The Mini-burger

FanFic in the Birmoverse

Going Home… Mick Hawkes


Alan Timms and Paul Brasch drove down the quiet suburban street in Potsdam, Germany; it was your typical German country town. They found the house they were looking for easily enough, it was a nondescript plain sort of place with a picket fence and a small garden bed of flowers which was in dire need of weeding. They opened the squeaky gate and walked up to the plain wooden door of the white brick cottage along a cracked concrete path and rang the bell. Alan was both nervous and excited; if things went well here today then the future may well indeed be bright again for them. He looked at his companion, who had agreed to undertake this job with great reluctance but he felt he owed them a favour, so he had entered Germany again for the first time since the war. Paul had to admit though that the whole concept of the project intrigued him so it wasn’t that much of a problem, it more the security aspect of it that concerned him. While he was sure that were no Nazi’s left to bother him, he was less certain about the Soviets. He glanced up the road at the nondescript car that was parked about 200 meters away. The Zone had put a lot of work into keeping this visit secret but you could never know with the Russians, he knew that the Uptimers held their espionage skills in high regard.

            As Alan moved to ring the bell again, there was movement behind the door and it was finally opened by a plain looking woman in her thirties. She looked at them with curiosity. “Yes, may I help you?” she asked.

            “Good morning Frau” Paul replied. “We are looking for Burkhard Heim, does he live here?”

            “Why yes, yes he does” she replied. When it was obvious that she would say no more Alan and Paul looked at each other uncomfortably.

“Um, could we have a moment of his time Frau, it is very important” continued Paul.

“Oh I’m sorry but Burkhard does not see visitors, I am his wife Gerda so may I help you?” Her curiosity was replaced with a firmness that made Paul think that she suspected them of being salesmen of some kind. He decided to try a different tact.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think you understand, you see my colleague and I represent a company that is very interested in your husbands work. It is most urgent that we speak with him” Paul pressed, this time with results.

“Oh! I see, won’t you come in then please gentlemen?”

They were led into a small lounge room that looked like it was only used for important occasions or receiving visitors, they were shown to two overstuffed armchairs that had that careworn look of many years of service. Gerda then addressed them from the door, “I will get Burkhard now, he is in his study, but I must warn you, he is severely disabled and his appearance may be disturbing to you.” Both Paul and Alan knew this already but they nodded their understanding to her before she went off to fetch him.

Alan looked around the room while he tried to get his nerves under control. The room was what you would expect of a low income middle class house, old furniture, with old fading wallpaper, but it was meticulously clean with a bowl of bright flowers on the coffee table and family photos on the wall in neat lines. Gerda Heim appeared again this time supporting a man on one side while an elderly gentleman, obviously Heim’s father Alan knew, supported him on the other.

            “This is my husband, Burkhard Heim” she introduced. Burkhard Heim was a man of medium height and thinning blonde hair but these features were hard to notice given the man’s appalling injuries. He had both arms missing from just below the elbow, the jagged irregular scaring around the stumps indicating that the loss of the limbs was from some form of violent event, this was supported by severe scaring on the mans face and head, he was missing his left eye and a good portion of his left ear. After seating him in one of the chairs Gerda left to make them all coffee.

  “Good morning gentleman” he said in a surprisingly strong voice.

Alan had left the service 5 years previously and like many of his other brother officers with degrees in the sciences or engineering went to work in the Zone. Recently he had joined a think tank that was trying to push along contemporary physics and mathematics back to their 21st century level of understanding. It was one thing to know things from a general point of view but quite another to prove them. The FleetNet just didn’t have that kind of detail. They were particularly interested in the work of Pope obviously but they had found that to reach that point they had to understand a lot of other things first, it was a little like trying to get to the letter K in the alphabet without first going through A, B, C etc. As these things often go, Alan stumbled on to the knowledge that would lead to them sitting in this lounge room by sheer accident. He was reading over some very old copies of “New Scientist” magazine that had fortunately been archived onto FleetNet by a fan from the first decade of the 21st century. In it he had come across an article discussing the unusual winner of nuclear and future flight category prize awarded by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In it the article discussed the paper that suggested that Hyperspace travel was possible using an obscure and unrecognised type of physics first put forward by a German physicist name Burkhard Heim. It triggered something in his mind, he had heard a reference to this name he was sure but could not place it. He read on and research Heim as much as he could. Basically Heim’s theory unites quantum mechanics and general relativity. He created four new dimensions adding these to Einstein’s four dimensional space-time frameworks. In it, the forces of gravity and electromagnetism are coupled together. Using this he speculated that a rotating magnetic field could reduce the influence of gravity on a spacecraft enough for it to lift off. Although after a minor burst of recognition the theory disappeared into obscurity only to be revised later by supporters who extended his work and postulated the hyperspace theory. The theory was later tested but failed mainly because the maths that Heim’s used was largely incomprehensible due mainly to the fact people believed, that his work was copied down by his wife and father with errors exacerbated by poor proof reading at the publishers. The only reason that his theories were taken seriously at all later on was that he developed a theorem that led to a series of formulae for calculating the masses of the fundamental particles – something conventional theories have conspicuously failed to achieve. They were remarkably accurate and was the accepted formula still in use in 2021.

