“Neutrinos, the most tiny quantity of reality ever imagined by a human being.”
Qbit carefully made his way down the long winding stone staircase. In his right paw he balanced a heavy, oval, brass tray, a gift presented to the professor from an artisan living on a distant planet in an even more distant galaxy. The tray held a steaming bowl of Gorlon stew, a plate of freshly baked Heather bread, and a cup of freshly brewed Tulubian tea, the professor’s favorites.
He used his left paw to help steady himself, running it along the wall as he stepped. The stones, worn smooth from centuries of wear, felt cool to the touch. On the opposite wall, ancient carvings depicting the demise of this planet’s inhabitants seemed to come to life in the shadows created by the shimmering light of glow stones set into the wall.
With each step he could watch the sad story of the planet unfold as if it were an animated movie. First, beautiful images of the animals that once roamed the open plains of the planet. Then, silent depictions of entire herds, trapped and lifted into space craft that hung in the sky. Intricate tool marks forever relaying the heroics of the native population as they tried to protect their wildlife and themselves from the heavily armed invaders.
A few more steps down, pictographs, drawn with strokes of paint, as if the artist was too tired to wield her chisel, show a handful of people, huddled together, appearing to look skyward for help.
As he came to the bottom of the stairway, the drawings depicted fewer and fewer people, still looking skyward. Finally, at the last step, he paused. Here, the wall showed a single hand print, a right hand, and nothing else.