I paused my wandering long enough to lean against a wall. I decided three things as I closed my eyes to think. Firstly, 30 minutes of maze was more than enough to cause hallucinations. Secondly, my arrival here provided plenty of bafflement. Thirdly, Ben's Breakfast Brunch was truly a bad idea. I restrained my racing mind from contemplating a fourth point. No more thoughts, I reflected sourly, concerning food.
Ignoring the growling in my stomach, I returned to the matter at hand. I let my hand feel the wall I found myself against. Mulling over this in my mind only prompted a louder growl from my stomach. I stretched, letting my hand feel the wall above my head. Detecting nothing but ferrocrete, I pushed off the wall.
Turning, I faced the three paths before me. Hating choices, I opted for cheesy. I advanced on the middle of the three. Something stopped me though, right before I headed down the path chosen. A nagging thought reared its head, dashing all in its path. Frowning, realization drove home something about not having any choices before now. Stepping back, my frown deepened. Prior to this point I faced the usual maze fare; dead ends, long looping corridors, back tracks, and the like. Venting frustration, I yelled, "There better bloody well be a seriously good prize at the end of this!" Silence answered me.
Fishing in my pockets, I located my standard issue scanner. I pressed the release catches on it, removing the outer cover. Placing the internals by my feet, I slid a piece of the case across the floor. Just as it slowed down, electricity snapped. Watching grimly as the thing smoked, I turned for the next guess. Stepping right, I tossed another piece down this pathway. I exhaled loudly, as nothing happened. Scooping up the remains of the scanner I strode down the corridor. Looking about, nothing save ferrocrete gazed back at me. I amused myself by attempting to figure out what next I might run into. Hopefully, I mused darkly, no falling boulders awaited.
After five minutes, I reached a T junction. Kneeling, I studied the liquid before me. Dipping the remaining piece of the case in, I counted to ten. I studied it intently once I pulled it out. No damage or discoloration appeared on it. Acting on a whim, I yanked out a strand of hair. Touching it to the liquid, I noted in dismay that it melted away.
I rose to glare at the mess before me. Looking left, then right, I frowned yet again. I looked over the walls near me. Not a sign of any way to get past this little poser presented itself. Swallowing my pride, I prepared myself to double back. Perhaps, I thought angrily, the way back lies under a cloud of rainbows.
A thought arose from the chaos in my mind. Spinning, I examined the wall nearest me once more. Pressing my fingers to it, I pushed. My hand remained on the wall, causing me to reach for the scanner. Placing it at my feet, I slowly edged it to the wall. It slid into the wall, making a smile surface.
Stepping through, I tripped over the slight step up. The sight before me prompted a groan as I pulled myself off the floor. A whole new maze of featureless walls glared back at me. Looking about me, I shook my head. Someone, I decided, really enjoyed games. I snarled, "Okay, we have indeed reached absurd!"
Casting about, I carefully searched every wall in view. After my intensive search ended, I stood still. Closing my eyes, I pondered the choices before me. When steam poured from my ears, I snapped my eyes open. Glaring at the five exits before me, I tried applying statistical logic. Using every form of math known to me, I calculated.
A devious grin spread slowly across my face. Casting statistics aside, I looked anew at the five corridors before me. I walked over every entrance, searching with my eyes this time. Reaching the fifth, I paused. Kneeling, I lightly ran my hand over the floor. Sure enough, the barest of roughness confirmed what I saw. Feeling the ridge, I discovered it ran across the floor and up both walls.Puzzled, I returned to the remaining entrances and double checked. Only the one, I noted, seemed to possess that single difference. Faster and faster thoughts flashed through my head about this one difference. Dropping down again before the fifth passageway, I touched the floor again. I glared at it, trying to decipher why the difference. Drawing a breath, I rose and moved down the passage.
