The shape defied all three-dimensional reasoning. I could have sworn that a few of those colors were completely off the normal spectrum. And what was that sound? There was a high frequency noise that seemed to resonate from behind me, yet I was certain that it came from the shape. I wasn't moving any closer. My body was going to stay in the normal three dimensions, thank you very much.
"Can we learn anything from this thing?" asked Dr. Hal.
"Well it's a little hard to even comprehend how it exists," put in Serina.
"Yes. There is that. I hope it won't have any nasty side effects on our own reality."
"We were given a guarantee on that one, Hal," I said. "The species that sold us the examination chamber is four thousands years ahead of us in technology. I think they would know what they were talking about."
"Yes. Well, just the same," Dr. Hal said. "I'd prefer putting this thing back where we found it. Why don't we bring up a sample of one of those nifty critters from the dimension that Kell found the other day?"
I looked thoughtful. "Not just yet," I said. "Why don't we try exposing this sample to some of our own atoms."
"I'm not sacrificing any of my atoms," Dr. Hal said, jokingly.
"I was thinking we could start with a few Hydrogen atoms," I said.
"Sure. I'll do the honors," Serina said. She tapped a few buttons on her control outlet and then looked up to capture the response.
The shape flashed blue and grew four times the size while occupying the same volume. I squinted and put a hand to my temple. That was a bit much for the mind to handle.
"Don't...ever...do that again," said Hal.
Serina gave a wrinkled smile. "How about carbon?" she asked.
"No!" replied Hal.
"Well you don't have to watch," I reasoned. "Just hide your eyes. I'll tell you when the scary part is over." I turned to Serina. "Go for it," I said.
She gave a nod and activated the controls. The little needle on the other side of the chamber wall moved a few inches. Then the shape responded.
This time, it did something much different. If we had been more cautious, we would not have tried the atom of life. Carbon. It was said that all atoms keep a memory of what they're used for. And, as the carbon atoms entered the shape, the shape learned from that cached memory. And in doing so, it learned how to come to life. And then it did come to life...and began to shake the walls of the examination chamber.