© 2024 David Kenney, All Rights Reserved

Reality Tunnel

Scans of the northeast sector of the Maze showed a random structure near the top of one of the higher towers. The other towers’ exteriors were blank; seemingly made of solid matter, so we sent a drone team to conduct a detailed survey. For the most part, there was a symmetry to these large complexes and megastructures, so to my mind, it warranted further investigation.

The feed from the drones showed what looked like a staircase protruding from the wall, with a landing at the top and bottom. There were two doorways, though one of the doorways was situated underneath the landing at the foot of the stairway. The stairs themselves were made of the same matter as the rest of the maze complex. They showed heavy signs of wear, pointing to heavy footfall, which was an anomaly in itself, considering the planet had only a single inhabitant for at least a thousand years. Oddly, the steps were worn on the underside too, leading us to theorise that they had been flipped or used elsewhere at some point.

The real strangeness began when a drone entered the doorway at the top of the stairs. A fraction of a second later it emerged from the doorway beneath the landing at the foot of the stairs. The drone itself had turned through 180 degrees and was now hovering upside down. We signalled it to move back through the doorway it had just exited, and it emerged at the top of the stairs, the right way up. The drone’s audit feeds showed no record of a change in its orientation, and as far as it was concerned, one doorway backed onto the other.

My curiosity was piqued; we hadn’t encountered anything like this. I decided to conduct a visual examination. I folded on my AG pack and made my way up to the tower accompanied by Fohrer and Jahsk.

The wear on the stairs reminded me of the curved indentations on the steps of the old castle tower in Belarus I visited with my father when I was young. Dad told me the indentations were made by the wooden sandals of monks, making the walk up and down the tower to check their atmospheric field sensors, and that it would have taken hundreds of years for the indentations to wear so deeply.

And this staircase had similar wear on the underside too. I felt an echo of shiver run up my spine, the suit auto-compensation dampening it.

Typically, Jahsk was the first to volunteer to enter the doorway. Fearless, reckless Jahsk. “Can’t be anything in there scarier than you, Chief”.

We positioned drones at the top and bottom of the stairs and triggered visual feeds and sensor arrays on both. I moved back far enough to get a full view of the stairs and both doorways. We were just over 1200 metres from the floor of the maze. There was no wind at all.

Jahsk entered the doorway at the top of the stairs. A heartbeat later he appeared through the doorway beneath the foot of the stairs. That shiver ran through me again when my brain understood what it saw; this time the suit couldn’t compensate. Jahsk was flipped through 180 degrees, standing on the underside of the stairway.

The comms channel crackled to life; Jahsks avatar appeared on my display.

“Chief, why are you upside down?”

Chief Ahntak Drehsk’s Constant State Alpha K237 Expedition log (Excerpt)

Date unknown




Acrylic on Panel


81 x 40cm

Photography by

Will Hughes