Alan had looked at Heim’s work himself and it was indeed extremely complicated, he thought that looked at correctly, they may be able to use them in the multiverse theorems that they were currently trying to develop. Unfortunately Popes work had been highly classified so they had no real idea if they were on the right track. It was this thinking about Pope and Heim that his memory suddenly fired. He remembered a conversation he had had with Mary Delaney who used to be an engineering officer on the Trident but was now an associate professor of Engineering at Oxford. She had been talking about Sharon Dunne and what see had told her about popes experiments. She used to be room mates with Sharon at university and had some conversations over Fleetnet about Popes experiments before the disaster. After calling Mary, she confirmed that Sharon had mentioned that Pope had used some of Heim’s theorems as the basis for his teleportation work. She didn’t know how much but that was enough for Alan! He reported his findings to the group and before he knew it he was talking to Kolhammer himself who had said that if this was true and Heim was still alive then the Zone should do everything in its power to develop Heim’s work and that, Alan knew, was a LOT of power! Before he knew it the small think tank had expanded in size and importance. Investigation had shown that Heim was still alive and had followed much the same fate as he had in their universe so far. They had brought Paul into the project and after some initial reluctance had given himself over completely to it. They were now sitting in his lounge room.

            Burkhard was born in 1925 in Potsdam. He was a precocious child and very early on decided that he wanted to be a rocket scientist and to that end experimented with explosives in his parents’ basement. Identified as having talent he worked as an explosives developer towards the end of world war two. In 1944 he was working with an unstable substance that exploded in his hands leaving him permanently disabled losing both his forearms, along with 90 percent of his hearing and eyesight.

            After the war he followed his idea of propelling spacecraft using a form of quantum mechanics by studying Physics at university. He worked on his theories using his father and wife to replace his senses, along the way he developed a photographic memory.

            “How do you do Doctor, I am Paul Brasch and this is my colleague Alan Timms, we are from the Zone in America, perhaps you have heard of it?”

            “I’m sorry gentlemen, you will have to speak up” he said loudly, pointing to his right ear with a stump. Paul  gestured to Alan to give him the package that had been prepared for them. He turned to Heim and opened the box that contained two hearing aids, they had made some progress in the Zone on these and while they were not ready to implant bionic ears yet, they weren’t far away. These models looked and acted much like the ones from the mid ‘90’s. He turned them on and gestured to Heim what they were for. Heim let Paul  place the hearing aids in place and looked at them in stunned amazement when he heard proplerly for the first time in over a decade. He thanked them profusely and Paul repeated his introduction.

            “Yes, isn’t that where the people from the other universe live” Heim asked. Paul thought that it was significant that he said other universe and not time.

            “That is true, in fact Alan here is one of them” replied Paul. Heim’s interest visibly picked up with raised eyebrows

            “Really?” And addressing Alan directly although in German Paul interpreted. “I am very glad to met you, I have a great many questions I would like to ask your people” Alan thought that this was very encouraging.

            “You may possibly get that chance Doctor that is in fact why we are here” Alan looked at Paul and nodded. Paul would handle the proposal.

            “Yes doctor, we have studied your work from the other universe and we would like you to come to the Zone and continue your work on your theories, we know you are working on an anti gravity theory for space travel and would expand into a hyperspace engine. We also know that that the experiment that brought us here was based, in part, on some of your theories. We would like you to concentrate on this area.” Paul explained as a way of introduction.

Heim was flabbergasted, while it was true that he was working on his theories to connect quantum and Einsteinian physics, he had not progressed to anything specific!  “If what you say is true then why do you need me if I have already written the work?” then vanity and understandable curiosity took over “Was my work accepted like Einstein’s?” he said with visions of vast fame.

Paul shock his head sadly. They had discussed this and they had decided to be totally honest. “I’m afraid not Doctor, due to your reluctance to publish your work or allow experimentation it fell aside largely forgotten also there appeared to be many mistakes in the work you did publish which hampered physicists  to understand your theories.” To soften the blow he added, “you did publish some work on calculating the mass of fundamental particles, which is still used apparently and hold credence for your other works which some dedicated followers of yours still puzzle over” Heim looked crestfallen and Paul  saw his chance. “However that is why we are here, we wish to set you up with funding to let you develop your theories and fund experiments to test them and perhaps have as much fame as Professor Einstein.” Heim was not sure whether to believe them or not, it may be just a ploy to get him to work for them. He had trouble believing that his work had not been taken seriously.

“Gentlemen, I thank you for coming but I don’t think I know enough about what you propose to make any decisions at this point”

“Of course, we understand that doctor, may I elaborate on out proposal” receiving a nod Paul continued “We will set you up with an Institute bearing your name in the Zone, you would be the director and would have complete control of it.”

