Pore Traveller

8 min read

“All right, Jed, I’m ready to listen.”

“Very well, Doc,” Jed said, pushing aside the papers on his crowded table. “Very well.”

Doc grabbed a chair. “How did you do it? How did you know the lightning would hit that exact building?”

“Did it break your car, too?”

The back of Doc’s chair bit into his spine. “It did. A brick smashed the windscreen.”

“Good. Everything I’ve predicted has happened, hasn’t it?” Jed’s restless lips quivered with an uncontainable smile.

Doc jerked his chin up. “This is where you start explaining.”

“I didn’t command the lightning,” Jed said, chuckling. “Nor did I foresee the future.”

Annoyed, Doc pushed away from the table.

“All right, all right.” Jed motioned him to stay. “I’ll talk. Are you familiar with multiverse theory?”

“On a basic level, yes. It says that our universe is one of many, many other universes.”

“Yes!” Jed grabbed a random page, pulled a pencil from somewhere and drew an agitated line. “Imagine, every dot on this line is a moment in time in our universe.” He scribbled many more lines on both sides. “And there’s an infinite number of universes just like ours.”

“That’s what I’ve said.”

Jed ignored his impatience. Lowering his face so his cheek almost touched the table, he added more parallel lines to the drawing. “All the possibilities are there somewhere,” he sang, “ready to be actualized.”


“And if it’s an infinite number of universes, there is at least one universe with some specific event.”

“Yes,” Doc said. “If the theory is true, there’s a universe where I have just won a jackpot.”

“Exactly!” Jed jumped up, knocking the pencil off the table. His own reaction startled him. He sat down, smoothed out the drawing and pushed it towards Doc. “You see, the more probable the event is, the more universes with that event are out there.” He tapped one line on the edge of the sheet. “So instead of foreseeing the future, I think of a relatively probable event and then pick a universe where this event will definitely happen.”

“You what?”

Jed looked back at his drawing as if assessing its quality, shook his head in disapproval and bent down to search for his pencil. Doc produced a pen from his own pocket, and a click drew Jed’s attention back to the topic.

“You see”—Jed took the pen and added small horizontal dashes between his pencil lines—“every universe is connected to every other universe, but only if the universes are identical up to a particular moment in time.”

He appeared calm now, not a single muscle in his body moved unless it had a good reason to.

“Imagine a moment in time where you bought an apple,” he said and pressed a pen to one line. “This moment is connected to all these universes where you either eat the apple yourself”—Jed lowered the pen to another place on the same line—“or give it away to your friend,”—he moved the pen through a connecting dash so it stopped on a parallel line.

Doc nodded.

“But there are no connections—I call them probability pores—to those universes, where you bought a peach and not an apple.” Jed crossed a distant line. “Are you following?”


“These pores—don’t think of them as lines.” He tried to erase the dashes with his finger, but the smeared ink only made them more noticeable. “It’s difficult to picture them. Universes don’t intersect, pores are not branches but tiny openings for stuff to leak through. There are millions, billions of pores opening every time something happens.” He pushed the paper away, agitated again. “A die is rolled, and six different probability pores get opened. You make a decision, you take a step, you change your mind, and it’s pores, pores everywhere!”

“I get the idea.” Doc placed his palm over the paper. “Are you saying that you can see the pores?”

“I can travel through them.”

Doc raised an eyebrow.

“I can choose the desired event,” Jed explained, gesturing at the drawing, “and go to a universe where this event will happen.”

“How do you know where to go?”

He giggled. “I must have a good sense of direction.”

Doc leaned in, almost placing his chest on the table. “Are you saying you can bend reality to produce a desired event?”

“I can’t control the dice, obviously. But I can be in a universe where the result is a six.”

Doc looked at the man. Even his hair was in disarray.

Jed caught his scrutinizing look. “You think I’m crazy.”

“You are making some bold statements here. And provide no proof.”

“I gave you proof yesterday when I told you lightning would strike the storage building, and it would damage your car. Did it happen?”