Once the shock of making a right guess wore off, I slowed my pace. Letting my eyes observe every detail, I meandered my way down the corridor, Concentrating on everything else, I soon realized I had no conception of how long I walked this path. Frown resurfacing, I halted in place. Rest seemed in order, I thought, as I sat on the floor. Time seemingly halted as I thought. Tapping the floor in random rhythm, my thoughts raced into another place. Roaring loudly, the noise of my empty stomach startled me. My finger twitched out of the beat of whatever tune happened to be cycling through my mind. Laughter flowed, making up for my jumpiness. A sound hardly registered over my laughter, forcing a sudden stop.
Rising, I inspected the immediate area in every particular. Hissing in frustration, I focused my ire on the spot I formerly sat in. I tapped on the ferrocrete, then smacked my hand off it. Wincing slightly from hitting the floor a bit hard, I tapped again. In a moment, I remembered the sequence and tapped it out. Smiling, a click resounded from the wall on my left.
I tapped out the sequence over and over on the wall. Disappointment creased my face, as no further clicks issued forth. Letting pure thought roll, I randomly tapped and hammered at the wall. Panting after five minutes of this, I paused to stretch. Thoughts roared by, moving in a drifting, melodic pattern. Slapping my forehead, the answer appeared.
Next question: What tune?
Growling, my stomach echoed my massive dilemma. Pulling the temporal locator, I commenced fiddling with the settings. Cheating, I smiled in memory, was not always a terrible thing. Pressing a control, the temporal locator scanned and pulsed. Holding a breath, clicks sounded. In scants seconds, the wall slid aside, showing a room within. I strode inside grinning. Thanking unseen forces, I noted the hidden door remained open. Checking, I detected no other beings present. I marched straight towards the biggest console. I groaned as the symbols on the controls mocked me. Cursing, I halfheartedly searched for a manual. Perhaps, I thought sullenly, it contained a translation.
Slamming my hand down, I turned on the rest of the consoles. No assistance issued from that quarter, causing me to glare once more at the first console I had poked at. Shaking my head, I attempted to sound out the symbols. Hopefully something would leap out at me.
From the corner of my eye, a doorway popped open. With zero hope of hiding, I turned to face the pair of beings just entering the room. Affecting my cheeriest disposition, I said, "Why hello. Pardon, could you explain the meaning of this button?" Moving to one side, I watched their expressions upon seeing my finger poised over a large and green button.
Alien they might be, I observed with a measure of satisfaction, the absolute horror of the situation conveyed to their faces. Smiling widely, I commented absently, "Galactic Convention states clearly the penalty involving unauthorized transport of sentient beings. Do you have a license?" I concluded wickedly, seeing one of the pair attempt to edge over towards me.
Yawning dramatically, I pressed the button. One alien jumped for the console, causing me to spin out of the way. A reassuring beep from my temporal locator informed me that it was no longer scrambled. Both aliens raced about the equipment, punching frantically and calling out things. Watching the aliens in some amusement. I pressed the home button on my locator. As one, they turned to face me. At that particular moment, I realized the recall had not whisked me home.
Each alien produced a wand-like device. Swallowing hard, I slowly backed up, mind going for everything possible. Bumping into a solid object behind me, I read the menace in the aliens before me.Wondering for all the worlds exactly what those wands would do, I remained still.
Suddenly both halted their advance. Puzzled, I wondered at this turn in events. Huffing in relief, I walked forward and relieved them of the wands. Unable to resist a grin, I spun about. Bouncing off something, I landed on my back. Wincing, I stared in disbelief at the cause of my sudden position.
Five members of Galactic Convention Enforcement stood covering the aliens. Turning my locator over, I laughed sharply. Instead of pressing the home/recall button, I choose the emergency signal. Laughing again, I looked up at the officer in front of me. Flashing my credentials, I chuckled, asking, "You wouldn't happen to know the way out of here would you?
Bio: John has been writing for fun since the age of 12. Recently he has actually gotten a few stories published, one at Short-Story.me and another at Digital Dragon. John enjoys reading and watching science fiction, and has a passion for jazz music.