Observe that Bullet

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The wound cannot be that bad, thought Harold as he hurriedly bent down to examine his fallen companion. He was immediately proven wrong: Tom’s thorax lay in a puddle of vivid, dark-red blood that was oozing out of his chest at an alarming rate. Harold knelt onto the uneven terrain and fumbled with the last airtight bandages. Tom was convulsing in shock, and for one second his eyes met Harold’s, pupils dilated in horror as if he knew that would be his end.
Desperation instantly seized Harold after the initial shock, a feeling of anguish that was his and yet not his. He suppressed a scream, attempting to calm down, yet his eyes furiously blinked away tears. This is not happening. Not now. Voices behind him made him startle; he turned, and through his bleary vision he made out the outlines of soldiers, unmistakable in their black capes. Insurgents. The ones that shot Tom. A boiling rage escalated inside Harold even as the soldiers caught sight of him. He cast a quick glance at his dying companion, thinking fast in spite of a growing sensation of pain. The rebel compound was not far away, while no government unit remained in the area. And the rebels had captured at least one Quantum Operator. Harold felt his pulse return. If only they could carry Tom…
“Hands up, scumbag!” Two of the six rebels were holding him at gunpoint. Harold sank to the ground in despair.
“It’s my mate… he’s badly hurt and in need of a QO intervention… Please, I implore you,” he articulated, hot tears streaming down his cheeks as he gesticulated at the unmoving body behind him.
“We don’t take no government workers in our compound”, the bulky, dark-skinned rebel responded. “You’re lucky as hell I didn’t just shoot you on the spot.”
“But Tom… you don’t understand,” Harold pleaded hysterically, “the government’s got my wife and kids… you can’t let him die… please… he’s all I’ve got!” A searing pain surged through his heart as he spoke, and he rushed at the man only to be pushed back by the cold barrel of his gun.
“Nothing doing, punk. He deserved it. Now get the hell outta here before I change my mind and spill your guts all over the ground.” He gave Harold a hard shove, prompting the latter to fall backward. The other insurgents laughed, and turned to leave. Harold frantically yelled after them, his pleas interrupted by violent spasms and fits of crying. He turned and saw that one of the soldiers had not joined the others.
“Please… please… I beg you…” he muttered in unintelligible syllables, clutching at the man’s arm. The soldier shushed him, then looked around as if in fear of being overheard.
“Do you know how a Quantum Operator works?”
Harold vigorously nodded. “They’re large machines that alter whatever is placed inside at… at the will of the people… of the person controlling the machine.”
“I said do you know how they work, not what they are. Now listen here,” the soldier said, “the QO goes back to the observer effect developed a couple of centuries ago. The act of observation brings an event into reality. Before the observer looks, the event is one of infinite possibilities existing in superposition. With enough concentration, the observer can collapse the wave of possibilities into a concrete particle, a version of his choosing of the event.”
“Yes, yes!” Harold hastened to agree, shaking uncontrollably. “They use it for many things… to heal people… they can heal Tom! They can make it as if it never happened.”
“Exactly. But so do you.”
A look of ultimate stupor flickered in Harold’s eyes, quickly replaced by disbelief. “But only the Elites can… only the people with high IQs are chosen by the government to observe…” He cast another glance back and his hysteria returned. “Please…”
“Listen!” The man’s hand touched his shoulder. “You can observe. There is no machine that does it, only human willpower and awareness. This goddamn war… it’s all because we realized reality is being imposed upon us, when in fact we are all creators.” His piercing blue eyes stared into Harold’s. “You’re the only one that can help your comrade. You two are entangled, right?”
Harold nodded. “The government entangled us in pairs before they made us fight, to be more loyal. I feel what he feels.” Another pang of terror and frenzy shot through him as he said those words.
“Then you are his twin. You know him better than anyone else. Stand back and observe a different outcome. Train your awareness, change your perception, do what you must do and change reality!”
With that, the man turned and hurried away, leaving Harold fighting another torrent of tears. How could he perform something that took 12 Elites the full extent of their abilities to master? Tom was going to die… and he was unable to help.
Harold began coughing violently, then dropped to all fours in an attempt to calm down. He may have been entangled with Tom, but he was also his own person. Taking a long look around him, his gaze fell on a tiny, black object glinting on the ground. Harold had the sudden urge to take it and bury it somewhere far underground, and much to his surprise he reached out to do so. He looked at Tom and found himself wishing for all the blood to disappear. He wanted to remember him just as he was before the gunshot. Holding back his last tears, Harold closed his eyes.
The sound of gunfire snapped him awake. Tom was shouting for help, and from the corner of his eye he saw the grinning insurgent training his weapon on Tom and pulling the trigger. Harold screamed, but the gun clicked, empty. And in Harold’s hand, something pressed against his fingers: a tiny, black bullet.

About the Author: 
High school junior with a yet unpublished book under his belt and a voracious appetite for writing.

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Quantum Theories

H is for ... Hidden Variables

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

Some researchers think the best way to explain the strange characteristics of the quantum world is to allow that each quantum event creates a new universe.

L is for ... Light

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M is for ... Multiverse

Our most successful theories of cosmology suggest that our universe is one of many universes that bubble off from one another. It’s not clear whether it will ever be possible to detect these other universes.

A is for ... Act of observation

Some people believe this changes everything in the quantum world, even bringing things into existence.

I is for ... Interferometer

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Q is for ... Qubit

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E is for ... Entanglement

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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R is for ... Reality

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I is for ... Information

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A is for ... Atom

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G is for ... Gluon

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F is for ... Free Will

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O is for ... Objective reality

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D is for ... Dice

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P is for ... Probability

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L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

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C is for ... Computing

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

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D is for ... Decoherence

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J is for ... Josephson Junction

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G is for ... Gravity

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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K is for ... Kaon

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X is for ... X-ray

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S is for ... Superposition

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U is for ... Universe

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C is for ... Cryptography

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P is for ... Planck's Constant

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R is for ... Randomness

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T is for ... Teleportation

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W is for ... Wave-particle duality

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