“It did.”

“What other proof do you need? Would winning a jackpot have convinced you?”

Doc rubbed his rigid knuckles. “You can’t blame me. Just listen to yourself: travelling through probability pores, really?”

“I know. I can’t explain it any better.” Jed turned away, shaking his head.

“Fine. Let’s say it’s true. Explain how you do it. How do you travel through a probability pore?”

Jed nodded, accepting the request. “I think of an event, of all the circumstances that would lead to it. I visualize the desired outcome, and when I see it clearly”—he shut his eyes, pressing two fingers to his temple—“I’m already there, on that line.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.”

“Don’t you ever get lost?”


Doc pointed at the drawing. “You pick an event, go to that universe, and it turns out it’s the wrong line to be on. Suppose, Hitler isn’t dead in this universe.”

Jed laughed. “It’s impossible. There are no probability pores to the universes that aren’t identical up to this moment. Any accessible universe has the past exactly like ours.”

Doc squinted. “But all kinds of futures are available? Can you pick a universe where you, let’s say, live forever?”

“Only if that’s a possibility. Only if a human being is capable of immortality at all. And only if humanity can develop the method fast enough before I’m too old to benefit from it or am killed before they master it.”

Doc smiled at the contradiction. “Didn’t you say there’s an infinite number of universes? Surely there’s one where people learn medicine fast.”

“Sure. In many universes, people are already on the verge of living forever. But there won’t be pores to those universes from here. Imagine a world just like ours, in every aspect, where several grand breakthroughs in medicine happen incredibly fast. They invent new technology, go through human trials and approval, and reach the stage of mass consumption, all in my lifetime. Does it sound plausible? If yes, then I can try to go there and become immortal.” He waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “But I don’t know if such a universe exists.”

Doc smirked. “Can’t you look?”

“I can. But with a probability so small, it takes forever to see its pore. Sometimes the image won’t come at all. I think it’s because it’s a long chain of jumps through the pores to reach such an unlikely event.”

Doc exhaled. “Okay. Let’s say it’s all true. You can travel through the pores to wherever you want to go. Where do you go in your old universe when you pass on?”


“If you move to a new universe, I assume you are no longer present in the old one. Do you disappear in the universe you are travelling from?”

Jed nervously shifted in his seat.

“When you are in a universe where you are about to cast a die,” Doc continued, “and then choose to travel to a universe where a six is cast, what happens to you in all those universes with other die results?”

“Me?” Jed pressed the index finger to his chest.

“Yes, you.”

“What is me?” Jed’s limp body fell into the chair. “If it’s a human being of a certain appearance and mentality, then I’m still there, in all those universes.”

“And if it’s you as your current consciousness?” Doc said with a sad smile.

“Then”—Jed raised his arms in an exaggerated shrug—“I don’t know what happens to them. Because I’m no longer there.”

“Can anybody tell if it’s still you or if you have already passed on?”

Grinning, Jed said, “I don’t think so. They all are me, but I’m only one of them.”

Doc closed his eyes, nodding. “Have you already travelled somewhere else, bored with my disbelief?”

“I don’t know. Me, who is staying here, hasn’t. But how many Mes have already left throughout this conversation?”

Doc stared at his smug face until Jed’s grin faded away.

“You don’t believe me?”

“How could I?” Doc gestured at the table between them. “Your words are unverifiable. If your predictions come true, you can say it’s because you have travelled. If they don’t, you can still say you have travelled, leaving your perfect double behind. But I can only see my own universe.”

“So, what is your alternative? Believe I just made a lucky guess and invented this story?”

“It’s a good explanation.”

Jed took a deep breath and sat up straight. “It’s your choice. But somewhere in the multiverse, you have believed me.”

“Pity you didn’t pick that one to travel to.”

“Maybe I did. And maybe some other Jed took you to win that jackpot.”

Doc stood up.

“This was a good try, Jed. Back to square one?”

Jed shook his extended hand. “See you next week, Doc.”