his fingers in her direction to mimic her gesture.
“Believe it or not…,” Phoebe giggled and wiggled her fingers in an exaggerated motion. “…this is actually a lot of effort. There are others that can open portals without any fancy finger flutters.
“Wow,” Murphy set the knife down, then wandered into the living room. He sat opposite her on a leather recliner. “Alternate universes, huh?” It didn’t sound like it was meant to be a question. Phoebe assumed it was a side-effect of him processing what he just learned. She remained quiet while considering her options. The worst case scenario was that he wasn’t comfortable there and she’ have to find a new roommate. He’d only officially been there two days but he proved himself to be a tidy and considerate roommate. She hoped he wasn’t too bothered by knowledge of the multi-verse, but some people just couldn’t handle the truth. It was why she added ‘AlterNet friendly’ to her ads now. Though, apparently, even that wasn’t fool-proof.
“So…,” Murphy spoke up. “…does this mean we can watch movies from other universes that didn’t get made here?” he asked. Phoebe giggled and breathed a sigh of relief. She was glad she didn’t have to search for another roommate.