Many yoctometers away from where our heroes had defeated the first of the élite generals, there was a place which no photons dared penetrate. A black hole is an object with such great density and immense gravity that not even light can escape. The most common sources of black holes by far are stars so massive that in their death throes they literally collapse in on themselves into nothingness, becoming a menace to anything which happens to drift by. But that is not the only way that these crimes against nature can form. The Large Hadron Collider's purpose is to smash subatomic particles together at high speeds to recreate the conditions of the universe immediately following the Big Bang. In that chaotic mess every kind of particle allowed by the laws of physics was formed, if only for some to decay microseconds later, never to exist again until scientists created them artificially. When the great machine was first activated, some of the uneducated public feared that the device would create a black hole which would swallow the Earth. Because this is impossible according to the laws of physics, that doomsday scenario did not happen, but that does not mean that there were no black holes. For those monsters are themselves merely incredibly complex particles, created by string theory when ordinary motes are subjected to the catastrophe of a dying star. Any such microscopic black holes will decay in less than a fractional part of a second, so they pose no danger to the Earth whatsoever, but at the quantum scale time is meaningless, as all eleven dimensions are accessible, time merely one of them, and at such submicroscopic sizes the dimension of time itself is curved, causing it to function as a dimension of space. So from the perspective of the tiny denizens, a black hole would last for long enough to make one's base.
In the center of the hole in space was the dread figure, the being responsible for the calamity, the one and only Ludikros. His form was concealed by the lack of light, but he managed to maintain his identity by not touching the event horizon. His minions surrounded him, ready to carry out his malicious orders.
"So," he said, his deep voice reverberating throughout the area, "Antoine has been annihilated."
The subordinates vibrated in fear of how their master would react to this news. After all, he had never encountered any resistance before. Surely whoever was foolish enough to oppose him had to be stopped. But if anything, they were more worried about the fact that Ludikros was so emotionless about this, as if he did not care at all about the fate of his henchmen.
The largest of the subordinates spoke, "Master, our scouts show that Antoine was defeated by one who was not any kind of particle seen before. They say he used a sword made up of gamma rays."
"I see," Ludikros emotionlessly replied, getting up from the black hole, "The Chosen One has appeared to confront me, it seems. No matter. Anthydor, take care of him."
"Yes, master," grunted the antiparticle.
After defeating the antineutrinos which had threatened Lepto's home, Teller Edwards and the two leptons following him were traveling in the direction that Antoine's squadron had come from, in order to determine the source of the oppositely-charged motes and, hopefully, the location of Ludikros. Teller took out the gamma rays he had acquired in the battle, and reflected on what had just happened. Only a short time previously, he had been an ordinary scientist, working at CERN, yes, but ordinary nonetheless. Now he had somehow been thrust into a situation where an entire hidden world depended on him to save it. During the battle, a change went through Teller. It had actually been exhilarating. He had become like the action heroes in books and movies, and was enjoying this development. Sure, he wanted to return to his normal size, but he was determined to save these innocents before doing so.
"Are we there yet?" asked Lepto.
"What do you think?!" responded Neut, "There is nothing here except force fields! Do you see any hideouts where the enemy could be? I sure don't."
"Guys, be quiet," said Edwards. He did not want to listen to the two of them constantly argue.
The neutrino was angered, and spat, "She started it!"
"Did not!" Lepto retorted.
The human of the group was not pleased at the fact that his traveling companions were acting like children. Couldn't they just get along? Perhaps they should not have come with him. They would be a distraction, and would be in danger when the antiparticles showed up.
Once again, Edwards tried to diffuse the quarrel before things got out of hand.
"You can't be acting like this the whole way. Now Neut, if you are annoyed by Lepto, don't say anything, and Lepto, please do not ask when we will be there. We have no idea where Ludikros is, so it could take a long time," he admonished.
"Or maybe it'll start right now," said Neut, motioning ahead of Edwards.
When the only human of the group turned around, he was face-to-face with five more of the antineutrinos in Ludikros's forces.
The one in the center said, "This is a hold-up. The boss doesn't allow anyone to pass this point, so skedaddle!"
As he was corroborated by his comrades, our heroes had already made up their minds. They were not going to listen to the demands of the forces of evil! Teller stared right at the leader, and announced, "Your boss has caused devastation to these parts. The lives of countless innocents have been snuffed out due to Ludikros's reign of terror. Know this, antimatter! We will not give in to your requests anymore! Now stand aside."
The barricade closed in on him, saying, "That was the wrong thing to say. You're in for a major beating..."
