“What -is- it?” One of the researchers sighed as he looked up from his notes at the cause of his displeasure.
Sitting in the center of the room at one of the university’s labs was a large cube made of polished stone, various patterns carved precisely into the bleak-gray surface. There was a peculiar structure to the inscriptions, a paradox to it that drew the eye in but repulsed attention at the same time. Even now his eyes were probing the box as his head turned away from looking at it.
“We don’t know. We need to wait for the tech boys to bring the portable equipment up here.” His boss said, keeping herself away from looking at it. “Hell, we don’t know much about it. No one does.”
Getting up from where he was sitting, the researcher stormed over to the box and placed his face close to it. Almost immediately he looked away, not able to turn his head back no matter how hard he tried. “I can’t even look at it, how do they expect us to work with it?!”
“I just don’t know, so shut up about it!” His boss snapped. “We can’t do anything but wait until-” She was cut off as the tech team entered, wheeling in diagnostic devices and scanning equipment. “Finally! Now, be careful setting it up.” She barked the order, gesturing at the gear and then the mysterious box. The lab techs scurried around setting about their task.
The box, for its part, did nothing. But those working around it… one glanced at it and tripped, the delicate equipment on the top of the tripod he was carrying smashing against the ground. Another machine shorted out as soon as it was hooked up to the power system. A rather unfortunate young woman wound up slicing her hand open on unfolding the struts for an imaging camera. Each incident brought swearing from the boss and groaning sighs from the researcher, before he threw his hands up in the air.
“Enough! It’s imponderable and I’m just sick of having it here now!” He shouted, giving the wheelie chair by him a solid kick. “Find some other university to have it.”
They weren’t looking at the box anymore. And the box was happy with that.