I peered around the corner, unsure what I would see. The hall was empty. The white walls, floor tiles, and ceiling, all bathed in a purple pink glow that shifted and throbbed like a living thing. I heaved a sigh of relief as I stood up, at least they were gone. The end of the hall, where a dead end should have been, the wall was missing, replaced instead by a whirlpool of fractal insanity. The light emanated from that wound, and I could feel a slight tugging as though the phenomenon was exerting some small amount of extra gravity.
I holstered my gun and pulled out a small device from my pocket that looked like an old vacuum tube at the end of an old style flashlight. It was neither but that it looked marginally like cobbled together junk was an asset to me. I pointed the cypher toward the fractal gateway and pushed the button. A glow lit the glass tube for a moment. In my mind I smelled burning fur, tasted salt wind, and felt the coarseness of gravelly sand under my feet.
Expended, the burnt out cypher popped once and then began to pixelate, slowing fading as each pixel seemed to flip in space and disappeared. It looked almost like the device folded up into itself until it was gone. I shrugged; the weird nature of cyphers was hardly worth noting now. The portal had already begun to shrink, closing on itself as the fractal edges closed and twisted in on themselves. It reminded me of the cypher, and I figured that is likely what it had been anyway.
I dialed my partner. “Yeah, they fled with the rod. They used a translation gate, but I used the triangulator to get a fix. Yup, pretty sure we can translate the team over and hunt them down. No clue what’s on the other side though.” I nodded once, “And I’ll call Betsy. See you in two hours.”