Michael took a few steps rearward until his back nudged against the wall of the room. He took in a deep breath and then slid down to sit against the wall.
Harvey watched him for a moment, then continued. “The Everett Wheeler Graham model, the many-worlds theory, is real. It's possible to travel between these different worldlines through certain gravitational anomalies. At least, it's possible for you.”
“Why only me?” Michael asked.
“The answer to that is very technical, and I'm not sure-”
“Try me,” Michael said, frustration brewing in his voice.
“Alirght,” Harvey sighed, “We don't know for certain how it happened; if you were born with it, or if someone did something to you, but the research we've gathered from the Horizon project points to you as the catalyst.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means that nothing can travel through time without you present in the chamber, because you yourself are the source of the singularity.”
Michael laughed, “What do you mean? I turn into a black hole?”
“Well ... yes.”
Michael glared at him with incredulity.
“The sphere is designed to force your molecules beyond the Schwarzschild radius. Your body becomes so small and so dense that light can't escape its gravitational pull.”
Michael was frowning. “How can anyone survive that?”
Harvey nodded. “Exactly.”
Michael pawed at his stubble, “Do you have the answer?”
“Well, sort of. We know from the data we've accumulated from the Horizon project that you have been modified, or were always different. It doesn't state how the difference came to be, but it does state what the difference is.”
“What is it?”
“This is the technical part. On the subatomic level, the building blocks of the particles, which are also waves depending on how you look at them, have specific vector properties called spin. This isn't spin like orbiting electrons, but rather an intrinsic angular momentum.
“Normally, when something comes in contact with or becomes compressed by a singularity, it is spread across the lateral length of the event horizon and consumed. Something happens to your molecules, that only occurs at the quantum state during the manifestation of the singularity.
“You ride the event horizon,” Andrea said, an excited smile on her face.
Harvey nodded. “We don't understand it. All we know is that the matter that makes up your being is not consumed by the singularity. Normally, only electrons are capable of remaining on the surface of the event horizon, and they flow across it in certain patterns that we can use to manipulate the gravitational field of any given singularity. That's basically how the machine can vary the distance in time you'll travel into the future or the past. Your molecules however, don't get consumed like they should.
“The simple existence of the singularity being formed from your body's mass should necessitate the consumption of the molecules, but something's happening on a quantum level that we're not able to understand. All we know is that your molecules remain on the surface for the duration of the singularity's existence. When it evaporates, you effectively unravel and return to your previous physical state, albeit elsewhere in the time-space continuum.”
“Why doesn't my clothes or the instrumentation of the sphere get absorbed with me?”
“That's one of the first questions I asked to Rafferty when he started training me on what he knew about the Horizon project. Apparently, you imbue other objects near enough to you with the ability to remain on the surface of your singularity. Without you as the catalyst, the singularity can't even be created … well that's not true. We could put anything into the sphere and compress it until it created a singularity, but the energy necessary to do so would be astronomical.
“You, on the other hand, have a trigger point. At a certain level of energy you do the rest on your own. Joshua Rafferty actually had a theory that stipulates you have the ability to generate singularity spontaneously, without outside influences like the Sphere.”
“You're saying my grandson believed I could just will myself into a black hole?”
Harvey nodded. “Mind you, that was in his less coherent days.”
Michael put his hands up; elbows on his knees. “I know I've traveled through time, but there's no way that I'm somehow turning into a black hole.”
“Is it that hard to believe?” Harvey asked.
“Yeah, it is. How is it that my particles can do this when I'm continuously reforming new ones? If you're saying this ability lies in the quantum level, how is it that when my body creates new cells, that these molecules also have the ability? Shouldn't I be a whole new set of molecules since just a decade or so ago? How does this quantum effect appear in this new matter?”
“We're not sure, but we think it has to do with some kind of particle radiation that is constantly present; an aura if you will, that modifies every new atom of each new cell. The research portends that as your body is subjected to specific electro-magnetic stimuli, the spin of the quantum components is affected in such a way as to allow your matter to effectively collapse upon itself; having too much momentum by the time it reaches singularity state, to be pulled in."
“This sounds too cliché. I might as well be Doctor Banner and turn green when I get mad.”
“Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction Michael. This is one of those times.”
Michael watched his hands as they shook. “I can't take this,” he said. “I really need a drink. The headaches and shaking have been going on for the past two days. I've tried to ignore it, but it's getting to me. I thought maybe it was just the jitters from the car crash.” Michael grabbed his head. “Ugh, but it's not.”
“No shit Sherlock. You guys must have booze around here somewhere?”
Andrea looked at him with pity. “You need to get better Michael, not worse.”
Harvey pressed a button near Andrea's bed. “I didn't think it was this bad. I'll get someone to help.”
“I don't need help Harvey, I just need a shot. It goes away after that.”
“Then it'll come back. It's time to clean up.”
A nurse came into the room. “What's the matter?” she asked.
Harvey nodded in Michael's direction as he held his head in his hands, rocking.
The nurse took Michael by the shoulders. “Come on, I'll get you into another room,” she said, helping him up.
Michael got up slowly, his mind in a haze. He looked at Andrea, his eyes running with sorrow and confusion.
“It's okay Michael, go with her.”
Michael mustered a nod and left the room with the nurse.
Harvey sat, watching the hero he'd waited for his entire life stumble down the hall; a broken man.