The entire project was insane, and he was insane for doing it. He was a student of physics and engineering, not a wizard or magician. Yet, the project was based on some old leather bound book spouting mythology about elves, other mythic creatures, and magic. The book described a ring device that would create a portal to another world existing along side our own. The only reason Aelfric was doing it, was because the book had gone into incredible detail for it to just be a hoax.
There were schematics and diagrams that had been carefully drawn and labeled, and it was obviously done by someone with a very good understanding of electrical engineering. He understood some of the electrical effects that would be created by the ring described, but the engineering of the ring was still very unusual; enough to make him wonder what would happen if he turned the thing on. So, here he was, building the damn thing just to find out. He was hoping that at the very least he'd get a nice light show.
He had been using all his spare time for the last 6 months to build the ring, and he was finally almost finished. It had required a lot of detailing done by hand, with intricate wiring done in complex patterns suggesting multiple vectored rotating magnetic fields. The two inner rings spun around on a vertical axis in opposite directions, within a stationary outer ring built into a platform to allow someone to pass through it. If it worked, which Aelfric seriously doubted.
Mainly he was doing it as a hobby, and he was telling himself not to expect anything, because he didn't want to foolishly raise false hopes that there was anything to it. He figured when he was done, it would be an interesting conversation piece, and if he was lucky, maybe he could sell it to someone with a fascination for cool looking devices that didn't really work. Like some science fiction geek with plenty of money but not a lot of sense.
He had found the book in an old chest, in the attic of his grandparent's house. He knew the book looked old, but he didn't know how old it was, and it was probably really was just a hoax anyway. Still, someone had gone to a lot of trouble to design that spinning ring platform, and he had to admit they did a really good job. Aelfric thought he could probably get a good deal out of the book and the device together, if he ever decided to sell.
Another reason he was doing it was because his mother, and the family she came from, had a thing for elves and the old mythology about them. Aelfric's mother was, of course, a Tolkien fan. It was how he got his name: Aelfric, or Elf Ruler. He figured if by some really small chance the device did work, his mother would love to meet some real elves. Yeah, right. Like that was going to happen. At this point of his life Aelfric was 22, still living at home while going to school, and more interested in his studies and hobbies than anything else. He'd always been a bit awkward in social situations, particularly with the fairer sex. Truthfully, he used his studies and hobbies to avoid other people, and was already wondering what project to tackle next.
Aelfric had just finished building the ring and was now preparing to turn it on. He wasn't able to follow the book exactly, as most of the parts had to be liberated from junk yards and other similar places. Some of the components, and even wiring, had called for some seriously expensive materials he didn't have the money to buy. So he just substituted those things for lesser quality materials he could get. After all, he was just building a model from some old book, not a real working and proven device. Still, at least it looked cool, and he'd gotten it as close to the old book as he could.
The end of the old book wasn't a technical manual at all, but rather a preparation guide for the would be traveler. For the hell of it he even took that part seriously. He had put together a survival pack for long term camping, along with rugged clothing and weapons. He packed a hatchet, machete, and a hunting knife for tools, but they could be used as weapons, too. He also had a bow and quiver that he'd bought a few years ago at a renaissance fair. For kicks, he decided to also bring his Katana, which he actually knew how to use thanks to his training in Kendo and some training in European sword play.
He'd also trained in various other forms of martial arts, but wouldn't consider himself an expert in any of them. The styles he'd trained in enough to be competent were Aikido, Jujitsu, Karate, Jeet Kun Do, Keysi, and Krav Maga. He'd also learned a little Pancration, Capeiora, Boxing and Muay Thai. He'd started studying martial arts when he was very young because he had been strongly fascinated by martial arts films. He studied all the different styles he did because he wanted to emulate Bruce Lee's philosophy. He also took a sidearm, as he thought it would be a good idea to have it on such a journey. Never hurt to have a quick ranged weapon in an emergency.
It was a good thing he had studied all those martial arts, because it really saved him from being bullied and picked on for also being a nerd and geek. The bullies soon learned, that he was one geek they didn't want to mess with. As a result, he didn't really suffer the hazing that a lot of the social misfits did. He was never popular, but at least he wasn't always being bothered, either.
In actuality, there were several girls who had crushes on him in school, but he had never known it. They were either too shy to let him know how they felt, or he was too socially inept to recognize their subtle hints. As a result he was still a virgin, but not for a lack of desire. When he was in the privacy of his own room he was always masturbating, and he was secretly proud of his package. He was smart enough to understand that porn films usually used exaggeration when showing the guy's manhood, but he had always been equal to the best he'd seen in porn. He'd measured himself, and he had nothing to be ashamed of. He was almost equally proud of the quantity of his spend. Aelfric figured that when he finally did get a girl, she wouldn't be unhappy with his equipment.
Aelfric sighed. He wasn't so sure that would ever happen, the way things were going. In the last couple of years he'd had a few girls flirt with him a little, but nothing ever got past that. Aelfric was finally ready to push the button, then have nothing happen, and then to move on to the next useless project. Just like the rest of his life. He was already dressed, so he picked up his pack and strapped it on. He had everything strapped to the pack, and the pack strapped to him. It was kind of heavy, so he was glad he was in good shape. He ran his hand through his dark brown hair and put on his Naruto: Leaf Village logo ball cap. Then he put on his Ray-Ban sunglasses and picked up the ring's wired remote power switch.
"Well, here's hoping for fireworks", said Aelfric. "Just not too much".
He stood there with all his gear strapped on, as though he were really going to go to another world. He honestly didn't believe it would happen because the old book was just a hoax. Wasn't it? Aelfric pushed the button and the lights suddenly dimmed as the rings began moving. As the rings picked up speed there was a whining noise that kept getting louder. Electrical arcs started dancing across the surface of the rotating rings, and sometimes they shot across the empty space inside the rings. As the rings got faster, more electric arcs were converging at the center of the empty space within the rings.
Then Aelfric saw a warping in the air, similar to when looking across a hot surface. After that, the light in the center of the rings, where the electricity was converging began to peel back like an opening flower. Behind the petals was a glowing blue and white vortex tunnel, with a light shining from the other end. Exactly as the book had described. Aelfric couldn't believe it, but he did go through the trouble of preparing to go. So he did. He stepped closer to the portal and hesitated, then he gingerly stepped into it and suddenly found himself being pulled off his feet and through the vortex.
Aelfric didn't know it, but he'd blown the transformer feeding power to the whole neighborhood. His mother had come down to see what all that noise had been, and what happened to the electricity. The basement was lit by some small windows at ground level, so she could see okay. However, she could find no sign of Aelfric, other than the ring device he'd been working on for months. It was occasionally sparking as capacitors released their charge, and there was smoke coming from several places on the ring. She could see burn marks where some wires and other components had melted. It was obvious that the ring had been turned on finally, but where was Aelfric?