“It would have to be in Germany” Heim responded shaking his head.

“I’m sorry Doctor but that is out of the question. We are far to close to the soviets to be setting up such a facility. No, it would have to be somewhere where we can protect you. Besides, the Zone is the only place in the world that has the equipment, resources and knowledge that you will need.” This was something else that had been discussed and Paul had been instructed to be very firm on this part of the deal, in fact it was resolute.

Heim blanched at that thought, like most Germans, they intrinsically hated the Russians and these days lived in constant fear of invasion. He was still reluctant even though his ego was stroked by the idea of have his own institute.  “Hmmm, yes I can see the need for the security, I am very reluctant on the idea of moving to America but I see that you are firm on this, yes?” Still it would have to be worth it he thought. He had been approached by a small German company before but they had not been able to offer much in the way of funding. “What sort of funding are we talking about gentleman?” he asked, he knew that that particular carrot could come in many shapes and sizes and not all were particularly attractive, coming wrapped in all sorts of red tape and restrictions.

“You would accentually have a blank cheque Doctor.” Paul replied

“Come now gentlemen! A blank cheque!” Heim scoffed. “Just what does that generalisation mean?”

“Well, we will initially start with a billion US dollars, but more funds would be available depending on the success of the project”

“Mien Gott! A billion dollars!” Heim spluttered, a billion dollars was such an outrageous sum that it defied his senses! “Where would such money come from? The US government? Who is funding this” he asked suspiciously.

“No Doctor, the institute and the project will be independently funded by the Zone collective. When the Uptimers came here many contained knowledge that they were able to make vast fortunes from. Most operate corporations out of the Zone now. They will fund the project.”

“Why!” asked Heim again unable to see why such a fortune would be poured into a physics research laboratory. Alan who had been following the conversation through Paul  replied simply.

“Because we want to go home.”

Heim grunted but seemed to accept the explanation. “I would have full control of the Institute and the project?” he asked finally wavering on a positive outcome.

“No.” Paul  replied realising too that he was having to say ‘no’ a lot but the dollars seemed to be doing a lot of the talking, “Of the Institute yes but not of the overall project, that job falls to me.” Paul went on to explain his background including his work with the Russian and German scientists. Remembering that Heim was a patriotic German he left out the espionage bit realising that Heim would take a very dim view of it, it was highly classified anyway. He also explained his role as the overseer of the project as a whole but mostly concentrating on the engineering aspects that would come out of Heim’s work.

“So you see Doctor there will be two Germans in charge of possibly the most important scientific work since the Manhattan project, we don’t need to be in Germany. You can also recruit who ever you need” Providing they passed the most stringent security clearance on the planet Paul thought.

Alan looked at the doctor with a look of almost hunger and asked “do you think you can work out the physics behind Multiverse travel?” Heim looked at the young man, so far from home, and nodded. “Since it has been done, it is no longer in the realm of speculative physics but one of fact. There is a big difference you know. I have actually been thinking quite a bit about it of late and I do believe I may be able to make some progress towards understanding it. You must understand though that this could be the work of a lifetime” he said wishing to offer some optimistic but realistic hope to the young man, he knew that he would accept their offer providing of course that a contract was offered that reflected this conversation, especially the money. Hiem know looked at Paul and said “Very well, it is an offer that any man could not refuse lightly; I will have to discuss it with my wife and father who would have to come with me of course. I will give you my answer tomorrow if this is acceptable?”

Paul assured him that it was and that they would look forward to his answer. As both men got up to leave, Paul dangled a final carrot before the doctor. “Did you know doctor that the Zone also has some of the most advanced medical institutes in the world there? There is quite a lot of 21st century medicine practiced and new breakthroughs are happening all the time. I’m sure they will be able to replace the primitive hearing devices we have given you with bionic ones and lot of other things” he offered suggestively. To this the doctor nodded, just one more seemingly impossible dream answered today, his head was spinning, a billion dollars! He thought again.

Both men bowed slightly to the German scientist as shaking hands was impossible and let themselves out.

As the returned to the car Alan was ecstatic, he was confident that with the right environment and backing Heim would crack the secrets to multiverse travel. He told himself that it would possibly take decades to achieve an engineering model to try and control his exuberance but he couldn’t help smiling madly, at least they would have a starting point.

            Major Dimitri Radoslav sat on the bus stop bench and watched the two men get back in their car. His curiosity was now thoroughly aroused. Who would two men from the Zone come to visit in this backward little village? The KGB had been alerted by one of their agents that two important visitors from the Zone would be visiting Germany under a huge cloak of secrecy. Dimitri smiled at this; almost nothing was secret from the KGB. He had been sent to look into it and now all his instincts had lit off, he felt there was something important going on here. As he watched the car and its tail disappear around the corner, he knew he would now put in a lot of effort to get to the bottom of it starting with who lived in the house.

Authors Note:

While this is essentially a work of fiction, it is based heavily on Fact! Put it this way, if the transition really happened they’d really seek this guy out!

See the following links for references used in writing the story.

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