Due to the quantized nature of their movement, Teller was able to predict when the gangsters would strike. As he was not about to come this far to have his quest failed, the scientist whipped out his sword of light beams at the instant his foes were a single quantum length away, dazzling them and pushing them backwards. They stumbled around, in a daze.
Now it was time to defeat them without using any force. Neut called out, "Hey you idiots! I'm over here, come get me!"
Two antineutrinos, one from his right and the other from his left, left Teller and approached the ordinary neutrino. Neut deftly stepped to one side, and the two collided, knocking them out of commission.
"Thanks for that," said Teller as he struck another one with his beam sword.
The two remaining enemies were not about to give up, though. They may now have been outnumbered, but they had an attack that their opponents would never dare attempt. They were unimportant in the grand scheme of things, after all, and would gladly sacrifice themselves if it would get rid of Lepto and Neut.
So, taking advantage of the fact that they were unseen, the two lackeys snuck up on their targets. Because they were not observed, they took the form of waves, and steadily approached.
Lepto was unaware of this and asked, "Hey, they're gone! Are we done?"
The instant that Teller turned to look at her, he saw otherwise. This act of observation caused the assailants to turn back into particles, but they were still in position to annihilate the poor electron.
"Hey, look out!" he called.
"What?" she asked, and spun around.
It was then that she noticed the antiparticles. She let out a vocalization, and moved away as quickly as possible, drawing the enemy closer to Teller, who slammed his sword down on the unfortunate minion.
To the last remaining one, he said, "Don't think you're going to get away! I've been wanting to try this for a while, so here goes. Gamma ray BURST!"
The power of his attack extended all the photons of his weapon out end to end, in a flurry of light, and connected with the poor antineutrino, making him a part of the great blade.
Upon seeing the lack of enemies, Teller let out a triumphant shout, and the trio continued on their way.
Eventually, after much travel, they arrived at the gates of Ludikros's secret base, the event horizon of the submicroscopic black hole. Of course, they were aware of the fact that it was guarded. Blocking the entrance were three antiquarks, one of each color, connected to each other by a single gluon. The resulting antiproton was large enough to block any attempt at going around him.
"Now how are we going to get past?" asked Neut, who was beginning to regret that he did not stay at the atom.
Lepto suggested, "Can't we circle around and go through the back?"
"What back? Do you see any back?"
"How is that possible?" Teller wondered, "Well, seeing as how there is only one way inside, we'll have to face the guard head-on."
He walked up to the antiproton, beam sword ready. However, when he got there, the red one of the three quarks spoke.
"Halt! We are the order of Anthydor, three of Lord Ludikros's élite generals! No one shall get past us!"
Teller lowered his sword, and said, "Bring it."
Suddenly, the three antiquarks attached by a particle of strong nuclear force started spinning. From the perspective of the combatants however, this simply meant that their colors were alternating. The blue became green, the green became red, and the red blue, and so forth. As Teller wondered what attack was being set up, Anthydor moved straight towards him, like a wheel ready to run him over.
"Face our special attack!" yelled Anthydor, "Antihydrogen… Tornado!"
Teller thought that the attack would be easy to avoid. After all, the antiproton would need to travel in a straight line to hit him, and it would be difficult for something of its relative size to change directions while spinning. Thus, he was shocked when the wheel disappeared from sight!
"Where'd it go?!"
On the other hand, Teller may not have known where his opponent went, but his companions did not have that weakness. Lepto was watching how the battle would turn out, and knew what Anthydor had done. There are eleven dimensions at the scale they lived in. Since Edwards came from the macroscopic world, where only some of these dimensions are visible, he could not accurately perceive the others.
Lepto, on the other hand, could, and cried, "Look above you!"
Teller Edwards reacted too late, and was crushed by the group of Ludikros's generals. For a moment, Lepto was sure that he was done for, and Neut muttered that Teller had died for nothing.
But Edwards had not been annihilated. The gluon in the center of Anthydor had landed on top of him, and as gluons have no mass or charge, he was unharmed. However, he was wedged between two negatively-charged antiparticles. He tried to activate his beam sword, but discovered to his horror that he could not move.
Anthydor noticed this, and taunted, "Ha! There is not enough room between us for you to escape! All we have to do is spin one more time, and you will be annihilated! Then those leptons on the sidelines will also be dealt with. You have mere moments left to live."
"Oh no, Teller!" Lepto yelled.
"So much for that," deadpanned Neut.
How can I fight something that moves in more than four dimensions? Teller thought.
-End of Chapter 3.-